Jump to content
OzarkAnglers.Com Forum


Popular Content

Showing content with the highest reputation since 08/07/2019 in Articles

  1. 7 points
    I'd never gone up to Naknek this late... not many people have except locals I'm told. And even then, didn't see but a couple of boats on the river today. Stayed at Katmai Trophy Lodge near the "rapids" on the Naknek, owned by the Johnson family. They also own Naknek River Camp at the head of the river, at Lake Camp. The camp is closed because all their water lines are exposed, above ground. KTL is a regular lodge with power (electricity) and indoor plumbing so they could stay open all year, if there was fishing to be had. I went up to spend time with good friend, John McCloskey, one of their main guides at KTL. John did a spey casting clinic for us at the resort last December. John had 3 clients this week from Georgia. They are clients of his on his home waters in north GA. Jason, Jane and their 9 year old son John. John specializes is swinging flies and the Cooke's were there to partake. The river was a little high and off color due to rains and an east wind. John says the rainbows don't like dirty water. Water temp was 43-44 degrees. We had a variety of weather. Three days of winds in excess of 40 mph and a couple "breezy" days. Rain everyday except one. But temps stayed decent - 45 - 53 degrees daytime and rarely dropped below 40 at night. Unseasonably warm, but always windy and rainy. I'd call it normal RAW Alaska weather for late October. Fishing was good the first day in spite of heavy winds but the bite steadily slowed down each day, like the rainbows were leaving the river. We were seeing some flesh flowing by but not much. Nothing else for them to eat really except may be a sculpin here and there. They winter in Naknek Lake and will migrate there about now. John says they stated one week too long. But the rainbows we did catch were impressive. They swung flesh and sculpins and I threw my spinning gear and 1/8th ounce jigs. I used mostly 4-pound line but did use 6-pound occasionally. The bigger the rainbow and easier they were to land, mainly because they were so fat with flesh. We fished flats - fast water spots with depressions and rocks holding fish and depths not more than 3 feet deep. That's what made my jig work, they hit it even if it was real close to the surface - and the swing or worked out in front of me. I landed 3 - 30+inch bows, 6 bows between 25 and 29, one at 20 and 2 about 15 inches. I lost a couple - one at the net and one broke off. The best color was black/purple and sculpin/ginger a close second. John played around with the jig and loved it. He couldn't get over how effective it was. I know he hooked several rainbows and landed one that I saw. They caught a half dozen swinging flies. I know Jason landed a couple pushing 30 inches. They saw one bear. I wasn't fishing at the time though so I didn't see it. We didn't fish any other areas - stay below the Counting Towers and across from King Island. There were 2 other guide boats out all week with 2 clients each... that's it.
  2. 7 points
    Took a family trip down to Mississippi to get on some big crappie. Something I’ve been wanting to do for years. Why have I waited so long? It was incredible! We arrived Friday late afternoon for check in and got settled in our cabin. Went down to the outdoor pavilion called “The Slab Shack” for dinner. 1 inch thick strip steaks, sea salt crusted baked potatoes, coleslaw, grilled asparagus, garlic bread, key lime pie, and home maid pineapple ice cream. Woke up early next morning for sausage biscuit sandwiches and headed for the water. Spider rigged till about noon for some monster slabs picking up 28 keepers over 13 inches. Had sandwiches on the boat and pizza waiting for us back at the slab shack. Put all the fish on ice for pictures the next day. Dinner the second night was hand cut pork chops, salad, baked beans, coleslaw, corn and onions, blackberry cobbler and homemade blackberry ice cream. Up early again for breakfast down at the Slab Shack of fried ham steaks and biscuits, then on the water by the crack of daylight. Caught my largest crappie ever of 16 3/4 inches and 31 more in the 14-16 inch range. Back to the Slab Shack by new to grill burgers and chips for lunch. Big photo shoot of both boats of family and fish for two days of fishing. We ended up boating 122 keepers. After pictures, the guides went to cleaning fish. They got that dialed in. Final dinner was smoke ribs, coleslaw, baked beans, bread, pasta salad, cobbler and ice cream. I will be going again!
  3. 5 points

    Rim Shoals 9/18

    I took the boat to Rim Shoals this morning and ran to an area that is somewhat protected from the heavy flows we are having (14k cfs). Got out of the boat and I could see 4 or 5 trout holding in a run just below a couple of big rocks. First cast I hooked a nice rainbow on a Y2K but it broke off on the 7x tippet. I retied and caught another 5 rainbows and 1 cutthroat in the same run. Once that spot slowed down I moved downstream and picked up another dozen rainbows on the Y2K/pheasant tail dropper combo. When it was time to quit I walked back to the boat and made a cast in the run where I lost the rainbow earlier. The indicator went down and I had another nice rainbow on. I finally got her in and when I went to remove the hook I saw my Y2K that I lost earlier stuck in her jaw along with the Y2K on my rig. Guess she really liked Y2k's. Here's a couple of pics...
  4. 3 points

    Topwater has begun

    These are from a couple of days ago. They are starting to do their top water thing. I won't divulge exact spots, but just cruise until you see 8 boats with 5-6 people each in overalls. They have been following my boat since they crowded me at the weir. You might as well just butt in as they have no problem doing it to me or anyone else. As soon as anyone catches a hybrid, they will move to within 20 ft of you and cast lures within 3 ft of your boat. I don't think they are trying to be rude, I think it is just not considered rude in their culture? Better find them quick. The last 2 spots they did this to me at were fished out within a week, only leaving tons of whites in those areas. Pretty sure they show up 8 boats strong almost every evening because everytime I get to go back and fish, they either all show up or already on my waypoints when I get there, lol. I don't let it bother me too much anymore. Just challenges me to find them in another area of the lake and try to hide as long as I can, lol. Anyways, they are definitely biting great right now. Smallest fish in the pic is 7.2 lbs. Biggest was 13.4 lbs. That is a 152qt cooler. Good luck!
  5. 3 points
    In 1919, Norman Rockwell painted two covers for successive issues of a magazine called The Country Gentleman. The images are now in the public domain. The Fishing Trip The Catch Even Norman Rockwell knew worms catch the fish. Why many people avoid using worms and insist on artificial baits would make an excellent topic for a psycho-social doctoral thesis. I won’t be writing that. Instead, this article is intended as a primer for fishing worm harnesses in Tablerock and the other White River impoundments. What I will share comes from fellow walleye fishermen who have showed me a number of tricks. In particular, I want to thank Chuck Etheredge of Holiday Island, Arkansas. Chuck holds the Holiday Island Marina walleye record at 14.5 pounds, and he is the one who taught me about his harnesses for brush fishing crawlers. The Bait Nightcrawlers are one of nature’s perfect animals. They aerate the soil, they help break down leaves and other dead matter to soil, and they are so valuable to growing plants that people buy them to put in their gardens. Brown trout guides below Bull Shoals dam say they use red worms because they are “more natural looking in the water.” The real reason is stocker rainbows that can’t and won’t leave the nightcrawlers alone. In the last several years nightcrawlers have become a major farmed and/or harvested crop. Grocery stores, convenience stores, and even Walmarts sell them. Typically, the containers are Styrofoam or cardboard and are filled with potting soil or mulch. I buy at several locations and find the overall quality quite good. However, I always check the contents before I leave the store. Temperature or stock rotation disasters do happen. Next important tip: As soon as you get home, place the worm boxes in the refrigerator and keep them there until the fishing trip. Crawlers will last several weeks if left alone in the bottom drawer of the refrigerator. If you are not the cook, label the boxes “worms” to avoid screams and other domestic difficulties. On the day I intend to use the crawlers, I pack the boxes in an ice chest with ice. The ice will not freeze them in their containers and will keep them cool and lively. Once I am in the boat and ready to fish, I put some ice and lake water in a flat bottom plastic bowl and add four or five crawlers. The ice water plumps them up and washes the dirt off so your boat floor stays cleaner. In addition, you will be in and out of your cooler less often. When the ice melts, merely add another piece or two. An alternative I recently learned was to bathe a day’s worth of crawlers at once, then place them in the now empty Styrofoam containers with ice. In the event you wish to buy crawlers in bulk, they are available from several mail order sources, including Cabelas. Several chapters of the classic book, Lunkers Love Nightcrawlers, cover the long term care and feeding of nightcrawlers. The Worm Harness A worm harness is nothing more than one or more hooks combined with one or more devices to attract fish. The early Crème worm was a rubber worm on a primitive worm harness. I caught my first lunker bass on this rig. Literally hundreds of commercial harness makers exist and a Ebay search for worm harness or crawler harness will prove it. Cabelas and Bass Pro each carry more than one brand and several varieties for each brand. The sheer number intimidates anglers seeking to try a new method. How can you know which ones work best? For those wanting instant gratification, the “norm” consists of two small hooks, size 2, 4, or 6, snelled on 10 to 20 pound test line. Above the hooks, you will find 3 to 8 beads, and in front of that a size 3 Colorado or Indiana blade. The entire harness will run on a single three to four foot strand of line with a swivel or loop at the end opposite the hooks. Harness Blades Variations abound including those with single hooks; Smile, Dakota, or Willow blades; and even what appears to be a wedding band in the build. To help understand the reason for blade choices I’ve built a chart: Colors A variety of harness colors will work. I suppose you could catch a walleye on anything if you fished long enough with a crawler attached. However, the purpose of the harness is to attract the walleye to find the worm. Certain colors and styles tend to work more consistently. As a side note, the common forage of walleyes in our chain of lakes explains the color choices. Walleye in the White River chain primarily feed on shad and bluegill. As yellow perch, common walleye forage in the North, become more prolific in Bull Shoals, the color choices for that lake may change somewhat. Bodies with chartreuse, red, green, orange, pink, and white are the most commonly used. I own a box of plastic beads I bought from Cabelas for tying traditional harnesses. It contains no less than 24 different shades that are variations on all of the above except white. Traditional harnesses frequently use more than one of these colors. Common blade colors include silver, copper, and air brushed or painted blades using the color palate listed above. While I have had some success with half silver/half gold blades, harnesses with solid gold blades have never proven successful for me. Again, the yellow perch in Bull Shoals may change that. Copper Colorado Blade/Pink Float Beads Silver/Yellow/Red Colorado Blade/Chartreuse Float Beads Silver Willow Blade/Firetiger Float Beads Painted Colorado Blade/White Float Beads (Wonderbread) How and Where In a previous article, Trolling for Table Rock Walleye, I wrote extensively about where and how to locate walleye. I urge you to read or re-read that article for location information. Depth and speed are the other variables that combine with location to determine whether you have success. Fishermen successfully use harnesses for fish holding as shallow as 6 or 8 feet. The harnesses are equally successful on the Great Lakes at 45 feet behind downriggers. For the White River lakes I do not advise downriggers. Instead, those who target walleyes use three way rigs or bottom bouncers. A three way rig utilizes a three way swivel. The main line attaches to one ring, 12 to 24 inches of line with a bell sinker at the end attaches to the second ring. The third ring holds the harness line. Those who use this rig do so because they can quickly change the amount of weight or adjust the height off bottom. I suggest any who use this rig make sure that the strongest of the three lines is the main line to the reel. The second strongest should be the line to the harness. The weight line should be weaker than either of the others. The alternative to a three way rig is a bottom bouncer. The main line attaches at the junction of the “L.” The harness line attaches to the swivel at the end of the unweighted arm. As the boat moves forward the weighted arm tip brushes the bottom while the harness follows behind the weight and somewhat above it. Bottom bouncers come in a variety of weights, ranging from ½ ounce to 4 ounces. What size to use? Traditionalists will tell you to use 1 ounce for every 10 feet of depth you will be fishing. That advice is accurate and useful under normal circumstances, especially when combined with the traditional advice on speed and how much line should be out. If you search the internet for articles on using harnesses and bottom bouncers, almost all will tell you the ideal configuration will have the main line running from the boat to the bouncer at a 45 degrees or less. Those articles also suggest the bouncer should only “bounce” from time to time. These articles are absolutely correct, and professional walleye fishermen use these “rules of thumb” every tournament. The last element of traditional harness fishing is the speed. Most days a speed of .8 mph to 1.4 mph will be the most effective. Be aware the type of blade can change the effective speed. A Willow spins far more easily than a Colorado. A Smile blade can spin with even less speed. You should go at least fast enough to spin the blade. However, the ultimate decision maker on speed will be the fish. Sluggish fish may want a slow presentation. If so the weight will be less and the blade choice would be a Smile or Willow. On other days, hot water fish may need a fast speed to trigger bites. In that case a heavier weight and more line may be needed to reach the depth desired. Chuck’s Secret Method Careful readers may have noticed the pictures of my harnesses above are different from what they see in stores or some of the sketches I have drawn and inserted. The differences are only a part of the “secret” method Chuck Etheredge taught me two years ago. His method is an adaptation of the traditional ways; one that is designed for the highland reservoirs with submerged timber, brush, stumps, car size rocks, and house foundations. Chuck wanted a harness that was less likely to sink when the bottom bouncer stalled because it hit a rock or limb. To that end he substituted floats for the glass or plastic beads. If you put one of his rigs in the water and lay the bouncer on the bottom, the blade slides down to the weight, but the floats, hook, and worm stay up. He also experimented to see if he could avoid exposed hooks. He took from the bass fishermen the idea of Texas rigging the worm. Yes, it is a soft, real nightcrawler, but the embedded hook had to help a little. In addition, one hook point instead of two equaled half as many hang points. He found a worm hook in size 1 or 1/0 was every bit as good as the traditional two small hooks in sticking fish. Last, to keep the float beads and blade from pushing the worm down into a wad, he made another innovation. He uses a bobber stop to hold the beads in place. In addition to changing the harness, Chuck defies conventional wisdom as to bottom bouncer weight. He intentionally uses about half the weight considered standard. At 20 feet he will use one ounce. At thirty feet he will have on a 1.5 or 2 ounce bouncer. To reach the bottom, this means he must have out considerably more line. The change in angle between the boat and the bait is exactly the reason for his unorthodoxy. He believes the “flatter” angle aids in pulling the rig up and over limbs and logs. The combination of differences works for Chuck. On more than occasion I have watched him fish snag filled flats and timbered channel edges with his worm harnesses. Yes he will sometimes hang up, but far less often than anyone would expect. And while he is at it, he catches fish. The first time he showed me his ways, he tried to explain his uncanny success at staying free from hangs. In my words, he does it like this. When he feels the line begin to rub over a limb, he does not jerk. He waits until the line between the limb and harness shortens. As this happens, braid line will sing or vibrate. Quite often the rod tip will feel heavier. Just when he feels the bouncer arm contact the limb, he lifts the rod in a high arc to pop the rig and harness over the limb. He then lets the bouncer fall back to the bottom. Many bites happen on that drop. Please note that Chuck’s method requires the angler to hold the rod and feel for the key moment. This is different from those who put the harness rod in a holder. Results Every article about a fishing method should include a few pictures to vouch for the method and the author. A Table Rock Limit from 2010 when Chuck showed me his secrets Three from June of 2011 My personal best, 13.75 pounds, July 8, 2011, on one of Chuck’s style harnesses.
  6. 3 points
    One big rain and we're back to big generation here on Lake Taneycomo. Beaver Lake jumped 4 feet to 1125 feet while Table Rock rose to 919.9 feet. Both lakes were almost down to their seasonal power pool. Right now, they are releasing a little bit of water from Beaver and releasing water at Table Rock to the tune of 15,000 cubic feet per second. That's a little more than if they were running 4 full units but they are only running 3 turbines along with 5 flood gates opened 1-foot each. At Beaver, my app says there's one gate open one foot at 970 c.f.s.. We are going to see this flow from Table Rock all this week and probably into the weekend with more continuing at 3 units when they get Table Rock down a little. If they do the same thing as previously, we're going to see 3-unit-water for several weeks. Fishing was tough over the weekend because the upper lake was still feeling the affects of Friday night's rain. The lake Saturday was pretty dirty, and when the cloudiness cleared up, anglers had to still deal with leaves and sticks flowing in from feeder creeks. By Monday, the lake was free of stuff and very fishable. There's only really one thing you must do to catch a trout now and that is to be on the bottom. That's where the fish are holding up. That and in eddies along the bank. And they are biting and can be caught. Guide Steve Dickey put 2 of his clients on big trout already. Randy from St. Louis landed this 28” 10.5lb. drifting a Bomber on the bottom in the trophy area. Steve from St. Louis Caught this beautiful 26 inch brown on a #14 gray scud using 6x tippet. Yeah! Both browns! All of a sudden they're showing up which is cool. So whether you're fishing a gray scud, cerise San Juan worm, a stick bait, a Bomber, night crawler, minnow or PowerBait, get it on the bottom and drift away.
  7. 3 points
    Shane Bush, Missouri Department of Conservation Fisheries Biologist for Table Rock and Taneycomo, sent me this PDF file of a presentation given last week by Gabe Knight. Gabe works for the Little Rock Division of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. It has some good straight forward information on how and why releases are made, encompassing all of the White River Water Basin. Water Management Overview Knight_2019.pdf
  8. 3 points
    Phil Lilley

