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11-15-03 - The first rainbow of the day comes to hand on the Roaring River

MY GOD that is a GORGEOUS Rainbow Trout. I wish the pink on its sides came through a bit more in the picture, but you get the idea. Everything about this fish was beautiful; I love the hooked jaws and spots over 99% of the body. We never see anything like this in Iowa!
Wenk came over to shoot the second catch of the day.(Copyright 2003 Dan Wenk)
Another dark, heavily spotted Roaring River Rainbow Trout who once again whacked a Tucker Nymph. NOTHING ELSE WORKED for us; I went through ALL my fly boxes (I had 4 with!)
Wenk learns the art of high-stick nymphing on extremely small water!

11-15-03 - Roaring River? Maybe a "Roaring Creek"!

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 enjoyable outing.

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 replica!

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 :|

  MP 

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