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Capp's Creek in Southwestern Missouri is one of the state's most overlooked trout streams. It really has no reputation at all, and most Missouri trout fisherman have never heard anything about it. It is a White Ribbon Trout Management (at least when this article was written), which means it is a put and take trout fishery. Rainbows are stocked periodically throughout the spring, summer, and fall. Many of the rainbows go home with local bait anglers, as all forms of bait, within reason, are allowed. Indeed, most people that know of Capp's Creek think of it as the typical catch and keep rainbow trout stream.
What they are forgetting is Capp's Creek's excellent population of brown trout. Brown trout aren't stocked quite as often as the rainbows, but they are protected with a length limit, so they provide any excellent year-round fishery in the creek. The upper creek (above Jolly Mill), is largely formed of flat, deep pools, most of which hold rainbow trout. The creek holds this look for a way below Jolly Mill, before it begins to take on the look of a wild Ozark creek in its lower section. This lower section has a natural riffle-pool-run configuration, and the brown trout fishing is excellent, with some rainbows mixed in. The fishing is much more natural in this part of the creek, and much less dependant on the stocking truck. The creek has four miles of trout water in all, and there are trout both upstream and downstream of the mill dam in good numbers. To access this interesting trout creek, park at Jolly Mill Park (Update as of July, 2014, the parking here is no longer free), and wade up or downstream. The mill is pretty, and is listed on the National Registry of Historic Places. It is located in the tiny town of Pierce City, on county road 1010, but you'll have to take a short walk to get there.
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