Roaring River

Friday, February 20, 2015 , , 16 Comments

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. 


Since you didn't mention do you feel about trout parks? I'm with you combat fishing isn't for me either.

Atlas said...

Haha, sorry was it that obvious? I really don't hate them… I just prefer to fish somewhere else slightly more technical and less crowded, especially if I am going to drive for hours to get there. BUT it was an experience and the fishing was good and I can check it off the bucket list.

Mel said...

I feel like the fish were secondary on this day. The plus side is that you got out, and secondly, that is some pretty water. The pictures were worth your time.

Atlas said...

It was good, no doubt

~doubletaper said...

Nice waters and nice fish. dry flies!!! that's great for a winter day.

Those were quality trout you landed. What was your largest trout?
This park parallels a couple of places I fish here in Alabama, and Tennessee; both have heavy fishing pressure, and lots of fishermen. Our local tailrace here in Jasper Alabama, is loaded with fly fishermen on weekends, so I never cast a fly at that time. The Caney Fork in Tennessee is similar to our local tailrace, but with a twist, one has to navigate through all the canoes there along with all the other fishermen as well. I don’t know when you made this trip, but a weekend is not my time to fish anywhere. Of course being retired I can afford to pick and choose my times that I am on the water. Beautiful waters you were fishing there alone with some beautiful rainbow. Thanks for sharing

I don't suppose one could complain with 25-30 trout in one day. I agree with Drew, combat fishing is not for me. Probably why I fish in the fog.

Atlas said...

Bill I would guess the biggest I caught all day was maybe 13-14" maybe... I certainly saw some bigger fish and two giant fish.

Atlas said...

Double- yep it is always nice to catch on top with a dry. There was a mini hatch and I caught quite a few and it was a simple pleasure to catch one on a Royal Wulff.

Atlas said...

Mark, I would gladly fish any day in the fog with you. And agreed, combat fishing is not my game. I should have brought the 10 weight and some Muskie flies, probably could have cleared lots of room quick. Honestly not complaining though. It was a good day and hard to beat any day fishing.

Nice day on the water! Combat fishing is never part of the plan when you start out; however, stuff happens. Glad you have a great day and caught some nice fish! Love the fact that you started mix'in it up and working your skills. It is nice to just stop try a different approach, fly or tactic when catching is no longer the focus! Nice post. Thanks for sharing!

If I didn't know better I'd say that I wrote this post. My feelings about quality over quantity are well known. Most times I'd just rather fish alone or with one other person with similar feelings.

RM Lytle said...

Nor quite for me. If another fisherman comes within 20 feet of me when I'm fishing I get uncomfortable. At least you got some nice fish.

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Ben Mckinley said...

Beautiful pictures, thanks for sharing.

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