Summer is over. Before you know it, fall will have given way to winter. Contrary to what you might think, that doesn’t mean an end to the excitement of trout fishing in Missouri.
The Show-Me State boasts some of the best trout-fishing locations in the Midwest, with specialized trout parks for anglers, even in the coolness of fall and winter. The parks are well stocked with trout, meaning they make a great option for your fall weekend getaway.
The regular trout season runs March through October in Missouri’s four trout parks. However, the catch-and-release season extends your opportunities for awesome angling from Nov. 14, 2014, to Feb. 9, 2015.
Here is a quick look at Missouri’s four outstanding, spring-fed trout parks:
- Bennett Spring State Park is a long-time favorite of anglers. Located 11 miles west of Lebanon and I-44, this stream’s central location makes it easily accessible from all corners of Missouri. In addition to first-class trout fishing, the park boasts a restaurant, lodge and some of Missouri’s best hiking trails. Up for a challenge? Lace up your boots and grab your gear for a hike on the Oak Hickory Trail; at 7.5 miles, it’s the park’s longest and most rugged hiking path.
- Maramec Spring Park is five miles southeast of St. James. One of the words most often associated with this park in southeast Missouri is “beautiful.” But don’t take our word for it; see what visitors have to say about it on TripAdvisor, where TravelgalMissouri says: “Don’t miss this absolutely beautiful park … you won’t regret it.” Take your camera to this park and be prepared to have postcard-worthy photos when you get home.
- Montauk State Park is about 30 minutes southwest of Salem. The springs at Montauk form the headwaters of the Current River, one of Missouri’s most popular outdoors destinations. Spend the morning fishing at Montauk, and then take an afternoon drive south to enjoy the beautiful environs of the Ozark National Scenic Riverways National Park, where you find sites such as Blue Spring and Alley Mill.
- Roaring River State Park is nine miles south of Cassville. Another great place for a cool-weather fishing retreat, Roaring River is home to the rustic yet modern Emory Melton Inn and Conference Center. The cozy lodge offers a good night’s sleep after a long day of fishing; and the on-site Roaring River Restaurant offers full breakfast, lunch and dinner menus. Learn more at MoStateParks.com.
In addition to those four trout parks, Lake Taneycomo, which boarders Branson, is a popular (and scenic) spot for trout fishing. Best of all, the trout season there is year-round.
If you haven’t been for a while, here are a few reasons to make Lake Taneycomo the focal point of your next trout-fishing expedition:
- More than 750,000: That’s how many rainbows and browns are stocked in Lake Taneycomo each year. Like your odds now?
- Big biters: The Missouri Department of Conservation lists the state record for brown trout at 28-pound, 12-ounce. That monster was pulled from Lake Taneycomo.
- Remember, you’re in Branson: After a day on the water, unwind by visiting Branson’s fabulous live shows, attractions, theme parks, dining establishments and nightspots.
Find more details about trout fishing seasons and regulations – along with info on needed permits – at the Missouri Department of Conservation website.
Oh ... and don’t forget your waders and long johns.
(Some information in this article is courtesy ExploreBranson.com.)