Tuesday, May 17, 2016

May 17, 2016

How's Fishing?

Although fishing on Friday was a little slow, Saturday and Sunday were amazing.  Lots of people fishing and lots of fish caught in every zone. This week the anglers were branching out and trying different flies and jigs, many of which proved successful.  The possum hair roach and the bennett blue crackleback continue to dominate. One of the best that is new this week is a classic, and a favorite of mine, the white floss.  It's just a hook with a 1/100 head and wrapped in floss or thread.  The usual color is white.  I'm told that it looks like a crustacean that grows on the weeds in the water at Bennett, and when it shakes off, it drifts downstream and becomes a favorite snack for trout.  If anyone knows anything different, I'm open to a better idea. Until then... that's my story.

If the fishing is slow for you, there may be other reasons for this than just bad luck.  One may be the lure you are using isn't appropriate for water conditions or time of year. Another may be that  you are getting bites and not realizing it.  Having someone more experienced tag along and fish with you can be really helpful.  And a third may be your line choice.  Line can be different colors.  An example of an obvious poor choice of line for the water of Bennett is red.  A nice soft green is a much better choice.  Heavier line does not seem to work as well as a lighter line, such as two pound.
The following is an article that presents the idea of whether to use two pound or four pound line in a different way, but there were some good points to consider and I thought it worth sharing.

This article was written by Ralph Scherder from the web site: Bait Fisherman

 The past 25 years have seen a major shift in trout fishing in terms of tackle. Ultralight rods and reels have become the norm. When I was a kid, 6-pound test was standard line weight. Now, 4-pound test is standard, but is 4-pound test light enough?
First of all, I’m referring to monofilament line here. I’ve used braided and superlines off and on throughout the years and will discuss their effectiveness in a future post For now, though, with trout season looming, I’ll talk a little about monofilament .

I like the XL (extra limp) lines for spinfishing. They have a more supple quality that casts better in spinning reels. Other, harder lines tend to tangle frequently because they have less give – those lines are primarily meant for baitcasting-type reels. So when choosing a line for a spinning reels, always go with one that has XL somewhere on the label.

I’ve been using 4-pound test monofilament for trout fishing for over 25 years, and I’ve always thought it performed the most consistently in all types of situations. However, there have been instances where I knew I could be catching more fish with a lighter line. One of those instances occurred a couple years ago when I caught a bunch of trout out of a pool on my favorite stream in early June. For about two hours straight, I hammered them until I thought I’d caught all of the biters. Then another fisherman walked down to the pool and, much to my surprise, he caught even more than I had. I noticed no obvious differences in bait or presentation, but I did notice that he was really careful with how he played each fish. When I asked why, he said he was using 2-pound test.

I’ve since added 2-pound test to my arsenal, although I only use it on rare occasions. When water is high or off-color, 4-pound test is more than adequate. During low water conditions, or when water is ultra-clear, 2-pound test is a great option.

One reason I prefer 4-pound test in most situations is that it’s thicker in diameter and will withstand the inevitable frays, scrapes and abrasions that occur when bottom-bouncing bait. I still check the line and retie hooks frequently to avoid losses, though. When using 2-pound test, I check the line and retie twice as often.

As a comparison, consider this: 4-pound test line generally has a diameter of 0.15 to 0.23 millimeters; 2-pound test has a diameter of roughly 0.10 to 0.15 millimeters.

Of course, I’m talking generalizations here. Actual diameters vary from brand to brand. Still, that’s quite a difference, and it translates into how visible line is to the fish, too. Although I believe trout have tremendous eyesight – based on their ability to pick a size 22 midge from the surface film – I really don’t think line visibility is a major factor in whether or not they strike. No doubt they have the ability to see all lines, regardless of whether it’s 4- or 2-pound test.

Where line size has its greatest effect is on presentation of the bait. Simply stated, the lighter the line, the less drag it will have on your presentation. As a result, the bait will move more naturally through the current. That alone will trigger more strikes. Also, if you’re using 2-pound test, you’ll likely feel more hits because the line is more sensitive than 4-pound.

I know from experience – we all do, in fact – that when you’re starving you’ll eat just about anything. However, when you’re not all that hungry, it takes something awfully good to spark your appetite. Lighter lines provide a more natural presentation that is more tempting to picky trout.

Assuming that your bait choice and presentation are good, though, a hungry trout will hit regardless of the line size. How else can you explain the fact that there are guys who use 8- or 12-pound test for trout and still sometimes catch fish? “Sometimes” is the operative word here. Yes, trout can be caught with 12-pound test some of the time, but definitely not all of the time.

When using 2-pound test, I’ve found that correctly setting the drag on your reel is crucial. A hefty rainbow or brown can snap 2-pound test very quickly if the drag sticks or is set too tight. I like to set mine so that the drag gives just a little bit when I set the hook, and I take my time playing out each fish. I still like a light drag when fishing 4-pound test, but I’m not as afraid to horse a fish to the net now and then.

During the early weeks of trout season, when water levels are higher, I use 4-pound test almost exclusively. As the season wears on and streams drop and become clearer, I gradually switch over to 2-pound test. There are no cut and dry answers as to which one is best. Usually that’s just a matter of personal preference. But each size has its place in my year-round arsenal, and I let conditions decide which one I use at any given time.

