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Thread: Your thoughts on trout parks??

  1. #11

    Default Re: Your thoughts on trout parks??

    I'm with those who have been in Missouri's trout parks. For those who don't know, the parks stock trout daily based on the number of tags sold the day before.

    Trout parks have their own feel and culture, distinct from fishing a wild stream, though there are variances from park to park. I haven't fished Montauk, but it's the most rustic and people report that they can easily get themselves in a situation that feels "wild" and "alone." That isn't the case at Bennett Spring. There will be people within fifty feet of you for sure. That said, I never felt like I wasn't trout fishing, and I like the parks. The people always add to the experience for me.

    All of this makes the trout "eccentric." The nightly stocking puts fish in the water so gullible that they'll hit the first thing that falls on the water. Yet, you can detect a very distinct learning curve, and a trout park fish that survives sees heavy pressure and fly after fly and has maybe been caught and released a few times. They can be really challenging. It ends up being a mix of gullible, learning, and very wise fish. Trout park fish are often very fickle and finicky, and it's because they are being constantly educated or have been already.

    About the trout park culture: First, these places are beautiful and also historic. There'll be Native American traditions about the scenery, and inevitably the hatchery and lodge buildings were built by the Civilian Conservation Corps or some such. Normally, the stream had a mill or dam built by some settler or there was an actual settlement. Remnants of that (or even the mill, in the case of Montauk) will often be present.

    There's also a huge amount of tradition and nostalgia associated with trout parks. There's first of all the culture of the Ozarks. There are traditional flies, techniques, etc. At Bennett, the stream features have names: Bluff Hole, Suzy Hole, State Record Rock, Kingfisher Flat, etc. Some of these names go way, way back. Opening Day is like a carnival, and people anticipate it they way they do opening day of deer season in Minnesota.

    A trout park will often have its personalities and characters, too, especially the busier ones. There are retirees that reside or spend summers around them and fish every day. A number of flyshop owners or people running businesses in the area are easily recognized. I've made relationships with several people that stem from camping in the same campground each summer. If you listen closely to people who frequent the parks a lot, they'll refer to the "the gang." (This is very much a part of the opening day, shoulder to shoulder madhouse. It's a tradition).

    I should add that parks are very family-oriented, too. A trout park is a great place to take kids on a fishing/camping trip.

  2. #12

    Default Re: Your thoughts on trout parks??

    Sounds like what they have in Ecuador. Not really... but they're trout ponds. $.50 and $2.25/lb gets you a broken pole, a treble hook and a days supply of dough balls.

    You really talked them up ffer for men.... to the point that I might want to see what it's all about. ....We have something similar in VA.... $50/day and you can fish all day for pen raised lunkers. Not my thing.... But hey..... if it's all you got.

    ft09


    “If I fished only to capture fish, my fishing trips would have ended long ago.”
    ~Zane Grey

    " . . . shouldn't a man stand on his own two feet and catch his own steelhead? Maybe put out some effort and find his own fish just for the fun of it?"
    ~Syd Glasso

  3. #13
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    Default Re: Your thoughts on trout parks??

    Quote Originally Posted by r reese View Post
    Yes Missouri has 3. Spring fed Rivers stocked daily. Stocked accordingly to how many tags sold daily.
    Sounds like a lot of paperwork for the Fish & Game Dept.
    The only thing human kind ever learned through history, is that through history, human kind has learned nothing.

  4. #14

    Default Re: Your thoughts on trout parks??

    Sounds like a lot of paperwork for the Fish & Game Dept.
    They've been doing it that way for decades, so it's probably a game they are skilled at playing. At an individual park certainly, it would be easy. The tag has to be purchased that day, so a clerk with a pad and a pencil could keep the tallies.

    Last I know, the formula was two fish released per daily tag sold. It had been 2.25 and then one of the hatcheries experienced a flood that killed a number of fish.

    How they responded was revealing about the system: they lowered the released to 2.0 in the parks and then each park shifted some of its fish to the affected hatchery to keep it going. (I think each park has a hatchery, and there's another that feeds Lake Taneycomo in Branson).

    They've done the same thing a couple of other times. I think the two fish thing is still in place.

    Assuming that Montauk State Park on the Current River would qualify as a trout park,

    A trout park seems quite different from a stocked lake or pond which might get stocked once or twice during the year...[I] looked up Missouri Trout Parks.
    It appears they're mostly streams (rather than ponds or lakes) where they stock lots of fish, with sections set aside for different methods of fishing.
    Montauk definitely is a trout park. I haven't visited it, but of the four it's the least park-like and least crowded by most accounts. Bennet Spring is the other end of the scale: it's in many portions like a stream going through a large city park, but there are some wilder areas, too.
    Last edited by Flyfisher for men; 08-14-2017 at 04:53 AM.

  5. #15
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    Default Re: Your thoughts on trout parks??

    SoCal has a few of those. Well, 'had' as Irvine Lake is now closed.

    But it has the infamous "SARL" *Santa Ana River Lakes* which is essentially a cement pond that is stocked with trout during the winter, and catfish during the summer. No license is required, but there is a nice entrance fee.

    Definitely not my cup of tea. I'd rather drive a few hours and fish for wild trout, then fish for "Frankenfish" without any fins or tails that fight like a wet sock.

  6. #16
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    Default Re: Your thoughts on trout parks??

    Quote Originally Posted by darkshadow View Post
    SoCal has a few of those. Well, 'had' as Irvine Lake is now closed.

    But it has the infamous "SARL" *Santa Ana River Lakes* which is essentially a cement pond that is stocked with trout during the winter, and catfish during the summer. No license is required, but there is a nice entrance fee.

    Definitely not my cup of tea. I'd rather drive a few hours and fish for wild trout, then fish for "Frankenfish" without any fins or tails that fight like a wet sock.
    No Frankinfish in Missouri. The trout parks serve a purpose. I have fished them and you see a lot of retirees that can't get around as well. One older gentleman wears his wader pants uses his fly rod and his walking stick, which he uses to actually walk, is one of those with the net attached. He never gets in the water over his ankles. Not only that, the parks keep the Hot Dogs in the park stay off my rivers.

    Bill

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