Thursday, May 26, 2016

May 26, 2016

picture taken Thursday afternoon to show water conditions 5/26/16

How's Fishing?

The first question of the day has been "how's the water?"  I believe that many are concerned about the rain in the area and how it's affecting the fishing conditions.  The water is a bit murky in spots, but still very fish-able. Traditional lures such as black & yellow marabou and john deere mini jigs are doing well.   Not as many lunkers caught this week, but a good week for numbers of fish.
Moss cutting was done on Tuesday and Wednesday of this week.

  As we head into the weekend, it looks like several more days of occasional showers and temperatures in the low 80's. Beautiful for the Memorial Day Weekend.

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.

Water Conditions

May 25, 2016 for Bennett Spring:

Gage house level is 2.06 feet
Daily Discharge levels:
All numbers are in Cubic Feet per Second
minimum was 82 in 1936
25th percentile is 143
current level is 150
Median is 211
Mean is 230
75th percentile is 302
Max was 500 in 1991

May 25, 2016 for Niangua River:

Gage House reading (water level) is 3.20 feet
Discharge levels in cubic feet per second:
Today's reading is 362
 minimum was 52 in 2012
25th percentile is 85
Median is 362
Mean is 413
75th percentile is 419
Max was 2050 in 1995

What's Working?
From the fly box
crane fly
san juan worm - white
Possum hair roach
crackleback: bennett blue, holographic green, pearl
scuds, orange or olive

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

Zone 3

rainbow power bait
salmon peach, yellow - power bait.
salmon eggs

Of Interest

I'm trying a new heading.    Let me know what you think about it.  Drop an email to  thanks!

It makes sense to start at the beginning, and the first question is obviously "what is a trout?" The trout found in Missouri are members of the salmonid family, and they act very similar to salmon. We have two primary species available in Missouri: the rainbow trout and the brown trout. There are some rumors floating around about some brook trout and even a few golden trout here and there, but these fish, if they exist, are well guarded in waters without public access. All Missouri trout are restricted to cold water locations where the water temperature doesn't generally move much above 75 degrees, even in the hottest part of the summer. Since the Southern half of Missouri is so rich with springs, there are numerous cold water rivers and streams that are perfect for these fish.

The Rainbow Trout is by far the most numerous trout found here. They were first introduced in Missouri's cold water streams in the 1880's. In fact, some of the earliest stockings were accomplished by railroad workers who dumped buckets of small trout into the streams the trains crossed. Some of these original strains of trout continue to exist to this day. Although there are several wild rainbow populations that can be found throughout the state, most of the decent-sized rainbow trout you'll find are hatchery raised. Hatchery trout spend 15 months or so eating about 1-1/4 pound of trout chow to grow to 11 inches or so before being stocked into trout streams throughout the state.

Rainbow trout, once they've lived wild for a while, will feed almost exclusively on aquatic insects (mayflies, caddis, midges, etc.), and terrestrial insects (ants, beetles, grasshopper, etc.). In some waters, the trout may feed largely on small crustaceans like scud (small freshwater shrimp) and sowbugs (aquatic "rolly pollies"). Even the largest rainbow trout will continue to feed on tiny bits of food with the occasional minnow, crayfish or sculpin thrown in, if it's a fairly easy target, but extra large rainbows may also become scavengers. This gives them the great amount of protein they need to maintain their size while allowing them to conserve energy. It also offers them some protection from fisherman. Recently released hatchery fish, however, will bite on any number of items (i.e. corn, marshmallows, dough bait, etc.), mainly because they were raised on lumps of food thrown at them. After stocking, it will take some time for them to experiment with natural food sources before they give up their preference for the hand-fed cafeteria style of feeding. It seems as though all trout, however, have some genetically imprinted desire to eat fish eggs. In virtually every trout stream, a good old fashioned "glo-bug" or the more new-fangled "glu-bug" can work wonders when nothing else will.

