Looks like my annual early June, middle Buffalo (AR) trip is going to be cancelled due to low water. Looking for suggestions in south Missouri since I’m packed and have the vacation time already blocked out.
Been doing a little research and kind of narrowed it down to 1. Current 2. North Fork 3. Eleven Point
I generally gravel bar camp, like to be out for at least two nights, enjoy some class II, and like the bluffs and general scenery of the Buffalo. A little fishing is usually in order as well, but more for the zen of it than actually catching much.
Thanks in advance.
Start at Buck Hollow, and you join the Current later. This is fine water and great gravel bar camping. You can’t go wrong on the Eleven Point either, come to think of it. Have a great time.
Jacks Fork is a wonderful stream, but not usually floatable from Buck Hollow down past mid-May. Actually, I just did a two day trip on it last week, and I packed light, just carried a cooler with cold food, small tent, sleeping bag and pad, and one change of clothes in addition to fishing gear…no cooking stuff, chairs, etc. I was floating solo in a Wenonah Vagabond. I’d say I actually floated fewer than half the riffles without scraping bottom, and I did a lot of bottom scraping in some of them! The canoe rental people won’t put canoes on the Buck Hollow to Alley Spring stretch under these conditions.
The Current will have plenty of water from Round Spring down. The Round Spring to Powdermill stretch is nice.
The Eleven Point is a little wilder and has a few more interesting “rapids”, and will also have enough water below Greer Spring. It does have somewhat of a lack of good camping gravel bars, however.
Those two are probably your best choices.
Have to agree & disagree…
Disagreement: Buck Hollow to Eminence on the Jacks Fork is a nice stretch to paddle, with some good scenery. But it is quite dependent on rain, and with the exception of a couple of inches of rain recently, it has not been getting a good deal of rain. May be low up at Buck Hollow. The Eminence to Two Rivers section (where Jacks Fork joins the Current)is “not” what I’d call scenic by “any” means. The over 1,000 horse stalls along the riverbank, just downstream from Eminence, is polluting that section of the river. It “literally” stinks! Am not so sure some sewage isn’t being dumped into that section from businesses & homes in city of Eminence & businesses just upstream of Eminence. If you go on a weekend, there may be quite a few people on those sections of the river, and probably more than a few will be loud, obnoxious & drunk.
Agree: You would probably have a better trip(based on what you stated you wanted to do), by going to the Eleven Point. It is not as rain dependent as the upper Jacks Fork. Good put in at Greer access(16.6), and take out at Riverton(35.7), or if you want a few more miles, takeout at Hwy 142 access(44.3).Nice places to visit while out there are Turner’s Mill, and Boze Mill. Decent float camps & some good gravel bars too. You’ll likely run into fewer floaters/fewer weekend partiers out there than on the Jacks Fork.
I try to avoid the Current river like the plague on weekends. The amount of “river dorks” on that river on saturdays is amazing. The North Fork has a lot of party paddlers on saturdays too. Also, a lot of property along the river is private, and for good reason(drunks/litterers) many landowners are not happy to see paddlers pulling up on their property.
always has enough water (spring fed). Lots of horseflies later in summer though. The lower Current has lots of johnboaters all year:( Never floated it on weekends. Sounds like I’d stay off on weekends.
I’d say current
My dad grew up floating the current river. We floated from Eminence to Powder Mill last year. Just a day float but the fishing is pretty good. Caught quite a few small moth and goggle eye. There are tons of gravel bars that you can camp on. We didn’t see very many people on the river either. We went on a weekday too so that might be why there werent many people. I’d say go there. Good luck
I gotta tell ya, I yelled it because I've paddled it...did the overnighter, and the Eleven Point Rocks!
Besides, it's a LOT less crowded than the Current....
Spring fed, 68 degree water year round, a clarity that hurts yer eyes it's so clean...I could clearly see the bottom in pools 15 feet deep...
I did this paddle in November, there are a few class I+/II spots, nothing to extreme, just tie your gear down to the boat, and make sure you have dry clothes 'cause of the water temp....
Good Suggestions Here
The Eleven Point is a pretty good paddle, and probably fits best what your looking for. I prefer the upper Current, and while it can get a bit “Scratchy” when we have long periods without rain (Like we’re having right now), you can still travel the upper Current if you travel light. You may have to walk it through the occasional riffle, but unless your very heavily loaded you will make it o.k., especially from Welch Spring (a mile or so above Akers) on down. Also, if you start on a weekend, put in Sunday afternoon, after the sunburned drunks have started to head back to the city. WW
Thanks for the suggestions. Trip is planned for this Tuesday through Thursday specifically to avoid traffic and lunacy.
The lady at Aker’s seemed to indicate they were putting in as high as Baptist Camp, which would make the Current more attractive to me.
I’m leaning towards the Eleven Point because of the wilder nature of the river. Downside there is that Greer’s to Riverton isn’t very far. Would have to dawdle more I guess.
Keeping my fingers crossed that it rains like the dickens in the Buffalo drainage over the weekend. Mt. Hersey to Tyler Bend has kind of become a June tradition for me.
Want more miles on Eleven Point?
Put in at Greer but go to Highway 142 access for takeout instead of taking out at Riverton. That will add an additional 8 1/2 miles to your trip.
