Weekend Angler: St. Louis

Trout Parks and Spring Creeks
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Sometimes it's amazing where one can find quality trout fishing without having to load up the fishing-mobile and head out for a week. It is even more amazing how some of the people living near such a region can often overlook these spots.

Within a two-hour drive of St. Louis, anglers of all skill levels can be pleasantly surprised at the quality of fishing right in their own backyard. No need to worry about missing the Cardinals' run for the pennant either, head out in the early morning and you can be sitting in Busch Stadium just in time for the first pitch.

Under the arch, on the banks of the mighty Mississippi, in a proud sports town that wears the title"Sports City USA," anglers won't find much blue-ribbon trout fishing just outside the city limits. St. Louis area urban lakes get stocked with trout in the winter months but that doesn't count.

Quality, not Quantity

Missouri is a sportsman's paradise, but doesn't boast many trout streams. What Missouri lacks in quantity, it makes up in quality, because even though there are only two hundred miles of trout streams in the state, those few that do support trout hold lunkers.

Almost all of the state's streams, and the three trout lakes, receive stockings of trout, but some springs support self-sustaining trout populations. Most of the trout fishing in Missouri takes place in its southern region, the scenic Ozarks, where anglers are treated to fishing in short, pristine spring-branch streams, in clear, big lakes, and in public trout parks. Many of the streams are open year-round, too.

Even though St. Louis is not located in the heart of trout country, anglers do have several day options. Meramec Spring Trout Park, the Meramec River, Mill Creek and Windrush Farms at Benton Creek are four options for those looking for a quick weekend fix of trout fishing around the St. Louis area.

Explore a couple of these fisheries over a long weekend or day trip to get to know one of these fine trout fisheries more intimately.


St. Louis native Doc Thompson first drifted a dry fly in New Mexico during the early 1980s, where he now lives and runs a fly-fishing guide service, High Country Anglers. Doc's articles, columns and photos have appeared in numerous newspapers, magazines and books.

Published: 29 Apr 2002 | Last Updated: 15 Sep 2010
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication

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