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Home » Get Tite! Fly-Fishing the Roaring River, near Cassville Missouri

Get Tite! Fly-Fishing the Roaring River, near Cassville Missouri

Photo Courtesy of Lionello DelPiccolo

As the early morning sun peeked over the horizon, casting a golden glow on the landscape, Ethan eagerly packed his fly fishing gear into his old, trusty pickup truck. Today was a special day for him as he was heading to the legendary Roaring River in Missouri, known for its pristine waters teeming with rainbow and brown trout.

Ethan had been fly fishing for years, and the Roaring River was a place he had always dreamed of visiting. He had heard tales of its challenging riffles, picturesque scenery, and abundant fish from fellow anglers, and he couldn’t wait to experience it for himself.

Driving along the winding roads, Ethan felt a sense of excitement building up inside him. As he arrived at the river, he was greeted by the sound of rushing water and the fresh scent of pine trees. The Roaring River lived up to its name, with its fast-moving current and frothy white rapids that promised a thrilling adventure.

Ethan geared up in his waders and fishing vest, carefully selecting his flies from his well-organized fly box. He decided to start with a dry fly, as he had heard that the trout at Roaring River were known to be surface feeders. He waded into the river, feeling the icy cold water against his legs, and began casting his line with precision.

When it comes to fly fishing at Roaring River, Missouri, the best section of water to fish can vary depending on the season, time of day, and personal preference. However, there are a few key areas that Ethan likes to work:

The Spring Branch: This is the main spring-fed stream that flows through Roaring River State Park, and it’s known for its clear water and abundance of trout. The Spring Branch is stocked regularly with rainbow trout and brown trout, making it a popular spot for catching fish.

The Dry Hollow: Located near the upper end of the park, the Dry Hollow is a stretch of water that is catch-and-release only, meaning all fish must be released back into the water unharmed. This area is known for its challenging fishing conditions and requires skillful casting and presentation techniques to entice the wary trout.

The Emory Melton Inn Hole: This is a deep pool located near the Emory Melton Inn, which is known to hold some large brown trout. It’s a popular spot for experienced anglers looking to target trophy-sized fish.

The Hatchery Outlet: This is the area below the trout hatchery where the water is warmer due to the discharge from the hatchery, making it an ideal spot for fishing during colder months when the fish are less active in other areas of the park.

Photo Courtesy Rick Wallace

The Nature Center Area: This is a section of the Spring Branch that runs near the Roaring River State Park Nature Center, which offers educational exhibits and programs on the park’s natural resources. It’s a picturesque area with easy access for fishing and is often stocked with trout.

The first few casts were unsuccessful, but Ethan was patient and persistent. He carefully observed the water’s flow and looked for signs of trout rising to the surface. After a few more casts, he saw a sudden splash and felt a tug on his line. He expertly set the hook, and his rod bent as he reeled in a beautiful rainbow trout.

Ethan was using his favorite 9-foot fly rod, paired with a weight-forward floating fly line and a 5x tippet. For most of the day, he had been using dry flies, including a size 14 Elk Hair Caddis and a size 16 Pale Morning Dun, to imitate the insects hatching on the river. He also had a few nymphs in his arsenal, including a size 18 Pheasant Tail and a size 20 Copper John, for when the fish were not rising to the surface.

With a sense of satisfaction and adrenaline rushing through his veins, Ethan released the trout back into the river, watching it swim away gracefully. He knew that catch-and-release was an important practice to preserve the fishery, and he wanted to do his part in conserving the Roaring River’s pristine ecosystem.

As the day went on, Ethan moved to different spots along the river, carefully navigating the rocky terrain and casting his line with precision. He switched between dry flies, nymphs, and streamers, adapting to the changing conditions and trying different techniques to entice the elusive trout.

Ethan encountered a few challenges along the way. The fast currents and tricky rock formations required him to carefully maneuver his way through, and he had to be mindful of his footing to avoid slipping. There were moments when his line got snagged on branches or rocks, and he had to patiently untangle it. But these challenges only fueled his determination to conquer the river and catch more fish.

As the day wore on, Ethan’s efforts paid off. He caught several more rainbow and brown trout, each one more beautiful than the last. He marveled at the vibrant colors of the fish, with their iridescent scales glistening in the sunlight. He took a few quick photos to capture the memories before gently releasing them back into the river.

Ethan also took the time to appreciate the breathtaking scenery around him. The Roaring River was nestled in a lush valley, surrounded by towering cliffs and dense forests. The sound of the rushing water was a constant melody, accompanied by the chirping of birds and the rustling of leaves in the gentle breeze. Ethan felt a deep connection with nature and was grateful for the opportunity to fish in such a pristine environment.

As the sun began to set, Ethan decided to make one last cast before calling it a day. He carefully selected a size 16 Adams dry fly, known for its effectiveness in the evening hatch. He cast his line upstream, letting the fly drift naturally downstream, and then he saw it – a sudden rise in the water, followed by a strong pull on his line.

Ethan skillfully played the fish, with his rod bent and the fish putting up a spirited fight, Ethan skillfully played the fish, keeping steady pressure on the line and allowing the fish to tire itself out. After a few heart-pounding moments, he finally brought the fish close enough to net it. It was a gorgeous brown trout, with vivid red spots on its golden sides and a large kype-jaw that indicated it was a mature male.

Ethan carefully cradled the fish in the water, admiring its beauty up close. He felt a sense of awe and gratitude for this moment, knowing that catching such a wild and elusive fish in its natural habitat was a privilege. He gently released the brown trout, watching it swim away strongly into the depths of the river, ready to fight another day.

As darkness enveloped the river valley, Ethan decided to call it a day; tired but content with memories of a day filled with excitement, challenges, and success. He made his way back to his truck, feeling a deep appreciation for the Roaring River and its precious resources. He knew that he would cherish this experience for a lifetime and that he would be back to fish the Roaring River again, to create more stories and memories in this pristine fly fishing paradise.

With a satisfied smile on his face, Ethan drove back home, already dreaming of his next adventure on the Roaring River, eagerly anticipating the thrill of casting his line, feeling the tug of a fish, and immersing himself in the beauty of nature while fly fishing in Missouri’s legendary waters.

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