This was Craig and myself’s annual New Year’s Day fishing trip. This year we decided to check out some new water — the Little Piney River and also Mill Creek. We left St. Louis about 4:45am and arrived in the town of Newberg, MO by 6:15am or so. We found our way to Mill Creek and decided to park at the White Church and hop the fence at the gate (climbing over the gate, not the bob wire) and cross the field to the stream. This was our first trip to Mill Creek, and were really excited about catching our first MO Wild Trout. We hiked/fished downstream until we came to a “No Trespassing” sign nailed to a tree in the middle of the creek — it was a ways down stream. We did not see a single fish, other than minnows. We then decided to hike upstream from the church and see what lies upstream. We hiked all the way to the campground/low water bridge and did not see a single fish. We did see ALOT of spots that looked perfect to hold trout — however we saw nothing. We hiked back to the truck on the paved road that runs in front of the church from the low water bridge — that is quite the hike.
We threw the rods in the truck and decided to try our luck at the Little Piney — near Mill Hollow Access. We arrived there about 10am and grabbed our rods and hit the river. What allot of nice looking water — but still no fish (we didn’t even see one there either). We fished downstream until noon (about 100 yards downstream from the old bridge that is in the creek) and decided to head back to st. louis, as we had enough casting practice for the day. All in all, it was not that horrible of a trip. I did get to check out some new MO water, it was disappointing though to not spot any fish – – even in the deeper holes when overlooking them from a bluff. Mill Creek is a special place that looks as though it could be spectacular if the stream flow would remain constant and the Little Piney near Mill Hollow Access also looked like great water. I was told that the locals clean out the Mill Hollow Access as soon as the stocking truck leaves, and also that Mill Creek was hit hard by the drought the last several years, but wanted to check them out for myself. I will visit these streams again — probably in March or April, when there is a better chance of some dry fly activity. — Matt Tucker