Well tomorrow will begin the Missouri Trout season while Kansas trout season began on Friday. This is the time of year that most outdoors-man begin their annual trips to the hunting and fishing stores for new lures, baits and rods and reels. I have not been fishing on opening morning of either Kansas or Missouri trout season in about 5 years and I miss it. There is nothing more nostalgic than standing shoulder to shoulder with other fishermen waiting for that first horn of the year at Bennett Spring State Park or finding that perfect place at Shawnee Mission State Park to catch those early season trout.
For those of you headed out to Shawnee Mission State Park in Kansas City be advised you need to bring something to make holes in the ice. There is about a 6 inch layer on there right now. However as the weather begins to warm up this week, that ice will become weak and you may be able to find some open water. As for the fishing right now it is just like ice fishing up North. You can knock a hole in the ice with a shovel or pipe and then fish from that hole. A lot of folks say the bait to use is Power Bait. Here is an article from the Kansas City Star on Friday's opening day.
As for those maybe thinking about heading down to Bennett State Park, remember opening day crowds are not for everyone. Usually the first month is some of the best opportunity to get a real nice trout for the wall, although as we go into Spring there are several good trout available. While going to school in Springfield, MO at Southwest MO State this where I learned to fly fish for trout. The surrounds are beautiful and there is nothing better than being in Zone 1 (which is fly fishing only). I usually will start out at the horn fishing a black and gold maribou jig on an ultra light casting rod with 2 lb test:
Then I move up the stream into Zone 1 and break out the fly rod with either a dry fly or a red and yellow glow ball using a roll cast. I like to start below the actual spring and just move down to the the dam.
And yes you can walk out on the dam.
Any trip to Bennett Springs would not be complete without first checking the fishing conditions at Weaver's Tackle Store. This store is located just outside the park coming in from Lebanon, MO.
Also if you get a chance check out Larry's Sporting Goods for a great selection of flies and if you need help with your casting visit Jim Rodgers Fly School. Normally after catching a limit I will visit both places and catch up with what is going on in the park and get a cup of coffee.
Next week I will be blogging about how to get ready for the upcoming Missouri and Kansas 2010 Spring Turkey season.
Good luck on your hunting or fishing trip and remember a day spent hunting and fishing is better than any day of work.