Page 1

Trout k l Ta The Woods pass on a family tradition at Bennett Spring Page 3

September 2018


Check us out on Facebook

Stay Monday-Wednesday, Get Thursday Free!


A family tradition Savana Woods of Illinois is continuing a fishing tradition with her kids CHRIS RODEN



t t

t is a long way from Mendota, Ill., the home of the Woods family, to Bennett Spring State Park. It was a seven-hour trip once they hooked their camper behind Ryan Woods’ Dodge diesel pickup truck. Ryan and Savana Woods and their son, Ryder Woods, 9, and daughter, Rylee, 8, came to fish with varying degrees of enthusiasm. The kids were pretty serious about trout fishing when they were not distracted by the little fish near the bank, so much so that a bet was made. “I made a deal with my son: Whoever catches the first fish gets to smack the other in the face with it,” Savana Woods said. It is a promise both parties kept. “I caught the first fish and walked over and smacked him in the face with a trout, He had a dirty fish tail mark across his cheek,” Savana Woods said. Back home, she is a special education aide for the Mendota School District, working for the second through fourth grades.

Trout Talk photo/Chris Roden

Rylee, 8, watches as her mother, Savana Woods, shows her the proper technique for holding a trout and removing the hook, which may or may not have worked every time.


PAGE 4 THE LACLEDE COUNTY RECORD TROUT TALK SEPTEMBER 2018 Her memories of the park sparked the trek to Bennett Spring. or her, fishing is a link to her ast when she would come to fish with her rand a arcus ontagna He taught her some important fishing skills and ut a trout fishing secret in her tackle bo , too “ atience hat was the biggest thing,” Savana Woods said. rand a ontagna could have been a very atient man considering how many fishing artners he had and their ages. “He would drag all the grandkids here, and we d come out and go fishin e would ull u in a little o u cam er and eat fish I m not sure we took any other vacations as kids It was here,” Savana Woods said. Savana Woods hopes to make trips to ennett ring a family tradition It was suggested that returning to ennett ring a second time during the school year might be a good idea since she en oys it so much “ even hours in the car though I d be alright with at least twice a year It d be okay as long as traffic isn t awful, she said avana was facing a return to work on ug , a date she described as coming too soon because of her en oyment of the leasant tem erature and standing on the bank of the stream with her family at the s ring itself, the beginning of great fishing in ennett ring tate ark, that hursday morning, Aug. 9. Her ob rovides a shar contrast to fishing and rela ing “It is very stressful, but it is very rewarding. You take the good with the bad, avana oods said or yan this is ust the first sto on a ourney to his real assion “We’re going to St. Joe State Park so that I can lay on one of my motorcycles for a cou le of days, too hey ve got the off road ark over there hat s my hobby I ust follow along for this stuff, but I d rather ride, yan oods said. He has three off road bikes while avana has a four wheeler “ e ve got a bunch of toys heels and motors, that s what I like, yan said. his was his second tri to the ark, and he a reciated the ark as he

Trout Talk photo/Chris Roden

Ryder, 9, shows the other members of the Woods family that an angler does not need wading shoes in order to be a trout fisherman. fished on a leasant ugust morning “It s a nice ark hey do a good ob kee ing it ke t u and neat, yan Woods said. o the oods family makes the long tri to ennett ring to de stress. ike rand a ontagna, they brought their cam er on the ourney n the ne t tri , the oods robably will not bring their cam er with them based on yan oods o inion of ulling it for seven hours “It s more work than it s worth Prep and prep and prep and prep, and it seems like every other time we use it, something breaks, something goes wrong, something needs re laced lot of work he last time we came down, we stayed in one of these cabins right back here near the s ring hole It was a lot easier, yan Woods said. It did not affect him to stand ne t to the stringer where he had no fish and four out of the five were his wife avana s whose strategy toward bait was to switch it out often and “the brighter the better

“It doesn t bother me a bit, he said It may have been ure ha enstance that he began fishing at another corner of the s ring hole later yan oods is a service manager at a ower s orts dealershi where he too finds some stress “It s a chance to get out of the state and do something different for a few days, yan oods said “ he s been doing since she was little e, not so much little bit here and there, but not much hese guys his kids really en oy it too It s a retty rela ing astime, yan said It has been rela ing for the kids as well yder oods, , was not even mad that his sister caught a fish before he did although he sus ected she was ha y that she had out fished her brother so far He refers to fish barefoot so he can ste out into the waters to grab the occasional little fish in the shallows However, yder is no stranger to catching bigger fish ack home, he caught a four foot gar His father got to deal with retrieving the hook and

