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Fishing the Roaring River and Roaring River State Trout Park

Roaring River Pool with trout
Roaring River Rainbow Trout

The Roaring River in southwestern Missouri is one fine trout stream by any standards. It has it beginnings in Roaring River State Park, which is designated by the state as a Trout Park.The first stretch of water, or zone 1 is daily stocked with rainbows from March 1 through October 31, and artificial lures and flies only are allowed. The second beat of water, or zone two is designated as fly only, but Missouri definition of a fly is fairly liberal, and some single hooked spinning lures including single hooked rooster tail spinners and marabou jigs are allowed. Zone two is divided into one daily stocked catch and keep section and one catch and release section. This catch and release section is well known for producing behemoth brown trout. The third section of water in Roaring River StatePark is stocked twice a week from during the spring, summer, and fall, and is open to catch and keep fishing with all bait, lures, and flies. In all, Roaring River State Park has about two miles of stream, all of which holds trout.

Trout habitat does not end at the lower end of the Trout Park. It then becomes a White Ribbon Trout Area, which means it is stocked about once a month. Access to this section is from the Trout Park, and from Roaring River Conservation Area. The White Ribbon Area is known for having a lot of shallow, fishless water, but any good pools and riffles you find will hold many rainbow trout, as well as some brown trout, and even an occasional cutthroat or brook trout that may have migrated from the Beaver tailwater. Year-round trout water only stretches about two miles below the Park, but they during wintertime trout can be caught all the way to where Roaring River becomes impounded by Table Rock Lake, and even in the reservoir itself. The lower river is a good early and late season trout fishery, and provides good bass fishing in high summer. The Roaring River is a small stream, fifteen to twenty feet wide in most places. It is beautiful, and productive even by the highest standards.

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