fishing the small trout streams of the missouri ozarks
Two Examples of smaller Missouri Ozark streams are Little Piney Creek, just South of Rolla, and Blue Springs Creek, just South of Bourbon. There are quite a few others, which are listed at Missouri Trout Fishing.
The small trout streams that dot southern Missouri are the hidden jewels of our region.There are ten such streams in the Ozarks that have public access, all of which are in Missouri. There are many others that flow through private land. If you do a little research, you should be able to find a couple of these streams. Most landowners around here are friendly, but make sure to ask permission before fishing on private land. If asked properly, many will say yes. Small trout streams in Missouri range from tiny brooks to small rivers, but all of them have quite a few common traits. First, all are heavily spring-fed. Second most are high gradient streams, with good current. They all provide good fishing for rainbow trout, and some also hold browns. None of these streams get a large amount of fishing pressure, and you can often fish in complete solitude.
These streams are managed in several different ways. Most are managed for wild rainbow trout. Most of these fish run small, but they are some of the most beautiful fish you'll find anywhere. Also, a certain percentage of these trout do grow large, allowing the occasional chance to take a large fish. The rest of the streams are stocked streams, usually receiving several trout stockings each year. The trout stocked in these streams usually run between ten and twelve inches, and even the fresh stockers put up a good fight. Trout have a better chance to grow large in these streams. Also, these stocked trout seem to be a little bit easier to catch.
There are certainly some difficulties to fishing these small streams. The primary issue is the vegetation in and around the streams. On most of these trout creeks, backcasting room falls somewhere between limited and non-existent. Also, especially in the wild trout streams, fish tend to be spooky. If you cast too much of a shadow, wear too bright of clothes, or wade noisily, you will defeat your purpose before you even take your first cast. Stocked trout tend to be a little more forgiving, but not much.
Many trout fisherman in Missouri don't even know about these streams. But every serious trout fisherman owes it to themselves to give these creeks a try. They hold a certain charm that you just can't find on a large river. As a special bonus, many of these streams are located in extraordinarily pretty parts of the state.