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Phil Lilley

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  1. Like
    Phil Lilley got a reaction from Jthawks for a article, Lilley's Lake Taneycomo Fishing Report, February 20   
    As everyone knows in the Midwest (and North Mexico), we're coming out of a extremely cold weather event.  This cold spell will have a huge impact on Lake Taneycomo going forward.  Why do I say that?  Because we get our water from Table Rock, and in many places on that lake, its surface is frozen from bank to bank.  Because it's so deep, the lake will hold this cold water clear through the summer and into the fall months.  We'll probably see temperatures in the upper 30's on Taneycomo later in April and May, maybe into June.  And water temps in the fall will not rise into the mid 50's like in years past.  This will greatly help water quality for our fall fishing season.
    Threadfin shad are not found in lakes to the north of us.  Those lakes get too cold in the winter to sustain a good population of this species of bait fish.  So this cold spell will affect threadfins in all three White River lakes -- Beaver, Table Rock and Bull Shoals.  We may see some shad die on lower Taneycomo, too.
    Anglers were already reporting dead shad on Table Rock last weekend.  Even with the warmer winters we've been having, shad die-offs are not uncommon.  But with Table Rock's water temps diving into the 30's, we should see massive shad kills lake wide.  If these shad start dying in the dam area, and they reach the depths of 130 feet, we should see threadfins come through the turbines into Lake Taneycomo.
    There's no way to know when this may occur.  But typically we see "shad runs" in March on up into May.  We've seen them as late as June and July.  You just never know.
    One thing that would help suck these shad through is heavy generation.  During this cold spell, the most generation we've seen is about 150 megawatts or three units, three-quarters of the maximum capacity of the system.  Not sure why operators didn't run it a full capacity with the demand for power.  They're now running two units during morning hours and backing it down to less than one in the afternoons.  Table Rock is almost a foot below its seasonal power pool of 914 feet.
    Going forward, our weather looks to be mild and relatively dry, so look for minimal generation with possible periods of no generation.
    Trout fishing has been pretty good.  It does seem like it's much better when generation drops to the 2,500 cubic feet per second flow that we're seeing in the afternoons.  Our water temp has dropped from 43 to 41 in the last two weeks and will probably drop even more in the coming weeks.
     
    The Elfrink Tournament last weekend did not show quite the weights we've had at the last three contests, but they were still much better than past years.  The bright, sunny day with very little wind maybe did not help.  Most trout were caught on jigs, but a few of the big trout were caught on jerk baits early in the day.
    This was a catch-n-release tournament with artificial-only lures and flies.

    Reports did come in of rainbows caught close to the cable at the dam that were spitting up shad.  But because the dam is not running much water, they aren't coming through in droves . . . yet.  There's only a little rain in the forecast, so we might not see much generation for a while.
    A lot of anglers fished a jig or fly under a float.  Sculpin/ginger and black were hot colors.  Fish them close to the bottom wherever you fish unless it's a cloudy, dark day or the wind is blowing and there's a chop on the surface.  Then fish them four-to five-feet deep.  Use a small jig -- from 1/125th to a 1/50th-ounce jig and use two-pound line or 6x tippet.  Our water is clear enough that two-pound line will make a big difference.  Of course,  you can use either a fly or spinning rod when fishing a jig and float.

    There are a lot of trout down in the Branson Landing area, but these are mainly freshly-stocked rainbows.  You can catch them on casting spoons and spinners as well as a jig and float.
    If you're drifting something on the bottom, use just enough weight to get the bait to the bottom and that's all.  Just a small split shot will do.  Minnows and night crawlers usually catch bigger trout -- those that have been in the lake a long time and are accustomed to eating more natural things.  But you'll catch fish on Berkley PowerBai, too, Gulp being the easiest and best to use.
    Duane and I were talking the other morning about shad kill.  There is a good population of threadfin shad living in Lake Taneycomo which we tend to forget about.  They live in the lower half of the lake where the water temp tends to be higher, but I wonder how far up lake could you find them?  The reason being that they should be dying like in other area lakes.  Bass and trout should be feasting on them.
    We've also talked about below Powersite Dam -- in Bull Shoals.  If shad are dying above the dam and getting sucked through the turbines there, walleye and brown trout, among other fish, should be getting a good dose of shad.  That sounds like fun!
  2. Like
    Phil Lilley got a reaction from tho1mas for a article, Lilley's Lake Taneycomo Fishing Report, February 20   
    As everyone knows in the Midwest (and North Mexico), we're coming out of a extremely cold weather event.  This cold spell will have a huge impact on Lake Taneycomo going forward.  Why do I say that?  Because we get our water from Table Rock, and in many places on that lake, its surface is frozen from bank to bank.  Because it's so deep, the lake will hold this cold water clear through the summer and into the fall months.  We'll probably see temperatures in the upper 30's on Taneycomo later in April and May, maybe into June.  And water temps in the fall will not rise into the mid 50's like in years past.  This will greatly help water quality for our fall fishing season.
    Threadfin shad are not found in lakes to the north of us.  Those lakes get too cold in the winter to sustain a good population of this species of bait fish.  So this cold spell will affect threadfins in all three White River lakes -- Beaver, Table Rock and Bull Shoals.  We may see some shad die on lower Taneycomo, too.
    Anglers were already reporting dead shad on Table Rock last weekend.  Even with the warmer winters we've been having, shad die-offs are not uncommon.  But with Table Rock's water temps diving into the 30's, we should see massive shad kills lake wide.  If these shad start dying in the dam area, and they reach the depths of 130 feet, we should see threadfins come through the turbines into Lake Taneycomo.
    There's no way to know when this may occur.  But typically we see "shad runs" in March on up into May.  We've seen them as late as June and July.  You just never know.
    One thing that would help suck these shad through is heavy generation.  During this cold spell, the most generation we've seen is about 150 megawatts or three units, three-quarters of the maximum capacity of the system.  Not sure why operators didn't run it a full capacity with the demand for power.  They're now running two units during morning hours and backing it down to less than one in the afternoons.  Table Rock is almost a foot below its seasonal power pool of 914 feet.
    Going forward, our weather looks to be mild and relatively dry, so look for minimal generation with possible periods of no generation.
    Trout fishing has been pretty good.  It does seem like it's much better when generation drops to the 2,500 cubic feet per second flow that we're seeing in the afternoons.  Our water temp has dropped from 43 to 41 in the last two weeks and will probably drop even more in the coming weeks.
     
    The Elfrink Tournament last weekend did not show quite the weights we've had at the last three contests, but they were still much better than past years.  The bright, sunny day with very little wind maybe did not help.  Most trout were caught on jigs, but a few of the big trout were caught on jerk baits early in the day.
    This was a catch-n-release tournament with artificial-only lures and flies.

    Reports did come in of rainbows caught close to the cable at the dam that were spitting up shad.  But because the dam is not running much water, they aren't coming through in droves . . . yet.  There's only a little rain in the forecast, so we might not see much generation for a while.
    A lot of anglers fished a jig or fly under a float.  Sculpin/ginger and black were hot colors.  Fish them close to the bottom wherever you fish unless it's a cloudy, dark day or the wind is blowing and there's a chop on the surface.  Then fish them four-to five-feet deep.  Use a small jig -- from 1/125th to a 1/50th-ounce jig and use two-pound line or 6x tippet.  Our water is clear enough that two-pound line will make a big difference.  Of course,  you can use either a fly or spinning rod when fishing a jig and float.

    There are a lot of trout down in the Branson Landing area, but these are mainly freshly-stocked rainbows.  You can catch them on casting spoons and spinners as well as a jig and float.
    If you're drifting something on the bottom, use just enough weight to get the bait to the bottom and that's all.  Just a small split shot will do.  Minnows and night crawlers usually catch bigger trout -- those that have been in the lake a long time and are accustomed to eating more natural things.  But you'll catch fish on Berkley PowerBai, too, Gulp being the easiest and best to use.
    Duane and I were talking the other morning about shad kill.  There is a good population of threadfin shad living in Lake Taneycomo which we tend to forget about.  They live in the lower half of the lake where the water temp tends to be higher, but I wonder how far up lake could you find them?  The reason being that they should be dying like in other area lakes.  Bass and trout should be feasting on them.
    We've also talked about below Powersite Dam -- in Bull Shoals.  If shad are dying above the dam and getting sucked through the turbines there, walleye and brown trout, among other fish, should be getting a good dose of shad.  That sounds like fun!
  3. Like
    Phil Lilley got a reaction from Daryk Campbell Sr for a article, Lilley's Lake Taneycomo Fishing Report, February 20   
    As everyone knows in the Midwest (and North Mexico), we're coming out of a extremely cold weather event.  This cold spell will have a huge impact on Lake Taneycomo going forward.  Why do I say that?  Because we get our water from Table Rock, and in many places on that lake, its surface is frozen from bank to bank.  Because it's so deep, the lake will hold this cold water clear through the summer and into the fall months.  We'll probably see temperatures in the upper 30's on Taneycomo later in April and May, maybe into June.  And water temps in the fall will not rise into the mid 50's like in years past.  This will greatly help water quality for our fall fishing season.
    Threadfin shad are not found in lakes to the north of us.  Those lakes get too cold in the winter to sustain a good population of this species of bait fish.  So this cold spell will affect threadfins in all three White River lakes -- Beaver, Table Rock and Bull Shoals.  We may see some shad die on lower Taneycomo, too.
    Anglers were already reporting dead shad on Table Rock last weekend.  Even with the warmer winters we've been having, shad die-offs are not uncommon.  But with Table Rock's water temps diving into the 30's, we should see massive shad kills lake wide.  If these shad start dying in the dam area, and they reach the depths of 130 feet, we should see threadfins come through the turbines into Lake Taneycomo.
    There's no way to know when this may occur.  But typically we see "shad runs" in March on up into May.  We've seen them as late as June and July.  You just never know.
    One thing that would help suck these shad through is heavy generation.  During this cold spell, the most generation we've seen is about 150 megawatts or three units, three-quarters of the maximum capacity of the system.  Not sure why operators didn't run it a full capacity with the demand for power.  They're now running two units during morning hours and backing it down to less than one in the afternoons.  Table Rock is almost a foot below its seasonal power pool of 914 feet.
    Going forward, our weather looks to be mild and relatively dry, so look for minimal generation with possible periods of no generation.
    Trout fishing has been pretty good.  It does seem like it's much better when generation drops to the 2,500 cubic feet per second flow that we're seeing in the afternoons.  Our water temp has dropped from 43 to 41 in the last two weeks and will probably drop even more in the coming weeks.
     
