Tuesday, July 28, 2015

How's Fishing?



The moss is getting cut this week and the water levels are getting back to normal.  By the weekend stream should be in the best shape it's been for a month.  Top water action is still very limited, but with the moss cutting and the improved clarity of the water it's only matter of time before those hoppers and caddis are working again.  Today's special was a red or yellow bodied madam X fly. The temperatures for the week are going to be a bit more moderate as well, low 90's or high 80's.  That should be a welcome relief for almost everyone.



What's Working?
From the fly box:
madam X - red or yellow body
brown with red tip or Aqua cracklebacks
weighted crackleback
woolly bugger- bead head, olive and brown or brown
mega or Weaver's Whopper worm
copper hot shot

Zone one & two:
Possum roach
yellow brassie,  or red & white brassie
Marbou: gingersnap, white, black & yellow, yellow
Glo Ball- jimi hendrix, easter egg and apricot supreme
rooster tails: bumble bee black & white
brown (trout nugget) glo ball

Zone 3:
Red worms, Power bait scented.
red meal worms
chunky cheese, yellow or salmon peach PowerBait


Lunker Club
7-17-15
Richard Hayes from Overland Park, KS
2 pounds on a jitterbug in zone 2

7-22-15
Harold Dehner from Lewistown, MO
2-1/4 pounds on a minnow in zone 3

2-24-15

Tam Adams from Columbia, MO
2-3/4 pounds on Salmon Peach Power Bait in zone 3

Laong Laan Garcia from St. Louis, MO
3 pounds on yellow power bait in zone 3

John Green from Sweet Springs MO
2-1/4 pounds on a chamois worm in zone 2

2-26-15

Larry Wright from Independence MO
3 pounds on a trout nugget glo ball in zone 2



Water Conditions
The Spring is getting lower and clearer every day. There is a bit of clearer water in zone 1 and very close to normal levels, although the current is still very strong. Color continues to improve.

July 28, 2015 for Bennett Spring
Gage house level is 2.43 feet
Daily Discharge levels:
All numbers are in Cubic Feet per Second
minimum was 81 in 1934
25th percentile is 111
Median is 128
Mean is 141
75th percentile is 158
current level is 271 .
Previous Max was 253 in 1981

July 28, 2015 for Niangua River:
Gage House reading is 2.71
Daily Discharge levels in cubic feet per second:
minimum was 17 in 2012
25th percentile is 35
Median is 58
Mean is 67
75th percentile is 78
Max was 198 in 2013
Today's reading is 295



Fishing Times

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



Weather Forecast

Thursday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 88. Northeast wind 5 to 7 mph.

Friday: Sunny, with a high near 89.

Saturday: Sunny, with a high near 90.

Sunday: Sunny, with a high near 91.

Monday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 91.

Tuesday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 89.



Calendar of Events
August 8th - Missouri Trout Fisherman's Association Kansas City Chapter Trout Derby. Fund Raiser for Project Healing Waters and MTFA. Registration at Park Store Fri night 7 PM to close and Sat. morning until 7 AM.

August 22nd - 9-12 am -Wayne Simpson fly tying demonstration at Weaver's Tackle Store

August 25th & 26th - moss cutting

September 22nd and 23rd - moss cutting

October 10, Holland Derby

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



Quote of the Week - this one is for my friend, Jim.

My wife wonders why all women do not seek anglers for husbands. She has come in contact with many in her life with me and she claims that they all have a sweetness in their nature which others lack.
Author:  Ray Bergman

Thanks for reading!
Lucy

Thursday, July 23, 2015


How's Fishing



There hasn't been a lot of large fish brought in lately, but generally the consensus is that fishing is better than just okay.  Interestingly, brassies have been one of the best things to fish with.  Yellow, red & white, pink & white. moss green, everyone seems to have their favorite color and swear that it's the ONLY one!  You can bring your fly rod to use again.  We have had angler after angler coming into our store to get their fly rods set up with new leader (often with sinking leader) and tippet.  A little bit of top action has been reported late in the day, but it's still those that are fishing deep that are catching fish.
Last week I shared a chapter from the book written by Jim Washabaugh titled "Fishing the Missouri Trout Parks".  The article was well received by you, the readers, so I am continuing on to the next chapter titled "Spin Fishing with Jigs".  Jigs are one of the most popular lures used at Bennett and hopefully there will be some small idea planted here to improve skills.

