Bennett Spring State Park, Missouri

spm

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I know I usually write about the Current River and Montauk State Park here in Missouri, but we have several very nice trout parks. Yes, the trout are pond raised and stocked, but can still be fun and a challenge to catch.

But back to the title of this post. Bennett Spring is also located in the Ozarks, on the Niagua river. Like the Current and other streams here, it is spring-fed, so the water is cold and clear. As a park, I think Bennett Spring is superior to Montauk. It is better maintained, the cabins are nicer, the lodge and restaurant are better. I guess I should stop here and state these are my opinions only and others are certainly free to disagree. I know Flyfisherformen is a regular visitor and has posted about Bennett several times.

Once a year, in the autumn, my wife and I and two other couples rent cabins at Bennett Spring State Park. Last week was this years trip. This is not necessarily a fishing trip, but we do fish a little. This is more social, having dinner together, sitting around the fire, catching up on families, solving the problems of the world, discussing the merits of different single malts. Sometimes this last item takes a little longer and includes more than one entry, but we persevere.

So, here are a few pictures from Bennett Spring State Park in Missouri. No fish pictures, just the park. I hope you like them.

Thanks,
steve


Our cabin.
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This is the spring that feeds the river.
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Just below the spring.
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Yes, it can get a little crowded. Actually, this isn't too bad.
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herchammer

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Steve, I was at Bennett, three days last week. It is a beautiful setting, and a great representation of Ozarks scenery! Sounds like a great trip! And the single malt discussions? I'm in if you ever need a stand-in.

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spm

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Steve, I was at Bennett, three days last week. It is a beautiful setting, and a great representation of Ozarks scenery! Sounds like a great trip! And the single malt discussions? I'm in if you ever need a stand-in.

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We were there Mon-Wed. When were you there?

s.
 

herchammer

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We were there Mon-Wed. When were you there?

s.
I was there from about 1:00 until 5:00 on Monday, Tuesday I was there a little before the whistle until about 10:30 (had to drive back up to Lake of the Ozarks) Wednesday training ended around 3:00 so I drove down and fished until about 6:15. Had a great time, and I thought the weather was great. I spent a couple of hours that Sunday prior, at Roaring River.

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mridenour

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My first trout was caught at Bennett Springs about 50 years ago. Ooooh, that makes me sound sooooo old.

It is a beautiful stream. I had a friend that retired and fished there every day during the week. He passed away fishing there. I can't imagine what his wife thought when he came floating past her in the water but when it is my time to go, I hope I am doing what I love most like he was.

Lots of memories from there over the years.
 

jgentile

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Nice post Steve!

We are indeed blessed here in "The Show Me State" to have both wild trout streams as well as the State run trout parks. While I personally choose not to fish the parks (disclaimer fished Bennett once) I intend to teach my grand children to fish either at Bennett or Montauk so when their attention wanes they can go run and jump and play at the park. They are great resources.

FYI, The Niangua downstream from the park is great native, wild smallmouth water. In the winter when the spring is warmer than the river the smallies will come on up in the park.
 

herchammer

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Nice post Steve!

We are indeed blessed here in "The Show Me State" to have both wild trout streams as well as the State run trout parks. While I personally choose not to fish the parks (disclaimer fished Bennett once) I intend to teach my grand children to fish either at Bennett or Montauk so when their attention wanes they can go run and jump and play at the park. They are great resources.

FYI, The Niangua downstream from the park is great native, wild smallmouth water. In the winter when the spring is warmer than the river the smallies will come on up in the park.
Not to hijack the thread, but, I have a question. Have any of you fished Capps Creek, or Crane Creek lately? I caught my first trout, quite unexpectedly, whilst camping on a friend's farm, that was situated on a stretch of Crane Creek. That was almost thirty years ago, and neither my Dad, nor I had any idea about the McCloud population there. Good memory!

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spm

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Not to hijack the thread, but, I have a question. Have any of you fished Capps Creek, or Crane Creek lately? I caught my first trout, quite unexpectedly, whilst camping on a friend's farm, that was situated on a stretch of Crane Creek. That was almost thirty years ago, and neither my Dad, nor I had any idea about the McCloud population there. Good memory!

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I have not, nor was I aware of history. Good information. Thanks for posting.

steve
 

jgentile

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The wild trout streams are in fine shape. Haven't fished Capps this year. Got a little low this summer as usual, but fall is looking good so far.
 

troutn

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My first trout was caught at Bennett Springs about 50 years ago. Ooooh, that makes me sound sooooo old.

It is a beautiful stream. I had a friend that retired and fished there every day during the week. He passed away fishing there. I can't imagine what his wife thought when he came floating past her in the water but when it is my time to go, I hope I am doing what I love most like he was.