    The Elfrink Tournament last weekend did not show quite the weights we've had at the last three contests, but they were still much better than past years.  The bright, sunny day with very little wind maybe did not help.  Most trout were caught on jigs, but a few of the big trout were caught on jerk baits early in the day.
    This was a catch-n-release tournament with artificial-only lures and flies.

    Reports did come in of rainbows caught close to the cable at the dam that were spitting up shad.  But because the dam is not running much water, they aren't coming through in droves . . . yet.  There's only a little rain in the forecast, so we might not see much generation for a while.
    A lot of anglers fished a jig or fly under a float.  Sculpin/ginger and black were hot colors.  Fish them close to the bottom wherever you fish unless it's a cloudy, dark day or the wind is blowing and there's a chop on the surface.  Then fish them four-to five-feet deep.  Use a small jig -- from 1/125th to a 1/50th-ounce jig and use two-pound line or 6x tippet.  Our water is clear enough that two-pound line will make a big difference.  Of course,  you can use either a fly or spinning rod when fishing a jig and float.

    There are a lot of trout down in the Branson Landing area, but these are mainly freshly-stocked rainbows.  You can catch them on casting spoons and spinners as well as a jig and float.
    If you're drifting something on the bottom, use just enough weight to get the bait to the bottom and that's all.  Just a small split shot will do.  Minnows and night crawlers usually catch bigger trout -- those that have been in the lake a long time and are accustomed to eating more natural things.  But you'll catch fish on Berkley PowerBai, too, Gulp being the easiest and best to use.
    Duane and I were talking the other morning about shad kill.  There is a good population of threadfin shad living in Lake Taneycomo which we tend to forget about.  They live in the lower half of the lake where the water temp tends to be higher, but I wonder how far up lake could you find them?  The reason being that they should be dying like in other area lakes.  Bass and trout should be feasting on them.
    We've also talked about below Powersite Dam -- in Bull Shoals.  If shad are dying above the dam and getting sucked through the turbines there, walleye and brown trout, among other fish, should be getting a good dose of shad.  That sounds like fun!
  4. Thanks
    Phil Lilley got a reaction from laker67 for a article, Lilley's Lake Taneycomo Fishing Report, February 20   
    As everyone knows in the Midwest (and North Mexico), we're coming out of a extremely cold weather event.  This cold spell will have a huge impact on Lake Taneycomo going forward.  Why do I say that?  Because we get our water from Table Rock, and in many places on that lake, its surface is frozen from bank to bank.  Because it's so deep, the lake will hold this cold water clear through the summer and into the fall months.  We'll probably see temperatures in the upper 30's on Taneycomo later in April and May, maybe into June.  And water temps in the fall will not rise into the mid 50's like in years past.  This will greatly help water quality for our fall fishing season.
    Threadfin shad are not found in lakes to the north of us.  Those lakes get too cold in the winter to sustain a good population of this species of bait fish.  So this cold spell will affect threadfins in all three White River lakes -- Beaver, Table Rock and Bull Shoals.  We may see some shad die on lower Taneycomo, too.
    Anglers were already reporting dead shad on Table Rock last weekend.  Even with the warmer winters we've been having, shad die-offs are not uncommon.  But with Table Rock's water temps diving into the 30's, we should see massive shad kills lake wide.  If these shad start dying in the dam area, and they reach the depths of 130 feet, we should see threadfins come through the turbines into Lake Taneycomo.
    There's no way to know when this may occur.  But typically we see "shad runs" in March on up into May.  We've seen them as late as June and July.  You just never know.
    One thing that would help suck these shad through is heavy generation.  During this cold spell, the most generation we've seen is about 150 megawatts or three units, three-quarters of the maximum capacity of the system.  Not sure why operators didn't run it a full capacity with the demand for power.  They're now running two units during morning hours and backing it down to less than one in the afternoons.  Table Rock is almost a foot below its seasonal power pool of 914 feet.
    Going forward, our weather looks to be mild and relatively dry, so look for minimal generation with possible periods of no generation.
    Trout fishing has been pretty good.  It does seem like it's much better when generation drops to the 2,500 cubic feet per second flow that we're seeing in the afternoons.  Our water temp has dropped from 43 to 41 in the last two weeks and will probably drop even more in the coming weeks.
     
    The Elfrink Tournament last weekend did not show quite the weights we've had at the last three contests, but they were still much better than past years.  The bright, sunny day with very little wind maybe did not help.  Most trout were caught on jigs, but a few of the big trout were caught on jerk baits early in the day.
    This was a catch-n-release tournament with artificial-only lures and flies.

    Reports did come in of rainbows caught close to the cable at the dam that were spitting up shad.  But because the dam is not running much water, they aren't coming through in droves . . . yet.  There's only a little rain in the forecast, so we might not see much generation for a while.
    A lot of anglers fished a jig or fly under a float.  Sculpin/ginger and black were hot colors.  Fish them close to the bottom wherever you fish unless it's a cloudy, dark day or the wind is blowing and there's a chop on the surface.  Then fish them four-to five-feet deep.  Use a small jig -- from 1/125th to a 1/50th-ounce jig and use two-pound line or 6x tippet.  Our water is clear enough that two-pound line will make a big difference.  Of course,  you can use either a fly or spinning rod when fishing a jig and float.

    There are a lot of trout down in the Branson Landing area, but these are mainly freshly-stocked rainbows.  You can catch them on casting spoons and spinners as well as a jig and float.
    If you're drifting something on the bottom, use just enough weight to get the bait to the bottom and that's all.  Just a small split shot will do.  Minnows and night crawlers usually catch bigger trout -- those that have been in the lake a long time and are accustomed to eating more natural things.  But you'll catch fish on Berkley PowerBai, too, Gulp being the easiest and best to use.
    Duane and I were talking the other morning about shad kill.  There is a good population of threadfin shad living in Lake Taneycomo which we tend to forget about.  They live in the lower half of the lake where the water temp tends to be higher, but I wonder how far up lake could you find them?  The reason being that they should be dying like in other area lakes.  Bass and trout should be feasting on them.
    We've also talked about below Powersite Dam -- in Bull Shoals.  If shad are dying above the dam and getting sucked through the turbines there, walleye and brown trout, among other fish, should be getting a good dose of shad.  That sounds like fun!
  5. Like
    Phil Lilley got a reaction from Jthawks for a article, Lilley's Lake Taneycomo Fishing Report, February 4   
    When I start my fishing reports, the first thing I do is look at Beaver and Table Rock Lake levels plus generation flows, then I can gauge what Lake Taneycomo's flow should be in the near future.  Right now Beaver is holding at 1,120.37 feet, just above its seasonal power pool level of 1.120 feet.  Operators are running water for about eight hours a day, but the level isn't moving either way.  Table Rock is running about 7,000 c.f.s. or two full units 24/7 and its level isn't moving much either.  It's almost 12 inches over its pool.
    My forecast for Taney's flow is more of the same for at least a week, but I wouldn't be surprised if the flow dropped to one unit for a time,  maybe this weekend.  There's very little rain in the seven-day forecast, so when Table Rock drops close to 915 feet, we may see a serious reduction in flow.

