Weekend Angler: St. Louis

Benton Creek
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Benton Creek Practicalities

Species: Rainbow trout.

Gear: 7- to 8 ½ foot, 3- to 5- weight fly rods, or ultralight spin gear. You'll only need hip waders with felt soled boots.

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, then turn south on Highway 68 to Cook Station. You can stay at nearby Maramec Spring Park or lodge on premises. WindRush Farms, (573) 743-6555.

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WindRush Farms is home to a private fishery. The farm offers superb fishing for rainbow trout in the 1.5-mile-long Benton Creek, a spring-fed creek canopied with oak and sycamore trees.

The banks of 40-foot-wide Benton Creek are tightly packed with trees. Anglers are often required to wade up the middle and roll cast to the many pools and riffles that offer excellent habitat for the 12- to 16-inch rainbows and the occasional lunker.

Most of the rainbows are hatchery raised, but there are some wild rainbows in the lower stretch of the creek. The aquatic insect life is that of a typical Missouri spring creek; heavy caddisflies, mayflies and even stoneflies.

Other trout food includes crustaceans and forage fish such as minnows and sculpins. Spring and fall provide for the best dry-fly opportunities. During the heat of summer, anglers should plan on fishing nymphs or streamers. The farm also features a 1.5-acre pond teeming with healthy bluegills.

Lodging is available in two beautifully restored 1840s log cabins. Each unit has a bath and kitchenette. Owners Quint and Cicely Drennan are accomplished fly fishers whose wealth of knowledge on Missouri trout fishing is impeccable. They both enjoy sharing advice on how to fish Benton Creek and nearby Meramec River. The farm opens February 1 and closes December 15. Day fishing is available for a nominal fee.


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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