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Outdoors Fishing A Fishing Story

A Bryant Creek Fishing Story

In the summer of 2000, Janice Miller, who lives in Springfield, floated the Bryant with one of the Project's staff. When she said there was a famous Bryant Creek fishing story in her family, we asked her about it. The fishermen were her two uncles, Don Johnson and Doc Adams of Mountain Grove, her father, Cliff Miller, now deceased, and her brother, Jeff Miller, who was about 8 at the time. She asked her uncle Don to write it up for us and here it is: 

"I think it was in 1960. Me, Doc, Cliff, and Jeff was the ones in a 12-foot aluminum John Boat. We put in at the Monks (Assumption Abbey) on the Bryant River. We was going to float to Hiway 95 low water Bridge, about 6 or 7 hours. It was spring and the river above normal. 

"We was about halfway when we came to a 45 degree bend in the river. As we got into the bend, the stern of the boat got caught in the current and got swung around and got hung in the roots of a big tree. Water started to come in the boat. As it started to sink, Jeff was boosted up in the fork of the tree. As the boat was sinking, we could see all our fishing gear float down the river. We did recover a couple fishing rods. Think we scared a couple snakes out of that tree. We finally got the boat to the bank and turned it over to get the water out. We went on our way. It was an experience. We sure didn't have any fish to show for it."

Janice adds, "I do seem to recall that my uncle Doc stepped out of the sinking boat and thought he would be able to stand, but the water was so deep that all you could see was his hat floating down stream."

Thanks, Don and Jan! Anyone else with a Bryant Creek fishing story? Send it to us!

Edited by Susan Wiseheart. Photo by Peter Callaway.