The click of a classic fly reel being stripped, the barely audible glug and ripple as a rainbow sips a dry fly, the zip and splash as line rips through clear water and pulls taut with a fish on the other end. These mental images get my heart racing during the cold winter months. With spring quickly approaching, the annual tradition of anglers hitting Missouri’s trout waters is close at hand. I recently had the opportunity to spend a weekend on a real beauty of a trout stream, the North Fork of the White River, with my friend Matthew Taylor and his father, Shawn. The Taylors have lived on the river for decades and know every bend, riffle and hole. While we didn’t catch any lunkers, the spirited fight and vivid crimson coloration of the selfsustaining rainbow trout population more than made up for it. The brown trout on this stream are stocked, and the ones that survive through the seasons take on beautiful vibrant copper and yellow hues in their spotting and reach a respectable size through the abundant wild food sources available to them. This blue ribbon trout area in Ozark County tumbles through some fantastic hill country. The light was great. The water was great. The fishing was great; so great that I spent the whole time with my camera in my hands, and my fly rod never made it out of the case! I hope these photos inspire you to hitch up your waders and visit one of the dozens of beautiful trout areas Missouri has to offer.
PROTECTING MISSOURI'S TROUT FISHERIES
Missouri’s trout are healthy and free of most diseases. To ensure that they remain that way, and to keep our streams free of aquatic nuisance species, please follow these guidelines:
- Do not release live or dead trout obtained from outside the state into Missouri waters. Consult a Conservation Department fisheries biologist before stocking trout from any source (see Page 3 for regional office phone numbers), and be aware that importation of trout into Missouri is strictly regulated. To see a full listing of trout regulations, consult A Summary of Missouri Fishing Regulations available at permit vendors, or visit the link listed below.
- Thoroughly clean boots, waders, boats, trailers and fishing tackle between uses. Do not transfer mud, aquatic plants, water or fish parts from one body of water to another. Consider replacing felt-soled waders, which may result in the