Looking for a sure-fire cure for cabin fever? Fishermen won’t have to wait long.
The trout season marks the unofficial start of spring for many anglers. And that antidote for the winter blues arrives Saturday.
Here’s a look at the schedule for the trout openers in Kansas and Missouri:
- Johnson County’s Shawnee Mission and Kill Creek lakes will get the jump on other area waters when their trout seasons open at 8 a.m. Saturday.
- The time-honored opener at Missouri’s four trout parks will take place March 1. Thousands will flock to Bennett Spring (near Lebanon), Roaring River (near Cassvile), Montauk (near Salem) and Maramec Spring (near St. James) to fish well-stocked waters. The first casts will fly at 6:30 a.m.
- Tradition also will be served when the season opens March 4 at Wyandotte County Lake in Kansas City, Kan. The season will start at 6 a.m.
- Trout fishing already is open at Kansas City-area lakes stocked by the Missouri Department of Conservation. Coot and Nell lakes in the James A. Reed Memorial Wildlife Area near Lee’s Summit, the lakes in the Fountain Bluff Athletic Complex in Liberty and Chaumiere Lake in Liberty were recently stocked and will be get another batch of trout later.
For many fishermen who greet the trout season with enthusiasm, this is a sign that winter’s end is in sight. Fishermen who desire solitude and treasure the peace and quiet of nature tolerate quite different conditions on the trout opener.
At the Missouri trout parks, they stand elbow-to-elbow as they honor tradition.
“I normally like to avoid crowds when I fish,” said Chey Snyder, 82, who lives in Grandview, Mo. “But the trout opener is different. It really isn’t about fishing. It’s about tradition.
“I don’t care what the weather is like, I have to be there for the opener.”
Snyder and his friends have braved white-knuckle drives from the Kansas City area to Bennett Spring in the worst of conditions. Snyder remembers driving on icy roads, through snowstorms and into driving rain to make it to south-central Missouri for the trout opener.
“It’s kind of crazy,” he said with a laugh. “But there’s not much that would keep me from being at Bennett for the opener.”