Spring is in the air for Missouri, Kansas trout fishermen

The rainbow trout is spreading spring fever in Missouri, Kansas as fishing season openers near.
The rainbow trout is spreading spring fever in Missouri, Kansas as fishing season openers near. bfrazee@kcstar.com

For trout fishermen, the unofficial arrival of spring is near.

A flurry of season openers and special events signal that winter is almost over, regardless of what the calendar might say.

▪ Mike Valla, one of the nation’s leading authorities on the history of fly fishing, will be the featured speaker when the Heart of America Fly Fishers holds its spring program Saturday at the Cabela’s store in Kansas City, Kan.

The program, which is open to the public, will run from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Valla, the author of five books on fly tying, will give a talk and will also help others tie dry flies during the program. Registration will cost $45, which includes lunch.

▪ The much-awaited trout opener at Johnson County parks is close.

Trout will be stocked Wednesday at 2:30 p.m. at Kill Creek Park Lake and at 3:45 p.m. at Shawnee Mission Park Lake. Once the fish are stocked, the lakes will be closed to fishing until 8 a.m. Feb. 27, when the spring season opens.

Fishermen will be casting for more than just the big ones this year. Several trout will be tagged, and those tags can be redeemed for prizes.

▪ The traditional trout opener at Missouri’s four trout parks — Bennett Spring near Lebanon, Roaring River near Cassville, Montauk near Salem, and Maramec Spring near St. James — will take place March 1.

As usual, the streams will be stocked heavily by the Missouri Department of Conservation and big crowds are anticipated.

Fishing will open at 6:30 a.m., but you’d better get there early to get a spot to fish.

▪ Fishermen also will follow tradition at Wyandotte County Lake when the trout season opens March 5.

The Unified Government will stock the suburban lake heavily with trout in advance of the opener. Fishing will start at 6 a.m.

▪ The Kansas City Chapter of Trout Unlimited will be host to the International Fly Fishing Film Festival on March 16.

The festival will take place at the Glenwood Arts Theatre, 3707 W. 95th St., in Leawood. Doors will open at 6 p.m. for a social hour, with the films starting at 7 p.m.

The festival features short and feature-length films from across the world, showcasing the passion and culture of fly fishing. Tickets will cost $10 in advance and $15 at the door, with a large number of raffle tickets available to those who pay for a ticket.

Tickets can be purchased at the K&K Fly Fishers shop in Overland Park or by going to the website, www.flyfilmfest.com.

Land-management workshop

Want to make your land more “wildlife-friendly?”

Here’s your chance to get some advice from the experts. The Missouri Department of Conservation will offer a Conservation Management Workshop from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Tuesday at the Bass Pro Shops in Independence.

The free program will provide tips on native plants that are useful for wildlife and landscaping, ways to improve wildlife habitat, timber management, and ways to reduce problems from invasive species.

Advance registration is required. Call 816-228-3766 to sign up.