Located 500 yards east of Missouri's Bennett Spring State Park

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Trout Fishing Report for Bennett Spring
Brought to you by
Weaver's Tackle Store
April 18, 2016

 
     
   
     
 

Springtime in Missouri. I believe that all weathermen should do their internship in Missouri so they can get used to being wrong. The weather changes so quickly and there are a lot of days where you wear a coat in the morning and shorts in the afternoon. The storms that were forecast for today did not materialize. As the week goes on, we may get some rain, but nothing like what was originally forecast. The weekend should be sunny, in the mid 70's and just about perfect.

The fish have not been hitting well this weekend and the question has been, " why not?" One maybe not so obvious answer: the weather. So what part does this play? Not being a meteorologist myself, I turned to someone more knowledgeable than myself.

The following is from an on-line class by Jerry Maslar which I pulled up from the Trout Pro website. Some of you know all of this, of course, so, if you do, please scroll down.

The effects of weather on trout fishing:

Sunshine vs. Overcast

Both trout and aquatic insects tend to be more active in low light, and cloudy conditions spread these light conditions over a longer part of the day. This behavior reflects one of the most basic generalizations about weather and that is that clouds are an angler's best friend. Both trout and aquatic insects tend to be more active in low light, and cloudy conditions spread these light conditions over a longer part of the day. The fish are afforded better protection from aerial predators in low light, making them feed more confidently in the clear waters of a trout stream or tailwaters. In addition, the eyes of trout are capable of relatively rapid adjustment to changes in light intensity, so they have an advantage over their prey in low light. (For a very informative account of the senses of gamefish, see Through the Fish's Eye by Mark Sosin & John Clark.)

The timing and density of hatches also favors the angler on overcast days. On warm, bright days, hatch activity usually starts earlier in the day but will be shorter in duration, often producing brief but very intense activity. Conversely, on cloudy days, hatches show a later onset, but will produce steady numbers of bugs for a longer period of time. This information is key for an angler planning the day's tactics based on weather conditions.

Longer hatches give the angler a better opportunity to make some mistakes and still have a chance to catch a good number of fish. During very intense hatches, the angler sometimes struggles to get his fly noticed among a raft of naturals. The time taken to change flies or untangle a leader may also burn up a large portion of the trout's feeding activity. The wings of mayfly duns dry more slowly in the cooler air temperatures and higher humidity of an overcast day. The result is an emerging insect that stays on the water longer, making them more vulnerable to the fish this often allows the angler to switch to more visible dun patterns, rather than relying on emergers through most of the hatch.

The one advantage to bright conditions is that it makes spotting fish below the surface much easier. Of course, in many cases, hatches will be heavy enough on cloudy days that spotting fish will be no more difficult than looking for rise forms.


Rain and Snow

Precipitation can have a positive effect both on hatch activity and the fish's willingness to feed. A number of reasons can be given for this. One obvious reason is that rain or snow comes on days with overcast skies. The mixing action of rain hitting the water's surface also oxygenates the water, which may raise the activity level of the fish. Rain can also moderate extreme water temperatures, warming cold flows early and late in the season, while an afternoon thundershower can cool warm flows in mid-summer.

Often times the best hatch activity and fishing is not during the precipitation itself, but immediately after it. The high humidity associated with precipitation is also conducive to hatch activity and fishing success for the reasons noted above.


Wind

Of all of the vagaries of weather, wind is probably the one most dreaded by anglers. In a game that places a premium on casting accuracy and spotting the quarry, wind can create serious problems. All the same, wind is an almost constant companion to the fly fisher, so strategies for dealing with windy conditions are an important part of angling tactics.

The first problem with wind is that for most anglers even a light breeze destroys casting accuracy. This is a particular problem in spring creek and tailwater situations because placement of the fly in a narrow feeding lane is crucial to success. A further complication is the fact that drag may be caused not only by current acting on the leader and fly, but also by wind pushing the fly and tippet across these currents.

