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Phil Lilley

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  1. Like
    Phil Lilley got a reaction from dpitt for a article, Lilley's Lake Taneycomo fishing report, June 26   
    The days of no generation may be over for now.  We've seen the dam operators moving some water the last few days from lake to lake, even though the White River at Augusta, Arkansas is still at flood stage.  With no rain in the foreseeable future, we may see more and more water running through Lake Taneycomo.
    We've been seeing about 6,000 cubic feet per second of flow for most of the day lately with a bump up to 12,000 late in the afternoon.  That's 2 units to 4 units worth of water.  There's really no way to know if this pattern will continue but for now it seems reasonable to think it will.
    Trout fishing has been just ok.  There are days though it has been real stinky!  Early and late, of course, is the best times to fish.  Most of our guides are on the water by 5:30 am and the bite is good for a couple of hours.  Then they have to work for fish.
    Most of the guides are either drifting a Berkley pink powerworm just on a hook on the bottom or on a small jig head under a float.  The pink worm is actually catching some big trout.  This little gal caught a trophy brown trout using her kid pink fishing rod.

    Anglers are catching mainly rainbows drifting night crawlers and power eggs.  And we've heard all colors are good except red or pink, which makes no sense because the pink worm is working better than power eggs.  It must not be the color.  Best area to drift is Lilleys' Landing down through the bridges.  Stay in the middle when drifting because there's a lot of old, sunken dead trees on the edges of the lake.
    Right now there's a ton of stocker rainbows in the Branson Landing area.  They're being caught on the Berkley pink worm on a small jig head under a float 5-7 feet deep.
    I personally haven't tried drifting minnows lately and we haven't sold many but I would think drifting them on the bottom should catch trout, especially brown trout, seeing all the browns being caught right now.
     
    Trophy brown trout are still being caught at various areas of the lake on bait and lures.  I've been asked why does it seem all of a sudden we're seeing so many big browns being caught.  The short answer is I don't know.  But it does coincide with an increase of trophy rainbows which I believe is a result of constant flow of water from Table Rock over the past 2+ years.  The food base in Taneycomo (plankton, scuds, midges, sculpins, small forage fish) stays much healthier when the water is running verses when there's long periods of no generation.
    We've had reports of browns being caught on the pink worm, night crawlers, marabou jigs (white, sculpin/ginger and sculpin/peach), Doty's custom painted jerk baits, MegaBass 110+ jerk baits and other jerk baits, and smaller jerk baits drifted on the bottom, mainly in the trophy area.
    Trophy rainbows are also being caught, mainly in the trophy area though.  They being caught on scuds drifted on the bottom, jerk baits and marabou jigs (same colors).  Last count, we were up to 55 - 20-inch trout or bigger registered as catch and release trophies for the month of June but I know Blake caught a 24-inch brown last night close to Lookout Island.
    https://lilleyslanding.com/trophy-catch-release/
    Drifting scuds on the bottom is just ok... there's a lot of algae on the bottom and cakes up the fly.  You need to reel in and check it pretty often.
     
