Susan Spess Shay

Still playing make believe.

Get the Roar

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The first time I Roared was a long, long time ago. I was in college, and the drama group went to the Branson area to see the play, “Shepherd of the Hills.” If you haven’t seen it when you were visiting Branson, check it out. It’s great.

But before we got to the play, we stopped near Cassville, Missouri, at Roaring River State Park.

I love fishing, so when I found myself at a fish hatchery, I was in heaven. We didn’t stay long enough for me to wet a line, but I promised myself I’d go back someday.

I did. 🙂

The next time I went, I was MWOC. (Married Without Chrildren.)

We stopped by on our way someplace else. When we pulled up, they were moving the fish. They graduate by size from one pool to another.

The graduation ceremony was in a pickup. No kidding. They lined a pickup bed with a tarp, filled it with water, caught a bunch of fingerlings in a net and tossed them up and over, right into the bed of that truck.

It gave a whole new meaning to flying fish. 🙂

They drove to another cement pond, opened the tailgate and let them out.

I was amazed by the process. When they finished, we walked along the trails and found out way into a cave the river went into. You could see huge rainbow trout deep in the water.

No fishing allowed in that area.

Then several years later when we were MWC, we went again. This time we rented a cabin and stayed a couple of days. Nothing fancy, just a safe, clean place to stay.

The hatchery released fish early in the morning, and fishermen lined the river banks, trying to catch them.

Because our littlest boys were only about two and four, Gary, Danny and I did most of the fishing. Well, Gary and Danny did. I couldn’t get much fishing in because I couldn’t pay attention to my line and my kiddos.

And my kiddos were way more important to me than catching fish.

Matt, Gary and in the striped shorts, Danny.

Fishing probably isn’t the best vaca plan if you have fairly small kids, unless they’re like I was when I was little.

Grandma said she’d fix me a pole with just a weight and no hook when I was that small, and I’d sit and fish for hours. Made her feel guilty. 😉

Anyway, the little boys played way more than they fished. The weeds and wildflowers were about waist high on them, but they plowed right through and had a great time.

The only other people I remember fishing that day were Amish. I could tell by their dress and lack of buttons.  A very cute teenaged Amish girl with a man I figured was her new husband, because she flirted like nothing I’d seen in a religious girl. I figured they were on their honeymoon.

We didn’t catch any fish. No one near us caught a fish. In fact, I’ve never seen a fish caught there.

Why? I’m not sure. Maybe trout don’t bite on the days when I’m there. Or maybe the hatchery feeds those babies just before they release them.

Or maybe the trout are so smart, they’re making tracks for Kansas and don’t have time to stop for a nibble.

We caught something else that day, though. The world’s smallest ticks. Smaller than seed ticks. Smaller than flakes of pepper. So small, you couldn’t grab them with a pair of tweezers. They only way to get them off was by scraping with your fingernail.

And you know a tick’s favorite place to bite? Your tenderest parts.

Please, don’t visit Roaring River if you need to catch enough fish to feed you for the winter. Probably won’t happen.

Only go there if you want a laid back, easy time away from home. The area is beautiful. Hiking trails plentiful. There’s even a swimming area, although we didn’t use it.

You can see more pictures on their website. Some of these pictures came from there.

The one of my fam is mine. 🙂

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Author: Susan Shay

For as long as I can remember, I've loved two things--reading and people--and that led me to become a writer. Many of my stories are set in Small Town Worlds. I'm a wife, mother, sibling and an aunt. I have a deep faith in God, and an exciting life in Christ. Maybe I shouldn't be (after all, he's God!) but I'm constantly amazed at the things He's up to. :)

I'm so glad you dropped by my Small Town World! Hope you'll leave a comment. I really enjoy hearing from you!

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