Monday, July 20, 2009

Table Rock Lake Kayaking Trip

Kayak Magic On Table Rock Lake
Originally uploaded by Thomas Jones.

Dianne Kayaking through the morning mists on Table Rock Lake, Cape Fair MO.
Missouri Road Trip Report:
This weekend Dianne and I visited Flat Creek Resort on Table Rock Lake in Cape Fair, Missouri. Located in Southern Missouri / Northern Arkansas - Table Rock Lake is one of the finest Ozark lakes for kayaking. The lake's long, narrow and twisty shape bordered by rocky bluffs and tree covered hills is quite scenic. We saw a huge amount of fish jumping in the fairly clear waters of the lake. I would advise any paddlers and especially any kayak fishermen out there to find time to paddle Table Rock Lake.

We chose Flat Creek Resort after having read their webpage which presented itself as a full-on Ozark paddling resort. I had hoped for something like the world famous NOC or the Otter Bar in California... that was close enough for an Oklahoma road trip. I longed for a place crowded with knowledgeable paddlers and a wealth of kayaking t-shirts to browse.

The aging Flat Creek Resort has recently changed management and appears to be shifting away from focusing on kayakers and canoe trips, but it still offers an excellent access point, dock and boat ramp. Their location on the James River and Flat Creek arm of Table Rock Lake is quite scenic, however I was deeply disappointed to find the Paddleshop had been closed, the float trips outsourced and liquor license currently not in effect. Our AT&T cell phones did not work in Cape Fair, MO and the rooms at Flat Creek Resort had no phones or working TV's. Not being a HAM radio operator, this left me feeling pretty isolated and a little creeped out.

Despite the shortcomings, fishermen flock to spots like this for the great fishing. We spoke to several bass fishermen that drove down from Springfield, MO, by 9:30pm the parking lot was full of boats. We were surprised to see only one motor boat during our sunrise paddling the next day. The fleet had launched long before we drug the kayaks to the shore! We saw fish feeding constantly on Table Rock Lake and we paddled through lots of shallow water coves perfect for top water bass fishing from the kayak.

The entire 3-day weekend we were blessed with shockingly cool summer weather that created great conditions for kayak photography. Paddling the Flat Creek area of Table Rock Lake is deeply calming and its location near The White River, Branson, MO and Eureka Springs, AR means we are certain to bring our kayaks back to Table Rock Lake for more fun in the future!

Gotta go now, my new KF'ing DVD: Kayak Fishing: Game On just arrived from Amazon.


yakker said...

Always good to hear about a new kayak fishing spot. It sounded like the water was fantastic. Sorry you had to "rough it" on shore tho. What perfect weekend you picked, that cool morning air musta felt good.

Thomas said...

In fact, it was COLD when we launched the kayaks. That is why Dianne is wearing the spray skirt in the photo. There is no whitewater, she was just staying warm. It worked, too!

Jennifer Wedemeyer said...

My husband and I are you planning to kayak there in 2 weeks. We only have blow up kayaks, do you think we'll have any issues with them on this lake? BTW Your photos are gorgeous!

Thomas Jones said...

I don't have much experience paddling inflatable boats, but in general I would think that kayaking in lakes should be no problem. It is rocky rivers with fast current that I would avoid. My buddy Yakker paddled his Advanced Elements kayak for years with no problems in Oklahoma's lakes, but the rocky Lower Mt. Fork River damaged it.