    Phil Stone's client with a beautiful rainbow caught on a night crawler a couple of days ago.  Released.
    With this 7,000 c.f.s. flow, drift fishing is the norm.  But you can do so many things drift fishing.
    Drift something on the bottom like bait (minnows & night crawlers are best, as well as Gulp Eggs, pink PowerWorm) or flies (egg fly, scuds, shad fly) or small jerk baits. Drift and throw marabou jigs. Drift and fish something under a float like a pink PowerWorm or a marabou jig. Drift and cast a jerk bait, cleo or spinner. Drift and fly fish stripping a streamer or floating a scud under a float. What's the best?  The best is the technique you enjoy the most and catch some fish with.  Do we always catch?  Nope.  But it's always fun.
    What's been working lately?  We threw 1/16th- and 3/32nd-ounce jigs yesterday afternoon on One Cast and did pretty well.  But I noticed I had better luck using two-pound line over four-pound.  I haven't been using two-pound much, but our lake water is getting pretty clear, so it may make a difference in some applications as when throwing jigs.  We did catch fish on white and sculpin/peach in the trophy area, but later towards evening I threw a 1/16th- ounce ginger jig with a brown head down closer to the resort and caught some really nice rainbows.  I stayed towards the middle of the lake and worked the bottom.
    Today's One Cast verifies my ginger jig story.
    Some of our guides have been out this week.  They're drifting below Fall Creek and using night crawlers and catching some nice rainbows and an occasional brown trout.
    Our Missouri Department of Conservation recently stocked about 15,000 brown trout averaging about 10 inches.  These trout won't have a lot of color and may resemble rainbows.  You'll need to look closely to see whether you have hooked a brown or rainbow.  Browns won't have many or any spots on the tail and a rainbow will have lots of spots.
  6. Like
    Phil Lilley got a reaction from James Furr for a article, Lilley's Lake Taneycomo Fishing Report, February 4   
    When I start my fishing reports, the first thing I do is look at Beaver and Table Rock Lake levels plus generation flows, then I can gauge what Lake Taneycomo's flow should be in the near future.  Right now Beaver is holding at 1,120.37 feet, just above its seasonal power pool level of 1.120 feet.  Operators are running water for about eight hours a day, but the level isn't moving either way.  Table Rock is running about 7,000 c.f.s. or two full units 24/7 and its level isn't moving much either.  It's almost 12 inches over its pool.
    My forecast for Taney's flow is more of the same for at least a week, but I wouldn't be surprised if the flow dropped to one unit for a time,  maybe this weekend.  There's very little rain in the seven-day forecast, so when Table Rock drops close to 915 feet, we may see a serious reduction in flow.

    Phil Stone's client with a beautiful rainbow caught on a night crawler a couple of days ago.  Released.
    With this 7,000 c.f.s. flow, drift fishing is the norm.  But you can do so many things drift fishing.
    Drift something on the bottom like bait (minnows & night crawlers are best, as well as Gulp Eggs, pink PowerWorm) or flies (egg fly, scuds, shad fly) or small jerk baits. Drift and throw marabou jigs. Drift and fish something under a float like a pink PowerWorm or a marabou jig. Drift and cast a jerk bait, cleo or spinner. Drift and fly fish stripping a streamer or floating a scud under a float. What's the best?  The best is the technique you enjoy the most and catch some fish with.  Do we always catch?  Nope.  But it's always fun.
    What's been working lately?  We threw 1/16th- and 3/32nd-ounce jigs yesterday afternoon on One Cast and did pretty well.  But I noticed I had better luck using two-pound line over four-pound.  I haven't been using two-pound much, but our lake water is getting pretty clear, so it may make a difference in some applications as when throwing jigs.  We did catch fish on white and sculpin/peach in the trophy area, but later towards evening I threw a 1/16th- ounce ginger jig with a brown head down closer to the resort and caught some really nice rainbows.  I stayed towards the middle of the lake and worked the bottom.
    Today's One Cast verifies my ginger jig story.
    Some of our guides have been out this week.  They're drifting below Fall Creek and using night crawlers and catching some nice rainbows and an occasional brown trout.
    Our Missouri Department of Conservation recently stocked about 15,000 brown trout averaging about 10 inches.  These trout won't have a lot of color and may resemble rainbows.  You'll need to look closely to see whether you have hooked a brown or rainbow.  Browns won't have many or any spots on the tail and a rainbow will have lots of spots.
  7. Like
    Phil Lilley got a reaction from dpitt for a article, Lilley's Lake Taneycomo Fishing Report, January 12   
    January is almost half gone, and we've yet to see any down water on Lake Taneycomo.  Table Rock Lake had lowered to 913 feet, two feet below powerpool, but after a couple of rains, it has jumped up to over 916 feet.  Beaver Lake is in better shape at only one foot over pool, but water is running at Beaver Dam 24/7 which is adding to Table Rock's volume.
    Today, Table Rock's flow bumped up from two to three units, 6,000 to 9,600 cubic feet of water per second.  Table Rock has crested and is starting to fall just a bit.  I would guess we'll see this flow for about a week, then a dropping in volume until Table Rock is back down to 913 feet.  Whether or not we'll see any periods when the water is all shut off remains to be seen.


    We hosted a private trout tournament Saturday in which 47 two-man teams competed for cash prizes and plaques.  The generation was about 6,000 c.f.s. of flow all day.  The trophy area and feeder creeks were all off limits, but live bait was allowed.  The weigh in was eye-opening.  Big trout after big trout were brought up for weighing.  At least 10 trout topped 20 inches, including two brown trout, and many rainbows weighed over two pounds.  We've never hosted a tournament in 30+ years with these kind of weights.
    There are a couple of things to take away from this display:  Catch and Release works!  And the Missouri Department of Conservation management plan is growing big trophy trout on Lake Taneycomo.  In 2020, we had 531 trophy trout (20-inches and longer) registered as caught and released.  That's an incredible number.  And in 2018, M.D.C. reduced the number of rainbows stocked from about 720,000 to 560,000.  Reducing the number of mouths to feed in the upper lake gives trout more to eat, and they are growing bigger.
    Most of these nice rainbows and the two keeper browns were released, although anglers were not required to do so.  A few of them were either kept or the fish not survive.

    As far as I can tell, these trout were caught in various parts of the lake in a numbers of ways.  I think most were caught on artificial lures and some on bait.  I heard jerk baits were very productive, either throwing and jerking them back or dragging them on the bottom.  Jigs were good.  Black and brown colors were mentioned by several people.  And even spoons down by the Branson Landing netted some good fish.  I just think it was a good fishing day -- the fish were biting!  And there were a lot of hooks out there for the offering.
    With this present flow, I'd be more apt to drag something on the bottom rather than working a jig or spoon, at least on the upper lake including the Trophy Area.  Getting your offering on the bottom will take a bit more weight, but that's where it needs to be.  For flies and lures, scuds, eggs and San Juan worms versus a medium-size, suspending stick bait should work best.  And I'd consider dragging these not just from the dam to Short Creek but on down past Cooper Creek.
    If you're going to throw marabou jigs, go with an 1/8th-ounce and work the banks.  White is still a good color, but I'd also try black/brown and other earth colors.
  8. Like
    Phil Lilley got a reaction from Seth for a article, Lilley's Lake Taneycomo Fishing Report, January 12   
    January is almost half gone, and we've yet to see any down water on Lake Taneycomo.  Table Rock Lake had lowered to 913 feet, two feet below powerpool, but after a couple of rains, it has jumped up to over 916 feet.  Beaver Lake is in better shape at only one foot over pool, but water is running at Beaver Dam 24/7 which is adding to Table Rock's volume.
    Today, Table Rock's flow bumped up from two to three units, 6,000 to 9,600 cubic feet of water per second.  Table Rock has crested and is starting to fall just a bit.  I would guess we'll see this flow for about a week, then a dropping in volume until Table Rock is back down to 913 feet.  Whether or not we'll see any periods when the water is all shut off remains to be seen.


    We hosted a private trout tournament Saturday in which 47 two-man teams competed for cash prizes and plaques.  The generation was about 6,000 c.f.s. of flow all day.  The trophy area and feeder creeks were all off limits, but live bait was allowed.  The weigh in was eye-opening.  Big trout after big trout were brought up for weighing.  At least 10 trout topped 20 inches, including two brown trout, and many rainbows weighed over two pounds.  We've never hosted a tournament in 30+ years with these kind of weights.
    There are a couple of things to take away from this display:  Catch and Release works!  And the Missouri Department of Conservation management plan is growing big trophy trout on Lake Taneycomo.  In 2020, we had 531 trophy trout (20-inches and longer) registered as caught and released.  That's an incredible number.  And in 2018, M.D.C. reduced the number of rainbows stocked from about 720,000 to 560,000.  Reducing the number of mouths to feed in the upper lake gives trout more to eat, and they are growing bigger.
    Most of these nice rainbows and the two keeper browns were released, although anglers were not required to do so.  A few of them were either kept or the fish not survive.

    As far as I can tell, these trout were caught in various parts of the lake in a numbers of ways.  I think most were caught on artificial lures and some on bait.  I heard jerk baits were very productive, either throwing and jerking them back or dragging them on the bottom.  Jigs were good.  Black and brown colors were mentioned by several people.  And even spoons down by the Branson Landing netted some good fish.  I just think it was a good fishing day -- the fish were biting!  And there were a lot of hooks out there for the offering.
    With this present flow, I'd be more apt to drag something on the bottom rather than working a jig or spoon, at least on the upper lake including the Trophy Area.  Getting your offering on the bottom will take a bit more weight, but that's where it needs to be.  For flies and lures, scuds, eggs and San Juan worms versus a medium-size, suspending stick bait should work best.  And I'd consider dragging these not just from the dam to Short Creek but on down past Cooper Creek.
    If you're going to throw marabou jigs, go with an 1/8th-ounce and work the banks.  White is still a good color, but I'd also try black/brown and other earth colors.
  9. Like
    Phil Lilley got a reaction from nomolites for a article, Lilley's Lake Taneycomo Fishing Report, January 12   
    January is almost half gone, and we've yet to see any down water on Lake Taneycomo.  Table Rock Lake had lowered to 913 feet, two feet below powerpool, but after a couple of rains, it has jumped up to over 916 feet.  Beaver Lake is in better shape at only one foot over pool, but water is running at Beaver Dam 24/7 which is adding to Table Rock's volume.
    Today, Table Rock's flow bumped up from two to three units, 6,000 to 9,600 cubic feet of water per second.  Table Rock has crested and is starting to fall just a bit.  I would guess we'll see this flow for about a week, then a dropping in volume until Table Rock is back down to 913 feet.  Whether or not we'll see any periods when the water is all shut off remains to be seen.


