Getting Ready for Fall

Alright, ladies…it’s about time to put away our sundresses, flip flops and shorts and trade them in for items a little bit warmer with the fall season fast approaching. I know it is crazy to think about since we are currently in the middle of a heat wave, but we all know how St. Louis weather is so we need to start preparing ASAP! Personally, this is one of my favorite times of year because as summer comes to an end there is still a ton of things to look forward to. Bonfires, hunting, football games and much more are just around the corner. I can almost feel that crisp autumn air…

As you pack away your clothes until next year, I know what you’re thinking…”I have nothing to wear this fall.” So, let’s talk about some new options for your fall wardrobe.  

Starting with the basics, blue jeans are perfect for the cool fall weather. They are a warm article of clothing. You can buy them in various fits to match your shape. Searching for the perfect pair of jeans can be frustrating, but it is worth it. Nothing feels better than a comfy pair of blue jeans. My favorite thing about jeans is that they can be dressed up for a night or dressed down for a casual appearance. You already have the jeans you just have to pick the top based on where you’re going.

Flannel button shirts are the perfect top for a night at a bonfire. They offer a bit of warmth but if it’s not enough throwing on an extra layer would not be too bulky. Natural Reflections have countless flannel button ups come in a variety of different colors and patterns.

            Layering is a must for the fall. Take a plain long sleeve t-shirt, add a vest on top and you’ve gone from simple to casual cute in no time. You can do the same with jackets and you can even layer the flannel shirts we just talked about. Pick colors that accent each other, maybe even add some jewelry to enhance those colors and you can’t go wrong.

            If you’d like to wear dresses, there a tons of long-sleeved style dresses. And you can always add a pair of leggings and boots. You won’t have to worry about the cold air striking your legs because the leggings and the boots create a warm barrier.

            Brands like Under Armour and The North Face have released some adorable, but sporty hoodies and jackets that are great for the fall also. Some even have camo accents.  I am a huge fan of these because they are not only cute, but who doesn’t love the feeling of a soft hoodie? You have a place to shove your hands when the cold is too much and a hood to protect your ears from the harsh air.

            As the summer comes to an end, don’t fret. I love the warmth and sunshine too, but embrace fall! Go shopping for some fun new fall outfits and you’ll be anxiously awaiting that first bon fire.  Keep these tips in mind while you’re shopping, but explore and do what’s comfortable for you. Then share with us your ideas….what are your favorite fall styles?

Lauralee Gilkey

Bass Pro, St. Charles, MOLadies23


“Rock Out” Anywhere!

Rock Out!!!!

Whether fishing, camping or just hanging out on the back porch I’ve always enjoyed listening to music in the outdoors.  Growing up toting a portable am radio everywhere, I was thrilled when I got my first cassette playing Sony Walkman!  From that day forward my greatest struggle has been trying to enjoy decent sound quality without headphones or ear plugs.  I’ve finally found the perfect solution in the Goal Zero Rock Out Speakers for $39.99 in our Marine Department.

Rock our

These terrific little speakers provide great sound and are completely portable.  Unlike the portable speakers I’ve purchased before at the drugstore, these are powered and so can push much greater volume.  Goal Zero advertises a “bass booster technology” and the speakers are encased in a wooden sound box so the tones are rich and not tinny at all.  Listening to classic rock I enjoyed hearing the bass and being able to distinguish the different drums in the kit, not just the general tapping sound I’ve grown used to with cheaply made speakers.  I was most impressed, though, when I was listening to a jazz trio; appreciating the subtlety of brushes rubbing on the snare drum and grazing the cymbal.


To add volume and fill up a bigger space with sound you can chain sets of the “Rock Outs” together using the audio out jack in the back.  The speaker box is wrapped in a cushioned mesh and zips open to reveal an inner pocket to hold the charging cord.  A brightly colored shock cord is used not only as an attractive trim but also to provide a handle for carrying or hanging.  The foot long audio in cable is enough length to keep my iPod or phone protected in a pocket of my pack or inside my tackle box and just leave the speaker exposed.

Along with the portability and sound quality, the feature of the Goal Zero Rock Out Speakers that has convinced me to buy them is the charge life on the lithium battery.  I have yet to run them out of juice!  Goal Zero advertises up to 40 hours on a single charge.  I have used them for well over twenty hours on a charge myself with no degradation in sound quality.  Around the house the speakers charge easily with their usb connection.  Away from home is where Goal Zero built their reputation.  The Rock Out Speakers are one of many accessories to Goal Zero’s full line of solar chargers, priced from $79.99.

Whether you’re looking for a full line of solar charging options for a month on the Appalachian Trail or just a high quality compact speaker set for your desk at work, The Goal Zero Rock Out Speakers will keep you in tunes!



Saturday Fish Feeding Frenzy

Join us on the weekends for an up close view of fish at feeding time. At St Charles, MO Bass Pro Shop we do a fish feeding every Saturday and Sunday at 2:00p.m. This weekend Jim and Paul from our fishing department gave the crowd a nice show feeding live minnows, crawfish, baby carp, night crawlers, pellet food and protein based gel food.

Species of fish in our tank include:

Jim and Paul

Largemouth Bass

Smallmouth Bass

Spotted Bass

Hybrid Striped Bass

White Bass


Short nosed Spotted Gar

Channel Catfish

Black Crappie

Common Carp









The Kids enjoy it......



The Adults enjoy it.........


