Tuesday, September 16, 2014

How's Fishing?




There are still quite a few people fishing this week despite (or because of) the cooler temperatures.  The fishing has been very good.  There are not a lot of lunkers being caught, but quite a few decent sized fish.  The stringers may, in general, be lighter than earlier in the season, but that is typical for this time of year.  This is also the time of year when a top water angler comes into his own.  The black caddis is doing very well, along with renegade - 18's, or pale evening dun - 20's.  
Moss cutting was done on the 16th and 17th of this months, by the way.

 I have been including information that I find interesting in the fishing report.  I have had several positive comments on this so I will continue to do this on random reports.  Please feel free to skip to the next section - or just look at the terrific pictures - if what I find is not of interest to you.
Here at Weaver's we are often asked for input on what materials to use for fishing at Bennett.  The discussion of mono-filament vs fluorocarbon comes up regularly.  This article was taken from the website of a world wide fly fishing outfitter called Deneki Outdoors.

Mono vs Fluoro

Visibility

The visibility, or better put, the “invisibility” of fluorocarbon line is most likely the best selling point of fluorocarbon when compared to standard nylon mono-filament line. The light refractive index of fluorocarbon is very similar to that of fresh water (much more so than mono-filament. In other words, when placed in water, it is less visible than mono-filament.

Not convinced? You can see for yourself. Take strands of equal diameter of both fluorocarbon and mono-filament and dip them in a glass of water. Notice the difference in transparency of the materials in water.

Strength

When talking about strength, there are several dimensions to consider. In the short term, fluorocarbon is a much harder material than mono-filament. This results in higher abrasion resistance that is useful in situations such as nymphing or fishing around heavy structure. Also, most fluorocarbon line is thinner in diameter than mono-filament line of the same breaking strength. However, this is not always the case from company to company.

Fluorocarbon is also non-permeable to water and therefore does not absorb water throughout the fishing day. This may not seem like a big deal but most do not realize how much water nylon mono-filament actually absorbs throughout the day. Over time, this causes mono-filament to weaken.

Over the long term, fluorocarbon is extremely resistant to the elements as well, unlike mono-filament. Overtime, U.V. rays, rain and humidity, and extreme temperatures (both hot and cold) can cause mono-filament to break down and lose strength. Fluorocarbon is much more resistant to these conditions over the long term. For most of us, these conditions are the norm during a fishing day. This is worth considering before pulling out that dusty tippet spool you bought on sale two years ago.

On that note: due to the fact that fluorocarbon does not break down very readily, please take care when disposing of it. Any pieces clipped off and thrown into the river will be there for a very, very long time.

Density

For you trout fisherman out there, the density of your leader material is actually very important. Fluorocarbon is actually denser than water. In other words, it sinks. This is great when dredging the bottom with nymphs or stripping streamers. However, if dead drifting or skating flies on the surface, this is the last thing you want. Nylon mono-filament on the other hand actually suspends in water. If fishing dries, especially in very small sizes, filament is a clear winner here.

Stretch

Most anglers are aware that mono-filament is a relatively “stretchy” material. Just grab your leader from both ends and pull; you will see it stretch. While a certain degree of stretch is advantageous to help absorb the shock while fighting a fish, less stretch results in higher sensitivity for detecting those subtle takes. Fluorocarbon is said to have less stretch than most nylon mono-filaments, however there has been some debate among differing manufacturers.

Knotability

Knotability is often overlooked by anglers when selecting a leader or tippet material, but it is very important. The knot is always the weakest link in your setup and therefore it is important to choose a material that knots well.

Nylon mono-filament is far superior here as it is suppler than fluorocarbon. For this reason, nylon mono-filament is often the choice when tying big game leaders that require extremely large diameter lines. Due to the stiffness of fluorocarbon, knots do not always seat as easy and must be coaxed into lying just right. Take your time when tying knots into fluorocarbon materials and ensure the knot seats correctly to avoid knot slippage or breakage.

Summary

While fluorocarbon seems to have a great deal of advantages over traditional mono-filament, there are certain situations where the extra cost is not necessary. Evaluate what situations best fit you and buy accordingly. Also, it is important to mention that not all materials are created equal. Fluorocarbon or mono-filament is often times very different between competing manufacturers.



What's Working?