    October 14 fishing report

    We've had big changes here on Lake Taneycomo the last few days. We've gone from a constant flow of about 2,000 cubic feet per second since Sept. 1st to 11,000 c.f.s. with a couple of flood gates open, all from one "little" rain we had Thursday night. It was one of those "toad soaker" rains, a slow moving system that sat on us for about six hours and dumped up to eight inches of rain in some areas to the east of Branson. Our rain gauge tops at five inches, and it was plum full Friday morning when I checked it. Most of the big rain fell east of the Table Rock watershed, but it did rain a solid two to four inches over all of Southwest Missouri, which brought Table Rock's level up to 917.45 feet. Now this is where it gets a little complicated, but I'll try to explain. When Table Rock rises past certain levels, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is required to release water at predetermined amounts. At 917 feet, they need to release about 11,000 c.f.s. of water until lake levels drop back below that level. That equates to about four full units of water, but due to seasonal restrictions of release, not all of that can be released through the turbines. If officials did, they would have to inject massive amounts of liquid oxygen to the release so that the oxygen levels would meet safe federal Clean Water Act levels (four parts per million). So the Corps opened three spill gates one foot each at about 5,500 c.f.s., combining it with four turbines at half capacity to equal the release needed to curb rising lake levels. So we have water being released at roughly 40 feet and 130-feet deep from Table Rock Lake. I took readings Monday and found the following temperatures and dissolved oxygen levels: Spill side, dam - 8.8 ppm. 67.5 degrees Turbine, dam side 4.0 ppm. 57.5 degrees Lookout, middle 5.7 ppm. 59.7 degrees Fall Creek, middle. 6.7 ppm. 62.4 degrees Lilleys' Landing, middle 6.8 ppm. 61.5 degrees So we're getting a good mix of dissolved oxygen with the gates opened, and the water temperature on the spill gates side isn't as high as we thought it might be. That was the concern. Our trout don't do well in warm water, especially brown trout. With this mix of cool and warm water, our trout should thrive pretty well. Thankfully, Table Rock's water temperatures have been dropping steadily with the cooler weather moving in. The other day when air temps dropped and the winds picked up, Table Rock's level really dropped out fast. Note: It usually takes me two or three sittings to write my reports, sometimes over a couple of days. When I talk about things like lake levels, those change between the time I start the report and finish it. So it is in this case. By the time this is published, Table Rock's level will reach 917 feet, and our flow will drop dramatically, changing a lot of what's in this report. My fishing report now is going to be very hard to write . . . simply because lake conditions will change shortly and so will how we go about catching fish. I guess I'll just write about how I THINK it's going to be and hope for the best. I'm going to assume that when operators shut the spill gates down, the Corps will keep the turbine release about the same, so there will be plenty of flowing water coming from Table Rock. They may go back to the 35-50 megawatts of generation they were running prior to the heavy rains that prompted this big release, but I don't expect that since Table Rock will still be a couple of feet over normal and rain is in the forecast. Regardless, we're going to see running water for quite some time. When they run gates and send warmer water through the system, our scud population explodes. So drifting with scuds (flies that mimic freshwater shrimp or scuds) should be one of the best things to drift on the bottom. They actually have been good, both when drifted on the bottom without a float and with a float, but these conditions should make them even more desirable. Some of the guides have been using larger scuds -- up to an #8 -- but with the water slowing down, I'd go back to #12's to as small as #16's. White jigs have been working below the dam as well as drifting crank baits on the bottom, as long as there enough current to do that. If the water release drops too low, the cranks won't work. We use the Bomber Fat Free Shad Fingerling in shad flavors. You need to throw it out toward the dam and crank it down until you feel it ticking on the bottom, then let it ride. With white jigs, let them drift, too, working them as little as possible. Threadfin shad have been coming over the spill gates (although we haven't seen any) and drifting down lake, eaten up pretty quickly by trout and other fish. You should probably use 1/8th-ounce jigs until dam operators drop the flow, then go to smaller jigs. Other jig colors have been working, too, such as black, brown, sculpin, sculpin peach. Don't forget that when drifting flies on the bottom in the trophy area and even farther down past Fall Creek, try red San Juan worms and egg flies. Use one of these with a scud in a tandem rig. With this much flow, four-pound line is perfectly fine. I've seen more and more top water action. If you're a dry fly lover, start throwing those hoppers, stimulators, ants, beetles and elk hair caddis flies along the banks and see what happens. I've also witnessed a lot of people catching rainbows drifting below Fall Creek with night crawlers and power eggs. Use a quarter-ounce weight t with this much flow but drop to an 1/8th-ounce when the water is kicked back. A lot of boaters have been anchoring in current lately, some right in the middle of the lake. First, I can't imagine catching anything and, second, this can be very dangerous. Those whom I've seen are anchoring off the front and are in deep V boats, so they can handle the current, but if you anchor in the wrong way in the wrong kind of boat, the current can and will pull the boat under in a second. I would never suggest anyone try this, regardless of whether they are operating in a safe manner. You'd be much better off anchoring over on the side in an eddie or slower current where you'd find more fish primed to take your bait. Also, anglers are asking for trouble when anchoring in the middle of the lake since most boaters are drifting. It's dangerous to assume that all boaters can handle their boats in current and won't drift into another boat in their path. All images above are from Duane Doty's Facebook Page, Ozark Trout Runners. They are pictures he's taken out on guide trips the past two weeks. And all of the fish -- walleye, bass and trout -- were caught on his signature series, custom painted jerk baits. This is Blake Wilson, one of our dock workers. He's been throwing Duane's jerk bait almost every evening, and he finally scored a trophy brown. It was 27 inches long and weighed more than nine pounds. He released it after reviving it in our holding tank. We always have a big holding tank with lake water running through it for big fish that are brought in to the dock. Because of the seasonal low D.O. conditions, we added an oxygen tank and a diffuser stone to add more O2 to the water in the tank. Now that we (Lilley's Landing) have become known for this service, we do get a lot of big trout brought in for weighing and pictures. But please consider this: If you catch a big fish miles from our dock, you may put the fish in peril if you bring it in instead of just releasing it immediately. Consider the size of your live well, whether it is big enough for your fish? If you're running a long distance, you won't be adding fresh water to the live well on your run, with the lake water already low in O2. I would ask you to consider pulling over to the bank (where it is safe to anchor) and take your time, letting the fish rest in the live well or even in the net in the lake. Wait 10 or 15 minutes and let the fish recover before getting pictures. I caught a very nice rainbow once and pulled over to the side, got out of the boat with the fish in the net so I could just lift it out of the water for a few seconds for pictures, then after I made sure it was strong enough, released it. Yes, I got my feet wet but it was well worth it.
  9. 2 points

    June 8

    Took my yearly trip on the Jack’s Fork with my dad. Took my 13 year old on his first excursion on Jacks! Was a beautiful day and the river was perfect! Numbers were not as high as normal, but size of fish caught was fantastic. I caught a 2 lb smallie and on my sons next cast he caught a solid 1.5 lb smallie. Caught several between a pond to pound and a half throughout the day. My son lost at least a 2 pounder at the boat and I lost what would have been my personal best smallmouth that I know was 3+. Very disappointing to see her jump and spit my plastic worm at me. Overall it was a great day and my son is ready to go again. Having my father with us just makes it even more special. We have floated the river since I was old enough to go and he still won’t let me run the canoe, even if it means he doesn’t get to fish as much as I do! As I look at the river levels today after the big rain we sure are glad we went yesterday.
  10. 2 points
    What a week makes in time. This week on Lake Taneycomo, the water is off, no generation. And even my good friends and fishing guides are asking, "why???". It's pretty simple really. Everything downstream is flooded and there's no place to move the water to without adding to the flood waters. There are 2 reasons why the dam operators would start moving serious water through the White River System: Rainfall runoff would take all 3 lakes to their flood pool levels or The flood waters on the White River at Newport, Arkansas drop to safe levels. Here's some links to sites that are worth watching: https://www.swl-wc.usace.army.mil/pages/data/tabular/htm/bulsdam.htm https://www.swl-wc.usace.army.mil/pages/data/tabular/htm/newport.htm https://www.swl-wc.usace.army.mil/pages/reports/remote/white.htm This one shows, among other things, the percentage of storage for each lake. We normally go by lake level (feet) but when managing the lakes, the Corps goes by percentages. Beaver - 86% Table Rock - 56% Bull Shoals - 88% As you can see, Table Rock Lake has the most room for runoff. Of course, Taneycomo is just a pass-through lake. At the Newport (Ar) gage, you can see it is at 24 and flood stage is 26 feet. Regulating stage is 12 and the 5-year average is 19 feet. As this drops, Bull Shoals will be allowed to release water from its dam and thus starting the chain reaction at the other days... moving water through the system. But this won't happen until the White drops out through the Mississippi River. We're hoping for a dry spell all through the White River Basin. For now, we're seeing either no generation or just a little generation during the afternoon this week. This is a nice change of pace for those who like to fish slower water, or those of us who live to fly fish, we can get out and wade. And yes, fly fishing has been excellent. I've been boating up to the Narrows and Lookout Island, getting out of the boat and wading those areas and fishing a scud, namely a Perfect Scud we carry in the shop made by Jeremy Hunt. I'm fishing a #14 gray using 4x tippet and a small hard foam indicator about 2 to 4 feet deep. The fly is weights and I really don't need a split shot, especially if the water isn't running. There are lots of great quality rainbows at the Narrows right now, as you can see in this video I shot the other day. Watching this on your phone won't give you the full value of this video. The best way to get the most out of it is to go home and watch it on a big screen TV and turn off all the lights. You'll see rainbows beating the gravel for scuds and sow bugs, you'll see them pick them off as they drift down... you'll even see one fish chomp on some rocks and when he spits them out, a small scud comes out of its mouth too. Yes I did run my scud in front of the camera... that was the point of the video. And I did catch a couple in the first 3 minutes. But I got so much more out of just filming the actions of the rainbows as they went about their business rooting out bugs from the moss and gravel. I did catch a lot of rainbows, no browns, on the #14 Perfect Scud both Monday and Tuesday. But I think any other scud pattern will work. In this video, I shot scuds that were trapped in a pool of water. Note the orange in the body. I think it wouldn't hurt to tie a little orange in the body of your fly. I also caught rainbows on a #14 root beer Zebra Midge under an indicator fished any where from 3 to 5 feet deep, 6x tippet. But I had fun stripping a yellow #14 soft hackle on Monday. it was pretty windy and the chop on the water was perfect for stripping anything. I bet a wooly would have worked too. The slow water has put the kabosh on the big brown trout party. Blake has been going out and throwing a jerk bait but it isn't as hot as it has been. Duane's client have been throwing it early with a little success but most of the brown they're seeing are chasing and not hitting and the ones that are hitting and hooked are lost. The best bite is the first and last 60 minutes of daylight. The brown jig with an orange head is reportedly one of the best colors this week, along with the black jig. The trophy area is doing pretty good and so is the Short Creek area. If the water is off, throw a 1/16th-ounce using either 2- or 4-pound or throw a 1/32nd-ounce jig with 2-pound line. Night crawlers has been good for some and poo for others. I personally have a love-hate relationship with them. They bite them but I can't get a good hook set of them. But there's been nice trout caught this week so far on them. Tubby Johnson from Oklahoma caught this nice 22-inch brown on a worm one evening this week fishing with his grandson, Hunter. Power Eggs are working when the water is running. An orange/white combination did well for those drifting from Cooper Creek down to Monkey Island. The Berkley Pink PowerWorm on a small jig head fished under a float 5 to 6 feet deep down around the bridges and the Branson Landing has been "gold" for most of the fishing guides. Duane's clients the other day landed 22 "doubles". That's when both clients have fish on at the same time. Use 2-pound line for best results but 4-pound is probably ok.
  11. 2 points
    In this Lake Taneycomo fishing report, I will talk a little about how the fishing has been and about lake conditions in the next few days, but everything will change by the end of this week because of the rains forecast . . . it's supposed to start raining later today and continue for the next week. We had some slow-to-no generation the last few days, which has been a nice change from the heavy flows. Beaver Lake remains just below its flood pool at 1,129.4 feet (flood pool starts at 1,130 feet) and Table Rock is a bit high at 917.2 feet. Its power pool is 915 feet. So any rain that falls above Table Rock will have to be released through Taneycomo. If Table Rock rises to or above 920 feet, officials will have to open some spill gates. Table Rock's spill gates have been opened more in 2020 than any other time in the history of the dam, partly because one turbine at the facility had been off awaiting repair, so releasing water over the gates made up for the shortfall. Now that that turbine is fixed and working, we're back to normal operation. Water coming over the gates will bring warmer water into Lake Taneycomo, averaging 60 degrees. This will make our trout happy -- since they like 60-degree versus 47-degree water. That flow will also bring in more warm-water species of fish including threadfin shad which, again, our trout love! The only downside is that fishing from docks and the bank will be very tough, if not impossible, especially in the upper end of the lake. Here's what we've seen here in the last week or two -- big trout! For more than a month, Blake and Duane have been experimenting and garnering great success using bait fish type lures to catch mainly big browns. Of course, Duane developed a jerk bait series of lures, custom painted and geared to catch big browns. But they also have zeroed in on areas that are holding these browns and have landed multiple trophies for themselves and for clients. Others have joined in on the fun. Rob from Kansas stayed here at the Landing for about 10 days and landed more than a dozen browns longer than 20 inches on a KVD suspending jerk bait. Other anglers, including out of town guests and even locals, have also landed browns on jerk baits. Then some fishermen have found brown trout targeting jigs; white has been good but so has sculpin/peach colors. And then there are the big rainbows. I personally have landed a 23-inch rainbow trout and a 22-inch rainbow on successive days, one on a jig and one on a zebra midge. Other rainbows were caught on jigs and flies (scuds mainly) in the upper end of the lake. On Saturday afternoon, there was no generation here for the first time since last fall. I understand locals and near by residents flocked to the area below the dam to enjoy wade fishing, and they were very successful catching numerous trophy rainbows on flies. The low water was unfortunately short-lived. Some observations of fish activity lately: Lots of surface action. Trout have been aggressively taking bugs off the surface early in the morning but more in the late evening. I've witnessed pretty big may fly hatches as well as midge hatches and big, mature trout are taking them. We've seen a good deal of big swirls in different areas of the lake by big trout chasing small trout, or something else. Earlier last week, we saw browns chasing shad on the surface on the Cooper Creek flats, but that has subsided. These swirls, although not new, are more frequent and witnessed over many parts of the upper lake. I've seen them in several places above Fall Creek but more just below the creek to down in front of our dock (Lilleys' Landing), and on the Cooper Creek flats on down through Monkey Island. The number of big takes is amazing. We are seeing more and more big mature rainbows caught, mainly in the trophy area. These rainbows, measuring from 17 to 20 inches, are healthy specimens with broad shoulders, wide girths and full of rainbow color. They are feeding aggressively, and when hooked, are giving the angler all he wants in a fight. And then there are the rainbows longer than 20 inches . . . they are in a class all their own. These fish have been in the lake since they were 11 inches old. They've survived the onslaught of hooks and bait, herons and eagles and otters. They have earned the right to be called wild trout, although technically they are not. But they move, feed and act like they are, so the angler has to consider that the Taneycomo trout he stalks are smarter than typical trout park fish. Less pressure. In this extraordinary time, there have been days when the unimaginable has happened -- in the months of March and April, only a handful of anglers, if that, fished the whole lake. Boats were not seen on the lake until way past 10 a.m. in the morning. The lake was never "shut down" but you might have thought so. All the while, trout were still being stocked as if nothing was different. Even now, here in mid-May, boat traffic is minimal during the week. All this to say that the fishing future of Lake Taneycomo looks extremely bright, thanks to a broken turbine, lots of rain and a world wide pandemic. How to catch fish? You've read a little about what we've tried. I did not mention that I went out this morning (Monday, May 11) and cast a big, white articulated fly on an eight-weight fly rod with a 400-grain sink tip down at the Cooper Creek flats. No takes today, but I think the right big fly should get some love in the coming days. It will be worth a try for sure. We're getting in a variety of jerk baits in our fly shop. Rouge makes several suspending jerk baits as well as Smithwick that aren't too hard on the pocket book. Bass Pro has their KVD series. You want a suspending bait that dives down from 5 to 10 feet. For colors white has been good but I'd try others also. Hard to know what they will take. I think it's more action that style. Keep watching One Cast. Blake and Duane will keep throwing their baits, so observe how they work them. I think that's the most important thing about fishing jerk baits -- how you serve them. We are selling Duane's signature series jerk baits, custom painted, on our website now. They are proven to catch trout. And that's not to say smaller, medium sized jerk baits won't work. Try what you have in your tackle box before buying a pile of baits. I've been forcing myself to throw a white 1/8th-ounce jigs where the guys have worked their jerk baits, and, so far, I've caught one 20-inch brown. If they're looking for shad, the white jig will work. Rob did catch one of his browns on a white/gray jig. And I caught the big rainbow yesterday on one so white is still a color you should be throwing. It's just not catching as many as it did back when shad were coming over the spill gates from Table Rock Lake. Jig colors that have been catching good numbers of trout have been black/yellow, sculpin, sculpin/peach, tri-olive dark, ginger and sculpin/orange. If you're using a jig and float, a sculpin/ginger/orange head 1/50th ounce (PJ's Jig) is working. I'd almost go to two-pound tippet when fishing a jig and float and fish it from four-six-feet deep most of the time. A Turner Micro Jig in brown, ginger or olive is working, too. Now I'd love to report bait fishing is pretty good, but I'm not sure I can. I took out some friends on Saturday when the water was off and tried a night crawler -- even pumped it up with air to float off the bottom -- and did not get a bite in two hours in three different locations! It was unbelievable! That doesn't mean they're not hitting them at all . . . but it means something. Powerbait hasn't been working too well either. What's been working extremely well is the Berkley Pink Power Worm under a float. Even if operators are running up to three units, fishing down at the Branson Landing area has been very good lately. Fish it with four-pound line and about five- to seven-feet deep under the float. You can also hook it on a #8 hook and fish it drifting on the bottom using a split shot or a drift rig. So now the scoop for when the water starts running again -- and when I say running I mean three-plus units. Those small jerk baits are still working pretty well from the dam down through Short Creek. At our shop, we really had a run on them, but we still have some in stock and more coming. You ca drift them on the bottom using a drift rig setup, but even better should be a carolina rig setup. You don't have to use as much weight as you think since the lure itself will take you to the bottom with its action. Speaking of action, the bigger crank baits will work if four units or more are running (15,000 cubic feet of water per second). The Bomber Fatfree Fingerling in shad colors has worked well for us. Just throw it out upstream and hold your rod tip just under the water's surface while cranking slowly until you feel the lure digging on the bottom. It should stay there. If we get spill gates, shad flies and white jigs will be hot. Fly fish using a white streamer or a small white jig or shad fly under a float six- to eight-feet deep. Spoons will work, too. Also try the bigger jerk baits (mentioned previously) in shad colors. Our trout have been eating a lot of scuds. When the lake water dropped out, some were stranded in pools of water off the lake. Here's a video I shot with my iPhone of those scuds swimming around in the pool. Drift a scud on the bottom anywhere from the dam down to Short Creek using a drift rig or carolina rig. A cerise San Juan Worm is working pretty well, too. You could use a tandem of the two flies, tying them about two feet apart. Four-pound line is fine this time of year.
