Discover Nature Fishing

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Little girl holding a fish she caught.
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Discover Nature — Fishing offers families with children between the ages of 7 and 15 a hands-on introduction into angling.

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Missouri Department of Conservation fisheries biologists in Cape Girardeau are l
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It's more than breaking out the tackle box. That's why the department is looking for experienced anglers who are ready to lead the next generation of Missouri anglers.

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Program at a Glance
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  • Lesson one: Equipment, Casting, and Proper Fish Handling
  • Lesson two: How to Tie a Knot and Bait a Hook
  • Lesson three: Five Common Missouri Fish - Their Anatomy, Habitat, and Life Cycle
  • Lesson four: Fishing with Lures and Fishing Regulations
  • Classes are free
  • No permits or additional paperwork required
  • Bait and equipment provided

Enrollees must take lesson one to be eligible for later lessons. However, lessons two, three, and four may be taken in any order once lesson one has been completed.

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Basic Tackle

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Learn what you need for basic tackle before your next fishing trip in this episode of MDC’s Discover Nature-Fishing series.
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  • Each class is approximately two hours and will include indoor and outdoor segments.
  • Separate registration required for each participant
  • Children must be accompanied by an adult
  • All registrants are expected to participate

Both the child and the accompanying adult(s) must be registered for classes in order to attend.

Due to limited space and seating, only those registered for a class may attend.

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All supplies and fishing equipment will be provided. However, you might want to bring the following:

  • Water bottle
  • Hat and sunglasses
  • Sunscreen
  • Camera
  • Insect repellent
  • Notebook and pencil
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Bad Weather:

In the event of class cancellation or rescheduling, registrants will be notified by either phone or email.

Withdraw from a Class:

To withdraw, navigate to My Events, log in, then select “cancel registration.” Remember that this will have to be done for every participant registered for the class.

Fishing Classes

Private Event | My Events | My Profile

Displaying 1 - 10 of 10
Registration period: November 16 - December 1
Date: Saturday, December 3, 2022 10:00 am - Saturday, December 3, 2022 12:00 pm
Location: Forest Park Hatchery

This program is a great opportunity to spend quality time outdoors and will introduce winter fishing with an emphasis on the St. Louis Urban Fishing Program. Various angling methods will be presented and practiced including the use of rod and reel, fly casting, artificial lures, and soft baits. Regulations for trout-stocked urban fishing lakes will also be covered. We will supply fishing equipment or feel free to bring your own.

Participants who are older than 15 and younger than 65 need to have a current, valid, fishing permit.

In the event of weather-related cancellation, registrants will be notified by email at least 24 hours prior to the start of the program.

Registration period: November 9 - December 9
Date: Saturday, December 10, 2022 8:00 am - Saturday, December 10, 2022 12:00 pm
Location: MDC Kansas City Regional Office

Learn all about catching feisty winter trout and catch a few for dinner.

We'll start the morning off with a trout fishing lesson in the class room at the Kansas City Regional Conservation Office where we'll learn how to catch and clean trout. Then we'll head down to Honker Pond to try our luck catching some hungry trout.

Dress for the weather but if you get cold while you are fishing you can take a break to warm up by the fire and enjoy some hot chocolate.

Only children can fish at Honker Pond but parents and family are welcome to attend and learn along with the kids.

Missouri Department of Conservation will provide all of the equipment, bait, fishing coaches, hot chocolate and a warm fire.

Children do not need a trout permit to fish at this event as long as they plan to release their fish, if they would like to keep the trout that they catch they will need a trout permit. Permits will not be available at this event but they can be purchased online here https://huntfish.mdc.mo.gov/fishing/permits

or at any permit vendor.

All children must be accompanied by an adult.

If bad weather is forecast the day of this event it may be postponed. You will be contacted if any changes are necessary.

Dress appropriately for the weather.