line snagged in its im ressive rows of teeth. “ gly fish hey definitely look like a dinosaur, his dad said ylee oods, 8, has a beautiful cast with a nice arc he said it goes e actly where she wants it to sometimes he did have one concern about her own fish, however, des ite en oying fishing so much that she and her brother forgot the family had ski ed breakfast to get to the water early until around am he concern stems from her mother s enchant for naming the fish she catches red, ob and rank were already on the stringer when oe oined them for a soak in the shallows and the occasional thrashing about in the cool water hen ylee later discovered her mother had named her fish also, she was erturbed “She doesn’t get to name mine,” she said. ven so, ylee oods was having a good day, not ust with trout but with “sucker fish “I caught sucker fish with a net, she said Her uses ink bait often while her favorite color is orange he was ha y she did not have to worry about her cat being left behind “ e brought a cat because he s too small to be left alone, ylee oods said His name is enny, named after a favorite motorcycle racer heir kids do not have cell hones and will not for a few years nd their only comes on if it is raining or if it is late at night “ hey re ust kids et them be kids,” Savana Woods said. hey try to encourage them to be outdoors where activity, along with nature, is a mood changer “You don’t see kids outside doing things like this anymore hen they get outside hey re ust ha ier, Savannah Woods said. avana was modest about her fishing skills at the start “I m not too great at it, but I love to do it I could stay out here all day with a fishing ole in my hand, avannah Woods said. he does not have any tro hy fish stuffed and hanging on all a wall “If I had any big ones, I done ate them, Savana Woods said. See ‘FAMILY’/ page 11





Anglers enjoy a rainy day at the park CHRIS RODEN

FOR TROUT TALK If you drive through Bennett Spring State Park on a rainy day in August, you might expect to see fewer anglers wading the cool waters or empty stringers. You would be wrong. The allure of catching a rainbow trout for a good meal lathered in butter and lemon is too much for true anglers to bear. Jim and Celia White from Columbia, Mo., spent their last day at the park facing the intermittent rain wearing rain-resistant jackets and hoping for some nice fish on their stringers hey were ready to brave a mild soaking for the chance at some beautiful rainbow trout. However, they both had lines drawn that would send them scrambling from the stream. elia said she would kee on fishing “unless it’s a real downpour. I won’t stay out in that,” Celia said.

or im, any de arture from fishing would be more about safety than about comfort. Only lightning could drive him from the stream. Otherwise, he was in for the long haul or the short haul if the fish were close in to the bank. He was there to fish and would kee on fishing in the light rain. “I haven’t got enough sense not to,” he said. He is a long-time bass angler and knew more about bass than rainbow trout “It’s not necessarily the rain. It’s the change. Rain will put more oxygen in the water, and sometimes it e cites the fish Sometimes, I’ve seen it rain and not get a bite, and sometimes they just go crazy. I’ve seen them bite in thunderstorms. I’ve seen guys catching bass or about any kind of fish in lightning, which I won t do I m under a dock. That’s just stupid if you ask me,” Jim said. See ‘RAIN’/ page 9

Trout Talk photo/Chris Roden

Mike Nichols and his kids, Aubrey and Aiden, sport the latest in rainwear while Delena Nichols ignores the precipitation that varied from sprinkles to light rain that morning in August. ike said he planned to find a dry place only once their kids would fish no more in the rain.

Pick up a FREE copy of the Weekly Trader Magazine at a location near you! View online at

To advertise, call



Rain And it is not just during the showers or the storm that fish start thinking about food. “Especially before it starts when there’s a front coming in. That’s usually a good time,” he said. Once it begins raining, the fish have more to attract them besides lures and artificial bait. “It gets them excited. Rain washes things into the water, bugs and whatever, and it gets them excited, and therefore, I get excited,” he said. Online, some websites scoff at the idea a change in a barometric pressure changing fish eating habits, saying the weather event that follows a drop in pressure is what sparks a feeding frenzy or, at least, better than average activity by washing food into a stream. However, the Harper Creek Fly Fishing Company website attributes changes in barometric pressure to better or worse fishing. It says lower barometric pressure means less air pressure pressing down on the surface of the water and consequently less pressure on a trout’s air bladder. The less pressure,

from page 7 the more comfortable the trout is and the more likely it is to be in a feeding mood. For an authoritative answer, one would have to ask a trout, and they are not talking, except for the burplike noise they sometimes make out of the water, which could mean they had too much to eat. They certainly do not seem to mind a little rain. Mike Nichols also did not mind the intermittent rain. “It’s a fun thing,” he said. Originally from St. Charles, Mo., he said he had not noticed any increase in the trout biting due to the rain. They were biting just the same. “We’ve had some consistency whether it was raining or not. For us, it’s all about having fun,” he said. His daughter, Aubrey, was the top angler that morning. He said he liked to bring the kids to Bennett Spring Park once a year from their home near San Antonio,Texas. It is a 13-hour drive prompted by a common theme heard from anglers in the park — trout fishing in the park continues a family tradition.