  12. 2 points
    This report is pretty photo heavy, short on text fishing report for Lake Taneycomo. You'll see why. As of Monday morning, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers was running 5,000 cubic feet per second of water over five spill gates and about 10,000 c.f.s. of water through three turbines. This is a reduction of 5,000 c.f.s. of water because Table Rock's lake level dropped below 920 feet. Beaver Lake is still more than eight feet above its seasonal power pool, but officials are running water through their turbine, and it is dropping but very slowly. Bull Shoals has risen more than 20 feet since the rains started over a month ago, but operators there are now running between 17,000 and 21,000 c.f.s. of water so may be they'll drop it to decent levels by summer time. The lack of boats on our lakes is so very strange. Marsha and I were on Table Rock around Clevenger last evening and watched one single sail boat out to enjoy the lake alone. I'm sure they were amazed, too. No wakes, just smooth water. Some days here on Taney, we don't see a boat go up lake until mid morning. So you'd think we wouldn't have much to talk about or to refer to for reports. But that's not the case. We have lots to report. Last week when the Corps opened five gates three feet wide to accommodate divers diving on the lake side of the dam to make repairs, it sent a lot of shad into our lake. Some were stunned and floating down, but there were a lot that came over live. We believe these huge schools of shad made their way down lake while our trout ambushed them as they swam by. There are a few guides out and other anglers, as well as Blake and Duane targeting these fish, drifting a variety of shad flies, jigs and lures in areas that we don't usually fish. And the results are eye-opening. Almost every day, it seems, someone sends us an image of a trophy brown or rainbow -- and that's with very few anglers actually fishing the lake. I'm not sure we've seen this many big browns caught in one week, let alone within 24-36 hours. The only other thing I can report is that the fish some guides are cleaning, coming from below Fall Creek, have been packed full of scuds. Now we've tried drifting scuds and San Juan worms and haven't done that well, but with the slower flow we might start having more success with them. While we are sure missing our spring anglers, we appreciate everyone taking the needed safeguards to curtail the virus so that everyone can enjoy health -- and some great fishing memories in the future. Credit Captain Steve Dickey for images. https://www.facebook.com/www.anglersadvantage.net/
  13. 2 points
    We always come down from Michigan to share your beautiful lake and fish the Aunt's Creek Association Buddy Tournament.My buddy Dale and I came down last week Friday. We had just got the news that the tournaments were called off. We each drove our own boat and trailer down with planes that our teammates would come later to join us in the tournament. We also expected four others to join us. Then the Coronavirus stated getting more people infected and shutting down more stuff, everyone else decided to stay home.We figured we could socially distance ourselves on Table Rock, so we have been fishing out of our own boats, trying to stay within a mile of each other the past week. we fish about 6-8 hours a day, and compare our catches and stories. The first day, 3/21, was very tough. I caught one 2.5 pound largemouth and Dale got skunked. The next day we stayed between point 9 and Aunt's Creek. I caught a 3.5 pound smallmouth and a Spot. Dale caught a ball Spot. I believe it rained in the morning on Tuesday. We fished the Aunt's creek area again. I had five keeper smallmouths and a 40 inch Striper. Dale got skunked. The next day, we took a ride up the white towards Campbell. I caught 14 spots, two smallmouths, and two largemouths. Dale had 12 spots and two smallmouths. Next day we went to Kimberling City. I caught Two nice smallmouths, three 3 pound largemouths, and a nice spot for 17.68 pounds. Dale had a nice bag of four smallmouths and two spots for 16.86 pounds. We are kind of competitive. Thursday we went up the white again, and I only had three keepers, but one was a 3.65 small jaw. Dale had about a dozen, with a couple of smallmouths and the rest spots. Today we went back to Kimberling City and Dale had seven with a couple of real nice spots, one over 3 pounds.I had five fish, buttony three keepers which include a couple of small jaws, and a big spot. The majority of the fish Dale caught were on a 5/16 round ball jig with a smoke/purple Yamamoto 4 or 5 inch grub, or a 3 inch Kalin Grub.Keeps his boat in 25-30 feet and makes a cast award shore and slowing reels it back, trying to keep it near the bottom, without getting slimed.Most of my fish were caught on swim baits, using a 1/4 ounce Shin Spin jig with a 3.8 Keitech. I also caught a few, including the 3.65 smallmouth, on the 5/16 jig with a 2.8 keitech. The day I caught the Striper, I caught all five keeper smallmouths on a finesse A-Rig thrown very close to the flooded bushes. Much like a spinner bait. I tried a spinner bait, but couldn't get bit on it.Trying to decide where to fish tomorrow. Still haven't caught a big bass(I did lose a five pounder on Tuesday) Tried to net it by myself, and I should of boat flipped it. Glad it wasn't in a tournament. Still would like to have a 50 fish day. but with the water levels going down, I don't think the bite will turn on. We are leaving early Monday to head back to Michigan. Good luck everybody.
  14. 2 points
    Current Fishing Report KImberling City, Mo. 3-3-20 White River Outfitters Guide Service Can you see the Mr. Crappie Float? I have tried and I have tried, I have put in more than enough time from point 2 to point 5 and I just cannot get it to happen. I guess you can call it fishing, cause you sure can't call it catching. I can scratch a few out of pre-mo locations, but that is totally that. Those fish are just not where I can get at them or they just don't like my junk, and I'm thinking that's a big part of it. I'm sure its a matter of time till my old tricks work again down here, but for now they are thinking most of my lures have been in a Kitty Litter Box and not a tackle box. Man that was a dark one. UPDATE: Kimberling City this morning and wouldn't you know there are fish in the lake, that want to snap. I fished a float-n-fly off bluffends from 6:30 till 9:00 then, the wind started I had 15 solid keepers with a 4 lb. largemouth anchoring the string prior to the wind event. Lots of really nice 2.25 lb. jaws, and enough K's to keep you setting the hook. Ouch, that's sticky I moved around quite a bit and caught them on every end I tried. Spro Fat Fly set at 14 ft. below the float using 6lb. Invisx. Boat in 40 ft. to 70 ft. Fish suspended in the 20 ft. to 30' range and they would come up and eat it. Young One's like it too I fished some straight wall bluffs with pole timber and they were not on it on the fly but if you sat off a way you could swim a Keitech after counting it down to 30 and catch some nice K's Trouble is you will lose some baits, depends on how bad you want to catch Most catches are top lip. If their mouth is big sometimes it goes a little deeper, especially if the fisherman is sleeping. Lot's of really nice Jaw's were after the floater. And, some K's too. Wind started howling at 9 and I couldn't catch any more float fish as it will not work in the wind very well, but I continued for another hour to catch some swim bait fish. Tried the jerker but got the same response that I have been getting, they no likey. Good Luck
  15. 2 points
    It's been a couple of weeks since my last report. At the beginning of last week, water and fishing conditions had not changed at all, so there was no need to update it. But a big change happened midweek -- the dam operators decided to shut the spill gates off plus a turbine. That left only two units, or about 6,800 cubic feet of water, running from Table Rock Dam. This is has been the flow ever since. About the same time, operators shut down Beaver Dam's gates and started regulating the flow from Beaver. Its level is still 8.5 feet over the seasonal power pool, but that's where they've held it for a month now. Table Rock's lake level sits at 915.7 feet, just a tad over its season pool, which is 915 feet. Bull Shoals Lake, on the other hand, is dropping a whopping six-inches-plus per day. Its level right this minute is 666.45 feet, 7.45 feet over its seasonal power pool. More than 24,000 cubic feet per second of water is being released through turbines and gates there. My guess is that officials aim to release as much water as possible now because very soon the lower White and Mississippi Rivers will be inundated by recent flood waters in the state of Mississippi. Yesterday's rain dumped a couple of inches in an area north of Joplin, while most of the White River basin received less than a half inch. This amount will not affect any lake levels here, and the forecast is for very little rain in the next seven days. This will allow our lakes to be drawn down even more to make room for spring rains, which are just around the calendar! What all this means for our lake -- Lake Taneycomo -- is that we should see slow flows and even a chance of zero generation at times during the day or night. But that remains to be seen. Lake Taneycomo’s trout fishery is in great shape after more than 12 months of constant generation. Our rainbows and browns are very healthy, sporting fantastic growth rates because of an abundance of food available. Our freshwater shrimp, sculpins, creek chubs and other minnows thrive in current much better than they do in still water. Now that we’re seeing less generation, our midge hatches should increase. We’re already starting to see that happen. We held our fourth trout tournament of the year Saturday, the Vince Elfrink Memorial. Like a lot of our contests, we host some really good trout anglers, some who have fished Lake Taneycomo for over 40 years. Surprisingly, the overall weights were lower than the last tournament, but most contestants said they caught big numbers of small rainbows. I had reported last week that thousands of rainbow trout were stocked from the Neosho Federal Hatchery, which typically are smaller than our state-raised fish. These Neosho rainbows seem to be very aggressive, and if that’s the case, they will beat the bigger rainbows to the bait or lure. That’s my theory. We do have to “thin through” small ones to get to the big ones right now. With the slower current, we are changing a few of our spools from four-to two-pound line, not because the water is getting clear (it’s not a sight thing), but because we’re wanting to throw smaller lures. When there’s less generation, slow currents, there’s less churning and swirling, especially from Trout Hollow to the dam. The current is gentle, allowing a smaller lure to drop without having to fight its way down. When you’re throwing a jig from a boat drifting down a bank, you want that jig to drop pretty fast because the boat will move you out of that strike zone pretty quickly. So we use a heavier jig to drop through all the currents in the water column. If you’re throwing a light, 1/32nd-ounce jig in that situation, the jig really won’t sink and, at times, would be lifted up by the swirling currents. Now that we’re seeing slow, gentle currents, a small 1/32nd-ounce jig will fall nicely, and can be worked in deep water, if that’s where the fish are. And, of course, we’d rather use two-pound line when throwing small jigs simply because we can cast them further! Here’s One Cast from Sunday, February 23rd where Duane and I are fishing six to eight feet of water using small jigs. Duane is using a 1/16th-ounce, and I am using a 1/32nd-ounce jig. Although I’m fishing four- to five-feet down, and Duane is fishing closer to the bottom in eight-feet of water, we’re both finding plenty of bites. With the current slower, you’re going to change your 1/4th-ounce weights for a smaller 1/8th-ounce, in most cases. That’s if you’re drifting bait or flies or lures on the bottom. If you’re fishing down by Monkey Island or lower in the lake, you might have to go even lighter. Just keep trying different weights to find the right one. You want to get to the bottom, but you don’t want to drag to the point of losing a lot of hooks. You want enough to just tick the bottom. Minnows and night crawlers are going to catch bigger trout below Fall Creek, if you’re using live bait. The Berkley Pink Worm will catch almost anything. If you’re drifting it, hook it wacky style. The water is slow enough to fish it under a float six- to eight- feet deep, too. If you’re throwing jigs, throw the size your tackle allows. In other words, if you have two-pound line, you’re going to be able to throw small 1/32nd-ounce jigs along with bigger jigs but if you’re using four-pound line, you’ll have to stay with 1/16th-ounce and bigger. I had several fishermen tell me they did best on white jigs over the weekend while others said the Tri-Sculpin Olive, Dark did the best for them. With the sun coming out more often, I’d try black and black combos. Our trout have moved off the banks with the water slowing down. You’ll find them mid-lake now; before the water was down, you’d find them closer to the banks in eddies. Drifting scuds and San Juan worms on the bottom should be good, too, although after some time we might be using smaller versions of these flies. With the higher water, we were using #12 scuds and big, poufy worms. Now as trout will get a better look at these flies as we drift them a little slower, we’ll drop to #14 or #16 scuds and a medium or micro San Juan worm. Colors: Gray and olive for the scuds, and cerise, pink, brown and red on the worms. Regardless of what you want to try, our fishing forecast looks incredibly rosy heading into March and we’re all excited!! Come see us if you can!
  16. 2 points
    I'm sure glad I didn't write an extensive fishing report on Monday for Lake Taneycomo because everything changes today. After more rain fell in the White River Basin above Lake Taneycomo in the past 24 hours, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers have decided to open 5 spill gates at Table Rock Dam one foot each this morning, on top of the 3 turbines running at the facility. That equals 15,000 cubic feet of water per second pouring through Taneycomo presently. This equals 4 full turbines. Beaver Lake is inching up and is at 1128.66 feet, less than 18 inches below its flood pool level. The Corps really haven't made any attempts to drop this level since they had it down to 1121 feet about 3 weeks ago. Table Rock Lake has been holding steady at about 916.5 feet but is now rising slowly because of the rains. Its seasonal power pool is 915 feet but with Beaver so high and Table Rock rising, they really need to move some water!! I'm not sure why they aren't dumping Beaver Lake plus they have been only running 2 units at Table Rock the last 5 days. They need to keep moving this water through... please!! Fishing continues to be very good, even with heavy generation. With the spill gates coming back on, there's always the chance of threadfin shad coming over, plus a few bass and walleye. We will be testing the waters!! We have 3 trout tournaments under our belt so far this winter and in the last 2 contests we saw very good quality rainbows come in which is a great sign. Our first tournament was plagued with off colored water after a big rain so fishing wasn't very good. This last Saturday, out of 76 teams, 50 weighed in 7 pounds or more, an 8 trout bag. That's very good. There are a lot of rainbow trout to be caught in the Branson Landing area right now. We've been fishing down there and catching big freshly stocked rainbows that are over a pound each. We were catching them on various colored jigs while fishing for crappie -- yes crappie! Some of the tournament contestants were fishing an 1/8th ounce jig on the bottom down close to the Kanakuk Camp and catching rainbows too. I'd imagine you could catch them on PowerBait as well. With more water running from Table Rock, we'll go back to heavier weights to get to the bottom when drifting baits, lures and flies. There is a pattern we've seen when they first kick more water on and that is scud flies get real hot. It might be because the heavier flows dislodge scuds from the bottom and up into trout's mouths. It's plausible! So we'll be drifting big #12 gray scuds from the dam down to Short Creek this week along with an egg fly and/or a San Juan Worm. If you don't book a trip with Duane Doty and don't have his custom painted jerk baits, the MegaBass 110+ is a good match to throw for big browns and rainbows. Good colors would be French Pearl, Ozark Shad, Perch and Elgy Bone. One of our Outdoor Writers who attended our conference this week brought in a big brown just as I was writing this report this morning. John Neporadny, nationally recognized fishing writer recently inducted into the Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame, caught and released this 13 pound brown on one of Duane's jerk baits. He caught it below Fall Creek about a half mile around the docks. He was fishing with Scott Pauley, outdoor marketing representative for Missouri Tourism. So we're back to dragging hard minnow baits on the bottom using the carolina rig, 1/4rd-ounce bell weights and 4 to 6-pound line. We carry several lengths and styles in our shop, knock-offs from China because we do lose quite a few baits to the bottom monsters. These baits are like the F-5 and F-7 Rapala, from 2.75 to 3.25 inches long, floating and shallow divers in perch, shad and sculpin colors. Bill Babler, fishing guide, showed us this week that when he drifts these baits, he takes the front set of treble hooks off the bait, only leaving the back set. He says he doesn't lose as many baits and believes he doesn't miss any fish because of it. We will be throwing 1/8th ounce white jigs up below the dam this week along with other colors like sculpin, brown and black. But white has been a pretty good color lately... white with gray and white with black also. REPORT: They are liking white jigs below the dam! Here's evidence: Snagged in the butt... but still a beautiful rainbow!!
  17. 2 points

    Trolling For Ozark Walleye

  18. 2 points
    Turbines and flood gates continued to move water from Table Rock Lake into and through Lake Taneycomo this past week. Rains Thursday and Friday kept the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers from making any headway, though. Beaver Lake's level rose slightly to 1,126.5 feet while Table Rock's level remains at 919.1 feet. Operators are running 15,000 cubic feet of water per second through Table Rock Dam, equal to four full turbines. We had a very busy weekend with lots of boats on the lake. Despite the heavy flow, most anglers did exceptionally well. Almost everyone was drifting something on the bottom -- from shrimp (yes, the ones from the ocean) to minnows and worms, and from Power Bait to flies and jigs. Anglers reported catching "nothing but brown trout" drifting minnows on the bottom from Cooper Creek through the Branson Landing stretch. No one bought in or told us of any browns caught longer than 20 inches, though. Scuds (freshwater shrimp) flies continue to be one of the hottest baits to catch trout, both above and below Fall Creek. You'll need at least a quarter-ounce weight to pull down to the bottom and drift basically down the middle or a tad on the inside bend of the lake. A #12 gray is the best size and color. Of course, there are quite a few shades of gray, at least in our shop. And we're using four-pound clear or green line -- no need for two-pound simply because of the speed your fly is flying by the trout. They have no time to snub their noses based on the weight of the line. Those trout only have a fraction of a second to react -- whether to eat or pass. Other hot flies are the medium cerise San Juan Worm and the Mega Worm, reported by Flys and Guide's Lisa Bellue. The best stretch to drift is from Lookout Island down to Short Creek with the Narrows taking the hot spot designation. Last week, Duane (and others) saw threadfin shad in the water below the dam. These small bait fish come over from the spill gates from Table Rock, along with other warm water species of fish, into Lake Taneycomo, and our trout love to eat them. Unfortunately, we haven't seen evidence that many of these bait fish have come over the dam in the last couple of months, but we hope we're seeing the beginning of a "shad run," as it's called. Some of the guides have been drifting white jigs and shad flies below the dam and have been picking up some nice rainbows and a few browns. If and when we get a true shad run, catching will get really, really good with shad lures and flies. I would also suggest to try dragging small stick baits like F5, floating Rapalas in shad colors using a carolina rig with a quarter-ounce weights. We carry a cheap knock-off in our shop -- cheap because we tend to lose a lot of baits to snags on the bottom. For bank fly fishing below the dam, fishing a gray or tan #14 or #16 scud under an indicator at the hatchery outlets has been about the only good access, but fishing those locations has been very good. Also anglers are catching fish on San Juan Worms. Images courtesy of Ozark Trout Runners, Duane Doty.
  19. 2 points
    Generation has stayed the same all week so there's no change in my report for Lake Taneycomo as far as water release. Beaver has dropped a couple of feet but weekend rains have kept it from dropping even more. Table Rock's level has risen a bit but they will all start going down as run off water slows down. We should see this flow at least through this week. One of the hot lures is the small jerk baits Duane and Blake have been demonstrating on One Cast. There's a variety of baits you can use just as long as they are floating and anywhere from 4 to 5.5 inches long. Duane, and now Blake, custom paint their baits to look like shad, rainbows or sculpin but there again, there are baits out there that you can buy that look pretty close to what they're making. Here's a video Duane did explaining how he fishes them. We have some knock-off baits in our shop for sale and I've ordered several hundred due to come in next week. As Duane says, you lose a lot of these baits due to snagging on the bottom so don't go out and spend a lot of money on them. But they have been working very well! I got out the other day and drifted some PowerEggs with the grandkids down close to Monkey Island. Ended up catching a half dozen rainbows in the short time we were out. You have to use pretty small weights, even with the 3 units running, if you're fishing down lake because the current is pretty slow. I was using a #4 split shot but a 1/8th ounce bell weight would be fine. I've also heard there's a lot of rainbows to be caught doing the same thing from Scotty's Trout Dock down through the Branson Landing area. You just have to be careful of the wind in that area.
  20. 2 points
    Geez... Beaver hasn’t changed since leaving it in late July... Lot of water out there... Hopefully it’ll get right at some point... Haven’t crappie fished on Beaver in about 4 or so months... It’s become routine through the past few years to go to other lakes until December... Suckers live shallow on these lakes and just addicted to catching them that way... It’s a grind every time but its worth the work for the quality. Yesterday got started about 12pm and fish till dark. Just going on past experience of where to go and just see what happens... Wasn’t expecting much, just wanted to locate crappie. After getting set up, made one pass and caught four keepers. They were just squeakers on the legal size. Gave em back.. Other than those it was just catching dinks... Flipped the boat around and said let’s go on shallower to find bigger fish... More of a water level I’m usually catching them in this time of year... Usually in the past it’s 6-7 feet but that’s in the bushes right now... Went from fishing in 20-22 feet to about 14-12 and about 6-8 feet down and started slowly getting into them then... Took home seven good ones that’ll make good tacos come Tuesday... Somewhat successful trip... Never fished this lake this high this time of year. Having to adjust and find that right water... Anyway got something to go on for next time and It’ll get better... God bless, God Fishing Second to last pic below is of yesterday catch and then the past few months... Sorry pic overload.. Trying fit 4 months of fishing
  21. 2 points

    Pretty brown 11/9

    They shut the water down on Bull Shoals because of flood conditions downstream so there has been some great wade fishing the last few days. Took the boat to a favorite shoal and got out and waded. Caught quite a few rainbows and this nice brown. He hit a ruby midge dropper beneath a peach colored egg. I lost a real pig of a rainbow also. Looked to be in the 25" range and really fat. Hook just pulled out. Hopefully we will get a few more days of low water before they open it up again.
  22. 2 points
    We have been planning for a Fall camping and fishing trip for the men in my Sunday School class since May. Finally the day comes around and Missouri weather kicks our butt again. Wednesday evening that cold front plowed thru and the temps dropped rapidly. By the time we had the camper set up at Mutton Creek sleet was peppering down on top of it. We came back Thursday morning and set up the rest of camp in anticipation of 15-18 guys coming up to camp and fish. The cold weather prediction however caused several guys to chicken out. We wound up with with only 6 camping Thursday night and 8 on Friday. We had 10 for the fish fry on Friday night but had enough fish for 30..... To say the fish were biting good would be an understatement. We had multiple limits of white bass come in every day. Everybody else slept in heated campers. I was the only one that got to experience 26* and 28* nights in a nylon tent. It was quite the adventure........Food, fun, and fellowship. The evenings around the camp fire were awesome...... We had a ball.
  23. 2 points

    21 1/2 Inches Long

    I have been out several times since my last post, by myself and with the grandkids. Well it finally happen to me, i buried a treble hook in my finger and one in my leg. The first happened when I was trying to remove a lure that got hung up in one of the bungee cords on my kayak. As I was trying to removing it from the kayak, I buried in my finger, passed the barb. I'm standing waist deep in the river with one hand stuck to my kayak. So I walked the kayak over to the bank and got to work. I decided to yank it out. I knew I had to be committed to the yank. After two yanks it came out. Wasn't pretty but it came out and bleed pretty good. I carry a zip lock bag of first aid stuff, but I now carry a can of 'spray on bandage.' Next trip out was with the grandkids and it happened again, this time in the leg. I tried the yank but that didn't work so I pushed it through and cut off the barb. It did take a little effort to push it on through, but it worked. I have been carrying carry a pair of small needle nose pliers just for this. Bleed a lot less this way. The grandkids got to watch so now when I tell them to be careful .......I was fishing another time and thought I had a fish, set the hook, and nothing. When I reeled it in it had a big old scale stuck on the hook. It was bigger on the river then in the picture. It dried out when I got home. Don't know what it was. And finally, I caught my biggest fish this year. Caught her on a 5 foot, Light action, Ugly Stik. I assume it's a redhorse? She put up a real good fight. Lot of fun.I also caught smallmouths. Released them all.....Great days on the river
  24. 2 points
    Friday, my 2 friends and I put in at about 8 am. Weather was great start to finish. Fishing was slow overall. Friday was especially difficult. We only managed 7 between us Friday. Some on jig n craw and the others on rebel brown crawdad. We floated past the Finley but camped before Hootentown. Dinner Friday was beef stroganoff with rotini pasta. Saturday fishing picked up. Same presentations but more lands on the craw cranks. Every color we had worked. We camped just past sighting hwy V. Dinner was fire pit roasted gyro meat and an udon noodle with peppers, herbs green onions and heirloom tomatoes from my school garden. Sunday the fishing stayed strong with the craw cranks. The last mile before Tomahawk my bites died off all together. We had a great time and the team at Tomahawk took very good care of us. Going to do the full trip from lake Springfield to Galena in the spring again.
  25. 2 points

    Little Piney creek 10-18

    It was my first time fishing the little piney and let me tell you it did not disappoint. Started out right above where Lane spring flows into the main creek at about 7am. Saw several fish spread out rising to what appeared to be very small blue wing olives. I tied on a size 22 BWO and tried for those fish for about an hour and gave up fishless and proceeded downstream (these also may have been creek chubs rising on the hatch so may have been wasting my time). Fished another stretch with confirmed trout with BWO still on, but still had no luck. It was now 11am without a fish, so I continued on downstream. Switched flies to a soft hackle with a green copper John dropper and it was on! Landed my first Piney rainbow, and it was probably one of the most beautiful fish I’ve ever caught. Fished for about another mile downstream and picked up maybe another 20 fish until calling it quits around 3pm. They did not seem to want my dry fly presentation, but anything small and on the bottom (emphasis with on the bottom, bumping across the bottom) and they were on. The fish in this creek are beautiful and the stream is pristine. Reminded me a lot of the neighboring Current in terms of water clarity, size, aquatic vegetation, microfauna, river bank composition, substrate, etc. which makes me wonder why the Current River can’t support a reproducing rainbow population? Could it be due to Montauk at the head waters maybe? Anyways, incredible day spent and I will be back.
  26. 2 points
    Summer has stuck around late this fall (yes it has officially been autumn for a week now despite the 90-plus degree weather.) But we know the splendor of fall colors is just weeks away! It looks like we're in for a cool change this week. We've received a little heavy generation already this week, I assume because of the hot weather. It sure was nice, though, moving a lot of loose pond weed and other floating scum out of our area of the lake. That's one nice thing about being on a tail water -- we get new water every time operators run water at the dam. They're still running that minimum flow 24/7 as they have been since September 1st. No word of any changes on the horizon. Dissolved oxygen levels have been holding up pretty well, and water temperatures are about 57 degrees. When they do switch modes and start leaving the water off, I think we'll see no generation for most of the time and little generation until cold weather dominates our days and nights. The San Juan worm continues to be the hot item this week, mentioned on social media many times as the go-to fly. The best colors are pink and red in the micro version, which is basically a small diameter chenille tied on a #14 or #16 hook. The material is called micro chenille . . . go figure. Most fly fishers are using the micro San Juan in a double fly rig under an indicator. They're using a heavier fly up from the San Juan about 18- to 24-inches from, say, a weighted scud or a beaded midge. But you could use a beaded version of a San Juan by itself since the bead would take the fly down where it needs to be. You want to fish the worm, and scuds for that matter, on the bottom when drifting along in the current, so set the indicator at a depth where the flies rake across the bottom. If your flies are coming back with Taneycomo slime, move the indicator so that you're not fishing as deep. But you'll drift across shallow and deep areas, holes and flats, and will need to pick a good average depth to cover as much water as possible. Our dockhand Blake Wilson has been fly fishing quite a bit, scoring really well using a double scud rig. He's fishing a peppy scud (medium gray), two sizes under a float and drifting from the cable below the dam down to Trophy Run. He ties the smaller scud, usually a #16 or #18, as the bottom fly and a larger #14 on top, separating them by about 18 inches. He's using 6x fluorocarbon tippet. As far as where to fish either of these rigs, any fairly shallow gravel flats are best, and you'll find those areas from the dam down to Trout Hollow Resort. From Fall Creek to Trout Hollow, stay towards the inside of the bend. Drifting real worms is still the best way to catch trout below the trophy area. These two things will help you catch more fish. First, your weight. Your weight needs to match the flow of generation. When you throw the rig out, how long does it take to hit the bottom? If it goes right to the bottom, and you feel it catch and pull, you're using too much weight. Depending on the depth of water, of course, it should take a few seconds to reach the bottom, and you should feel a slight touch every once in a while. When this happens, you know your bait is skimming across the bottom like a natural worm would. Plus when a fish picks it up, you'll feel it immediately. With the present generation, all you really need is a small split shot to get your bait to the bottom. And less is better. Even if your bait isn't on the bottom all the time, it will get eaten. With too much weight you will only catch, snag and grow frustrated. The second thing is how you present your worm. Don't use the whole worm. No need to thread it, although that’s not a bad option -- it just takes too much time and is unnecessary. Pinch the worm in two. Take the piece and run your hook through the middle, letting it hang off each side. No need to hide the hook. I use a #8 short shank bronze hook by the way. And four-pound line is fine when drifting.
  27. 1 point
    The days of no generation may be over for now. We've seen the dam operators moving some water the last few days from lake to lake, even though the White River at Augusta, Arkansas is still at flood stage. With no rain in the foreseeable future, we may see more and more water running through Lake Taneycomo. We've been seeing about 6,000 cubic feet per second of flow for most of the day lately with a bump up to 12,000 late in the afternoon. That's 2 units to 4 units worth of water. There's really no way to know if this pattern will continue but for now it seems reasonable to think it will. Trout fishing has been just ok. There are days though it has been real stinky! Early and late, of course, is the best times to fish. Most of our guides are on the water by 5:30 am and the bite is good for a couple of hours. Then they have to work for fish. Most of the guides are either drifting a Berkley pink powerworm just on a hook on the bottom or on a small jig head under a float. The pink worm is actually catching some big trout. This little gal caught a trophy brown trout using her kid pink fishing rod. Anglers are catching mainly rainbows drifting night crawlers and power eggs. And we've heard all colors are good except red or pink, which makes no sense because the pink worm is working better than power eggs. It must not be the color. Best area to drift is Lilleys' Landing down through the bridges. Stay in the middle when drifting because there's a lot of old, sunken dead trees on the edges of the lake. Right now there's a ton of stocker rainbows in the Branson Landing area. They're being caught on the Berkley pink worm on a small jig head under a float 5-7 feet deep. I personally haven't tried drifting minnows lately and we haven't sold many but I would think drifting them on the bottom should catch trout, especially brown trout, seeing all the browns being caught right now. Trophy brown trout are still being caught at various areas of the lake on bait and lures. I've been asked why does it seem all of a sudden we're seeing so many big browns being caught. The short answer is I don't know. But it does coincide with an increase of trophy rainbows which I believe is a result of constant flow of water from Table Rock over the past 2+ years. The food base in Taneycomo (plankton, scuds, midges, sculpins, small forage fish) stays much healthier when the water is running verses when there's long periods of no generation. We've had reports of browns being caught on the pink worm, night crawlers, marabou jigs (white, sculpin/ginger and sculpin/peach), Doty's custom painted jerk baits, MegaBass 110+ jerk baits and other jerk baits, and smaller jerk baits drifted on the bottom, mainly in the trophy area. Trophy rainbows are also being caught, mainly in the trophy area though. They being caught on scuds drifted on the bottom, jerk baits and marabou jigs (same colors). Last count, we were up to 55 - 20-inch trout or bigger registered as catch and release trophies for the month of June but I know Blake caught a 24-inch brown last night close to Lookout Island. https://lilleyslanding.com/trophy-catch-release/ Drifting scuds on the bottom is just ok... there's a lot of algae on the bottom and cakes up the fly. You need to reel in and check it pretty often.
  28. 1 point
    Note: This report will be current for as long as the gates are open, which may be for most of the month of June. We've gone from very little generation to a torrent. But this was predicted. It was easy to see coming. When the lakes filled up, they would have to release. And they are... at the tune of 17,800 cubic feet per second. This might sound like a big release, it isn't. Four full units is about 15,000 c.f.s. so this is just a little more. They are releasing 12,300 through their turbines and 5,500 over 5 spill gates presently. More fun facts -- the water temperature of the lake water coming through the turbines is 49.5 and the water coming over the gates is 62 degrees. Table Rock Lake's level just dipped below its flood pool level. It's at 930.90 feet, dropping a whopping 0.1 feet in the last 12 hours. Beaver is still releasing about 7,300 c.f.s. of water and its level is a full foot below flood pool at 1128.96 feet. This flow from Table Rock Dam probably won't decrease for many weeks, seeing it needs to drop more than 16 feet and Beaver needs to drop about 10 feet. At this time, there is no measurable rain in the 7-day forecast which is a good thing. I'm sure that will change, and any precipitation will only lengthen the period of time of water release at our dams. As I reported in my last fishing reports and our conversations on One Cast, enjoy the low water we had the last couple of weeks because it would be the last for the duration of the summer. Heavy flows are here to stay for this summer season. Fishing from the bank or dock will be tough on the upper end of the lake. There's a few spots around the hatchery outlets below the dam where you can catch fish but it is in the trophy area so you're limited to flies and lures -- no soft plastics and nothing that smells. And yes, night crawlers smell! We've had a rash of poachers fishing below the dam with bait and keeping all kinds of fish, most illegal trout. And now we'll see people fishing above the cable at the dam which is also illegal -- and dangerous. But our agents aren't too busy with deer or turkeys now so they have a lot of time to check these areas. And know this -- there are a lot us who have cell phones with camera, and the number to our local agents. A picture of a license plate and the poachers go a long way to prosecute, even if they are "caught red handed" at the scene. Here are their phone numbers. Best to text them. My experience with texting them is that I rarely get a response, and that's ok with me. They may not be on duty or able to drive to the location at that time. But they will respond if they are able to. Quinten 417-294-5543 Chris 417-546-0833 Operation Game Theft 800-392-1111 With any amount of generation, there are some things that you should not do safety wise. Don't use anchors in fast current. Don't drift into trees or docks - watch where you're going and plan ahead when drifting in current. Watch out for kayakers and other boats. WATCH YOUR WAKE!! We've seen some big boats on the lake lately. I think they call them wake boats. Unlike Table Rock, Taneycomo is small and narrow. Plus we have alot of smaller boats that can be swamped with one big wake. Over the weekend, we had one report of a smaller v-bottom boat pulling up to the cable below the dam and dropped an anchor. When the anchor caught the bottom it almost throw one person out of the boat. They had to cut the anchor rope so that the boat wouldn't be swamped. Think!!! It's also not worth it fishing wise either. There is slower water close to the bank one can anchor in but be very smart about it. Drag chains - same thing. If they catch on the bottom while the boat is drifting at 6 m.p.h. the jolt will send everybody to the deck and/or the side of the boat. Fishing... scuds are king once again. These are scuds (freshwater shrimp) from the bellies of 3 rainbows caught yesterday by clients of Tony Weldele. They were drifting from Fall Creek down using scuds and doing quite well. We've been seeing large schools of scuds along our banks and in the pond weed beds before heavy generation started this weekend. And in high water events in the past, we've seen this happen where scuds I guess are dislodged from their environment and are eaten by trout. So we are drifting using scud flies and do extremely well. Using 4-pound line, we are drifting #12 scuds either on a drift rig or carolina rig. Use a quarter-ounce weight when drifting from the dam down to Lilleys' Landing and a 3/16-ounce weight from Lilleys' Landing down lake. The water slows down enough to warrant less weight from Lilley's down. If you use too much weight, you'll get snagged on the bottom a lot. But one thing is for sure -- you have to have the fly on the bottom to get bit. Scud colors make somewhat of a difference. Of course gray is their natural color but as you can see from the image, they are a brownish/olive color too so we use those colors too. I used a scud yesterday dubbed with a material called rainbow scud dubbing and did pretty well, especially below Fall Creek. I was having a hard time staying on the bottom. What I should have done is add a small split shot to the line just above the bell weight. This is an easy and quick way to adjust your weight. Drifting night crawlers and minnows on the bottom from Lilley's down lake is catching some trophy browns lately too. We used a #6 or #8 hook, 3/16-ounce weight and 4-pound line. No need to inject air in the worm... it will stay off the bottom with this much current running. Orange PowerEggs have been the hot PowerBait lately. Drifting in the Monkey Island area down through Branson Landing is producing some nice limits of rainbows. Also throwing Cleos and other small spoons... but let them drop down a bit before reeling. Vary the speed of retrieve too. Freshly stocked rainbows are prone to chase and the stocking boat has been out stocking rainbows quite a bit lately down in the Branson Landing area. In the trophy area, I've already covered drifting scuds on the bottom. Some of our guides are also using San Juan Worms, shad flies and egg flies along with the scuds. You can use a double rig, tying on 2 flies about 12 inches apart. The only bad thing is if you snag and lose your rig, you lose 2 flies instead of one. When drifting more than one drift, pick different paths each time you drift down, especially if you're not catching very many. Also, I pay attention to my running path up lake. I don't like to run over the same water I'll be drifting down. And of course, try to be curious to those who are fishing when running. Drifting small jerk baits I believe will become more and more effective as this flood gate event goes on. More and more shad will enter the lake and these small lures are just the thing to catch some big trout. Use a floating jerk bait about 2.5 to 3 inches long in shad colors. Any brand will do. Less expensive is better because you will lose some lures. Rig them using a drift rig or carolina rig. Start with an 1/8-ounce weight and add weight if needed. Four-pound line is fine, even 6-pound isn't too heavy. Throw a suspending jerk bait for big trout. Early and late in the day are the best times. Anywhere from Rockaway Beach to Table Rock Dam is the best place, and not even against a bank like we usually fish. We've been seeing big trout come from the middle of the lake. The trophy area has been hot, as well as the Cooper Creek Flats. Baits - Suspending Rouges, MegaBass 110+, Duane's Custom Baits, Smithwick Stick Baits... all will work. Make sure they dive more than 8 feet deep and are suspending. Use a snap swivel for best action (make sure it's a strong swivel and not a cheap one... they do break). With the spill gates open, there are warm water species of fish coming in to Taneycomo from Table Rock. Seeing a lot of smallmouth bass and white bass caught. This is pretty much at random but they are hitting white jigs along the bank in the slower water. Images cutesy of Becky and Seth Garrison who enjoyed a week fishing Lake Taneycomo. Scud image cutesy of Captain Tony Weldele, Rainbow Chasers Guide Service.
  29. 1 point

    It was pretty good today.

