My closest friend since first grade and I had an annual tradition of taking a multi-day float/fishing trip on an Ozark river. The two of us would plan the trips together and try to get others to join us. Many years we did get others to join, a few years it was just the two of us. He would travel from San Francisco every year just for the trip. My friend passed away suddenly in December so this year I headed up a group for a river trip as part of a memorial. For the First Annual Andy Hart Memorial Float Trip we went down the Buffalo River. We started out as a group of nine at Tyler Bend on Wednesday and we were joined by 2 more at our camping spot just up from Glibert. 5 of our group departed at Maumee and 6 finished off the trip on Friday at Spring Creek.
Several of us brought our sons along on the trip and it was a first of its kind for each of them. The weather was fantastic for late June, early July and the water was low as expected. We all caught fish but we did our best to make sure our boys had the most success – and they did. My son caught over 20 fish in 3 days and several of those he caught were very nice sized fish. Crawdad baits of all kinds were the most successful with top-waters working well in the mornings and evenings.
It was a beautiful trip with many memories and tears. We also had some adventure when a storm rolled through camp on night 2. I still have many rivers to visit in the Ozarks but I have yet to find one nearly as beautiful as the Buffalo. But next time I will bite off fewer miles and have more time to fish.