Good Old-Fashioned Food at Prices You Can’t Beat!

The Lunch Box Cafe 106 E. Commercial, Lebanon

(417) 532-2044

Open 6am-2pm • Closed Sundays

“It didn’t have an eye patch,” he said. His sister, Aubrey, 9, was the top angler that morning. She was enjoying fishing in the rain. “it’s fun,” she said. After catching the biggest fish of the day so far, she deduced that she was a better angler on rainy days than sunny ones. “I’m actually terrible at fishing,” she said. Her mother, Delena, was braving the light rain without her raincoat. When the rain increased, she donned one and ended her nonconformity. She was willing to make the long trek from Texas because of what is missing there. “We don’t really have trout down there. It’s too hot,” she said. A cool day in August was a pleasant change for her. So a rainy day in the park just means a change in attire for some anglers, not in their luck and not much change in the biting activities of the fish themselves. A rainy day in Bennett Spring State Park is a good day.


Experience We’re The Place Where the Locals Meet to Eat!

“I like to bring the kids up here about once a year to do some fishing. I used to do it with my grandpa and my dad,” he said. During the light rain, his plan if heavy rain came seemed to be one that might curtail any complaints about missed fishing opportunities later. “If it gets really rainy, we’ll probably stay out here until the kids say they’ve had enough,” he said. Aiden, 11, knew about technicalities and applied the knowledge to his tally of the trout he caught. “Well, technically one because Daddy helped me with one of them. The other two were just little ones,” he said. While he found fishing in the rain okay, he was not as fond of the hooded orange rain poncho he had to wear. “It covers up my hands,” he said. It had not stopped him from hooking a unique fish. He was proud of the one-eyed trout he caught on that rainy day. Asked if the fish had been a pirate fish, he had a common sense answer.


Stay In The Know About Your Favorite Pastime With

TROUT TALK Get your monthly subscription started today for all the information you’ll need to plan your next trip to Bennett Spring State Park and the Lebanon Area.

Plus, all the latest news about fishing, hiking, camping, floating, and so much more! We’ll see you there!

All 8 Issues Delivered To Your Home for only


2018 Publication Dates:



February 23 • March 30 • April 27 • May 25 • June 29 • July 27 • August 31 • September 28

YES! Start My Trout Talk Subscription Mail a $2100 check to: Trout Talk c/o Lebanon Publishing Company P.O. Box 192 • Lebanon, MO 65536 or Call 417-532-9131 Please include your name, address, city, state, and zip code



Trout Talk photo/Chris Roden

For Ryan and Ryder Woods, the fishing sometimes gets a bit rocky no matter how much they are enjoying nature and a pleasant August morning.

from age However, after she caught her fourth fish, her limit, she was a little less modest “I m going to run out of names if I catch any more, avana oods said he said she was retty good at cleaning trout, another gift from rand a ontagna “ hat was always a rule when I would come with my grand a ou catch it, you clean it, I ll hel you cook it, she said However, the cooking hel ty ically came from randma and an aunt “ hen I was little, we had to bring our fish back u to the cam er, and my aunt and my grandma would ut them in tin foil with a whole lot of butter and lemon and ust ut it right over the fire It s sim le, and it tastes great ust watch out for the bones, avana oods said he thinks about her rand a ontagna when she is fishing in the ark and refreshes her memory of a favorite fishing hole

“ hat was the first s ot we went to throw our lines in when the siren went off was his favorite fishing s ot It s over by the bridge, but then it got really crowded oods said sked about her erfect day at ennett, oods listed the criteria and when she e erienced them “ ight now he weather s erfect, it s not overly crowded and I m out here here with a fishing ole in my hands, she said he was not concerned with catching fish or not catching fish he was e eriencing the calming effect of ennett ring tate ark “ hat s how it feels with a fishing ole in my hands I could snag all day long and still not care It s worth it It is even if we don t catch a single fish o ust get outside, stay outside, throw a line in the water, avannah oods said he ne t day, the oods family would leave for another ark and avana could

redict her reaction “I m going to feel a little sad I ve been wanting to come down here for so long, oods said In addition to new memories, she will take with her what she brought a favorite memory of her grand a “ hen I was little, I didn t catch a single fish like all day, and I stayed out there with him I turned my back and all of a sudden there s a fish on my ole I am almost ositive that he took one of his fish and ut it on my line I m about sure He was ama ing, and he knew how to fish hat was all we did down here, avannah oods said hen ylee became a bit frustrated by not catching another fish later in the morning, her mom knew the secret assed down from her grand a and who knows by how many grand as generations back “ ou gotta be atient, she said

Trout Talk September 2018  

Trout Fishing At Bennett Springs Outside Lebanon, MO.

Trout Talk September 2018  

Trout Fishing At Bennett Springs Outside Lebanon, MO.