Ozark National Scenic Roads
The Ozark National Scenic Riverways in southern Missouri is an oasis for overseas men throughout the Midwest. Known for its springs, caves and clear rivers, this national park has something to offer for everyone. The list of leisure opportunities is long and varied. Includes canoeing, fishing, hunting, wildlife viewing and hiking. The springs and mountains are beautiful beyond description, and many visit the park just for a look.
The park includes some of the most popular canoeing waters in the world. The Current River and Jacks Fork are heavily fed by fountains and are navigable year round. Between the two rivers, the park provides about 320 kilometers of floating water. The rivers are clear, cold and greenish blue. Any buoy on any river will take you past mountains, springs and cliffs. There are many gravel bars along the way, perfect for picnicking, camping or just relaxing. There are no rapids in the rivers that pose a serious threat, although fast runs and shoals are common. Many canoe rentals cater to the river, so finding a boat and a shuttle is not a problem. Here are some of the most special floats.
MonkeysForkRiver: Buck Hollow for Rhymer's Landing
This 9-mile float on the upper Jacks Fork River flows through a beautiful gorge. The river is relatively small and moves rapidly. Water is a series of rapid rapids and deep pools, all appealing to the eye. This part of the river is quite remote, and few floats enjoy this beautiful stretch of water. The fishing for smallmouth bass and sunfish is excellent. Only small springs feed the river so upstream, and it is best to float in spring and autumn. During the summer, flotation is possible if you are willing to drag some rifles.
MonkeysForkRiver: Eminence to two rivers
This 8-mile float on the lower Jacks Fork River is one of the most beautiful (and popular) floats in the park. Flowing through a variety of small mountains and deep valleys, the scenery is amazing. The bottom fork is quite wide and deep, but the water is surprisingly clear and cold. You'll find a lot more floaters than upstream, but the crowds are usually quite bearable. Bass fishing is very good and the river is easily floated all year round. The withdrawal is just below the junction of the river with the current river in the two river camp.
CurrentRiver: Baptist Field to Cedar Grove
This 7-mile float near the headwaters of the Current River has a lot to offer. The river goes through several springs and high cliffs, and there are many deep blue pools. The river has a high gradient in this area, with many fast rifles separated by small pools. The river is not particularly large here, but it is always deep and wide enough to make it easy to float. Still, relatively few fluctuate on this stretch, mainly because it is serviced only by one or two canoe rentals. This is a first class fishing float with excellent populations of rainbow and brown trout.
CurrentRiver: Akers Ferry to Pulltite Campground
This is probably the most popular car in the National Park. At this point, the Current river is really at its best. The river is still very cold and clear, and has grown to a size large enough to accommodate a large number of floaters. Some of the park's largest mountains can be seen from the river, and many small fountains can be seen entering the river. The river here has some fast rapids, but it also has some long slow pools that are suitable for just sitting and relaxing. Because this is where the river flows from cold to warm water, the fishing possibilities are quite varied. Rainbow trout, smallmouth bass and goggles are common. The river is easily floatable all year round.
The Ozark National Scenic Riverways is home to one of the largest spring complexes in the world. The springs form in cracks where groundwater supplies reach the surface. Some springs are just small springs and others form large streams that appear out of nowhere. The largest (the aptly named Big Spring, which feeds the Current River), puts more water on average than any other source in the country. Most sources come somewhere between these two extremes. The fountains are beautiful beyond description, flowing in emerald blue of unfathomable depths. Many spring pools are over 30 meters deep. Due to this incredible beauty, many springs have become popular tourist attractions. Park Regulations do not allow fishing, swimming or boating in spring or spring. Here are some very special fonts worth visiting.
This spring, which feeds the Jacks Fork River, is probably the most visited in the park. This high performance spring features a beautiful spring and a watercress lined branch. The most popular attraction of spring, however, is the old poolside windmill, which was built in 1800 to generate power. The mill is no longer used, but still offers a glimpse into the history of the Ozarks.
This spring along the Upper Current River forms a deep pool just above the river. Spring produces about 150 CFS per second and doubles the size of the Current river. Like Alley Spring, however, is best known for its history. In the mid-nineteenth century, it was the location of a health resort. Although the business proved futile, the ruins of the building still remain today and provide an interesting spectacle for visitors. As a side note, the Current River pool below the spring junction is very popular with trout fishermen and has produced many trophy rainbows over the years.
Big Spring, which flows into the Current River, is tied for the largest spring title in the country. 400 cubic feet per second of cold clear water roars out of a cave, instantly forming a large river. The spring branch flows into the lower Current River, which makes it much larger and colder. Spring is especially impressive at high flow rates.
The Ozark National Scenic Riverways offers a wide range of fishing possibilities. The most popular species include sea bass, rainbow trout, brown and brown eyed trout and green sunfish, but walleye, pickerel and various rough fish are also available. The exceptionally clear waters of the Jacks Fork and Current River provide an incredibly attractive fishing environment, and it seems that world-class game fish stocks are just a bonus.