    I fished out of State park today from 10:30-3:30. I fished between there and Orleans Trail. I caught 14 bass all on Zeros. They were in coves in about 6 fow. I couldn't get a bite deeper than that. I weighed my best 5. They ranged from 4.75 pounds to 2 pounds for a total of 14.5 pounds.
  30. 1 point
    Table Rock Lake Current Fishing Report Mid-Lake 4-15-20 Fat Jaw got me started. Got started this morning pretty early for me in this cold weather. Launched out of Baxter at 7:30 and fished till 2. Little hazy at first then the wind swept in about 8:30 and it got super bright and windy. Surface temps this morning 56.1 when I launched and the water is kind of a green tea color with visibility about 4-5 ft. After these last few cold nights I almost didn't go but thought maybe the same jerk bait fish I caught Easter morning would be hanging around. Started on that 50 yrd. point stretch that I caught most of them on Sunday. I also almost went to Taney. First 20 minutes I threw the Megabass in pearl and had zero bites. I could see some fish relating to the bottom and I moved out from about 20' to 30'. Nothing on the jerk bait but I continued to see fish not on the bottom,but maybe a foot off and suspended. I pulled back out on the point boat in 20' and picked up the Pig Sticker 1/2 oz. in GPO with a Reaction Smallie Beaver on it and chunked it up into I'm guessing maybe 8 to 10 feet. Big Brown fish caught it, then another and another and another. I lost count but I think it was about 15 to 20 straight throws with a keeper.either a jaw or a K. As the haze lifted, the sky brightened and I never caught another SM. K's continued to bite like they were at the last supper. Another 4 plus Toad brown fish. Continued to catch fish just drifting around this point in the wind by then, bout 9:30. I was not catching them every cast but I was kind of shocked at some point when I didn't get a bite. I left them biting. Pulled back to a really similar interior gravel point going into a big deep spawning pocket put the boat in 20 and there they were again. Cast after cast on the Pig Sticker. I tried a jerk bait and a Keitech and I could catch one on it but it was just not the deal, they wanted it on the bottom. They thought the Pig Sticker was Food. Next location same type deal but I only caught two on it. One nice K and the other a solid LM on a Megabass. Caught a few on a stick bait and a swim bait but it was just not the deal. Next spot same similar gravel run and it was totally Ri Dick U Lating. Every throw was a 15 to 17 inch K on the jig. I bet I didn't catch 5 short fish all morning and I'm just spit balling but probably 50 plus keeps. That is super conservative, as the real number is not a number, it is nonsense. About 1:30 pulled back on the original location and caught 5 more in 5 casts and put it on the trailer. They were just inhaling the jig. I've had great days here catching really big fish. I've had days catching literally hundreds on a drop shot, but I have never had a day on a jig like today. They wanted nothing swimming or really cranking as I threw a Rock Crawler to try and get them to eat it. I would catch one on a jig, pick up the jerk bait and throw it. Nothing. I would pick up the swim bait and throw it. Nothing. I would pick up the Rock Crawler and throw it. Nada. I would pick up the jig and throw it up there and "Thump there she is." These fish were totally packed full of crayfish. I don't think I caught a single one that didn't have at least one in its throat. And these were monster craws. Two big SM over 4 were the champs of the day, but just the sheer numbers of quality K's was something to always remember I'm going to say the best 5 at just under 17 pounds, so not a tournament bag but for sure the kind of day that keeps up getting up early and going back out. Best K of the Day. Only Bummer of the day was I lost 2 very large walleye right at the boat. I had my net out but both had the jig back deep and both cut the 10 lb. line before I could get them in the net. Man would that have made a day catching supper too. I get to fish a lot and I'll catch them good again. Probably not like today but I wish one of you all could have had this day. I was going to say I wish my son would have, he loves to fish a jig, but he would not have hung in there for that many fish. He is a 2-3 hr. guy even if they are tearing it up on a Redfih, he just won't fish that long. The rest of this week and into next might be record breaking, so if you can get out there and enjoy it, by all means do.
  31. 1 point
    Our water situation is honestly unknown for Lake Taneycomo, right at the moment. All lakes in the White River chain of lakes have been dropping over the last week, but Sunday the area received from two to three inches of rain, and the lakes are back on the rise. Where they end up is the question. But one thing is for sure -- there will be much more generation for Taneycomo. Presently, dam operators are running three units at 9,600 cubic feet per second plus five spill gates at 5,300 c.f.s., totaling about 15,000 c.f.s. of water. Table Rock had dropped to right at 918 feet but it is climbing this morning. Beaver has been holding at 1,128.5 feet and is also climbing. If it reaches 1,130 feet, operators will open some spill gates. Table Rock will not increase its flow unless their level reaches 920 feet , which is doubtful. The U.S. Corps of Army Engineers has been working on one of the gates that leads to a turbine at Table Rock Dam this week. They have to send divers down to the intake on the lake side of the dam at a depth of 130 feet deep. At the same time they're running spill gates, they are shutting down all gates on the north side of the dam close to the divers -- to keep them safe -- and opening the five gates on the south side. This flow, 15,000 c.f.s., is equal to all four turbines being open. The magic number is somewhere between 917 and 918 -- the depth Table Rock needs to drop to for the Corps to slow the flow down. A question was asked on Facebook, "Is the state still stocking trout in to Lake Taneycomo?" The answer is yes. Agents are continuing to stock trout as scheduled. The next question could be, "Is there anyone fishing?" Very few boats out these days. It is very, very quiet. "So how is the fishing?" The answer is it is very, very good, when they're biting. Seriously, the quality of trout we've been catching is by far the best I've seen it in my 37 years of living and fishing here. And I'm sure it's because of the constant generation, the spill gates being open for much of the winter and dumping lots and lots of food (shad) in our lake. The absence of hooks in the water doesn't hurt either, although it hasn't affected the quality of the trout, rather more, the number of fish in the lake. Virtually no trout are being taken out right now. The "white bite" is still on although I'm actually doing better throwing a sculpin/peach jig than a white one. But Blake has been dragging the small floating minnow baits in shad colors and catching browns from the dam clear down to the Branson Landing. I, in turn, tried dragging a minnow from the resort down to Monkey Island the other day on One Cast and caught one nice brown trout, although I missed several other bites. Blake and Duane are both throwing the MegaBass 110+ in white or bone color and catching browns. Again, they're fishing anywhere from the dam down to Monkey Island and not necessarily working the banks as they usually do. Blake has been casting and working the middle of the lake and seeing more takes than along the banks. I do have to be honest and report that I have not talked to anyone who is drifting PowerBait or night crawlers this past week. I'm sure they would catch trout anywhere below the Trophy Area. Blake did drift a scud on the bottom the other day and caught a few but not as many as expected. We're not cleaning any trout so we're only assuming they're seeing and eating scuds. They usually do when the water runs this hard. Writing a fishing report these days is very strange. We just don't have enough boats on the water, so there's not much info to relay. But we will continue to do our best scope out our trout and pass the intel on!! Images: Credit Angler's Advantage, Captain Steve Dickey and Buster's Guide Service, Captain Buster Loving.
  32. 1 point
    I have written fishing reports on the internet for Lake Taneycomo for the past 25 years . . . but this report feels very eerie. Why? Because I'm not really writing for anyone who's coming to fish the lake anytime soon. For that reason, I have to write it coming from a different perspective. May be it will look the same. . . I don't know. The whole White River basin received a big rain on Friday, one that was not forecast. Most of the area received four inches of rain while some netted six inches or more. Beaver Lake jumped up past its flood pool of 1,130 feet so officials have been dumping more than 16,000 cubic feet of water per second since Saturday morning. That lake is now below 1,129 feet, falling fairly rapidly. But this, in turn, is adding to Table Rock Lake. Last time this happened, officials cut back on the release when Beaver hit the 1,128.5 feet mark which will be today. We'll see what they do. Table Rock has come up over six feet since Friday and is still rising about four inches a day. Dam operators are running 20,000 cubic feet of water per second through Table Rock Dam presently and will continue for at least a week. This is while the weathermen are forecasting more rain this week -- up to two inches in some places. Table Rock's level is up over 923 feet. I think our flood gates at Table Rock Dam have been opened more in the past year than any other year in its history. Now I don't have statistics to back that up, but since they were open quite a lot in October through December and then again in February and now March, I'd say I'm safe with that assumption. Besides a good run last March and a few here and there other times, we've haven't seen threadfin shad coming over the top. Not until this week. Starting Tuesday of last week, shad started pouring over the spill gates in Lake Taneycomo, delighting those fishing that day. But the shad continued into Wednesday, and Thursday, and our trout quickly stomached their fill of shad flies and white jigs. Fishing got tough, at times. But then we started to see periods of no shad and the bite started again. This past weekend, the bite was on most of the time, although in the middle of the day it slowed down. It could have been because of the influx of boat traffic up close to the dam. Sometimes that drives the fish down, and they don't bite. But still, most people were catching big, fat rainbows and loving it. When it slowed, the trick was to keep the white 1/8th-ounce jig or the shad fly on the bottom where the fish were holding. During feeding times, it seemed like you didn't have to do anything special except drop the jig or fly into the lake. So just about anything white was hot. We're using white jigs and white shad flies but then we're using combination of colors with white and something else like blue, gray, olive or pink. We're also dragging small stick baits on the bottom, too. They're not hitting scuds or San Juan worms anymore -- not right now and I really not sure why. Usually the San Juan does well in high water after a big rain. There was so many shad that came over the dam that Blake Wilson from our staff saw some all the way down at the lower dam on Taneycomo -- Powersite Dam. They'd drifted all 22 miles of the lake. Since fish throughout the lake were fed some threadfins this week, there's nothing wrong with throwing that white jig throughout the lake, not just in the trophy area. We're pulling the boat up in slack water different places and working the white jig in both the seam, where the fast and slow water meet, and in the slower, eddy water and doing very well. Here's a One Cast video where I did just that. Captain Rick Lisek had his clients drift shad flies from the mouth of Fall Creek down to Trout Hollow on Sunday, catching their limits of nice rainbows. That's not surprising at all knowing our trout have seen these shad throughout the lake now. Nathan Bolerjack of our staff fished with me Monday and, while doing One Cast, took some pictures of rainbows we caught using my Photarium, a plexi-glass tank made for holding and photographing fish in. Although the catching was slow, we managed a few pretty rainbows to photograph. I've sprinkled the report with the pics. And here's a walleye we float alive but floating below the dam. Took a pic and put her back. She swam away - hopefully it survived the 200 foot fall... it was pretty shook up.
  33. 1 point
    At the beginning of each of my fishing reports for Lake Taneycomo, I start with lake conditions of the lakes above and below us because their levels dictate, in some degree, the generation patterns we might see. But at the time of this writing, we're looking at rain almost every day for the next 10 days in our area so conditions on Lake Taneycomo might change; hence, the ways I talk about fishing might change, too. We will see. Beaver Lake, the upper most lake in our White River Chain of Lakes, is now being dropped from its high mark of 1,127.8 feet, 7.8 feet above its seasonal power pool. Dam operators are running about 3,900 cubic feet of water per second around the clock, and the lake is dropping about .4 inches per day. Table Rock Lake is holding at 915.5 feet, and the release rate from Table Rock Dam into Lake Taneycomo is 10,000 cubic feet per second. Wow -- I haven't even finished my report and Beaver has opened spill gates to the tune of 4,000 c.f.s.. Monday alone the lake dropped a whopping six inches in a 24-hour period. Bull Shoals Lake's level is now just above its seasonal power pool after two weeks of full generation at its dam. Its level is at 659.8 feet and dam operators there are still running 16,000 c.f.s. round the clock, dropping the lake about .2 of a foot per day. The seven-day forecast is calling for two to four inches of rain in southwest Missouri and northwest Arkansas, but that forecast changes on a daily basis. It does look like we should receive at least a solid two inches, so that will raise all our of lakes a couple of feet. All this means continued generation here on Lake Taneycomo. If Table Rock Lake jumps past 917 feet again, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will start running about 15,000 c.f.s. of water from its dam. One of our four turbines has not been in operation lately, and operators have been spilling water over the spill gates to make up for the turbine flow. If the turbine cannot be used, then we might see water released again over the spill gates. This would bring more warm water fish into the lake and probably a good push of threadfin shad. I posted a video on March 10th of last year while fishing below Table Rock Dam with the spill gates open. We were catching big, fat rainbows on white jigs because threadfin shad had been washing into the lake through the spill gates. We might see a replay of this very soon. As I said, we're seeing three full units running 24/7 right now on Taneycomo, and trout fishing has been pretty good. With the flow increasing from two to three units, our trout are back to taking bigger scuds and fatter San Juan Worms as they did several week ago when generation was heavier. We expect that with more flow, the freshwater shrimp will be more active and move up out of the gravel, then carried by the current to become easy prey for fish. That seems to be the pattern anyhow. Faster current means flies will move past the fish more quickly with less time to react and inspect the offering. So bigger sizes are permissible, it seems. Our rainbows are still in spawning mode and are taking egg flies, too. So what most of our fishing guides are doing is running flies in tandem -- two flies tied about 18 inches apart, usually with a scud/egg or a scud/San Juan worm. Four-pound line is fine. Use just enough weight to drop your fly to the lake bottom, probably a 3/16-ounce bell weight. Early, fishing guide Steve Dickey reports he's drifting a #12 scud with an egg fly in the trophy area. But later in the day he's switched to a duo scud and downsizing to a #14 or #16. Colors on the scuds are gray, olive or tan and peach on the egg fly. There's some algae on the bottom of the lake in the trophy area, so if you tire of fighting it, use a float and fish your flies about seven- to nine-feet deep. David English, long time Taney trout angler, caught this personal best, 23-inch brown Monday on a Lilleys' white jig while drifting right at the trophy area line by Fall Creek. It was released after a quick picture. Marabou jigs are working fairly well in the trophy area, working both banks, and the middle on the bottom. If you use four-pound line, I'd suggest using a 3/32nd- or a 1/8th-ounce jig. With two-pound line, you could switch to a 1/16th-ounce jig if the wind isn't too bad. Best colors are white (red or white thread), white/blue if you're fishing up close to the dam, then sculpin/peach, black/yellow or brown/orange. Fishing Guide Duane Doty reports rainbows have moved up in the creeks down in the Branson area. The water temperature in Turkey, Coon and Roark creeks is about six degrees warmer than the lake right now, and our trout are seeking out that warmer water. Anglers are catching them on the Berkley Pink Powerworm under a float five- to six-feet deep -- and throwing spoons and rooster tails. Drifting minnows, worms and Gulp Power Bait Eggs from Cooper Creek down through Monkey Island is working pretty well. Down here, the water is moving pretty slowly, so I'd use a 1/8th-ounce bell weight with four-pound line. Duane is still catching some nicer rainbows on his signature series jerk baits early in the mornings, but the bite is short. You can use a Rapala, Rouge or a MegaBass 110+ in shad colors, but make sure you use a suspending jerk bait. Work both the shallow and deep banks from the dam down past our place, Lilleys' Landing. Images: Credit Duane Doty, Ozark Trout Runners
  34. 1 point
    The second Mizzou club tournament of the year was Saturday. We put in at McCubbins Point. @Justin92297 and I ran WAY up the river in the jet. White bass were everywhere. Couldn't keep them off the line, so that was fun. caught about 50 bass. 25 white bass and we never fished for them. Saw an old timer that caught a crappie every cast for 30 minutes. I had never seen anything like it in my life and I've crappie fished a lot. He just pulled up on a brush pile and started casting a bobber and a jig and bobber and caught one every single cast. caught our bass flipping shallow wood all over the glaize but the creek was full of shorts. Ran almost all the way up to swinging bridges. We got 1st and 2nd in our club tournament. Justin beat me because he had a 4+ pound largemouth even though he only had 4 fish. I had all three species in my bag though and a 5 fish limit. Very fun day. Definitely going to try to do it again sometime. Had 14 lbs for out biggest 5. We're headed to table rock to fish Wednesday-Sunday for spring break. Cannot wait to get back on my favorite Missouri lake. Tight lines everybody This post has been promoted to an article
  35. 1 point
    Updated 2/12/20 ~~ Lake Taneycomo is a tailwater fishery. When Table Rock Dam is not generating, the water below the dam is stable and easy to read. I will, in this article, describe each area and how to fish for trout with a fly rod. I going to assume you are wading. The water below the dam isn’t very deep. In most areas, the water won’t be over your waders. There aren’t any holes or drop offs except directly around the boulders placed by the Missouri Department of Conservation for fish habitat. The deepest water is up close to the cable, marking the boundary line in which not to fish above. The water up close to the cable is deeper and wading is difficult. Most of the bottom of the lake is gravel but there is larger chunk rock as well as bed rock. There’s steady, slow current from the cable down to the Rebar Hole. Moving down close to the top of Rebar, the water does pick up speed. Rebar is where the water switches sides, moving from the north side to the south side, mostly through one fast chute, although there is other shallow areas of water moving through. This actually changes slightly through the years from heavy water flows from generation and flood gates. The lake opens up below Rebar to a big pool we call Big Hole. What used to be a deep hole has filled in with gravel over the years but is still 3-4 feet deep. The water, again, moves slowly down to the Rocking Chair area. The Rocking Chair is marked by an access from the south side of the lake, where a person could walk down from a parking area to the lake and sit a rocking chair on the level bank there. Here you’ll find more chunk and bed rock bottom. Just before you get to the MDC boat ramp access (north side of the lake), the lake gets deeper and narrower, hugging the north bank. Some of the bottom is gravel as well as clay with a big gravel bar on the south side. At the bottom of this stretch, the lake again changes sides creating a long chute with a gravel bottom. This chute is much longer and wider than Rebar, emptying into a stretch called Trophy Run. Trophy Run is a development on the south side of the lake marked by a community building. The lake is very deep here, more than 8 feet in spots, and is not really wadeable. At the bottom of this run is Lookout Island. At Lookout, and lake becomes very shallow again but wide. There’s some current here but I wouldn’t call it a chute at all. At the island, the water starts to deepen, dumping into Lookout Hole. The bottom is all gravel through the shallow areas but turns into bed rock below the island. Flies Emergers: Soft Hackles, Cracklebacks, RS2, WD40, Parachute Midge — any fly they settles just below the surface. Soft hackle color and styles: Bodies can be thread with wire wrap, red, black, green, yellow, orange. Wire wrap only with copper, gold or silver. Flash or another type of mylar material, pearl, pearl red or pearl green. Sizes range from #14 to #20. I usually stay with #16’s and #18’s. Cracklebacks are tied with furnace hackle with various colors bodies. Peacock herl is the preferred material in natural green, yellow, orange and red. Size is usually a #14. RS2, Parachute Midge & WD40 – olive, cream and natural brown. Size #18 - #22. Dries: Blue Olive Dun, black ant, beetle, Adams, Humpy, Elk Hair Caddis, Royal Wolfe, hoppers, Griffin’s Gnat, Stimulator and cidada. Sizes #8’s and #22’s. Mice are fished mainly at night, skipped across the surface below the dam and down through most of the Trophy Area. Wet Flies: Scuds, Prince Nymph, Pheasant Tail, Squirrel Tail, sow bugs, various emerger patterns, San Juan Worm, Mega Worm, Miracle Fly, egg patterns and small bead head nymphs. Sizes vary from #14’s to #22’s. Scuds, or freshwater shrimp, are tied with many types of dubbing material — rabbit, squirrel, mink, possum, kangaroo, dog or cat, synthetics like rayon, and combinations of all of the above. They’re tied on either a TMC #2487, #2457, #3769, #3761 or a #200R hook, depending on your preference. They can be weighted or not. Some are tied with a shell back. Scuds in the natural can be varied shades of gray, olive, tan or brown. When they die they turn orange. They can be fished in sizes ranging from #12 to #24 but the average size is #14 to #20. Streamers: Woolies, Wooly Buggers, Sculpins, Pine Squirrel, PMS, Hibernator, Mo Hair Leach. Woolies and Buggers run from #10’s to #16’s in white, olive, purple, black, brown and pink. Sculpins usually are fished in size #8 or #10. Good colors are gray, ginger, olive, orange, brown or white. Pine Squirrel, PMS, Hibernators and Leeches are fished in the same sizes, adding black, blood red, purple and white to the color selection. Big Ugly Streamers: For the big ones, throw anything you want but Taneycomo isn’t known as a big streamer fishery, unlike its kin, the White River. They’re thrown at night if the water is off or during the day but the water should be running for best results. Fly Fishing Tactics Outlet #1 is a small stream that flows out a pipe, down a chute, then across a gravel bar in to the lake. The stream is very small and really doesn’t hold fish itself. There’s a dropoff at the end where it meets the lake. Trout will hold on this drop and will take a variety of flies, mostly nymphs and worms under an indicator. The lake from the cable down about 150 yards is wide with some current. This water is good for stripping flies and dead drifting nymphs and midges. This is one of the best places to strip sculpins along the bottom although the bottom is rocky and tends to catch heavy flies. But that’s the reason sculpin flies are good – there’s sculpins that live in the rocks. As the lake narrows and gets a little shallower, the current picks up. The trout can be more active in this area, picking up midge larva as well as scuds and sow bugs because the bottom is mostly gravel. Fish are apt to take surface and/or film flies like small dries, midges, soft hackles and cracklebacks. Outlet #2 enters the lake as a waterfall and doesn’t run very far before hitting the lake. Trout are attracted to this outlet more than any other because of the volume of water and the frequent run of trout food escaping from the hatchery raceways. Fish take many kinds of flies here, mainly dead drifting. The number one fly is a scud with egg flies and San Juan worms close behind. Because the water is faster here, you can get away with using a little heavier tippet. When the trout are fed in the hatchery, pellets escape and are washed in to the lake at the outlets. You may try a pellet fly, a small brown, round dry fly. The pool below outlet #2 is good for stripping small and medium size streamers, film flies and dead drifting midges. Also strip sculpins along the bottom here. Where the lake picks up speed again close to the Rebar Chute, you’re back to drifting scuds, midges, eggs and worms. In the chute, use all of the above but add more weight so that the fly gets to the bottom quickly. Most anglers use a strike indicator or float when dead drifting but some do not. Either is fine. Do what is most comfortable. The short stretch below the chute has changed over the years. It’s not as deep as it used to be but it’s still a very area for fishing a small dry or small midges. Swinging and stripping flies in the Big Hole, especially when there’s a chop on the water or at night, can be excellent fishing. Also dead drifting midges under an indicator. This big area is where you can start fishing a jig under a float–micro and small marabou jigs under a float in various earth colors, black, brown and sculpin being the best. At Rocking Chair, drift scuds, sow bugs, worms and egg flies in the slow current. Strip film flies if there’s a chop on the water. Throw small dries if the trout are rising to midges. Back too a jig and float at the boat ramp since the water is much deeper. Also beaded flies under a float at various depths. Using sink tip line, throw sculpins in this deeper water because there’s a very good population of sculpins here. The big chute is a great place to dead drift all kinds of flies close to the bottom and for stripping and swinging streamers and film flies. Work the end of the chute, where it opens out and slows, with those streamers and film flies. You’re jig and float will work very well through the long, deep water at Trophy Run. Pay attention to the depth of the jig because the water here can be as deep as 10 feet. Find where the trout are — start at 4 feet deep and work down. When the water starts to shallow up, go back to dead drifting nymphs and midges. As the current picks up, swing and strip film flies. Then, after the water gets deeper, fish all of the above — jigs, scuds, midges, eggs and worms. Also strip sculpins in this area. Notes and Techniques When using a fly or jig under an indicator in deeper water like from the cable down below outlet #1, Big Hole, MDC boat ramp or Trophy Run, a double fly rig is useful, pairing a heavier fly with a small fly. Use the heavier fly (jig may be) being on top and the smaller fly (zebra midge, scud or even soft hackle) on the bottom. We use this rig down lake in deeper water with a fly or spinning rod. Tippet recommendation: 6x – 7x. Use a dry fly as an indicator. There are times our trout will readily take a dry even though there’s no hatches occurring. Use a big enough dry to float your nymphs or midges. Keep your leader greased well so that your line doesn’t drag your dry under the water. Any of the dry flies I mentioned are good to use. Tippet recommendation: 6x – 7x. In areas where there’s fairly good current, and you’re dead drifting a nymph under an indicator, add a soft hackle below the nymph. At the end of the drift, let the flies swing up. This is good action for the soft hackle and chances are you’ll get bit at the very end of the drift. Tippet recommendation: 6x – 7x. Sight Fishing – Even with the water off, no generation, water level on tailwaters is constantly changing, most times by only inches. Fish are keenly aware of this and will work the edges of the water for bugs moving in and out with the water. When bugs (scuds, sow bugs) are on the move they are easy to pick off. Therefore, the edges of the shore is the best place to sight fish. When targeting these fish, use something they’re looking for — scuds, sow bugs, midges and worms. Don’t back down from using large imitations, especially where there’s schools of trout working a bank. Competition spawns aggressiveness and aggressiveness promotes eating flies that don’t look anything like natural food. Tippet recommendation: 5x – 6x. Case in point: The White Mega Worm. This big, fluffy yarn worm, sometimes tied on a very small jig head, is more than an attractor fly. Big trout are known to attack this fly in very shallow water. It also works in deeper water. If the fly disappears, it’s probably in a fish’s mouth — set the hook! I suggest using 4 or even 3x tippet. You’ll find yourself getting excited seeing the fish take the fly and setting the hook too hard can be a problem. Plus using a big fly like this, you can get away with heavier tippet. Midge flies are a fly fisherman’s staple on most tailwaters. Taneycomo is no different. We have midge hatches every day, sometimes all day and even at night. Without going into details like a midge’s life cycle, I just want to convey what midges to use in certain conditions. I’ve caught more trout using a simple rig where I use a zebra midge under a palsa float than any other technique. Depth is important. If trout are actively taking flies off the surface or in the film, set the indicator only 6 to 12-inches from the first fly. If there’s little or no activity, set it deeper and keep adjusting until you start getting bit. Tippet recommendation: 6x – 7x. Soft hackles and Cracklebacks are what I call film flies. Both can be skimmed across the surface or just under the surface in the film. Use long leaders and make long casts. There are many ways to retrieve this fly from short, fast to long, slow strips. If there’s current, letting the fly just drift and swing will draw a strike. Tippet recommendation: 5x – 6x. Streamers are worked in and same way except the fly is further under the surface. Sculpins are fished with heavy tippet. Most sculpin flies are weighted enough you shouldn’t need to use sink tip leaders. This fly is worked across the bottom so you should use it in gravel areas mainly. Sculpin move quickly from spot to spot, coming to a complete stop when they’re not moving. Your retrieve should mimic this action. Tippet recommendation: 2x – 3x. Tips Keep in mind trout in shallow water spook easily so stay on dry ground when ever possible. Rainbows will cruise the edges of the shore in very shallow water looking for scuds which travel along the banks. Don’t just arbitrarily wade out to the middle of the lake — you’ll miss some of your best fishing opportunities. Try to land your fly line as gently on the water as possible when casting. It is true our rainbows are used to anglers casting and wading in the upper lake but you’re chances improve greatly the more stealth you are in your presence. Proper mending of line is a must when dead drifting, swinging and even stripping flies. Pay attention closely and make adjustments where needed. Change. I suggest never casting and retrieving the same way more than a few times. Cover water like you’re painting a wall. Vary your strip patterns till you find what the fish like and then if they get off that pattern, change again. Same with flies. Change color and sizes will you find something that will work. Never assume they’re not feeding — they’re just not interested in what you’re throwing and/or how you’re offering it. Your indicator should be as small as possible to float and/or pull the fly through the water you’re fishing. If you’re dragging a fly across the bottom, like a scud, your indicator needs to big a little bigger so that the fly, when it catches the bottom, doesn’t stop, pulling the indicator under. This especially works in #2 outlet and the Rebar Chute. Dead drifting: Always set the hook downstream, into the fish’s mouth. Keep the rod tip low when possible and use the water to add tension to the line set. It will be a quicker hookset as well as keep your lone/fly from ending up in the trees behind you. Film flies: Soft hackles and cracklebacks. On the take, trout will almost always hook themselves. Setting the hook will break your line more times than naught. Read Water Conditions and Adapt Fish will almost always feed better under a choppy surface verses a calm, slight surface. Current does make up for no wind but still, a slight breeze does wonders for the bite. Couple of things to consider when reading the water. Darker skies and broken water — fly size can be bigger and so can your tippet size. Bright sunshine and slick surface conditions mean the fish won’t be as active and can see everything more clearer. Drop in tippet size and go to smaller flies.
  36. 1 point
    Ryan Miloshewski

