Area Status: Open

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Spring Creek is another of the Northern Ozarks babbling brooks, one of three streams within the Forest where rainbow trout naturally reproduce – the other two are Mill Creek and Little Piney. 

This stream is lovely and qualifies as the type of destination that you might seek out first for the solitude, second for the trout. It is fed by smaller springs, and the water quality and flow are very dependent upon periodic rainfall to recharge the spring pool.

This site has no imporvemetns.  The Forest Road leading to this site is a closed road, so people would need to park somewhere near the bridge and hike down the old Forest Road 1803 to get there.  

This is within a Wild Trout Management Area that begins at Relfe Spring and stretches to the Big Piney River -- a little more than six miles long. Spring Creek is populated entirely by wild, stream-bred rainbow trout. Artificial flies only on this course, but the catch is worth the wait.

The upstream half of the creek is on private property, so watch for the private property signs. This is a secluded and quiet creek that could have canoes or kayaks on it, but no boats as the creek is tight or shallow in spots. The creek is only accessible by foot in most locations with a gravel road or highway nearby.

At a Glance

Reservations: First come, first served
Fees: No fees
Permit Info: To fish in this area, you must have a valid Missouri fishing permit, plus a trout permit if you possess trout. Fishing permits are available from Missouri Department of Conservation
Open Season: January - December
Usage: Light
  • MDC regulations for the Blue Ribbon Trout category apply on Spring Creek from Relfe Spring to its junction with the Big Piney River.
  • Artificial flies only on this coarse but the catch is worth the wait.
  • Dogs must be on a 6 foot leash in the day use area
  • No trash containers; please pack out all your trash.
  • Fireworks are prohibited.
Closest Towns: Edgar Springs, MO, Fort Leonard Wood Military Reservation
Water: None
Restroom: None
Operated By: USDA Forest Service
Information Center: Houston/Rolla/Cedar Creek Ranger District
Email | Phone and Address

General Information


From Edgar Spring, MO

  • On Highway 63 take highway M (left if heading north, right if heading south)
  • Follow Highway M until you end at Highway J and turn left
  • Spring Creek will cross th road at 1,000 feet on Highway J
  • Forest Road 1803 is to the left, just before the bridge.

From Fort Leonard Wood

  • Go out the East Gate and follow the East Gate Road until it ends at Highway J.
  • Go left on Highway J and travel one mile to the Spring Creek Bridge and Forest Road 1803.
  • The site is on your right just past the bridge.


River and Stream Fishing

You'll have to do some wading, but you'll find fish almost every place the stream narrows into riffles and drops into a little pool. You'll need to adjust the general locations you fish, dependent upon seasonal migration.

For more information visit the Missouri Trout Hunter website or Missouri Department of Conservation website.

Fish Species rainbow trout
Fishing Mode wading
Special Designations Blue Ribbon Trout Stream
Fishing Platform None
Fishing Method Rod & Reel, flyfishing

Recreation Areas

Recreation Activities