Discover Nature - Fishing

Free Hands-on Instruction

Fishing is a great way for everyone to have fun outdoors, learn about conservation, and make happy memories together. Our Discover Nature — Fishing Program helps Missourians gain the skills and confidence to go fishing on their own.

  • Classes are free.
  • No special equipment needed — we’ll provide all the gear.

More advanced classes can be found on the list below and on the Fishing Events page.

File Attachments

Fishing Classes

Enter part of the location name (e.g., "Runge")

Register by February 20

Date: Thursday, February 20, 2020 - 6:30pm to 8:30pm

Location: Springfield Conservation Nature Center

Ozarks streams offer excellent smallmouth bass fishing. Learn what type of tackle to use, places to go, and the current research and management activities surrounding this strong fighting fish. All ages.


Register by February 25

Date: Tuesday, February 25, 2020 - 6:00pm to 7:30pm

Location: Shoal Creek Conservation Education Center

Have you ever wanted to go trout fishing but didn’t know what to use or where to go? We will discuss locations to fish, essential equipment, basic fishing methods and lure selection. You’ll be ready to wet a hook on opening day, March 1st.


Register by February 28

Date: Saturday, February 29, 2020 - 8:00am to 11:00am

Location: MDC Kansas City Regional Office

We'll start the morning off with a trout fishing lesson in the class room at the Kansas City Regional Conservation Office where you'll learn all about catching and cleaning trout. Then we'll head down to Honker Pond to try our luck catching some of those hungry trout.

Dress for the weather but if you get cold while you are fishing you can take a break to warm up by the fire and enjoy some hot chocolate.

Only children can fish at Honker Pond but parents and family are welcome to attend with their angler.

Missouri Department of Conservation will provide all of the equipment, bait, fishing coaches, hot chocolate and a warm fire.

Children do not need a trout permit to fish at this event as long as they plan to release their fish, if they would like to keep the trout that they catch they will need a trout permit. Permits will not be available at this event but they can be purchased online here https://huntfish.mdc.mo.gov/fishing/permits
or at any permit vendor.

All children must be accompanied by an adult.

If bad weather is forcast the day of this event it may be postponed. You will be contacted if any changes are necessary.


Register by February 28

Date: Saturday, February 29, 2020 - 9:00am to 1:00pm

Location: Army National Guard

The basics of fly tying workshop will provide the tools and expert coaching to create up to three different fly fishing flies. Learn how to use each of the tools, and what you need to get started. All equipment is provided, and you will keep the flies you tie! Space is limited to 20 participants. Participants 15 years old and younger must be accompanied by an adult. Workshop will be held at the National Guard Armory at 29614 Jaguar St. Macon, MO 63552 from 9:00am to 1:00pm.


Register by March 6

Date: Saturday, March 7, 2020 - 9:00am to 12:00pm

Location: MDC Kansas City Regional Office

Learn everything you need to know about catching winter trout.

Join us for a winter trout fishing lesson at the Kansas City Regional Conservation Office where we'll learn how to catch and clean winter trout. After the lesson we'll head down to Plover Lake and spend a couple hours trying our luck at catching some hungry trout.

Dress for the weather and bring your own snacks and drinks. Missouri Department of Conservation will provide equipment, tackle, bait and fishing coaches.

Fishing permits are not required to fish during this event as long as participants DO NOT plan to keep the trout that they catch. If participants would like to keep their trout they WILL need a trout permit.

Children must be accompanied by an adult.

In the event of bad weather on the day of this program we will go ahead with the inside fishing lesson but the outdoor fishing opportunity may be postponed. Participants will be contacted if changes are necessary.


Register by March 13

Date: Saturday, March 14, 2020 - 10:00am to 2:00pm

Location: James Youth Center

Learn the basics of fly tying and you can catch panfish, bass, and of course trout on your own flies! Students will learn how to tie their own flies in classroom setting. This is not a fishing event, all equipment is provided and you get to keep the flies you tie! Feel free to bring snacks or a lunch. Participants 15 years old and younger must be accompanied by an adult. Event will be held at Rothwell Park in Moberly. 100 Holman Rd. Moberly, MO 65270 from 10:00am to 2:00pm.


Register by March 12

Date: Monday, March 16, 2020 - 10:00am to 12:00pm

Location: Forest Park Hatchery

This spring break program will include all the basics of cane pole fishing, including proper fish handling. Please meet at the Forest Park Hatchery Lakes located on Grand between Faulkner Dr. and Forest Park Pkwy. Ages 6 and up, participants under 16 must be accompanied by an adult. Participants 16 and over who plan to fish will need a valid fishing license which can be purchased here https://mdc-web.s3licensing.com/.


Register by March 19

Date: Tuesday, March 24, 2020 - 10:00am to 12:00pm

Location: Bellefontaine CA

This spring break program will include all the basics of cane pole fishing, including proper fish handling. Please meet at the Bellefontaine Conservation Area Educational Fishing Lakes . Ages 6 and up, participants under 16 must be accompanied by an adult. Participants 16 and over who plan to fish will need a valid fishing license which can be purchased here https://mdc-web.s3licensing.com/.


Register by March 24

Date: Tuesday, March 24, 2020 - 6:00pm to 8:00pm

Location: Springfield Conservation Nature Center

Join Fisheries Biologist Shane Bush and Outdoor Skills Specialist Greg Collier to explore when, where, and how to catch one of the Ozarks favorite panfish. Ages 10-adult.


Register by March 28

Date: Saturday, March 28, 2020 - 9:00am to 2:00pm

Location: Cape Girardeau Nature Center

Who needs a motor? Kayaks offer a peaceful, relaxing way to fish small lakes. Learn how to paddle a kayak, and the finer points of fishing from one. Kayaks will be provided, and fishing rods and other tackle can be if desired. All participants are required to show proof of a current fishing permit. During this program we will practice catch and release fishing only. Meet at the nature center and bring weather appropriate clothing, water bottle, and a sack lunch.


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