Fishing Report 4/15/2020

How's Fishing?


 The stream is at a very fishable level and the water is looking great.  The stocking of trout may not have resumed yet, but there are trout in the stream.  The smaller numbers make it more of a challenge and keeps it interesting.  It has been nice to get out and enjoy the park, and to go hiking on the trails.  Springtime is a beautiful time to be outside, especially in Missouri.  

Mel Krieger a devoted fisherman was once quoted as saying; "Every answer in flyfishing starts with, "It Depends..."  As I am sitting here writing this report I look at the cursor blinking under the How's Fishing?  subtitle and my answer to that could start with, "It depends."  It depends, because in the scheme of things fishing is always good. 

 I went down to the stream on Monday.  I "angry" casted for about an hour.  I like to think I can catch fish, but it depends, on the weather, on the fish, on the time of day, and if I hold my mouth just right.   I was drudging the bottom with my sinking line, with a decent looking golden olive woolly bugger expertly tied on my 6X tippet.  Cast after cast I mended line and hoped for the slightest tug to remedy my Monday blues.  Five casts in I saw a dark shadow dart out from the moss and a silver belly flash.  I set the hook in the most beautiful slab of holey rock Missouri had to offer at Bennett Spring State Park!  That, my friends, is just another fish story!  See you on the stream soon! 
 Don't forget...early to bed, early to rise, fish all day, and make up lies!



A word from Rick and Lucy:

As I write this I pray all of you who are reading it, and your family members, are healthy. We at Weavers care deeply for each and everyone of you who read this report. We feel honored and blessed to have made so many friends in the past ten years at Bennett.

I know this social distancing can make us crazy, but it is the ONLY way we are going to beat this thing. I also know the need to get out of the house, because it makes you stir crazy. It does us. Lucy and I walk daily here in North Carolina but we are extremely cautious to maintain our distance from other walkers. I say this because I understand the need for some of you to still come to Bennett to escape the crazy that is going on in this world right now. I ask every single one of you, if you feel the least bit ill, please, for your sake as well as the sake of your fellow anglers, PLEASE stay home till you are well. If you do come, please maintain that ten foot barrier between you and ALL others. Do not share lures, do not share rods, do not share food, or anything else. We can beat this thing together, but it takes a commitment from everyone! The stronger the commitment, the sooner we get back to normal and to the Bennett we all know and Love......

God bless you all,

Rick and Lucy


Of Interest~Public Notice:

COVID-19 RESPONSES (AS OF 4/13/2020)
We will continue to update this page as more information is available.

Conservation areas are operating as normal.
Trails are operating as normal.
Boat ramps are operating as normal.
Outdoor spaces are well suited to increased social distance, and fresh air is a great way to calm your mind. But, we must remain diligent in taking steps to make your visit as safe and enjoyable as possible:

If you have been sick in the last two weeks, please stay home for your health and the safety of others.
Travel in a small group of 10 people or fewer.
If a conservation area looks crowded or an area parking lot is full, please do not stop and find another less-crowded location.
Keep a proper physical distance of at least six feet while visiting areas and especially on trails.
Avoid popular spots where people congregate, such as scenic overlooks, fishing docks, etc.
Pack water, soap and/or hand sanitizer.
Get more information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on best practices for keeping you and your family safe at
Missourians are encouraged to review information provided by the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services as it relates to COVID-19.

The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) and the Missouri Conservation Commission announce they are temporarily waiving permit requirements for sport fishing and daily trout tags for Missouri residents and nonresidents whose fishing privileges are not otherwise suspended.

The waiver of needing a permit or trout tag to fish will run from Friday, March 27, through April 15. MDC will reassess the situation at that point. All season dates, methods, and limits will continue to apply and be enforced.

“The current public-health emergency caused by the coronavirus (COVID-19) has many Missourians and others looking for safe ways to get outside in nature,” said MDC Director Sara Parker Pauley. “Missouri’s rivers and streams offer high quality fishing as a way for people to connect with nature while still complying with all health and safety recommendations. Fishing is also a great way to get some much needed physical and mental health benefits during this stressful time.”

Conservation makes Missouri a great place to fish and Missouri has more than a million acres of surface water with most of it providing great fishing. More than 200 different fish species are found in Missouri, with more than 20 of them being game fish for the state's more than 1.1 million anglers. Get more info on Missouri fishing at

Pauley added that it is still critical for everyone to continue to heed all recommendations for hand washing, social distancing, and other public-health measures while fishing and during other outdoor activities, including maintaining at least six feet of distance between all individuals who are not family members.



