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(Rules and Regs are accurate to the best of our knowledge. Verify all of these prior to fishing at the MDC Website)

 

This is just a quick look at the notable trout streams in this state, just to give you an idea what to expect in other articles. This is far from a full guide, but it just is intended to give you a few places to look, and a few methods with which to catch them. I hope you find it helpful.

Trout Park

 

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The Missouri trout parks are all large spring creeks that receive daily stockings of rainbow trout. Their regulations vary by zones, but except for in special catch and release areas, you can take home four trout. There is no length limit on rainbows (the species that is most heavily stocked), but browns must be 15" to keep, and you can only creel one per day. Generally, you will find three different zones in Missouri trout parks. There is usually a fly fishing only zone, an artificials only zone, and a bait fishing zone. Missouri does this to accommodate all sorts of fisherman.

 

White Ribbon

 

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White Ribbon areas are spread throughout the Missouri Ozarks. These are our more normal catch and keep rainbow trout streams. Several of them also receive stockings of brown trout.

 

These are not generally great places to look for a trophy, but generally provide easy fishing for gullible trout. You can keep four trout, and there is no length limit on rainbows. Only one of these trout may be a brown, and all brown trout must be 15" to creel.

 

Red Ribbon

 

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Missouri's Red Ribbon Trout areas are managed with the intent to produce trophy brown trout. They receive stockings once or twice a year, and fishing is easy for these smaller stocked brown trout. However, all Red Ribbon areas have healthy populations of holdover trout which tend to be difficult to catch. All areas also hold decent populations of rainbow trout as well. You can creel two trout, and all must 15", regardless of whether they are rainbow or brown. Tackle restrictions vary by stream.

 

Blue Ribbon

 

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Missouri trout streams with the best habitat are managed as Blue Ribbon management areas. Every stream has a significant population of wild rainbow trout, and some also receive yearly plantings of hatchery trout to boost the wild populations. The size of these streams range from tiny brooks to large rivers. You can only keep one trout per day, and it must be 18". Artificial lures and flies only are permitted.

 

Current River

 

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Short description:

The Current River is an excellent trout river, beginning as a trout park, transforming into a Blue Ribbon Trout Area, and finally a White Ribbon Trout Area. This is a stream that has something to offer for everyone, and the fishing is great all year long.

 

Trout Species:

Rainbow

Brown

 

Popular Baits (Not allowed in the Blue Ribbon Trout Area):

Powerbait

Corn

Nightcrawlers

Trout Worms

Prepared Baits

 

Popular Lures:

small spinners and spoons

white marabou jigs

crawfish crankbaits

minnow crankbaits

 

Popular Flies:

Glo-bugs

mini-jigs

prince nymph

pheasant tail nymph

woolly bugger

elk hair caddis

adams

 

Length of Managed Trout Water

20 miles

 

Trout Water Management Types:

Trout Park

Blue Ribbon

White Ribbon

 

Best Season:

Year-round

 

Overall Fishing Quality:

Good to excellent

 

Floatable:

Yes. It's a world class float and fish stream.

 

Eleven Point River

 

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Short description:

Beginning at Greer Spring, the Eleven Point  provides anglers with twenty miles of excellent rainbow trout fishing, with excellent opportunities to catch both stocked and wild trout. It's a national wild and scenic river, which protects its banks from any commercialization or development. It's the ultimate wilderness float and fish stream.

 

Trout Species:

Rainbow

 

Popular Baits (Not allowed in Blue Ribbon Area)

Minnows

nightcrawlers

red worms

mealworms

 

Popular Lures:

Crawfish crankbaits

small spinners

minnow crankbaits

 

Popular Flies:

Don's Crawdad

woolly bugger

pheasant tail nymph

elk hair caddis

Mother of All Tungsten

 

Length of Managed Trout Water

20 miles

 

Management Types:

Blue Ribbon

White Ribbon

 

Best Season:

Year-round

 

Overall Fishing Quality:

Good

 

Floatable:

Yes

 

North Fork of the White River

 

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Short description:

The excellent trout water of the North Fork of the White River begins at Rainbow Spring, and extends to Dawt Mill Dam. Throughout this area, excellent fishing can be had for wild rainbow trout and trophy brown trout.

 

Trout Species:

Rainbow

Brown

 

Popular Trout Baits (allowed in Red Ribbon Area only):

Sculpin

minnows

nightcrawlers

crayfish

 

Popular Lures:

Small spinners

crankbaits

 

Popular Flies:

Stonefly

Dons Crawdad

Crackleback

Elk Hair Caddis

Pheasant Tail

Prince Nymph

Hare's ear nymph

 

Length of Managed Trout Water

17 miles

 

Management Types:

Blue Ribbon

Red Ribbon

 

Best Season:

Year-round

 

Overall Fishing Quality:

World Class

 

Floatable:

Yes

 

Meramec River/Spring Park

 

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Short Description:

This is the closest big trout stream to St. Louis, but fishing pressure is really pretty light, although floaters are pretty thick on summer weekends. The best trout fishing begins at the river's confluence with Maramec Spring Park, and extends for seven miles to the Scotts Ford Access. In the main river, fishing is mostly for brown trout, some of which reach trophy size. The Spring Park is very different. It is daily stocked with rainbow trout, and receives very high fishing pressure. Many of these Rainbow trout escape into the main river, which creates quality rainbow trout fishing in the Red Ribbon area.

