Tuesday, April 12, 2016

April 14, 2016

How's Fishing?

It's truly a beautiful time of year to fish at Bennett.  The entire weekend is forecast to be 70 and sunny.   We are in between Spring Breaks and Summer break so the stream is less crowded, and those that are here are generally the anglers who come for relaxation.
Even after the rains that we had over the weekend, the water in the spring branch continues to be low and slow, especially for the time of year.  It's very clear.  There is some moss floating occasionally, but the Christmas flood scoured the bottom of the stream so there are a lot more sandy areas and a lot less grass.  Be aware of your footing, rocks that you may have been used to stepping on are no longer there and holes you knew may or may not be there.
As far as dredging the stream, we understand that this will happen, but not until after the season is over when it will be safe for everyone.  This may require a bit of patience on everyone's part, but really the best call.
There is some top water action taking place more frequently.  Black caddis, pale evening dun and stoneflies are all good choices.  If you choose some ripply water, give a soft hackle a try.  I have reports of very good action on these fished by the hatchery outlet.   Small nymphs such as the RGN's are excellent choices if you choose to fish deeper.
For those on a spin rod, rooster tails and spinners have been doing very well.  A brown sparkle, black, or bumble bee pattern have all been good at different times of day.   I found the following article that I hope you find interesting about fishing this particular kind of lure.

Written by huntnfish and published on HubPages

How to Catch Trout with Spinners
Spinner fishing for trout has always been a favorite of mine. When used properly they can be used to catch all sorts of different species. Of course, the tactics for one fish are not the same as for the next. In this lesson, I will concentrate specifically on the tactics I employ for trout. Many of these tips however are good to keep in mind whenever fishing with spinners.
So read up, take some notes, and start catching more trout on spinners!
While it might seem silly to go to a lake or stream and repeatedly cast your favorite spinner to the exact same spot, I'm sure many of you are guilty of this at least a couple times, I know I am. Often this happens if I am having a conversation or distracted for some other reason. In general, this is a bad plan. Sure you might get lucky and that trout "honey hole" happens to be right in front of you, but often its not.
Fan casting refers to covering more water with your lure. Visualize the water in front of you as a clock. Don't just cast to 12 o'clock, instead cast from 9 o'clock to 3 o'clock. Cover all water within your casting radius.
Sometimes I wonder if this tactic isn't one of the causes of "beginners luck". Personally, I don't believe in it, so instead I try to figure out what causes it. Inexperienced anglers often times have little control over where their lure goes. The result is them fishing randomly in many different direction. If even by accident, they are fan casting. Who knows, maybe I'm crazy.
Another mistake I notice a lot of anglers make is that they begin to reel in the spinner as soon as it hits the water. If the trout are feeding near the surface, you'll be fine, but this is not always the case. If the trout are holding deeper in the water column, chances are it will be a very slow day.
The solution? Count your lure down. Depending on the shape and size of the spinner, a good rule is that it will sink 1' per second. After you make you cast, wait and count. This will give you an idea of how deep your lure is. I will usually reel in one on the surface, then down 2 counts, then 4, 6, 8 and so on. Eventually, you will know where the bottom is. This will help you focus on the entire water column.
Alright and now for some advice that might sound silly at first. I count out loud. I don't scream it, but loud enough so I can here myself. Why might you ask? Well if you catch a fish on an "8 count", wouldn't is make sense to countdown to 8 again? Of course! Sometimes though, in the heat of the battle with the trout, I will forget what number I was at. I find counting out loud helps me keep track of where I was. Maybe this wont be an issue for you. Just thought I'd throw it out there.
So there you have it, between fan casting and counting down your lure you will be covering much more of the water in front of you, and reaching more trout. You're already on your way to be a much more effective spinner fisherman!