And the fish always enjoy it!

catfishsmallmouth feeding


Compulsive Grass Cutter meets Thermacell


Hi, my name is John and I am a compulsive Grass Cutter.  I don’t know what reaction I should expect from that revelation.  I’ve guarded that secret for so, so long, I used to feel like the earth would swallow me whole if anyone but my family and neighbors found out…and if the earth swallowed me, that would leave a hole in the lawn, and I just couldn’t have that.  But lately I’ve found that there are more of us out there than you might think.  Guys who somehow find peace and solitude in walking behind a Briggs and Stratton engine sounding out approximately 100 decibels, or roughly 75% of a 1970s WHO concert.

Now don’t be confused, I am in no way, shape, or form one of those guys who lays down the right amount of weed and feed at the right time…or any time for that matter.  To me weeds are just as peaceful to cut.  Sometimes more so; it’s kind of like playing a war game and wiping out the enemy, but without donning the paintball mask…Located in the Hunting department for you more overtly hostile gamers out there.

It wasn’t always the case.  I used to hate to cut the lawn.  Probably because I spend my 11th through 15th years on this earth cutting lawns for a “living”.  “Let’s see, you’ve got an acre and a half, how’s $3.50.  “You want it raked and bagged?  Make it an even $4.00”.  I hated the heat, the exhaust, but mostly, I hated the bugs!

Then I learned the secrets to peaceful mowing.  First, get a decent mower.  I’d detail the reasons, but this isn’t a hardware blog.  Just trust me; a good mower makes all the difference in the world and is worth the investment.  Second, never cut in the heat of the day.  I cut so I can finish just before dusk.  I know what you’re thinking, “but that’s when the bugs are at their worst”.

Very true, and it took me a long time to overcome that hurdle.  I’m here to tell you that there isn’t much worse, in developed countries anyway, than to do a job well done, take a shower and then suddenly realize that your arms and legs have suddenly sprouted incredibly itchy blotches that feel and look closer to leprosy than insect bites.  That in itself was enough to swear me off of mowing.

Then came ThermaCell Mosquito Repellent!  Now how a small appliance that simply clips to your belt and that you quickly forget is even there can somehow chase the insects away from you when a howling motor spewing out seemingly toxic exhaust doesn’t is beyond me.  I guess it’s innate chemical makeup of the 21.97% d-cis/Trans Allethin that makes it work.  If you, like me, are not a chemical engineer, let me express it this way.  It works!  And it is located in the Camping Department at Bass Pro Shops.


A Good Holiday Turkey is a Fried Holiday Turkey!

Fried TurkeyBy Steve Black

If you haven't tried fried turkey, you've probably at least heard about how moist and flavorful the turkey meat is and how deliciously crispy the skin becomes. At Bass Pro Shop we carry everything you need to make this mouthwatering bird a do-it yourself project. Turkey Fryers                                                                           







    For this project you'll need a turkey fryer . A propane style over electric is the least expensive but also the most dangerous to use.  A basic propane turkey fryer has a 30 qt. pot with lid, a turkey rack, a lifter hook and the propane burner stand for the pot. Here's a good turkey fryer we sell with all that included for $49.97.

The best place to use a turkey fryer is on a flat surface dirt or grassy area several feet away from decks and houses and never inside a house or garage.


peanut oil



You'll also need around 3.5 to 5 gallons of oil with a high smoke point. Most of the turkeys I fry are around the 12 to 15 lb range and I have usually needed about 4 gallons. You'll have to have enough oil to just barely cover the turkey. Most fryers won't take over a 15 lb turkey very well and the smaller the turkey, the more oil your turkey pot will need to fill it. The scientific term for this is called 'displacement'. The more space your turkey takes up in the pot, the less oil that pot can hold. The type of oil I have always used are the cottonseed and peanut oils, but I have heard of good results coming from corn oil as well.




gallon cottonseed oilBoth cottonseed and peanut oils are highly regarded for their great frying abilities, but I prefer the cottonseed since it has a slightly cleaner taste.



cottonseed oil







We also sell the cottonseed oil in a 3 gallon size called our Turkey Gold for $36.99 which makes it a better value than the one gallon jugs of cottonseed and the peanut oil since 3 gallons of our peanut oil would cost you about $45.



Figuring out exactly how much oil you need is a very important step so that you have just enough oil to cover the turkey but no over splash once you place the turkey in the boiling hot oil. A good way to do this is with a gallon size old milk or water container. Do a test with your turkey in the pot to see how many gallons of water it takes to cover the turkey. I usually still keep my turkey in its plastic wrap for this and just make sure I have about 2" of water over the turkey. That way when the turkey goes in the oil without the plastic wrap, I have enough oil to fill the cavity of the turkey and still be just over or at the legs. Don't be concerned if a little of the leg sticks out from the oil. As long as the meat of the legs is covered in oil, they will still cook.

Your going to aim for about 325 degrees frying temp and remember that the temperature will drop once the turkey goes in the oil. So I aim to get the oil to about 335 -340 degrees so when the turkey goes in it drops to the 325 mark. As long as you stay over 300 and under 350 the turkey will cook at 3.5 minutes per pound and taste delicious.

The only rule to how you prepare your turkey for frying is that it is completely dry both inside and outside. Any excess water has the opportunity to react with the hot oil and explode. So check the inside cavity extremely well and make sure no ice or water remain. A lot of times the turkey seems thawed but the inside cavity still has a little ice trapped inside. If so, I run some cold water through the inside of the turkey to melt the ice. Once the turkey looks good and thawed, I dry off the turkey with paper towels both inside and out.

Cajun InjectorsNow to turn this soon to be delicious turkey into a fabulously delicious turkey you can inject it with a turkey marinade. We have dozens of marinades to choose from and can make your turkey as spicy or buttery as you like. My overall favorite is the Cajun Injector Creole Butter Marinade Combo for $6.99. The Creole butter sells for $4.49 for the jar, but the combo comes with the injector and a sample of their Cajun Shake which is a great seasoning to add to any dish.




