Montauk State Park & Current River
Trout Fishing Report
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Eagles Park is next to Montauk State Park
and across the road from trophy trout fishing on the Current River.
I talk with fishermen almost everyday and I plan to update this report often.

Click Here For An Easy To Print Version Of This Report

Water Level
Very Low I I Very High
USGS Height Gages
Current River at Montauk
Current River above Akers

The upper current River is in good shape for fishing. Visibility is about 4 feet.

6 is clearest

This report was last updated: 03/08/07
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"Many go fishing all their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after." - Henry David Thoreau

My opinion is based on what I hear from other fishermen and how many fish I catch in the hour and a half to two hours that I fish.
The basic scale is as follows.
Poor Fair Good Very Good Excellent
0 fish 1 -2 fish 3-5 fish 6-9 fish 10 or more fish
Montauk State Park
Rating Best Baits
Very Good Bait (Various)
Glo Balls
Rooster Tails
String Jigs
Caddis Flies

     The fishing at Montauk from March 1 - October 31 rarely changes. Fish are put out every night and caught every morning. Fishing is easier on the weekends when more fish are stocked. Bait fishermen catch them on dough baits, marshmallows, corn, minnows and small worms. Artificial bait fishermen do well with Rooster tail spinners and glow balls. Fly fishermen do well with prince nymphs, hare's ear nymphs, string jigs, scuds, caddis flies, mayflies and midges.
     It's pretty much pointless to keep updating the Montauk report when things rarely change.

The Upper Current River
Rating Best Baits
Very Good Pink Lady Glo Ball
Glo Ball
Scrambled Egg
Caddis Flies

Prince Nymph

Diving Crank Baits
White Rooster Tails

    Fishing in the blue ribbon area of the Current River has been pretty good. I catch most of my fish on glo ball patterns. The pink lady, a light pink with dark yellow blended in, is my favorite. I also like a peach colored glo ball, a light orange and pink glo ball and white or chartreuse mini jigs. The scrambled egg is a glo ball I tie from a couple shades of orange, some light pink and yellow glo ball yarn. I tear the yarn into small strands and blend it all together before tying it on a 1/80 - 1/100 ounce jig head. The prince nymph and hare's ear nymph also work pretty good, and so do scuds and wooly buggers.
     Dry flies to use are the caddis fly, mayflies and tricos.
     Spinning rod fishermen do well with Rooster Tails and crank baits (Rappalas).

NOTE: Size limit in the trophy area is now 18" and the daily limit is 1 fish.

     Let me know what has been working for you, or what hasn't. Your input is appreciated.

    I think I should remind people that the trophy trout areas is Artificial Lures only!  No natural baits, dough baits or soft plastics allowed.   I hate it when I see bait containers (or any trash) on the shore, or worse yet, dead fish in the water.  I have a lot of respect for an angler with ethics, and very little for one without.

  Catch & Release
It Will Grow On You

Reports From Other People

From: Chuck Rogers
Bloomington, IL
Montauk 3/5/04 - 3/7/04

     Fished the opening weekend had some really mixed results. Friday fished below the bridge and at the whistle caught nothing along with 25 other fisherman. Went behind the Lodge caught one, fished the afternoon and had better luck. Saturday fished behind the Lodge and caught 3 let several small ones go, went down river (Baptist camp, Flying W, Springs) and the river was so raging that could not get a line in. Fished Sunday at the front hole kept one and just enjoyed the sitting around and talking. Will be back in April for a week. I learned to really pay attention to those river reports, the park level goes down quickly but when it is up you might as well eat breakfast and fish in the afternoon.

From: M. Norman
Montauk 1/31 - 2/1/04

     Just got back from a one day trip to Montauk last weekend. As always the fishing was excellent. I started at the bottom of the fly fishing section around 10:00 in the morning and fished almost up to the spring. In four hours I managed to land over 30 trout on a variety of nymphs and dries, several on hairs ears. I was hammering fish in the run just above the boulder hole and soon there were several other people fishing right next to me. I left there tired of people crossing me with casts and crowding me. One of them was fishing with bait. ILLEGAL THERE!!!! Sorry but that's just one of my pet peeves; people that don't have good fly fishing morals or respect.
     Anyway, I continued up stream looking for some more space and continued to catch fish. A small hatch occurred and I landed a few on PMD (Pale Morning Dun). I don't think I've ever had a bad trip to Montauk. Fishing is consistent there year round. Good luck and tight lines.

