Last weekend, I made a pilgrimmage back to the stream where I learned to fish for trout and where all the madness began for my fly fishing addiction. I actually swore this place off last year during the catch & release winter season because I was tired of all the dumb people and because I almost got my butt kicked by some "dumb" hatchery fish. It's a trout park in Missouri...and oh how we love the trout parks in the Ozarks. I'm still not quite sure what my opinion is of them because the fishing was so good this trip....
Anyways...I made it down to the stream around 1:00 and tied on a foam hopper pattern that I'd tied up earlier in the week. Now if you have never fished with foam hoppers for trout when its late summer/early fall...you just don't know what you're missing. It was an absolute blast! Trout were just murdering this hopper pattern....no slow, hesitant rises on this day! No sir! The tactic was very simple...find some over-hanging trees and make a cast just below the trees. Make sure the fly lands with a nice "plop" on the surface. The strikes were almost instant. Anyways, I lost count of how many fish I caught...it was ridiculous to say the least. Another positive note was that the river was actually rather empty in Zone 2. I fished which holes I wanted and never had to worry about someone trying to squeeze me out or any of the other stupid stuff that happens at a trout park. It was a great day, indeed!
Again, I'm still not sure how I feel about trout parks. Maybe this is the snobby fly fisherman in me coming out? Maybe I feel like I'm too good to fish trout parks? Whatever it is...it was put on the back-burner last Sunday because the fish were eating hoppers. As my good friend and fishing guide, Brian Wise, put it..."I don't care if you're fishing in a mud puddle, when they're eating hoppers, it's always freaking sweet!"
I concur...yes, indeed!