Jacks Fork Fishing
The Jacks Fork River is one of the best hot water fisheries in the Ozarks. Sea bass and goggle eye are by far the most sought after species throughout the river, but you will also find good bass and pick populations in the slow water. There is good fishing from the south of the river to the junction with the Current river. Generally, you will find fewer crowds and larger fish in the gorge above Alley Spring, but the lower river also offers good fishing and is more convenient to access. While fishing with Wade is quite possible, float fishing is by far the most popular technique.
The Upper Current River is loosely defined as the water between Montauk State Park and Akers Ferry, also known to fishermen as the "trout section". Between Montauk State Park and Cedar Grove, brown trout are the main attraction, while there are also many rainbows. Between Cedar Grove and Akers Ferry, fishing is subject to fishing and fishing regulations, and 10 "rainbows are stocked about a dozen times a year. The upper current usually has a high gradient, but there are no actual rapids. to speak famous trout water, and the number of fishermen will reflect this. Float fishing and boat fishing are equally popular, with the best fishing conditions above Cedar Grove. There are about 20 miles of water and all of good for trout. bass fishing is also pretty decent between Cedar Grove and Akers Ferry.
The middle Current River houses the classic water of the smallmouth river. The middle stream is generally defined as the water between the Akers Ferry and the intersection with the Jacks Fork River (also known as two rivers), at a distance of nearly 64 kilometers. The first 20 kilometers from Akers Ferry to Round Spring offer a mix of cold and hot water fisheries with rainbow trout and sea bass. Below Round Spring, smallmouth bass becomes king. They hide in all puddles and run in this part of the river, and the fish density is very high. Due to the lack of special regulations and extremely high fishing pressure, the size of the fish is usually quite small. The ten to fourteen inch bass is the norm, with some larger and some smaller. Eyeglasses and sunglasses are also very common. There are some areas to fish, but a canoe will give you access to some more water.
The Current River from Two Rivers to the Arkansas State Line provides about 70 kilometers of very large water for fishermen. Smallmouth still reigned supreme. Although no special regulation exists on the lower river yet, the size of the river allows many to grow in trophy proportions, and the average size of the bass is considerably larger than any other part of the river. By this time, the river has narrowed considerably, making boat fishing much easier. There are still some rifles, but they tend to be relatively short and are separated by many long pools. Below Van Buren, some new species come into play, including walleye, crappie and largemouth bass. Walleye fishing tends to be an intermittent proposition, but it is usually common below Big Spring and is even more common the closer you are to the Arkansas border. Crappie and largemouth bass also become common in the huge waters below Big Spring, with the best populations in slow tides. There are some productive areas for fish-mouth and panfish fishing, but sea fishing is very difficult so far. Most anglers use canoes or Jon river boats.
There are some excellent hunting opportunities in the National Park. Unlike most areas managed by the National Park Service, hunting is allowed according to state regulations. Deer, turkeys, squirrels, rabbits and a limited population of highland birds can be found. The black bear is becoming somewhat common in the park, but it's not cool to hunt it yet. There is a good diversity of habitats in the area, with river valleys and mountains available to the hunter. Also, it is always a fun adventure to combine a day of fishing and hunting. Remember that hunting is not allowed in developed areas of the park.
Most Riverways hunters target deer. Deer numbers are very good throughout the park. River valleys are the most obvious choice for the deer hunter. The Jacks Fork and Current River valleys consist mainly of small trees, willows and other shrubs. There are also some areas of ancient fields. All of these areas work well for deer in both the bedding and feeding areas. Many hunters overlook the mountains and mountain ranges that surround the river valleys. This is a mistake. Large oak grove creates large acorn harvests each year, and many deer take advantage. Deer densities tend to be a little farther from rivers, but they are also less targeted by hunters. Areas close to the Mark Twain National Forest, as well as conservation areas, offer even more areas for the hunter.
Turkey is also common in the Current and Jacks Fork River Valley. The thick woods surrounding the river are the perfect habitat for these cunning birds, and the park offers some of the best wild turkey hunting anywhere. The fall and spring seasons produce good results.
Camping is extremely popular in the park. There are many popular campgrounds in the park, including Pulltite, Two Rivers, Cedar Grove, Eagle's Park (privately owned, but in the park) and Big Spring. Floating, fishing, walking and hunting opportunities are found within easy reach of all these areas. Stray camping is also allowed anywhere in the park as long as you are 100 feet from the road. A popular technique is to row in a nearby gravel bar, set up a tent and wake up in the morning, fish or hunt. You can also walk to an area and set up a tent, which will allow you to hunt or fish in solitude.
There are recreational opportunities of all kinds on Ozark National Scenic Riverways. Whether you like hunting, fishing, camping, canoeing, sightseeing or just relaxing, this is a great place to schedule your next vacation.