It is well known by those who fish with me that I am not the trout park type. I am not a fish numbers guy and I will take quality time alone on the stream over 30 fish days anytime. Generally speaking something about trout parks just rubs me wrong. I don't like fighting for water space and I am not real keen on catching a fish that was just released that morning. Now don't get me wrong, I am not against trout parks, I have many friends that love fishing them, and I think they provide a valuable service (mainly they are a great place for beginners to learn the craft and they also help keep fishing pressures on more sensitive fisheries) they just aren't my cup of tea. We all have our things, mine is just not trout parks, nothing personal. Needless to say I went into fishing the Roaring River with not the highest of expectations. However, I am also a curious angler and it was catch and release season only, so I knew the numbers would be down, so I decided to give it a go. The river itself is very beautiful, with the first portion forming a series of waterfalls and alternating pools, followed by a more typical meandering Missouri trout stream section below. By my estimation there were still a lot of people there, you wouldn't have been able to go twenty yards in either direction without running into someone and up by the spring there was a person every 15 feet. If this is low season I wouldn't have lasted ten minutes here during high season I am sure. Furthermore it is worth noting that for the majority of the park wading is not permissible. There is a limited section where you may, but I had to ask a park ranger for where this was specifically.
Anyhow, enough with the preface. It was a new place on a beautiful winter day. I fished and caught a ton of trout. It was a good day. Will I go back, probably not unless it is a side stop or I am with a group of good friends or family with whom the time spent with them will be the greatest thing of value. Between 8:00 AM and 12:00 PM I would conservatively estimate I caught 25-30 trout. I would cast just below the falls, let it drift into the pool and every third of fourth cast would yield a fish. The first four hours I fished one thing: a bead head hares ear with a very small green mayfly nymph dropped behind it. Around noon something peculiar happened, it stopped, the non stop action just stopped. My best guess is that after every pool had been cast to four thousand times that day the fish were just put off. I still caught fish but it wasn't like the morning. As such I decided I would just catch them on random things in my box, patterns I rarely fished or perhaps had never fished before. For instance I had never even fished a Royal Wulff, a pattern that I know for many is a staple attractor pattern, I just hadn't ever used one so I fished it caught a small trout then tied something else on and so forth. That is how the last four hours went until the park closed at 4:00 PM. Maybe 5 or 6 fish were caught in that time and it was just neat to play around a bit. Nothing large was caught but I did see two or three 10 lb+ trout. That would have been a riot for sure. Admittedly the last half hour I tied on an 7" articulated peanut envy streamer and chucked that at the bank. No follows or bites but one can always hope.