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Green Forest

Waters and Seasons 

The St. Louis area offers some of the most underrated fly fishing in the United States. We offer trips all 12 months of the year. 

Green Forest

The Meramec River Basin

* All N.E. Ozarks trips are within the Basin*

The Meramec River Basin is an extremely ecologically diverse region that starts in Missouri's N.E. Ozark Mountains and ends where the Meramec River dumps into the Mississippi River, just south of St. Louis, MO. The N.E. Ozark portions of the basin boast stunning Karst landscapes and, in our view, stands as one of the United States' most underappreciated fisheries.

 

The Meramec River is fed by several springs, two rivers, and multiple creeks before dumping into the Mississippi River. 

There are about 100ish miles of the Meramec River that we guide. We also run guided trips on its two primary tributaries, the Big River and the Bourbeuse River. Of the multiple creeks that feed the Meramec River, there are 4 of them that we guide: Huzzah Creek, Courtois Creek, the Dry Fork of the Meramec River (not Dry Creek), and the Mineral Fork of the Big River. We guide waters within the Meramec River Basin all 12 months of the year. 

 

All of the waters we guide within the Basin hold Native Smallmouth Bass populations. There is a solid population of 15in+ fish with the real possibility of hitting the 20in mark. We guide for Smallmouth within the Basin from Early-Mid Spring through Mid-Lade Fall, however, they can be caught all 12 months of the year.

 

There are 9 miles of the Meramec that hold brown and rainbow trout populations. The trout fishing is really solid with a real possibility of hitting or topping the 18in mark. We prefer to guide for trout from October 1st through Mid-Late April due to hot summertime temps. We also do this because the smallmouth bass fishing on the Meramec is top-notch from early-mid spring through mid-late fall.

 

During the summer months when the water temps rise, we follow Montana's Fish Wildlife and Parks "Hoot Owl" restrictions regarding guiding for trout. We take into account, air temp, water temps and flows. We will not guide unless the trout can swim home safely.

Largemouth bass, Spotted bass, Longnose gar, Shortnose gar, spotted gar, and several other fun species to chase can be targeted within the Meramec Basin as well.

Upper Meramec River
Meramec Near Scotts Ford

The Largest Natural Lake in the state of Missouri

Located in the heart of St. Louis County, and sitting on St. Louis Co. Parks and Recreation Property, lies the largest natural lake in the state of Missouri, Creve Coeur Lake. Many people are unaware that Creve Coeur is the largest natural lake in the state, and that it holds some of Missouri's oldest and most aggressive native fish - Gar.

Gar are Native to Creve Coeur Lake, a unique oxbow lake formed hundreds of years ago when a curve of the Missouri river was cut off from the main channel. Creve Coeur lake is extremely sensitive to flooding and can shut down the local roads for days when the water in the lake and its connecting creeks rise. We are currently the only guided fly fishing service that offers trips on Creve Coeur Lake. 

While gar are the only native fish in Creve Coeur lake that we target, there is a solid population of grass carp and common carp that call the lake home. These carp can get extremely large and are super fun to target on cottonwood and mulberry patterns. With the emergence of the periodical brood xix cicadas in 2024, look for the carp to be munching on them very frequently. We offer guided trips on the lake from May 1st - September 1st. 

  

While Missouri is well known for its large lakes such as Lake of the Ozarks, Table Rock Lake, Mark Twain Lake, Truman Lake, etc... all of these lakes are man made by damming various rivers. Come to St. Louis Co. and see what it is like to chase large warm water species on Missouri's largest natural lake!

Creve Coeur Lake

Other Urban Lakes and Creeks

Along with Creve Coeur Lake, there are several waters within St. Louis Co. that we guide. 

We offer stillwater trips on Spanish Lake Park Lake and Sunfish Lake. Both of these lakes sit on St. Louis Co. Parks and Recreation property. Stillwater trips on these lakes are perfect for individuals just getting into fly fishing and those that want to have a super laid back time real close to home. There are plenty of panfish to be caught, along with some nice largemouth bass that any flyfisher would be happy to catch. 

There a few urban/suburban creeks that we guide walk wade and raft trips on. The primary creek we will take the raft out on is a small tributary of the Mississippi. There is a real solid population of gar and carp in this cool little tributary. We also offer walk wade trips on Mallard Lake in St. Louis County for Gar and Carp. 

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