- Southern Hospitality that is Matchless
- Fish-Catching that is Unforgettable
- New Friends that Make Time Extraordinary
By David Gray
A warm welcome is something you feel if it is real. Nestled in the Missouri Ozark hills near Stockton Lake, everything about hospitality is real at Stone Creek Lodge. I know it’s real because it’s genuine.
My SUV swung quietly into the parking lot of the Stone Creek office as I noticed a guy wiping down his boat. About the same time, he waved the way you wave to a good friend, like a glad-to-see-you greeting. I thought he might have mistaken me for someone he knew, but I would soon find out the guy with the wave was Kris Nelson, who with his wife Amanda, own and operate Stone Creek Lodge.
Soon after that wave, I raised the bar of my surprise yet more. When you walk into Stone Creek Lodge you are a friend, not because you are a customer, but because the people who own and work there are just that way – genuine friendly folks that want to share the adventure of the outdoors with you.
Stone Creek Lodge has many ways to satisfy their friends, who originally came is as customers. A fine line to draw there.
Their fully stocked tackle store includes the effective lures, the right line, terminal hardware, floats and hooks, jigs of the right color and size, plastic tails and plastic worms too, and a great selection of live bait. The Lodging has rooms that any fisherman can call home.
The lodge office even has a snack bar with pizza. Famous pizza too. Mention pizza and most folks immediately brag on their favorite pizza establishment or brand. This pizza could win an award downtown, not to mention at any fishing lodge. The Stoner Creek pizza is great, best part, you can get your pizza with a conversation they call “fishing talk.” It doesn’t get any better than good advice with your pepperoni.
Nice to enjoy a fishing lodge that delivers so much before you even get on the water.
The fishing on Stockton Lake is nearly boundless, with over 25,000 acres to explore. This Missouri Corp of Engineers reservoir straddles Cedar, Dade and Polk counties in the southwest Missouri Ozarks. Close by are the friendly adventure supply towns of Stockton and Bolivar. Stockton is only 6 miles travel, but Bolivar, about 45 minutes away, is a larger city of 15,000 with a special charm where folks visit the Polk County Museum and Dunnegan Gallery of Art. Don’t miss the Town Square either!
While there are a number of excellent lakes in this part of Missouri, both large and small waterway, many offer good fishing for several species, Stockton Lake stands out with really great fishing. Anglers vie for multiple species including black bass, crappie, walleye and white bass, and you can catch all four species on the same day.
Stockton also delivers a special pleasure. Close your eyes and let your guide take you down the lake in any direction. Open your eyes and you might think your guide has whisked you away to a wilderness fly-in Canadian Lake. The Stockton shoreline is unspoiled with simple, natural beauty, as there are no lake homes on the water at Stockton. It’s great to feel like you are not fishing in someone’s back yard all the time.
Some people are born fisherman. Kris Nelson, the owner and head guide, is one of those. Very few guides are blessed with the fishing skills of Kris Nelson. He knows the lake, finds the fish, shares methods and expertise, teaches you how to catch them and after 10 minutes with him, you feel you have known him for years. Another new friend.
Last Friday, September 21, with late summer weather hanging on, we measured high water temps, the fishing should have been tough and slow. It was anything but slow, with Kris and JT teaching me how to catch them. First jigging for crappie, then chasing white bass – the action was fast and fun. Kris and JT both sharing and helping with knowledge learned thru many days on the water at Stockton. I realized quickly that the goal of a late September fish fry for friends on shore was not in doubt.
You will be welcome at Stone Creek Lodge.
You will enjoy the visit, the lodge, the fishing and the fun adventure that comes with laughter. Great medicine for a getaway that you and I need more often than not. Especially when it’s affordable.
My advice is to come and relax here when you can, go fishing with these fine folks and take some fillets home for later. It will help you remember the fun you enjoyed here, like it has for me. One thing for sure, you will always feel that warm welcome here.
To know more about Stone Creek Lodge, phone them at 417-276-1700, or go online and visit www.stonecreekmo.com.