    We hosted a private trout tournament Saturday in which 47 two-man teams competed for cash prizes and plaques.  The generation was about 6,000 c.f.s. of flow all day.  The trophy area and feeder creeks were all off limits, but live bait was allowed.  The weigh in was eye-opening.  Big trout after big trout were brought up for weighing.  At least 10 trout topped 20 inches, including two brown trout, and many rainbows weighed over two pounds.  We've never hosted a tournament in 30+ years with these kind of weights.
    There are a couple of things to take away from this display:  Catch and Release works!  And the Missouri Department of Conservation management plan is growing big trophy trout on Lake Taneycomo.  In 2020, we had 531 trophy trout (20-inches and longer) registered as caught and released.  That's an incredible number.  And in 2018, M.D.C. reduced the number of rainbows stocked from about 720,000 to 560,000.  Reducing the number of mouths to feed in the upper lake gives trout more to eat, and they are growing bigger.
    Most of these nice rainbows and the two keeper browns were released, although anglers were not required to do so.  A few of them were either kept or the fish not survive.

    As far as I can tell, these trout were caught in various parts of the lake in a numbers of ways.  I think most were caught on artificial lures and some on bait.  I heard jerk baits were very productive, either throwing and jerking them back or dragging them on the bottom.  Jigs were good.  Black and brown colors were mentioned by several people.  And even spoons down by the Branson Landing netted some good fish.  I just think it was a good fishing day -- the fish were biting!  And there were a lot of hooks out there for the offering.
    With this present flow, I'd be more apt to drag something on the bottom rather than working a jig or spoon, at least on the upper lake including the Trophy Area.  Getting your offering on the bottom will take a bit more weight, but that's where it needs to be.  For flies and lures, scuds, eggs and San Juan worms versus a medium-size, suspending stick bait should work best.  And I'd consider dragging these not just from the dam to Short Creek but on down past Cooper Creek.
    If you're going to throw marabou jigs, go with an 1/8th-ounce and work the banks.  White is still a good color, but I'd also try black/brown and other earth colors.
  10. Like
    Phil Lilley got a reaction from trythisonemv for a article, Lilley's Lake Taneycomo Fishing Report, January 1, 2021   
    I've taken some time off from writing the Lake Taneycomo fishing report, but then not much has happened to change how our fish have been biting.  The generation rate has not changed in over a month.  Operators have been running between 2,500 and 3,500 cubic feet of water per second (or from a half to a full unit), 24/7.  Water quality is excellent with no major changes in lake levels.
    We have, though, received rain in the last couple of days.  The Beaver watershed received the most - about 2-3 inches, while about two inches has fallen in the Table Rock watershed.  And because of the rains and rise in lake levels, we're seeing 2 units running at about 8,000 c.f.s. of flow.  We should see this for at least a week or 10 days.

    Fishing generally has been pretty good for most anglers.  The slow flow allows for a lot of different fishing techniques to be enjoyed -- anchoring and still fishing with bait, drifting with bait and flies on the bottom, stick baits and flies, throwing jigs, spoons and stick baits, fishing jigs, the pink worm and flies under a float and even still fishing off docks.
    The only fishing I've done lately has been for One Cast.  But Blake has been fishing on his own, mainly fly fishing at night below the dam, throwing streamers between outlets #1 and #2. 
    But Blake and his angler friends have also been throwing stick baits in the same area at night and doing well, catching some big rainbows.  It appears the rainbows are spawning in the lake and up in feeder streams/creeks.

    Speaking of feeder creeks, I've been told there's a good number of rainbows actively spawning in Turkey, Roark and Bull creeks.  With the rain Thursday night, the creeks will be high and off color for a couple of days, but after they run out, it should be pretty good fishing.
    In the Trophy Area, drifting flies has been the staple for most guides, using red and pink San Juan Worms, #12-14 gray or olive scuds, egg flies or beads and the Mop Fly.
    Fishing the same flies under a float, get them close to the bottom.  Use a fly rod or spinning outfit, depending on what you like to do.

    Our trout have been taking jigs pretty well.  Some nice rainbows and browns have been caught on sculpin colored jigs.  Depending on wind and water flow, 3/32nd- to 1/16th-ounce jigs are working the best using two-to four-pound line.  Floating a smaller jig under a float is working ,too, especially if there's a chop on the surface.  I'd go to two-pound line or use a short tippet section of two-pound since our water clarity is really good for this time of year.
    We are carrying minnows again.  I've  anchored in slow current and fished them off the back of the boat as well as drifted them on the bottom to catch well.  Along with night crawlers, natural baits will normally catch bigger trout.
    Dock fishing has been good.  I recommend using natural, sugar-cured salmon eggs.  With a small #16 treble hook and two-pound line, add just enough weight to get your rig to the bottom in slow current.  Cover the treble with three salmon eggs.  You will probably catch more than your four-fish limit, so when you're releasing these rainbows, just cut the line without handling the fish at all.  The hook will eventually dissolve and the fish will have a better chance of survival.  Hooks are cheap!
    We look forward to a great winter fishing season on Lake Taneycomo since there are lots of big, trophy size trout in the lake right now.  Remember catch and release works . .  release bigger rainbows and eat the little ones.  And practice good release techniques - - don't handle the trout but release them as quickly as possible.
  11. Thanks
    Phil Lilley got a reaction from snagged in outlet 3 for a article, Lilley's Lake Taneycomo Fishing Report, January 1, 2021   
    I've taken some time off from writing the Lake Taneycomo fishing report, but then not much has happened to change how our fish have been biting.  The generation rate has not changed in over a month.  Operators have been running between 2,500 and 3,500 cubic feet of water per second (or from a half to a full unit), 24/7.  Water quality is excellent with no major changes in lake levels.
    We have, though, received rain in the last couple of days.  The Beaver watershed received the most - about 2-3 inches, while about two inches has fallen in the Table Rock watershed.  And because of the rains and rise in lake levels, we're seeing 2 units running at about 8,000 c.f.s. of flow.  We should see this for at least a week or 10 days.

    Fishing generally has been pretty good for most anglers.  The slow flow allows for a lot of different fishing techniques to be enjoyed -- anchoring and still fishing with bait, drifting with bait and flies on the bottom, stick baits and flies, throwing jigs, spoons and stick baits, fishing jigs, the pink worm and flies under a float and even still fishing off docks.
    The only fishing I've done lately has been for One Cast.  But Blake has been fishing on his own, mainly fly fishing at night below the dam, throwing streamers between outlets #1 and #2. 
    But Blake and his angler friends have also been throwing stick baits in the same area at night and doing well, catching some big rainbows.  It appears the rainbows are spawning in the lake and up in feeder streams/creeks.

    Speaking of feeder creeks, I've been told there's a good number of rainbows actively spawning in Turkey, Roark and Bull creeks.  With the rain Thursday night, the creeks will be high and off color for a couple of days, but after they run out, it should be pretty good fishing.
    In the Trophy Area, drifting flies has been the staple for most guides, using red and pink San Juan Worms, #12-14 gray or olive scuds, egg flies or beads and the Mop Fly.
    Fishing the same flies under a float, get them close to the bottom.  Use a fly rod or spinning outfit, depending on what you like to do.

    Our trout have been taking jigs pretty well.  Some nice rainbows and browns have been caught on sculpin colored jigs.  Depending on wind and water flow, 3/32nd- to 1/16th-ounce jigs are working the best using two-to four-pound line.  Floating a smaller jig under a float is working ,too, especially if there's a chop on the surface.  I'd go to two-pound line or use a short tippet section of two-pound since our water clarity is really good for this time of year.
    We are carrying minnows again.  I've  anchored in slow current and fished them off the back of the boat as well as drifted them on the bottom to catch well.  Along with night crawlers, natural baits will normally catch bigger trout.
    Dock fishing has been good.  I recommend using natural, sugar-cured salmon eggs.  With a small #16 treble hook and two-pound line, add just enough weight to get your rig to the bottom in slow current.  Cover the treble with three salmon eggs.  You will probably catch more than your four-fish limit, so when you're releasing these rainbows, just cut the line without handling the fish at all.  The hook will eventually dissolve and the fish will have a better chance of survival.  Hooks are cheap!
    We look forward to a great winter fishing season on Lake Taneycomo since there are lots of big, trophy size trout in the lake right now.  Remember catch and release works . .  release bigger rainbows and eat the little ones.  And practice good release techniques - - don't handle the trout but release them as quickly as possible.
  12. Thanks
    Phil Lilley got a reaction from laker67 for a article, Lilley's Lake Taneycomo Fishing Report, January 1, 2021   
    I've taken some time off from writing the Lake Taneycomo fishing report, but then not much has happened to change how our fish have been biting.  The generation rate has not changed in over a month.  Operators have been running between 2,500 and 3,500 cubic feet of water per second (or from a half to a full unit), 24/7.  Water quality is excellent with no major changes in lake levels.
    We have, though, received rain in the last couple of days.  The Beaver watershed received the most - about 2-3 inches, while about two inches has fallen in the Table Rock watershed.  And because of the rains and rise in lake levels, we're seeing 2 units running at about 8,000 c.f.s. of flow.  We should see this for at least a week or 10 days.

