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?


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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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