Catching Up on the Niangua River

2012-12-22pic012800pxThe Niangua River is a river that really caught my eye in 2012, as being a river big enough to float in a drift boat, and just close enough for a day trip….albeit a long day trip, with a nearly 3hr drive to get there.  With only a little time left in 2012, and the Christmas holiday fast approaching, Dan Ritter, Paul Chausse, and I elected to make a “quick” float on the Niangua.  It was a cold morning, requiring ice to be broken as we slipped the boat off of the trailer and into the water, as the water above the spring at the Bennett Spring State Park boat ramp is a lot colder before the spring dumps in.  We floated from Bennett Spring to NRO, as they are one of the few outfitters on the river that will actually run a drift boat shuttle.  The fishing on the Niangua is always acceptable, but the fish seem to hold in different places than some of the other rivers we fish — here, they will be out in the middle of the river holding to the divets in the bottom at times, which means for us this is primarily a nymphing river (although with Chausse and Ritter in the boat, several hours were spent chucking streamers).

All in all it was another great day on the river.  On the way back to St. Louis, we stopped by Charlie Reading’s Fly Shop…..holy crap, this shop has everything.  I was able to walk in and buy new size 14 soles for my Korker Red Sides…..something i could not have done at any of my local shops.  Charlie is a hoot, his shop has just about everything and while it appears unorganized, he knows where everything is that is in it.  It was well worth the stop……however, i wonder what the vegas line is for him to actually finish the water feature in front of his shop (he has been working on it for years).  Here are the photos from the float today.

2 thoughts on “Catching Up on the Niangua River

  1. My favorite river in all of MO! Trout, smallies galore. Neighborhood buddies and I have been taking an annual spring canoe float for over 20+ years. Early in the year, ask to be put-in at Moon Valley, only accessible with early water levels; some of the best Smallie on-fly fishing I’ve ever had, some trout up there to be found also, and then lotsa trout the rest of the way. Charlie @ NRO is a top hand !

    • Bob, you are 100% spot on with the Niangua. 2012 and 2013 really opened my eyes up to that river. Much like the Meramec though, I don’t think I would float it in my drifter in the off season without a chainsaw…..lots of wood in that river….which translates to lots of fish habitat.

Leave a Reply