Posted by Al Agnew
on December 30th, 2011
Huzzah and Courtois are sister streams, indeed almost twin sisters. They both begin in rugged country along Hwy. 32, which divides their waters from the headwaters of Black River, they flow parallel to one another toward the Meramec, and they finally merge just a mile or so before emptying into the larger river. Along the way, they are similar in size and character, with exceptionally clear water, wide gravelly beds, and narrow valleys rimmed by high wooded hills. They are as pretty as you’ll find in the Missouri Ozarks.
They are also as popular as you will find anywhere in the Ozarks. Large campgrounds and canoe rentals are located on both streams, but the total amount of easily floatable water is less than 15 miles on each, so those lower miles are almost always crowded during warm weather, even on weekdays. The do-it-yourself floater who is willing to work at it can avoid some of the crowds by going farther up on the Huzzah and Courtois, or by putting in very early in the morning. Or one can just put up with the crowds of river dorks and still catch some fish.
The smallmouth is king in these two streams. Largemouth are fairly uncommon, and although one can occasionally catch a spotted bass or two in the lower reaches, the spots don’t seem to like the cool, clear, fast waters of these two streams. Goggle-eye are abundant along with the other sunfish species, and suckers are thick.
Huzzah Creek Level near Steelville, Missouri