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Guide Bio of the Month: Dave Welch

Written by Phil on April 17th, 2014
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Guide Dave Welch could be hard to impress with Ozarks’ fishing since he spent eight years as a child in Alaska.

 

“That’s where I got my fishing background.  I was more of a salmon guy/trout guy,” he said.

 

But after 24 years guiding in the tri-lakes area, he values the variety of experiences he can provide his clients.  “I like my crappie and bass fishing, too,” he said.

 

He spent his teenage years in Illinois where his father retired from the U.S. Air Force. It was not until his college days in Warrensburg, MO, that some of his buddies hooked him on tri-lakes fishing.

 

Although an education major in college, he embarked straight into guiding, working with guests at Lazy Valley resort initially before working at Fall Creek Marina from 1994-1998.

 

“Since then I have just been freelancing,” he said. “I think some of the best fishing I ever experienced here was when the floodgates were opened in 1995 and then in 1998. I had several fish over 20 pounds on the line.  Then the spawn was awesome, too.”

 

He met his wife, Sarah, in Branson who had been drawn to town to play her trumpet in some of the music shows.  Last year she became a flight attendant for American Airlines, allowing the couple to do some traveling in his off time.

 

Welch is thankful that they live close to Table Rock Dam, so he can he drive to a boat ramp on either Lake Taneycomo or Table Rock in five minutes or less.  That allows him to focus more on his actual time with clients, booking half or full-day trips and even fishing from a pontoon when needed.

“I just like to deal with people from all over,” he said.  “I have had people from England and Scotland, and you name it.”

March Guide Bio of the Month: Chuck Gries

Written by Phil on March 4th, 2014
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Guide Chuck Gries credits his wife, Lynn, with luring him to flyfishing on Lake Taneycomo in the mid-1980s.

He had been hooked on fly fishing through a senior trip from his Iowa high school to Bear Tooth Wilderness Area in Montana.  “It was two weeks of just backpacking and fishing with about two dozen kids,” he said.

 

But the consistency of Taneycomo’s trout lured the avid anglers back season after season until they finally moved here in 1994 and opened Anglers & Archery Outfitters in 1997.

 

“Our goal at Anglers and Archery Outfitters is your success,” they state on their website.  “Whether your passion is fly-fishing for trophy trout or harvesting whitetail deer and turkey with a bow and arrow. We pride ourselves in no nonsense fly-fishing and archery advice. Honesty and integrity is what you will find in our shop.”

 

Their convenient location on U.S. 165 Highway close to the Shepherd of the Hills Hatchery keeps them on top of the trophy area of the lake.  Gries offers a popular wading trip but can switch to boat fishing if the generation picks up too much or the clients decide they want to keep a few trout.

 

“We can pretty much follow what the client wants,” he said, “whether they are novice fishermen or expert anglers.  We have had a bunch of kids who have learned to fly fish and become comfortable with it, and also some adults who have never fished at all before who have loved it.”

 

His largest personal lunker was a 35-1/2in, 19.5-pound brown caught on a night fishing trip back in 1997 — about 1 a.m.

“Night fishing was a great deal of fun –back then,” Gries said. “Now I would rather sleep . . .  But since then as I have kept track, we have put guests on trophyfish as much or more during the day when you can actually sight the fish and not cast blindly.”

 

Last fall a client caught a 28-inch, 12.5-pound trophy; the largest trout a client caught and released was 33 inches long, weighing 19.25 pounds.

 

Gries can outfit clients with everything they need for a successful fishing trip, whether they fly fish or spin cast.  The shop, open all but a few holidays and a week in January, also rents waders to visitors not booking guides and sells the latest lures for fishing Table Rock as well.

They custom tie the “hot” flies daily and welcome customers who just want some hands-on instruction for a certain pattern. That is, except for a special ice shrimp scud their son Adam ties in three or four different colors, usually sizes #18- #20.

 

“Adam mixes his own dubbing for it, and won’t mix it when anyone else is around — not even me,” Gries said.  Now that Adam is working as a traveling welder (currently in Iowa), those flies have become a hot commodity only available when Adam is back in town visiting and ties a few.

 

The Gries family is especially grateful that Adam is recovering from a rare pneumonia in December that led to a lung infection, blood infection and eventual shutdown of his kidneys, putting him on life support for 11 days.  “The doctor said if he had come into the hospital an hour later, he would not be here,” Gries said, adding that Adam has now been cleared to return to work for half days and may resume to full days in a month.

Lilleys’ Landing Winter Fishing Tournament – Feb 22nd!

Written by Phil on February 10th, 2014
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Lilleys’ Landing has one more public tournaments left this winter – The Vince Elfrink Memorial Tournament on Saturday February 22, 2014!

The rules of the tournament require artificial baits only and is a catch-and-release tournament as well. The entry fee is $50 for each two-person team. Cash prices and trophies will be awarded to the top four teams. The teams with the heaviest brown and rainbow trout are awarded Big Trout Cash Prizes. 2014′s brown trout big trout prize is $1,000!!

Come out and have a great time! Click HERE for an entry form or you can call the office at 1-800-284-2196 and ask for an entry to be mailed or faxed out to you.

Hope to see you there!