Lots of memories from there over the years.
Good "ole" Lester and his minnow jar!
 

jonbo

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Hey fellas, I'm loving this discussion. My wife and I like to stay in cabins that are close to good trout fishing waters. My wife hangs out on the cabin deck or walks around the area. I fish. So far our trips have taken us around Arkansas and Oklahoma. God willing, we'll be in Tennessee in two weeks. But, I've been curious about the Missouri Ozarks for some time. Bennett Spring looks like a very nice park. We might end up there one of these days. I'm very curious, though, about the wild trout streams that some of you mentioned, kind of in passing. Could someone possibly list several of them so I could do a little research? The only one I know about is the North Fork of the White. Do any of these streams have cabins for rent on or close by them that anyone knows of? Thanks, guys!
 

herchammer

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Hi jonbo, there are a few wild trout streams in Missouri. The Missouri Dept. Of Conservation lists them under blue ribbon streams. I've personally fished Crane Creek, and part of the Little Piney. Crane Creek is unique in Missouri, as it is the home of a naturally reproducing, self-sustained population of McCloud rainbow trout. There's also Mill Creek, Barren Fork Creek, the Current River, Spring Creek, Eleven Point River, and North Fork of the White River. Missouri's Department of Conservation has a pretty good website, that locates our trout fishing opportunities.

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jonbo

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Thanks, Herchammer! I'll definitely have a look at Crane Creek. We've been studying the Current River, too. (I find a place to fish, my wife looks at cabins and other things to do). We were planning to go to the Driftless Region in Iowa in about a year, but that may have changed. My sister appears to be about to move to Durango, CO and has invited us to visit. The San Juan River may take precedent.
 

herchammer

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I had the opportunity to hit the park again, today. It was a four hour drive in rain and traffic, but, worth every minute. I arrived at Bennett a little before 11:00, and it was still raining; I found a spot near the cabins and parked. The rain stopped by 11:30 and I got out of the van, and rigged the 3wt. I tied on a length of 5x tippet to which I attached a #18 elk hair caddis in tan. There was only one other truck in the lot, a couple of guys fishing upstream from where I had decided to try my luck. It was perfect, not many people, and cool enough to be comfortable. I watched as the fish rose, some jumped clear of the water, while others merely came to the surface and sipped. I stripped some line from my reel, and began to false cast to get the line out. I let the line out, and the elk hair lit softly on the surface. I watched as it drifted, and tried to mend to extend the effective drift. Several interested parties, but, no takers; still, a good sign. I cast back upstream, and tended the drift........now then, there's a good 'bow........ah yes! I watch the take, set the hook, and allow myself to revel in the feel of the tightened line. I had it in my mind to follow the "keep 'em wet" mantra and decided to fish rather than photograph. It turned into an absolutely fantastic day! I fished until 4:00, and never even noticed the passing of the day, it was wonderful. Today saw more trout brought to hand than any of my previous outings; beautiful fish ranging from 10" to 14" and healthy. I took one photo, this rainbow is a pretty good representation of the day's catches.
[/IMG]

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spm

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I just caught this. Nice to see I'm getting some decent press!

Great pics and post. Oh my, to be at Bennett Springs...
Flyfisher for men,
I was wondering where you were. Hadn't heard from you in a while. Hope all is well.

steve

---------- Post added at 09:13 AM ---------- Previous post was at 09:12 AM ----------

I had the opportunity to hit the park again, today. It was a four hour drive in rain and traffic, but, worth every minute. I arrived at Bennett a little before 11:00, and it was still raining; I found a spot near the cabins and parked. The rain stopped by 11:30 and I got out of the van, and rigged the 3wt. I tied on a length of 5x tippet to which I attached a #18 elk hair caddis in tan. There was only one other truck in the lot, a couple of guys fishing upstream from where I had decided to try my luck. It was perfect, not many people, and cool enough to be comfortable. I watched as the fish rose, some jumped clear of the water, while others merely came to the surface and sipped. I stripped some line from my reel, and began to false cast to get the line out. I let the line out, and the elk hair lit softly on the surface. I watched as it drifted, and tried to mend to extend the effective drift. Several interested parties, but, no takers; still, a good sign. I cast back upstream, and tended the drift........now then, there's a good 'bow........ah yes! I watch the take, set the hook, and allow myself to revel in the feel of the tightened line. I had it in my mind to follow the "keep 'em wet" mantra and decided to fish rather than photograph. It turned into an absolutely fantastic day! I fished until 4:00, and never even noticed the passing of the day, it was wonderful. Today saw more trout brought to hand than any of my previous outings; beautiful fish ranging from 10" to 14" and healthy. I took one photo, this rainbow is a pretty good representation of the day's catches.
[/IMG]

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Sounds like the perfect day at Bennett. Thanks for posting.

steve
 

herchammer

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You may already be aware of this, but, fishing is Fri-Mon only, and catch and release exclusively.

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