Snap into Action!
Its called a spinner for a reason. If the blade isn't spinning, you're not trout fishing. You need to keep that blade moving. Often times, the blade on certain spinners will stick. The result? A wasted cast. How to solve this? Right when you start to retrieve the lure, give the lure a jerk with the rod. This isn't a hook set, just a nice short jerk. The tension on the line and the rush of water over the blade will get the blade to jump into action. I do this on practically every cast. It's just an easy way to ensure your lures effectiveness.
Trigger the Strike
Don't you love that feeling you get when a big trout follows your lure right up to your feet? The only thing better than that is having it strike. The truth is you probably have a lot more trout follow your lure than you ever realize. The idea is to convert as many "follows" into "hits" as possible. One way to do this is to twitch your rod tip towards your lure. The slack in the line causes the lure to pitch to the side and change pace. This often times can trigger a bite from a trailing trout. A word a caution- if you put too much slack in the line the blade may stop spinning altogether, killing the action, and any chance of catching that trout. So keep it subtle.
Cast Upstream
This is one that seems to get a lot of attention. When fishing in streams or rivers, cast initially upstream and let the lure swing around as you retrieve it. There are a few reasons for this. For one, trout must face upstream in order to fight the current. Additionally, almost all food will be drifting downstream, making this the natural presentation. So put it in the trout's face, cast upstream, reel downstream.
A second reason to cast upstream is to get your lure deeper. On downstream casts, the force of the current will cause your lure to rise up and skip along the surface. You lure never has a chance to get down to the fish. If however, you cast upstream, your lure will be able to sink deeper to where the fish might be holding.
Fish to Cover
Fish hold in cover: under logs, under banks, behind rocks, in trenches, and really any other structure on the river or lake bottom. So if the fish are there, so should your lure (assuming you're trying to catch fish). Now if you cast and drop the lure right on top of the cover, the fish will spook, and you're out of luck. Instead, cast well past the cover, then use your rod tip to guide the lure past the cover.
Additionally, if you trust your casting skills, and you don't mind losing a lure or two, look for the really tough cover. Gaps in weed beds, trees hanging into the water; the kind of cover most other fishermen avoid at all costs. Sure you might snag up, you might also get "the one".
Vary Your Retrieve Speed
Reel fast, reel slow, change it up. Depending on how aggressive the trout are feeling, one might work better than another. As a general rule, slower retrieve in cold water, faster in warm, but this is by no means set in stone. Just keep trying until you find what works.
Color Selection
Some people would swear that this is the most important part. I on the other hand concentrate more on presentation. That isn't to say I throw color selection to the wind, I simply believe that any color lure can be effective if fished properly. That being said, there are a couple things I try to keep in mind.
In stained or turbid water, you will need more flash. This means either sizing up spinners or switching to a shinier blade. In clear water, either size down lures or switch to a less reflective blade.
In cold water, fish seem to respond better to more flash, so bigger or shinier.
In warm water, fish respond better to less flash, so smaller or less shiny.
As far as reflectivity: Silver > Gold, after which comes copper, bronze, brass, nickel and a few others (I think in that order but I'm not sure, I stick to gold and silver mostly). The only reason I bring this up is that nickel and silver are difficult to differentiate between with the naked eye. This is troublesome because nickel is much less reflective. Many cheaper lure companies will replace silver with nickel to cut corners.
So what if its hot and clear, or cold and turbid, or hot and stained? This is where it gets confusing. Just try to make a good guess at it and give it a try, and if it doesn't work? Well that's the next point.

If They Aren't Hitting, Change It Up
The title says it all. Why fish with the same lure all day if the fish aren't hitting it? Try a different one. Now I don't want you to spend all day changing lures and not fishing, give each one a fair chance before switching again.
To make this easier, attach a snap swivel to the end of your line. This will prevent having to retie your knots constantly, and prevent line twist.
A quick note- don't be tempted to go cheap when buying swivels. Sometimes you can get away with it, but not here. Cheap swivels tend to bind under the line tension and not spin. Before you know it you might end up with a lapful of birdsnest. Instead, opt for a ball-bearing swivel. Ball-bearing swivels will still spin under all kinds of tension.
So that wraps up how to catch trout with spinners. If you take the time to employ these tips the next time you go out, I can almost assure you that you will catch more fish. Of course, some take some practice to master, but that's why its fun, we're always improving. So get out there, catch some trout, take some pictures, and let me know how you did! I love feedback.

