Sunday, February 22, 2015


February 22, 2015



How's Fishing?

I attended the annual pre-season meeting last night.  The good news is that there won't be any changes to the rules, limits, or costs for you in 2015.  No bad news.  Even opening day is forecast to be almost 40 with a low of 27 with a low chance of precipitation.  I have lived here long enough to realize this could change hourly, but it's a warming trend, and I have found that a trend is more likely to be an accurate forecast.  Keep your fingers crossed.  Based on this information and tag sales history, the opening tag sales for opening weekend could reach 3500.  

The siren ringer for 2015 is Chet Snyder from Grandview, MO.  Chet has been to a consecutive 60 Trout Season Opening Days.  An amazing record.  Congratulations, Chet.

For opening day there will be 9000 fish released with up to 150 of those being Lunkers .  The average size fish for 2015... drum roll please...12.28 inches. This size will be slightly better for the early part of the summer and slightly lower for the fall months.

 Didymo continues to be a threat.
A reminder that porous soled boots have been banned from Missouri trout streams. 17 states have banned this type of sole so far, with more to follow. Please be especially careful if you fish both in Arkansas streams and Bennett Spring. Didymo has been found in streams in our neighboring state, the White River being the closest infestation.

After fishing:

Check all gear and equipment after use and remove any visible algae. If you notice algae on your equipment at a later time, do not dispose of the algae by putting it down a drain. Dispose of it in the trash.

If you fish in any stream other than Bennett Spring, you need to wait 48 hours before fishing at Bennett to allow all of your tackle to dry thoroughly. If it's not possible to allow everything to dry (wader cuffs, fly line, shoelaces, nets, etc) it should all be washed in a salt solution. You can make your own 20% salt solution by dissolving 2 pounds of salt per gallon of water. When using a 20% salt solution, soak your equipment for 3 minutes. A 5% solution can be made with 7 ounces of salt per gallon. When using a 5% salt solution, soak for 20 minutes. This does the same thing as putting salt on a slug. Bleach solutions can also be used, but it can ruin the fabric of waders so It's not recommended for this use.



A reminder that you need to have a valid fishing license from the State of Missouri to fish the streams. If you are in doubt if you need to have a license or not, please refer to the Missouri of Conservation Web site.  https://www.mo.wildlifelicense.com/start.php
In addition to your license, to fish in the Trout Parks you also need a daily tag.  To keep trout that you catch in the Niangua River you must possess a trout 'stamp'.
The daily limit is four, no matter where you catch them.  When the fourth fish is put on your stringer, you are finished fishing for the day.  You may have in your possession eight fish total - keep the daily tag with them according to the Missouri State fishing regulations.  Always refer to the Conservation website or ask a Conservation agent if you have questions.



Fishing Times
March from 6:30 to 6:00 ( (7;30  to 7:00 pm after March 8, daylight savings time)
April from 7:00 to 7:30/
May from 6:30 to 8:15
June/July from 6:30 to 8:30
August from 7:00 to 8:00
September from 7:30 to 7:15
October from 7:30 to 6:30




Calendar of Events

February 28th - Chili/Soup Supper at Bennett Spring Church of God on 64A Highway in Bennett Spring Park. All are welcome.  There is a suggested donation of $5.  Chili or soup, crackers, dessert, tea, lemonade or coffee.  For more information call 532-7531.
March 1st - All you can eat pancake breakfast.  7 to 10 am.  A $5 donation supports the Bennett Spring Fire Protection District, an all volunteer group that consists of first responders and fire fighters.  The firehouse is located at 11626  highway 64. The event is being catered by Chris Cakes of St. Louis.  All the pancakes, sausage, coffee and juice that you want.
June 6th and 7th - free fishing weekend
June 6th and 7th - June 6th and 7th - Inaugural CFM Trout Fest.
This event is sponsored by the Conservation Federation of Missouri, and is put on in cooperation with the Missouri Department of Natural Resources and the Missouri Department of Conservation.  There will be many attractions and activities, including a traditional trout park derby where tagged fish will be stocked and prizes awarded to the anglers who catch them.
June 23rd and 24th - moss cutting
July 28th & 29th - moss cutting
August 25th & 26th - moss cutting
September 22nd and 23rd - moss cutting
October 20th and 21st - moss cutting
October 31st - end of regular fishing season
November 13th - start of catch and release for 2015/16
February 8th, 2016 end of catch and release season 2015/16



Weather Forecast

Sunday: Scattered flurries. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 24. North wind 13 to 16 mph, with gusts as high as 23 mph.