Now here are your 12 Steps to Turkey Frying:

1) Go to Bass Pro Shop and get a turkey fryer, propane, BBQ lighter,  frying oil and the injectable marinade of your choice. Then on the way home get a 12-15 lb turkey from your local grocery store.

2) Measure exactly how much oil you need ahead of time.

3) Make sure your turkey is completely dry and inject with your choice of marinade.

4) Select flat area away from house to place turkey fryer and also place fire extinguisher nearby

5) Add oil to turkey fryer and ignite burner. Wait to reach temperature of 335 to 340 and never leave the hot oil unattended.

6) Temporarily turn off burner and place turkey on turkey rack and SLOWLY lower turkey into hot oil using lifter hook and thick pot-holder gloves

7) Put lid on fryer while still wearing thick pot-holder style gloves and insert thermometer into pot then re-ignite burner.

8) Have holiday beverage ready as you stand or sit  by the fryer and make sure oil stays at 325 for calculated time of 3.5 minutes per pound. Never leaving the hot oil unattended

9) When time is up, put on pot holder gloves and use lifter hook to raise turkey out of hot oil and place on sturdy cutting tray.

10) Turn off hot oil and wait about 10 minutes before you cut into your turkey.

11) Carve turkey. Once you begin carving, feel free to sample and enjoy the fruits of your labor.

12)  Serve to guests and loved ones and receive praises of your culinary craftsmanship.





Kelly Gallop Streamers Now Availible!

White RIver logo

St Charles, MO

White River Fly Shop


Bottums up



s dungeon


Large tandem streamers are a specialty of Kelly Gallop, the fly designer and owner of the the Slide Inn which sits on the banks of the Madison River in Montana.  Everything about these patterns says BIG FISH.  These flies have been making there way into  fly boxes of trout and bass streamer fisherman for a while now and you can find some really nice pics of some hogs that have been caught with a quick Google search. These are 8wt fly rod and short leader types of flies. I got a chance to talk to Kelly last fall and he told me that his standard leader rig for these flies is simply 2 feet of 14lb line connected to 3 feet of 10lb. mono or flouro. This shorter leader makes it easy to roll over these meaty patterns and if you need to fish deep just use a sink-tip/full sink fly line.  So stop by your local St.Charles, MO White River Fly Shop and pic up some these patterns like the "Bottoms Up" (top left) and the "S Dungeon" (bottom left) also available in natural, white, black, orange craw, yellow.and cinnamon.


The Nitro Z7 was my 4th of July Fireworks!

I've spent the last 50 years fishing every creek and puddle I could find in Missouri between Table Rock and Mark Twain Lakes, fishing from everything from a 12' jon boat to pontoons to my friends' big Ranger and Nitro bass boats.  Even the best, most expensive boats I regarded only as tools to help me do what I really wanted to do on the water: fish!

Even this past year and a half since my responsibilities shifted to include managing a Tracker Dealership I only assigned emotional value to the boats in how the sum of their features related to the fishing potential.  All that changed the week of July 4th at Lake of the Ozarks.  Most folks would resent having to take work with them on vacation, but I had to put a 150 Mercury OptiMax Pro XS on a Nitro Z7 through its break-in procedures so we could use it for an upcoming event; so I sucked it up and took one for the team.

Now, as anyone who has ever purchased a new boat knows, during your first few hours of use you have to be pretty careful watching rpm's and not pushing the engine while it's still unseasoned.  Even so, as we got past the no-wake buoy I was shocked at how the Z7 popped up on plane with the throttle barely half-way forward!  I had some great experiences on my buddy's 2002 Nitro, but getting out of the hole was never one of them.  In that boat we would plow water as the seconds ticked by and we leaned as far forward as we could to help the nose finally dip and we would be on our way.  I can tell you it wasn't just hype when our designers called the Z7's hull design "Rapid Planing System!"  I found later that even a livewell full of water and two 225 pound guys didn't keep this baby from popping right out of the hole.

If you've ever been on Lake of the Ozarks over the 4th you'll remember there's a lot of boat traffic and a lot of big wakes.  You'd know I was kidding you if I said the Z7 made the lake feel as smooth as glass, but the foam filled stringer system and the modular construction ties everything together to make this boat as tough as they come without giving up any speed.  After I got 5 or 6 hours on the 150 ProXS I opened her up coming out of the Little Niangua and my passenger's eyes were wide as we cut across the chop and the speedometer rose to meet the 60 mark!

To say I was impressed with these and all the other performance features of the Nitro Z7 is a huge understatement.  There are bigger and faster boats out there, especially at Lake of the Ozarks; but I can honestly say the two days I spent breaking in the Z7 with its 150 Mercury Pro XS OptiMax were the most fun I've ever had on the water... and I didn't even have a fishing rod in the boat!!!



You don't have to be a kid to enjoy fantastic Bluegill Fishing!

with dog in kayakRecently, I was out at a local lake doing some kayaking and camping with my wife and 4 month old puppy. I had left my 4 weight fly rod in the car while we took the pooch out into the lake for a training session in the kayaks. In between trying to train my 4 month old Irish setter-standard poodle mix from tipping my kayak over, I  was also looking for possible holding lies that had fish in them. I honestly didn't see many fish, and after casual conversations with other anglers, it didn't seem that anyone was catching many fish that day.  Nonetheless, we went back to the car after Gibson(my dog) had decided he had enough sitting still in a small boat, I rigged up my rod and headed down the the part of the lake where I've had success before. 

walking the bankAs I made my way down the bank, casting to a number of places that looked as though they should hold fish, I caught only a couple bluegill no larger that 4" in length.  After an hour or so of failing to get a respectable size fish to show to my wife and dog , I began thinking of reasons to explain to my wife why today was not a good day to fish. My thoughts were somewhere around why the position of the sun and the barometric pressure were making the fish not bite, when I saw a respectable sized bluegill take my fly from the waters surface. When I set the hook, I could feel that there was more weight to this fish than compared with the 4" specimens I had fooled earlier. After a short but hardy fight, I located my camera and took a picture as proof of my trophy since my wife had left me a short bit earlier to bring back some snacks and water. 


