This will be our third trip to Cooper Creek RV Campground located in Branson, Missouri https://coopercreekresort.com/wp/. They offer both wooded and lake view campsites as well as a few nice clean and well kept cabins. The premium sites are the 7 RV sites that back-up to Lake Taneycomo. In May of 2019, the resort was purchased by two couples who are in the construction business. We met one of the owners as she was placing Fall decorations throughout the campground and she told us that they plan many improvements and expansions and so would welcome any suggestions from their guests. They have already begun adding a fenced in dog park to allow guests’ dogs to free-roam and play off-leash.
There are two fishing piers where we witnessed several people catching trout right off the pier during our 2-week stay. Cooper Creek has a small boat launch and they offer both boat and docking slot rentals. Also, a local fishing guide, John Sappington, can be scheduled during your stay. We understand from friends and family who have used John as a guide that he is very good and they have gone out with him more than once during their stays. John usually takes clients into the restricted regulated area by the fish hatchery at the damn that created Lake Taneycomo. It’s there that clients are able to catch the big trout (14″ to more than 20″). This special area is mostly catch and release but you are allowed to keep fish greater than 21″. If however, you choose to release a 21″+ fish, you get a certificate. One of our group got the certificate (everyone caught large fish though).
This trip was originally planned to meet sister Cathy and her husband Dean and sister Brenda and her husband Orval, for a one week camp beginning Sunday 09/29 through Sunday 10/06/2019. Cathy and Dean invited friends to join us (3 additional couples and 2 single guys). Couples occupied premium lake view sites #1 through #6 and the singles were in a cabin. As is usual for Bill and Karen, we were anxious to leave and when we learned our campsite was available early we checked in early on 09/26 and even extended our stay to 14 days ending 10/10/2019.
The Branson Shows are good and we have attended several over our number of stays. This trip our group wanted to see Mickey Gilley who was appearing at his Branson Theater during the dates of our visit. Several in our group have memories of visiting “Gilley’s,” his original country night club in Pasadena, Texas (the same club that was in the John Travolta movie “Urban Cowboy” many years ago). Mickey Gilley is 83-year’s old today and although he moves around the stage much slower his voice is as strong as ever. It was interesting hearing him talk and narrate several videos of his career. Mickey Gilley was very personable and after the show he met guests for photos and autographs. There was a book written about him and his two famous cousins, Jerry Lee Lewis and Jimmy Swaggart that they offered for sale and he offered to autograph.
The Liverpool Legends show is a Beatles tribute show with band members that resemble (especially Ringo) and perform like the actual Beatles. Six of us went to that show and it was fun singing along to our favorite Beatles songs that brought back fond memories of “Yesterdays!”
Branson is more for us than the shows. We thoroughly enjoy Lake Taneycomo and sitting outside our camper with views of the lake. We like fishing and riding the boat up and down the lake with the beautiful Fall color leaves that float on the lake and of course cooking out! One of the guys brought a large bag of onions, we decided to cut them up and make a large batch of onion rings, the aroma of the onions filled the campground all the way down to the boat dock/fishing pier! Yummy, they were delicious!
There is wildlife to be seen around the campsites. We had a raccoon visit our cook-out two-nights in a row starting with the night we grilled out a nice trout catch that fed seven of us. The raccoon was bold enough to come right up to the grill, he was shooed away, but kept coming back. We were concerned for our two small leashed dogs who may initiate a challenge with the racoon, but he was fun to watch. At one point he climbed up a nearby tree, and peeked around the trunk with his big black eyes peering over at us (regretted not getting a photo of this pose). There were deer roaming in the wooded areas of the campground. One day, we watched a hawk swoop down and attack a squirrel with its large, sharp talons right behind our campsite. All part of nature that we rarely experience except through Animal Kingdom. This was a first for all of us observing. Also another first, Karen was able to capture a photo of these very unusually colored caterpillars.
We toured the Table Rock Fish Hatchery for the first time on this visit and highly recommend: https://nature.mdc.mo.gov/discover-nature/places/shepherd-hills-fish-hatchery There is no cost to visit unless you want to purchase fish food out of the dispenser for twenty-five cents a handful. There are signs posted throughout the tour explaining the process of hatching and raising the trout that are eventually released into the Lake. We watched the feed truck going through the rows of trout tanks pouring pounds of feed through the open top.
There is a fishing area near the Fish Hatchery (same place the guides take you) for anglers with specific guidelines on what type of line/hook that can be used and its mostly catch and release. We watched the anglers catch very large trout and release them. Kevin, one of the single guys with our group, took the two of us out to fish in this restricted area. Kevin showed us how to use a fly-rod and the leader setup (flies, weights, etc.) for the type of fish being caught in this area. He was a great instructor and even allowed Karen to bring in a few large trout that he actually hooked, giving her the experience of bringing in a large fish on a fly line. Bill picked up the technique quickly. Waders are required for wading into the cold lake water. The two of us tried it on our own a few days later using the extra leaders Kevin had given to us, using our spincast reels (no fly-rods), no waders since we only had tall rubber boots with us. Bill actually did very well at getting the line out far enough to drift down the lake, however, we did not catch any fish. Karen’s rubber boots leaked as soon as entering the cold water which put her out. We are now hyped up to purchase fly-rods, waders, the whole bit for our next visit.
We were catching quite a few trout off the boat every time we went out, but after one good meal of grilled trout, we were catching and releasing. One of the days while Bill and Orval went out fishing in our Porta-Bote, the girls (Cathy, Brenda and Karen) went to old town Branson. They enjoyed the day shopping at Dick’s Oldtime 5 & 10 and also walked around to other shops including the Old Fashioned Candy store. Final stop was lunch at Branson Cafe.
It was a fun 10-days, visiting with family and friends, great food, the shows, sitting around the campfire . . . camping is right for us.
Job 12:7-10 “But now ask the beasts, and they shall teach you; and the birds of the air, and they shall tell you. Or speak to the earth, and it shall teach you: and the fishes of the sea will explain to you. Who among all these does not know that the hand of the LORD has done this, in whose hand is the life of every living thing, and the breath of all mankind.“