Bennett Spring is what you might call the flagship of the Missouri Trout Parks. It draws the largest
crowds, by far, and it boasts the largest spring of the four parks. It has a very nice restaurant, a
nature center, a swimming pool, and tons of lodging and camping spaces. Once the park fills up, the
rest of the visitors simply spill into the lodges and campgrounds that surround the park. The park
boasts a nice tackle shop, and there are also some honest-to-God fly shops nearby. Missouri fly
fishermen have been known to travel great distances to visit these fly shops without even stopping to
fish at the park.
The downside of fishing in any of the trout parks is the restrictive
nature of the fishing regulations, the crowds, and... well... okay, it's mainly the crowds. This, of
course, effects the fish and the fishing. Trout park fish don't usually act like how you'd expect
"normal" trout to act. At the morning siren, you can almost cast anything and catch a fish or two.
Later in the day, however, even the finest and most experienced trout fisherman can get skunked. The
best method seems to be to fish small baits and lures, and sight fish. This means, drift your lure or
bait in such a way that you can watch it, and cast directly to a specific fish. Pick your fish, and
try to drift the bait right to its nose. Trout can be lazy, and they'll often eat something rather
than move out of the way.
A Bennett trout's natural food is mainly scud, scuplins and trout offal (AKA fish guts), but you'll
actually see some decent caddis and midge hatches that can bring some fish up for dry flies at times.
Bennett also gives up a great quantity of fish to jig fishermen -- white, hot pink, and yellow/black
are favorite colors.
A view from the bridge below the dam. Crowds of fish
like this bring crowds of fishermen.
You can also download a better quality map from the Department of Conservation website. The direct-to-
map link is available on our Maps page. To schedule a campsite or
room, and to check for fishing regulations, check out the Missouri Department of Natural Resources
Bennett Spring page. Click here
to see a recent Bennett Spring fishing report. After you
visit the park, we hope you come back to post a fishing
report of your own.
Call (417) 532-4418 for more information
A nice picture of Bennett Spring trout crowding into a feeding lane. Their camouflage is incredible.
Can you find all 7 fish?
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