From: Paul Klages
St. Charles, MO

Trophy Area 1/29 - 2/1/04

     I went fishing on The Current between baptist camp and parker access. I was with a group of six guys. We had very little luck, about 15 fish between us all. I did the best with 7 fish all caught after 2pm, five of those with a size 16 elk hair in a little ripple. I missed a few more and saw a lot hitting the top going after a very small flying insect. We all saw a lot of fish in the river as a whole. Hope this helps with everyones future fishing.

From: Mel Freeman
St. Louis, MO

Montauk 1/3- 1/4/04




















     I have just returned from my birthday trip to Montauk state park. The weather was nothing short of great on Saturday Jan. 3rd when we arrived
at the park at about 9:30 am. After checking into the hotel room and unloading our things, I strapped on my gear and headed up to the fly fishing area above the White Oak hole. I began my hunt with a size 16 bead head olive hare's ear nymph. Since this past October, it seemed to be my most productive fly.
     After just a few casts, my indicator made a sudden plunge under the surface. I set the hook and I new instantly I'd gotten into a very nice fish. With my reel singing and my heart racing, I began to get nervous. I never had a fish run like this on my fly gear before. After a few minutes the fish
came close enough for me to see that this was definitely the biggest trout that I had ever had on the end of my line. With my heart beating faster and faster, the fish took off on another run making my reel whine like a spoiled child. The fish and I continued this give and take dance for about 10 minutes before I was finally able to get my hand under his belly to lift him out of the water. I did it! I landed a very beautiful 2 1/2 to 3 pound rainbow. What a way to celebrate my birthday!
     The day and my nymph continued to be a great success. Although no fish quite measured up to the first fish, I caught a total of nine more trout that day measuring between 9 to 15 inches.
     When I woke Sunday morning, the weather unfortunately did not hold. I began the day behind the lodge. There was a hatch of some small light blue insects occurring. Still being new to fly fishing, I could not identify them. I tried a size 20 grizzly midge. There were several fish that came to look at this pattern, but none would take it. So I tried several different nymphs also with no luck. After a hour and a half, I gave up and went back to meet my girl, Kate, for breakfast at the lodge.
     After breakfast, the rain began to come down pretty hard. Not feeling discouraged, I donned my waders and a rain jacket and returned to the fly area.
     With my hare's ear tied on, I landed four trout within the hour right above the waterfall. On my way up to the boulder hole, I was able to get one more. At this time, the temperature began to grow quite cold and my frozen thumbs could not tie on my flies very well.
     I came across another fisherman that said he had been doing very well with a white glo-ball. Not having any of these among my gear, I decide to tie on one last fly, a size 20 black elk hair caddis, to tempt the trout rising throughout the river.
     I only hooked into one more trout, although I missed a few others on my way back to the falls. With the weather growing colder and no sun to help warm the body, I ended my weekend.
     All in all I thought, this turned out to be a great fishing trip and I look forward to trying my luck again the second weekend of March (my annual trip with the guys).
     I would like to end this with a ‘Thank You’ to Kate and Montauk for giving me one of the best birthdays that I've had in a long time. GOOD FISHING and GOOD MEMORIES!

From: James E. Ross
Effingham, IL.

Montauk 7/26-27/03

     Just got back from my first trip to Montauk this Monday. The fishing
was good for someone who never fished there before. It's harder to find
the hot spots to fly-fish than in Roaring River or Bennett Spring but
once I found feeding fish it was great! In the mornings I found that
black and yellow jigs worked best. Later, thread jigs, copper johns and
crackle backs produced well. When a hatch was coming off anything with
a grey body and black, brown or grey hackle took several rising fish.
Hope it's like this next year!

