Without a doubt, fall is my favorite season. The first time that air turns crisp, I’m as giddy as a schoolgirl.
For past several years, my grandparents have traveled to Roaring River State Park to go fly fishing in the fall, and I’ve been lucky enough to tag along for a weekend during their stay. (Aren’t they the cutest?)
Not only does this mini-getaway weekend provide quality time with my grandparents, but it always gets me geared up and ready for fall. The weather is cool at night (the low was 48 degrees when we were there) and not too hot during the day (mid 70’s). Plus the leaves start to change earlier in Missouri than they do in Texas, It’s just beautiful. This time away is also great for me to make myself “unplug” because there is ZERO phone service. None. Sometimes it seems nice, but it always freaks me out a bit – I keep carrying around my phone just in case I get some kind of alert. Even so, being “off the grid” gives me the opportunity to recharge for the store’s busy season, and that’s a blessing.
My grandparents usually take their RV to Roaring River and we stay in a cabin nearby, but this year they decided to not mess with the RV and stay in a cabin themselves. The other cabins were booked, so mom and I stayed in an Inn on the park grounds.
Behold, my favorite fly fishing spot on the river. It’s my happy place. I like standing on the rocks instead of the riverbank because the sound of the water rolling over them is peaceful… (and less slippery).
One of my favorite “river activities” is to tie flies with granddad. He’s color blind, so he makes the most interesting flies. They’re never the normal colors, and I think that makes it more fun. I also enjoy getting to be creative and see how my flies fare in use.
This particular lure got taken by a big fish the moment it hit the water. How do I know? There was a huge tug on the line and when I reeled it in a bit, the lure AND the tippet snapped off. (Sigh, it was the big one that got away – they always take my pink ones.)
The daily trout limit at Roaring River State Park is 4 per person, so once we caught our limit, we would head to the cleaning station (details on my gdad’s method here if you’re interested – be advised it may be graphic to some viewers). I ended up cleaning most of the fish this go-round because honestly I wanted the practice and granddad was happy to let me have it.
It feels so rewarding to catch your own lunch! While had fun trying new recipes with our freshly caught trout – fish tacos, fish salad (like chicken salad) and baked fish with lemon and herbs… everyone’s favorite preparation of the trout is simple – coated in cornmeal and fried. Nothing beats fresh fried rainbow trout. It’s delicious.
Not a bad spread considering that the closest grocery store is at least 10 miles away (and we only had the fryer and a toaster oven to cook with)!
In the early afternoon when it’s too hot to fish, we like to drive into Cassville to go antique shopping. There’s always treasure to be found.
Once said treasure is found, sometimes you have to mail it home because it won’t fit in your carryon – oops. While at the Cassville, Missouri post office, I was blown away by their gorgeous mailboxes! They were enchanting (just look at the design detail).
On the last morning of our trip, mom and I were able to catch the most beautiful sunrise. It was truly breathtaking, and a great end to our weekend away.