Prime Fly Fishing spots in Missouri
One of the best well kept secrets in the fly-fishing world is just how good Missouri has it. Locals and a few other people seem to be the only other angler’s privy to the world class fishery that The Show Me state has.
Below, we’re going to go over several different fisheries in this state. Check them out and see which one you’d like to check out on your next fly-fishing trip to Missouri.
Barren Fork Creek
Barren Fork Creek is a blue-ribbon trout fishing area. This means that the state manages this creek to produce trophy class trout. There aren’t many bodies of water that can boast this title, so if you have an opportunity to fish a blue-ribbon stream then you should jump at the chance to do so.
This is a Flies and artificial lures only creek. No soft plastics or live bit are allowed. You can retain one fish per day, but it needs to be 18 inches in order to do so. It can be a difficult body of water of water to fish but once you figure it out, you’ll have great success on the water.
In order to access this creek, you’ll need to get into county road A-D. The trout will be in the first mile of water below Twin Springs up to the Sulklands Conservation Area. This is a wade only river. Not that there’s any rules saying so, it’s just easier and more efficient to wade it than float it.
The water that runs through this creek is usually very clear. Making it tricky to catch fish. However, as long as your technical with your drifts, and casting then you should be fine. Streamers should be avoided on this river unless a large storm has come through and muddied the water.
Nymphs on this river will be your friend.
- Prince Nymph
- Copper John
- Pheasant Tail
- Parachute Adams
- Terrestrials (Summer)
North Fork of the White River
Missouri may have been able to keep their fishing under wraps, but the White River is no secret. Among anglers it is one of the most famous trout streams in the US. This section of river is famous for being one of the most southernmost rivers that accommodate wild rainbow trout.
On top of being able to catch wild rainbow trout, the state also stocks browns trout, which can grow to incredible sizes. Pulling in giant browns is a fun mix up after catching wild rainbow trout all day.
The Missouri Department of Conservation has designated the section of river between Rainbow Springs and Blair Bridge as the Missouri Wild Trout Management Area. During some of the dryer months you can wade this area. However, most of the time a boat will be needed.
The majority of trout in the section is going to be wild rainbows. With the rest being brown trout that swim up from the lower section.
A fun fact about the river, rainbow trout have not been stocked here since 1964.
There is a boat launch off of SR 374. The north Fork recreation area is a great spot to shore from fish from and you could also launch a boat from here as well.
Classic trout flies will work well here, but if you’re looking for a trophy then throwing a large streamer is your best bet. If the latter is your option, then be prepared for a potentially slow day with moments of nonstop excitement mixed in when you hook into one of those 18-inch brown trout.
- Articulated Streamer
- Pheasant Tail
The Current River is a mix between a white ribbon river and a blue-ribbon river. White ribbon means anglers are catching smaller fish more often. The blue-ribbon section will give you the best opportunity to catch one of those 20-inch brown trout, as well as plenty of stocked and wild rainbow trout.
Walk in access to the river is located in the Montauk State Park. You’ll drive into the park and head down to the Baptist Camp access area. You’ll Park at the camp and once there you’ll see there are plenty of signs and well-worn trail directing you to the blue-ribbon fishing spots.
In this area you’ll find that the river holds several different pools and sets of riffles that is just below the park. These spots will usually hold fish and are great spots to start your day from.
The river can be waded and fished effectively in this way. However, a full day of wading the river isn’t possible. There are some pools that are too deep to walk through, and portions of the bank are simply cliffs.
If you wish to do a full day trip on the Current, then floating it would be your best bet. Otherwise, you’ll need to fish a spot for a while, then hop out and go to another spot.
If you’d like to fish the white ribbon area, then there are three spots to do so. Check out Cedar Grove, welch Spring, and Akers Ferry. These spots are wadable in certain areas, but if you want o fish it completely then you’ll need a boat.
If you don’t have a boat, then check out the Welch Spring access area. There is some pretty solid fishing downstream that goes for quite a way. Be careful on your approach here though as working downstream can spook fish pretty easily.
- Prince Nymph
- Copper John
- Elk Hair Caddis
Missouri has some sneaky good trout fishing. Multiple rivers that can boast blue ribbon water and still people are wanting to travel out west to find blue ribbon water.
So, for you east coast and Midwest folks, the next time you’re looking for a pristine trout stream you should check some of the rivers above in Missouri. It’s a trip that would definitely be worth taking.