Fishing Times
April         7:00 a.m.                   -   7:30 p.m.
May                6:30 a.m.                     -   8:15 p.m.
June/July        6:30 a.m.                     -   8:30 p.m.
August        7:00 a.m.                   -   8:00 p.m.
September 7:30 a.m.                   -   7:15 p.m.
October        7:30 a.m.                   -   6:30 p.m.

What's Working?

pale evening dun
Mega or wopper worm - pink or pink & white
gray or white scud
sow bug
possum hair roach

Zone 1 or 2

john deere or gray deere
Black & red, yellow, shell & brown (aka shellB), ginger, or pink & white marabou
bumble bee, brown, or black glitter rooster tail
glo ball - original tri color, white, pink or salmon with red dot
brassie - red or pink
ghosts - (mini marabou jig) black & yellow, yellow with blood line
brown roach

Zone 3

salmon peach or white power bait
minnows or worms
power bait worm, natural

Water Conditions

April 12, 2016 for Bennett Spring:

Gage house level is 2.01 feet
Daily Discharge levels:
All numbers are in Cubic Feet per Second
minimum was 86 in 1936
25th percentile is 129
current level is 148
Median is 207
Mean is 271
75th percentile is 309
Max was 1310 in 1994

April 12, 2016 for Niangua River:

Gage House reading (water level) is 3.83 feet
Discharge levels in cubic feet per second:
minimum was 102 in 2007

25th percentile is 131
Median is 275
Today's reading is 570
Mean is 1160
75th percentile is 1190
Max was 10500 in 1994


Roscoe Coons from St. Joseph, MO
3 pounds on a brown roach in zone 2

Tyler Foster from Lee's Summit, MO
2 pounds on a ginger marabou in zone 2

Talon Stockhort from Higbee, MO (age 3-1/2)
2-1/4 pounds on a pink & white marabou in zone 1

Amy Perkins from Clark, MO
2 pounds on a pink brassie in zone 1

Calendar of Events

April 19th & 20th: Moss Cutting

May 7: Kids Fishing Day
Fly Rod and Reel give away at Weavers Tackle for Kids- more details to follow.

May 14 : Kansas City chapter of Missouri Trout Fisherman's Association will hold a Tagged Fish Derby
Registration at the Park Store starts on May 13th after 7pm. A $5 donation is suggested. Location: Spring Branch
For more information, call Bill Beckman at 913-387-9090.

June 11 & 12:   Free Fishing Weekend

June 28th & 29th: Moss Cutting

Saturday, October 8, 2016:
Holland Trout Derby, help raise some money for cancer society..
Time: 7:30 AM to 6:30 PM

October 31st:  End of Regular Season

November 11, 2016: Start of Catch and Release for 2016 - 2017

Weather Forecast

Wednesday: Sunny, with a high near 65. Wind chill values as low as 36 early. Southeast wind 6 to 9 mph.

Thursday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 69. Wind chill values as low as 41 early. East wind 5 to 8 mph. .

Friday: Partly sunny, with a high near 69.

Saturday: Partly sunny, with a high near 71.

Sunday: Partly sunny, with a high near 72.

Monday: Showers and thunderstorms likely. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 71.

Tuesday: A chance of showers and thunderstorms. Partly sunny, with a high near 70

Quote of the Week

However angling may be classed by others, whether as a fool's pastime or as a wise man's recreation. I have always found great pleasure in recognizing what its indulgence costs me as so much saved from my doctor's bill.
Author:  George Dawson
Published:  The Pleasures of Angling

Thanks for reading.

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