I cast my line to the same spot and again an aggressive strike. This fish felt as healthy as the last. As I admired the large female and threw her back into the water, I thought "hey I should keep a few for lunch the next day so my wife and I can can have some bluegill sandwiches for lunch tomorrow". So now I had a mission to catch and keep enough fish to take home and I am  mostly a catch and release fisherman, so I had no stringer with me and had to improvise one out of a couple sticks that came to a 'Y' at the end.  bluegill on stringer


By the time my wife returned, I had 7 pan fish sized bluegill on my makeshift stringer and then caught 6 more that were large enough to take home and at least a couple dozen more that didn't quite make the cut and I threw back.


bluegill spidersMy only fly I used that day was a black foam spider. It could have used an ant, beetle, cricket, grasshopper fly, etc. that probably would have worked just as well. But my trusty bluegill spider was all I needed and has proven deadly on multiple occasions for me. I like it because it floats so well in the water and has those rubber legs that if you wiggle just right,  can usually fool at least a couple fish into thinking it's real. I usually tie my own and I like to add a little extra color to the tips of the legs with jig paint.

In my 15 years of fly fishing I still enjoy the fight of a bluegill.  Sure you can use an ultralite rod, a small reel and light line  on a spinning or spincast combo to catch bluegill. But a 4wt fly rod bent over double on a robust gluten of a panfish is enough to make even the worst of the world's curmudgeons smile from ear to ear. If you've never used a fly rod, bluegill fishing is the perfect place to start. They don't scare away as easily as trout or bass  and even if your casting technique involves frothing the water in front of you, they tend to come right back seconds later and still act hungry instead of scared. Come into our White River Fly Shop and we'll help you pick up some great bluegill flies to make your next trip a lot more fun. Or even better yet, well help you pick out some tying materials to make your own custom patterns.


2012 Fall Hunting Classic Preview Shoot

Announcing the 2012 Fall Hunting Classic Preview Shoot!!

Bass Pro Shops Logo

2012 Hunting Classic Preview Shoot

July 28, 2012   9am-9pm

Busch Wildlife Shooting Range

Preview selected firearms and bows featured in our upcoming

Fall Hunting Classic.

Don’t miss your opportunity to “Test Drive” these firearms, bows, & crossbows!

Whether you are a beginner with no experience or an experienced shooter, you will have an opportunity to shoot selected firearms from compact pistols to magnum caliber rifles, and selected bows and crossbows.

Representatives from several manufacturers/vendors will be available to answer questions.


This event is FREE, limited to the first 300 shooters that sign up.

Pre registration is required!

Registration starts NOW!

Register in person at the St. Charles Gun Counter, by phone at 636-688-2511, or by email @ NOW until all spots are filled.


Simple Summer BBQ St. Louis Style!

There are many wonderful things about summer, but barbeque and ice cream are at the top of my list. I've got more experience with the barbeque and very little with ice cream making, so I am going to show you a delicious barbeque pork steak recipe to try out and afterwards you can head to your favorite ice cream/frozen custard stand and enjoy a frozen treat from the experts. Everything I use from the grill and charcoal to the rubs and the bbq sauce you can find it all at Bass Pro Shop. If you have little experience on the grill, a pork steak is a good piece of meat to bbq. Cooking a pork steak is a easy to cook and can be very forgiving if you were to cook it too long or too fast, it still tastes good.  If you are not from St. Louis, you are probably not familiar with the pork steak.  A pork steak is typically a 1/2 " thick cut from the loin, leg or most commonly the shoulder. If you don't have pork steaks in your area, just have a butcher cut any pork shoulder roast  into 1/2" to 3/4" steaks and your good to go. Raw Pork Steak

First, I get the pork steaks out of the refrigerator and set them on the counter so that they can warm up while I get the fire going. Next, I head out to the grill and get it hot. You can use either a gas or a charcoal grill, but pork steaks need to be cooked rather slowly and I prefer a two stage charcoal fire for taste and consistency. To build a two-stage fire, I simply spread the coals over only one side of my Weber Kettle grill and leave the other side empty. I like to use a charcoal chimney to get the coals hot before I spread them over onto the one side and then put the grate on top to allow it to get hot. I also threw in a couple hickory chunks on the coals for a little extra smoky flavor.

If you have a gas Meat Rubgrill, then turn one side of the grill on low and the other side on medium to medium high depending on how hot your grill will get. Some gas grills don't have a true medium high setting and just go to hot too fast, so a little past medium is best if that is the case on your gas grill. Then, I head back to the steaks inside and I cover them generously with a rub. One of my favorites has become Rufus Teague's meat rub and spicy meat rub. The regular meat rub is great and my usual choice, but the spicy is excellent if you want to add a little kick. You should now wait until your fire is nice and hot and then I like to place the steaks directly over the hot side for a few minutes on each side to start with so that any fat on the outside gets charred and it will then be juicy and flavorful instead of rubbery which is what happens when only kept in indirect heat.

pork steaks on grill



I then alternate from indirect heat for 7 minutes on each side to then a minute on each side on the hot side. Be careful not to char the meat by checking it regularly when on the hot side to make sure its not burning and never have it on the fire side if there are flame-ups. Its best to cook as slow, as your dinner companions will have patience for maximum flavor.



Pork steaks cooked


Since this is pork, we are looking for a done temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit. I then pull them further away from the flames and put on the barbeque sauce for the final few minutes of cooking. I use the Weber digital meat thermometer now so that I don't have to guess on doneness anymore.



Pork steaks cooked

My choice for barbeque sauce this time was a Lynchburg Tennessee whiskey barbeque sauce made with Jack Daniels whiskey. Just spread a nice layer over one side and let it smoke on the grill with the lid on for a few minutes. Then flip the steaks over and cover the other side and let smoke a few minutes more.





Next, they are ready for the plate. Serve with your favorite side dishes. My wife and I choose potato salad and green beans. This is a protein driven meal, so I like to keep the sides simple so that the focus remains on the steaks. I hope you get a chance to swing by your local Bass Pro Shop for some bbq supplies and try this recipe sometime yourself this summer. I'm sure that you'll enjoy it as much as I do.

Dinner is served


 Steve Black

St.Charles MO, Bass Pro Shop






Hobbs Creek Large Arbor Fly Reel

By Steve Black

Saint Charles, MO

Pink Salmon

HC ReelIf your in the market for an upgrade from that old fly reel or just need a good back up, the Hobbs Creek reel is a perfect choice for under $50. Its an all metal reel with a black powder coat to prevent corrosion, an all metal disc drag that operates on a one way nut that can easily be flipped over for left to right hand conversion. You can get the reel in a 3/4, 5/6, or 7/8 weight sizes for just $39.99 and spare spools  at $22.99 each. Or get our new fully loaded Hobbs Creek in a 5 or 6 weight size with 20lb backing and WF(Weight Forward) fly line preloaded for $59.99.  I took the 7/8 weight reel up to the Kenai River in Alaska for big rainbows and sockeye salmon in July of 2006. My plan was to battle as many salmon and trout as this reel would take and then move on to my $300 reels once the Hobbs Creek failed. But for 3 weeks of fishing nearly all day, the reel held up strong and 6 years later I am still using it for local bass fishing. I can easily get 100 yds of 20 lb backing onto the reel with a WF 8 F fly fine and get nice retrieve rates when trying to get in line quickly. You'll be hard pressed to find any other reel under $40 or even $80 for that matter that can do that.  The large arbor feature also helps with lower memory of your fly line so that you don't have small coils that you have to straighten out every time before you fish.

Here is a pic of a Sockeye Salmon from the Alaska trip which was caught out of a tributary of the Kenai River.

Pink salmonSockeye Salmon



2012 Fly Fishing Classes

white river logoThe 2012 fly fishing classes have started at the St.Charles, MO Bass Pro Shop. We offer 2 classes, Beginning Fly Tying and Beginning Fly Casting. There are 10 spots available in each class and you can sign up by either coming by the White River Fly Shop or by calling the store at 636 688 2500 and ask to speak to someone in the fly shop. All our outdoor workshop classes are FREE and so they can fill up quickly.


Beginning Fly Tying

This class is held inside the store in our White River Fly Shop and we supply you with everything that you need for the class. You will learn fly tying basics like starting thread on a hook to tying the whip finish. At the end of the class you will have at least 3 flies you will have tied yourself that will certainly make it onto your line on your next fishing trip. Fly tying classes are always on Thursday nights from 6:30 - 8:30 p.m. on the dates listed below.

    Feb 16thtying kit
    March 22nd
    April 12 & 26
    May 10 & 24
    June 7 & 21
    July 12 & 26
    Aug. 9 & 23
    Sept 6 & 20
    Oct 11 & 25
    Nov 1st


Beginning Fly Casting

This class is held outside in the large grassy area at  Boonslick Park, which is located directly across the store on the other side of Boonslick Rd. There you will get some practice learning the basics of how to form a  "tight loop" and basic false casting. In this class, if you have your own gear, you should bring it. Its best to learn on the rod that you own and will be fishing with in future trips. On the other hand, if you have absolutely no gear and just want to give fly casting a try, we will have plenty of Dogwood Canyon combos available for you to use during the class. This class is for the newbie as well as someone looking to improve their current casting technique. Fly casting is always on Saturday mornings from 9a.m. -11a.m. at the dates listed below.

Fly Casting

    March 31st
    April 14th & 28th
    May 12th  & 26th
    June 9th  & 23rd
    July 14 & 28th
    Aug 11 & 25
    Sept 8 & 22
    Oct 13 & 27
    Nov 3rd


Spring Turkey Season 2012

Yep! Its that time of the year again... before you know it spring turkey season will upon us. So you like to turkey hunt but you feel that its lost that challenge that you yearn for, has it become too easy, has the expense of ammunition got you thinking twice about going? Perhaps its time you try using a more traditional method! It has become an increasingly popular way of extending ones time in the woods, and giving you more opportunities. That method is archery hunting for turkey! It is a real challenge and can provide for lots of fun and the reward is often great.

Hunting turkey with a bow and arrow brings its own set of challenges and obstacles, but fortunately over the last decade or so there have been several advancements or innovations in the industry that are aimed directly at the turkey hunter. Most notably are turkey specific broadheads, the first and most popular of these is the Gobbler Guillotine by Arrowdynamic Solutions, next is the Bullhead turkey broadhead by Magnus, and last but not least is the newest of the three; released for this year is the new Rage-Turkey expandable by Rage Broadheads.

The Guillotine and the Bullhead are both fixed bladed broadheads that provide for an impressive appearance with their 1 1/4- 2" fixed length cutting blades. These are designed so that you can take a shot and not have to be precise and still have a quick and humane kill. The tag line for the guillotine is "close is good enough". Both the Guillotine and the Bullhead come in 100gr and 125gr variations; however the blade length varies and will be shorter in the 100gr variations, hence i would suggest the 125gr variation as it gives you the greatest reach-literally. The down side to this broadhead design while effective, they have very poor aerodynamic properties and can effect arrow flight negatively, severely limiting their effective range. The guillotine requires 'sheaths' so as to not create lift and disrupt trajectory. Magnus claims their design negates the need for such sheaths and that their side mounted blades do not create lift.

The Rage on the other hand is an expandable broadhead. This design gives you target tip flight, minimal trajectory distortion with maximum effective range, all while still providing a 2 1/4 cut. This is achieved by Rage's proprietary SlipCam design that uses either 2 or 3 blades that fold into the ferrule or body and deploy to the rear on contact. This is a a design that has been proven for many years in their other hunting broadheads. This design however requires you to be more precise in you shot placement as you don't have the leeway that the guillotine and bullhead provide you. However that is a minor disadvantage when you ad up all of the other advantages of the Rage design over the fixed blade designs.

No matter which broadhead you choose, be rest assured that it is a quality product and will do what you need it to do. 


Good Luck and Happy Hunting from all of us here at Bass Pro Shops!


Ready your Tackle for 2012

Ardent Reel CleanWinter is always the time of year to look at that old faithful reel that may need a good cleaning and a fresh spool of line. Time to organize all the fishing tackle and maybe add some hot new baits for 2012.

If you want that old faithful reel to keep on ticking like a Swiss made watch, it requires a little maintenance and some fresh oil and grease. It may be possible for you to oil around the handle and the spool of your reel, but if you want to go any deeper into the gears, most reels require a degree in small mechanical engineering to get them back together once disassembled.  That's when I would recommend our Bass Pro Shop Rod and Reel Repair Center who is a certified repair Center for every major brand of rods and reels and for only $18.95 they will do a full clean and lube. Just come by any Bass Pro Shop location and drop off your rod/reel or call (417) 873 -5274 for a specific parts order.

Whether or not your equipment needs repair, a fresh spool
of line is mandatory at least Berkley Line Recycleronce a year to keep full strength in the line and reduce line twist from accumulated memory. Monofilament lines break down with UV light and water absorption as well as abrasion on rocks and structure. Fluorocarbon lines typically won't break down with UV light and water absorption, but they could have abrasions and their memory or line coiling is much worse than any of the other lines and can cause bad birds nests if not replaced. If you have sprung for braided lines in the past, they may be just fine since they won't wear down with UV light or water absorption and the abrasions are evident wherever there is fraying on the line. Usually just cutting away any bad fraying section of braided line is enough to ensure full strength. If you are buying new line, just ask any of our qualified staff of the fishing department to assist you in your purchase and have your reel with you so that we can put the line on for free. We even have a line recycle container, complements of Berkley, to dispose old line.

Hot Baits of 2012
Once you assessed that your rod and reel are ready for the water, and you have reorganizedRC Squarebill your tackle, you might want to look at some of the new baits of 2012 that are already making a stir. Rick Clunn, the 4 time Bassmaster Classic Champion, has left Lucky Craft baits and signed a deal with Luck-E-Strike that has resulted in a windfall of great baits at a fraction of the cost as before. Baits like the RC2 Squarebills and the RC Stick Jerkbaits have already been favorites of customers that were previously buying similar baits for 4 times the cost.
  RC Stick

Some of the greatest baits coming out in 2012 are also some of the least expensive in their Pad Crasherclass. Hence the Booyah Pad Crasher, one of the best new Topwater hollow belly frogs on the market for $5.99. I guarantee that if you do a blind Pepsi Challenge with this frog against all the the other Hollow Frogs, most of which are $8 - 10, you will see that this frog is the best balanced, has the perfect softness in the plastic and comes in perfectly painted colors. I took the blind Pepsi challenge and chose this frog as the winner and I'm sure you will too.

The bait making the biggest stir of 2012, however is the Alabama Rig. This is the rig that Paul Elias alabama rigthrew in October on Guntersville Lake to take  120lbs and 8 oz over 4 days in the FLW Tour which gave him victory by over 17lb above any of the other anglers. Now, this rig is showing up on all the outdoor networks and magazines as the game changer bait. We are selling several versions of this bait and manufacturers are  feverishly trying to get enough of these out to the us to meet the demands of our customers. An Alabama Rig is a smaller version of the umbrella rig that striper fisherman would use for trolling. It has 5 wires that you can load up with swimbaits or small crankbaits. The first version we got in is by Swarming Hornet. "The Swarm" weights 3/8oz and comes in 3 head colors. Other versions include Mann's Alabama Rig ,who has the original Paul Elias version, Luck-E-Strike's FW Umbrella Rig, and our own Bass Pro version called the Deadly 5.

The sooner you can get your gear ready and the sooner these baits make it into your tackle box, the quicker you can get out on the water with confidence.

Steve Black
Saint Charles, MO


Spice it Up with Cajun Shake

Quick ShakeBy Steve Black

I love trying new types of rubs and seasonings from grocery stores and specialty shops, but it can get expensive to buy various $5 -$10 rubs. Then, one day I bought the Cajun Injector Marinade combo kit  at Bass Pro Shop that included this Quick Shake Seasoning in the kit. My experience with the Cajun Injector marinades in the past led me to see that free Quick Shake seasoning that came in the kit was a deal. Its no wonder that the company that keeps you from recreating the Griswalds Turkey From National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation has come up with some flavorful seasonings also to add great flavor and juiciness to your meats. The first time I used the quick shake seasoning, it was to add seasoning on top of some home made french fries I made for some friends during a turkey fry. Everyone was so impressed with the Quick Shake Seasoning on the fries, that it led me to try it on other items like chicken and hamburgers. What I found, was that you could use the Cajun shakes anywhere you would normally add a seasoned salt or just to add a little extra spice and flavor to anything from grilled vegetables to Chili.  So then I had to also try the Quick Shake Hickory Grill Seasoning and found that it is one of my favorites when I grill chicken. It has just the right amount of salt content and hickory flavoring to make some of the juiciest and flavorful chicken you'll ever have. I have converted many followers to this belief via a quick grilled chicken dinner with friends.   For $3.99 you can get 8 oz. of deliciousness in the three flavors of Cajun Shake, Hickory Grill, and Lemon Pepper.  If you like the flavoring of seasoned fries or want to add a little hickory flavoring to an already great burger or chicken recipe then try one of the Cajun Injector Cajun Shakes.