Sunday Night: Mostly cloudy, with a low around 6.

Monday: Partly sunny, with a high near 23.

Monday Night: Partly cloudy, with a low around 14.

Tuesday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 37.

Tuesday Night: Mostly clear, with a low around 21.

Wednesday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 40.

Wednesday Night: A chance of snow. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 20.

Thursday: A chance of snow. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 33.



Water Conditions
The water is very low, very clear and slow.

Bennett Spring:

Gage house level is 1.81 feet
February 20, 2015
minimum 80 in 1936
Current level is 75
25th percentile is 119
Median is 176
Mean is 191
75th percentile is 240
Max was 488 in 1988

Niangua River:

February 20, 2015
Gage House reading is 1.77
Today's reading is 64
minimum was 52 in 1976
25th percentile is 127
Median is 213
Mean is 253
75th percentile is 366
Max was 734 in 2008



Quote of the Week

The true fisherman approaches the first day of fishing season with all the sense of wonder and awe of a child approaching Christmas.

Author:  Robert Traver

Thanks for reading!





Thursday, January 15, 2015

First report 2015

Trout Fishing Report for Bennett Spring

January 15, 2015

How's Fishing?
We have had some great reports from the anglers we have talked with.  Of course, it is catch and release for the trout park this time of year.  Typically we are hearing of catches of about ten per hour.  These are, of course, experienced anglers, and, as they say, results may vary.  Suggested flies would be a pale morning dun or a black caddis, size 18.  A small renegade would also be a good choice for this time of year.
There have also been quite a few people picking up trout stamps to fish the Niangua.  If you like to keep a few fish to eat, this is a good choice.



Fishing Times

 The beginning of Catch and Release season began on November 14, 2014. It runs until February 9, 2015. Fishing is permitted from 8 am to 4 pm every weekend on Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday.

If you would like to keep a few - (4 or less per day, 8 in possession) you may buy a trout stamp and fish in the rivers of Missouri such as the Niangua. An easy way to buy this license is to use the website to buy and print one.

Thanks to fellow angler Paul Hardin for providing the easy link.
https://www.mo.wildlifelicense.com/start.php



Water Conditions

Bennett Spring:
For January 15, 2015
Gage house level is 1.85 feet

Discharge levels are in Cubic Feet per Second
minimum was in 1974 - 73
today - 88
25th percentile is 97
Median is 128
Mean is 169
75th percentile is 174
Max was 662 in 1937

Niangua River:

January 15, 2015
Gage House reading is 2.03
Discharge levels are measured in Cubic Feet per Second (CFS)
minimum was 56 in 2013
25th percentile is 72
today's reading is 91
Median is 115
Mean is 247
75th percentile is 232
Max was 1390 in 1995



Lunker club - Caught after the report was sent, on the last day of the regular season.

10-31-14
Stacy Long
Ottumwa Iowa
2-3/4 pounds on a brown nymph in zone 2



Weather Forecast 
Friday: Sunny, with a high near 54. Wind chill values as low as 24 early. Southwest wind 3 to 7 mph.

Friday Night: Mostly clear, with a low around 35. South wind 7 to 9 mph.

Saturday: Sunny, with a high near 56. South wind 9 to 14 mph.

Saturday Night: Partly cloudy, with a low around 30.

Sunday: Sunny, with a high near 51.

Sunday Night: Mostly clear, with a low around 30.

M.L.King Day: Mostly sunny, with a high near 50.



In Memory

The following is an email that I received from Weldonna Shetron, Vee's daughter.
Vaviel “Vee” Suits was a 40 year resident of the Bennett Spring area. She first came to Bennett with the love of her life, Bill McEwen, back in 1968, to try her hand at fishing the stream. That was the beginning of a wonderful, friend-filled journey. For many years, Vee was known as “The Fisher Woman” at Bennett. People would come to watch her fish, and she would teach those who wanted to learn.

