Remember When…

10 years ago

• My next day off fell on a date meteorologists predicted would be the hottest of the summer so far. I was unfazed. I was going to be in cool water, fishing. As long as I had enough sunscreen along and water to drink, I’d be fine. 

Wade fishing has always been my favorite way to fish and on a day if it gets too hot, all you have to do is put the pole down and plunge under the surface to make everything right again. (Greg “Rudi” Rudroff)

• Missourians and residents of neighboring states who spend any time outdoors on or near the island waterways, such as the Missouri and Mississippi rivers, are privy to views of the mighty diesel-powered towboats which ply these rivers. 

Many fishermen have had harrowing experiences by getting a little too close to towboats that are entering or departing any of the locks and dams on the Upper Mississippi River. (Gary L.Arnold)

15 years ago

• Apparently I walked the wrong trail, but it was a great hike anyway. And probably better than the Sutton’s Bluff Nature Trail I set out to walk. And there was an interesting sidelight. 

The trail I walked was part of the Ozark Trail, from Sutton’s Bluff Trailhead toward Bee Fork, a few miles to the south. The map I had showed the Ozark Trail and the Forest Service’s nature trail running together, then the nature trail making a loop above the West fork of Black River while the Ozark Trail took a higher route along the bluff hillside. (Bob Todd)

20 years ago

• The first half-day was pitiful from a fishing success standpoint. We could see big smallmouth in the deep holes. In fact, we could see large schools of smallmouth cruising in the rocks below us. 

But as we ate lunch, the catch for the day was but three small bass for Roy. I’d taken one goggle-eye and a chain pickerel. We learned from the morning, however, and over the next day-and-a-half we caught several very nice smallmouth. (Bob Todd)

• I seem to reminisce more as I get older. I’m not sure if that is connected to longevity or if it pertains to circumstances. My thoughts toll back to the mid-50s when we used to do a lot of rabbit hunting . The little hares were everywhere. 

You didn’t have to drive two or three hours north or west to shoot cottontails. Just a short distance from the big city would put you in briar-patches fairly teeming with the best outdoor table fare you could imagine.

We lived in St.Louis County and barring shooting a gun directly at a house or neighbor, you could hunt almost every weed patch available back then as long as you had permission. (Don Rathert)

30 years ago

• Up until now, I’ve been a hopeful believer of stories about black bears in the Ozarks, but my faith was based on the reliability of witnesses, on news reports of illegal kills. Personal contact, though, brings the intensity of belief to a much higher level. 

And tracks past our yard this winter was our first personal contact; not that we questioned the presence of black bears here to begin with. 

One of the first assignments I had as a newspaper reporter 30 years ago was to check out a reported sighting of a black bear north of Cape Girardeau. I came away convinced the farmer who made the report knew very well the difference between a black bear and a large dog. He was not mistaken. (Bob Todd)

• It has been a lot of years since the last big change in fishing regulations for streams was made, but changes may be right around the corner in the future. Immediately ahead, some sections of some Ozark streams may be designated as trophy smallmouth sections. 

There is a general length limit of 12 inches on all bass from Ozark streams, but the new rules will provide for trophy sections with limits of 15 inches (probably). (Bob Todd)

40 Years Ago

• My dad and I ducked our boat out of the raw March wind into the sheltered water in the lee of a Wappapello Lake island, picked up our casting rods with tumbled fingers, and started casting to the stumps beneath he surface of the cold gray water. 

With dripping noses and watering eyes we had endured a long, fish-less day. I hadn’t felt my feet since about lunchtime. Dad’s crankbait stopped in mid-retrieve, like it had hit a snag. But the dead weight began to move, and all our discomforts were forgotten. (Al Agnew)

• The Missouri Legislature, if it goes ahead and calls for a vote on placing the park system under the Department of Conservation, will accomplish nothing. As written, the merger offers nothing. 

We would be asked to approve sending parks to conservation without any funding. Conservation funds would have to be used to support parks. You certainly can’t have a better conservation program by diverting its funds for parks. 

And you can’t have a better parks program without sacrificing conservation. (Bob Todd)

(compiled by Wyatt Sexton)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *