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An Experience to Remember

July 14, 2011

A beautiful blue sky over Bass' River Resort near Steelville.

We (our new photographer, Ben, and I, that is) recently had the opportunity for a photography/video shoot on the Courtois River. The goal was to capture anglers in action and beautiful nature scenes, and to get some video footage, to boot. Our other goal was not to tip the canoe.

Much like baseball, two out of three ain’t bad.

Paul Stone from S.S. Guide Service fishes the Courtois River near Steelville.

We were invited by our friend Paul Stone, who runs S.S. Guide Service out of Park Hills. He and partner Kenny Rector hosted three anglers (and one of their fathers) from the Air Evac Lifeteam, which has bases around the state. We departed from the Bass’ River Resort — a family owned business that includes camping, lodging, horseback riding and float trips — outside Steelville, billed as “The Floating Capital of Missouri.”

Julie and Stephan, our gracious hosts at Bass’ River Resort, welcomed us very early in the morning and after getting signed up, we hooked up with Paul, Kenny and the Air Evac guys and headed down to the river.

Then, we loaded up and shipped out. Now, any experienced floater will tell you to be careful when you get into strong currents. Well, we aren’t experienced floaters. About 50 feet (yes, feet) downstream, we flipped the canoe in a strong current. All the items we took along for the trip — including cameras — fell into the water. We recovered everything (almost) but most crushingly, lost two Snickers bars. Our most-prized valuables were saved thanks to a waterproof carrying case.

After getting ourselves back together, and after Paul quit laughing, we caught up with the guys, who were working to catch as many smallies (that’s small-mouth bass) as the law allows. It was a hot morning, but the water felt great and the floating and fishing conditions were excellent.

Paul offered up some great tips (we’ll post the videos on YouTube every soon) and the guys seemed to enjoy their time on the water. After a few hours, we had to start paddling to the pick-up point, while the guys continued their fishing expedition.

The Courtois River offers up wonderful scenery.

Our trek down the river was one to remember. We saw beautiful scenery, had a great time navigating some fun twists and turns, and even managed to keep the canoe upright for the final three or four miles of the journey. I must admit, I did see a good portion of the scenery in reverse, as we often had trouble keeping the canoe pointing the direction we wanted (poor paddling, to say the least).

Anyway, Ben got some great photos and we’re working on videos as we speak. As for tipping the canoe … well, like I said, two of three ain’t bad.

Check back here soon to see videos of this expedition. In the meantime, watch our already existing videos, including our latest “sizzle reel” at

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