Wednesday, June 29, 2016

June 30, 2016

How's Fishing?

Fishing continues to be great. It's summertime and everyone at Bennett is cool!  There has been a lot of talk about browns.  They are a favorite fish to catch for most anglers because of their 'spunk'.  I've added an article under the "of interest" heading that an expert angler from Bass Pro wrote.  I found it interesting, you may as well.  The latest lure to use at Bennett to catch a brown is a size 18 Renegade.  Remember to measure your catch, a brown needs to be 15 inches long to put on your stringer.
The Lunker Board at our store is going into the third sheet.  This is the most lunkers we have seen since we came here seven years ago.  2016 is just an amazing year!
If we get the rain that is predicted, the water may be a little murkier than it is now.  If you are a weekend angler, you may be able to get away with a heavier tippet material and darker lures.  Remember that rain in Kansas City or St. Louis does not mean that we are getting rain at Bennett Spring.  Check the weather for Long Lane, MO to get the most accurate current weather for this area.

Fishing Times

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 - Amazingly clear and slow for this time of year.  Almost record low for the Spring Branch.  The Niangua is running a bit higher than average level.

June 28, 2016 for Bennett Spring:

Gage house level is 1.91 feet
Daily Discharge levels:
All numbers are in Cubic Feet per Second
minimum was 78 in 1934
current level is 117
25th percentile is 130
Median is 160
Mean is 189
75th percentile is 210
Max was 653 in 1932

June 28, 2016 for Niangua River: Moving well, above average for discharge and levels.

Gage House reading (water level) is 2.16 feet
Discharge levels in cubic feet per second:

minimum was 28 in 2012
25th percentile is 57
Median is 98
Today's reading is 178
Mean is 214
75th percentile is 367
Max is 694 in 2008

What's Working?

From the Fly Box:

Possum hair roach
crackleback: bennett blue
copper hot shots, all colors
black zebra midge
white mega worm
black caddis

Zone 1 or 2

rooster tail:  bumble bee, brown glitter, or black glitter with gold spinner
glo ball: original tri color,
White floss
possum hair roach
brown roach
white mega worm
olive wooly with spinner
marabou, black & yellow

Zone 3

white trout magnet
salmon peach or white power bait.

Lunker club

Issac Bohm (age 11) from Huntsville, MO
2-1/4 pounds in zone 1 on a self tie - peach

Ron Tilson from Wichita KS
2-1/4 pounds on yellow plastic worm in zone 3

Gavin Jones (age 9)
From Farmington, MO
2-1/4 pounds on green deer hair jig.

Jessica Parsons from St. James, MO
2-1/2 pounds (brown) on white dough bait in zone 3

Steve Hermach from Ballwin, MO
3 pounds on a white worm in zone 3

Tom Dobson from St. Louis, MO
2-1/4 pounds on a black & yellow marabou in zone 2

Glen Mazuranic from High Ridge MO
2-1/4 pounds on olive wooly with spinner in zone 1

Pam Todd from Lee's Summit, MO
2-1/4 pounds on a black glitter rooster tail in zone 1

Hunter Todd from Centerview, MO
2 pounds on a white mega worm in zone 1


Connor Todd from Blue Springs, MO
2.2 pounds on Apricot glo-ball in zone 1

Lonny Todd from Lee's Summit, MO
2-1/4 pounds on a black & yellow marabou in zone 1

Jan Mitchell from Warrenton, MO
2 fish, 2 pounds plus on a pink plastic 'jig' in zone 3

Of Interest
This article from Bass Pro is a little long, but I found it interesting so I'm sharing with you.

Best Bet for Brown Trout
Posted by  Jason Akl
April 4, 2013

The brown trout (Salmo trutta) is possibly the most popular of all the trout species targeted by fly fishers. Be it their willingness to rise to dead-drifted dry flies or give chase to a swinging streamer; brown trout are fancied the world over. Originally the brown trout was imported from its native waters in Europe and western Asia to lakes and streams in New York and Michigan in 1883.

Brown trout are one of the most widespread species of the trout and salmon family.
Brown trout have thrived in their new home, and have taken up permanent residency in all of our upper Great Lakes waters. Currently, brown trout are one of the most widespread species of the trout and salmon family. The reason for the brown's great success in the U.S. is that this fish can live in higher water temperatures than the other salmon and trout; also it is very adaptable to varying bodies of water.

