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
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 weavers.fishingtales@gmail.com. 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

 
 

5-15-16

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


5-18-16

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



5-23-16

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



5-22-16

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



5-25-16

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

 
     
   
     
 


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.  For information go to http://confedmo.org/event/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



 
     
     
 


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
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, Iím referring to monofilament line here. Iíve 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, Iíll 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 Ė 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.

Iíve been using 4-pound test monofilament for trout fishing for over 25 years, and Iíve 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 Iíd 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.

Iíve 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 itís 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, Iím talking generalizations here. Actual diameters vary from brand to brand. Still, thatís quite a difference, and it translates into how visible line is to the fish, too. Although I believe trout have tremendous eyesight Ė based on their ability to pick a size 22 midge from the surface film Ė I really donít 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 itís 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 youíre using 2-pound test, youíll likely feel more hits because the line is more sensitive than 4-pound.

I know from experience Ė we all do, in fact Ė that when youíre starving youíll eat just about anything. However, when youíre 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? ďSometimesĒ 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, Iíve 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 Iím 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 thatís 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

 
 

5-10-16

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


5-11-16

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


5-12-16

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


5-13-16

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


5-14-16

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


5-15-16

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


5-15-16

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,
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 

 

 

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