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.

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Fishing Classes

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

Register by April 6

Date: Saturday, April 6, 2019 - 9:00am to 11:00am

Location: Cape Girardeau Nature Center

Registration begins March 15 (ages 7+)
Do you want to learn how to fish? This class is a pre-requisite of a four-part program that will teach you the basics of fishing. Come by the Nature Center and you will get to learn about fishing equipment, casting, and proper fish handling techniques.
To learn more visit:
https://huntfish.mdc.mo.gov/fishing/get-started-fishing/discover-nature-...


Register by April 6

Date: Saturday, April 6, 2019 - 10:00am to 12:00pm

Location: Cape Girardeau Nature Center

Registration begins March 15 (ages 7+)
Have you taken DNF: 1 before? This is the second of a four-part program that will teach you the basics of fishing.* You will learn how to properly tie a knot, bait a hook, and what you need to stock a basic tackle box.
*DNF: 1 is a required prerequisite for this class.
To learn more visit:
https://huntfish.mdc.mo.gov/fishing/get-started-fishing/discover-nature-...


Date: Saturday, April 13, 2019 - 8:00am to 1:00pm

Location: Warsaw Comm. Building Habor Room

Registration required. CALL 660-530-5500 TO REGISTER. REGISTRATION BEGINS MARCH 5. Participants 17 and younger must be accompanied by an adult. Only open to first time participants.
Participants will learn about conservation efforts with paddlefish, techniques for snagging and go out snagging on Lake of the Ozarks for 2-hours. For more information email Trish.Yasger@mdc.mo.gov


Date: Saturday, April 13, 2019 - 10:00am to 3:00pm

Location: Warsaw Comm. Building Habor Room

Registration required. CALL 660-530-5500 TO REGISTER. REGISTRATION BEGINS MARCH 5. Participants 17 and younger must be accompanied by an adult. Only open to first time participants.
Participants will learn about conservation efforts with paddlefish, techniques for snagging and go out snagging on Lake of the Ozarks for 2-hours. For more information email Trish.Yasger@mdc.mo.gov


Register by April 12

Date: Saturday, April 13, 2019 - 10:00am to 2:00pm

Location: Walter Woods Conservation Area

This beginners clinic will help you get started fishing for one of Missouri’s favorite game fish! Topics will include species identification of catfish, strategies, rules and regulations, equipment, and cleaning and cooking your catch. Fishing equipment will be provided but you may also bring your own. All students 16 years of age and older needs to have a valid Missouri fishing license.


Register by April 27

Date: Saturday, April 27, 2019 - 10:00am to 12:00pm

Location: Cape Girardeau Nature Center

Registration begins April 1 (ages 7-15)
Before the rod and reel came along, cane pole fishing was the way to go. Join us as we go back in time and you can learn how to make your very own cane pole, then try it out at the kid’s pond!


Register by May 3

Date: Friday, May 3, 2019 - 6:00pm to 8:30pm

Location: Cape Girardeau Nature Center

Registration begins April 15 (ages 16+)
Learn the basics of flyfishing or pick up a few new technical skills. We’ll cover equipment selection and use, reading the water, matching the hatch, fly casting, fishing techniques, and essential knots. Flyfishing equipment available for loan.


Register by May 4

Date: Saturday, May 4, 2019 - 9:00am to 11:00am

Location: Cape Girardeau Nature Center

Registration begins April 15 (ages 16+)
Learn the basics of flyfishing or pick up a few new technical skills. We’ll cover equipment selection and use, reading the water, matching the hatch, fly casting, fishing techniques, and essential knots. Flyfishing equipment available for loan.


Register by May 6

Date: Tuesday, May 7, 2019 - 6:00pm to 8:00pm

Location: August A Busch Conservation Area

Location: Lake #15

This first class includes instruction as well as hands-on fishing to teach young anglers and families basic fishing techniques and skills. Participants will learn parts of a fishing pole, how to properly and safely cast a spincast fishing pole, how to fasten basic fishing tackle, and how to properly handle and release a fish. This lesson must be taken before registering for any of the other Discover Nature Fishing lessons 2-4. All fishing gear will be provided by the instructors. Please wear clothing and close-toed shoes suitable for outdoor and water activities. It is recommended that participants bring sunglasses, a water bottle, and sunscreen.

This class is for children ages 7-15 years old. Children must be accompanied by an adult.

Registration for Saturday morning classes closes the Thursday before at 4:00pm, and Tuesday classes the day before at 4:00pm.


Register by May 10

Date: Saturday, May 11, 2019 - 9:00am to 12:00pm

Location: Shepherd of the Hills Conservation Center

Registration required. Please join us to learn the basics of fly fishing. We have several fly fishing rigs available, but students are encouraged to bring their own gear, if possible. Dress for the weather. A brimmed hat and polarized sunglasses are recommended. We will not be wading, so waders are not needed. For more information call (417) 334-4865 ext 0.


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