I have set a goal for myself to fish (and catch fish in) all 8 of the "healthy stream systems" in Jefferson, St. Louis and St. Charles counties. Yes, there are only eight! With all the creeks and watersheds, eight is a very low number. I have already fished and caught in Dardenne Creek in St. Charles Co., and successfully caught Spotted Bass and Green sunfish there. This, however, is LaBarque creek in northern Jefferson county (#2 meth-producing county in the country!). I had a GREAT time down there (not because of meth, though...the fish!)
I met a group of MDC workers who were electrofishing the creek; they noted that the stretch in LaBarque C.A. is the smaller headwaters. If I were to get to better, bigger fishing, I should go to Young C.A., they said--they were right. I caught 2 5-6" Creek Chub at the first stretch before moving to Young. I could already cross off this creek from my list, successfully having caught at least some fish.
At Young, I found a promising looking pond on the way to the creek access. I fished it for 15 mins or so before getting nothing, giving up and moving to the moving water. I worked downstream for a few hours catching a wide range of fish (largemouth and smallmouth bass, green sunfish, longears, creek chub, and even a nice size Striped Shiner). I saw lots of crayfish and bedding activity. I can attest that this is a very healthy stream. I used a slow-sinking spider a bit as well as a #16 beadhead pheasant tail, but mostly I used a small nymph and orange and a black brimkillers.
After coming back up stream, I thought Id give the pond another go with the orange brimkiller I had on already. A few casts in and my line stopped; assuming I was stuck I repositioned myself and pulled again--this time it move away and down. Fish on! A short but intense battle insued (I had a 5X tippet on, my go-to all-around size that I always start with) and then I pulled up the 9" spawning male BG. It is the biggest BG to date that I caught, and I was shaking so hard I had to brace the camera on my knee to photo it. It weighed well over a pound, and gave a Bass-like splash and run when returned to the water. What a fish!
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