    Taneycomo 2/8-2/9

    After the floodgates opened, I decided to come down and fish Saturday. It was tough in the morning, but once the sun went down it was lights out. Morning: started out throwing a 110+1 in Elegy Bone from Lookout to the Narrows. Had two fish on, one being a really big brown. Came out and swiped at the bait but only got hooked slightly and spit it in one head shake. So it goes. The other was a 15-inch rainbow. Tried dragging Bomber Fat Free Fingerling in Pearl White but got nothing. Afternoon: After talking with Blake at Lilleys, he told me from Andy's through the Narrows he did really well dragging scuds and San Juans. So, I tandem-rigged a 14 tan scud and a big cerise San Juan. It was on. The key was to hit the very inside edge of the bank, as well as the seam before the drop off on the bluff side. I caught mostly small rainbows, but had two fish break me off that I know were nice fish. Never saw them, though. Sunday: Fished with Blake and Mark Konecnik from the cable through the Narrows. We were using Duane's signature series jerkbaits--the very small ones. 639 size. We had them on drift rigs and we caught quite a few. Blake boated a 20.5-inch brown in the early morning with Duane on a trip Mark hired him for. Just sitting and talking with Duane makes you realize just how in-tune he is with the trout. Pretty sure he sleeps with them. Well worth it to hire him just to get his baits, too! Everything else I normally use was not working, but the DDSS were rockin. Overall a good weekend, but I think it shows how the pressure and water conditions has changed the tactics and presentations needed to consistently catch nice fish. Adapt, improvise, overcome. Photos courtesy of Mark Konecnik.
  37. 1 point

    Slab Sunday

    Finally back on the water Sunday after church. Got started about 12:45 and fished to about 4:00. Water temp was 43 and stained... Looked perfect Didn’t really know what to expect after this lake has turned upside down in a weeks time... Up, down and up again... Geez They bit pretty fast at the get go. Got 8 in no time and then they came in spurts. The wind got to whipping which might of been why. Got tossed around a bit... Best bite was rigging about 13 feet down about 18-20 fow. Caught a few at 10 feet down but more consistent at 13 feet. I quit about 4ish with a limit and headed for the house... Amazed by health of the fish this year... Pics below... God bless and good fishing Lance
  38. 1 point
    Lake levels are down a bit, not much, but enough to trigger a change in flows at Beaver and Table Rock lakes. Spill gates were shut and turbine operation was reduced. Beaver is still high. It's at 1,128.4 feet, eight feet above the seasonal power pool. Table Rock dropped to 916.5 feet, 1.5 feet above pool. Bull Shoals, on the other hand, is dumping some serious water. Between turbines and spill gates, more than 26,000 cubic feet of water per second is flowing. Its lake level is 671.1 feet, 12.1 feet over pool. It's dropping more than six inches a day at this flow. Bottom line, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers needs to move a lot of water through this system before the rainy season is upon us. Back on Lake Taneycomo, we're seen two units of water running nonstop since the gates were shut on Saturday. That equals about 7,000 c.f.s. with the lake level at 707 feet. The loss of water and current almost immediately upped trout "catchability" (not sure that's going pass Marsha's editing.) Starting at the dam, boating shouldn't be much of a problem --- there's plenty of water depth to get there at the 707 feet level. I fished Monday with long time friend John Johnson. He drifted a double scud rig using a #12 gray scud, and I threw a black/yellow 1/16th-ounce jig (two-pound line) and neither of us did exceptionally well. But the rainbows we did catch were big and colored up in their Sunday best spawning colors. Drifting from Lookout down through the Narrows, we did better, but the rainbows were a little smaller. That's where most of his group has been fishing. Sunday afternoon they did very good drifting scuds through this same area. Guide Duane Doty said his clients caught their fish drifting from Fall Creek to Short Creek with scuds. For me, this flow is perfect for throwing 1/16th-ounce jigs using two-pound line. I fished Monday morning just up from our dock, working the middle of the lake and did well, but did much better after I moved to the bluff side of the lake. The black and yellow jig did the best. I did see a big swirl against the shallow bank close to the water pump station. Whatever it was, it was huge -- and hungry -- but It did not want my jig offering. With this new flow, we're back to using small weights to get our flies and/or bait to the bottom. One-eighth-ounce bell weights on drift rigs should work okay, but if that's too heavy, pinch on a split shot instead. All you want to do is tick the bottom. Off our dock, use enough weight to hold on the bottom using PowerEggs or salmon eggs. I'm sure the flow is great from Cooper Creek down for using the pink Berkley's Power Worm under a float. I'd start four feet down and go deeper from there. Use four-pound line, although two-pound would get you more bites. Try drifting from the Riverpointe Estates boat ramp down, staying in the middle of the lake and fish with a jig and float. Use a two-pound leader to the jig. Good colors would be black/yellow, brown/orange head, pink or sculpin/peach with an orange head. Start about four feet deep and move deeper until you find the right depth. Fly fishing using a scud under a float should work well as long as you get the scud to the bottom. Use a big enough float to float the scud and the weight needed to get it to the bottom. Fish the scud at least six- to eight-feet deep just about anywhere and go deeper if needed. I believe we're going to have to go to a smaller scud now that the water is slower, so if the 12's aren't working, go smaller. I caught a rainbow the other day that was spitting up small scuds as small as #16's. Use gray, browns and I'd try a tan or orange scud. They don't have to be weighted scuds.
  39. 1 point
    Phil Lilley

    Elevenpoint River

    The Eleven Point River is one of the most diverse and beautiful fisheries in Missouri. The Eleven Point is Missouri's only National Scenic and Wild Riverway and runs in large part through the Mark Twain National Forest. Fed by numerous springs, the river abounds with wildlife not only below the water's surface but also along its banks. The forested banks of the Eleven Point along with the many bluffs and some caves all make the Eleven Point probably the most pristine of the Missouri Ozark float streams. By being a little off the beaten path, the Eleven Point does not get nearly the traffic as the other famous float rivers in Missouri. As for fishing, the Eleven Point offers quality rainbow trout fishing for about 20 miles and boasts one of the only reproducing populations. Other species of note are smallmouth bass, goggle-eye, chain pickerel, and walleye. Trout fishing starts at the confluence of the Greer Spring branch and the river. Greer is the world's 10th largest spring and doubles the size of the river while turning it into a cold water fishery. This is the beginning of the blue ribbon trout section and it extends about six miles to Turner Mill Spring. Flies and artificial lures are only are allowed (soft plastic and baits are prohibited); the limit is one fish at 18 inches or longer. There is a strong population in this section of river. The trout have taken hold and are very healthy. The average trout caught are 12-14 inches, and there are plenty of trophy-sized fish that are just a lot tougher to catch. The Eleven Point is deeper than most Ozarks trout streams and is difficult to wade for long stretches between shoals. Therefore, watercraft is advisable. You must be willing to go a little deeper for fish than in most rivers in this region. Dry fly fishing is a rarity on the Eleven Point. A 9-foot, 5- to 6-weight fly rod works best on this river. The following is a list of recommended flies: -Don's Crawdad --This is one of the most productive patterns on the Eleven Point. There are tons of crawdads in the river and they are a major food source. Fish this small crawdad under a strike indicator and look for takes on the dead drift and the swing. As with most things you fish here, you need to get it to the bottom for the best results. -M.O.A.T. (mother of all tungsten)- This is a stonefly like pattern with three tungsten beads, peacock dubbing, and rubber legs. It really gets down and catches fish. Use it as a lead fly and attach different smaller droppers. bh peasant tail soft hackle peasant tail hare's ear in tan, olive and black in-cased caddis (mostly green pupae, but do have some cream-colored ones) bh crackle back egg in fall through December midge pupae copper johns (variety of colors) san Juan worms, especially after a rain stone flies in black or brown will work most of the year, although use gold from late August through the first part of November leech patterns --Mohair and bunny leeches work well in tan, olive and black wooly buggers (variety of sizes and colors) sculpins and other streamer patterns, something to imitate a little rainbow trout The 14 miles below Turner Mill to Riverton (Hwy 160 bridge) is stocked regularly and is designated as white ribbon. The limit is four trout per day of any size and any lures and baits are allowed. All of the above flies and lures still apply to this area. In addition many spin fishermen report good luck using little rubber grubs, minnows, worms and Power Bait. Eleven Point River Trip - Fall 2015 from Focal Imaging LLC on Vimeo. Floating the Elevenpoint River To the experienced canoeist, the Eleven Point is a relatively easy river (Class I and Class II on the International Scale) requiring intermediate experience. Snags, trees and root wads still remain the most dangerous of all obstacles and, on occasion, may require scouting from shore. Although canoes are the time-tested means of travel through fast water, flat bottom jon boats are used on the river, primarily for fishing trips. You may encounter some boats with motors. Motor boats are restricted to a 25-horsepower limit. Canoeists should learn to read the water ahead. Whitewater riffles mean that rocks lie very close to the water surface, and you are about to enter a "chute" where water flows faster. The safest course to follow is the smooth water, shaped like a "V" pointing downstream. Watch out for root wads! Water rushes under and through the exposed roots of fallen trees and creates hazardous conditions. Learn to avoid obstructions. Back paddle as to change positions or use "draw" or "pry" strokes to move laterally. From OA Forum by Bob Steffen: Short 2 Day, trout intensive trek - Greer to Whitten 11.5 mi: Camp night before at Greer Access (NE intersection of MO-19 @ River). Allow 1 hour to visit Greer Spring (drive to the Spring Trail, S of river, W of MO-19 - then hike 1 mile down plus one mile back up). Or, allow 1 more hour to drive up to see the old mill at Falling Spring. Fish under the MO-19 bridge, upstream, and wherever you can cast to the south bank. Turn in early and get a good night sleep. See Eleven Point Canoe Rental for canoe and logistics. Get latest fishing conditions from Brian. Get on the river as early as possible. Spend lots of time fishing the side waters of the 1st island and below. Be heavy, get down, get deep. Stop and fish a lot. Great spots consecutively appear. Stop immediately below Mary Decker shoals and throw heavy stuff at the pigs that live beneath those boulders. Stop at Turner Mill north access and hike up to see the old mill wheel and the spring. Camp at Stinking Pond (5 mi and not smelly in the springtime) or Horseshoe Bend (9 mi) Forest Service Float camps. (Fish channel immediately upstream and waters across river from either Float camp). Stay up late. Enjoy the solitude. Watch the eagles and bats hunt. Keep an eye out for bears. Leisurely morning. Fish to Whitten. This is only 5 miles from Stinking Pond and even closer to Horseshoe Bend. More great fishing, so take your time and enjoy. All the way, you will need a strategy to keep the river from pulling you downstream faster than you want/need to go. Take out at Whitten Long 2 Day, fishing/exploration trek - Greer to Riverton 19 mi: All of the above, plus: Start catching 50-50 rainbows and smallmouth below Horseshoe Bend. Don's crawdad fly and Rebel Craw lure are hard to beat. Camp at Horseshoe Bend (9 mi), Barnhollow (10 mi), Whites Creek (12 mi), or Greenbriar (14 mi). Note: Each of these float camps is a short distance up an inlet/feeder creek. Some are not marked well. They all have flat tent space, fire rings, nice latrines, and decent fishing nearby; making them good campsite options. Be sure to check out the Boze Mill Spring on right, about 2 miles upstream from Riverton. Throw something meaty and deep downstream of the spring outlet, north shore. Take out at Riverton, US-160. If early, fish west side of river bank. Long 3 Day, trout & smallmouth trek - Greer to The Narrows 30 miles: It doesn't get any better than this, unless you've got all week. 90% smallmouth downstream of US-160. Rooster tail spinners (slower retrieve than trout). River Levels Elevenpoint River Levels near Ravenden Springs, AR Elevenpoint River Levels near Bardley, MO Access and Campsites- Thomasville at SH 99 Bridge at 0.0 miles (this section down to SH 19 not recommended in low-water) Cane Bluff Access and picnic area at 9.3 miles SH 19 bridge at 16.6 miles (campsites and put-in with trail to Greer Spring about a mile up the hill) USFS boat ramp in Greer Springs Campground on river right at about 16.7 miles Turner's Mill North (river left) and Turner's Mill South (river right) at about 21.5 miles Stinking Pond Float Camp on river left at 22.3 miles Horseshoe Bend Float Camp on river left at 26.5 miles Barn Hollow Float Camp on river left at 27.0 miles White Creek Float Camp on river left at 28.5 miles Greenbriar Float Camp on river left at 31.0 miles Bozeman Float Camp on river left at 33.5 miles Riverton / SH 160 bridge on east side at 35.7 miles Morgan Creek Float Camp at 44.0 miles SH 142 Bridge on river left at about 44.3 miles MDC Myrtle Access on river right at 48.0 miles Missouri-Arkansas state line at 49.0 miles Fishing Regulations Trout: 5.5 miles Oregon County Greer Spring Branch junction to Turner Mill Access At least 18 inches Daily Limit 1 Artificial lures and flies only No Red Ribbon Area on the Eleven Point 14.2 miles Oregon County Downstream from Turner Mill Access Rainbow trout - none. Brown trout - at least 15 inches. Daily limit- 4 trout. No bait restrictions *Limits: 4 trout daily. 8 possession. (no size restriction) *Brown trout state-wide limit is 15 inches. Eleven Point River Special Bass Management Area Map (pdf, 208 KB) Eleven Point River Blue Ribbon Trout Map (pdf, 184 KB) Eleven Point River White Ribbon Trout Map (pdf, 165 KB) Smallmouth Bass: They are found throughout the system. Statewide season on bass in rivers and streams is open from the 4th Saturday of May till the last day in February annually. From Thomasville Access to the Arkansas line: Goggle-eye—8 inch minimum length limit. 15 daily. 30 possession. Smallmouth bass—15 inch minimum length limit. The daily limit of 6 black bass may include only 1 smallmouth bass. Walleye and Sauger: These fish are found closer to the Arkansas border. The better walleye fishing is in Arkansas. 4 daily, 8 possession. 18-inch minimum length. Chain Pickerel: 6 daily, 12 possession Fishing Licenses - Residents - those fishing of the ages of 16 and older and 65 are required to have on their person a valid Missouri fishing license. Those 65 and older do not need a fishing license. Proof of residency - Valid Missouri Drivers License. Non-residents - those fishing of the ages of 16 and older are required to have on their person a valid Missouri fishing license. A Missouri TROUT STAMP is required for ANYONE who fishes the trophy or Blue Ribbon area on the Current River, regardless if the angler is keeping or releasing their catch. (New March 1, 2005) Cost- (prior to 3/31/20) Resident - $12 annual (March 1 thru last day of February) Border Permit - $10 Non-Resident - $42 annual (March 1 thru last day of February) Daily Permit - $7 (midnight to midnight) Buy Missouri Fishing Licenses Online! Report Violations - Poachers In cooperation with the Missouri Department of Conservation, Operation Game Theft works to stop the illegal taking of fish and wildlife that includes trophy animals and rare and endangered species.
  40. 1 point
    Another week and -- another high water event on Lake Taneycomo. Yes, operators are running spill gates at the dam again. We had three days of intermittent rain, which in total equaled about three inches of rain for much of our watershed. That brought Beaver Lake up above its flood pool of 1,130 feet and triggered flood gates at Beaver Dam. About the same time, Table Rock Dam opened five gates at a foot each while running three turbines. That equals a release of 14,000 cubic feet per second of water. Presently, Beaver Lake has dropped to 1,129.17 feet, dropping about three inches per day. Table Rock Lake crested yesterday at 918.14 feet and is dropping ever so slightly. There is one turbine not working at the Table Rock facility, either because of scheduled maintenance or a problem, I don’t know which. That’s the reason operators are running water over the dam. The flow would equal four full turbines. Taneycomo’s water temperature continues to drop, now at 53.6 degrees. The water’s also looking more and more clear from Table Rock’s turnover. The key to catching trout right now on Taneycomo is to get your fly, lure or bait to the bottom and keep it there while drifting. You could try anchoring in an eddy or along the bank where the current is much less, but most people are going to drift with the current. Stay towards the middle of the lake, not on the side, where there’s a lot of downed trees and snags. Drifting scuds (freshwater shrimp) is still the best thing to fish with, even below Fall Creek. It wouldn’t hurt to use a little bigger scud with so much water running, like a #10 or even a #8. Gray is still the best color, but you could try brown, olive or tan. On a sunny day, try one with ultraviolet material (flash) mixed in to the dubbing. With the heavy generation, we’re running crank baits on the bottom again for bigger trout. If you can find them (they’re out of production we understand), the Bomber, Fat Free Fingerling in Tennessee Shad, Shadtreuse or white shad color is what our guys use. Also Flicker Shad in shad colors will work pretty well, too. Guide Bill Babler will drift with a small floating stick bait using a drift rig. He tends to use the cheaper baits because anglers will lose them fairly often. He drifts them mainly below the dam, but they’ll work anywhere. For drifting anything on the bottom, we’ve gone to either 3/16- or ¼-ounce bell weights. You really need to feel the weight ticking on the bottom or you won’t get bit. Night crawlers has been the best live bait below Fall Creek. The better fishing has been from Scotty’s Trout Dock down through the Branson Landing. We’re also starting to see some crappie schooling up around the structure in front of the Landing and close to the Fish House. We tend to see some big crappie during the winter months. They can be caught on a minnow or jig under a float or casting a swimming minnow or jig. Below the dam, we’re drifting scuds and shad flies and doing pretty well. No sight of any shad through the gates, and the trout aren’t going really crazy on white jigs. Seems like there’s no way to guess when threadfin shad will come through the open gates, but we are always hopeful and will try the white jig every time we’re up there. Other jigs are working, though. The 1/8th ounce sculpin/peach with an orange head has been pretty hot, and I’ve done okay using a black/yellow combination. The best stretch to drift a scud on the bottom is from Lookout to Short Creek. Right in the middle is Fall Creek. If you start there, you can keep any size rainbows you catch. If you fish above Fall Creek, you have to throw
  41. 1 point
    Generation here on Lake Taneycomo has been very consistent the last four or five days now, and with the lakes above us well above season pool levels, we're going to continue to see this flow for quite some time. Typically, our lakes have been drawn down to at least power pool, ready for the winter season and spring rains to follow. But unseasonably wet weather has kept the lakes in what I would call the caution zone (not the danger zone.) Beaver Lake is still above 1,128 feet, less than two feet from its flood pool, and Table Rock is hovering at 917 feet, variably two feet over winter power pool. The area got a two-inch rain late last week, and more rain is expected this week. Table Rock Dam has been running three units round the clock. Now I don't know for sure, but I think one unit at the Table Rock facility is under seasonal maintenance, so all operators can run is three units. Any additional water has to come over the spill gates, as it did about 10 days ago. So we're going to see this flow until both Table Rock and Beaver drop to seasonal power pool levels, and that might not happen until after the first of the year. Table Rock Lake did turn over, and the water that's flowing from the dam is high in oxygen but just a bit turbid. Visibility isn't all the bad though --- better than most seasonal turnover events. And best of all, it's not affecting trout fishing, as far as we can tell. The trout we're catching are full of fight and in great shape. Our lake water temperature is about 55 degrees, down more than six degrees since the lake started to turn over. The cooler temps are helping trout activity, too. As for "catching," there's really not much that is not working right now. Bank and dock fishing isn't the greatest, but surprisingly it isn't not too bad either. People off our dock are catching some pretty nice rainbows on Power Eggs mainly, using heavy weights to drop the bait to the bottom. The one thing that's different than, say, a few months ago in the summer, is that's there's no algae flowing down in the current. Taneycomo is pretty clear of "stuff." Drifting night crawlers and Power Bait on the bottom below Fall Creek is catching fish. Picking the right amount of weight is important. Use enough to drop the bait to the bottom. You should feel your weight ticking the bottom consistently. If you don't, you probably won't get bit. I drifted a #12 gray scud on the bottom from Fall Creek down to the River Pointe Estates boat ramp on Sunday and caught four rainbows on one drift. I stayed in the middle of the lake and made sure I was in contact with the bottom. Drifting scuds in the trophy area has been "lights out," according to fishing guides Duane Doty and Steve Dickey. Again, stay in the middle of the lake and make sure the fly is on the bottom. Also drifting shad flies on the bottom from the dam down to Trophy Run has picked up good numbers of rainbows. We've been also throwing a variety of colors of jigs and doing pretty well. I'm not sure what color has been best, though, because they're all doing about the same. Sculpin, black, black/yellow, sculpin/peach/orange head --- all have been working very well. We still haven't seen any really big trout caught with the flood gates open and the water improving in quality. That has surprised me. But the overall quality of rainbows has been impressive. If you want to fly fish, tie on a #12 gray scud with a split shot under an indicator and fish anywhere from eight to 10 feet deep. Anglers have caught trout from the cable down past Fall Creek with this rig. I haven't heard anything about the guide-favorite Berkley's Pink Worm lately but I'd think it would work from Cooper Creek and down lake through Monkey Island, the bridges and past the Landing. The water from Cooper Creek down is much more conducive to this technique because the current is slower and less turbulent. And remember, rainbows are normally stocked from the Branson Landing up and just past Monkey Island so there's usually fresh stocked trout in this area. The fishing forecast for December looks very good, although with the lakes as high as they, we may see more heavy flows including spill gates. But spill gate releases means more shad flowing in to our lake for our waiting, hungry trout, as well as more warmwater species of fish for us to play with!
  42. 1 point
    Generation patterns on Lake Taneycomo have changed since my last fishing report. Spill gates have shut down and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has gone back to running generators for much of the day and some nights. Oxygen levels remain decent and water temperatures steady at about 57 degrees. Water clarity has dropped, though, which is good for us anglers. We talked about using two-pound line for months because our water was so clear -- but not anymore. Four-pound line is fine for almost all applications. Flows have been pretty consistent, running 6,500 and 8,600 cubic feet per second of water, or the equivalent of 1.5 to two units of water. Table Rock is 916.8 feet above sea level and dropping slightly. With the current flow, it's just keeping up with inflows caused by rains and some water from Beaver Lake which is a little high at 1,126 feet. As fate has it, they shut the water down today but I'm afraid it's going to short-lived. Quite a bit of rain is forecasted for the next 4-5 days which, if we get it, will bring the lakes up and more generation. At these medium flows, wading below the dam is very limited, mainly at the outlets and along the bank in some areas. I've seen some guys wading below outlet #3 at deep depths, going out in current to their waist which, in my opinion, is unnecessary and dangerous. No fish is worth getting swept downstream, putting you and may be someone else trying to help rescue you at risk. Be wise. Drifting #12 gray, brown and orange scuds from the cable down to Trout Hollow has been pretty successful this week, along with egg flies and San Juan worms. Fish them under a float or using a drift rig or just a split shot; either is fine. We're still doing pretty well throwing white jigs in and below the trophy area. Sculpin jigs and black jigs are producing well, too. Drifting night crawlers below Fall Creek is netting some really nice rainbows, according to Guide Bill Babler. The stretch between Fall Creek and Short Creek has been the best. Guide Steve Dickey has been doing well using the pink PowerWorm under a float six- to nine-feet deep from above Monkey Island through the bridges. The wind has made drifting and fishing pretty tough in general the last few days but that should change shortly.
  43. 1 point
    Phil Lilley

