Current River

Overview

Posted by Phil Lilley on September 6th, 2011
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It’s not often you can actually point to the origin of a major river, but you can on the Current River.  You can point at bubbling, flowing water coming from Montauk Spring in Montauk State Park in Southeast Missouri.  The flow from the spring and Pigeon Creek moves through the park, and leaving the park, it enters the Ozark National Scenic Riverways.

The Current River is approximately 184 miles long.  It dumps into the Black River near Pocahontas, Arkansas.  Of those 184 miles, 105 miles are in the federally protected Riverways.  It runs through Mark Twain State Forest until it reaches Highway 160 near Doniphan, Missouri.

There are natural springs that dot the Ozarks countryside along the river including Welch Spring, the largest.  The river is nearly doubled in size just 14 miles down from Montauk Park.  Other notable springs are Round, Pulltite and Cave Spring.

Montauk state hatchery raises about 300,000 to 400,000 rainbows and stocks about 200,000 trout in the park annually.  But the rainbows don’t necessarily stay in the park,  migrating down river to make up a majority of the game fish in the first 20 miles of the river.  Trout are also stocked at Welch Spring.
— Al Agnew

Frequently Asked Questions

Sam Potter, a fishing guide on the Current River, answers some questions about the river for OzarkAnglers.  Here are a few examples:

Do you ever use dry flies? What flies and when?

The Current River is an excellent dry fly stream. We catch fish on dry flies, almost the year around. The stream almost always has some type of caddis hatch so Elk Hair Caddis in various sizes and colors is highly recommended. CDC Caddis for the more experienced fly fishermen. Light Cahills in the spring and early summer work well. Hoppers are the dry fly of choice from July to October. Tricos all summer and BWOs in the spring and fall will catch fish. Late summer brings on some Hexagenia action in the evenings.

Five Top Flies

Sam Potter shares his experience and knowledge of fly fishing on the Current River in this article on OzarkAnglers.  From streamers to dries, the Current is an excellent place to fly fish for trout as well as warmwater species such as smallmouth bass and goggleye.

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