Marabou Jigs are highly effective and have taken many of the lunkers and record fish caught in the parks over the years.  Examples include the 15 pound rainbow caught by David Summers at Montauk in 1977, the 16 pound 12 ounce brown caught by Gilbert "Butch" Enke at Montauk in 1990.
As pointed out earlier, although marabou jigs are artificial lures, they meet the definition of "fly" under Missouri law.  They may therefore legally be used in "Flies Only" and "Fly Fishing Only" zones in the parks, regardless of the type of rod used.
The most effective jig colors to use are black and yellow in combination and solid white.  Other colors such as brown, beige, olive, and solid black are good, too.  Carry an assortment of sizes, ranging from heavy 1/16-ounce jigs down to tiny "Micro jigs" weighing only 1/128th or 1/256th of an ounce.
The weight jig  you use is determined by the current's speed, the depth of the water the trout are feeding at, and the distance you must cast to reach your target.  You should normally use the lightest jig that conditions allow.  When using a large jig, shorten the tail to just behind the hook.

Fishing a Jig Without a Float

To rig for fishing a marabou jig without a float, simply tie the jig on the end of your line (using tippet material when necessary).  If additional weight is necessary to achieve the casting distance you need, crimp a 3/0 split-shot on the line about 12 inches above the jig.
Thoroughly wet your jig to ensure it will have proper action, then make your cast.  In deep water let the jig sink to the bottom foot or so.  start by fishing the jig with a slow jerking retrieve that makes the jig's head bob and dive.  Then experiment with different retrieves until you find exactly what the fish want.  Try to impart action to the jig by vertically bouncing  your rod tip.  Remember not to bring the jig back too fast.  Entice the fish and give them time to hit it.  quickly set the hook when a strike is felt.
Trout usually hit jigs because they are hungry, but they will hit them in defense of their territory, too.  You can use this to your advantage when trying to catch a lunker you've spotted.
Carefully position yourself directly upstream from the sighted fish and drift your jig down to it.  Let the marabou flutter right in front of the trout. In areas where it's permitted, adding some Power Bait to the jig can help, as can adding Power Bait jelly or liquid trout attractant.  Make sure your jig act like it is a small fish invading the trout's territory.  Keep at it.  The big trout will eventually get tired of being teased and let the little challenger have it.  Then  you'll have a fight on your hands that  you'll be talking about for a long, long time.  (Note from Lucy - scented bait/lures are not allowed in zone 1 or 2 at Bennett Spring State Park)

Fishing a Jig with a Float

Park trout often will hit a dead-drifted jig more readily than one that is actively retrieved.  Like any other subsurface fly, the best way to dead-drift a jog with spinning tackle is to fish it under a float added to the line.  The amount of distance the float is from the jig depends upon current velocity and the depth of the water you are fishing.  A good starting point in waist-deep water is a distance of 3 or 4 feet.  Fishing the jig 2 feet or less off the bottom is usually best.
To fish, simply cast up an across then let the float and jog drift downstream in the current.  In very slow moving water it often helps if there is a light breeze to add a very slight action to the jig.  Lightly twitching your line every 10 feet or so often helps entice fish to strike.
Watch your float carefully. When it hesitates or moves unexpectedly, set the hook.  If greater casting distance is needed, add small split-shot directly above and below the float on the line.  If the float starts to sink under the additional weight, switch to a larger float.  Experiment with different colors and sizes of jigs, as well as the depth your are fishing them.



What's Working?