Each child that attends the program must be registered separately. Contact instructor for assistance with registration.
Registration period: November 16 - December 15
Date: Friday, December 16, 2022 5:30 pm - Friday, December 16, 2022 7:30 pm
Location: MDC Ozark Regional Office

Fly-tying is a great way to customize a fishing lure to a specific type of fish or a particular stretch of stream. It’s also way to get an added sense of accomplishment knowing that you caught a fish with a lure you made. Join us for a new fly-tying series where you can advance your skills and learn new patterns. Keep a look out for each of the new series as we progress the skill level being taught.

All materials will be provided. Please register early as space is limited.
Registration period: November 25 - December 17
Date: Saturday, December 17, 2022 12:00 pm - Saturday, December 17, 2022 3:00 pm
Location: Burr Oak Woods Conservation Nature Center

Join us at Burr Oak Woods Nature Center and learn to clean, and prepare your trout.

Staff will demonstrate some easy methods of cleaning trout, then participants will have a hands on opportunity to clean some trout themselves. We'll prepare those trout for everyone to sample using some favorite and delicious methods.

Each participant must register separately. Contact instructor for assistant with registration.
Registration period: November 23 - December 16
Date: Thursday, January 5, 2023 6:00 pm - Thursday, February 2, 2023 8:00 pm
Location: Online only

Objectives: Students will learn a variety of techniques for the art of fly tying. Students will make flies that catch fish and look good.

Format: Class sessions are 2 hours. Students are encouraged to take notes and practice between classes. The virtual classroom will be open one-half hour prior to class if anyone needs extra help or has questions.

Required: Registration is required. You will need a set of fly-tying tools, please email Thomas.peacher@mdc.mo.gov if you are having difficulties obtaining tools or have questions about what to purchase. Classes are structured to build upon knowledge from previous sessions. If you miss a class, you will need to catch up before the next class.

To be successful: Each participant must acquire their own tools. The materials will be sent to active participants ahead of time, to the mailing address you provide in registration. The tools you will need: Common Vice, thread bobbin, black tying thread 140 (2/0), and 210 Denier (6/0), bobbin threader, Dr. Slick Rotary whip finisher, or Cabela’s brand (the kind that freely spins in the handle), hair packer, hair stacker, dubbing brush, fly tying scissors, tying wax, hackle pliers, and bodkin.

Optional additions: head cement, multiple bobbins, other colors of thread (red, white, olive, and tan), a wine cork for displaying tied flies, small block of wood with 1/8-1/4 inch holes drilled in it for tool storage, cheap magnet for organizing hooks, extra scissors, small wire cutters, and small tackle box for storage.

Registration period: September 20 - January 11
Date: Saturday, January 14, 2023 9:00 am - Saturday, January 14, 2023 12:00 pm
Location: MDC Northeast Regional Office
Come spend a few relaxing hours learning the art of fly tying! Many different materials will be available for use, Pat will teach the skill, and you can go home with a supply of your finished products!
Registration period: October 5 - January 4
Date: Saturday, January 14, 2023 9:00 am - Saturday, January 14, 2023 12:00 pm
Location: MDC Northeast Regional Office
Come spend a few relaxing hours learning the art of fly tying! Many different materials will be available for use, Pat will teach the skill, and you can go home with a supply of your finished products!
Registration period: September 20 - February 1
Date: Saturday, February 4, 2023 9:00 am - Saturday, February 4, 2023 12:00 pm
Location: Mark Twain Lake - M.W. Boudreaux Memorial Visitor
Come spend a few relaxing hours learning the art of fly tying! Many different materials will be available for use, Pat will teach us the skill, and you can go home with a supply of your finished products!
Registration period: September 20 - February 15
Date: Saturday, February 18, 2023 9:00 am - Saturday, February 18, 2023 12:00 pm
Location: James Youth Center
Come spend a few relaxing hours learning the art of fly tying! Many different materials will be available for use, Pat will teach us the skill, and you can go home with a supply of your finished products!
Registration period: September 20 - March 1
Date: Saturday, March 4, 2023 9:00 am - Saturday, March 4, 2023 12:00 pm
Location: MDC Northeast Regional Office
Come spend a few relaxing hours learning the art of fly tying! Many different materials will be available for use, Pat will teach the skill, and you can go home with a supply of your finished products!