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ILmike

March 2020 trip suggestions!

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Hi all, this past spring break my cousin and I took a trip down to the NFOW to hammer the trout. Well, I only caught two and he only caught a smallie. So I'd like to ask you guys for your suggestions. Preferable criteria include: great fishing, great scenery, rugged primitive campsites, adequate shore or wade fishing access, and somewhat off the grid. Looking to catch any species of trout with a slight edge toward browns. Thanks in advance!

 

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Well, there really ain't no such animal.  The North Fork would have come closest to what you're looking for, but it hasn't yet recovered from the tremendous damage done with the huge flood a few years ago, and trout population is way down and looks to remain that way for a while.  The flood ripped out so many bankside trees that there is very little shade left, and the river gets too warm after the first few miles below the springs to support a healthy trout population.  Plus the aquatic insects are taking a while to recover.  So while the North Fork meets most of your other criteria, I wouldn't call it good fishing right now, as you found out.

Most other trout streams in Missouri are more popular than the North Fork, so it's hard to get "off the grid".  Some of the smaller streams don't get a huge amount of pressure, but the fishing can be tough on them unless you know what you're doing.  Your best bet might be the Current River below Montauk or the Eleven Point below Greer Spring.

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