Fly Box
RGN's - light olive or olive
Copper Hot shot - brown size 18
Original or green holographic crackleback
Ginger crackleback
zebra midge
Zone 1 & 2
Chartreuse red dot glo ball
original tri color glo ball
snow rooster tail
rainbow, snow or Brown glitter RoosterTail
Zone 3
Orange or pink Power Bait worms
Trout Magnet in Salmon or meal worm
Yellow Xtra Scent Power Bait




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

Bennett Spring:

Gage house level is 1.81 feet
September 16, 2014
minimum 64 in 1937
Current level is 77
25th percentile is 98
Median is 117
Mean is 137
75th percentile is 141
Max was 546 in 2008

Niangua River:

September 16, 2014
Gage House reading is 1.52
minimum was 27 in 1996
25th percentile is 32
Today's (September 16) reading is 42
Median is 47
Mean is 487
75th percentile is 420
Max was 3870 in 2010



Lunker Board

9-9-14
Don Harris from Lee's Summit, MO
3-3/4 pounds on a zebra midge in zone 1

9-10-14
David Woods from Lawson, MO
2 pounds on a  fore&aft  in zone 1

9-12-14
Larry Tucker from DeSoto, MO
2 pounds on a white mini jig in zone 1

9-13-14
Lundy Cearlock from Paducah KY
2-1/4 pounds on a 1/80th ounce black & yellow marabou

9-14-14
Adam Kopp from Washington, MO
2-1/2 pounds on a chartreuse with red dot glo ball

9-16-14
Bruce Baird form Mt. Vernon, IL
2-1/4 pounds on kapok in zone 2




Calendar of Events

October 11 - 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



Weather Forecast
Thursday: Partly sunny, with a high near 74. Southeast wind around 9 mph.

Friday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 81.

Saturday: A chance of showers and thunderstorms. Mostly sunny, with a high near 81.

Sunday: A chance of showers and thunderstorms. Mostly sunny, with a high near 77.

Monday: Sunny, with a high near 76.



Quote of the Week
Perhaps I should not have been a fisherman, he thought. But that was the thing that I was born for.

Author:
Ernest Hemingway

Published:
The Old Man and the Sea

Thanks for reading!   Lucy

Thursday, September 11, 2014




How's Fishing?

Last week's report mentioned a ginger crackleback that was really a wooly.  I got enough questions and grilling on this one that I went to the source and am reprinting a blog by the late Ed Story,  legendary angler and creator of the crackleback,  where he  tells how to tie a 'real' crackleback.    Ed Story was the original owner of the St. Louis based fly shop, Feather-Craft.
  This was from the Ozarkflyfishers web site.  I found it very interesting and (for me) educational.
 I also approached one of our local tiers to make some for us to see (and sell) in our store.

CrackleBack
Origin;
Without question, the CRACKLEBACK is the most popular fly from my personally developed collection of trout fly patterns. I have been tying the pattern since the late 1950's. It’s a take-off from a popular wet-woolly of the time, tied with a chenille body and a natural raffia pulled over the back, full length of the hook-shank. In the early 1960's I named the fly after a bass plug made by Bill Walters of Jasonville, Ind. It too had a pale olive body with a crinkly-green back."
Ed Story…Feather-Craft Corp.
Original Materials:
Hook: Mustad 94840 (size #10 - original) or TMC 5210
Thread: Danville 6/0 pre-waxed, color #100 black
Hackle: India Furnace saddle hackle, or Furnace neck hackle for the small sizes
Crackle Back: Two strands of Peacock Herl
Body: SPECTRUM #20 pale olive
[Note: Now tied with various shades of yellow-olive dubbing or goose quill]
Original Tying Instructions:
1. Tie the thread in and run it to the end of the hook-shank.
2. Select a long narrow India "furnace saddle hackle. Size and prepare it, then tie it in at the end of the end (sic) of the hook-shank,
dull-side facing you.
3. Tie in 2-strands of peacock herl at the end of the hook-shank...and tie them in so they are on-top of the end of the hook-shank.
4. The thread is still at the end of the hook shank and we are now going to dub with SPECTRUM. You will see that SPECTRUM
is a continuous synthetic, very soft fiber. Other body materials can be used with the latest being turkey quill.
5. Tease off from the hank a sparse continuous piece (strand). You now should have a sparse strand of SPECTRUM a little over
two inches long.
6. Lay the SPECTRUM piece under the thread close to the hook-shank and with moistened fingers roll the end close to the hook
shank onto the thread. Roll it in one direction only. The balance of the strand is hanging loose.
7. Where it’s now rolled on the thread.. push it up to the hook shank, and using your bobbin, make two thread wraps around the
hook shank.. locking the SPECTRUM to the end of the hook-shank.
8. With your E-Z MINI Hackle PLIER, grab the other end of the SPECTRUM-STRAND and the thread AT THE SAME TIME.
Firmly hold the bobbin out to your chest, making a shaft of the thread.
9. Spin the E-Z MINI-HACKLE PLIER COUNTER-CLOCKWISE (like a propeller) around the thread. Instantly you have a fly
body spin-dubbed on the thread.
10. Now pinch the SPECTRUM and thread with your left hand fingers, while you remove the hackle-plier and shift the "pinched"
thread and new fly body to your right (tying-hand).
11. Wrap the now dubbed fly body on the hook shank and up to just behind the hook-eye. Tye it in with a few thread wraps. Cut
away waste.
12. Lay the two strands of peacock herl over the top of the fly body and tye in behind the hook eye. Do not pull the peacock strands
to (sic) tight as we are going to wrap the hackle over them. Leave a tiny amount of slack in the herl.
13. Palmer-wrap the furnace saddle hackle forward in wide-wraps so plenty of fly body color shows thru the wraps. And notice
because we used a furnace hackle, the fly body automatically has a black rib. Tye the hackle in just behind the hook-eye, finish
the fly head and whip-finish.
Variations:
Club member Joseph Aimonette says that any Crackleback not tied using the original or similar materials and colors is not really a
Crackleback. This look-a-like fly is really a dry woolly. Whether it is called a Crackleback or a dry woolly, a good variation of the
Crackle back is tied with a green holographic body and a palmered grizzly hackle. It is tied similar to the Crackleback and fished in
the same manner. Joe calls this variation the Green Ghost.
Fishing techniques:
Fishing the Fly - "...Dress the fly with silicone-gel and fished as a "dry" as intended. If the fly sinks in fast water, it’s simply
"skipped" under the surface with the rod tip. On the next cast, it'll float again. Frankly, this is the method used by most fly fishers.
Fish it as a dry, if you don't get a hit jerk the fly under and skip it along with your rod tip."



