North Fork of the White

The North Fork of the White River is Missouri’s premiere, freestone trout river.  It’s divided into three sections:  Above Rainbow Spring, which dumps 82 million gallons of cold, clear water into the North Fork, are primarily warm-water fish, including smallmouth bass and goggleye.  The middle section between Rainbow Spring and James Bridge is considered to be some of the best trout fishing in the state.  Brown trout are stocked annually, but rainbow trout haven’t been stocked in years, making them primarily wild.  Warm species of fish abound in the lower section including stripers.  They actually traveled above the falls at Dawt Mill in 2011 when Norfork Lake rose to record levels.

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by Brian Ellis — Rainbow Springs Lodge is located next to the outlet of Double Springs (a.k.a. Rainbow Springs) and is the third largest in the state of Missouri and the largest privately owned spring in Missouri.  Besides me being an avid fly fisherman and our understanding of the significance of the spring on the property as the primary source of cold water for the North Fork River trout fishery, I have a family connection to the property.  My Great Great Great Grandfather on my Mother’s side, John Wesley Gunter, Homesteaded the property the Spring is on in 1861.  My Great Great Grandfather “Bud” Gunter sold the Spring to developers in the early 1900’s.  My Grandparents lived just down river of the place at Kelly Ford in the 1930’s when my mother was born.  read more…