Picture this: You woke up early to catch the sunrise at your favorite fishing spot. It’s a quiet, peaceful location with water so crystal clear that you can perfectly see the fish lazily swimming in the depths. You wade out into the water and cast a line. It’s not long before a brown trout (probably around 20 inches long, but you’ll tell your friends it was definitely 22 inches long) takes the bait and you carefully reel the fish in before it becomes skittish and breaks away.
It’s an angler’s paradise.
But enough daydreaming, your trout fishing dreams can become a reality at these top-tier Missouri fishing locations:
Bennett Spring State Park, Dallas County – One of Missouri’s four trout parks, Bennett Spring State Park is home to Bennett Spring and a section of the Niangua River. More than 100 million gallons of water flow from the spring each day and form a branch that is stocked daily with rainbow trout.
Boathouse Lake, Jefferson Lake, O’Fallon Park Lake, St. Louis – A variety of options for urban fishing can be found in St. Louis. Fishing is permitted year-round during normal park hours at Boathouse Lake, Jefferson Park Lake and O’Fallon Park Lake.
Capitol Federal Sports Complex, Liberty – While the Capitol Federal Sports Complex is primarily for baseball, there are several ponds on the property that are available for public fishing. Pond 3 is stocked with trout from November through March.
Current River, Dent and Shannon counties – The Current River is a popular choice for trout fishing due to its clear, productive waters. Both brown trout and rainbow trout are stocked in different parts of the river by the Missouri Department of Conservation.
Eleven Point River, Oregon County – You’re sure to get scenic views of the Mark Twain National Forest while you embark on a fishing adventure on the Eleven Point River. Rainbow trout are stocked in the river throughout the year.
Lake Taneycomo, Taney County – Known for the record-size rainbow and brown trout that live in its waters, Lake Taneycomo is one of Missouri’s top trout fishing destinations. Each year, about 750,000 trout from the Shepherd of the Hills Trout Hatchery are released into the lake. –
Maramec Spring Park, Phelps County – The beautiful Maramec Spring creates the perfect environment for rainbow trout, which are stocked daily by the Missouri Department of Conservation. As one of the state’s four trout parks, Maramec Spring Park is a fishing haven.
Montauk State Park, Dent County – Montauk State Park has a whopping seven springs that form the headwaters of the Current River, making it a great spot to cast a line. The trout park is regularly stocked with rainbow trout and provides excellent fishing.
Roaring River State Park, Barry County – Hiking, camping and exploring the informative nature center are popular activities at Roaring River State Park, but the fishing really takes the top prize. The rugged and scenic trout park is also home to one of the oldest fish hatcheries in the state.
If you’re looking to dive deeper into trout fishing locations in Missouri, the Missouri Department of Conservation lists all trout waters in the state. Catch and keep season in Missouri’s trout parks runs from March through October. Catch and release fishing at the trout parks is permitted from November through February. All other trout waters permit catch and keep fishing year-round.
Before you head out, check to see what types of permits or passes are required for fishing at your location of choice. Also, take note of the regulations at each destination that limit the size or amount of fish you can keep.