A River Or Stream That Flows Into A Larger River Fishing the Current River of Missouri’s Ozarks

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Fishing the Current River of Missouri’s Ozarks

There is no doubt that the Current River is the most diverse stream in Missouri. It begins as a trout river in the form of a spring stream, and slowly transforms into one of the best smallmouth bass streams in the country. In addition to these species, there are also populations of rock sea bass, bream and, of course, bluegill.

The first twenty miles of the river are classic trout water. The river begins where Montauk Spring rises in the bed of Pigeon Creek. Three miles below this point, the creek is stocked with rainbow trout once a day from March 1st to October 31st. The upper part of this section that flows through Montauk State Park is for flies only. Artificial lures such as marabou jigs and single hooked roostertail sinkers fished on a spinning rod are completely legal, along with traditional fly fishing gear. The rest of the river in the park allows all baits and lures. Montauk Spring Branch also flows through the park. The first quarter mile is catch and release with flies only. Below that all baits are allowed until the Current River is reached and the fish can be kept. This area is also replenished daily.

A nine-mile stretch of river below Montauk State Park is managed for trophy brown and brown trout. The trout population varies from year to year, but you can count on between 250 and 700 trout per mile, which is a respectable number. Most are brown, but there are also plenty of rainbows, including many wild trout. This is a great floating area, but there is shallow access at the lower end of Montauk State Park, Tan Vat, Baptist Camp, Parker Hollow, and Cedar Grove. This is a year-round fishery, with the best fishing in the seven miles between Montauk State Park and Parker Hollow Access. There are definitely trout between Parker Hollow and Cedar Grove, but the wading can be tough and the fish numbers aren’t overwhelming. Only artificial lures and flies are allowed, and there is a restrictive length limit.

The eight miles between Cedar Grove and Akers Ferry are managed as a trout fishery. Between March and September there is a large stocking of rainbow trout. In the four miles between Cedar Grove and Welch Spring, the best trout fishing will be in the spring and fall, since that is the only time trout are stocked. Below Welch Spring to Akers Ferry, the water is significantly cooler and trout are stocked all summer long. The best fishing is generally near the mouth of Welch Spring, where trout are abundantly stocked. Below Akers Ferry, there are pockets of trout all the way down to Pulltite Spring seven miles downstream, but numbers drop off significantly the further below Akers Ferry you go.

Between Akers Ferry and Round Spring, fishing is spotty for smallmouth bass and trout. There are decent numbers of rainbow trout in the upper half, and decent numbers of smallmouth bass in the lower half, but the fishing will be marginal. At the mouth of Round Spring, bass fishing begins in earnest. Between this point and Doniphan, Missouri, is one of the best small waters in the state. Fish in the one to three pound range are plentiful, and larger fish are not at all uncommon. Rock Bass and Bluegill can also be found in large numbers. A madman enters the scene around Van Buren. This is some of the best walleye fishing in the country, and big Ozark walleye are plentiful. The next world record could come from Current River. Jigging, trolling and live bait fishing are popular for catching these big judges.

Every angler in Missouri should try fishing the beautiful Current River. Its crystal clear waters are home to some of the best fishing to be found in the United States. Whether you’re into bass, trout, walleye or just a big bluegill or walleye, this is a great place to go.

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