The Niangua River could be the most overlooked trout stream in the state of Missouri. It’s widely known across the state as an excellent river for floating and smallmouth bass fishing, nevertheless the trout fishery is little known. Most area trout anglers only fish in the Niangua River’s tributary, Bennett Spring Branch.
Above Bennett Spring Branch, the Niangua is just a typical warm-water fishery. Smallmouth bass fishing is excellent, but few trout are present. It’s the cooling flows from Bennett Spring that make the river in to a true trout stream. For eleven miles, the water is cool enough to hold year-round populations of rainbow and brown trout. Both species are stocked regularly.
The Niangua River isn’t like other trout streams in the Ozarks. To begin with, it really doesn’t look like a trout stream. The river is big, and it always isn’t very clear. Also, the water temperature is normally above 70 degrees for all of the summer. With nevertheless, for some unknown reason, the Niangua River does fish well all summer long, even though water temperatures are very high. It’s not uncommon to catch trout once the water temperature is 75 degrees. In other words, it’s hard to think trout prosper in the Niangua, but they do.
Rainbow trout are the most common catch in the Niangua. They are stocked every few weeks during the spring, summer, and fall, and a significant amount also escape from Bennett Spring Branch in to the river. They are easy to catch on a Powerbait, worms, small spinners, and spoons. Brown trout are not quite as common, but a significant amount is found in the river. They respond simpler to small crankbaits, nightcrawlers, minnows, and crayfish. Both species of trout can be caught on many different flies including Woolly Buggers, Prince Nymphs, Pheasant Tail Nymphs, and Caddis imitators.
You can access the Niangua River’s trout water at three points. The foremost is the Bennett Spring Access, where Bennett Spring Branch meets the Niangua. This really is probably the most popular access point, and fish are always plentiful. The next access point reaches Barclay Conservation area. This is a few miles downstream from the Bennett Spring Access. Fishing is excellent of this type, particularly for brown trout. The final access point reaches Prosperine. Trout populations certainly are a bit lower of this type, but you’ll find some of the biggest brown trout in the river both up and downstream with this access. Smallmouth bass may also be abundant. Fishing regulations on the Niangua allow for all baits, lures, and flies to be used https://pursuingoutdoors.com/. Four trout may be kept, and there is no minimum length limit on rainbow trout. There’s a 15″ length limit on browns. Additionally, just one brown may be kept. There are lots of other fantastic Missouri Trout fishing opportunities, but don’t neglect this gem of a river!
Wherever you access it, the Niangua is a good stream. It might not be popular to trout fisherman, the fishing is very good. You’ll see a lot of floaters, especially in summertime, but fisherman will soon be few. This river is obviously worth a trip. If you have trouble, you can always drown your sorrows by catching a couple of stockers over at Bennett Springs.
Davdison Manning is an avid outdoorsman spending over 100 days each year pursuing his desire for fishing, many in the Ozarks of Missouri and Arkansas. He details lots of his favorite spots on his website Family-Outdoors. His other pursuits include a number of days spent in the field camping and hunting. Davidson loves to talk about his understanding of the outdoors in the hope of helping others to get their very own link with the outdoors.