    Fishing generally has been pretty good for most anglers.  The slow flow allows for a lot of different fishing techniques to be enjoyed -- anchoring and still fishing with bait, drifting with bait and flies on the bottom, stick baits and flies, throwing jigs, spoons and stick baits, fishing jigs, the pink worm and flies under a float and even still fishing off docks.
    The only fishing I've done lately has been for One Cast.  But Blake has been fishing on his own, mainly fly fishing at night below the dam, throwing streamers between outlets #1 and #2. 
    But Blake and his angler friends have also been throwing stick baits in the same area at night and doing well, catching some big rainbows.  It appears the rainbows are spawning in the lake and up in feeder streams/creeks.

    Speaking of feeder creeks, I've been told there's a good number of rainbows actively spawning in Turkey, Roark and Bull creeks.  With the rain Thursday night, the creeks will be high and off color for a couple of days, but after they run out, it should be pretty good fishing.
    In the Trophy Area, drifting flies has been the staple for most guides, using red and pink San Juan Worms, #12-14 gray or olive scuds, egg flies or beads and the Mop Fly.
    Fishing the same flies under a float, get them close to the bottom.  Use a fly rod or spinning outfit, depending on what you like to do.

    Our trout have been taking jigs pretty well.  Some nice rainbows and browns have been caught on sculpin colored jigs.  Depending on wind and water flow, 3/32nd- to 1/16th-ounce jigs are working the best using two-to four-pound line.  Floating a smaller jig under a float is working ,too, especially if there's a chop on the surface.  I'd go to two-pound line or use a short tippet section of two-pound since our water clarity is really good for this time of year.
    We are carrying minnows again.  I've  anchored in slow current and fished them off the back of the boat as well as drifted them on the bottom to catch well.  Along with night crawlers, natural baits will normally catch bigger trout.
    Dock fishing has been good.  I recommend using natural, sugar-cured salmon eggs.  With a small #16 treble hook and two-pound line, add just enough weight to get your rig to the bottom in slow current.  Cover the treble with three salmon eggs.  You will probably catch more than your four-fish limit, so when you're releasing these rainbows, just cut the line without handling the fish at all.  The hook will eventually dissolve and the fish will have a better chance of survival.  Hooks are cheap!
    We look forward to a great winter fishing season on Lake Taneycomo since there are lots of big, trophy size trout in the lake right now.  Remember catch and release works . .  release bigger rainbows and eat the little ones.  And practice good release techniques - - don't handle the trout but release them as quickly as possible.
  13. Like
    Phil Lilley got a reaction from Jthawks for a article, 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.
     
     
  14. Like
    Phil Lilley got a reaction from Jthawks for a article, Lilley's Lake Taneycomo Fishing Report, December 10   
    It's time to celebrate!  Two things have happened this week that should cause any trout fishermen on Lake Taneycomo to rejoice.  The first is that Table Rock Lake has turned completely over -- our water is now a little colder and rich in oxygen.  Secondly, Table Rock Lake has dropped below its seasonal power pool, and generation has slowed to a minimal flow.  And I think we should start to see periods of no generation any day.
    With the turn over, we're seeing some turbidity in our water again just like we witnessed a few weeks ago.  This is normal and will clear up in the coming weeks.
    The life of our fish has been restored to normal.  They have been feeding more aggressively, and when hooked, fighting very hard.  Also now when releasing a fish, we don't have to worry so much about it surviving.  They should do fine if we are careful about how we handle them.
    Quick reminder on catch and releasing trout:
    Try not to touch the fish at all, but if you do, wet your hand or -- if using a rag -- wet the rag.  A dry rag will do a lot of damage to the fish, removing the slimy protection on their skin. If the hook is buried in the fish's mouth/throat, cut the line and leave the hook.  It has a better chance of surviving than if you were to try to remove the hook. Of course, don't keep trout out of the water very long.  We've seen a pretty good jig bite since the turnover.  I haven't identified the best color, but they seemed to be hitting darker colors better than light colors.  And with the water slowing down, I'm going to smaller sized jigs such as 1/16th- and 1/32nd-ounce.
    We've been blessed with huge midge hatches during the day.  Fish come up and take them off the surface but not in big numbers.
    The scud bite continues to be the best way to catch some good quality rainbows, both above and below Fall Creek.  Drift them on the bottom or use them under a float, as long as they're close to or on the bottom.  With the water running slower, I'd go to a smaller scud--- may be a #14 or #16 gray, tan or brown.
    We're carrying minnows again.  I wouldn't be afraid to drift a minnow on the bottom for a big brown or even a rainbow.  Of course, night crawlers are working well.  Real, red salmon eggs have also been excellent off the dock the last couple of weeks, too.
  15. Like
    Phil Lilley got a reaction from Blake Wilson for a article, Lilley's Lake Taneycomo Fishing Report, December 10   
    It's time to celebrate!  Two things have happened this week that should cause any trout fishermen on Lake Taneycomo to rejoice.  The first is that Table Rock Lake has turned completely over -- our water is now a little colder and rich in oxygen.  Secondly, Table Rock Lake has dropped below its seasonal power pool, and generation has slowed to a minimal flow.  And I think we should start to see periods of no generation any day.
    With the turn over, we're seeing some turbidity in our water again just like we witnessed a few weeks ago.  This is normal and will clear up in the coming weeks.
    The life of our fish has been restored to normal.  They have been feeding more aggressively, and when hooked, fighting very hard.  Also now when releasing a fish, we don't have to worry so much about it surviving.  They should do fine if we are careful about how we handle them.
    Quick reminder on catch and releasing trout:
    Try not to touch the fish at all, but if you do, wet your hand or -- if using a rag -- wet the rag.  A dry rag will do a lot of damage to the fish, removing the slimy protection on their skin. If the hook is buried in the fish's mouth/throat, cut the line and leave the hook.  It has a better chance of surviving than if you were to try to remove the hook. Of course, don't keep trout out of the water very long.  We've seen a pretty good jig bite since the turnover.  I haven't identified the best color, but they seemed to be hitting darker colors better than light colors.  And with the water slowing down, I'm going to smaller sized jigs such as 1/16th- and 1/32nd-ounce.
    We've been blessed with huge midge hatches during the day.  Fish come up and take them off the surface but not in big numbers.
    The scud bite continues to be the best way to catch some good quality rainbows, both above and below Fall Creek.  Drift them on the bottom or use them under a float, as long as they're close to or on the bottom.  With the water running slower, I'd go to a smaller scud--- may be a #14 or #16 gray, tan or brown.
    We're carrying minnows again.  I wouldn't be afraid to drift a minnow on the bottom for a big brown or even a rainbow.  Of course, night crawlers are working well.  Real, red salmon eggs have also been excellent off the dock the last couple of weeks, too.
  16. Thanks
    Phil Lilley got a reaction from snagged in outlet 3 for a article, Lilley's Lake Taneycomo Fishing Report, December 10   
    It's time to celebrate!  Two things have happened this week that should cause any trout fishermen on Lake Taneycomo to rejoice.  The first is that Table Rock Lake has turned completely over -- our water is now a little colder and rich in oxygen.  Secondly, Table Rock Lake has dropped below its seasonal power pool, and generation has slowed to a minimal flow.  And I think we should start to see periods of no generation any day.
    With the turn over, we're seeing some turbidity in our water again just like we witnessed a few weeks ago.  This is normal and will clear up in the coming weeks.
    The life of our fish has been restored to normal.  They have been feeding more aggressively, and when hooked, fighting very hard.  Also now when releasing a fish, we don't have to worry so much about it surviving.  They should do fine if we are careful about how we handle them.
    Quick reminder on catch and releasing trout:
    Try not to touch the fish at all, but if you do, wet your hand or -- if using a rag -- wet the rag.  A dry rag will do a lot of damage to the fish, removing the slimy protection on their skin. If the hook is buried in the fish's mouth/throat, cut the line and leave the hook.  It has a better chance of surviving than if you were to try to remove the hook. Of course, don't keep trout out of the water very long.  We've seen a pretty good jig bite since the turnover.  I haven't identified the best color, but they seemed to be hitting darker colors better than light colors.  And with the water slowing down, I'm going to smaller sized jigs such as 1/16th- and 1/32nd-ounce.
    We've been blessed with huge midge hatches during the day.  Fish come up and take them off the surface but not in big numbers.
    The scud bite continues to be the best way to catch some good quality rainbows, both above and below Fall Creek.  Drift them on the bottom or use them under a float, as long as they're close to or on the bottom.  With the water running slower, I'd go to a smaller scud--- may be a #14 or #16 gray, tan or brown.
    We're carrying minnows again.  I wouldn't be afraid to drift a minnow on the bottom for a big brown or even a rainbow.  Of course, night crawlers are working well.  Real, red salmon eggs have also been excellent off the dock the last couple of weeks, too.
  17. Like
    Phil Lilley got a reaction from bfishn for a article, Lilley's Lake Taneycomo Fishing Report, December 10   
    It's time to celebrate!  Two things have happened this week that should cause any trout fishermen on Lake Taneycomo to rejoice.  The first is that Table Rock Lake has turned completely over -- our water is now a little colder and rich in oxygen.  Secondly, Table Rock Lake has dropped below its seasonal power pool, and generation has slowed to a minimal flow.  And I think we should start to see periods of no generation any day.
    With the turn over, we're seeing some turbidity in our water again just like we witnessed a few weeks ago.  This is normal and will clear up in the coming weeks.
    The life of our fish has been restored to normal.  They have been feeding more aggressively, and when hooked, fighting very hard.  Also now when releasing a fish, we don't have to worry so much about it surviving.  They should do fine if we are careful about how we handle them.
    Quick reminder on catch and releasing trout:
    Try not to touch the fish at all, but if you do, wet your hand or -- if using a rag -- wet the rag.  A dry rag will do a lot of damage to the fish, removing the slimy protection on their skin. If the hook is buried in the fish's mouth/throat, cut the line and leave the hook.  It has a better chance of surviving than if you were to try to remove the hook. Of course, don't keep trout out of the water very long.  We've seen a pretty good jig bite since the turnover.  I haven't identified the best color, but they seemed to be hitting darker colors better than light colors.  And with the water slowing down, I'm going to smaller sized jigs such as 1/16th- and 1/32nd-ounce.
    We've been blessed with huge midge hatches during the day.  Fish come up and take them off the surface but not in big numbers.
    The scud bite continues to be the best way to catch some good quality rainbows, both above and below Fall Creek.  Drift them on the bottom or use them under a float, as long as they're close to or on the bottom.  With the water running slower, I'd go to a smaller scud--- may be a #14 or #16 gray, tan or brown.
    We're carrying minnows again.  I wouldn't be afraid to drift a minnow on the bottom for a big brown or even a rainbow.  Of course, night crawlers are working well.  Real, red salmon eggs have also been excellent off the dock the last couple of weeks, too.
  18. Thanks
    Phil Lilley got a reaction from laker67 for a article, Lilley's Lake Taneycomo Fishing Report, December 1   
    Trout fishing on Lake Taneycomo continues to be fairly good.  Since the last rains brought up Table Rock about six inches, operators at the dam have been running two units full at a rate of 6,000 cubic feet per second.  They opened one flood gate, starting last Friday and ending yesterday, which added 1,000 c.f.s of water from the top of Table Rock Lake.  This was to add oxygen to the flow from Table Rock because dissolved oxygen levels started to drop last week, especially down lake, shown by the gauge station at College of the Ozarks, about five miles below Table Rock. Dam.
    Table Rock Lake started to turn over almost a month ago when we had a week long period of cold, wet weather.  The water coming. into Taneycomo silted up and D.O. levels rose, indicating definite movement in the layers of water in the lake above.  But very warm temperatures returned, stopping the "turn" in its tracks and ,causing some D.O. issues at the dam.
    The liquid oxygen supply was used up, and no more had been ordered since Table Rock was starting to turn.  So when more D.O. was needed, operators scrambled and opened flood gates to help with the D.O. situation.  All the while, two of its four turbines were taken off line for maintenance so they are limited on what they can do with turbine release.