The James Foundation announced it has closed Maramec Spring Park in St. James to the public for trout fishing and all other activities until further notice. Maramec Spring Park is owned and operated by the James Foundation. MDC manages the trout hatchery at Maramec Spring Park. For more information, visit

Missouri’s three other public trout parks remain open for day use and fishing: Bennett Spring State Park in Lebanon, Montauk State Park near Licking, and Roaring River State Park near Cassville. They are operated by Missouri State Parks under the Missouri Department of Natural Resources (DNR). MDC manages the trout hatcheries at these locations.

To reduce possible increased social congregation, MDC will suspend daily trout stocking at all trout parks starting Friday and has suspended other fish stocking in waters around the state until further notice.

According to DNR, Missouri State Parks remain open. However, in reaction to COVID-19 and out of an abundance of caution, Missouri State Parks will temporarily close all campgrounds and lodging effective Friday, March 27, through Thursday, April 30. This includes campgrounds, park-run lodging and concessionaire-run lodging. While they are not able to accommodate overnight guests, Missouri State Parks remain open to the public for day-use, including boat ramps and more than 1,100 miles of trails.

“We are taking these measures now to reduce the impact of COVID-19,” said Missouri State Parks Director Mike Sutherland. “The outdoors provide a great opportunity to relax and destress. Even outdoors, it is important to practice social distancing, avoid large gatherings and wash your hands often.”

MDC and DNR remind people to make outdoor activities as safe and enjoyable as possible by taking the following actions:

• If you have been sick in the last two weeks, please stay home for your health and the safety of others.

• Travel in a small group with a maximum of 10 people.

• Avoid popular areas where people may congregate, such as scenic overlooks, buildings, playgrounds, etc.

• Maintain at least a six-foot distance between you and others.

• Pack water, soap and/or hand sanitizer.

Get more information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on best practices for keeping you and your family safe at MDC has closed its regional offices, Department headquarters in Jefferson City, and other public contact offices, nature centers, visitor centers, educational centers, and staffed shooting ranges to the public until April 15.

While MDC public offices will be closed to general visitation, offices will still be staffed. Visitors with official business will need to notify the office to gain access. Find MDC office contact information at

MDC has also cancelled its public events and programs around the state until April 15, including hunter education classes, nature center programs and events, shooting range programs and events, and landowner workshops. MDC will reassess the situation at that point.

Conservation areas, nature center trails, unstaffed shooting ranges, and boat accesses remain open to the public. Hunting, fishing, and trapping seasons continue as scheduled. MDC managed hunts and mentored spring turkey hunts continue as planned.

For more information on MDC, to contact MDC offices, to buy permits, and more, visit MDC online at


Missouri State Parks postpones special events and programs and temporarily suspends planned guided group or school tours now through April 30

Out of caution, Missouri state park and historic site programs and events sponsored by Missouri State Parks are postponed or canceled now through April 30. In addition, planned guided group or school tours, including tours of the Missouri state Capitol, are temporarily suspended now through April 30 in order to avoid large congregations of people in confined areas.

The team is closely monitoring the progression of COVID-19 and its effect in Missouri. While safety, stewardship and service are all very important to Missouri State Parks, safety is the top priority.

Missouri State Park visitor centers, campgrounds and lodging will remain open as we closely monitor COVID-19 and its presence in the state. We encourage all Missourians and park visitors to review information provided by the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services as it relates to the virus.

Missouri State Parks is committed to the safety of park guests, volunteers and staff. If you have any questions regarding Missouri State Parks events or programs, please contact us at


Water Conditions

Bennett Spring

April 15, 2020
Gage house level is 2.40 feet
Daily Discharge levels:
All discharge numbers are in Cubic Feet per Second
minimum was 84.0 in 1981
25th percentile is 141
Current level is 248
Median is 232
Mean is 256
75th percentile is 346
Max was 666 in 1941

Niangua River

April 15, 2020
Gage House reading (water level) is 2.12 feet.
Discharge levels in cubic feet per second:
Minimum was 105 in 2014
25th percentile is 186
Median is 436
Today's reading is 326
75th percentile is 1020
Mean is 649
record high max was 2500 in 2007


What's Working?

