Wednesday, April 6, 2016

How's Fishing

The water at the spring continues to be very low and clear.  It may not as clear as the water is in August, but amazing for this time of year.  There has been some evening action on top water using a pale evening dun, size 18, black gnats, or, for those that tie their own, an adams-like lure with a bit of orange .  
For the rest of the day, scuds and nymphs are working well.
There have been a couple of conversations in our shop on the best methods for fishing the little sinking ones.  I checked around for some information on best methods for fishing scuds.   One thing I found was consistency in presentation.   Imitating the scud swimming pattern is a huge plus.  Scuds swim quickly but in very short bursts and in a random sideways direction.  The other piece of advice I noted was where to find them.  Because they are not great swimmers, they are going to be very close to the rocks that they live in.  Casting upstream and drifting down into the rough and rocky areas will give you your best chances.
The other thing I found interesting is the sunlight factor.  Scuds are most active when it is overcast, they don't like bright light.  The following is one of the articles I found on the subject.  My own comments are found in parentheses.

The following conversation I pulled from The Ozark Fly Fisher Journal brought to you by Dally's Ozark Fly Fisher in Cotter, Arkansas.

Question: What are the best ways to fish scuds and sowbugs? Depth, location of splitshot, any motion applied or just dead drift, etc. I would appreciate any hints. _ James
The Journal Answers: Scuds and Sowbugs are the staples of any White River fly box, alongside midges for one good reason. These food sources are always in the river and they always seem to work. But don’t worry about your question, you aren’t the first to ask in the past month.

So let’s start at the beginning. Turn any water-covered stone in the system and its a fair bet you’ll turn up one or the other. As you will see from the images below (I am including pictures)  Sowbugs (I believe he is referring to scuds at this point)  are deep bodied, kind of like little shrimp, though they aren’t a true freshwater shrimp. Colors can range from orange to tans, browns greys and olives

Sowbugs on the other hand are shaped more like those slaters, or roly-polys you find in the garden. A feature of these bugs is the darker center and almost translucent edges. Most of the sowbugs I've found tend to lean to subtle shades of gray, and olive.

Basically you can approach fishing either scuds or sowbugs as you would any other nymph pattern. Dead drift, with or without an indicator, works pretty well. This is a great approach on big fish too who find it hard to resist these tempting morsels.

But you do need to fish these flies down where they live, among the stones. Neither are regarded as Olympic class swimmers, though scuds can dart short distances, so they don’t roam far from the protection of home.  So if you aren’t catching fish on these patterns try going deeper before changing flies.


sow bug

I generally run these flies in low water conditions, (just on habit) though you can fish these patterns on higher water levels. I tend to rely on the built-in weight in Davy’s Sowbugs or McClellans’ Hunchback Scuds and V-Rib Woven Sowbugs or Kaufmann’s Scuds, in slower water.

But in the faster shoals, I’ll start adding weight depending on water speed and depth. Generally I’ll set the shot 6″ to 8″ above the fly, trying to get the shot bouncing over the tops of the gravel or bedrock and the fly swimming slightly above the bottom.As I mentioned earlier I fish these dead-drift, either searching likely water or sightfishing to individual trout holding in a feeding lie. However, and in fly fishing there is always a however, I recall watching a Gary Borger video a couple of years back in which he advocated swinging scuds through the faster riffles of Yellowstone Valley spring creeks, mised with jerky little strips or twitches of the rod tip. To some this might have been heretical but the titbit stayed with me.

Last fall the Journal was messing around at Wildcat, sight fishing to a health brown and in exasperation at missed take let the scud swing downstream through the tailout of the pool. Of course the scud was hammered. Remembering Borger I tried again and it was the same result.

One day does’t make a rule, but it was enough of a indicator that I’m going to keep it in my bag of tricks.

I hope this helps you out.

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

Fly case
pale evening dun
Mega worm
brown or white scud
possum roach

Zone 1 or 2
john deere or gray deere
Black & gold, yellow, shell & brown (aka shelby), or olive marabou
bumble bee, brown, or black glitter rooster tail
glo ball - roe or salmon with red dot
brassie - white or copper
ghosts - (mini marabou jig) black & yellow, yellow with blood line
Rooster tail - fire tiger or bumblebee

Zone 3
salmon peach or white power bait worms
minnows or worms
florescent yellow power eggs
cotton candy trout magnet

Water Conditions

April 4, 2016 for Bennett Spring:

Gage house level is 1.96 feet
Daily Discharge levels:
All numbers are in Cubic Feet per Second
minimum was 80 in 1936
25th percentile is 132
current level is 136
Median is 193
Mean is 239
75th percentile is 274
Max was 562 in 1968

April 4, 2016 for Niangua River:

Gage House reading (water level) is 1.94 feet
Discharge levels in cubic feet per second:
minimum was 120 in 1995
Today's reading is a new low record for this date- 107
25th percentile is 166
Median is 319
Mean is 484
75th percentile is 628
Max was 1770 in 2015\

Lunker Club

William Beckmeyer from Hartsburg, MO
2-1/4 pounds onb an olive marabou in zone 2

Rich Hunt from Manchester, MO
2 pounds on a black & yellow marabou

Jeff Cunningham form Higbee, MO
4-3/4 pounds on a black & yellow ghost

John Brant from Tipton, MO
5-1/4 pounds on a black & yellow marabou in zone 2

Scott Schwarz from Topeka KS
2-1/4 pounds on a fire tiger roostertail 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

Thursday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 65.
Friday: Sunny, with a high near 58.
Saturday: Sunny, with a high near 64.
Sunday: A chance of showers and thunderstorms. Partly sunny, with a high near 71.
Monday: A chance of showers and thunderstorms. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 69.

Quote of the Week

It has always been my private conviction that any man who pits his intelligence against a fish and loses, has it coming.
Author:  John Steinbeck

Thanks for reading!  Lucy

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