From the fly box:
brown with red tip or Aqua cracklebacks
weighted crackleback
brown or black weighted woolly bugger with spinner
woolly bugger- bead head, olive and brown or brown
mega or Weaver's Whopper worm
possum hair roach

Zone one & two:
Possum roach
yellow brassie, red & white brassie
1/8 ounce marabou - pink & white, moss, gingersnap
Marbou: gingersnap, white, black & yellow, yellow
tinsel sparkle jig
Glo Ball- jimi hendrix,
rooster tails: bumble bee, many other colors

Zone 3:
Red worms, Power bait scented.
pink mouse tail
chunky cheese or chartreuse PowerBait



Lunker Club
July 12, 2015
Richard Hayes from Overland Park, Kansas
2 pounds on a jitterbug



Water Conditions

The Spring is getting lower and clearer every day. There is a bit of clearer water in zone 1 and very close to normal levels, although the current is still very strong. Color continues to improve.

July 22, 2015 for Bennett Spring

Gage house level is 2.56 feet - down from 9+ feet on July 2nd.
Daily Discharge levels:
All numbers are in Cubic Feet per Second
minimum was 78 in 1940
25th percentile is 111
Median is 134
Mean is 142
75th percentile is 159
current level is 306 - down from 15,000 on July 2nd.
Previous Max was 273 in 1994



July 22, 2015 for Niangua River:

Gage House reading is 2.91

Daily Discharge levels in cubic feet per second:
minimum was 17 in 2012
25th percentile is 41
Median is 72
Mean is 90
75th percentile is 116
Max was 276 in 2013
Today's reading is 345



Fishing Times
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



Weather Forecast

Friday             A 30%chance of showers and thunderstorms before 1pm. Mostly sunny, with a high near 91. South wind 6 to 8 mph.
Saturday        Mostly sunny and hot, with a high near 93.
Sunday          Mostly sunny and hot, with a high near 92.
Monday          Mostly sunny and hot, with a high near 92.
Tuesday         Mostly sunny and hot, with a high near 93.
Wednesday    Mostly sunny, with a high near 90.

Calendar of Events

July 25th 9-12 am -Wayne Simpson fly tying demonstration at Weaver's Tackle Store. He will be tying Hoppers and Beetles and Spiders! (oh my!)

July 28th & 29th - moss cutting

July 28th - Fly tying class at Weaver's Tackle, Tenny Nymph, Lime Trude -df, will be the flies tied. All are welcome. No charge for class or materials used in class.
Last class for this year!

August 8th  - Missouri Trout Fisherman's Association Kansas City Chapter       Trout Derby. Fund Raiser for Project Healing Waters and MTFA. Registration at Park Store Fri night 7 PM to close and Sat. morning until 7 AM.

August 22nd - 9-12 am -Wayne Simpson fly tying demonstration at Weaver's Tackle Store

August 25th & 26th - moss cutting

September 22nd and 23rd - moss cutting

October 10, Holland Derby

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



Quote of the Week

Sure we have faster rods and better mono, but I like the fact you can't buy your cast.
Author:  Chico Fernandez

Thanks for reading,
Lucy

Monday, July 13, 2015

Trout Fishing Report for Bennett Spring



How's Fishing?

The hatchery manager, Mike Mitchell, sent out the current tag and fish numbers for month and year comparison.  This year to date there have been 61151 tags sold compared to last  year when there were 60331 sold.  The month of June is down, however.  There were 18826 tags sold in June of 2014 and only 16221 sold in June of 2015.  The highest number of tags sold was 2002 when there were 24, 976 tags sold.
The number of fish stocked in 2015 was higher than 2014.  In June of 2014 there were 42976 (2.26 per tag) and in 2015 there were 38710 ( 2.39 per tag).