What's Working?
Zones 1 & 2

Brassies, assorted colors, red or olive green are especially good.
possum fur roach
black zebra midge
copper weaver, black
blue holographic, ginger, orange with brown hackle crackleback
white or  brown san juan worm - fished deep
pheasant tail nymph
marabou, pink & white, white, red & white
tinsel jig

Zone 3
Balls of Fire salmon eggs
rainbow power bait
trout magnet light orange mini worms



Water Conditions

Bennett Spring:

Color continues to be clear.  Water running slowly.
Gage house level is 1.84 feet
September 10, 2014
minimum 66 in 1937
Current level is 80
25th percentile is 96
Median is 121
Mean is 124
75th percentile is 140
Max was 246 in 1994

Niangua River:
September 10, 2014
Gage House reading is 1.55
minimum was 17 in 1996
25th percentile is 35
Today's (September 10) reading is 44
Median is 56
Mean is 122
75th percentile is 115
Max was 570 in 2007


Lunker Board
9-4-14
Jeanine Beach from Nevada, MO
2-1/2 pounds on yellow power bait in the river

9-6-14
Ralph Chrismer from Imperal MO
2-1/4 pounds  on a white grub in zone 1

Austin Wiekhorst from Scottsbluff NE
2 pounds, 2 ounces on a tinsel jig in zone 1

9-7-14
Jake Schaefer from ST. Louis, MO
4.5 pounds on a yellow & black marabou in zone




Calendar of Events
September 16-17 moss cutting

October 11 - 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


Weather Forecast

Thursday: A 10 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms before 7am. Mostly cloudy, then gradually becoming sunny, with a high near 72. North wind 7 to 9 mph.

Friday: A 30 percent chance of showers after 1pm. Partly sunny, with a high near 67. North wind 6 to 10 mph.

Saturday: Sunny, with a high near 66.

Sunday: Sunny, with a high near 72.

Monday: Partly sunny, with a high near 75.

Tuesday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 75.





Quote of the Week

I get all the truth I need in the newspaper every morning, and every chance I get I go fishing, or swap stories with fishermen to get the taste of it out of my mouth.

Author:   Ed Zern

Thanks for reading!  Lucy

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

fishing report for 9-3-14



How's Fishing?

This morning, and all weekend long, the fishing has been super.  Not a bunch of lunkers brought in, but reasonably sized fish and plenty of them.  At this time it seems that zones one and two are better places to be than zone three.  That could all change, as you well know, by the time you get here.
The winner in the lures department for this week has been the ginger crackleback.  Technically this fly is a wooly, but the size and shape have most anglers describing it as a crackleback.  I'm not going to argue at this point, the thing is working!  Another super lure this week is the San Juan worm.  The best is a white or ginger worm fished deep with a shot just about a foot above it.  We have also been getting good reports from the copper weaver.  It's a black body and hackle wet fly with a bit of copper flash.  Very good for these conditions.
My prediction for next week - black ants.



Mike Mitchell, the hatchery manager at Bennett Spring, shared with us  the tag sales for August. This year there was a 20.24% increase in total tag sales for August.
 Last year there were 13,635 adult and 2,740 kids' tags sold in August.   In 2014 there were 16,304 adult and 3,386 kids' tags sold.  The number of fish stocked was 44,300 this year and 38,165 last year.   That comes to 2.25 fish per tag in 2014 and 2.33 fish per tag in 2013.  The total tag sales for the year are 98,207 for 2013 compared to 104,598 for 2014.  2013 was the lowest tag sale  year of the last 15 and 1999 was the highest with 27,762.  If you would like more information about this or if you have any other questions pertaining to hatchery operations, contact Mike Mitchell. His phone is 417 532 4418. His email is Michael.Mitchell@mdc.mo.gov.