For over 25 years, the home that she and Bill shared at Weaver’s Campground was filled with life. People would come to view their beautiful home, and be awed by flowers blooming everywhere during spring and summer…every holiday marked with lavish decorations inside and out.

Sadly, in 1996, Vee’s beloved Bill went Home, and she was never the same after. She remained a wonderful hostess and friend to so many in the area--but grieved for Bill until the day she passed.

Vee busied herself with her church work…taking on more and more responsibilities as opportunities were presented. She recorded a CD of her own gospel works, “From My Heart To Yours”, and gave it freely to anyone and everyone. The music from this CD has gone from coast to coast, and is still being played on the air and in churches. She was always available to solo at her church, and also for revivals, other churches, and events anywhere--whenever she could. She was happy to serve for several years as a representative for her church, Lebanon Church of the Nazarene, at District Assemblies in the Joplin area. And anyone-young to old-could come to Vee for advice, and cookies, cake and coffee, if they had the time!

Vee continued to travel, but not always alone. One or another of her wealth of friends often went with her on her travels, especially Wade and Eva Earls. Eva would become one of Vee’s very best friends.

In 2007, Vee’s daughter and son-in-law, Donnie and Jim, and her granddaughter, Katrina, and grandson, William, gave her an 80th birthday surprise party at her church. Friends old and new, from all over the country, came…and her remaining brother and sister. It was a joyous occasion; over 300 people came to visit and celebrate with her that day. Things were going well with Vee, and it was hoped that she’d just go on forever.

On November 24, 2010, William Jameson Shetron, Vee’s grandson, passed away unexpectedly of complications from Crohn’s. Her health continued to decline after this, limiting her ability to travel, or even go into town.

On June 26, 2014, Vee was diagnosed with metastatic liver cancer while at the emergency center at St. John’s in Springfield. Her pain was finally more than she could handle. On July 3 she was placed on Hospice care. Vee’s friends and family rallied around her, especially many at Weaver's, like Lois Schremp, Don & Marge Moor, and many others. Friends from church and town did, too. They sat with Vee, and prayed with her, brought her food and tokens of love. Her church even held a Wednesday evening service in her home. On August 6, Vee was placed in Christian Health Care South. She was given only a day or two to last. But she had a different idea. Vee waited until everyone who could had a chance to come for one last visit, one final prayer, and say one last farewell on this Side.

Vee went Home around 3a.m. on Friday, August 15. Her daughter and granddaughter were with her. She passed quietly and peacefully from her amazing, full life here on earth, to a far more wondrous life, reunited with loved ones who'd gone before, in Heaven. Vee was in love with the Bennett area, and its people, from the first. A part of her will always remain here…her little Heaven on earth.



Quote of the Week

A trout angler should always be asking questions, even in reading a book. The mistake of many is to blindly accept the opinions and writings of others. There is a tendency to become too stereo-typed in methods and approach. This tendency is encouraged by writers who lay down hard and fast rules.

Author:  Tony Orman

Published:  Trout on a Nymph

Thanks for reading!  Lucy

Saturday, November 8, 2014



November 12, 2014

How's Fishing?
The beginning of Catch and Release season begins on November 14, 2014 (Friday).  It runs until February 9, 2015. Fishing is permitted from 8am to 4pm every weekend on Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday.

If you would like to keep a few - (4 or less per day, 8 in possession) you may buy a trout stamp and fish in the rivers of MIssouri such as the Niangua.  An easy way to buy this license is to use the website to buy and print one.

 Thanks to fellow  angler Paul Hardin for providing the easy link.
https://www.mo.wildlifelicense.com/start.php

The hatchery manager, Mike Mitchell, has provided the tag sales for the year. If you need to contact him he can be reached at :
Bennett Spring Hatchery
26142 Hwy 64A
Lebanon, MO 65536
phone 417-532-4418
fax 417-532-5507
cell 417-718-3000
email: Michael.Mitchell@mdc.mo.gov

Year    Adult  tags         Kids tags       Total        Fish Stocked         Fish/Tag
2014    13,047               1,324          14,371           31,715              2.21
2013    12,742               1,221          13,963           31,800              2.28

Year          tag  sales
2014           133,260
2013           127,474
Total differences 5,786

Water Conditions
Bennett Spring:
Gage house level is 1.83 feet
November 8, 2014
minimum was in 1938 - 66
today - 86
25th percentile is 93
Median is 115
Mean is 144
75th percentile is 150
Max was 504 in 1985

Niangua River
October 22, 2014
Gage House reading is 1.85
minimum was26 in 2008
25th percentile is 23
today's reading is 53
Median is 77
Mean is 515
75th percentile is 261
Max was 4930 in  1997





                                                                                Weather Forecast

Friday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 38.
Friday Night: Occasional flurries. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 27.
Saturday: A chance of snow. Cloudy, with a high near 37.



