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North Fork White River

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The North Fork of the White River is pure awesomeness! It is one of the finest trout streams Missouri has to offer. It has a good population of wild rainbow trout and some nice trophy size brown trout. The Rainbow trout stocking program was stopped in 1964, and since then, the stream has maintained a good population of wild rainbows. They still stock brown trout here, but only in certain parts of the river. Both species of fish grow to really large sizes here. Rainbows are taken up to twenty inches long, and it is not uncommon to hear of Browns in excess of twenty-two.

Starting at Rainbow Springs, the North Fork flows for over twelve miles into Norfork Lake. Smaller springs along the way add to the flow, and help to keep the water cool, even during the summer months. Wade fishing is really popular here, but this river can also be fished from a canoe or small raft. There is some private property along the way, but under Missouri law, you are not trespassing if you are in the streambed.

Floating the river can be done in entire river in a day, but to get the most out of your fishing time, it is better if you break it down into two seperate floats. The uppermost launch is located at a place called Kelly Shoals. It's a perfect one day float from there down to Trout Lodge. The second day, you can then float down to Dawt and not be rushed to get off the water.

There is a Missouri Wild Trout Management Area between Rainbow Springs and Blair Bridge. Approximately 75% of the trout in this part of the river are wild rainbows.  In 1998, the stocking of brown trout was stopped in this almost six mile long part of the river. Because of this, the rainbows in this part of the river to grow faster and larger due to less competition for food. The Wild Trout Management area is limited to artificial flies and lures only. Anglers are only allowed one trout, either brown or rainbow but not both, over 18 inches per day.

The river comes under the Missouri Special Trout Regulations from the Blair Bridge down to Norfolk Lake. This area is stocked with brown trout, but not rainbows. However, this area does tend to fish better during the summer months.