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Getting Out in the Ozarks: Trout Fishing

CASSVILLE, Mo. -- The Ozarks region is a wonderful treasure -- one of the most beautiful parts of the country. One of the great outdoor activities here is trout fishing.
CASSVILLE, Mo. -- The Ozarks region is a wonderful treasure -- one of the most beautiful parts of the country. One of the great outdoor activities here is trout fishing.

You can trout fish on the White River in Arkansas. In southwest Missouri, there are Lake Taneycomo, Bennett Springs and Roaring River State Park. Maybe you've never tried trout fishing... or thought it was too hard.  Well. I'm here to here to tell you it s not hard. In fact., it's easy.   And as part of our new feature-- "Getting Out in the Ozarks"-- I got the tough assignment to find out what it takes to get started
if you've never been trout fishing in your life.

For the last 15 years, John Havens has been making the annual trip to the Ozarks with his family from Texas.  He tells KOLR10 News they do it for one thing - the incredible fishing.  And this trip,was, by far, incredible.  "I finally caught the one I've been trying to catch for 15 years," Havens says. Havens caught this massive brown trout, calling it "the fish of a lifetime." And it just happens to be one of the biggest ones ever caught in Roaring River State Park. "I'm going to get this one mounted," Havens tells us.  "I've been fishing my whole life and don't have a single fish on the wall. And I think this is the one. "

According to Jim Rogers at Roaring River State Park, many people often stray away from trout fishing because it s "hard." But Rogers tells KOLR10 News that couldn't be farther from the truth. "A lot of people have a misconception about trout fishing ." He says it's easy to do.  So since we're new to the Ozarks and never trout fished before in this environment, my husband, Coleman and I,  thought we d give it a go, with Rogers' help.

"I'm right handed, does that make a difference?"  "No not at all. okay." "So the easiest way to get handle on this is to put this between these two fingers. between this? laughs see how that feels? ya." "To cast it, you take your right forefinger and pull this line here. and hold it against that handle. like that?" "right." "I'm a natural."

"You re just gonna use one hand and you're gonna take this right here. Now don't let go this time. Just feel it. We're gonna go like that. And at the end, you're gonna let go of that finger."
One, two, three, perfect. Now reel that in.

"This way?" "No. It's not going."  "Come on fishy, fishy. Ohhh I got something. I got something!" 
"You re doing perfect," Rogers encourages.  First cast ,a rainbow trout.  "Is that good?" "Uh, yeah," says Rogers.  "You can t get any better."   How about the average person catches a trout every hour. "So what you're saying is,  I have great technique?"  "You are a natural born trout fisherman," Rogers says.  "Thank you."

I caught 5 trout myself. But we won't get into that. Coleman seemed to catch on quickly, too. "Growing up in Texas, you're used to bass fishing and catfishing and those are completely different styles."

Rogers says anyone can learn to trout fish and be successful. "It makes us happy when the customer is happy. That's what we re here for."

And he says you won t break the bank. "If you have nothing at all, plan on spending about $40 to $50. That will get you a nice rod, a nice reel, all the line you need and all the lures you need for several days of fishing."

His advice--- give it a try. We did. "For us, the first experience was a good as you could ever imagined."  Rogers says trout fishing among women is one of the fastest growing sports these days. "The ladies pick this up faster then the men do. they listen, they try hard, they want to succeed."  And I can tell you first hand--- that s true. "Let s be honest here. Who caught the bigger fish? Who caught the bigger fish?"  "I think technically mine was bigger, but for the sake of our marriage, yours was bigger," Coleman tells me.  "Good answer."

Trout fishing season in Missouri is March 1 to October 31st.  To find out what you need to trout fish and to learn more about fly fishing,  check out the related links in the upper left of this story. 

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