Quote of the Week

Fish in the water represent pure potential. If the water is not clear, we do not know if they exist at all. To get them to bite something connected to a line and pull them into our world is managing a birth that brings these creatures from the realm of mysytery into the world of reality. It is a kind of creation.


Author:
Howell Raines

Published:
A Meditation on the Midlife Crisis



Thanks for reading!
Lucy

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

How's Fishing?



The weather this year has been simply perfect and this fall is no exception.  There is only one more weekend in the regular season.  I hope you are able to join us for one more golden fishing trip.




What's Working at Bennett
From the fly box

Blue holographic crackleback has been super
ginger or golden olive crackleback
red or black zebra midge
red WD40
green RGN

Zone 1 & 2

jimi hendrix tri color glo ball
brown glitter or brown trout rooster tails
roaches - gray, brown & black
Marabou - white, gingersnap, and black & yellow
white floss
Peacock mini jig
Kapok

Zone 3

Zeke's white power bait
salmon peach power bait



Lunker Club

10-15-14
Jeff Mattes from Jacksonville, IL
3-1/8 pounds on a peacock herl jig in zone 1

10-18-14
Ben Ortbals-Steinkamp
House Springs, MO
2 pounds on a tri color glo ball in zone 2



10-19-14
Greg Hink from Gardner, Kansas
3.21 pounds on a #18 fleatermaous in zone 2

10-20-14
Bruce Baird from Bluford, IL
2 pounds 8 ounces on a kapok jig in zone 2



Water Conditions at Bennett Spring

Bennett Spring:
Gage house level is 1.83 feet
October 22, 2014
minimum was in 1938 - 75
25th percentile is 92
today - 86
Median is 113
Mean is 132
75th percentile is 143
Max was 390 in 1984



Niangua River:
October 22, 2014
Gage House reading is 1.81
minimum was 19 in 1993
25th percentile is 32
todays reading is 52
Median is 53
Mean is 86
75th percentile is 131
Max was 484 in 2010



Weather Forecast

Friday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 77. Wind chill values as low as 49 early. Southwest wind 5 to 11 mph.
Friday Night: Mostly clear, with a low around 56. Southwest wind 6 to 8 mph.
Saturday: Sunny, with a high near 80.
Saturday Night: Mostly clear, with a low around 54.
Sunday: Sunny, with a high near 80.
Sunday Night: Mostly clear, with a low around 60.
Monday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 77.
Monday Night: A chance of showers and thunderstorms. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 55.
Tuesday: A chance of showers and thunderstorms. Partly sunny, with a high near 66.



Quote of the Week

The best fisherman I know try not to make the same mistakes over and over again; instead they strive to make new and interesting mistakes and to remember what they learned from them.
Author:  John Gierach
Published:
Fly-fishing the High Country

Thanks for reading!
Lucy

Tuesday, October 14, 2014


September 16, 2013



How's Fishing?

The fishing season is winding down.  Fewer families are fishing and more folks who have put their time in and now can enjoy what they love to do, when they want to do it.
There continues to be excellent fishing with quite a few fish over two pounds being brought up to our store.  The rain brought the spring up a little bit but still was relatively clear. The river caught more of the run off from the storms and it jumped up higher and was muddier.  After tonight, the rain should be clearing off. The late week and weekend look very mild and warm.
For those of you who have been asking for them - we finally got our order of blue holographic cracklebacks.  We also have a new locally tied fly case item - a golden olive wooly.  I am looking forward to seeing how this one does - from the way it looks, it promises to be a winner.

Now a short article about something I wondered about,  the X in the tippet size.