Although the brown trout is such a plentiful species, do not be fooled into thinking that fishing for these freshwater predators will be easy; browns can be the most finicky eaters of all the different trout species. A good understanding of the fish's behaviors and plenty of time out on your favorite waters will help give you a shot at landing a true lunker of a brown.

Since brown trout spawn in tributary streams through September and October, they begin to take up residence near stream outlets in spring and early summer. After entering into a particular stream, brown trout spawners actively seek out shallow, gravel or rocky areas where they can commence the spawning process. Female browns create redds in the gravel bottom, where the spawning fish will eventually deposit the eggs and sperm of the new generation. The process is completed when the female covers the bed with gravel.

On average, lake-run adult browns weigh about 8 pounds, although many of the individuals who frequent the river are much larger. Of all the different trout species browns enjoy a rather long life span that can reach upwards of 13 years.

Fishing Techniques
When thinking about successful brown trout fishing techniques, no single technique stands out from the rest. Many different flies can be used to get the fish to bite, but tailoring yourself to the specific seasonal feeding personalities of the browns increase your chances of hooking fish and hooking them consistently.

As with all other trout groups, winter browns are a group less prone to chasing fast moving presentations and flies fished with erratic movements. Cold temperatures produce lackadaisical feeding behavior in fish so getting your fly in the strike zone is a necessity. Nymph fishing is probably the best technique to utilize during the cold winter months seeing as it is a quiet presentation that covers lots of water. Nymphing is excellent for repeatedly placing your fly in the strike zone with minimal effort.

Depending on the body of water, you will be fishing in cold water more often that not, a floating line coupled with long leaders will be most productive. Heavily weighted nymph flies and an indicator system are a necessity to get down deep and attract attention from fish while still allowing the angler to detect light takes. Bead flies are a good idea for these types of fishing conditions because they have a little more weight than standard nymphs plus extra flashing to get those lazy fish feeding.

Summer fishing for browns can be a little more enjoyable for the angler seeing as you will have the opportunity to present the fish with many different floating patterns. If you are fishing a body of water that is unknown to you or it is very early in the morning, searching flies swung close to cover paired with timely strips can produce a voracious bite. If you are looking to catch fish on dries, long casts towards overgrown grassy banks will produce best. Cast upstream and across from your target at a forty-five degree angle and allow the fly to drift drag-free downstream.

If you are fishing terrestrial patterns, then a loud plop on the entry and a few strips during the drift will help to get fish looking at what you are offering. Another good idea for summer fishing is to use a dry and dopper technique for browns. This technique is simply attaching a high floating dry pattern like a deer hair grasshopper to the end of your line and running a second smaller nymph pattern from the hook of the first fly. In this aspect you will be covering a few different zones of the water column and allowing the fish to choose what they prefer best.

The dry fly in this presentation will also act as attractant for the nymph and as a strike indicator. Last but not least is the wet fly approach to brown trout fishing. As terrestrial insects fall to the water surface, most will drown and get pulled below the waters surface, where browns will feed on them relentlessly.

Having a few soft hackle patterns that emulate these drowning critters will again help you to increase your odds in catching browns. The wet fly swing is a relatively easy technique whereby the anglers' casts downstream at a 45-degree angle to their target and lets the fly swing slowly across the current until it reaches a position completely below the angler. Repeated casts down and across will effectively cover lots of water and shows potential fish your fly at many different angles and speeds.

Fly Selection
Brown trout are notorious for eating almost any desirable food item that it can fit into their mouths. Browns regularly consume a wide variety of aquatic insects and invertebrates, as well as tiny fish and crayfish. Along with these aquatic forms of food, browns seem to have a particular taste for land insects like ants, beetles, gnats, caterpillars and inch worms. They are known also to eat frogs and the occasional mouse. With such a diverse diet coupled with longevity and intelligence, you can see how one might find it a little hard to choose the right fly on any given day.

To the delight of most fly fishermen, and sometimes to their frustration, brown trout are also known to be voracious surface feeders that are a delight to catch on a dry fly. Unfortunately for most, browns can be very discriminating between a natural insect and a well-crafted imitation making for some very long, slow days in the river. When trying to decide what fly to use on your next fishing trips keep in mind that similarly with all other types of trout no one fly can guarantee that you will catch fish. A good idea is to try and tailor your flies to the water conditions that you will be fishing and to the time of the year it is. For brown trout this customizing of your fly box can be very crucial to one's success.