    Yesterday (November 30), we saw D.O. level go back and and water temperatures starting to drop.  Also, I noticed the small pieces of vegetation flowing from Table Rock decrease big time.  All these signs indicate Table Rock's water is starting to straighten out, although it's still mixing.  Cold temperatures this week, along with some wind, should go ahead and complete the lake turn over process, and we should be good to go for the winter season.
    It's been a strange fall season for sure with long transition that started way back in October.
    I'm not sure how all that has affected the trout bite, though.  For the most part, fishing been pretty good with little evidence of slowing the bite down.  I think the junk in the water might have been more of a distraction than a hindrance, but we usually see silt more than pieces of weeds and algae.  City of Branson residents have been treated to bad smelling and tasting water because of the water quality problems spawned by the stalled turn over, too. (We have our own well here, so not an issues.) But hopefully that is all behind us now.
    With the present flow -- about 6,000 c.f.s - we have been drifting mostly, dragging bait and flies on the bottom as well as working a jig, spoon or jerk bait.  I think we'll see this flow for a few more days, and perhaps by this coming weekend, we'll see a reduction in flow.  Table Rock is now dropping about three to four inches per day and should be down to about 916 feet (one foot above seasonal power pool) by Saturday.  We could even see some down water next week if rains stay away.
    We were wishing that the opening of a gate would spark a "white bite," but it seems like it did not.  One friend, who fished most of last week, did get into some nice rainbows and browns using white jigs but I tried and couldn't replicate the feat.  We are catching a few trout from the cable down to the first island on white jigs; they are quality trout but  not the shad bite we were hoping for.
    I have caught fish in and below the trophy area on darker jigs -- black, sculpin and olive -- throwing mainly 1/16th and 3/32nd-ounce jigs on four-pound line.  Most of the fish have either come off the bottom or along the banks.

    Drifting scuds has really been the best way to catch them in the trophy area.  The weeds and algae are much reduced, so you're not cleaning your flies off every hundred yards, but you do have to drop them on the bottom to get bit.  In most cases, an 1/8th-ounce bell sinker does the trick.  I've also used a couple of #7 split shots to keep the scud down.  We're using #12 grey or tan scuds.  The gray UV scuds are the best especially if the sun is out.  They give off a blueish/purplish color.
    Pink San Juan Worms are working, too.  Use the medium size chenille -- the trout seem to see these bigger flies better than the micro or standard yarn.
    Egg flies are working okay but have not been the greatest.  They actually should be the hot fly a little later in the month when the rainbows start spawning.  The rainbow spawn should last through the month of January.
    With the water quality getting better, we should start carrying minnows again.  With the brown trout moving back down in the lake, I would think drifting a minnow from our place down through Cooper Creek should be good for a big brown.  I'd also test out the Cooper Creek flats, throwing some jerk baits early and late in the day.  They should be down there!
    Drifting night crawlers on the bottom from Fall Creek down is producing some nice rainbows.  We've been drifting the scuds down to Short Creek and landing nice rainbows, too.
    I've seen a few people trying to anchor in this current and fish below the boat.  If you're going to anchor, do it on the inside binds on the lake where the water is slower and less deep.  You'll have a much better chance to catch fish AND it is much safer.
     
  19. Like
    Phil Lilley got a reaction from snagged in outlet 3 for a article, Lilley's Lake Taneycomo Fishing Report, November 17   
    The generation pattern on Lake Taneycomo has been consistent for several weeks now.  Operators at the dam are running between 1,800 to 3,700 cubic feet of water per second 24/7, which is about a half unit to a full.  Water temperature is still 58, but the clarity is much better than it has been.  Dissolved oxygen content is holding steady at about four parts per million.
    We've had some incredible November weather with one exception -- a cold rain and high winds over the weekend.  But we've back in the 60's and even 70's afternoons this week.
    Trout fishing below Fall Creek remains very good for most people.  Anglers are drifting night crawlers and Power Bait mostly and catching good-sized rainbows.  Early mornings, dam operators are not running quite as much water, so you have to use small weights to get down your bait -- a lot of times just a small split shot.  The drift rigs we sell only go down to 1/8th ounce bell weights, which is sometimes too heavy to use in slow current. 
    Stay towards the middle of the lake to avoid snags.
    Trolling big spinners or medium diving crank baits has caught fish, too.  I've seen several boats out coming in with limits.  This is a good way to catch a big brown trout, too.  I've found the best direction to troll is downstream if there is current.  Flicker Shad are good to troll as well as big Rooster Tails.
    Most of our guides are deer hunting right now, so it's hard to get a good report from them.  But I would imagine they'd be fishing the Berkley pink worm under a float and drifting down lake from our place (Lilleys' Landing.) Early, set the float at about four feet, dropping it to as much as seven feet as the sun gets up over the water.
    Dockhand Blake Wilson has been doing One Cast lately and doing pretty well on a couple of things.  He's fishing the San Juan Worm under a float in the Trophy Area, as well as a scud, and catching good rainbows -- but the catch has been spotty.  Pink on the San Juan and tan and gray on the scud (#12).
    Guide Bill Babler dragged a jerk bait last week and caught some trophy rainbows.  He used a shad color 606 (suspending) from the cable below the dam down past Fall Creek.  Blake tried it and did really well drifting them in the Trophy Run stretch while 4.000 cubic feet per second of water was running the other day.
    We drift these suspending jerk baits using a drift rig and a 1/8th ounce bell weight.  The jerk bait should be suspending and a medium diver.  We've tried different colors and the shad style seems to work the best right now.  We sell cheap jerk baits in our shop -- cheap because we do tend to lose a few.  We do take the front hook off the bait and leave the back hook to reduce snagging as much.
    Warning!  We have had to talk to some boaters lately about anchoring in current.  Even though only one unit of water has been running, certain areas on the lake can still be swift, especially along the bluff side from Trout Hollow up lake.  I warned a gentleman a couple of weeks ago about anchoring off the back of a rental jon boat in fast current.  He had to cut the rope to free himself after trying to pull it up -- and in that effort, the boat came dangerously close to being swamped.
  20. Like
    Phil Lilley got a reaction from FishnDave for a article, Naknek River Report, October 26-31, 2019   
    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.