The mystery of the X in your tippet
By Jim Smoragiewicz of the Black Hills Fly Fishers in South Dakota

It was a passing thought that I had many times over the years but never took the time to look into it. What does the "X" on packages of tippet and leaders stand for? This was one of the things that I thought every fly fisher but me knew. As I came to discover, however, most other anglers didn't know the answer to this either, and prompted some research on my part.

A little history on some of our first mass produced tippet material. For some time early in the century, leaders were tied out of a silk strand that came from a caterpillar in Spain. The caterpillars were killed and then processed in chemicals to toughen their silk sacks. The silk sacks or "gut" were then removed from the caterpillar ( usually two caterpillar). This packet of silk was then stretched out, usually reaching a length of 12"-15". Lengths of silk longer than this were scarce, and brought a premium price.

The silk strands were uneven in diameter and needed to be uniform in diameter for use in building a leader. The way this evening process was accomplished was by using diamonds to cut away the excess material. The diamond that had a round hole drilled in it and was polished on one side to form a cutting edge on the hole. The silk strand was then soaked in a solution to soften it, and then drawn through the hole in the diamond with all excess silk being cut away.

This uniform piece of "silk cat gut" (gut from a caterpillar, and not a house cat) was considered to be 1x in size because it had been drawn through a diamond one time or 1x. Next it was drawn through a diamond with a smaller hole to reduce the diameter even further. This piece of silk was now a 2x in diameter, or drawn through diamonds 2 times. This was continued until a 5x tippet size was reached, the smallest most fly fishers felt was usable at the time.

This article was provided by the Federation of Fly Fishers. Visit their site for more articles and information about fly fishing. The Federation of Fly Fishers is a unique non-profit organization concerned with sport fishing and fisheries.

What's Working At Bennett?

From the fly box
 Blue holographic crackleback has been super
sulfur or original crackleback are also working well
red or black zebra midge
Golden olive wooly is new this week at Weaver's - looks really tasty.
copper weaver

Zone 1 & 2
original or red & white tri color glo ball
brown glitter or brown trout rooster tails
roaches - gray, brown & black
peach fur bug
Marabou -  white, gingersnap, and black & yellow
tinsel jig
white floss
bedspread

Zone 3
Zeke's white power bait
salmon peach power bait



Lunker Club

10-8-14
Craig Hibdon from Warrensburg, MO
3 pounds on an orange fur bug in zone 2

10-10-14
Justin Montague from Kansas City, MO
2 pounds 1 ounces on a zebra midge in zone 1

Stefanie Pilkinton from Keokuk, Iowa
2-3/4 pounds on a white & red glo ball

10-11-14
Zach Ziolkowski from Edwardsville IL
3-1/4 pounds on a brown rooster tail in zone 1

Jason Keilholz from Philadelphia, MO
2-1/8 pounds on a gingersnap jig in zone 1

Jim Link from Foristell, MO
2-3/4 pounds on a white jig in zone 1

Jim Link from Foristell, MO
2-3/4 pounds on a white jig in zone 1(two different fish - same size & day)

Bruce Baird from Mt. Vernon, IL
2-1/4 pounds on a chamois in zone 1

10-12-14
Lucas Raps from Fulton, MO
3-3/4 pounds on a gingersnap  in zone 1

10-13-14
Guy Neiswender from Circleville, KS
2 pounds 14 ounces on yellow power bait in zone 3

10-14-14
Debbie Staton from California, MO
2 lbs, 7 oz, on a bedspread



Water Conditions at Bennett Spring

Bennett Spring:
Gage house level is 2.08 feet
October 14, 2014
minimum was in 1977 - 76
25th percentile is 99
 today - 113
Median is 114
Mean is 157
75th percentile is 134
Max was 1500 in 1977

Niangua River:
October 14, 2014
Gage House reading is 3.34
minimum was 19 in 1993
25th percentile is 33
Median is 50
Mean is 99
75th percentile is 128
Today's (October 14) reading is 351
Max was 485 in 2010



Weather Forecast

Thursday: Sunny, with a high near 73. Southwest wind 3 to 8 mph.

Friday: Sunny, with a high near 70.

Saturday: Sunny, with a high near 67.

Sunday: Partly sunny, with a high near 67.

Monday: Partly sunny, with a high near 66.

Tuesday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 62.







Quote of the Week 
(The cool thing is that for most of you who are reading this, your ' there ' is here at Bennett Spring.)