The biggest number of phone calls we have been getting here at Weaver's have been for an update on water conditions.  For the color and appearance of the water, a phone call is the best way to know this.  For those of you that have a computer and are computer literate there are a couple of sites that are very informative (and can be accessed any time and isn't grumpy when you want to know at 5 a.m. ) the USGS sites for Bennett Spring and the one for the Niangua River.  I use both in this report for the current conditions.  The interesting thing to me has been how the water level has gone down so dramatically but the discharge rate - how fast the water is flowing - has continued to be really high.  The Niangua is still very high as well as fast and is backed  up into the zone 3.  The water is beginning to clear in zone 1 but it will take a while before the entire Spring branch is the beautiful aqua blue that we love to see.
Despite this, those who are catching fish are catching bunches of them.  If you can find that little eddy or if you fish closer to the shore in the slower moving water, you may find where the fish are laying low.  One of the things that I have noted is that even some of the die-hard fly rod anglers are temporarily switching to their ultra light spinners.  I have a quote from the book 'Fishing the Missouri Trout Parks'  that talks a bit about some really excellent choices for the type of water we are experiencing now.

This is from a section called "Spin Fishing with Artificial Lures" written by Jim Washabau.
Since bait fishermen are excluded from much of the water in the trout parks, it is important for you to be able to fish with artificial lures if you want to fully enjoy all that the parks have to offer.
The following artificial lures are highly effective:
Rooster Tail
 Original Worden's Rooster Tails are in-line dressed spinners made by the Yakima Bait company of Granger, Washinton.  These reasonably  priced lures come in various colors and sizes, either with a single-point hook or a treble hook.  The Rooster Tail's heavy body makes it easy to cast long distances and enables it to quickly sink down to where the trout are located in deep, fast moving water.  Although white is hard to beat, also carry other colors such as yellow, pink, and brown in 1/8, 1/16-, 1/24-, and 1/32- ounce sizes.
Woolly Worm and Spinner.
A wet fly with a small Colorado spinner added to it, the Woolly Worm & Spinner combination effectively imitates a minnow swimming through the water.  Lighter than a Rooster Tail, it is better suited for use in shallow water.  Brown, black and gray woollies all perform well.  When fishing in bright sunlight, gold colored blades are most productive.  Under low-light conditions, silver spinner blades are best.  Additional flash under low-light conditions can be achieved by combining a silver spinner blade with a woolly worm that has a body tied with silver tinsel.
These lures are proven performers in the trout parks, with good reason.  In addition to being highly visible, they make vibrations that trout feel in their lateral lines and are extremely easy for fish to locate.  Since there is no slack in the line when they are being retrieved, strikes are easily felt and a very  high percentage of hits result in hookups when they are used.  Heavier line can usually be used with these lures with no noticeable decrease in the number of strikes received.  Fewer fish hooked are therefore lost due to break-offs.  These lures are particularly well suited for use in the parks during the very productive early morning hours.
The main difference between these two lures is that the Rooster Tail is weighted and the Woolly Worm & Spinner is not.  You usually need to add split-shot to the line above the Woolly Worm & Spinner when spin fishing to add weight necessary for casting and to get it down to the right depth.  Split-shot needs to be added to the line above a Rooster Tail only in very heavy current or when additional casting distance is required.  When adding split-shot to the line, crimp it on between 12 and 18 inches above the lure.  The amount of weight you use depends upon water conditions, but a single 3/0 split-shot is a good starting point.  As with other fishing techniques, trout depth and current velocity determine precisely how you rig your system.
The Rooster Tail and the Woolly Worm & Spinner are both fished basically the same way.  Cast your spinner across the stream and let it swing downstream as it sinks.  When it has reached the necessary depth, give the rod a jerk to start the blade spinning as you begin the retrieve.  Retrieve the lure at a slow constant speed that is just fast enough to keep the blade spinning.
When you are fishing blind, as is often the case early in the morning, it is important to cover the area you are fishing very systematically.  When fishing a spinner across a strong current, your lure travels through the water in a downstream arc as you retrieve it.  In order to cover the maximum amount of water from one casting location, on each subsequent cast you should vary the length of the cast and the angle you are casting across the current.  You will achieve best results when your are able to determine the exact depth the fish are feeding in the water column and concentrate your efforts there.
In addition to the Rooster Tail and the Woolly Worm & Spinner, there are a variety of other lures that can be used to catch trout n the parks.  These include Mepps and Panther Martin spinners and tiny Rapala and Flatfish plugs, among others.