From the Fly Case

Zebra Midge
Rusty Dun
Rusty Spinner
Pale Evening Dun
Elkhair Caddis
Grizzly Peach Cracklebacks
Copper Johns
Prince Nymphs
Blue Wing Olive

Black Stonefly
Wooly Buggers-golden olive, white, black
Bennett Blue Cracklebacks
Copper Hot Shots
RGN's-golden olive, brown size 14

Zone 1 or 2

Mopflies- cream, pink, white, orange, olive
Megaworms-pink and white, red, white, lavender

Bloodworm, Orange, White, Hot Pink Squirmy Wormies
Bedspread jig

Zebra Midges
Brown Roaches
Peacock Jigs
Bumblebee mini jigs
John Deere
John Deere with a yellowtail
Angry John Deere
White grub mini jigs
White thread jigs

Green Goblin jigs
Peach Fur Bugs
Jimi Hendrix Glo-Balls

Pink Lady Glo-balls

Peach Glo-balls
Easter Egg Glo-balls
Original Tricolor Glo-balls
White Glo-balls
White Glo-balls with a red dot

Dark Brown with Red Dot Glo-balls
Marabou - black and yellow, olive, ginger, gingersnap, red and yellow, black, Shell and white, white, Tequila Sunrise (orange and yellow), orange, Red, chartreuse and black
Rooster Tails -Bubblebee, Yellow Coachdog, Glitter Brown, Skunk,  Glitter White, Yellow Roostertail, Mayfly

Zone 3

Lucky Lady worms-pink and white,pink and yellow, red and white, black and yellow,  mint

Zeke's White

Orange Twist Powerbait
Pink Powerbait
Salmon Peach with or without glitter Powerbait
Yellow Glitter Powerbait
Fluoroscent Orange Powerbait
Grape Nymph Powerbait
Garlic Powerbait
Salmon Eggs

Bubblegum Powerbait
Powerbait Power Eggs Chartreuse or Sunrise
Bentley's Secret Bait Original and Garlic

Weather Forecast

Wednesday: Sunny, with a high near 58. Wind chill values as low as 26 early. West wind 6 to 10 mph, with gusts as high as 20 mph.

Thursday: A 30 percent chance of rain after 1pm. Partly sunny, with a high near 60.

Friday: A chance of rain. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 52.

Saturday: Sunny, with a high near 63.

Sunday: A chance of showers. Partly sunny, with a high near 66.

Monday: Sunny, with a high near 68.

Windyville MO
37.72°N 92.92°W (Elev. 1024 ft)

Lunker Club


Devin Jaegers from Koeltztown, MO 3 pounds in zone 2 on a tricolor glo-ball


Kelly Snider from Independence, MO 2 pounds in zone 1 on a Weaver's hot pink marabou


Calendar of Events

There will be monthly Mayfly Project fly tying nights in the Bennett Spring Church of God Annex, located across from the park office. Supplies and instruction on tying a basic fishing fly will be given. This activity will allow people to enjoy the art of fly tying and learn from experienced Bennett Spring fishermen and women.

All supplies will be provided, but participants are welcome to bring their own. A $5 donation for the "Fly of the Night" supplies is suggested. Donations will go to provide supplies and support for Kid's Free Fishing Day. Everyone's first six flies will be donated to The Mayfly Project, which mentors foster children through fly fishing.

This event is sponsored by Missouri State Parks, the Missouri Department of Conservation and the Mayfly Project. More information is available at .

Additional Mayfly Project program dates:
May 1, June 12, July 10, July 31, Sept. 4, Oct. 2
26250 Hwy 64A, Lebanon, MO | (417) 532-4338

Weed Cutting May 19-20

FREE FISHING FOR ALL~Saturday June 6th and Sunday June 7th, 2020
Bennett Spring State Park welcomes the public to fish for trout for free. Fishing licenses are not required in the state of Missouri during this weekend. Daily trout tags and fishing licenses are not required for individuals fishing at Bennett Spring State Park. Free trout tags can be obtained at the park store. All other wildlife game regulations apply.

Weed Cutting June 23-24

Veterans Fishing Day~ Saturday July 11, 2020 Bennett Spring State Park~0630-2030

Weed Cutting August 4-5

Weed Cutting September 15-16

For additional information or questions please contact the Nature Center at 417-532-3925.

There is a list at that gives all the details of other activities, such as hikes that are going on at Bennett Spring State Park through out the year.




7:00 A.M.
7:30 P.M.


6:30 A.M.
8:15 P.M.


6:30 A.M.
8:30 P.M.


6:30 A.M.
8:30 P.M.


7:00 A.M.
8:00 P.M.


7:30 A.M.
7:15 P.M.


7:30 A.M.
6:30 P.M.

Quote of the Week

Many of us probably would be better fishermen if we did not spend so much time watching and waiting for the world to become perfect.


Norman MacLean

Thanks for reading,


Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published