There: the angler's noun. There, every fisherman has one. Someplace on a river or stream. There, is seldom a generality, but a precise footing on a bend somewhere, a place where every riffle, every willow, every cloud is in place. You can be near there or around there, or by there, but there is no place like there. Easily dreamed, there. You can get there from an easy chair, or on a downtown bus. There is an exact passage from a fisherman's back pages, virtual reality without the helmet. There is the reason for being here.
Author:  Scott Waldie
Published:  Travers Corners: The Final chapters


Thank you for reading!
Lucy



Thursday, October 9, 2014

How's Fishing?



Just a couple more weekends for this year's regular season.   It's been a good year at Bennett Spring.  There wasn't one time when the Spring rose significantly.  It's been low, clear and slow for the entire Season.  (Note that today is a new all time low).  Superb for those that like to sight fish.
 Tag sales have been up for the year by 4.74%.  This month was a little down from last year (-6.62%).   There were 13220 adult and 1071 kid tags sold during September.  There were 29806 fish released for a fish to tag ratio of 2.09.  This is one of the lowest Septembers for tag sales in the last 10 years.  Considering the improved fish size and the excellent weather, this surprised me.

The end of season meeting will be Friday at 6pm in the Nature Center at Bennett Spring.  A good time to voice your opinions and to find out what will be the plan for next year at Bennett Spring.





What's Working at Bennett Spring

From the fly box

Ginger crackleback - weighted or unweighted, both are effective
chartreuse  crackleback, gold crackleback
red or black zebra midge
RGN's, olive or brown

Zone 1 & 2

Hot pink, baby pink, jimi hendrix, peach, and white & cerise glo balls
original tri color glo ball
black glitter, orange or pink rooster tails
black wooly
roaches - gray, brown & black
john deere
peach fur bug
Marabou - pink & white, shell, white, gingersnap, and black & yellow

Zone 3

Zekes white power bait
salmon peach power bait


Lunker Club
10-4-14
Kevin Bean from Wentzville, MO
2-1/4 pounds on a white marabou in zone 1

10-5-14
Harold Griffin from Centralia, MO
2 pounds on a black & yellow marabou in zone 2

Zack Ellison from Bowling Green, MO
2 pounds on a red & white marabou in zone 1

Kevin Bean from Wentzville, MO
2 pounds on a shell colored marbou in zone 1

10-6-14
Joe Barkwell III from Fulton, MO
2-1/4 pounds on a pink & white glo ball in zone 2



Water Conditions at Bennett Spring
Bennett Spring:

Gage house level is 1.80 feet
October 8, 2014
minimum is today - 75
previous minimum was in 1933 - 81
25th percentile is 97
Median is 113
Mean is 135
75th percentile is 133
Max was 466 in 1987

Niangua River:
October 8, 2014
Gage House reading is 1.47
minimum was 19 in 1993
25th percentile is 33
Today's (October 8) reading is 39
Median is 55
Mean is 230
75th percentile is 219
Max was 1610 in 1995



Weather Forecast

Thursday: Showers and thunderstorms likely, mainly after 1pm. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 79. South wind 7 to 10 mph. Chance of precipitation is 70%. New rainfall amounts between a quarter and half of an inch possible.

Friday: Showers. High near 64. Northeast wind 7 to 9 mph. Chance of precipitation is 80%. New rainfall amounts between three quarters and one inch possible.

Saturday: Showers likely. Cloudy, with a high near 59. Chance of precipitation is 70%.

Sunday: A chance of showers. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 67.

Columbus Day: A chance of showers. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 65.

Tuesday: A chance of showers. Partly sunny, with a high near 69.



Quote of the Week

“In my opinion, fishing then becomes a mirror which reflects all of our being and our values in life – and in return our values determine how we fish. One goes into the other and the boundaries merge… Doing becomes being and being becomes doing; a magic circle with no beginning or end and our hearts always standing where they belong – directly in the centre.” Lani Waller

Thanks for reading.   Lucy

Thursday, October 2, 2014

November 2, 2014



How's Fishing?

With the weather moving in - I'm writing this on Wednesday of this week - there have been quite a few conversations in our store about fishing in rain.  Is it a good thing or a poor idea?  I found a blog that addresses this with practicality and good humor.

