By far our favorite river to float in Missouri is the Eleven Point River.  It is the only National Wild and Scenic River in the state.  The scenery is breathtaking, the water a beautiful aquamarine after Greer, and it is also a Blue Ribbon Trout Stream.  Richard’s Canoe Rental is our outfitter of choice.  Jerry, the owner, goes out of his way to accommodate.  The hospitality found at Richard’s is second to none.  If you have never floated the Eleven Point, you are missing out. 

This year, we did something we have never done before, camp on the river.  Brooke, Matt, Dustin and I have been on our share of float trips, but every time we were pulled out at the end of the day and shuttled to a campground.  That was always fun, but now we’ll never go that route again.  Fishing was a lot slower this year than last.  Each of us only caught one or two trout.  However, the one I caught was worth the trip.  Trout are by far my favorite fish to catch.  We released all we caught; none were big enough to keep (18” minimum length to keep).  Before Greer we caught a decent amount of small mouth, but no pumpkin seeds this year.  Last year we caught too many to count.   However, we did see our fair share of snakes.  Dustin had a close encounter with a water moccasin; it was coiled and ready to strike.  I didn’t do very well with that.   A bald eagle also graced us with his majestic presence.  Very cool.  Getting to our second night campground was quite treacherous.  Dustin and I had to paddle upstream and we almost lost Brooke to the current.  Scary moment, but all ended well.  Now for the pics!

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Toby or “Paddle” (as he was affectionately called by us)

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IMG_0494 Greer Spring dumping a daily part of its 222 million gallons: The river drastically changes after this spring.

IMG_0498  Waking up on the river

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IMG_0511 Cloud cover trying to break up to give us a nice sunny day

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IMG_0521  Sorry about the water spots.  I was too afraid to take the camera out of the waterproof case.

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A very cold morning on the river

I cannot even begin to tell you what an outstanding river the Eleven Point is.  The pictures do not do it justice.  Dustin and I hope to go again this summer in an effort to catch some more trout.  If we don’t make it back to the EP, I am sure we’ll do some other floats this summer.  Camping on the river is just to great to not do again.

Lessons Learned:

  • Take lotion!  We had to use grease from our deer burgers to moisturize our hands.
  • We want a Garmin Oregon for navigating rivers.  It is so hard to tell where you are on an unfamiliar river.
  • Trout don’t bite in April
  • The river changes so much from season to season.  It looked nothing like it did last summer.  The river was quite high this year.
  • April sucks for fishing, but is great for solitude.  We only saw a few jet boats.  That was so nice!
  • A lot of people get lost on the Eleven Point.  This is the second time we’ve been and its also the second time we’ve been asked by Water Patrol if we’d seen a woman walking the river.
  • Richard’s Canoe Rental is the ONLY canoe rental place we’ll ever use to outfit us for our floats on the EP.

Next post we’ll talk a little more fishing!

Happy trails,

Stephanie & Dustin

Written by Stephanie Mullins

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