What's Working?

ginger crackleback
black zebra midge
copper weaver, black
blue holographic crackleback
crane fly
white or  ginger san juan worm - fished deep

Zones 1 & 2

Brassies, assorted colors, red or olive green are especially good.
Marabou -black & yellow, ginger (also tied as a wooly with a gold head), gingersnap
Ginger grub, bedspread
possum fur roach
glo- balls - easter egg, jimi hendrix
Kapok

Zone 3
Gulp salmon eggs, florescent orange or white
Balls of Fire salmon eggs
yellow glitter power bait



Water Conditions

Bennett Spring:

Color is slightly elevated but still running clear despite the nearly five inches of rain we got on Monday night
Gage house level is 2.01 feet
September 3, 2014
minimum 77 in 1936
25th percentile is 101
current level is 101
Median is 123
Mean is 144
75th percentile is 144
Max was 938 in 1931

Niangua River:
September 3, 2014
Gage House reading is 1.77
minimum was 22 in 1996
25th percentile is 31
Today's (September 3) reading is 62
Median is 39
Mean is 201
75th percentile is 145
Max was 1740 in 2010



Lunker Board

8-25-14
Sheri Seabaugh from Gays IL
3-1/2 pounds on a worm in the Niangua River

8-30-14
Bill Sullivan from Silex MO
3-1/2 pounds on a yellow fur bug in zone 1

Calendar of Events
September 16-17 moss cutting

October 11 - 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




Weather Forecast

Thursday: Sunny and hot, with a high near 92. Heat index values as high as 98. Southwest wind 9 to 14 mph, with gusts as high as 20 mph.
Friday: A 50 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Partly sunny, with a high near 89.
Friday Night: Showers and thunderstorms likely. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 65. Chance of precipitation is 60%.
Saturday: A chance of showers and thunderstorms. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 78.
Sunday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 78.
Monday: Partly sunny, with a high near 82.
Tuesday: A chance of showers and thunderstorms. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 84.



Quote of the Week

Fishing consists of a series of misadventures interspersed by occasional moments of glory.

Author:
Howard Marshall

Published:
Reflections on a River 1967

Thanks for reading!
Lucy



Monday, August 25, 2014

August 25, 2014


How's Fishing?

Bennett is a much quieter place these days.  All the kids are back in school, and, despite the excessive heat this week, we are heading into the fall season.  The water is just as you would expect for this time of year and just how it's been all summer.  It's very clear with just a tinge of color, low and slow.  There has been some excellent top water action the last couple of days early in the morning and last part of the fishing day.   For the rest of the day the fish are hiding in the deeper, cooler pools.  They dislike heat even more than we do.  Fortunately for the fish as well as for us,  this weekend the temperatures will drop back into a more tolerable mid 80's range.
As far as what to fish with...there are a couple of good lures to suggest.  Black zebra midges and dark brown RGN's continue to work well.  Green woolies with orange hackle have been a good choice as well as brown with brown.  Pale evening dun, tan caddis and crane flies are a lot of fun late in the day.
Labor day is early this year - it's this coming weekend.  Hopefully you are one of the lucky ones who will be taking advantage of the three day holiday for one last fishing trip to Bennett.


What's Working?

zebra midge - black or olive
RGN's - olive, brown
blue holographic crackleback
crane fly

Zones 1 & 2

Brassies, assorted colors, red or olive green are especially good.
Marabou -black & yellow, shell & brown, tequila sunrise (yellow & orange), gingersnap
Rooster Tail: brown sparkle body, bumble bee
Ginger grub, bedspread
mini ghost, green, black & yellow, woolies with or without spinner, brown, green with orange hackle
glo- balls - white, original tri color

Zone 3
Gulp salmon eggs, florescent orange or white
Balls of Fire salmon eggs
assorted cheese marshmallows

Water Conditions

Bennett Spring:

Color is gin clear and flowing slowly
Gage house level is 1.83 feet
August 25, 2014
minimum 68 in 1936
25th percentile is 100
current level is 79
Median is 123
Mean is 128
75th percentile is 144
Max was 214 in 2013


Niangua River:

August 25, 2007
Gage House reading is 1.33
minimum was 18 in 1993
25th percentile is 26
Today's (August 25) reading is 30
Median is 33
Mean is 50
75th percentile is 70
Max was 133 in 2007



Lunker Board

8-18-14
Stephen Pyle from Seymour, TN
3 pounds on a home tied jig in zone 1
(the spring hole)

8-18-14
Andy Novara from Creal Springs IL
3 lbs, 1 ounce on a chartreuse spinner



Calendar of Events

September 16-17 moss cutting

October 11 - 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


Weather Forecast

Wednesday: Mostly sunny and hot, with a high near 96. Heat index values as high as 101. Light and variable wind becoming southeast 5 to 7 mph in the afternoon.

