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 April 22

Date: Thursday, April 25, 2019 - 6:00pm to 8:00pm

Location: Burr Oak Woods Conservation Nature Center

Lesson 1: Equipment, Casting and Proper Fish Handling combines instruction with hands-on fishing to teach young anglers and families basic fishing techniques and skills. Participants will learn how to properly and safely cast a spincast fishing rod, parts of a fishing rod, how to fasten basic fishing tackle and how to properly handle and release a fish. Lesson 2: How to Tie a Knot and Bait a Hook combines instruction with hands-on fishing to teach young anglers and families intermediate fishing techniques and skills. Participants will learn to tie an improved clinch knot and how to properly secure bait on hooks. Fishing equipment, instructors/coaches and bait/lures will be provided. Ages 7 and above. All children ages 7-15 must be accompanied by an adult at all times.


Register by April 27

Date: Saturday, April 27, 2019 - 9:00am to 12:00pm

Location: George O. White Nursery

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 2

Date: Saturday, May 4, 2019 - 9:30am to 11:30am

Location: Suson Park - Rearing Pond

Location: Suson Rearing Pond

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.

The Discover Nature Fishing Program is designed for children ages 7-15 years old, although parents/guardians are encouraged to learn and fish with their children. 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.

Age Policy:


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.

The Discover Nature Fishing Program is designed for children ages 7-15 years old, although parents/guardians are encouraged to learn and fish with their children. Children must be accompanied by an adult. 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 9

Date: Thursday, May 9, 2019 - 5:30pm

Location: Roby Lake

Register by May 11

Date: Saturday, May 11, 2019 - 9:00am to 1:00pm

Location: Roby Lake

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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