Fall Hunting Classic Preview Shoot

Announcing the 2011 Fall Hunting Classic Preview Shoot!

The Preview Shoot is being hosted by the St. Charles Bass Pro Shop in cooperation with the Missouri Department of Conservation and August A. Bush Memorial Wildlife Shooting Range. The event is to be held from 4:00pm-9:00pm on Saturday July 30th, 2011. The shoot gives you our customers a chance to preview selected firearms and bows that will be featured in our upcoming Fall Hunting Classic (August 5th-21st).

In addition to the shoot, several manufacturer representatives from the various optic and ammunition manufactures will be on hand; as well as the Bass Pro Shop's "King of Bucks" Trophy Display Trailer. Manufactures and vendors to be featured included: Winchester, Smith & Wesson, Remington, Marlin, Browning, Savage Arms, Beretta, Ruger, Taurus, Thompson Center, Nikon, Trijicon, Swarovski, Bear, Horton and others. Don't Miss your opportunity to "Test Drive" these firearms, bows and crossbows. Whether you are a beginner with no experience or and experienced shooter, you will have the opportunity to shoot selected firearms from compact pistols to magnum caliber rifles, and selected bows and crossbows. Representatives from several manufacturers and vendors will be on-site and available to answer your questions.

The event is FREE, however it is limited to the first 250 that sign up. Pre Registration is Required!

Registration is open from now until Friday July 29th, 2011.

Contact the Hunting Department at the St. Charles location to place your reservation.
Please call 636-688-5211 to place your reservation- some one will call you back to confirm.

We would like to thank our event sponsors and partners for their support and cooperation.


Protect Your iPhone, iPad and iPod

By: Joe Cole
Iphone 4
Have you ever dropped your iPhone, iPad, or iPod and wished there was a better way to protect your investment other than spending 300-600$ on a new one? Look no further as Bass Pro Shops now carries the best protection available on the market, the otterbox!

Defender Series
The best protection in the lineup is the "Defender" Series (pictured to the right) and retailing at $49 it has saved me hundreds of dollars already. A snap shut, hard plastic protector, (seen as white above) with a built in screen protector, keeps dust and any unwanted solutions away from your iPhone. The added "slide over" rubber cover fills in nicely to give that cushion protection when dropped. Adding in bulk to protection is something we can appreciate but only if we have the space to carry it. All of the defender line products come with a rotating carry clip that doubles as a viewing stand for any movies or ballgames you can't live without!

Commuter Series
Need a slimmer profile? Never fear the "Commuter" series was invented for you! commuterTaking up much less "Bulk" and retailing at $34.99, the Commuter series comes with a silicone rubber protection that has a hard plastic shell that snaps over it. I find this useful for those who want to leave the phone in their pocket since it doesn't grip on your pocket lining like the defender does because it has a smoother plastic shell. If you are wondering about the screen, Otterbox though of that too! They include a screen protector that affixes directly to the phone to keep the screen protected. This line like the Defender series is also available for many of the "i" products.

Impact Seriesimpact
Finally if you are just a minimalist hoping to get by with a little insurance, try the "Impact" series. A single silicone layer of protection that covers the buttons and the sensors on any ipad, iphone, or ipod. Less can very well mean more, and at $19.99 it's a no brainer! In various colors, there is definitely something for everyone!

So the next time you look at your phone and feel as though your "driving without insurance", swing by Bass Pro Shops electronics department and we will make sure you leave knowing your investment is protected!


Upgrade Your Sunglasses

By Joe Cole   

It is almost summer and the days are getting longer. That means you need to get out and upgrade your eyewear! Whether or not you fish, hunt, boat, camp, hike or simply drive around town, the correct eyewear will improve your performance and offer great styles to your summer wardrobe. No doubt polarized lenses help you see through the glare on the surface of the water, but there is more to these tools than catching more fish. In fact, I can't seem to go outdoors without one of my 6 pairs I use from Costa del Mar, to Maui Jim, to Smith optics, finding the right pair for the situation is critical.

The first thing to understand is that there are several lenses for several applications. Costa del Mar Caballito
1. Grey lenses (sometimes accompanied with a blue mirrior tint as seen above) offer a lower light emission for those bright days when you might find yourself on the open ocean. These are designed where sunlight is at a maximum and offer great protection

Costa Islamorada2. Copper/Rose tinted lenses (Sometimes accompanied by green mirror as seen above) offer low light emmision but allow colors such as greens and reds to "pop" out more giving a vibrant picture. These lenses are the best for inland fishing in lakes and just enjoying the natural colors an beauty the outdoors have to offer.

3. Brown/Amber (sometimes accompanied with a silver mirror) offer medium Costa wingmanto low light emmission suitable for conditions where the sun isn't always in your eyes. These are the best all around glasses for driving, hiking, and fishing when the light conditions vary. The Costa Del Mar Wingman glasses as pictured to the right are my "go to" glasses for anything around town and just a drive through the country side giving me the best contrast and color of them all.

