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Ever Wanted To Fish the Current River of Missouri’s Ozarks?

The Current River is without a doubt the most diverse in Missouri. It starts out as a spring creek variety trout river, then gradually morphs into one of the finest smallmouth bass streams in the country. The region is also home to Rock Bass, Walleye, and Bluegill, in addition to these species.

The classic trout water begins at the first twenty miles of the river. The river begins where Pigeon Creek’s streambed is fed by Montauk Spring. The stream is stocked with rainbow trout three times a day for three miles below this point from March 1 through October 31. This stretch, which goes through Montauk State Park and flows into the town of Babylon, is only frequented by flies. Artificial lures such as marabou jigs and single hooked rooster tail spinners are completely legal, as well as conventional fly gear. All lures and bait may be used in the remainder of the park. The park’s namesake is the spring-fed stream that flows through it. The spring branch of Montauk Spring Branch also passes through the park. The initial mile is catch and release with flies alone. All lures are permitted below the Current River, where fish may be kept, until it reaches the Current River. This location is also restocked on a regular basis.

The river is managed for trophy rainbow and brown trout up to nine miles later, when you reach Montauk State Park. The trout population varies from year to year, but on average, there are between 250 and 700 trout per mile. The majority are brown, but there are also several rainbows, including many wild trout. There is wading access at the lower end of Montauk State Park, Tan Vat, Baptist Camp, Parker Hollow, and Cedar Grove. This is a wonderful location to float. The best fishing is found between Montauk State Park and the Parker Hollow Access, which is seven miles long. It’s a year-round fishery with excellent fishing all along the route. There are undoubtedly trout in Parker Hollow and Cedar Grove, but wading might be difficult, and the fish populations are not particularly large. Only artificial lures and flies are permitted, and the maximum length is limited.

The eight-mile stretch between Cedar Grove and Akers Ferry is a put and take trout fishery. Between March and September, it is brimming with rainbow trout. In the four miles between Cedar Grove and Welch Spring, trout fishing will be greatest in the spring and fall, as fish are only introduced at this time. The water is considerably colder at this time of year, and trout are stocked all summer long, until Akers Ferry. The greatest fishing is in the vicinity of Welch Spring’s mouth, where trout are regularly stocked. The section below Akers Ferry is dotted with pockets of trout all the way to Pulltite Spring seven miles further down the river, although they are fewer in number.

The fishing is poor for both smallmouth bass and rainbow trout between Akers Ferry and Round Spring. There are reasonable rainbow trout and smallmouth bass numbers in the upper half, but the fishing will be slow. The area’s best smallmouth bass fishing is found around the mouth of Round Spring. After Mosquito Pass, the road becomes much rougher. From Doniphan, Missouri to just east of I-70 is some of the finest smallmouth water in the state. You’ll find huge trout in the one to three pound range, and bigger fish are not uncommon at all. In the spring and summer, smallmouth bass, rock bass, bluegill, and crappie may all be found in significant numbers. Walleye begin to appear in the Van Buren region. One of the finest stream walleye fisheries in the country, and Ozark strain walleyes abound. The Current River is another possibility for the next world record. Big walleye can be targeted using conventional methods such as jigging, trolling, and live bait fishing.

The magnificent Current River should be tried by every fisherman in Missouri. The clarity of the water is stunning, and it’s home to some of the finest fishing in the United States. This is a fantastic location to go if you like smallmouth bass, trout, walleye, or simply a big stringer of bluegill or suckers.

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