Wind can also indicate other weather changes that have adverse effects on fishing. Summer afternoon winds caused by temperature gradients can be annoying, but the fish are still willing to eat in these conditions if the angler can get the fly to the target. Winds caused by large scale barometric pressure changes as a storm front moves in can put a complete damper on the feeding activity of the fish.

Wind also diminishes hatch activity, although it is not clear whether the insects are reacting to changes in air pressure or sudden changes in light intensity (from wind chop on the surface of the water). It is not unusual to see the start of a good hatch and then watch the activity dissipate as the wind picks up. Similarly, evening falls of mayfly spinners are dependent on gradient winds dropping in the evening to allow the bugs enough mobility to form a mating swarm if the wind stays up, the spinner fall just won't happen.

If there is decent hatch activity in the wind, the fish grow accustomed to the hatching insects skittering across the surface, movement that is mimicked by the drag of a less than perfect drift. In extremely flat water, a breeze can produce a riffle where one didn't exist before. The broken surface of the water in wind chop prevents the fish from getting a good a look at the fly or its drift, and although fish are harder to spot in these conditions, and it is also harder for the fish to spot the angler The fish also recognize that hatching bugs in these conditions are often ripped away from them quickly, so they may become more aggressive in their feeding habits, slashing at the insects (and your artificial fly) before it can get away.


Casting and Presentation in the Wind

Accuracy is at a premium, get as close as possible and let the wind hide your approach. Try to drive the forward cast low and allow the loop to unroll just above the target. Driving the forward cast too high puts the loop into a zone with more wind and also gives the wind more time to act on the cast before it can drop the fly to the target.

If the wind is blowing directly upstream, don't try to present the fly downstream with a reach cast. You may be able to make the reach with the line and butt of the leader, but the wind will invariably kick the tippet and fly back upstream, leaving a downstream belly in the tippet that will cause drag on every drift. With upstream wind, rely on a traditional upstream cast, and hope that surface chop will hide small amounts of drag that come with this style of presentation.

If the wind is blowing downstream, you may be able to make a reach cast by simply holding the line out in the wind (on a slight upstream angle) and hovering the fly slightly above the target. Drop the rod tip quickly to put the line, leader, and fly on the fish's feeding lane, and then reach downstream to allow the fly to drift naturally.


Barometer

Barometric pressure has a complicated interrelationship with other the weather factors we have discussed so far. However, most fishermen will agree that rapidly changing barometric pressure is usually a problem, but a steady or slow change in barometric pressure provides good fishing. On days when small fronts are all over the weather map, gusty winds change direction constantly, scudding the clouds preclude either good spotting light or steady overcast, and a changing barometer seems to keep both bugs and fish at minimal levels of activity.

 
     
 

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 box

pale evening dun
Mega or wopper worm - pink or pink & white
Walt's worm - 2 feet drift, under an indicator
RGN's and zebra midges
Copper hot shots
possum hair roach
gray scuds


Zone 1 or 2

woolie with spinner, brown or black/brown
john deere or bedspread mini jig
gingersnap, ginger marabou
bumble bee, brown, or black glitter rooster tail
glo ball - original tri color, jimi hendrix, pink or salmon with red dot
brassie - red or pink
brown roach and possum hair roach


Zone 3

orange xtra scent power bait.
salmon peach or white power bait
minnows or worms




 
     
   
     
 

Water Conditions


 
 

April 18, 2016 for Bennett Spring:

Gage house level is 1.94 feet
Daily Discharge levels:
All numbers are in Cubic Feet per Second
minimum was 81 in 1981
25th percentile is 141
current level is 132
Median is 232
Mean is 260
75th percentile is 332
Max was 1310 in 1994

April 18, 2016 for Niangua River:

Gage House reading (water level) is 2.12 feet
Discharge levels in cubic feet per second:
minimum was 92 in 2014
Today's reading is 132
25th percentile is 204
Median is 391
Mean is 408
75th percentile is 540
Max was 1890 in 2013




 
     
   
     
 

Lunker Club


 
 

4-13-16

Joshua Marcus from Lake Ozark, Mo
2-1/2 pounds on a pink & white mega worm in zone 2