What's Working?
from the fly box
red or blue holographic, or Aqua cracklebacks
weighted crackleback
brown or black weighted woolly bugger with spinner
mega worm
possum hair roach

Zone one & two:
1/8 ounce marabou - pink & white, moss, gingersnap
Brown roach
Marbou: gingersnap, white, black & yellow, peach
tinsel sparkle jig
Glo Ball- jimi hendrix, easter egg, white with red dot or pink dot, dark red
rooster tails: brown sparkle, black sparkle

Zone 3:
Red worms
pink mouse tail
chunky cheese or chartreuse PowerBait


Water Conditions

The Spring is getting lower and clearer every day. There is a bit of clearer water in zone 1.  The Niangua is still very high and the lower part of the Spring branch is backed up and high.  

July 7, 2015 for Bennett Spring

Gage house level is 3.10 feet - down from 9+ feet on July 2nd.
Daily Discharge levels:
All numbers are in Cubic Feet per Second
minimum was 81 in 1934
25th percentile is 117
Median is 143
Mean is 156
75th percentile is 183
current level is 544 - down from 15000 on July 2nd.
Previous Max was 322 in 1995

July 7, 2015 for Niangua River:

Gage House reading is 5.88 and heading steadily down from 11.5 feet on July 10th.

Daily Discharge levels in cubic feet per second:
minimum was 48 in 1996
25th percentile is 135
Median is 168
Mean is 232
75th percentile is 311
Max was 753 in 2006
Today's reading is 3290 -over 4 times the highest record for this date.



Fishing Times

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



Weather Forecast 

Wednesday: Mostly sunny and hot, with a high near 92.

Thursday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 91.

Friday: Mostly sunny and hot, with a high near 92.

Saturday: Mostly sunny and hot, with a high near 92.

Sunday: Mostly sunny and hot, with a high near 92.



Calendar of Events

July 14th - Fly tying class at Weaver's Tackle, Baby Doll, zug bug, and johnny rotten will be the flies tied. All are welcome. No charge for class. Beginners start at 6:30, regular class at 7pm. All materials for flies tied are provided and classes are free.

July 21 - Fly tying class at Weaver's Tackle, black ant, adams Parachute, and a sparkle spinner will be the flies tied. All are welcome. No charge for class or materials used in class.

July 25th 9-12 am -Wayne Simpson fly tying demonstration at Weaver's Tackle Store.  He will be tying Hoppers and Beetles and Spiders!  (oh my!)

July 28th & 29th - moss cutting

July 28th - Fly tying class at Weaver's Tackle, Tenny Nymph, Lime Trude -df, will be the flies tied. All are welcome. No charge for class or materials used in class.

August 22nd - 9-12 am -Wayne Simpson fly tying demonstration at Weaver's Tackle Store

August 25th & 26th - moss cutting

September 22nd and 23rd - moss cutting

October 10, Holland Derby

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


Quote of the Week

The angler is never a has-been. He enjoys a lifetime of participation which continues through noon, then on into the sunset, and even into the eventide of life.

Author:
Charles K.Fox

Thanks for reading,
Lucy

Tuesday, July 7, 2015



How's Fishing?
The weather and the potential for flooding continues to be a leading topic of conversation at Bennett Spring as well as the surrounding areas.  Of course, I don't have any more insight into the future than anyone else, but I can drive down to the stream and see for myself what the conditions are.  That being done, the water is running fast, the color is somewhere between dingy and chocolate milk,and it is a bit high.  The forecast for the weekend looks very promising, but there is more rain forecast for this area tonight (Tuesday) so I don't anticipate that the conditions will be substantially different for at least a couple of weeks.  For those of you that only fish when the water is low, slow and clear, this is not your season.  It may be that way by August, and probably will be in September, but for now, those that are willing to adapt to the water conditions are the anglers that are catching fish.  And catching fish they are!   This is an especially good time for the less experienced anglers because the conditions allow for heavier line and small imperfections in casting and retrieval are not as obvious.
We will keep you updated as conditions change.



