The opening of trout season is nearing, and avid fly fishermen are already going through their gear and stocking up on the necessities in hopes of bringing home dinner from the icy cold waters of Roaring River State Park.
In an effort to bring local anglers together and get them prepared for the catch-and-keep season, an area fishing club is hoping to reel in new members. Beginning this Thursday, Feb. 2 at 6:30 p.m., the Flies and Lies Club will meet at Denali Dreams coffee shop, located at 316 E. Broadway in Monett. The meetings will continue each Thursday night through March 22.
"Roaring River is a premiere fishing spot here in the Midwest," said Shaun Bennett, owner of Denali Dreams. "People come from all over to fish there.
"The Flies and Lies Club originally began with a group of guys who started tying flies and go fishing together," Bennett continued. "We are having these classes to encourage beginners who would like to learn how to tie their own flies or those just wanting to brush up on their fly-tying skills or learn how to make new ones."
The Flies and Lies Club got its official start last year and is opening up this year to include all interested area anglers.
"The exciting thing is watching people who have never fished to get one on the line," Bennett said. "It's great knowing you tied the fly that caught the fish. It's a pretty cool feeling to be part of that process."
Trout season at Roaring River begins on March 1, and Bennett said by starting the classes in February, anglers will have plenty of flies ready to go for the big day.
"This is a good opportunity for people to stock up on their favorite flies," Bennett said.
Flies are made using natural and synthetic materials in a manner to imitate some form of fish prey, typically nymphs, larvae, midges and flies.
"The great thing about having all these guys together is to find out what works for them," Bennett said. "You have to tie what the fish are eating, whether it's a beetle or the much larger Japanese beetle.
"Often, guys will take a ton of stuff with them when they go fishing," he said. "If they don't have what they need, they tie it right there."
Classes are only held in the late winter or early spring each year.
"The rest of the time, we're too busy fishing," Bennett said.
For more information about the Flies and Lies Club, contact Bennett at Denali Dreams at 417-772-7092. The weekly meetings are open to anyone interested in fishing and tying flies.