In early spring, brown trout will be actively searching out aquatic insect forage. The stream bottom critters this time of the year are very large chucked full of nutrients making them a tantalizing treat for browns. Caddis cases and mayfly nymphs are your best bet to keeping the action steady, with the darker shaded patterns producing best. Most hatching nymphs in spring need to be dark in color so that when they hatch they can draw in as much heat as possible to dry out and start their short life cycle. Mottled dark browns, black, and olive will be what you see most from hatching aquatic insects so having flies with these colors is a good idea.

As you move more towards the long dog days of summer, brown trout will certainly still be feeding on nymph patterns but a shift in their diet will become prominent. Browns are the ultimate opportunistic feeder and what better time of the year to take advantage of this behavior than summer with all the hatching terrestrial insects. If you plan on fishing early morning in midsummer then a good idea is to use a large searching pattern such as a leech or woolly bugger. Browns have a tendency to tuck themselves tight into cover and slowly stripping these patterns in and out of cover will produce tantalizing strikes.

Many different flies can be used to get the fish to bite.
Around noon it is a good idea to switch up from your searching pattern and move to using terrestrial patterns especially if there is a breeze out. Bugs will get swept from the fields and woods into the water and browns will be there waiting to feed. Grasshopper patterns with deer hair that float high in the water column are a good bet to start out with while moth, ants and beetles also produce well. If you are interested in fishing terrestrial patterns but are confused as to what the fish might be feeding on take a few simple minutes to walk through the woods and see what is about. Spotting grasshoppers and moths should be no problem, but it takes a keen eye to watch for ants, caterpillars and beetles.

During fall and early winter the feeding habits if the brown trout seem to digress a little. Yes, you can still catch plenty of trout with nymphs but using minnow imitations and egg patterns seems to produce the biggest fish. As the lake run fish begin to enter the streams in order to spawn their respective diets have been focused mainly on baitfish so using large streamers with lots of flash is a good way of inviting a strike. Once the fish start to make their way to the redds their appetites will slow a bit, but yarn eggs in bright oranges and pinks will catch some good fish. At this time of the year another good approach is to use aggravator flies such as leech or baitfish patterns. Seeing as the fish's appetite has slowed, their strike on the patterns will be simply because of aggression and instinct.

Weather & Sunlight
Heavy rain, as with all other trout species, can be a very important variable in the size and number of fish you catch. As the level of the body of water increases and the clarity decreases due to rain, browns will be drawn out of their tight cover to feed on drowned insects. This pattern of moving out from cover will make it very hard for fly anglers to target fish simply because fish could be feeding anywhere throughout the river. During the spawn, the rising water will allow lake-run fish to travel safely up small creeks and rivers to their upstream spawning grounds.

While rising rivers help bring spawning fish upstream, dropping water levels will hold lake runners in deep holes providing ideal fishing conditions. If you are looking to catch lunker brown trout with any success, you have planned your fishing trips around these rising and falling water conditions in fall. Ideally fishing for browns is best if you can reach the river 1-2 days after a light rain, or 3-4 days after a heavy rain. The water level should be just starting to drop and have a slightly tinted color.

The amount of sunlight on the water is not as important to brown trout fishing as other species of trout. If you present these freshwater predators with the right fly they will take it regardless of the conditions or water levels. With that in mind do not forget that fish are very quick at picking up shadows on the water and spook easily, so when the sun is high be sure to keep out of the rays and be aware of casting your shadow on the water. When fishing remember to always start your day off downstream of where you want to end up and work your way upstream. By fishing upstream you will be approaching the fish from behind and not kicking river bottom sediment into the holes that you want to fish.

This colorful and feisty fish will provide exciting fishing. It can be a strong, ferocious fighter and a challenge to any experienced fly fishing enthusiasts.

Weather Forecast

Thursday: A 50 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 83. South wind 6 to 9 mph.

Friday: Showers and thunderstorms likely. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 80. Chance of precipitation is 60%..

Saturday: Showers and thunderstorms likely. Cloudy, with a high near 80.

Sunday: A chance of showers and thunderstorms. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 83.

Independence Day: A chance of showers and thunderstorms. Partly sunny, with a high near 85.

Tuesday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 89.

Calendar for 2016

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

A fisherman is always hopeful -- nearly always more hopeful than he has any right to be.
Roderick Haig-Brown

Thanks for reading!

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