Huftstedlers canoe rental (at Riverton) could pick up your vehicle at Greer, and when you get to Riverton, you could tell them when you planned on taking out at Hwy 142, and they can probably have your vehicle there waiting on you when you take out. They are quite reasonable on their shuttle fees.
Current is an option since you will be paddling during the week, instead of the weekend.
But if you want peace & quiet; don’t go out on the Current on a saturday!
You said also that you wanted to fish a little…the Current from Baptist Camp to about Akers is trout water, with some smallmouths between Cedar Grove and Welch Spring just above Akers. Welch Spring cools the river back down enough to make it unsuitable for smallmouths. From Akers to Round Spring may be the poorest fishing of any river in the Ozarks, in my opinion…too cold for good smallmouth fishing, not a whole lot of trout, wall to wall doofus people on weekends and some during the week. Round Spring to Powdermill the smallmouth fishing gets better.
The Eleven Point from Greer to Riverton is also trout water, with some smallmouths toward the lower end. Below Riverton, the smallmouth fishing gets better.
You need a MO trout stamp to keep any trout on these rivers, in addition to your fishing license.
Al’s Right on the Money
Below Welch Spring on the Current, the fishing stinks. Probably IS the worst fishing on the Current, but a beautiful stretch to paddle when not inundated with (as Bob so accurately terms them) “River dorks.” WW
Alton Missouri, Richards Outpost is about1/2 mile from Greer Springs put in (2nd largest in state) 8 miles to horsehoe float camp some of the best novice trout fishing I have seen. One or two F.C. before horseshoe. 4 miles to whites creek with a awesome 1/4-1/2 mile deep cave about a 1/2 mile hike from boat.,worth the trip. 5 miles to Bose mill F.C. with a cold natural spring to swim and re up good drinking water. and camp. 2 miles to Riverton take out. we usually paddle 10 more miles to camp narrows. Trip lasts wed morning to early sunday morning which Richard drops are vehicle off early.Its a great trip our group is in it’s 13 annual Oct.trip.I agree Current will have a lot of roudys and plenty of noise.Did see T&As one June.trade of wasn’t worth it. Plus it is more dependent on watershed. Eleven point flows about 3 miles per hour, a lot of springs so it will have plenty of water below Greer Springs, usually stay at Horseshoe first two days fishing good and rest after S.E. Louisiana trip. Float camps have ring table and out house, all primitive trip, good shoals.Wont be many people, licences and stamp are very reasonable .
Great info - Thanks again
Appreciate all the great info. Just go off the phone with Richards and they’re expecting us Tuesday Morning. Looks like we can put in at Cane Bluff and will float to Riverton. We’ll pull out sometime Thursday and probably spend the night at Richards’ campground before heading back Friday. Gives us time to fish and explore some.
Thanks again, really looking forward to seeing a new stream. Maybe I shoulda broke out of my rut before this.
Spots to watch for are…
Three spots to be aware of on the Eleven Point for those who haven’t been there before:
- Below Greer Hwy 19 access, about a quarter of a mile the river forks. Stay left. The right channel is very narrow & will sometimes jam up with strainers.
- About 1 1/2 mile above Turner’s Mill there is a place called Mary Decker. You will see a line of boulders across the river before you get there. It’s a spot that occasionally has strainers jammed on the boulders.
- About 2 miles above Riverton(just below Boze Mill Spring), the river divides; stay to the right. The left side occasionally jams with strainers. You will hear the roar of water dropping over a ledge on the right side. About 10 feet from the left bank is usually a clear shot into standing waves.
Well, just returned from the Eleven Point float trip and wanted to thank you all again. It was perfect. Great water, nice scenery, great fishing, and almost NO other floaters. Saw two other groups in three days of floating and ran across three or four john boats fishing the shoals.
Richard’s took good care of us. Mary Deckard was cake with two good holes through the boulder line. Hall’s bay was just as Bob described running the shelf on the right leg of the split. Decided to walk the boat through one trick corner a couple miles down from Cane Bluff, but otherwise we ran everything we came to and stayed dry doing it.
Used one float camp (Greenbriar) and one gravel bar (near Stinking Pond) for camps. Both nights no one even passed by our camp - not in the morning either.
Other than the lack of the spectacular bluffs on the Buffalo, the Eleven Point is the equal of the middle Buffalo section I usually float. Better fishing too.
After pulling out Thursday,we decided to stay in the area to car-camp and sight-see an extra day. Took in a couple of springs, the Devil’s Well and then up to Aker’s Ferry and a couple places on the Jack’s Fork just to scout a little. What a zoo compared to where we had just been! I guess that’s the difference in having 20 canoe concessions versus the three in the Alton/Eleven point area.
Thanks again for the great info folks.
I wish I’d walked that trick corner!
Was that the sweeper tree with a vee trunk just past Turner Mill? Woof. It got me. I saw my friend ahead of me bobble through it, and I was being very cautious, using a draw stroke away from it, then power stroking for all I was worth…and it swept me dead into the vee…then I rolled. That really wasn’t so bad. Every spill is a learning event. The bad part was that it was right in front of three jon boats and their occupants who were sitting in their boats watching us! They were nice enough to come help me (I didn’t need help, but they were nice to offer)…but geez…