     
     
  21. Like
    Phil Lilley got a reaction from FishnDave for a article, Lilley's Lake Taneycomo fishing report, September 11   
    Unedited... I wanted to get this out because there's some interesting info about small rainbows and the shocking survey from last night.  I may add more and of course, some might be edited after Marsha gets through with it  
     
    Generation has all but halted on Lake Taneycomo this week, something we haven't seen for a couple of years!  With no flow comes the new reality of what the lake now looks like at low water... and it's changed quite a bit.
    We have noticed that the lake seems lower than it used to be, but again, it's been a long time since we've seen this and ALOT of water has gone over the dam in those 2-3 years. 
    It's changed the bottom in many areas, especially in the trophy area.
    Just below the dam, the gravel has moved down and filled in holes.  Runs have moved, changed.  It's changed where fish hold.  It's changed how anglers fish the wading areas below the dam.  But more thing has changed -- the trout today are much bigger and healthier than they've been in many, many years.
    The channel at the Narrows is much narrower and not as deep.  Some of our guides have said they've hit bottom trying to go through.  There's a big gravel island at the Narrows too - one you can get off and wade from!
    The gravel is covered with algae but it's also full of bugs - sow bugs, little worms and scuds.  There's sculpin all over the bottom too.
    Pondweed.  It's an aquatic vegetation that grows all over our lake in the summer.  It's a real menace on the lower lake, choking off docks and banks.  But up here, it houses tons of bugs and small fish.  
    Lately, we've seen quite a few small rainbows.  When I say small I mean 3 to 5 inches long.  These trout are full finned, beautiful colors, and appear to be naturally spawned in the lake, not stocked.  There's been some discussion on this, guides, locals and conservation experts.  One thought makes sense.  We've had a good, natural spawn this last winter/spring, which may or may not happen each year.  Because of the additional pondweed in the lake, especially in the trophy area, these rainbows have survived being eaten and are thriving.
    Thursday night, Missouri Department of Conservation officials performed a shock survey in which several boats shocked, took measurements and released fish in the upper lake.  One thing they found is when they shocked the pondweed beds, it would light up with small fish - rainbows, chubs, sculpins and other small forage fish.
    Oxygen readings since the water hasn't been running have stayed well above 6 parts per million which is good.  Fish are fighting real well with no signs of faltering.  But we have noticed with people who use live wells that don't keep the water running all the time on their catch, those fish die pretty quick.  Keeping trout out of the water for a long time will stress it to the point it will not survive release.  Please don't  ~Catch, Kill and Release~.  Be very careful with your catch if you want to release them.  Cut the line if the hook is buried in the fish's mouth.  Handle them with a wet hand or a wet cloth, if you have to handle them at all.
    There's been a lot of algae break off the bottom and float to the surface.  We see this every year about this time.  It can be a pain to fish through but it doesn't hurt the fish.  We've noticed with rainbows have sought the cover of this stuff and take midges off the surface right in the middle of it.  We've been catching these feeding trout on several small lures under a float any where from 6 inches to 5 feet deep.  I've been fly fishing and using Zebra Midges, size 16 in bright red and  green, the P&P (primrose and pearl), brown and even white.  The olive micro jig has been working good as well as the Berkley Pink Worm.  Use 2-pound line for the best effort but 4-pound line is good.  Our water clarity isn't the best since they aren't running much water.
    Night crawlers are still king of the big trout and the hot area is from the Riverpointe Estates boat ramp to Short Creek.  Use 4-pound line, a small split shot and a #8 short shanked, bronze hook.  I'd put the shot about 18 inches above the hook and use half a worm, hooking it one time in the middle and inject a little air in the worm using a syringe.  This will float the worm off the bottom.
    With the water off, we're throwing 1/32nd ounce jigs using 2-pound line and doing pretty well working the jigs close to the surface, especially during low light times - early, late and on cloudy days.  Dark colors are working the best - black, olive, sculpin, brown and combination colors.  Keep switching till you find the one they want.
  22. Thanks
    Phil Lilley got a reaction from laker67 for a article, Lilley's Lake Taneycomo fishing report, September 11   
    Unedited... I wanted to get this out because there's some interesting info about small rainbows and the shocking survey from last night.  I may add more and of course, some might be edited after Marsha gets through with it  
     
    Generation has all but halted on Lake Taneycomo this week, something we haven't seen for a couple of years!  With no flow comes the new reality of what the lake now looks like at low water... and it's changed quite a bit.
    We have noticed that the lake seems lower than it used to be, but again, it's been a long time since we've seen this and ALOT of water has gone over the dam in those 2-3 years. 
    It's changed the bottom in many areas, especially in the trophy area.
    Just below the dam, the gravel has moved down and filled in holes.  Runs have moved, changed.  It's changed where fish hold.  It's changed how anglers fish the wading areas below the dam.  But more thing has changed -- the trout today are much bigger and healthier than they've been in many, many years.
    The channel at the Narrows is much narrower and not as deep.  Some of our guides have said they've hit bottom trying to go through.  There's a big gravel island at the Narrows too - one you can get off and wade from!
    The gravel is covered with algae but it's also full of bugs - sow bugs, little worms and scuds.  There's sculpin all over the bottom too.
    Pondweed.  It's an aquatic vegetation that grows all over our lake in the summer.  It's a real menace on the lower lake, choking off docks and banks.  But up here, it houses tons of bugs and small fish.  
    Lately, we've seen quite a few small rainbows.  When I say small I mean 3 to 5 inches long.  These trout are full finned, beautiful colors, and appear to be naturally spawned in the lake, not stocked.  There's been some discussion on this, guides, locals and conservation experts.  One thought makes sense.  We've had a good, natural spawn this last winter/spring, which may or may not happen each year.  Because of the additional pondweed in the lake, especially in the trophy area, these rainbows have survived being eaten and are thriving.
    Thursday night, Missouri Department of Conservation officials performed a shock survey in which several boats shocked, took measurements and released fish in the upper lake.  One thing they found is when they shocked the pondweed beds, it would light up with small fish - rainbows, chubs, sculpins and other small forage fish.
    Oxygen readings since the water hasn't been running have stayed well above 6 parts per million which is good.  Fish are fighting real well with no signs of faltering.  But we have noticed with people who use live wells that don't keep the water running all the time on their catch, those fish die pretty quick.  Keeping trout out of the water for a long time will stress it to the point it will not survive release.  Please don't  ~Catch, Kill and Release~.  Be very careful with your catch if you want to release them.  Cut the line if the hook is buried in the fish's mouth.  Handle them with a wet hand or a wet cloth, if you have to handle them at all.
    There's been a lot of algae break off the bottom and float to the surface.  We see this every year about this time.  It can be a pain to fish through but it doesn't hurt the fish.  We've noticed with rainbows have sought the cover of this stuff and take midges off the surface right in the middle of it.  We've been catching these feeding trout on several small lures under a float any where from 6 inches to 5 feet deep.  I've been fly fishing and using Zebra Midges, size 16 in bright red and  green, the P&P (primrose and pearl), brown and even white.  The olive micro jig has been working good as well as the Berkley Pink Worm.  Use 2-pound line for the best effort but 4-pound line is good.  Our water clarity isn't the best since they aren't running much water.
    Night crawlers are still king of the big trout and the hot area is from the Riverpointe Estates boat ramp to Short Creek.  Use 4-pound line, a small split shot and a #8 short shanked, bronze hook.  I'd put the shot about 18 inches above the hook and use half a worm, hooking it one time in the middle and inject a little air in the worm using a syringe.  This will float the worm off the bottom.
    With the water off, we're throwing 1/32nd ounce jigs using 2-pound line and doing pretty well working the jigs close to the surface, especially during low light times - early, late and on cloudy days.  Dark colors are working the best - black, olive, sculpin, brown and combination colors.  Keep switching till you find the one they want.
  23. Thanks
    Phil Lilley got a reaction from tjm for a article, Lilley's Lake Taneycomo fishing report, September 11   
    Unedited... I wanted to get this out because there's some interesting info about small rainbows and the shocking survey from last night.  I may add more and of course, some might be edited after Marsha gets through with it  
     