Fishing Times
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?
Blue wing olive
Tobacco Brown copper hot shot
san juan worm - red or hot pink
cinnamon ant
Possum hair roach
crackleback: bennett blue, holographic green
Black Caddis

Zone 1 or 2
White floss
john deere, or gray deere mini jig
rooster tail: minnow, gold, bumble bee, brown glitter, or black with gold spinner
glo ball: original tri color, jimi hendrix, white with red spot
 possum hair roach
black & gold or brown woolie worm with spinner, olive wooly worm
Marabou - black
white roach

Zone 3
rainbow power bait
salmon peach,  yellow - power bait.
minnows or worms

Water Conditions
At this time, I am writing this on Sunday afternoon, the water is very low, moving slowly. Clarity is excellent for this time of year.  We are expecting two days of rain.  This could play out in different ways.  If the rain is a soft drizzle for a couple of days, there may be very little change in the stream.  If it comes all in a gush, we will notice clarity issues especially in zones two and three.
The Niangua River is at an all time low for this date.
If there are issues with stream discharge or clarity, I will update the report as needed.

Tuesday update:  The rain is essentially over and did very little to, as they say, mess up the stream.  The water is still lower than average but there is a slight bit more color to it.  It's not especially muddy, and I believe that by this weekend, you will never even know it rained.

May 15, 2016 for Bennett Spring:

Gage house level is 1.87 feet
Daily Discharge levels:
All numbers are in Cubic Feet per Second
minimum was 89 in 1977
25th percentile is 143
current level is 109
Median is 201
Mean is 296
75th percentile is 337
Max was 1990 in 1967

May 15, 2016 for Niangua River:

Gage House reading (water level) is 1.83 feet
Discharge levels in cubic feet per second:
Today's reading is 62
previous minimum was 85 in 2015
25th percentile is 155
Median is 329
Mean is 746
75th percentile is 1100
Max was 2670 in 1994

Lunker Board

Ruth Todd from Raytown, MO
2 pounds on a black roostertail with gold spinner in zone 1

Karen Whisenhunt from Scheller, IL
2 pounds on a bumblebee roostertail in zone 1

Charlie Whisenhunt from Scheller, IL
2 pounds on a black marabou in zone 1
(Note: this couple caught their fish just minutes apart. Fishing on the dam)

Earl Nachtrieb from St. Charles, MO
3 pounds 12 ounces on an olive wooly worm in zone 2

Alan Wolschon from Mt. Clemens, MI
2-3/4 pounds on a white roach in zone 2

Doug Tepen from St. Charles, MO
3 pounds on a black & yellow marabou in zone 2

Jim Nauert from Quincy, IL
2 pounds on a john deere in zone 2

Rick Graham from New Market, Iowa
3 pounds on a minnow in zone 3

Tim Borchardt from Kerney, Mo
2-3/8 pouinds on a black & yellow marabou in zone 1

Trent Wilson from Edgar Springs, MO
2 pounds 1 ounce on a brown glo ball in zone 3

Trent Wilson from Edgar Springs, MO
2 pounds, 2 ounces on a brown glo ball in zone 2

Norman Black from Edgar Springs, MO
3 pounds, 13 ounces on a brown glo ball in zone 2

Norman Black from Edgar Springs, MO
2 pounds, 1 ounce on a brown glo ball in zone 2

Nathaniel Lammy from Michael, IL
2-3/4 pounds on a john deere in zone 2

Doc Amschler from Perryville, MO
3 pounds on a black & yellow marabou in zone 1

Isabelle Bruckerhoff from Gerald, MO (age 13)
2 pounds on a pistol pete in zone 2

Bob Worley from Wildwood, MO
2 pounds on a possum hair roach

Jason Dinwiddie from Lebanon, MO
2-1/4 pounds on a minnow in zone 3

Weather Forecast
Thursday:           Partly sunny, with a high near 69.
Thursday Night   A chance of showers and thunderstorms. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 52.
Friday:                A chance of showers and thunderstorms. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 68.
Friday Night:       Mostly cloudy, with a low around 54.
Saturday:            Mostly cloudy, with a high near 73.
Saturday Night:   Partly cloudy, with a low around 56.
Sunday:              Mostly sunny, with a high near 79.

Calendar of Events

May 24th & 25th are moss cutting days

June 8th:  Picnic in the park. Pavillion 2 across the whistle bridge.   Time: 9:30 AM

June 11 & 12: Free Fishing Weekend

June 11 (Saturday only): The Second Annual CFM Trout Fest

June 28th & 29th: Moss Cutting

July 26th & 27th Moss cutting

August 30th & 31st :  Moss Cutting

October 4th & 5th :  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

Quote of the Week

Tis the chance to wash one's soul with pure air, with the rush of the brook, or with the shimmer of the sun on the blue water. It brings meekness and inspiration from the decency of nature, charity toward tackle makers, patience toward fish, a mockery of profits and egos, a quieting of hate, a rejoicing that you do not have to decide a darned thing until next week. And it is discipline in the equality of men, for all men are equal before fish.

Author:  Herbert Hoover

Thanks for reading,

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