From: Keith Katashuk
7/7 -7/10

     My name is Keith and I'm 15 years old from Florissant, Missouri. I went
down to Montauk from July 7th-10th. I did very well. I caught 23 trout the
first day I was there and I started fishing at 2 in the afternoon. I caught
a lot of trout on a little pink plastic jig and zekes corn bait. The next
day was the same story, as I woke up at the buzzer and caught 8 fish in 15 minutes in the rapid water right by the waterfall of the handicaped hole.
The rest of the day I continued to catch fish on the jig, zekes corn bait,
and a fly-like jig. After what totalled to be 3 whole days of fishing, I had
caught over 60 trout. I found it a little funny when people on the river
would tell me that they were skunked that trip, while I was cleaning house.

From: Tim Curran
6/24 - 6/28

























Flies that Produced
Peach Rednecks, Pink Rednecks, Yellow mini-jigs, White mini-jigs, White rednecks, peach mini-jigs.

     Fishing in the park was decent, but not as productive as I remembered from the past. Every time that I go down to Montauk, I try to explore new areas that I haven't fished before. This trip, I explored the Trophy Area.
     On the second day we were there, my dad and I drove down to Tan Vat only to get a flat tire on the way. Dave and his friend down at Eagles Park were kind enough to help us out by patching the tire up with one of their kits. (Thanks guys!) After the tire was repaired, We followed Dave and his friend down to the trophy area around 7:30p.m. My dad and I both only caught 1 fish apiece, but they weren't bad size (mine was a 14" rainbow). We also learned of some very good fishing holes during the short time we were in the trophy area.
     A couple days later, Chad and his family arrived at Montauk, and we decided to go fishing the trophy area. Chad, my dad, and I went exploring the rest of the trophy area from the handicap access inside the park, all of the way to Tan Vat. While still inside the park, Chad and I caught only a few decent sized rainbows, but when we hit the trophy area, our luck would change dramatically. We immediately started getting hits along the rocky ledge by the cabins, and just downstream of that on the other side of the stream. We reached the turn and fished a great fishing
hole. All three of us were getting hits and catching fish, Chad even caught a brown trout. The whole time we were at the trophy area, I was using peach or pink mini-jigs made with glo-ball yarn, a white head, and wrapped with a red collar. These were producing fish all over the place.
     As we headed towards Tan Vat, we passed some large boulders in the stream, and I hooked some, landing only a few. Chad and my dad also caught a couple in this small area. The fishing slowed down, and only a couple were caught between here and Tan Vat (Chad hooked a very
large brown, but it snapped the line after it went into some cover).
     After we reached Tan Vat, it was a little different experience. After not seeing a single person since we entered the trophy area, we heard the sound of loud Rap music and saw a large group of people swimming. This didn't bug us too much though, because we were almost done, and we all three caught a fish at the last hole we were at.
     After getting out of the stream, we started our long walk back to the campground area. By pure coincidence, Dave was standing outside and kindly offered us a ride back. After he dropped us off, I realized just how long of a walk that would have been. (Thanks Dave!)
     We fished the park in the evening a couple more times, and on the last day I was there, we fished the siren in the fly-only area of the park. I found that a mini-jig tied with yellow chenille yarn and painted with a yellow head was producing fish like crazy. I got so many hits that I just lost count, and I landed quite a few of the fish that I hooked. The peach rednecks, and pink rednecks (some with peach painted heads, and some with white painted heads) were also producing lots of fish.
     On the last day, While chad and I were fishing the trophy area, I hooked a lunker. I fought it for about 5 minutes and it somehow just came unhooked when it turned over. It was fun while it lasted though!
     This trip was the best ever, and I learned more on this trip that I did on the trip before. It was also fun because this was the first time I had fished with Chad since last summer when he taught me how to fly fish. I want to thank Dave for helping us out with our flat tire, for giving us a ride
back to the campground from Tan Vat, and for showing us good spots in the trophy area. My goal for next time I go down to Montauk is to explore the area between Tan Vat and the Baptist Camp. We'll see how that works out.