Thursday: Sunny and hot, with a high near 93.

Friday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 90.

Saturday: A chance of showers and thunderstorms. Partly sunny, with a high near 86.

Sunday: A chance of showers and thunderstorms. Mostly sunny, with a high near 86.

Labor Day: Mostly sunny, with a high near 90.

Quote of the Week - something to think about as we head back into the fall routine.

In this busy, noisy, impatient world, faster often seems better. Many of us wear stress like a badge of honor and take pride in exhaustion. Perhaps we won't solve these problems by going fishing. But I like to think it can't hurt.

Author:

Shawn Terrich

Thanks for reading.
Lucy

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

August 22, 2014



How's Fishing?

The rain we have had hasn't affected the stream at all.  It is still sparkling clear and running slow.  There are a lot of things that are working right now.  I have heard a lot of talk about the pink and salmon colors for marabou, as well as for glo balls and power bait. Cracklebacks, especially a blue holographic, or an Adams - size 22 are good choices if you are using your fly rod.  Woolies are another good choice for this time of year for either style of rod.  Brown or gray are good color choices.
 The one thing I would suggest is a longer than normal tippet on the end of your fly rod.  It seems the success rate for catching is related to the extra length especially with the water conditions at this time.   If you are using a spin rod, use two pound line.  If you have a larger reel and you need to use larger line, a leader of two pound line added to the end works very well.  Although fluorocarbon is a poor choice for line to use on a spin rod (excessive memory, stiff casting) it's an excellent choice for tippet material.
As many of you know, we have hosted a group of fly tyers at Weaver's store. It's a great group of eclectic individuals with differing abilities and backgrounds.   There is a new fly that has emerged (pun intended) from this group and they named it 'the weaver'.  It's a wet fly that has been used by several anglers in the group with good success.  If trying a new fly sounds like fun to you, we have for sale  in size 16 and 18 at Weaver's Tackle.




Who's Fishing?

I was introduced to a group of ten men that have been coming to Bennett to fish for over 35 years.  They have a standing reservation at Larry's Cedar Resort and, like many groups that come back year after year, the point of the trip is for the camaraderie and for pure fun.  They said there is very little competition among the group members, and the best fisherman depends on the day.  Three of the guys, Kirk and Dave from Lennox, Iowa, and  Bob from Creston, Iowa are from the original group and have been coming here since 1980.  I also met Matt, who also lives in Lennox and is a friend of theirs, but who could not make the first trip because he was too young.

The first trip was made on a hot August afternoon in 1980 when the 'boys' were in their 20's.  There were seven of them that piled into Bob's Dad's old pickup - three in front and 4 under the shell in the back with all of their equipment.  They were half way here when they ran out of gas in the middle of the night.  It was a long uncomfortable night waiting for the station to open, but it also made a memorable beginning to the tradition for our friends from Iowa.



What's Working?

                             Fly Box
zebra midge - black or olive
RGN's - olive, brown
griffith's gnat
blue holographic crackleback
ginger crackleback
black foam beetle
quill gordon

                               Zones 1 & 2
Brassies, assorted
Marabou -black & yellow, shell & white, moss & yellow, gingersnap, powderpuff pink, pink & white
rooster tail: brown
John Deere and gray deere
gray grub
woolies with spinner, olive, brown, brown with orange hackle
brown roach
glo- balls - dark roe (also with dot)


                                      Zone 3
orange worms with scent
salmon peach power bait
mouse tail, orange with white.




Lunker Club

8-14-14
Miles Eubanks from Springfield IL
2-3/4 pounds on pink & white marabou in zone 2

8-15-14
Howard Ray Gansz from Grafton IL
3&1/2 pounds on a black foam beetle in zone 1

Tut Bellamy from Marshall MO
3 pounds 9 ounces on a quill gordan in zone 1

Harrison Eubanks from Springfield, IL
2 pounds on a pink & white marabou in zone 2

Nolan Beal from Lebanon, MO
6-3/4 pounds on a powder puff  pink marabou in zone 2

- a write in on our board -
Andy Novara from Creal Springs, IL
3 pounds, 1 ounce

8-18-14
Stephen Pyle from Seymour, TN
3 pounds on a home tied jig in zone 1
(the spring hole)

FIRST FISH
Suzette Conder

Marshall, Missouri


Water Conditions

Bennett Spring:
Color is gin clear and flowing slowly
August 19, 2014
minimum 74 in 1936
25th percentile is 102
current level is 81
Median is 127
Mean is 137
75th percentile is 151
Max was 378 in 1940
Gage house level is 1.85 feet holding steady

