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Good People - Good Water - Good Fish

The hunt to catch an Arkansas rainbow ended quickly. In 2018 I was on my 7000 miles California Trip, and I was a day behind due to enjoying Missouri for a little bit too long.

Mammoth Spring is one of the world's largest springs, with nine million gallons of cold water flowing hourly. It forms a 10-acre lake, then runs southward as the Spring River, a famous Ozark trout and float stream.  Just below the spring is the Jim Hinkle Fish Hatchery and easy access to fish.

The morning I arrived, about 30 people were fishing in every good spot I looked.  It is always a little stressful when you get to a new place.  You don't know the people, etiquette, and how to fish.  I finally found a spot. I could see everyone was ignoring me.  A pipe perpendicular to the river was throwing out water from the trout hatchery, a perfect place! So I walked around everyone and on my third cast landed a rainbow.  I looked like a genius.

Winter 2021 side note:  I was a genius. I was driving through Mammoth Spring again and decided to finish for 5-10 minutes.  I met a great guy who had just called it a day.  He had been fishing for about 6 hours and didn't catch a trout.  I thanked him for some fishing advice then he walked over the bridge to the parking lot, where he could easily see me fish as he was packing up.  I went to my spot and caught three shad on three casts. Then saw a little hole laid a perfect line and grabbed another rainbow.

I rarely keep a trout for eating purposes.  But, in this case, the trout was a little beaten up, so I did to feast on him.  I left after that fish; the whole process took about five minutes.  Maybe my fastest state.


Monmouth Springs


Monmouth Springs with Brooke


Local Fly Shop


Spring River Rainbow

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