From: Ed Kane,Belleville, IL
June 3 - 6

Monday, June 3 - We fished in Montauk The horn sounded at 6:30 and at 6:46 I was walking back to my truck with four nice fish.The other three in my group were only a few minute behind me. We all used white power bait. I only keep fish from inside the park.

Tuesday, June 4 - We floated from Tan Vat to Parker's Ford in Dave's canoe (thanks Dave). It was a beautiful float and the fish were biting like crazy. We took 7.5 hours to fish 6.6 miles and I've got to say , it wasn't enough time. On spinning rods we used rooster tails, white, black or orange and Dave's white mini- jig. On my fly rod I used gold ribbed hares ear and various peacock herl nymphs. I caught and released well over 15 including 4 keepers and my friend caught just a couple less.

Wednesday, June 5 - Stayed up late last night and didn't fish early .I got shut down later in the afternoon. Nothing seemed to work.

Thursday, June 6 - We floated the same area again and once again the fishing was great. We all caught 7 to 10 fish and had a great time.

I can't wait to do it again, and a big thanks to Dave !

From: Billy Schrader
5/28 - 6/2

    Oddly enough, caught lots of fish in the roughest water... Did best on multi-colored glo-bugs and wooly-buggers (black and yellow). Best luck below the spring in the log jams and fallen trees. Caught a 3# rainbow below the waterfall at the handicap access. Several smaller fish further down on red and green marabou. (This was almost too easy... Stood in one spot, let the jig drift 10-15 feet back, pull forward slowly, let fall back. Caught 6 fish in less than 30 minutes.)
     Had a blast in the catch and release area below the hatchery (the last half hour of the day). Let the black and yellow wooly shoot through the rough water and when the water turned calm, skipped it back across the top of the water. Had hits on every cast for a straight half hour!
     Fishing in the trout management area yielded 3x the number of fish... most caught on wooly-buggers with a few on glo-bugs. (Browns really went after chartreuse.) Several 12-13 inch fish... One really nice one, still out there... look for the wooly-bugger in his mouth.

From: Tom Bailey

     We didn't exactly tear them up, but had a good time. I
caught 4: two rainbows and two browns. One of the browns was a stocker, but the other one was a nice one. I don't measure them, but I'm going to guess it was about 16". Of course I missed a few others. The beginner caught one rainbow and missed a few others. The other guy caught 5: 2 rainbows, and 3 browns. 2 of the browns were stockers. The other was about 18". Had a nice hooked jaw on it. We caught most of these fish on olive mohair leeches or olive bead-head wooly buggers.

From: Jerry McCullough

     I fished with a fly rod and 1/64th oz jigs in the park above the dam. I caught at least 6 trout on pink, peach, white, and yellow. I cleaned the two that I didn't release. I went back and shortly switched to a dry when I noticed the fish coming to the top. I used a dry tied on a size 14 hook with a yellow body and grizzly hackle tied palmer style over the body. I was catching fish by skipping the lure just under the surface and getting strikes on almost every cast.  I switched to a size 12 hook with the same results. I finished at about 2:30 PM getting my limit and heading for home.

I stayed overnight Friday at Eagles Park. I arrived there at about 10:00PM. Thanks for the nice stay.

From: Joseph Klaesner

     The kids caught LOTS of fish in the park, and I caught 17 rainbows Friday during the heaviest rain in the trophy area. I caught all but 3 of them on a olive mohair leech.  The fish included 1 that was almost 4 pounds, and 2 almost 3 pounds!

From: Bruce Henning

     Got back from Montauk yesterday. Not much luck in the park. went down to Parker's Ford in the afternoon. My buddy and I did pretty good in a couple of holes upstream. Bead-head birds nest was the nymph that was working caught five small browns on that. About an hour or two before dark fish started rising to the top. Crackle backs were the ticket (OH YEAH) got into quite a few small browns.  Next day at Tan Vat same thing with Crackle backs it was great.

     If you fish at Montauk or the Upper Current River please e-mail a report to me and I will be glad to post it on this web page.  Send your report to:

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Dave Dawson
Last updated: 03/08/07