Niangua River:

August 19, 2014
Gage House reading is 1.33
minimum was 19 in 2007
25th percentile is 26
Today's (August 19) reading is 30
Median is 39
75th percentile is 54
Mean is 53
Max was 201 in 2013



Calendar of Events

August 26 - Fly tying forum at Weaver's Tackle store.  Open to all.  Learn to tie the Ostego Ant
        Last one for 2014
September 16-17 moss cutting
October 11 - 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



Weather Forecast

Thursday: Sunny and hot, with a high near 96. Heat index values as high as 101. Southwest wind 8 to 14 mph.
Friday: Sunny and hot, with a high near 96.
Saturday: Sunny and hot, with a high near 96.
Sunday: Mostly sunny and hot, with a high near 95.
Monday: Sunny and hot, with a high near 93.
Tuesday: Mostly sunny and hot, with a high near 94.



Quote of the Week
Experience usually is what you get when you don't get what you want, but if there were no such thing as optimism, there would be no such thing as fishing.

Author:
Micheal McIntosh

Thanks for reading.


Tuesday, August 12, 2014

How's Fishing?




Fishing continues to be terrific.  You are getting tired of hearing this, but this year has just been phenomenal.  Kansas City on to St. Louis, as well as fifty miles south of us, have been hammered with rain, while here at Bennett we have seen very little.  Knowing this, it's easier for you to understand why our stream levels have been setting records for lowest levels in the recorded history of the park. The water is clear and slow.
 The fish are averaging a much nicer size this year, as well.  
I found a short article about what fish can see that I would like to share with you.  It was written by Louis Cahill (great name for an angler, by the way) for the blog Gink & Gasoline. 

 DID YOU EVER WONDER WHY FISH EAT BRIGHT PINK WORM PATTERNS, OR THINGAMABOBBERS FOR THAT MATTER?

Ever watch a trout refuse your dry fly and wonder what he saw that he didn’t like? A trout’s eye serves the same purpose as ours but it functions in a very different way. The subject of how trout see the world is a complicated one but the basics are well worth your time. Understanding how the fish eye works can help you imagine the watery world they see, and it may give you some insight that will help you catch them. The following are some simple principals to keep in mind.

WATER AS A VISUAL MEDIUM

Water is a poor conductor of light at its best. It affects the way fish see color as well as their visual acuity. Water absorbs light at different rates depending on its wavelength or color. Long wavelength light, colors like red and orange, are absorbed quickly while short wavelengths like blue and violet are absorbed more slowly. This means that as light passes through more and more water, warm colors fade to black while cooler colors fade more slowly. Overall, as a fish moves into deeper water his environment becomes darker, at which point the biology of the fish’s eye affects his perception of color as well.

It is not necessary however for a fish to be in deep water for its vision to be affected by the absorption of light. The rules hold true for a fish in shallow water, viewing an object at a distance. A red streamer, for example, that is running at a depth of one foot, where there is plenty of red light, will appear black to a fish viewing it from fifteen feet away. As the fish closes on the fly, however, the red will become vivid. The same would not be true at a depth of fifteen feet. At that depth the fly would remain black to the fish, even at close range.

Ultraviolet light, which we do not see but trout do, is scattered in water. Colors like white and reflective materials like flash are visible to fish at long distances but may appear blurred by this effect. These flies will get a fish’s attention from a distance and become sharper as the fish draws near.

Color perception and visual acuity are both affected by the chemical composition of the water as well as what foreign matter is present. Tea stained water, which is present in many mountain streams, absorbs UV light quickly, changing the rules dramatically. In these conditions warmer colors become more important and while fish may see less color overall their visual acuity will improve. When water is dirty, light is scattered by foreign particles and the fish’s environment becomes darker with little visual acuity.

THE BIOLOGY OF A TROUT’S EYE

The biology of a trout’s eye is similar to ours in some ways and very different in others. Their eye has an iris, a lens and a retina with both cone cells and rod cells, much like our eyes, but each functions in a different manner. The human iris or pupil dilates and constricts to regulate the amount of light reaching the retina. The trout’s iris is fixed and the retina itself adapts to changing light levels. Human eyes focus by changing the shape of the lens. A trout’s eye focuses by moving the lens closer to, or further from, the retina. The trout’s vision is very sharp in its focus but its depth of field, to use a photographic term, is limited.

The function of the trout’s eye which is of most interest to anglers is the adaptation of the retina to changing light conditions. To understand how it works we must first understand the cone and rod cells themselves. Cone cells see color and require bright light. The trout has four different types of cone cells. Humans only have three. Each type of cone cell is sensitive to a different wavelength of light. The trout’s extra cone cells see the UV spectrum and in some species dwindle with age. The trout’s eye is also more sensitive to the red spectrum than the human’s. The color it has the least ability to discern is green and the color it sees best is blue. Rod cells are very sensitive in low light and give the trout excellent night vision. These cells do not see color. To the rod cell the world is black and white.