    Generation has all but halted on Lake Taneycomo this week, something we haven't seen for a couple of years!  With no flow comes the new reality of what the lake now looks like at low water... and it's changed quite a bit.
    We have noticed that the lake seems lower than it used to be, but again, it's been a long time since we've seen this and ALOT of water has gone over the dam in those 2-3 years. 
    It's changed the bottom in many areas, especially in the trophy area.
    Just below the dam, the gravel has moved down and filled in holes.  Runs have moved, changed.  It's changed where fish hold.  It's changed how anglers fish the wading areas below the dam.  But more thing has changed -- the trout today are much bigger and healthier than they've been in many, many years.
    The channel at the Narrows is much narrower and not as deep.  Some of our guides have said they've hit bottom trying to go through.  There's a big gravel island at the Narrows too - one you can get off and wade from!
    The gravel is covered with algae but it's also full of bugs - sow bugs, little worms and scuds.  There's sculpin all over the bottom too.
    Pondweed.  It's an aquatic vegetation that grows all over our lake in the summer.  It's a real menace on the lower lake, choking off docks and banks.  But up here, it houses tons of bugs and small fish.  
    Lately, we've seen quite a few small rainbows.  When I say small I mean 3 to 5 inches long.  These trout are full finned, beautiful colors, and appear to be naturally spawned in the lake, not stocked.  There's been some discussion on this, guides, locals and conservation experts.  One thought makes sense.  We've had a good, natural spawn this last winter/spring, which may or may not happen each year.  Because of the additional pondweed in the lake, especially in the trophy area, these rainbows have survived being eaten and are thriving.
    Thursday night, Missouri Department of Conservation officials performed a shock survey in which several boats shocked, took measurements and released fish in the upper lake.  One thing they found is when they shocked the pondweed beds, it would light up with small fish - rainbows, chubs, sculpins and other small forage fish.
    Oxygen readings since the water hasn't been running have stayed well above 6 parts per million which is good.  Fish are fighting real well with no signs of faltering.  But we have noticed with people who use live wells that don't keep the water running all the time on their catch, those fish die pretty quick.  Keeping trout out of the water for a long time will stress it to the point it will not survive release.  Please don't  ~Catch, Kill and Release~.  Be very careful with your catch if you want to release them.  Cut the line if the hook is buried in the fish's mouth.  Handle them with a wet hand or a wet cloth, if you have to handle them at all.
    There's been a lot of algae break off the bottom and float to the surface.  We see this every year about this time.  It can be a pain to fish through but it doesn't hurt the fish.  We've noticed with rainbows have sought the cover of this stuff and take midges off the surface right in the middle of it.  We've been catching these feeding trout on several small lures under a float any where from 6 inches to 5 feet deep.  I've been fly fishing and using Zebra Midges, size 16 in bright red and  green, the P&P (primrose and pearl), brown and even white.  The olive micro jig has been working good as well as the Berkley Pink Worm.  Use 2-pound line for the best effort but 4-pound line is good.  Our water clarity isn't the best since they aren't running much water.
    Night crawlers are still king of the big trout and the hot area is from the Riverpointe Estates boat ramp to Short Creek.  Use 4-pound line, a small split shot and a #8 short shanked, bronze hook.  I'd put the shot about 18 inches above the hook and use half a worm, hooking it one time in the middle and inject a little air in the worm using a syringe.  This will float the worm off the bottom.
    With the water off, we're throwing 1/32nd ounce jigs using 2-pound line and doing pretty well working the jigs close to the surface, especially during low light times - early, late and on cloudy days.  Dark colors are working the best - black, olive, sculpin, brown and combination colors.  Keep switching till you find the one they want.
  24. Like
    Phil Lilley got a reaction from dpitt for a article, Lilley's Lake Taneycomo fishing report, August 11   
    It happened!  Generation at Table Rock Dam on Lake Taneycomo was shut down this morning at midnight and it was left off for 11 hours.  That means we had no generation this morning and I found trout fishing pretty good.  I believe this is going to be our new generation pattern at least for this week.  And as Table Rock and helpfully temperatures drop, this slow down will keep going the right way.
    Table Rock is now below 917 feet, only 2 feet above it's seasonal power pool but Beaver Lake is 4 feet high and it's dropping very slowly.
    I got out and fished early this morning.  Boated to the Narrows and found the water level about what it should be with no generation.  And there was just a little bit of current, just like I like it.  But the trout weren't too interested in taking much of what I was offering.  I did catch a few nice rainbows but nothing like I believe it will be in a day or two.
    It usually takes our trout a day or so to get used to a "new normal" in regards to changing generation patterns.  They have to find their nitch, and when they do they'll start feeding normally.
    I did catch rainbows on a #14 tan scud (Hunt's perfect scud) as well as a #16 primrose & pearl (P&P), both under a float about 3-4 feet deep.  I saw other guides doing much better than me using a white thread jig under a float.  I did throw a jig but had no success.
    I visited with someone today who said fishing for his party off the Lazy Valley dock has been exceptional this year, catching quality rainbows on night crawlers.  That's been the best bait by far - worms.  And now that the water isn't running in the mornings, it's very important to inject a little air in the worm to make them float off the bottom.
    Our water is still very clear but I think using 4-pound line for most things is still ok.  But later in the fall, we usually start going to lighter line and tippet... just not yet.
    I was excited to report dry fly fishing was very good in the mornings with 1-2 units running but that's changed.  I will continues to try different dries and see if I can establish a new pattern.  We'll see.
    The rest of my report would only be speculative.  I would think fishing a pink worm under a float would work in the mornings but that remains to be seen.
  25. Like
    Phil Lilley got a reaction from laker67 for a article, Lilley's Lake Taneycomo Fishing Report, July 13   
    Generation patterns for Lake Taneycomo have been consistent over the past 4 weeks.  They've been running 2 units at about 6,500 cubic feet of water per second with the exception of a 7 hour period between 3 and 8 p.m. everyday.  Table Rock's level has dropped to 724 feet, only 9 feet over power pool.  It's dropping about .25 feet per day.  We've had very little rain over the whole basin although there's been some isolated downpours delivering a lot of rain to small areas.  There isn't much rain forcasted for our area for the next 2 weeks.
    Taney's lake water temperature is 52 degrees.  It has only risen 1 degree in the last month which is a good thing although 52 is pretty warm for this time of year.  It should still be down in the high 40's.  But the trout don't mind.  They've been very active, enjoying the warmer water along with forage fish and other fish food.
    Missouri Department of Conservation continues to stock rainbows via boat and truck.  June, July and August are the highest months of the year for stocked trout in Taney at roughly 64,800 stocked each month.  The average size of rainbows stocked in 11.5 inches annually.
    We are seeing a very good number of rainbows that have been in the lake for several months and have lost their "stocker spots and color", showing off their natural colors of red, pink, silver and green.  Our trout are still very health looking -- fat and hard fighters, although I have caught a few rainbows that didn't fight hardly at all.  This could be a sign of low oxygen in the water.  I have not been able to test the water for dissolved oxygen yet.  I am waiting on a part for my meter.
    Oxygen in our water we get from Table Rock typically starts to drop in July and continues on into December until Table Rock "turns over".  This is a natural occurrence in most tailwaters because the lake above stratifies during the summer.  The good, cold water from winter months gets sucked out of the lake through pipes at the dam down 130 feet in the lake.  This video simulates how this happens and what it looks like throughout the year.
    Of course the blue is good, cold, oxygenated water and the red is warmer water void of dissolved oxygen.  Liquid oxygen is injected into the turbines which mixes before being released into Lake Taneycomo.
    FULL ARTICLE ABOUT TANEYCOMO'S SEASONAL BOUT WITH LOW DISSOLVED OXYGEN
    Early in the morning is by far the best fishing.  Most of our guides are on the water by 6 a.m..  The fog on the lake hasn't been too bad, although it is foggy and you have to take it slow anywhere you go.  Depending on the day, it's burned or blown off the water by 8 a.m..
    If you're spin fishing and fishing the trophy area, jig fishing has been very good.  I've been throwing white 3/32nd-ounce jigs using 4-pound line and hooking some nice quality rainbows just about anywhere from the dam down to Short Creek.  I'm not necessarily working the bluff banks but working out from the bank and keeping the jig close to the bottom.

    Steve landed this 7 pound 22 inch brown Saturday night from the dock at our unit #24 using powerbait nuggets. The fish was struggling, but he put in the extra effort to make sure it was revived before fully releasing it.
    Some mornings, there's a lot of midge action.  Trout, mainly rainbows, are coming to the surface and take midge flies out of the film or on the top.  Throw a small 1/32nd-ounce jig using 2-pound line and work it fast, close to the surface.  See if these feeding rainbows will chase and take the jig.  Good colors are black, olive, sculpin, black/yellow and brown.
    If they are midging, or even if they're not, you can try a midge under an indicator, either spin or fly rod.  Red has been the best color but you can also try a black or brown.  Best size is from a #14 down to a #18, and use 2-pound line or 6x tippet.  Fish it shallow if they're midging (12-18 inches) and deeper if they're not (24-60 inches).
    Blake has been doing pretty good dragging a 762 or a 606 jerk bait in shad colors. 
    Drifting night crawlers from Fall Creek down has been producing very nice rainbows.  I believe these rainbows have moved down from the trophy area after growing up protected by the slot limit.
    Gulp PowerEggs in orange or white have been catching mainly rainbows, drifted from Short Creek down past the Branson Landing.
    Back to throwing the marabou jig... sculpin/peach has been hot, fishing it from Trout Hollow Resort down through our place, working it mid lake and close to the bottom.  If they're running only 2 units, use a 1/16th or a 3/32nd-ounce jig and 4-pound line.
     
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