11-15-03 - Roaring River? Maybe a "Roaring
Waters Fished: Roaring River
Fish Caught: 3/6
Outing Date: 11-15-03
Weather: Overcast all day, brief rains in the morning
Air Temp: warmer than yesterday, highs probably around 50
Water Temp: Didn't Take It, relatively bathwater
Water Level: Normal
Water Color: CLEAR
Fish Species: Rainbow Trout
Pattern Fished: Tucker Nymph
Pattern Color: original gold BH pattern
Fishing Quality: Missouri Trout aren't really "stupid"
trout despite being stockers!
The big joke of the day was when we got to "Roaring
River" State Park around 10:00 AM (yes, we got a little lost,
Wenk is still learning his way around SW Missouri). Getting lost
and arriving later than planned was not the joke though, rather
it was the name "ROARING RIVER"! Man, it was about the
size of a nice Iowa Trout Stream, aka. a "Coulee" or "Spring
Creek". "Roaring River"? Someone must'a been smokin'
somethin' when they named this body of water!
Well this was a gorgeous although overcast day,
perfect to get in another day on the water. Rain on the way there
but only a very brief drizzle got in the way of an otherwise very
To sum up Roaring River, it is again clear. I threw
Griffith's to rising trout at the tail of a pool...no takers. I
swung every fly imaginable, no takers, and only sometimes did a
pattern even get a look.
Our only success of the day was fishing what was
probably a piece of water that is usually overlooked, one of the
fast riffle sections in Section 1. Dan was downstream fishing and
having no luck...as soon as he walked away I started high-sticking
a Tucker Nymph at the head of the little waterfall....whack! Fish
on, and LANDED! STUNNING LITTLE FAT 12" RAINBOW...leopard spotted
from head to toe on every inch of it's body. Man, deserving of a
Within a few minutes I had another bump, then another
fish landed; Wenk came over to take my picture of another heavily
spotted rainbow. A few more drifts, a couple quick hookups that
didn't stay on, and then Rainbow Trout #3 made it's way to shore!
Well, after this all happened in the span of about
15 minutes I insisted that Wenk try his luck and learn the technique
of high-stick nymphing. For a while he was getting way too much
leader in the water, so I put on a #10 splitshot about 12"
up from the fly on both our rigs...I told him to keep the line straight
vertical, follow the current and feel for the tick of the weight
the bottom, then lift up slightly so the nymph would be on the bottom
but not the weight. I took my rig and worked the back 1/2 of the
riffle where the water was much deeper and harder to high-stick.
Wouldn't ya know it, we went from legitimate fishermen
to snaggers, with each of us bringing in a foul hooked fish. OFF
came the weight and I went into more detail explaining to Wenk how
to judge the amount of leader to keep in the water and specifically
how to cover this tiny patch of water. Standing downstream it was
very EASY to see the seam that all the fish were holding on.
Eventually Wenk got it and hooked into a couple
fish, losing both. We moved downstream, fished many of the pools
and tried to concentrate our efforts at any place where we found
fast, rippled water. No takers. I saw SEVERAL larger trout, a few
pushing 24"+. It's incredibly frustrating to try everything,
get chases on about 1/2 of your offerings, but not a single bite!
The prevelant use of indicators I'd seen over the past two days
got me thinkin' that this isn't exactly "easy" troutin'!
FWIW, we did head downstream out of the park to
try our luck on the general "Roaring River"; when we found
the access we noticed a sign that said the area was closed from
November to February (I think those were the months) although one
car was parked there. I looked at the regs I had with, there was
no mention of from what I saw that the river was closed, and from
reading the regs if there was no special mention that meant the
river was open. HMM, either I overlooked something or this was a
really recent thing. We decided not to chance a poaching fine :|