6 Best Trout Fishing Spots in Missouri

Missouri is one of the perfect spots to fish for trout. Lake Taneycomo, for one, is a renowned place in the state to fish for this fish. It has more than 600,000 rainbow trout plus 10,000 brown trout—it is the government that stocks these fishes.

So, where can you fish in Missouri? I will show you the six best trout fishing spots in the state. In the end, I hope you can choose the one that best fits your vacation plans.

1. Bennett Spring State Park

Bennett Spring State Park is just southwest of the state, and the water that crosses it is the Niangua River. Bennet Spring is an excellent fishing spot for rainbow and brown trout. When you get here during fishing season, expect the spring to have a lot of stock, which means catching trout is not that hard.

You will love that the water is clean, not polluted. The spring is also shallow, so you can do fly fishing if that is your thing. Just keep in mind that you need a fishing license to fish here.

There are also fishing zones that you must be aware of, so it is best to contact a guide. Overall, there are three fishing zones here with varying rules. For example, the government stocks rainbow trout in one zone from March to October, but then they do not do it for the other zones at the same time.

From November to February, the only fishing you can do is catch and release. In some seasons, you can only use flies as baits and nothing else. The spring is also stocked in the winter, so those who love fishing in freezing temperatures will have a fun time going here.

2. Lake Taneycomo

Lake Taneycomo is the most popular fishing spot in Missouri for rainbow and brown trout. Those who want to fish out of season can come here. Every year, the government stocks this lake with more than half a million trout.

Like other fishing spots, the lake has fishing regulations. You must secure a trout fishing permit from the state before you can fish upstream. You also need a permit to fish any kind of trout. It is also good to know that you must not fish below the Table Rock Dam.

The thing is that the dam is where the fish is. So, what you can do is go near the restricted area and fish there. The temperature in that area is ideal for trout, and that is where you can find them.

The lake is shallow around these parts, so you can wade. If you want to fish downstream, you better hire a guide who can provide a boat. The area is close to other amenities, like a trail. As such, expect to see other people here when you fish.

3. Barren Fork Creek

This creek is designated as a Blue Ribbon fishing area for trout. What that means is that the Missouri Department of Conservation is the one responsible for managing the area. As such, you can expect to catch trophy-quality trout here.

Here are some rules to go by:

  • You can only use flies
  • Artificial lures are also accepted
  • You cannot use soft plastic lures
  • You can only catch one fish per day
  • Avoid streamers
  • Small flies work best

The minimum size of fish you can catch is 18 inches. Anything below that must be released. The thing with Barren Fork Creek is that it is a little difficult to fish in here.

3. The Current River

Unlike Barren Fork, the Current River is not Blue Ribbon. Instead, it is White Ribbon. It means that people who fish harvest smaller types of fish compared to other fishing spots. However, the entirety of Current River is not all White Ribbon—some spots are Blue Ribbon.

Because of that, you can catch trout that is 20 inches long. You also have an opportunity to catch either wild or stocked trout if you fish here.

The best spot to access the Blue Ribbon areas is through Montauk State Park. Once inside the park, keep on going until you see the Baptist Camp Access Point. You will eventually see signs leading you to the Blue Ribbon areas.

4. Little Piney Creek

If you are looking for prime trout, then Little Piney Creek is where you must go. Most people go to the Ozarks, but then places like Little Piney Creek can also give you the same quality and size of trout.

The trout population here is healthy, and they are stocked. Wild trout is smaller, but then you can chance upon rainbow trout longer than 20 inches.

5. Blue Springs Creek

This area is another Blue Ribbon designation. The creek is perfect for people who want to cast. While some areas here are private, you can still find public domains where you can fish. You can access the public fishing spots through Clue Springs Conservation.

As a Blue Ribbon creek, you can only use flies and artificial lures. You also cannot use soft plastic lures. The limit for your catch is only one per day, and you can only take home a trout 18 inches or longer.

The creek is shallow and it is also narrow. You can even jump across from one edge to the other side. Despite its small size, the creek is teeming with fish. If you want, you can speak to the operators of Camp Mihaska so you can fish in a private area—just do not forget to make a donation.  

6. Eleven Point River

This river has shallow spots where you can do fly fishing. Located in the southeast part of the state, it is a popular spot for rainbow trout. This fish gets stocked all year round.

Like the other spots, this area is Blue Ribbon. The specific Blue Ribbon area of the river is 5.5 miles long, giving you a lot of opportunities to fish upstream or downstream.

The river is teeming with wild and rainbow trout. If you are lucky, you can catch fish longer than 20 inches. But then, this is the exception, not the rule.

The good thing about Eleven Point is that there are many public access points. It is unlike other fishing spots where you have to go through private properties.

In addition, Eleven Point is also an excellent place for fly fishing. Even if you fish in shallow waters, expect to catch trout between 12 and 15 inches. Overall, the river has 20 miles of water to offer, but only 5.5 miles is Blue Ribbon. So, if you do not want to comply with the Blue Ribbon Regulation, just go to areas that are not Blue Ribbon, and you should be fine.

Final Thoughts

Trout fishing is a popular sport. As such, you want to make sure that you do not fish in vain. Missouri is a good spot to fish because the government has involvement in stocking and managing the ecosystem of the rivers and lakes.

Plan your days accordingly and get your license or permit before you go to your desired spot. My recommendation is that you contact a trout fishing guide and ask for help. This way, you will not go there only to realize that you cannot fish.

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