Tressa Reagan from Lebanon, MO
3-1/2 pounds on orange power bait in zone 3



4-14-16

Tim Doyle from St. Louis, MO
5 pounds on a black & gold marabou with a red collar



4-15-16

Bernard Crews from Ballwin, MO
2-1/4 pounds on a bumble bee rooster tail in zone 2

Scott Mogelnicki from Florissant, MO
2-1/4 pounds on a white mini jig in zone 1



4-16-16

Chris Musk from Belleville, IL (age 12)
2-1/2 pounds (c&r) on a ginger marabou in zone 1

Kevin Bolen from Rantoul, KS
2 pounds+ (c&r) on a pink globall in zone 1



4-17-16

Natalie Dixon from Fayette, MO
2-1/2 pounds on glitter orange power bait in zone 3

Bill Moeller from Fenton, MO
2-3/4 pounds on a pink & white marabou in zone 2



4-18-16

Nick Garvey from Brookfield, MO
2-1/4 pounds on a black & yellow marabou 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: A 40 percent chance of showers. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 71. Southwest wind 7 to 9 mph.

Thursday: A 30 percent chance of showers. Mostly sunny, with a high near 71.

Friday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 70.

Saturday: Sunny, with a high near 75.

Sunday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 78.

Monday: A chance of showers. Partly sunny, with a high near 76.


 
     
   
     
 

Quote of the Week


 
 

This one is for my son, Matthew. An average fisherman, perhaps, but an extraordinary father.

It is admirable for a man to take his son fishing, but there is a special place in heaven for the father who takes his daughter shopping.

Author:

John Sinor


Thanks for reading.
Lucy


 
     
     
     
 


Contact Information for Bennett Spring Area

https://mostateparks.com/content/trout-cam  - trout camera
http://waterdata.usgs.gov/nwis/uv?06923500  - real time water levels and cubic feet per second as well as historical data
http://mostateparks.com/park/bennett-spring-state-park  - official Spring site
http://www.facebook.com/home.php#!/pages/Weavers-Tackle-Store/371940309303 - Weaver's Tackle Store Facebook Page


Bennett Spring Hatchery Manager Ben Havens: phone (417) 532-4418, e-mail  ben.havens@mdc.mo.gov


Phone numbers for Conservation Agents:

Dallas County: Matt Hitchings 417-733-3876 or Jarrad Jewell 417-733-0286
Laclede County: Walt Hutton 417-718-1111 or Jared Milligan 417-288-8744







 
     
     
 

OUR PREVIOUS REPORT:





 
     
 

Trout Fishing Report for Bennett Spring
Brought to you by
Weaver's Tackle Store
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.


Countdown

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.

Conclusion

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
Adams
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




 
     
   
     
 

Lunkers


 
 

4-5-16

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


4-8-16

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


4-9-16

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

 
 

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.
Lucy




 
     
     
   
     
 


Contact Information for Bennett Spring Area

https://mostateparks.com/content/trout-cam  - trout camera
http://waterdata.usgs.gov/nwis/uv?06923500  - real time water levels and cubic feet per second as well as historical data
http://mostateparks.com/park/bennett-spring-state-park  - official Spring site
http://www.facebook.com/home.php#!/pages/Weavers-Tackle-Store/371940309303 - Weaver's Tackle Store Facebook Page


Bennett Spring Hatchery Manager Ben Havens: phone (417) 532-4418, e-mail  ben.havens@mdc.mo.gov


Phone numbers for Conservation Agents:

Dallas County: Matt Hitchings 417-733-3876 or Jarrad Jewell 417-733-0286
Laclede County: Walt Hutton 417-718-1111 or Jared Milligan 417-288-8744



 
     
     
     
     
 


Noted fly fisherman, Lefty Kreh was once asked by a non-fisherman what was the sense of catching fish only to let them go. He responded, "Do you burn your golf balls after a game?"



 
     

 

 

Weaver's Tackle Store

11388 Highway 64

Lebanon, MO  65536

Phone: 417-532-4618

e-mail: weavers.fishingtales@gmail.com 

 

 

The word on the trout stream is:

"WEAVER'S has the BEST prices!"

Come in and compare.

 

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