Mention the Current River to a lot of people around here and you are likely to have them envisioning boom boxes blaring bad music, jello shots, and chubby white skin, burned red on a hot summer day. When I think of the Current, in my mind's eye I see sparkling clear riffles full of energetic rainbows feeding - those riffles filling deep green pools harboring fat browns waiting for a perfect drift of my streamer tumbled just right, down the little channel that feeds its depths.
I fish the upper Current mostly with my youngest son, sometimes with both my sons. We are pretty utilitarian, our gear being a hodge podge of stuff that just works. Those times when I come around a bend to see a fellow fisherman that understands the fashion of the sport in a far more elevated manner than do I, briefly I am mildly self-conscious. But that does not last long.
The upper Current in comparison to any fashion I could manage to sport, is so much more magnificent that it reminds me of trying to measure up to the perfection of our Creator. Whether the Current cools me with its 50ish degree waters on a hot summer afternoon or warms me as I wade chest deep on a numbingly cold day, it is always one of nature's true beauties.
As those familiar with the Ozarks are aware, some of its beauty is often desecrated by a variety of city
and hill folk apparently out of tune with any ethic of the outdoors. If numbing your senses with alcohol and recreational drugs is not the way you enjoy the outdoors, let me suggest that In summer months, you get as far upstream as possible, and experience the river on weekdays if you are able. I am not going to engage in the debate on motorized watercraft on the river, but on the upper portions the roar of a boat motor is not really an option anyhow.
Lots of camping options are available to you, either at Montauk State Park, somewhere out in the woods in the Ozark Scenic Riverways, or in a few locations you will have to discover on your own, right along side the river. I have no trouble, wih my eyes closed now, hearing the Current River meander by on a brilliant starry night, as the frogs sing their song, and while I sit with a family member by a small fire. Looking into the fire I hear an owl calling and later a pack of coyotes make this place feel truly wild with their own rendition of the song.
We never can know when our last trip to such a place might be. We are truly blessed that this place exists and are even more so when we get to personally experience the place. As I end here, I commit to myself to keep places like this closer to the forefront of my mind.