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  1. #11

    Default Re: Looking for some trout/fly-fishing in MO

    If you want "real" trout fishing, forget about the trout parks. I find them to be crowded with a lot of idiots and bait fishermen, and a very artificial type of fishing. Some people like them, but I have a lot against trying to catch a trout that was in a concrete tank two days ago.

    The trout streams fall into two categories. There are those stream sections that are downstream from the mouths of the spring branches where the trout parks are (Current River below Montauk, Meramec River below Maramec Spring (yes, the different spelling is correct), and Niangua River below Bennett Spring. There are about 25 miles of the Current below Montauk that furnish good trout fishing, about 7 miles of the Niangua below Bennett Spring, and in reality on your closest river, the Meramec, only about 3 miles of decent trout fishing below the spring. They tend to have quite a few other anglers but are usually not even close to being as crowded as the trout parks, and at least most of the fish have been there a while and had the time to start to act a little more like wild trout. And then there are the stream sections that are not below the trout parks but are fed by enough good sized springs to stay cold enough for trout. Some of these (Blue Springs Creek, Mill Creek, Crane Creek) are small and can be exceedingly tough fishing, especially when low and clear, but the trout are wild and naturally reproducing. Crane Creek and Mill Creek have nearly pure strains of McCloud rainbows, a strain of rainbow that is nearly extinct in its native range, the area around the McClloud River in California. They were stocked in these Missouri streams many years ago and have naturally reproduced ever since. Others of the trout streams are larger, like the Little Piney, Eleven Point, and North Fork. These streams, in my opinion, are the premier Missouri trout destinations. They ahve wild, naturally reproducing rainbows (brown trout are also stocked in the North Fork) that can get big, and are simply gorgeous streams...the Eleven Point and North Fork are big enough to be floatable even with drift boats.

    Your problem is that few of these streams are anywhere near St. Louis. Your closest trout stream is probably Blue Springs Creek, and it's probably the toughest stream to catch a trout in of all them. The Meramec is second closest, and while it doesn't have a good reputation these days, you can catch trout from it if you know what you're doing. The best one within reasonable driving distance? Probably the Current below Montauk, though the Little Piney has its moments.

    As for smallmouth fishing, there are a LOT of miles of smallmouth streams of all sizes within an hour or two of St. Louis. The larger streams almost require floating in a canoe or kayak...wading is barely viable. You can rent kayaks from various liveries on the Meramec, and of the streams within a couple hours of St. Louis, you might most enjoy Huzzah and Courtois creeks, which are very clear, twin gems, both of which have large liveries on them. There are liveries on Big River and Bourbeuse River, both of which are good fishing for smallmouth and spotted bass (the spotted bass are invasive in these streams, so if you like to eat fish don't feel bad about keeping some spotted bass for the table). Local anglers in the know have their favorite wading size smallmouth creeks, but I'm not going to publicize any of them for two reasons...one, they can't take a lot of pressure, and two, wading size streams are private in Missouri and those of us who fish them do so by the grace of the landowners.

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  3. #12

    Default Re: Looking for some trout/fly-fishing in MO

    Quote Originally Posted by al_a View Post
    If you want "real" .
    Wow thank you for the detailed response! That is more than gracious, and exactly the type of breakdown/commentary I was looking for


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  4. #13

    Default Re: Looking for some trout/fly-fishing in MO

    The Meramec is second closest, and while it doesn't have a good reputation these days, you can catch trout from it if you know what you're doing.The best one within reasonable driving distance? Probably the Current below Montauk, though the Little Piney has its moments.

    As for smallmouth fishing, there are a LOT of miles of smallmouth streams of all sizes within an hour or two of St. Louis.
    Hello again all,
    I think the weekend after next I may be able to do some fishing for the first time in Missouri. Looking forward to it.
    I am very grateful for the detailed responses above, and was wanting to just follow up to better understand what might be fishing well this time of year?
    You see I'm thinking of taking the girlfriend with me for one night and booking a stay at an Airbnb nearest to one of these streams, so we can fish some Saturday evening and Sunday morning, then drive back to St Louis.

    Should I try the Little Piney and target finding an Airbnb in towns like Jerome, Newburg, or Yancy Mills? Is that a good area to be looking in?

    Or outside of these, does anyone know of an Airbnb listing on some water somewhere? warmwater species fishing would be fine too like smallmouth



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