Weekend Angler: St. Louis

Maramec Spring Park
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Maramec Spring Park Practicalities

Species: Stocked rainbow trout that don't act like it. They can be as finicky as the brown trout in the Meramec below.

Gear: 8- to 9-foot, 4- to 6-weight fly rods, or ultralight spin gear. If you want to wade, breathable chest waders with felt soles are the ticket.

Flies & lures: In the clear water of the spring creeks, hatchery trout tend to become selective and prefer lighter dressed flies. Matching the hatch and the stage of the hatch becomes critical. Blue Winged Olive (#16-#20), Goddard Caddis (#14-#18), White Wulff (#10-#12), Elk Hair Caddis (#12-#18), CDC Caddis (#14-#18), Adams (#12-#18), Parachute Adams (#12-#18), Light Cahills (#12-#16), Red Quills (#14-#16), Stimulators in various colors, like black, gold and orange (#8-#14), Partridge and Orange (#12-#16), Partridge and Green (#12-#16), Zug Bugs (#12-#16), Scuds (#12-#16), Woolly Buggers (#8-#12), Muddler Minnows (#4-#10), Zonkers (#4-#10), Matukas (#4-#10), Crayfish (#4-#10), Pheasant Tail (#14-#18), Prince Nymph (#14-#18), Hare's Ear (#14-#18).

St. Louis guides, fly and tackle shops: Paul's Bait and Tackle (314) 773-6221; Feathercraft Flyfishing, (800) 659-1707; T. Hargrove Fly Fishing, (314) 968-4223; Alpine Shop, (314) 962-7715.

Getting there: Take Interstate 44 west out of St. Louis traveling west/southwest. Turn south on Highway 8 at St. James and travel east for seven miles. Maramec Spring Park, (573) 265-7801.

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Maramec Spring Park is one of four state trout parks in Missouri. Lying just a couple of hours west of St. Louis, this spring creek offers antsy anglers a quick fix.

The park is owned by the James Foundation but the trout fishery is managed by the Missouri Department of Conservation, which stocks 170,000 10- to 14-inch rainbows every year. Maramec Spring is Missouri's fifth largest, and a major tributary of the Meramec River.

The creek pumps an average 100 million gallons water of per day down its mile-long course before flowing into the main branch of the Meramec River. The spring also maintains a constant temperature of 56 degrees, creating an ideal trout habitat.

Maramec Spring is open daily from March 1 through October 31. There are no tackle restrictions. The spring gets hit hard every weekend from opening day through the summer, so wiser anglers should wait until the special winter season.

The winter catch-and-release season is restricted to artificial flies and i sopen on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays beginning second Sunday of February.


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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