Annual Prospects Report
Blue Springs Creek, located in the hills of east central Missouri, offers the opportunity to pursue naturally reproducing rainbow trout on a relatively small stream. Rainbow trout had been raised at a coldwater hatchery adjacent to Blue Spring in the early 1900s (on what is now the Camp Mihaska property) and over the years, established a naturally reproducing population in the adjacent stream. The hatchery operations have been closed for several decades, and today anglers can access the creek and its self-sustaining rainbow trout on Blue Springs Creek Conservation Area south of Bourbon, MO on Hwy N on the lower three miles of stream above its confluence with the Meramec River. The low water conditions of 2022 resulted in lower numbers of young of year rainbow trout than normal, but the mostly stable, wet year in 2021 helped that year class of fish, with higher numbers of trout in the 6 to 9 inch range being present in last fall’s sample. Rainbows were found from 4 inches to 15 inches, with the majority of fish in the six to 12-inch range. The naturally reproducing fish are extremely wary, the water is typically very clear, and there are many low-hanging limbs on this narrow stream so using light line and stealthy approaches to fishing holes are needed for success. Deep holes and/or places with overhead cover near riffles can be found throughout the creek and are likely places to catch larger fish. Anglers are reminded to observe area boundaries on the upper portion of this creek, and to use only artificial flies and lures for any fish species pursued on Blue Springs Creek.
Located south of Bourbon, MO on Interstate 44. Take Highway N south about 2 miles; parking lots are available off of Hwy N and Blue Springs Creek Rd.