During times of bright light the trout’s retina is dominated by the cone cells giving it very precise color vision. Still, the fish’s ability to discern color and its visual acuity are governed by the physics of its watery environment. As the light becomes lower the retina adapts. The cone cells recede and the sensitive rod cells are exposed, engaging the trout’s night vision and turning the world slowly to black and white. This is a physical change and takes time. The trout, like almost all fish, experiences a brief period of diminished vision as conditions change.

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN TO THE ANGLER

The idea is simple. Under bright conditions trout see color very well and in dim conditions they do not. It becomes a bit trickier when we start to define bright and dim conditions. Obviously a sunny day is bright but not to a trout sitting at the bottom of a deep pool. At a depth of ten feet much of the light has been absorbed and all of the red spectrum is gone. A trout sitting in shallow water on a sunny day will discern color very well at close range but not when looking at a submerged object ten feet away.

When fishing deep water or stained water that bright pink worm will appear much duller to the trout. Fluorescent materials, which trap UV light and shift it to a longer wavelength creating intense color saturation, are great triggers for fish but not in stained water where the UV light is quickly scattered. In low light fish will respond more quickly to the contrast of a fly tied in black and white than to carefully blended colors. For this reason I tie black and white stonefly nymphs which are highly effective in dirty water. When you are fishing Yellow Sallies on a bright day a red egg sack will improve a fly’s productivity.

Another important thing to remember is the fish’s point of view. A fish sees a submerged object with greater clarity and color than an object on the surface. The refractive index of its cornea is almost exactly that of water, meaning a fish sees much more clearly through water than air. In addition, objects on the surface are backlight from the fish’s perspective, appearing mostly as silhouette. This makes it hard for a fish to see the color of a dry fly.

Color that is not opaque, like the translucent body of a mayfly, is much easier the fish to see. This is why dry flies with loose dubbing, translucent wing material or flash underwings work so well. It is also one of the reasons that flies which sit in the film, like parachute patterns, are effective.

What trout respond to primarily in surface patterns is the impression of the fly on the surface film. The dimples on the surface caused by the weight of the fly resting on the water are a powerful trigger and their profile tells the trout that the object is likely to be food. These impressions focus the light, causing bright spots. The translucent color of a Thingamabobber combined with the way it focuses light often makes it irritable to hungry fish.

Flies and indicators are not the only tackle that create these impressions. It is often the bright dimples from curly tippet that give it away to fish. This is why I fish dry flies on fluorocarbon tippet. It sinks and vanishes. (There will no doubt be comments on this. I will write a separate article on the subject)

The important thing is to understand how the fish sees in a variety of conditions and what the triggers are that make him eat. Armed with this information you can make smart choices both on the stream and at the vise. Don’t be afraid to try new things. Trust your gut and see what works. Just try to see it his way.


What's Working?

                               Fly Box

zebra midge - black or olive
RGN's - olive, brown
olive scud
crane fly

                               Zones 1 & 2
Brassies, assorted 
Marabou -black & yellow, shell & white, red & white, moss, tequila sunrise (yellow & orange), gingersnap
rooster tail: brown sparkle body, bumble bee, tiger stripe, bright pink
John Deere and gray deere
peach floss, white floss
mini ghost, green, black & yellow, 
woolies with spinner, olive, brown, brown with orange hackle
brown roach
glo- balls - white, flame with cheese dot, 
peacock mini jig
                                      Zone 2
spoon - kastmaster trout pattern 
super duper, trout pattern

                                      Zone 3  
orange worms with scent
yellow power bait
mouse tail, orange with white.



Water Conditions

Bennett Spring:
Color is gin clear and flowing slowly
August 12, 2014
minimum 77 in 1036
25th percentile is 103
current level is 82
Median is 131
Mean is 143
75th percentile is 160
Max was 479 in 2013
Gage house level is 1.85 feet

Niangua River:

August 14, 2007
Gage House reading is 1.38
minimum was 14 in 2007 
25th percentile is 28
Today's (August 14) reading is 33
Median is 52
75th percentile is 79
Mean is 98
Max was 655 in 2013





Lunker Club

8-6-14
Milt Barr from Jefferson City, MO 
12-1/2 pounds on a brown jig in zone 2

Jack Buchschacher from Crestwood, MO
10 pounds on a red & white worm in zone 3

8-7-14
Dennis Stuart form Perry MO
2 pounds on a home tied mini carcass in zone 2

8-8-14
Beth Kemper from O'Fallon, MO
4 lbs 9 oz on a gray grizzley in zone 2

8-12-14
Jeff Zarinelli from St. Louis, MO
2 pounds on a bedspread in zone 2

8-17-14
James E. Ross from Effingham, IL
2 pounds on a blue holographic crackleback





Calendar of Events

August 19-20 moss cutting

August 19 - Fly tying forum at Weaver's Tackle store.  Open to all.  Learn to tie the Mr. Rapidan

September 16-17 moss cutting

October 14-15 moss cutting

August 26 - Fly tying forum at Weaver's Tackle store.  Open to all.  Learn to tie the Ostego Ant
        Last one for 2014

October 11 - Holland Derby

October 31 - last day of regular trout season

November 14 first day of Catch & Release Season

February 9, 2015 - Catch and Release season ends

Weather Forecast

Thursday: Sunny, with a high near 86. South wind 3 to 6 mph. 