 

Trout Species:

Rainbow

Brown

 

Popular Trout Baits (allowed in Maramec Spring Branch only, not allowed in Red Ribbon Area):

Powerbait

canned corn

nightcrawlers

various dough baits

 

Popular Lures:

Small spinners

marabou jigs

crankbaits

 

Popular Flies:

Glo-bugs

scud

Pheasant Tail

Elk hair caddis

 

Length of Managed Trout Water:

8 miles (including spring branch)

 

Best Season:

Year-round (fishing can be difficult in the Red Ribbon area during July and August, but fish can always be found)

 

Management Types:

Trout Park

Red Ribbon

 

Public Access:

Accessible at Maramec Spring Park, several gravel roads, and Scotts Ford Bridge

 

Overall Fishing Quality:

Fair to excellent

 

Floatable:

Not allowed in spring branch, but the Meramec River is an excellent floating stream.

 

Little Piney Creek

 

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Short Description:

This brook in the northern Ozarks of Missouri is one of the best wild trout streams in the region. Still, it gets almost no attention. Its 150 rainbow trout per mile are eager biters, and are rarely selective. They are however, easily spooked. Below the Blue Ribbon Area lies the White Ribbon Area, a classic put and take trout fishery.

 

Trout Species:

Rainbow

 

Popular Trout Baits (White Ribbon Area Only):

minnows

worms

corn

salmon eggs

powerbait

 

Popular Lures:

Small spinners and spoons (1/16 ounce or smaller)

 

Popular Flies:

 

Pheasant Tail Nymph

Hare's Ear Nymph

Elk Hair Caddis

San Juan Worm

Glo-bug

 

Length of Managed Trout Water:

10 miles

 

Best Season:

Highway 63 bridge downstream to Milldam Hollow: Year-round, Milldam Hollow downstream to Cr 7360: Spring and Fall

 

Management Types:

  • Blue Ribbon

  • White Ribbon

 

Public Access:

  • Highway 63 Bridge

  • Lane Spring Recreation Area

  • Vida Slab (Cr. 7460) bridge

  • Milldam Hollow, Cr. 7360

 

Overall Fishing Quality:

good

 

Floatable:

Local rain dependant

 

Niangua River/Bennett Spring

 

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Short Description:

Two meadow streams in Southwestern Missouri, Bennett Spring Branch and the Niangua River offer two very different fishing experiences. Bennett Spring is stocked daily with rainbow trout, and is wade fishing only. The Niangua below Bennett Spring is not only an excellent trout river, it is also a world class float stream. The fishing stems from escaped trout from Bennett Spring Park, as well as monthly stockings of rainbow trout put straight into the river. s Bait fishing is the most popular method on both streams, although fly fishing can be extremely productive.

 

Trout Species:

  • Brown

  • Rainbow

 

Popular Trout Baits:

  • Trout worms

  • Powerbait

  • canned corn

  • Velveeta cheese

  • Zeke's Floating Bait

  • nightcrawlers

  • minnows

  • sculpin

  • crayfish

  • salmon eggs

 

Popular Lures:

  • small spinners and spoons

  • crankbaits

  • Rapala Countdown

  • Rebel Crawfish

  • mini-jigs

  • marabou jigs

 

Popular Flies:

 

Length of Managed Trout Water:

12 miles

 

Best Season:

year-round

 

Management Types:

  • Trout Park

  • White Ribbon Area

 

Public Access:

  • Bennett Spring Park (allows access to both Bennett Spring Branch and Niangua River White Ribbon Area)

  • Barclay Access

  • Prosperine Access

 

Overall Fishing Quality:

Excellent to World Class

 

Floatable:

Yes

 

Mill Creek

 

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Short Description:

A few years ago, the wild trout population of Mill Creek seemed doomed. This once vibrant spring creek seemed to be dying a slow death, with less flows, and lower trout populations every year. Finally, things are looking up for this pretty little brook, and trout populations seem to be re-establishing themselves. Trout populations went from dangerously low several years ago, to about 150 per mile now. That is a very good number for such a small creek.

 

Trout Species:

  • 100% wild rainbows

 

Popular Trout Lures:

  • 1/32 ounce spinners

 

Popular Trout Flies:

 

Length of Managed Trout Waters: 

 5 miles

 

Best Season:

Holds trout year-round, but fishes best when the water levels are up.

 

Management Types:

Blue Ribbon Area

 

Public Access:

Mill Creek Recreation Area

 

Overall Fishing:

Quality Poor to excellent (depends on water levels)

 

Floatable:

No

 

Blue Spring Creek

 

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Short Description:

Of all the self sustaining wild trout creeks in Missouri, the highest densities of trout are found in Blue Spring Creek, with almost 300 trout per mile. Few people would know it though, because the trout in this baby sized creek are about the spookiest fish in the entire state. This is a creek for the person who loves extremely challenging wild trout fishing in a tiny creek, for fish in the seven to twelve inch range. This stream is a wade fisherman's dream, with flows far too small to float, and easy access via Blue Spring Conservation area. All but the first few hundred yards of the stream is public water. If you bore of wild rainbows, the Meramec River below the stream's mouth produces well for smallmouth and catfish.

 

Trout Species:

  • Wild Rainbow

 

Popular Trout Lures:

  • 1/32 ounce spinners

  • tiny spoons

 

Popular Trout Flies:

 

Length of Managed Trout Water:

  • 3 miles

 

Management Types:

Blue Ribbon

 

Public Access:

Blue Spring Creek Conservation Area

 

Overall Fishing Quality:

Excellent, although only careful fisherman will know it.

 

Floatable:

Definitely not

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Baptist Camp - Current River

Baptist Camp Access on Current River in Winter

Eleven Point River

Eleven Point River

Montauk Trout Park
Blue Springs Creek
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