Ozarks on the Fly: Vol. I
Fly fishing guide and family farmer Josh Trammell fishes the small, secluded streams of southwest Missouri, which are filled with Neosho-strain smallmouth bass.
“I’ve lived here pretty well my whole life. I was born a little ways down the road. We moved out to the farm I now live on when I was in second grade. My grandpa bought his first farm here sometime in the late 50s, and he’s bought several, and since then I’ve been fortunate enough to work on the farm exclusively since since 2014.
I bought my first fly rod it, it was a cheap Shakespeare $20 combo, Walmart I believe, it was for my 12th birthday. I flailed back and forth with that thing for probably four years. That’s how I learned to fish, how I learned to fly fish. The best way to fish these creeks is to stick with something subsurface—a crawdad pattern on a fly rod or a marabou jig on a fly rod—through the runs you catch plenty. I keep it simple. I bring a box with me when I fish around here. I don’t care if it’s smallmouth or trout, the fewer patterns the better and I don’t think I have any patterns in my box that take me more than 60 or 90 seconds to tie, because you don’t need to.
My main deal is I raise chickens. We have six broiler houses. It’s about 190,000 birds placed at a time. We grow six or seven flocks a year. But that’s my primary job. We’ere running about 240 mama cows. I obviously help out with that a lot.
You’ve got smallmouth within five minutes of my house, you’ve got trout within eight minutes of my house, you’ve got tailwaters within 50 minutes. I mean literally everything you could want just down the road from the house I grew up in….”