Flingin' in the Rain
   Posted by Brent Postal

Eager trout await those who don't mind getting wet.

You're fishing your favorite stream, completely focused on the rise-form ahead of you, when rain literally dampens your spirit and sends you into a frustrated funk. Do you pack it in or adapt to the situation? Personally, I choose the latter every time. Precipitation creates interesting predicaments for fly anglers, but it is not a deal breaker and you can catch foul-weather fish no matter how wet you are.

First Drops
At the first sight of rain, do not immediately clip off your dry fly. Patience in your fly selection is important. Most anglers abruptly switch to a subsurface imitation, but you'll be surprised at how many trout begin to look up after the rain starts.

Rainbow Trout In this stage of the shower, even though a hatch or spinner fall will continue until the rain increases, I invariably reach for my terrestrials box. Many hoppers, crickets, beetles, and ants meet their demise in a rainstorm. They lose their footholds on leaves and trees, and those on the ground are often helplessly washed into the trout's domain. Terrestrials vary from creek to creek, so be sure to have a good selection covering different sizes and colors.

During the first drops of rain, you should still be targeting the traditional fish-holding features—seams, eddies, and bends. Don't pass up weedy banks or brushy areas, as insects are most likely entering the stream there. An opportunistic trout might move to one of these spots, but most will stay put, especially if the rain is minimal.

Fly-fishing in the early stages of a rainstorm is a great time for experimentation. The disturbed surface of the water means that you can get away with sloppy casts, awkward wading, and creeping a little too close to your quarry. Plus, you can exploit the distorted vision of the trout and use a heavier leader and tippet.

On the Rise
With rain comes turbidity and an increase in flow, as well as temperature changes. Depending on the season, precipitation can either increase or decrease the stream's temperature, which can have both positive and negative effects on the trout, depending on which situation is occurring. A rare rain in the middle of winter will heat up the water, and arouse all types of activity. A cold summer shower, however, will probably do the opposite. For our purposes, we'll assume the rain has had a negligible influence on the temperature of the water.



Your dry fly pattern simply will not stay afloat when it's being pummeled by raindrops. When the fly gets forced underwater, keep it there, as this is exactly what's happening to the naturals. Remember, you're trying to imitate an insect that has drowned. If you see a fish reject the drowned presentation, impart a little movement to the fly to imitate a struggling bug.

At this point, if you're not having consistent success with a dry, add a dropper to your rig. Nothing fancy: I prefer bead-head versions of classics such as the Hare's Ear Nymph, Prince Nymph, and Pheasant Tail Nymph. Ideally, you want the dry just under the surface and the nymph drifting just above the bottom. The nymph will appeal to those trout that are put off by the surface confusion the rain brings.

Soaked and Swollen
Once the water becomes truly murky, tie on a double-nymph setup and look for deep water near cover, such as sunken logs and bridge structure. Also target deep eddies and other calm water areas where the bottom is not visible. I'll usually trail a classic bead-head behind something with a little more pizzazz, such as a big stone-fly or burrower-mayfly imitation.

Try fishing your nymph rigs on a slight downstream swing in the rain, conveying as little actual movement to the imitations as possible. This method allows you to control where they drift, and you can feel the slightest movement of the line with your line hand. Be prepared to lose a fly or two with this technique as you probe the depths of the water column. If all else fails, bring on the Woolly Buggers— a bulky black pattern offers a good silhouette underwater.

I've caught some superb trout in the rain, and more often than not I have the entire creek, stream, or river to myself. So the next time you're at a crossroads in the rain, consider the alternatives—paperwork, housecleaning, and so on. Exciting fishing comes to those who leave the rain checks at home. After all, you can't catch fish if you don't wet a line.



Who's Fishing?