Friday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 86.

Saturday: A chance of showers and thunderstorms. Partly sunny, with a high near 87.

Sunday: A chance of showers and thunderstorms. Partly sunny, with a high near 89

Monday: A chance of showers and thunderstorms. Partly sunny, with a high near 91.

Tuesday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 91.



Quote of the Week

Fish are, of course, indispensable to the angler. They give him an excuse for fishing and justify the fly rod without which he would be a mere vagrant. But the average fisherman's average catch doesn't even begin to justify, as fish, its cost in work, time, and money. The true worth of fishing, as the experienced, sophisticated angler comes to realize, lies in the memorable contacts with people and other living creatures, scenes and places, and living waters great and small which it provides

Author:  Sparse Grey Hackle (Alfred W. Miller)

Thanks for reading!  Lucy

Tuesday, August 5, 2014



August 8, 2014


How's Fishing?

It continues to be a great year for fishing at Bennett Spring.  The water is still low and clear, the weather remains, for this area, extremely mild.
The fishing is good, too.  This year the anglers are tossing back the fish they put on their stringers last year.
As far as what lures to use, we all know that everyone has their favorite, and right now....that's what's working.   Toss it in, change it up, and keep on fishing.

There have been a few specific suggestions as far as which lures to use.  Harry has been using sinking line with un-weighted marabou.  If the fish tired of seeing that one, he would switch it up with a black zebra midge and  has been catching fish all day.  Mike has had great luck with the crane fly late in the day.  Royal coachman has also been working well for him.
Thank you both for you sharing what is working for you.


What's Working?

Fly Box
zebra midge - black or olive
black holographic or blue holographic Crackleback,
tan caddis
crane fly
Royal Coachman
Rusty brown san juan worm
Zones 1 & 2
Marabou -red & white, shell & white,black & yellow, moss
rooster tail: brown sparkle body, bumble bee, tiger stripe
Brown woolie, yellow with black, with spinners
white thread jig, peach floss
ghost mini jig, brown, or moss green
brassie - assorted, red, salmon, gold
gray deere or john deere
white glo ball
black & white mini marabou
peacock mini jig.
Zone 3
power bait - salmon peach, yellow sparkle
hatchery brown gulp nuggets
gulp florescent minnow grub
mouse tails, orange and white or
power bait worms, orange & white


Water Conditions
Bennett Spring:
August 5, 2014
minimum is today - 83
25th percentile is 109
Median is 129
Mean is 142
75th percentile is 154
Max was 390 in 2013
Gage house level is 1.87 feet

Niangua River:
August 5, 2014
Gage House reading is 1.39
minimum was 18 in 2012
25th percentile is 33
Today's (August 5) reading is 34
Median is 58
75th percentile is 140
Mean is 634
Max was 7290 in 2013

Lunker Club

8-1-14
TJ Jung from St. Louis, MO
7-3/4 pounds on a mini ghost marabou, green with brass head in zone 1

8-5-14
Jay Stuart from Perry, MO
2-1/4 pounds on a home made jig in zone 2


Calendar of Events
August 9th
Kansas City Chapter of the Missouri Trout Fisherman's Association will be hosting a Derby
Entry fee is a donation that will be used to help support Project Healing Waters, and Casting for a Cure
Registration is at the Park Store beginning 7pm Friday evening - August 8.

August 19-20 moss cutting

September 16-17 moss cutting

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



Weather Forecast
 Thursday: Showers and thunderstorms likely. Partly sunny, with a high near 87. Heat index values as high as 92. Southwest wind 6 to 11 mph. Chance of precipitation is 60%. New rainfall amounts between a half and three quarters of an inch possible.
Friday: A 30 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Partly sunny, with a high near 87.
Saturday: A chance of showers and thunderstorms. Partly sunny, with a high near 86.
Sunday: A chance of showers and thunderstorms. Partly sunny, with a high near 88.
Monday: A chance of showers and thunderstorms. Partly sunny, with a high near 87.
Tuesday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 88.


Quote of the Week
Rivers are places that renew our spirit, connect us with our past, and link us directly with the flow and rhythm of the natural world.

Author;
Leo Tolstoy

Thanks for reading!  Lucy