After literally decades of trial and error, two primary strains of rainbow trout are now grown in our hatcheries and stocked in our state. These two strains are called the "Missouri Strain" and the "Missouri Arlee Strain". Yep, our state actually developed it's own strains. Cool, eh? The whole point of playing mother nature was to develop a strain of fish that grew quickly, was resistant to disease, and resilient to changing water conditions. The reason for two strains is to have a strain that will spawn in the Autumn and another that will spawn in the Spring. This, of course, increases efficiency and yield from the hatcheries. All in all, they've devised a pretty neat system.

The brown trout is a different animal altogether, of course. Obviously it looks different, but it also behaves quite differently from the rainbow. These behaviors make the brownie a bit of an enigma.

The brown trout was first imported from Europe in the 1890's, according to many accounts. It was considered a good transplant for many areas, because it was able to tolerate water temperatures warmer than the smaller and slower-growing native brook trout. To this day, the brown trout is a very popular and sought-after fish. Part of the reason is that it is considered a more selective feeder, meaning it is a greater challenge to catch than its rainbow cousin. There are also fewer brown trout out there. The Missouri Department of Conservation raises between 1.5 and 2 million rainbow trout per year, but rarely more than 300,000 brown trout.

Yes, the brown trout feeds differently than the rainbow, but there is no study we're aware of that supports the supposition that browns are more selective. In fact, brown trout feed very much like rainbows until they reach about 12" in length and a pound in weight. Shortly thereafter, their diet begins to include more big stuff -- minnows, sculpins, crayfish, etc. -- and fewer bugs. This is simple nature. The reason? No one knows for sure, but there are a few theories which still need study. One is that they are simply more aggressive by nature. Another is that they need more protein per meal in order to meet their complex energy requirements. A third theory is more complicated, stating that browns may engage in seasonal gorging to bulk up on fat, thus allowing them to survive more dormant seasons like the coldest part of winter and the hottest part of summer. We'll leave the final decision to the biologists, but the result for fishermen is the same. Instead of picking at caddis larvae all day, a brownie will chase down a couple of sculpins or crayfish and be full for hours. They're not more selective -- they're just stuffed. They'll still bite, because they're opportunistic feeders, but you'll have to drift your bait to them just right. If they've recently fed, they certainly won't chase your fly or lure, unless it looks big and meaty and appears to be an exceptionally easy target.

Brown trout spawn in the fall and begin to gorge themselves prior to spawning. This pre-spawn buffet period generally begins in early October and can stretch into mid-November. It is during this period that true brown trout trophy hunters come out. And since brown trout also tend to be a lot more active at night than rainbows, those trophy hunters will often try their hand casting a big streamer or small crankbait at night in search of that 30+ pound monster hiding out there somewhere. The world record brown trout was caught in Arkansas and weighed roughly 40 pounds. Missouri will break that record eventually.

Lunker Club

Bob Worley from Wildwood, MO
2 pounds on a possum hair roach in zone 1

Caleb Crawford from Lawson, MO
4-3/4 pounds on a black & yellow marabou in zone 2

Caleb Crawford from Lawson, MO
2-1/4 pounds on a rainbow glo ball in zone 1

Paul Klausen from Blue Springs, MO
2-3/4 pounds on a salmon egg in zone 3

Greg Mallory from Overland Park IL
2 pounds on a chartreuse bead head in zone 1

Mark Lowrance from Lebanon, MO
3 pounds (c&r) on a dark olive marabou in zone 1

Gary Page from Maywood, MO
2-3/4 pounds on a black & white worm in zone 3

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

Weather Forecast

Friday: Showers and thunderstorms likely. Cloudy, with a high near 76. South wind 11 to 16 mph, with gusts as high as 23 mph. Chance of precipitation is 70%. New rainfall amounts between a half and three quarters of an inch possible.

Saturday: A 50 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 80.

Sunday: A chance of showers and thunderstorms. Mostly sunny, with a high near 84.

Memorial Day: A chance of showers and thunderstorms. Partly sunny, with a high near 82

Tuesday: A chance of showers and thunderstorms. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 80.

Wednesday: A chance of showers and thunderstorms. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 81.

Calendar of Events
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

It is the constant - or inconstant - change, the infinite variety in fly-fishing that binds us fast. It is impossible to grow weary of a sport that is never the same on any two days of the year.

Author:  Theodore Gordon
Published:  1914

Thanks for reading!  Lucy

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