Playing 'hookie:' Opening day of trout season at Roaring River

The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

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Playing 'hookie:' Opening day of trout season at Roaring River

  • I'm a happy girl: I'm headed to Roaring River State Park in advance of covering Opening Day of catch-and-keep trout season. This will mark Year 3 for me getting up at a ridiculously early hour to write about other people getting up at a ridiculously early hour, but if you've ever been to Roaring River, you know exactly why we do it.

    Here's what's in my bag, in order of importance:
    1. My iPhone, which I'll use to post live text updates, photo and video throughout the day.
    2. My notepad, which I'll be using in lieu of my fishing rod for the "catch" of the day, which will of course be stories.
    3. UnderArmour shirt, lined pants, wool socks, wool (fingerless) gloves, fleece hat, fleece neck gaiter, Columbia jacket, Merrell hiking boots.
    4. Chapstick.
    5. Extra Chapstick.
    6. $8.95 for the all-you-can-eat breakfast buffet up at the Emory Melton Inn & Conference Center, which I like to hit about 10:30 after the initial chaos of the day.
    7. My Muck boots, which I'll change into later in the day for a visit to the Hatchery to check in on the trout babies I helped spawn two weeks ago.

    Hatchery Manager Paul Spurgeon said he has planned for about 2,300 anglers to show up tomorrow and will stock 7,000 trout, including 100 lunkers, for the event. Maybe you'll be one of them. See you at the River...
  • The traditional fire barrels are in full blaze and anglers are taking turns warming their fingers after tying on flies with the help of their truck headlights. The temp is 27 and there is no wind - warmer than expected.

  • I can't believe the number of guys I've met here from the Kansas City area. They said 15" of snow wasn't going to keep them away. One flew in from Dallas, and another drove five and a half hours from Ft. Riley. Opening Day traditions die hard.
  • And trout season has begun! Starting pistol fired by Ron Moffet, a longtime volunteer at the park.

  • Anglers shoulder to shoulder have been reeling them in since seconds after the starter's pistol fired.

  • This is especially for LoVella Truhitte Moore, who was born in Cassville, graduated from Purdy and lived in Joplin for several years with her husband, who taught at Joplin High School. They left Joplin in 1965 and now live in Hillsboro, Mo., near St. Louis, and she's been living opening day vicariously through my live blog. "We return to RR every year for two weeks and will be there again next month, health permitting," she wrote. Until then, here is the sound of the river, LoVella. Enjoy!

    by andra.stefanoni edited by Alexandra Nicolas 3/1/2013 7:06:23 PM
  • Well, Roaring River fans, my fingers are numb and I'm beginning to wear down, perhaps because it's already been a full work day and it's just 1:30! I'm going to get on the road soon, but I'll be smiling on the way home at all the great memories folks have recalled for me today both at the river and via email as they followed the blog. It seems to have made our great big world a little smaller, having experiences at the river as something in common. One of my favorite memories is of my two sons learning to fish with hubby, always in their little fishing hats as shown in this photo. If you have memories to share, please email them to or leave a comment. And check back later, as I'll have parting thoughts and photos to blog before the day is done.

  • by Alexandra Nicolason Mar 1, 2013 at 9:23 PM

  • by Alexandra Nicolason Mar 1, 2013 at 9:41 PM

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