    DO and Temp Levels

    OK - got some readings this morning. All from the bank, tossing the probe out as far as I could (8-10 ft cord), on the north side of the lake. Dissolved Oxygen Level (parts per million) - Water Temperature (F) At the cable - 5.4 57.9 From the small outlet - 9.7 57.2 Below the small outlet - 5.3 57.7 Outlet #1 - 9.8 57.3 Below outlet #1 (about 75 feet down) - 6.2 57.5 Outlet #2 - 8.6 57.3 Below outlet #2 (about 100 feet down) - 6.9 57.7 At the stairs - 6.4 58.2 In the fish ladder - 8.4 57.8 Lilleys' Landing Dock - 5.3 57.9 Note: From what I've read, and I may be corrected by a professional in the field of coldwater fisheries, trout flourish in water with DO levels above 8 ppm, do ok in water with DO levels at 6 ppm, struggle a bit with DO levels between 4 and 5 ppm and don't do well at all in water with levels below 4. Temperature does play a role. Trout normally don't do well in water where temps are above 60 degrees. They are very receptive to stress and parasites that can cause death. Compare this fall season with previous years - our water temps are on the high side but not critical and our DO levels aren't too bad. Of course, any O2 in the water released at Table Rock Dam is put there by the Corps through injectors and running turbines with air vents open. Also from the hatchery outlets. All this is in the life of most tailwaters... it's something we go through every year at this time.
  44. 1 point
    Back in the 1970s and 80s, several regional outdoor writers, including as I remember Larry Dablemont as well as a couple Arkansas Game and Fish guys, wrote several articles in regional magazines extolling the virtues of the fishing for big smallmouth on the Kings River, which fired my imagination to no end. I did make it to the Kings sometime around that time period. As I remember, I floated from Trigger Gap to the Hwy. 62 bridge one day, and from the bridge down to the next access the next day. I remember the float above the bridge being somewhat of a disappointment, as there was barely enough water to float and it was quite clear. Back then, I thought that all the best smallmouth waters had to have some color, like the Meramec, Big, and Bourbeuse that I was used to fishing. I don't remember much at all about the lower float, so it must not have been all that great, either. I have a few photos of the upper float, but not many, and I was really into photographing my floats back then and I've always been a sucker for photographing bluffs, so there must not have been that many impressive bluffs on either float. But I had seen some photos of the river farther upstream that looked really cool, and I kept it in the back of my mind that one day I'd do a float from Marble down. I even stopped one time at the Marble Access on the way to somewhere else just to check it out. It was VERY low, just a trickle of water, and there were several filleted remains of...spotted bass? I certainly didn't remember seeing or catching any spots on that float below Trigger Gap...something made me think I caught a few below Hwy. 62, though. Later on, I read from Dablemont or somebody that the big smallmouth had disappeared from the Kings. So the idea of floating the upper river went further onto the back burner. So this summer, when I started thinking about my annual three day solo float, the Kings didn't pop into my mind at first. But my secret creek that used to be so spectacularly good fishing had been a little disappointing the last couple years, and I started entertaining thoughts of floating somewhere else. Somewhere new, maybe? And finally I thought of the upper Kings. I checked the water levels a few weeks back, and was somewhat shocked to see that the only gauge on the Kings was reading 50 cubic feet per second. That's low. I don't consider a stream to be floatable without a lot of dragging and scraping bottom unless it's at least 75 cfs. I checked to see what the exact location of the gauge was, and was even more surprised to see that it's a bit downstream from the river's biggest tributary, Osage Creek. Wow, if it was that low below Osage Creek, how low would it be upstream? I started making backup plans while watching the gauge occasionally. Well, the Kings got a good rise a couple weeks ago, and it seemed to be keeping its level well above normal for this time of year. Looked like the Kings float was still on. In fact, I really like my solo float to be on water that IS a little too low for anybody else to think seriously about floating it, and the gauge was still reading well above 100 cfs. I finally decided that the Kings was my choice. On Tuesday I called Kings River Outfitters at Trigger Gap to arrange a shuttle from Marble down to their place. "There's not enough water to float up there," the guy said. I explained that I was used to floating streams that were too low to float, and expected to have to get out and walk some of the riffles. "Okay, as long as you know what you're getting into," he said. I made the five plus hour drive to the vicinity Wednesday afternoon, staying at a nice little motel in Berryville overnight, and met my shuttle guy at 8 AM Thursday morning. We drove up to the put-in at Marble, and my first good look at the river up there was just about what I expected...fairly clear, and the riffle at the put-in looked to be flowing about 50 cfs. Yep, I was going to be walking some riffles, but I'd probably be able to float most of them at that level, though I'd scrape rocks on most of those I floated. I loaded my two coolers, and two drybags with all my clothing, camping gear, and miscellaneous stuff into the solo canoe. I'd picked up a couple of the more expensive high tech coolers recently, and they were considerably heavier than my old cheap coolers, so the canoe seemed to sit lower in the water. I had plenty of ice in them. One held my food, the other my beverages and water. I started down that first riffle and dragged bottom with the rear of the canoe a lot worse than I thought I would, so I stopped, and reloaded everything to balance my load better. The river looked pretty good for fishing, and I was excited to be fishing new water, but it took a while to catch the first fish, and it was a largemouth. So was the next one, then I caught a couple spotted bass. Finally a smallmouth. I was trying topwater without much success, but my homemade crankbait was catching a few, as was a spinnerbait. But the fishing was disappointingly slow. There were nice looking pools, but a lot of the river was bedrock bottomed, and even the bluff pools were different from what I was used to. The geology was such that the bluffs were layered in thin beds, and the cliffs came right down to the water and then the solid rock sloped off into the middle of the pool. Because of the thin beds of rock, there wasn't much big chunk rock underwater, just solid, flat bedrock with ledges. I just didn't think it looked like great habitat even in the deeper pools. And the low flow meant that there weren't many deep, fast runs, just shallow riffles and bedrock bottomed pools. But the landscape was gorgeous. Some of those bluffs were a hundred feet high, came right down to the water, and the river had undercut the base until you could paddle all the way back under the overhangs. This upper river is, in some ways, pretty civilized, with a lot of cleared land and cattle, but those bluffs were really cool. I planned on floating from Marble to a bit below Marshall Ford the first day, so I kept moving. It's a little over 11 miles between those two accesses, and I hadn't gotten on the river until after 9 AM, but I knew I could float til nearly dark...I don't cook my meals on these hot weather trips, so all I would have to do was set up my tent, which takes about 10 minutes. I was floating over about 75% of the riffles, though almost never without scraping bottom. My biggest early problem was a private, torn up low water bridge that I had to portage over, and portaging required almost completely unloading the canoe. Then I came to a stretch where I was having to get out and walk nearly every riffle. I wondered if this was a losing reach, a geological term where part or all the flow of a stream sinks underground to emerge again farther downstream. This went on for about a mile and then there seemed to be more water again, though I didn't notice any inflow. I finally caught a very nice largemouth, about 17 inches, on a walk the dog topwater, and a few decent smallmouth, 13-14 inchers. I think I ended up with about 40 bass for the day, almost evenly divided between the three species. The spotted bass were fat and as good as any of the bass I caught that day, and since they are native to these streams I was happy to catch them. In mid-afternoon I passed three guys in kayaks, and I wondered if they were the reason the fishing was slow, but after I passed them it didn't get any better; in fact, it got worse for a while. Then it picked up a bit, then finally just about died by the time I came to the second low water bridge that required portaging. At least this one had been furnished with ramps on both sides that appeared to be specifically for portaging canoes over it, but I still had to unload the boat again. There was a big sign saying "Marshall Ford, 1 mile downstream". I figured that some people would be confused and think they had come to the take-out, even though Marshall Ford has been a high bridge for a while now. There had been no lack of good camping gravel bars until I passed under the bridge, and then it took more than a mile farther before I found a usable bar that didn't have a lane coming onto it or a cabin next to it. I finally picked a small, narrow bar with barely enough flat area to pitch the tent, a half hour before dark. It was a picturesque spot, though, with a smooth, colorful sandstone cliff opposite the bar. I'd noted that the geology had changed in the last couple miles, with the bluffs floored with that smooth sandstone instead of the shelving, undercut limestone, and there was more chunk rock in the pools. I set up the tent in nearly the last light, and brought out my smoked chicken leg quarters, potato salad, and cole slaw out of the cooler, with a cold sweet tea, and ate as the stars began to appear. A single mosquito buzzed around my ear for a bit. It was warm, so when I went into the tent I lay atop the sleeping bag, reading a Kindle book on my cell phone until my eyelids drooped. I was up at daylight, and quickly broke down the tent, loaded the canoe, and started my day of fishing. And as the morning went along the fishing got better. I hate to admit this...I've never been a big fan of the Whopper Plopper, but for some reason I decided to try one, and for the first time, it was almost magic. The water had gotten clearer...yesterday it had about 3-4 feet visibility, but it was 5 feet or better by the time I'd gotten to camp last night. The walk the dog topwater was producing a few fish, but the Whopper Plopper was doing better by far. Lots of smallmouth, almost none of the other two species. By the end of this day I had caught 113 bass, with only one spotted bass and two largemouth. Most, however, were small, under 12 inches. When I would get a strike from a 13-14 incher on the Plopper it was vicious, and often I thought it was a big one until I had it on long enough to get a good look. I remember one 14-incher that really shocked me. A couple weeks ago I'd damaged a tendon in my left arm, my casting arm. I could cast okay backhanded, but I had to use two hands on a forehand or overhand cast, and my elbow was still sore and weak. This fish clobbered the lure as it neared the canoe, and then drove toward the rear of the canoe so hard that it nearly jerked the rod out of my hand and really HURT my arm. In late afternoon, the best fish of the trip blew up on the Plopper, coming completely out of the water and knocking the lure three feet. I twitched it once and the big smallmouth came back and got it. It measured 18 1/4th inches. I got strikes from a couple others that missed that might have been that big or bigger, but given the way I'd overestimated some of those 14 inchers when they hit, I can't say that for certain. It's 16 miles from Marshall Ford to Rockhouse, the next access, and the bluffs, while different, are even more impressive in some ways than those undercut cliffs upstream. Some of them are over 200 feet high. I had planned to stop for the evening a mile or so above Rockhouse, but again there just wasn't the perfect gravel bar, so I kept fishing and passed the access, going nearly two more miles downstream before picking out a huge, high bar adjacent to a wooded bluff. I'd covered more than 16 miles. But one reason I'd floated so many miles is that the habitat was getting worse. There were longer stretches of shallow water with very little cover between the good pools. Some stretches were bedrock bottomed, others were wide, gravelly bottomed pools that looked good from upstream but turned out to be a foot deep when you got into them. So I'd paddle through those long unproductive stretches to fish the good water. I passed a creek called Dry Creek, which actually wasn't very well named, because it was flowing enough water to increase the flow of the river by a good 25%. Now the riffles were all floatable--except I soon began to come to very wide, gravel riffles that were two inches deep all the way across. I later passed another creek that was flowing fairly well, but not enough to make a lot of difference. The second night I ate smoked pork chops, bothered a bit by no-see-um gnats in the hour or so before dark. Since I'd floated so far the second day, I only had about 5-6 miles to go. And the habitat was no better. The sheer bluffs had disappeared, too, and the scenery was less interesting, plus the very wide, inches deep riffles became very common. I only caught about 20 smallmouth, biggest about 16 inches, mostly again on the Whopper Plopper. I'd noticed a pattern the day before and it continued on this day. There would be a few fish at the head of a decent pool, but the larger fish seemed to be near the tail of the pool. Some of the pools were really nice and deep with big rocks in their upper portions, but would shallow out about halfway down. Those pools had few fish willing to bite. But if a pool stayed fairly deep toward the lower end there would often be a couple bigger fish in the lower portion. And while there were some nice logs here and there, I caught basically nothing on wood, every fish came from those chunk rock areas. I reached the old, breached low water bridge at Trigger Gap early in the afternoon, and floated over the gap in it, then downstream a half mile to the Kings River Outfitters access. All in all, it had been a very interesting trip. But I have to say I was disappointed in the overall habitat. And often, I noticed a pretty bad smell...I think there are a lot of industrial chicken farms near the river. I was actually surprised that the water quality seemed as good as it did. I also wonder if the habitat was a lot better back when Dablemont and the others were touting the Kings, because it didn't really look like the kind of water that produce huge numbers of big fish. But it had been a good solo trip, with perfect weather, great scenery, and sometimes good fishing. The wildlife was kinda lacking...I saw two deer, and a white goat standing on a rock watching me go by, the whole trip, along with a bunch of vultures. I also noted a lot of huge redhorse suckers, something I've seen on other Arkansas rivers. Do these rivers not get gigged much? You never see big redhorse in any numbers on Missouri streams. All in all a good trip, though I'm not sure I'll do it again any time soon.
  45. 1 point
    I was able to get out early today - a lot of fog as you would expect given the temps. I went just past Short Creek, right before the boat ramp, staying on the side with the houses and let the current take me down to Trout Hollow. I threw a brown, sculpin jig towards the bluff wall into the deeper water giving it a pop as I retrieved it, much like what Phil and Duane do on One Cast. I really got into into the numbers and better size but it was off and on, not steady like yesterday. Side note, I had to laugh as there were two guys in an aluminum boat that decided to plant them selves, as in anchor, right out from short creek....and as the numbers of boats increased they would move from one bank to the next.... I think they were the boat traffic calming device....much like a round about. I came in for a few as the traffic picked up and decided to take a young couple that I had met a couple of days before out as they were having no luck off the dock.....that is what happens when you are fishing for trout using a cat rod!! We went up just barely past Trout Hollow and I put him on the jig and gave her the Float / Power worm rig.....for never fishing that kind of rig nor trout she really schooled us two guys....pun intended....I felt a bit sorry for her husband as she was really enjoying catching more than him!!! So yeah the PW and Float is still the deal out there!!! Stay safe and have fun C4F
  46. 1 point
    I post these on my phone so excuse the typos. I’m down here with family again and last night I stayed up late playing cards. Put in at Cooper at 9 and ran to the cable. Threw jigs and fly fished until 2. It was on from ding to dong. It stayed overcast till noon and they were biting. Saw Babler, Chuck and a multitude of other guides and all were catching. I don’t mess with em much just lay on the board and snap a picture. The last dark one is 16” all the rest just under that Tubing on Tanlerock tomorrow with the kids but I’ll be back out Monday.
  47. 1 point
    Just for general information, Phil and I flew on Alaska Air out of KC. We chose to fly first class for several reasons, one being the distance of the journey and others being very marginal price difference when you took into account we were taking lots of weighted luggage, especially a gun. Alaska has very similar baggage restrictions as other airlines with the exception that you may include in your luggage an oversize bag if it is caring sporting gear. Not overweight, but oversize at no additional charge and this really helped us. Also we were fed and watered in a proper manner and not thrown a sack of chips or peanuts. Makes a difference when your in the airplane for nearly 8 hrs. Nice Breakfast on Alaska Airlines We arrived at about 11:45 in Anchorage and hustled a bit to get a couple of loaves of bread from Great Harvest Bread Co. to take on our float. Food was going to be provided but I'm glad we took the bread as it really worked out well. A note on the Mountain House food provided. It was really good. and a two person portion is really for 3 people. It is filling and easy to prepare. I think the only meal we could finish without leftovers was the B&G. I did take lots of condiments and extras and they highlighted it very well. I would not be afraid to take Mountain House for a couple of weeks at a time, its that good. Especially the Biscuits and Gravy, simply outstanding. We had fish two nights and Phil cooked the fish. I made most everything else. He cooked Char fillets on the grill and fried Sheefish. Both were excellent. We mostly boiled our drinking water or used water purifying bottles. Alaskan Adventure Lodge at Sleetmute, formerly know as the Holitna River Lodge is owned by Dan Paull and girlfriend Jami. It is not an easy place to get to. Really there are only a couple of bush flight companies flying in there. We flew with Sound Aviation. Bill and Beth. It is quite an operation and they fly non-stop daily to most of the villages in the area, hauling food, sundries and lots of people. We had a dog on our flight home that had a fish hook in its tongue so they get passengers of all types. It is the Bush. They fly a 6 passenger retractable sheel Piper and by next year will have a 12 passenger online hopefully They seem to always be a bit late and we were late both going and coming. We really pushed it coming out as we got to our terminal only 25 minutes prior to boarding for our home flight. SOUND AVIATION The flight to the Lodge via Sleetmute was just about as interesting a flight as I have had in Alaska, with the diversity of geography just outstanding. The peaks and ruggedness of this area is simply an unforgettable site. Flight from Anchorage Picture Arrival at the Lodge we were met by Dan, Jami, Terry, and Rodney that is their main staff with also another staff of 3 guides. We stayed in the Trapper Cabin. Small useful and to the point. Table, chairs, wood stove and bunk beds with comforters, pillows and small sheeted beds. Phil in front of the TRAPPER CABIN Their Lodge and big garden was just to the right. We had several meals in their lodge served family style and very good, especially the garden vegies and rasberries deserts fresh from that garden.. Jami has cooked in Alaska camps for several years. The dining hall is at the rear of the lodge and their kitchen and living quarters are in the front. They don't seem to mind a bit about coming into their space but we were cautious about it, as we both know how that feels. They have a community restroom and shower house attached to the back of the lodge with two sinks a shower and potty. Nice hot running water during generator hours, which I believe are 6 AM to 1 PM and then again from 4 PM to 9 PM. Everything is on a generator and gas is 5 bucks a gallon. Not really bad but logistically its hard to get. It is delivered once a week from an air carrier out of Sleetmute, about 40 miles down stream. View from the front of the Lodge. We saw Moose in the river bend and also a pair of Beavers Tuesday morning we packed up our considerable gear along with their camping and food for the several day float and packed the boat. Rodney their camp handyman and general great guy was going to take is 60 miles up the river by boat and we would float back. He took us about 55 and Phil saw a gravel bar he liked and I will tell you that one move by Phil really made our trip. More later. Boat packed for Holitna River trip The river is quite large at the lodge and gets larger as it heads for the Kuskokwim Going up river it starts to change to a more traditional fly fishing wade able type of water and really this is what we found we were looking for. Where Phil and I camped that first two days was the best water for our type of fly fishing. This water held huge amounts of spawning chum salmon and grayling and char were feasting on eggs. Great for beaders, nymphers and jiggers. We used a bead a jig, a mop fly and streamers to catch chum, and silver salmon as well as char and grayling, with the grayling almost at will. I had 5 on my first 5 casts with a bead and then 5 more in 5 casts with a mop. Phil could catch them one right after the other on a Lilleys Jig. Holitna River at our first camp site, traditional fly fishing water After unloading and sitting up our camp we caught quite a few fish. The idea was to pack the raft and start down the river on Wednesday morning. We got up to a flat raft that had a leak Rodney had pumped it up with an electric pump and left us a hand pump that we later found out had the guts out of it. We texted the lodge for a new pump or a raft repair and of course they could not arrive until Thursday so we had two nights at the first camp. That was super as it had the best fishing. If we were to do it again we would have gone up to the confluence of the river another 35 miles and made that float picking us up just about a day downstream from our first nights camp. We didn't know this. I'll talk about the Sheefish in a minute but they really need to accessed if that is your primary fish on the lower river from the lodge. The second night a two raft party floated by that had started on the upper river and said the grayling and char fishing were outstanding also further up. We both surmised at the end of the trip that a 5 night float from the confluence and then a two night lodge stay would be the best of both worlds. Raft set up ready to float Rodney got us floating by 11:30 on Thursday and that first day was fantastic on the upper river. Phil was catching char and grayling at will and we found a slack that was totally full of red salmon and silver salmon. We caught just about all the silvers we wanted to and could have continued to catch and catch but we strolled on. Great day on the water. Nice 4 person tent with fly, provided by the lodge We slept dry and comfortable every night. Phil had a cot and his pad and I just used my pad and bag. I never got into the bag as it was quite warm. I just spread it over me like a down throw. We also had some fantastic camp fires that Phil built every night that were a pleasure to watch. Nice Camp Fire Our camp was elevated on Friday night and we caught several silver salmon and pike. It was on a beautiful turn in the river and you could see for several miles down stream,. Phil with Pike Saturday we got into a more traditional Sheefish location and caught 3 sheefish and several silver salmon. Mostly caught on a jig in a deeper hole. Also the NE wind started to blow and we thought we might be in trouble as we were rowing right into the teeth of it. Sheefish Our Saturday night camp was on a wind swept bank and Phil did a magnificent job of anchoring our tent. He had to reanchor in the night as the wind was howling. We had to be picked up on Sunday as it was just to tough going right into that stiff N. wind. As I stated earlier the reason for the Holitna float was for sheefish. We wanted the Kobuk for lots more sheefish, but could not make that happen, it is at least a year in advance for that type of float. The upper Holitna is beautiful and I hope one day to perhaps see the upper river beyond where we started but again there are so many rivers to run and probably not enough years left to make a dent on them. I will tell you we were both in very good shape for this float and shared completely in the camp work and rowing. I had been on a 4 month fitness plan getting ready and Phil is most always in good shape. I was doing 200 setups, 200 15lb. weighted arm curls a complete stretching and loosing program and a 40 minute exercise program on a bike with a lot of cardio prior to the trip. It made a huge difference as we were both very strong rowers and had energy left over at the end of the day. Phil is a way better lifter of weight and he handled the heavy lifting. Either Phil or I would be happy to help anyone on this trip so just email us if you want to go. Also here is the best jig that the lodge used for most everything from salmon the sheefish, I tied this one this morning. I also got a kick out of one of the guides saying he lover the Whopper Plopper for Pike. They caught most of their sheefish on the jig, hardware and soft swimbaits like the Keitech. I think they said they used the BP brand as they were longer lasting. I also saw bags upon bags of Zoom Flukes lying around. Jig The brand is Jake's Jigs and they are popular through out Alaska and the pacific NW. I have seen them on Kodiak and at times they use them in the salt for mooching. I have several I'm going to send up to the Lodge for Dan to tie. Jake's Jigs Thanks for watching and a big thanks to Rodney, Terry, Dan, Jami, and Bill and Beth at Sound
  48. 1 point
    There are basic things to consider when tackling trout fishing for the first time on Lake Taneycomo. If you're already a trout fishers, there's not much you have to change in your tackle but this article might give you an excuse to make a trip to the local tackle store. But depending on what kind of water you'r'e used to fishing for trout, Taneycomo is probably quite a bit different. It's big water, wide and deep for the most part so it takes a different mindset than your typical small stream fishing. Three main ingredients are needed for a successful trout fishing trip - 1. Two to four- pound green line 2. Small weights, hooks and/or lures 3. Ultra-light rod and reel If you don't have an ultra-light or light line and don't want to go out and buy a new rig, it would be just as effective to tie a light leader onto the end of your line with a swivel. Hook size is important. Trout, especially rainbows, have small, soft mouths. Numbers 6, 8 and 10 are average sizes for any type of bait used. Short, bronze hooks are commended. Weights should only be heavy enough for successful casting. You won't be able to feel the trout bite if there's too much weight. Your equipment should be comfortable, something you are familiar with and know how to use. Your reel should have a good drag. You never know when a big trout will strike and take off. The reel should give line and let the fish run instead of your line breaking. Your rod should be fairly limber, yet stiff enough to set the hook on a trout. Where to look.... The Upper Lake, which most locals define as the first six miles below the dam, is the most productive fishing area. When the water is off, the first mile is the most shallow and offers ideal conditions for fly fishing. The land in this area is owned by the Missouri Conservation Department- for public use. There are a few riffles and several large pools. Skipping woollies and drifting nymphs work well in these areas. Also see our lake map for better understanding where these areas are. Lookout Hole: is marked by an island, just below a scenic overlook on Missouri Highway 165. This is the first deep hole below the dam and is known for holding big trout. When the water is running, drift with the same or throw crank baits such as rapalas or rogues. Work the bait fast, jerking them down and stopping, wait a couple of seconds and then jerk again. Brown trout are very aggressive and will hit when the bait stops. Rainbows will hit a big rapala too but this technique eworks best on browns. From Lookout to Fall Creek, work the deep bank with rapalas for brown sand the shallow bank with spinners and spoons for rainbows. One-sixteenth ounce jigs, worked slow off the bottom, will catch nice trout. Use earth colors such as brown and dark green as well as white and ginger. The jig and float technique will work when water is not moving or moving slow. Work the drop-off at the edge of the channel where trout hold. Fall Creek Area: is just what it states- a creek. It enters Lake Taneycomo three and-a-half miles downstream from the dam. The lower end of the Trophy Area is marked by fall creek. There is a sign at the mouth informing anglers of the restrictions. Fall Creek Resort and Marina is located at the mouth of the creek. There is a gravel bar protruding directly from the mouth of the creek. It crosses three-quarters of the lake in distance and is only about 18-inches below the surface of the water when the water is not running. It has claimed hundreds of props and lower units in its time. But trout like to hang around it. Above and below the bar is water ranging from five to nine feet deep. Fishing with lures is excellent in this area. Throwing white 1/4-ounce rooster tails against the east bank will produce nice-sized browns and rainbows. Jig and float works great here. Work rapalas against both banks hard and fast for big browns. Short Creek Area: is the next hot spot downsteam, located about a mile below fall creek. It enters the lake from the opposite side of the lake than fall creek, and is marked by a boarded wall built on the downstream side of the mouth. Like fall creek, it also has a very shallow gravel bar stretching most of the way across the lake. This is a popular area to fish- you will see lots of boats above and below and even on top of the bar. When the water is off, getting by this area can be tricky. Go to the far right side (going upstream). Even though the channel might be blocked by fisherman, stay right to miss the shallow water. Excuse yourself and wind your way up, avoiding the bar. The same techniques used around fall creek also work here. The bar is much wider, shallower from the top of the bar downstream, for about 100 feet. When the flow of water is fairly hard, trout will hold on top of this bar. Drift worms, eggs and power bait through them and on down to our place. Stay in the middle of the lake, avoiding trees and other snags on the bottom toward the edges of the bank. Lilleys' Landing's Stretch: is a long, deep area with few holes or gravel bars. But it is a very popular area for many anglers. Again, stay off the bluff bank when drifting bait on bottom. The trees that have fallen claim lots of hooks and weights. This is where a good number of big, big browns stay for most of the year. You will also find black bass along the banks in the heat of the summer, but few are caught. Throwing big rapalas is one way to hook a big brown as well as minnows and shiners. Cooper Creek Area: is just below Cooper Creek Resort. Across the lake are 2 gravel points. On and below these points are places trout hold. Drift across them with bait or throw lures around them. This whole area is good for drifting. There are spots where the water is about 5-7 feet deep, when the water if off, and is ideal for jig and float. Brown trout hold along the bank around fallen trees and stumps. The lake below cooper creek is all about the same, good for drifting or still fishing. Money Island and the Bridges: The lake is wider at this point. When the dam is generating, the flow of water from this area downstream is much slower and easier for drifting. The depth of the water is constant- about 20 feet. Gravel Gerty, a shovel bearing barge, has taken gravel off the bottom of Lake Taneycomo for years, creating large holes. These holes will hold trout, especially on the edges. The holes aren't marked. They can only be found with a good depth finder. Drifting salmon eggs and worms are good for catching rainbows. Throwing cleos and rooster tails when the water is running is good, too. When the water is off, anchor and use the same baits. Trolling cowbells and spinners will catch trout.
  49. 1 point

    3/2 at Turnback

    Put in at 2 pm on Friday around the Turnback area. Brought home a couple of crappie and four whites. Water temperature was 54 F. Spent the entire time pulling cranks. Pitching jigs on a kayak in the wind can be a bit difficult! Also caught four good largemouth ( three of legal size) and a big drum. Was pretty excited to catch my personal best crappie on Stockton...it was 14.5 inches long. Looking forward to things heating up this spring!
  50. 1 point
    This one-mile stretch located directly below the dam is known for its big fish, shallow water and challenging fishing. The trout in this zone have seen every fly in the book, and most of the water resembles a big spring creek with slow and skinny water. There is one pretty large shoal area, but this is where most of the crowds congregate because the majority of fly anglers prefer to fish "familiar" types of water like riffles and pockets. The shoal can fish pretty well, but the slower stretches hold less-pressured fish that are often quite visible. A good strategy is to walk to empty areas and before fishing, study the water to get an idea of how the fish are behaving and look for likely holding spots. The slow water below Bull Shoals Dam fishes best when there is some wind chop on the water, as this makes the fish far less spooky than they are when conditions are slick. Weighted flies like scuds, Zebra Midges and sow bugs work very well during low water, and keep in mind that your indicator often only needs to be set a foot to a foot and a half above the fly. 6x tippet will really increase your odds of success. During periods of light generation (one and two units), there are some good places to wade on the golf course side - start by parking in the lot that is as far upstream as you can drive, and there is good water to fish from that bank all the way down to just below the boat ramp when the water is not running hard. Bull Shoals State Park: If the water is low and you are not having much luck with those tough fish in the catch and release area, drive downstream to Bull Shoals State Park and look to start near the "Big Spring" access area. Most of the water in the Park is slow and deep, but there are always loads of eager fish due to the area's high stocking rate. Still, don't get lulled into thinking that there are only stockers in Bull Shoals State Park - there are plenty of nice rainbows and huge browns to be found in the both deep holes and shallow-water runs. Dew Eddy Shoal is located downstream of Big Spring, and this is a gorgeous piece of water for both nymphing and dry fly fishing, but keep in mind that Dew Eddy fishes best from the opposite side of the river than the access point. If you do cross the river, always be aware of rising water because the horn is rarely audible this far from the dam. Bull Shoals State Park is the last good fly fishing access for several miles, so a boat is needed to fish the river from the Park down to the Narrows. The Narrows: This new access is located off Denton Ferry Road a mile or two upstream of the Wildcat Shoals Access. The best spots are found on both sides of the island, with the deepest water (and most fish) located on the far side. Every year, fly fishermen get in trouble in the Narrows area because the water can come up very quickly here, which often makes getting back to the access point difficult (or impossible). Always be aware of your surroundings and avoid the temptation to walk way down stream - the lower tip of the island is as far as we recommend going, and if you do get into a situation where it looks like you will not be able to safely cross the river on the near side of the island, remain on dry land. A boat will come by and help eventually, or if worse comes to worse, call one of the nearby resorts to request a lift. Program the numbers for White Hole Acres, Stetsons and other docks into your cell phone if you plan on fishing the Narrows. Nymphs and dry flies work well in this area, and if you are fishing below the surface, be sure to use enough weight to get your fly near the bottom. For the most part, bigger nymphs in sizes #14 to #8 work well almost anywhere on the White during low water - the Bull Shoals Dam catch and release area is one of the only sections where really small flies are necessary. Wildcat Shoals: This popular stretch of riffles is loaded with fish, and there are scores of really nice browns in the section where the riffles slow down and the water gets deeper. Try exploring with a hopper/dropper rig, as this set up will tell you where the fish are and what types of flies they are looking for. As with everywhere on the White, constantly be aware of rising water levels. For the most part, there is no reason to wade more than half way across the river in the Wildcat area, and if you can get to the bank on the side of the access during rising water, it should not be a problem to get back to your vehicle. Roundhouse Shoals Cotter and Roundhouse Shoals: There is some decent access right in downtown Cotter, with the best water located around and upstream of the bridges. Dry flies like caddis and sulphurs work well in the backwater area upstream of the parking lot, but most of the fish are small there. The "big" side offers up some nice structure, but the water is flat and moving, so it can be somewhat technical. If the fishing in Cotter is not what you are looking for, drive downstream a mile to Roundhouse Shoals; there is a large dirt parking area and access to some great fly water is relatively easy. The flat water above the riffles fishes well when there is some wind chop, and there is some fun water for fishing dries and small nymphs on the back side of the main island where the shoal is. Stripping flies like large soft hackles and Wooly Buggers works well in the main shoals, but this can be a challenging spot for dead-drifting techniques. As you move downstream from the access point, the water slows down and gets deeper, making this is the area to fish hard if you are after one of the many big rainbows and browns that call the Roundhouse area their home. Rim Shoals: This catch and release zone is very popular amongst fly fishermen, but access to the best water can be tricky without a boat. One productive strategy is to walk upstream to Jenkins's Creek Shoal along the railroad tracks, but be aware that there is some very deep water along the moss beds at the lower part of this riffle. Below Jenkins's Creek, the river is wide and deep, so safely and effectively wading this section is generally not worth the effort. The main shoal is accessible via a parking area downstream of Rim Shoals Resort, but this is often a very crowded spot. It pays to cross the river and walk downstream if you are looking for some space and bigger fish. Rising water can make crossing back to the access point difficult, but Rim Shoals Resort offers shuttles to and from the island which allows anglers to fish with some peace of mind. This is another trout dock number that is worth programming into your cell phone. **There are other accesses downstream from Rim Shoals all the way to the Norfork's confluence with the White, but walking in is pretty difficult. The spots mentioned above offer up more good fly water than one could fish in a lifetime, and never be afraid to try several different techniques and flies until it becomes clear as to what the fish are looking for - the White is known for its fickle fishing at times, so what worked well one day may not elicit any interest the next day.
  • Newsletter

    Want to keep up to date with all our latest news and information?
    Sign Up
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.