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 January 31

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

Location: Prairie Hollow Lake, James A. Reed MWA

Ice fishing is a fun way to get outdoors and enjoy a cold winter day. Join us for an ice fishing lesson and a couple hours out on the ice catching fish.

We'll start the morning off at the Kansas City Regional Conservation Office where we will learn about ice fishing equipment and techniques as well as ice fishing and winter fishing safety. Then we'll head down to Prairie Hollow Lake for a fishing opportunity out on the ice.

Missouri Department of Conservation will provide equipment, bait, and fishing coaches. Dress warm and bring your own snacks and drinks to help you keep warm.

Fishing permits are not required to fish during this program.

Safe ice will be necessary for this program. In the event that weather and ice conditions are not acceptable for this program participant will be contacted.


Register by January 31

Date: Saturday, February 1, 2020 - 1:00pm to 3:30pm

Location: Bray (Marguerite) Conservation Area

Always wanted to explore fly fishing but didn’t know who to ask for help? This workshop is designed for individuals who want to learn how to properly cast under various environmental conditions or simply improve their skills. All instruction and equipment is provided at no cost by Missouri Department of Conservation during the workshop. Space is limited to 10 participants and all participants must be 16 years or older. This workshop will be held at Bray Conservation Area located just three miles south of Rolla, MO, on February 1st from 1 – 3:30 PM.


Register by January 31

Date: Saturday, February 8, 2020 - 8:00am to 12:00pm

Location: Hunnewell Hatchery

Come join us for a morning of fun learning about ice fishing! Participants will learn about ice fishing during a classroom portion followed by a hands on skills portion outside. Participants will need to dress in layers to accommodate the change in temperatures. In the event that there is not ice on the lake we will still hold the class. Participants are encouraged to purchase permits prior to the class, however they are not required for the duration of the workshop. Bring a sacked lunch as there are no local options, ice cleats are recommended and bring a bucket or chair to sit on while on the ice. Fishing supplies are available but limited, including bait. This class is open to all ages, however anyone 15 years of age or younger needs to be accompanied by an adult. This is a free class open to the public. Registration is required. The class will only be canceled in the event of inclement weather such as freezing rain or blizzard like conditions.


Register by February 7

Date: Saturday, February 8, 2020 - 10:00am to 3:30pm

Location: Maramec Spring Hatchery

Ever been on the river and no one is catching except for that one lone fisherman? This workshop helps you figure out what is going on in the water so you can match the lure to macroinvertebrates present in the environment. All instruction and equipment is provided at no cost by Missouri Department of Conservation during the workshop; but individuals may bring their own fly fishing equipment if they wish. Individuals will fly fish in the morning followed by macroinvertebrate sampling and comparison to standard flies in the afternoon. Space is limited to 10 participants and all participants must be 16 years or older. This workshop will be held at Maramec Spring Park located just six miles south of St. James, MO, on Hwy. 8, on February 8th from 10 AM – 3:30 PM. Participants will meet at the museum within the park. Participants need to bring their own lunch and be prepared to be outside all day.


Register by February 8

Date: Saturday, February 8, 2020 - 11:00am to Saturday, February 15, 2020 - 10:30am

Location: Fountain Buffs Sports Complex

Come out and learn all about winter trout fishing.

This will be a two part program with a trout fishing lesson at the Liberty Mid Continent Library 1000 Kent St, Liberty, MO 64068, and a trout fishing opportunity at one of the Fountain Bluff Sports Complex fishing ponds, 2200 Old State Hwy 210, Liberty, MO 64068.

The library lesson will begin at 11:00 am, Saturday February 8th in the Liberty
Mid Continent Library meeting area. Lesson instructors will share information about trout fishing equipment, methods, favorite techniques and winter fishing safety.

The second part of this program will be a fishing opportunity at Fountain Bluff Sports Complex, (Saturday February 15th, 8:00am - 10:30am) where
we will try our hands a catching some winter trout.

Missouri Department of Conservation will provide all necessary equipment, bait, tackle and fishing coaches.

Dress for the current weather conditions.

Fishing permits are not required to fish during this program as long as participants DO NOT plan to keep fish. If participants DO plans to keep their fish they will need a valid Missouri trout fishing permit.

The library trout fishing lesson will take place regardless of weather conditions but in the event of bad weather on the day of the fishing opportunity at Fountain Bluff that part of the program may be postponed. Participants will be contacted if changes are made.


Register by February 14

Date: Saturday, February 15, 2020 - 10:00am to 3:30pm

Location: Maramec Spring Hatchery

Have you ever had the experience to catch a fish on a fly you tied? This workshop will provide the tools and expert coaching to create up to three different fly fishing flies and take home about nine total flies. Individuals will be allowed to try their flies within a stream the final hours of the workshop. Space is limited to 10 participants and all participants must be 16 years or older. This workshop will be held at Maramec Spring Park located just six miles south of St. James, MO, on Hwy. 8, on February 8th from 10 AM – 3:30 PM. Participants will meet at the museum within the park. Participants should bring their own lunch, knee/hip boots, and be prepared to be outside in the afternoon.


Register by February 14

Date: Saturday, February 15, 2020 - 10:00am to 1:00pm

Location: Neosho National Fish Hatchery

Join MDC staff, Neosho National Fish Hatchery staff, and the MAKO fly fishers, for a free clinic designed to help the beginner and expert alike. We will cover basic fly casting skills, simple fly tying patterns, and river strategies for many different species in southwest MO and beyond. All supplies will be provided and please register so we know how many to expect. All are welcome!


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 - 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 and all participants must be 16 years or older. Workshop will be held at the National Guard Armory at 29614 Jaguar St. Macon, MO 63552 from 9:00am to 1:00pm.


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