These being the main three lens options, it isn't hard to see why an avid lover of the great outdoors would be able to utilize several pairs to enhance their performance to changing enviornments and circumatances. Choosing frames from metal designer to lightweight titanium or plastics also meet the need for those who rather not remember they are even wearing sunglasses or for those who remain physically active.

So the next time you visit Bass Pro Shops, skip past the departments and go directly to the sunglasses counter and upgrade your eyewear, because seeing them is believing in how much they will help you see the outdoors the way they were meant to be seen with all the natural colors nature has to offer. You might just find yourself picking out several just as I did!


What's an MSR?

By David Dickey

There is a  new buzz word going around the sporting/hunting community and that word is MSR. In reality its an acronym that stands for Modern Sporting Rifle.

The new MSR like it's predecessors, where it was once a military only firearm, has taken on a civilian life as the new and upcoming hot or must-have for the serious hunter and or collector. While this market has been saturated over the last few years, it still remains in its infancy in reality. New manufacturers have joined the ranks among the veterans; Remington with its R-15 and R-25's, Smith & Wesson with its M&P 15 and 15-22's, Ruger's SR 556, Sig Sauer's 556 and Mossberg's budget minded Tactical 22's, all along side the more traditional manufactures such as Colt, FN, and Bushmaster.

The MSR has become a necessity for the varmint hunter and the weight conscience ultra mobile hunter. The MSR of today lends itself very well to the application as a sporting rifle. By design it is a highly modular platform that allows the end user to customize and accessorize to their liking, the conditions, and or the situation at hand. 

What is further promoting this market segment is the accessory end of the market. The adaptability afforded by the platform; more items, more situation specific products, more overall accessories can be ready for use at a moments notice and or can be quickly changed out if the situation changes. The modularity of the MSR is the driving force behind its rapid and powerful climb to the top, and with industry leaders like Blackhawk, MagPul, Trijicon, Leupold, L3-EoTech, Nikon, and many others constantly pushing the envelope of whats possible with the MSR platform its clear that its here to stay.

Want more infromation- check out the NSSF and the history of the Sporting Rifle:

MSR Fast Facts:


Leaders and Tippets and Knots, Oh My!

By Steve Black
Fly fishing leaders and tippets and knots may keep you from braving the outdoors with a fly rod as much as lions and tigers and bears! Anyone starting fly fishing for the first time has to come to grips with the knot tying aspect of connecting a fly line, leader, tippet and fly together. I have been teaching these skills for 10 plus years and I see that this challenges beginners universally and may be one of the toughest aspects to learning the sport of fly fishing.

Unless you are able to hire a guide every time you fish, you will need to learn to connect leaders to fly line and tippet to leaders.  Fly fisherman mostly use a packaged tapered leader since they easily fall straight when cast and have some accuracy when cast properly. Tapered leaders allow the entire leader to continue unrolling in front of your fly line since the thicker butt end of the leader leader pushes the thinner leader line in front of it and causes it to unroll. If you don't use a tapered leader, and tie regular fishing line to the end of your fly line, the leader will  fall in a pile at the end of your fly line or have no real accuracy in its delivery.  In some instances when you are using a sinking fly line, a short non-tapered leader is all that is needed, but for floating lines and all around dry flies, nymphs and streamers a good universal leader is tapered and about 7 1/2' to 12' long.

Connecting a tapered leader is no easy task and the two most popular methods today are either by tying a nail knot or by using a loop to loop type connection. The nail knot is usually made with the assistance of a knot tool like the Tie-Fast Knot Tiertie fast and can be one of the smoothest connections and should probably be in every fly fishers repertoire since it can be used if no other method is available. Yet since many anglers try to avoid knot tying in general, companies like Rio and Scientific Anglers introduced loops on the ends of their leaders and fly line to do a "loop to loop" connection. This allows the angler to purchase a fly line and leader with loops built in and easily make the connection without tying a knot. If the fly line you purchase does not have a loop already manufactured onto the end, just ask any of our White River staff at Bass Pro Shops to tie one onto the line for you and we will  make a leader loop onto your fly line for free.
loop to loop
Once I have a leader attached to my fly line, I also to tie about 3 feet of tippet on before connecting my fly. Since the leader is tapered, if I tie my fly directly to it, after about 18" of leader, it gets thicker and I've made it shorter. So instead I tie a few feet of tippet on the end of my leader this allows me to tie all my flies onto the tippet and simply replace the tippet I use rather than replacing leaders as often. This also allows me to always know what size line I am tying my fly onto.

To make the process of matching up leader to correct size of tippet, there is a universal sizing in which all leaders and tippet are sold by an 'X' designation, not just pound test. An 'X' number on tippet and leaders denotes the diameter and they range from 0X -8X. '0X' is .011"and every X number after is .001" thinner. So the higher the 'X' number, the thinner the line becomes. This originates from the days of old when leaders were made of cat gut and thinned. Every pass of making the gut thinner, made it approximately .001" thinner and therefore a typical cat gut of .011" thinned 5 times would be .006" in size or 5X.

trout leadertippet
So for trout, I usually buy 5X leaders and tie 3 feet of 5X tippet onto the end before tying on my fly. The knot I use is called the surgeons knot. It's a simple double overhand knot that is strong and makes a good in-line connection. I am then ready to tie on my fly and for that I use the Improved Clinch Knot. These knots I have chose for their simplicity and infallible security and they have done me well from Alaskan Salmon to local pond bluegill.

I hope that you have as much fun as I do on the water and that fear of leaders and tippets doesn't keep you from following your 'yellow brick road" into the most beautiful fish filled places on earth.  A great reference to these knots and more is the " Little Red Fishing Knot Book" by Harry Nillson.