With miles of cool, clean, oxygen-rich streams and rivers, trout fishing is a popular attraction in Missouri. Rainbow trout and brown trout are so valued by anglers across the country that they are often given a separate multi-page section in state regulations, such as the Missouri Fisheries Code. Even at trout parks in Missouri, the rules can vary widely.
Missouri trout parks can be a great place to start trout fishing in Missouri, no matter how experienced you are. Bennett Spring State Park, Meramec Park, Roaring River, and Montauk State Park are so focused on trout fishing that an additional day permit is required in addition to a Missouri fishing license.
Depending on how the area is managed, anglers can either focus on the pan or look for a real trophy. For example, there are many designated areas for trout fly fishing, but start times can be strict, such as in Bennet Spring, where you can fish from November 13, 2020 to February 8, 2021 at 8:00 a.m. Friday to Monday until 4 p.m. However, if you want to harvest fish from March 1st through October 31st and you want to hit a daily limit of 4, then according to the Missouri Department of Wildlife, you must stop fishing after you have 4 trout in your possession.
This is one of the most common rules anglers break. Their assumption is that they can catch and release 4 trout on a stringer. However, hook mortality is a very real possibility that would then injure the angler. If some trout is being sought for the pan but not fished for the day, always keep one less than allowed and keep fishing.
Remember, flies, lures, or soft plastic baits can all be used as a “ribbon” depending on the zone, area, or Missouri area if you learn additional trout fishing tips at local fishing stores when you pick up your license. Blue ribbon means smaller streams that can aid rainbow trout reproduction. White ribbon creeks are great year round trout fishing in Missouri due to the water quality and continuous stocking of rainbow and brown trout. Red ribbon streams are characterized by their great habitat and are mainly stocked with brown trout.
Of course, the catch and release areas are the best places to catch a real whopper while fishing for trout in Missouri. Rainbow and brown can even reach double-digit weights. And scouting is especially important when fishing for the big ones in Missouri. So you have to be stealthy and cover water with polarized glasses.