Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Stilly, Skagit, Methow, etc...
You might be surprised with what you can do with a 13'-14' rod. Most of the 14-15' rods (not all) are 9 & 10wts, which is a lot of rod. I'm from MO (left almost 15yrs ago) and cut my teeth on the current, mill spring, the parks, etc... I can't lay claim to anything over 4lbs from my tenure there, but I realize that there are some very large fish. That said, I still think a 9 or 10 is a lot of rod, especially from the standpoint that lighter tackle can be more fun to fish. As I recall, the record brown of 40+ lbs was landed on 6lb mono... poor fish. I would look at 6wts in the 13-14' range, maybe 7wts, size of fly being the main consideration.
I'm curious if you've ever gone for stripers or wipers under Bagnell Dam (osage river). It would be interesting to head there when they aren't doing releases and overhead two-hand with fast sink shooting heads. I went with my 9wt single hander a couple times, but to no avail. I watched a spin fisherman land 4-8lb wipers roughly every 10-12th cast one night. Chartruse & white bunny leeches would be the closest to what he was chucking. Seems there is a long conrete ledge that runs straight out from the parking area and drops off about 10' towards the dam. The stripers corral the shad up against it. I don't know what other rivers might have striper runs, but they catch 30+lb fish every year. I had a lot of fun fishing in MO. Good luck.