Outdoor Channel heads to state park

Wednesday, May 13, 2015
Joe Thomas, host of STIHL Reel in the Outdoors on the Outdoor Network, will be on hand for Kids' Fishing Day Saturday at Roaring River State Park. Contributed photo

'STIHL Reel in the Outdoors with Joe Thomas' to be at Kids' Fishing Day

Kids' Fishing Day at Roaring River State Park on Saturday will be a little more exciting than normal, as the Outdoor Channel's Joe Thomas, host of "STIHL Reel in the Outdoors," will be on hand to help children, sign autographs and, hopefully, pull out a few trout for himself.

Thomas, mainly a bass fisherman, said he has never been to Roaring River, and he's excited to change gears with the trout lines and to help children cast their lines as well.

The Outdoor Channel's truck and boat will be on hand Saturday at Kids' Fishing Day. Contributed photo

"I'm looking forward to it because I have never been and I know [Missouri State Parks] does a really nice job, and going to a kids event will be really cool," he said. "I'm excited to come and see all the kids fishing because that's the growth of the sport and they are the future of the sport."

Thomas said he plans to bring some autographed trading cards to hand out to children, and he plans to interact with the children while they fish. He also said the Outdoor Channel's truck and boat will be on site for people to see.

"Trout is not my expertise, but I have fished for trout before on a few other show I have shot," he said. "The bulk of this show will be bass fishing on Table Rock Lake, heading from Table Rock Lake State Park. But, I'll be at Roaring River Saturday

morning to capture the kids' event, to interact with people and to show some features of the park.

"STIHL is our title sponsor, and I've been working with them for a long time, and they've been working with state parks services all over the U.S. to promote state parks and help with their programs. They set this whole thing up and are one of the reasons we are coming."

Thomas was originally scheduled to come to Opening Day on March 1, but a few inches of snow in the area kept him from being able to attend.

"I have a record of bringing bad weather every time I come to Missouri, so hopefully, it's different this time," he said.

Also on hand, representing STIHL, will be Roger Phelps, promotional communications manager, who is also making his first trip to Barry County.

"We wanted to come on Opening Day, but we didn't want to send Joe off the edge of a cliff, so we rescheduled and we are really looking forward to spending some time with Bill Bryan, [director of Missouri State Parks], and all the kids," he said.

Phelps emphasized the connection between STIHL and the state parks department.

"We want to highlight all they are doing at the state parks," Phelps said. "So, we'll be interacting with the kids, swapping tips and filming a little bit for the show."

Thomas, who will be at the park until about noon, when he will head to Table Rock Lake, said the episode of "STIHL Reel in the Outdoors" with the Roaring River footage is scheduled to air sometime between October and December. An exact date was not available.

Paul Spurgeon, Roaring River Hatchery manager, said he expects about $1,200 children to come to the event, and the hatchery will stock about 3,000 extra fish for the incoming anglers.

A semi-annual tradition since 1981, Kids' Fishing Day will be at the top half of Zone 1, from the first bridge to the hatchery designated especially for children. Trout tags for children will be free, and those who attend need only bring a pole and tackle. There will also be 30 classes offered throughout the day, with the first offered at 9 a.m. and the last offered at 3:30 p.m. Classes include things like: fly casting, air rifle target shooting, archery, stream table display, your watershed, fly tying and more.

Children who attend three or more classes may be entered into a prize drawing at 5 p.m. There will also be bluegrass music played throughout the day.

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