THE BENCH
BY
MATTHEW EILENSTINE

As many of you fisherman have seen on the southwest side of the dam, there is a new bench that has been placed.   The bench symbolizes many things for the Kansas Clan, but the most important thing it symbolizes is the life of Mr. Mike Moss.  Mike was a loving husband, father, grandfather, brother, uncle and friend to all of us from the Kansas Clan. Last December we lost Mike after a long battle with cancer.  Exactly one year ago, Mike was determined to make one last trip to his favorite fishing spot, and he did it!  With the carpentry skills of Keith Rogers, he decided to place THE BENCH in honor of Mike.   Coming to Bennett Spring was one of Mike’s most treasured activities and, of course, THE BENCH had to be painted in John Deere Green in honor of Mike’s favorite fly that he used at Bennett Spring.  Everyone from the Kansas Clan signed the bottom of THE BENCH to honor Mike and lift him up to heaven.  As each one of us meets Mike as we pass on, our names will be placed on the top with his.  So when you sit on THE BENCH, please know that Mike is looking down on you with that big ol’ grin, and he is with all of you fisherman!  We miss you Uncle Mike and your memory at Bennett Spring will live on forever!





What's working at Bennett?



From the fly box
Ginger crackleback - weighted or unweighted, both are effective
Hares ear - 12's and larger
original crackleback, green holographic crackleback
san juan worm -brown or red

Zone 1 & 2
Chartreuse red dot glo ball
original tri color glo ball
bumblebee, rainbow trout rooster tails
brown wooly
roaches - gray, brown & black
john deere
peach fur bug

Zone 3
trout magnet worms, salmon or gold
rainbow power bait
yellow extra scent powerbait
trout magnet light orange mini worms




Lunker Club

9-24-14
Brad Strawhun from Imperial, MO
2-1/2 pounds on a bedspread in zone 1

9-23-14
Brandon Davidson from Lyman, SC
4.25 pounds on a copper hot shot in zone 1

9-25-14
Erma Altris from Kearney MO
2-1/4 on zeke's power bait in zone 3

Mike McAuley from Wellsville KS
2-1/2 pounds on an Apricot glo ball in zone 1

Ken Langston from Lebanon, MO
3 pounds on a black & yellow marabou in zone 2

Rick Strawhun from Imperial MO
3 pounds on a black & yellow marabou

Laverne Harfst from Grays  Summit, MO
2 pounds on corn power bait in zone 3

Edward Cantwell from Derby, KS
3 pounds on a white marabou jig in zone 2

9-26-14
Connie Hangartner from St. Joseph MO
2-3/4 pounds on a black & yellow marabou in zone 1

Kenny Greer from St. Peters, MO
3-1/4 pounds on a white glo ball in zone 1

Hugh Rose from Bennett Spring, MO
2-1/4 pounds on a white mini jig in zone 2

Brandon Viera from Farmington, MO
2-3/4 pounds in zone 1 on a white & pink marabou

Linda Helfrich from Union, MO
2 pounds, 2 ounces on salmon power bait in zone 3

Zach Davis from Peculiar, MO
3 pounds on a green mini jig in zone 1

Devin Wiekhorst from Lebanon, MO
2-1/4 pounds on a brown & olive wooly in zone 1



9-27-14
Edward Cantwell from Derby KS
3 pounds, 8 ounces on a white marabou in zone 2

9-28-14
Chad Kohlbusch from New Haven, MO
2-1/2 pounds on yellow power bait in zone 3

Nick Odom from Lebanon, MO
10 pounds 1 ounce on a zebra midge in zone 2

Cheryl Rader from Leavenworth, KS
2-3/4 pounds on bumblebee rooster tail.

10-1-14
Nick Odom from Lebanon, MO
2 pounds on a red zebra midge in zone 2



Water conditions At Bennett Spring
Please watch for updates - the weather during the next couple of days may change the conditions.
Bennett Spring:
Gage house level is 1.81 feet, same as last week
October 1, 2014
minimum 76 in 1939
Current level is 77
25th percentile is 96
Median is 108
Mean is 138
75th percentile is 253
Max was 6350 in 1987

Niangua River:
October 1, 2014
Gage House reading is 1.50
minimum was 30 in 1992
25th percentile is 34
Today's (October 1) reading is 41
Median is 48
Mean is 117
75th percentile is 113
Max was 3567 in 1994



Calendar of Events

October 11 -12 Holland Derby

October 14-15 moss cutting

October 31 - last day of regular trout season

November 14 first day of Catch & Release Season

February 9, 2015 - Catch and Release season ends

Quote of the Week

“As with a faint star in the night’s sky, one can better understand fishing’s allure by looking around it, off to the side, not right at it”

- Holly Morris

Thanks for reading!  Lucy