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Shoulder to Shoulder at Trout Opener

Feb 19, 2008

When I picture “trout fishing,” it’s often an image of a person alone in a remote stream. But when I picture “trout opener” it’s a whole different scene. March 1 is trout openerthe opening day of Missouri’s main trout-fishing season, and you can be sure that it’s more like a festival of fishing than a silent retreat as people line the edges of the streams at Missouri’s four trout parks to catch their limits.

Years ago, I did a TV story on the opener. It was quite a scene. Mist rose from the icy water on that 20-degree morning. People gathered quietly with their gear. Then the governor sounded the siren and the fishing began with astounding action. For some people it was an annual family event, while others took the day for themselves—and had done so for decades.

If you haven’t experienced this uniquely social fishing celebration, you should check out the possibility at one of the trout parks near you. The right fishing permit and trout park tag—and decent weather—are all you need. This year March 1 is a Saturday, so it just might beat the attendee record of just under 15,000 for the four trout parks that day.

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