What's Working?

red or blue holographic, or  Aqua cracklebacks
weighted crackleback
zonkers - black or white
mega worm
possum hair roach

Zone one & two:
Brown roach
Marbou: gingersnap, white, black & yellow, salmon
tinsel sparkle jig
Glo Ball- jimi hendrix, easter egg, chartreuse with red dot
rooster tails: brown sparkle, black sparkle
floss jig, white
Jakes lure with red dots

Zone 3:
Red worms
pink mouse tail
chunky cheese or chartreuse PowerBait



Lunker Club

6-30-15
Jacob Knowlton from Dallas TX
2 pounds on a bedspread in zone 1

6-30-15
Ben Steinkamp from Hillsboro, MO
2 pounds on a Jimi Hendrix glo ball in zone2

7-3-15
Larry Mueller from Fults IL
2 pound on salmon egg red dough bait in zone 3

Ethan Shimer from Highland, IL
2-1/4 pounds on a white marabou jig in zone 2



Water Conditions

The Spring is getting lower and clearer every day. That being said, the Spring is still pushing hard and fast and it will take a while - perhaps a couple of weeks - before we see a dramatic improvement.

Watch the Facebook page - Weavers Tackle Store - for updates or check out the usgs site: http://waterdata.usgs.gov/usa/nwis/uv?site_no=06923500. (usgs bennett spring - if you want to enter a search for the site). The USGS gives you real time water levels as well as history for the last 50 years,

July 7, 2015 for Bennett Spring

Gage house level is 3.10 feet - down from 9+ feet on July 2nd.
Daily Discharge levels:
All numbers are in Cubic Feet per Second
minimum was 81 in 1934
25th percentile is 120
Median is 150
Mean is 162
75th percentile is 184
current level is 490 - down from 15000 on July 2nd.
Previous Max was 471 in 1995

July 7, 2015 for Niangua River:

Gage House reading is 3.82 down from 18 feet on July 2, 2015

Daily Discharge levels in cubic feet per second:
minimum was 20 in 2012
25th percentile is 46
Median is 89
Mean is 168
75th percentile is 232
Max was 585 in 1992
Today's reading is 637



Fishing Times

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



Weather Forecast

Thursday: A 50 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 84. Northwest wind 5 to 7 mph becoming southwest in the morning.
Thursday Night: A 30 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Partly cloudy, with a low around 69.
Friday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 89.
Friday Night: Mostly clear, with a low around 70.
Saturday: Sunny, with a high near 89.
Saturday Night: Mostly clear, with a low around 71.
Sunday: Sunny, with a high near 91.
Sunday Night: Mostly clear, with a low around 71.
Monday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 91



Calendar of Events

July 14th - Fly tying class at Weaver's Tackle, Baby Doll, zug bug, and johnny rotten will be the flies tied. All are welcome. No charge for class.  Beginners start at 6:30, regular class at 7pm.  All materials for flies tied are provided and classes are free.
July 21 - Fly tying class at Weaver's Tackle, black ant, adams Parachute, and a sparkle spinner will be the flies tied. All are welcome. No charge for class or materials used in class.
July 25th 9-12 am -Wayne Simpson fly tying demonstration at Weaver's Tackle Store
July 28th & 29th - moss cutting
July 28th - Fly tying class at Weaver's Tackle, Tenny Nymph, Lime Trude -df, will be the flies tied. All are welcome. No charge for class or materials used in class.
August 22nd - 9-12 am -Wayne Simpson fly tying demonstration at Weaver's Tackle Store
August 25th & 26th - moss cutting
September 22nd and 23rd - moss cutting
October 10, Holland Derby
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



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
Author:  Holly Morris

Thanks for reading!  Lucy