  2. Like
    Phil Lilley got a reaction from dpitt for a article, Lilley's Lake Taneycomo Fishing Report, June 1   
    Note:  This report will be current for as long as the gates are open, which may be for most of the month of June.
    We've gone from very little generation to a torrent.  But this was predicted.  It was easy to see coming.  When the lakes filled up, they would have to release.  And they are... at the tune of 17,800 cubic feet per second.  This might sound like a big release, it isn't.  Four full units is about 15,000 c.f.s. so this is just a little more.  They are releasing 12,300 through their turbines and 5,500 over 5 spill gates presently.  More fun facts -- the water temperature of the lake water coming through the turbines is 49.5 and the water coming over the gates is 62 degrees.
    Table Rock Lake's level just dipped below its flood pool level.  It's at 930.90 feet, dropping a whopping 0.1 feet in the last 12 hours.  Beaver is still releasing about 7,300 c.f.s. of water and its level is a full foot below flood pool at 1128.96 feet.  This flow from Table Rock Dam probably won't decrease for many weeks, seeing it needs to drop more than 16 feet and Beaver needs to drop about 10 feet. 
    At this time, there is no measurable rain in the 7-day forecast which is a good thing.  I'm sure that will change, and any precipitation will only lengthen the period of time of water release at our dams.  As I reported in my last fishing reports and our conversations on One Cast, enjoy the low water we had the last couple of weeks because it would be the last for the duration of the summer.
    Heavy flows are here to stay for this summer season.
    Fishing from the bank or dock will be tough on the upper end of the lake.  There's a few spots around the hatchery outlets below the dam where you can catch fish but it is in the trophy area so you're limited to flies and lures -- no soft plastics and nothing that smells.  And yes, night crawlers smell!  We've had a rash of poachers fishing below the dam with bait and keeping all kinds of fish, most illegal trout.  And now we'll see people fishing above the cable at the dam which is also illegal -- and dangerous.  But our agents aren't too busy with deer or turkeys now so they have a lot of time to check these areas.  And know this -- there are a lot us who have cell phones with camera, and the number to our local agents.  A picture of a license plate and the poachers go a long way to prosecute, even if they are "caught red handed" at the scene.
    Here are their phone numbers.  Best to text them.  My experience with texting them is that I rarely get a response, and that's ok with me.  They may not be on duty or able to drive to the location at that time.  But they will respond if they are able to.
    Quinten 417-294-5543
    Chris 417-546-0833
    Operation Game Theft 800-392-1111
    With any amount of generation, there are some things that you should not do safety wise.  Don't use anchors in fast current.  Don't drift into trees or docks - watch where you're going and plan ahead when drifting in current.  Watch out for kayakers and other boats.  WATCH YOUR WAKE!!  We've seen some big boats on the lake lately.  I think they call them wake boats.  Unlike Table Rock, Taneycomo is small and narrow.  Plus we have alot of smaller boats that can be swamped with one big wake.  Over the weekend, we had one report of a smaller v-bottom boat pulling up to the cable below the dam and dropped an anchor.  When the anchor caught the bottom it almost throw one person out of the boat.  They had to cut the anchor rope so that the boat wouldn't be swamped.  Think!!!  It's also not worth it fishing wise either.  There is slower water close to the bank one can anchor in but be very smart about it.  Drag chains - same thing.  If they catch on the bottom while the boat is drifting at 6 m.p.h. the jolt will send everybody to the deck and/or the side of the boat.
    Fishing...  scuds are king once again.

    These are scuds (freshwater shrimp) from the bellies of 3 rainbows caught yesterday by clients of Tony Weldele.  They were drifting from Fall Creek down using scuds and doing quite well.  We've been seeing large schools of scuds along our banks and in the pond weed beds before heavy generation started this weekend.  And in high water events in the past, we've seen this happen where scuds I guess are dislodged from their environment and are eaten by trout.  So we are drifting using scud flies and do extremely well.
    Using 4-pound line, we are drifting #12 scuds either on a drift rig or carolina rig.  Use a quarter-ounce weight when drifting from the dam down to Lilleys' Landing and a 3/16-ounce weight from Lilleys' Landing down lake.  The water slows down enough to warrant less weight from Lilley's down.  If you use too much weight, you'll get snagged on the bottom a lot.  But one thing is for sure -- you have to have the fly on the bottom to get bit.  Scud colors make somewhat of a difference.  Of course gray is their natural color but as you can see from the image, they are a brownish/olive color too so we use those colors too.
    I used a scud yesterday dubbed with a material called rainbow scud dubbing and did pretty well, especially below Fall Creek.  I was having a hard time staying on the bottom.  What I should have done is add a small split shot to the line just above the bell weight.  This is an easy and quick way to adjust your weight.
    Drifting night crawlers and minnows on the bottom from Lilley's down lake is catching some trophy browns lately too.  We used a #6 or #8 hook, 3/16-ounce weight and 4-pound line.  No need to inject air in the worm... it will stay off the bottom with this much current running.
    Orange PowerEggs have been the hot PowerBait lately.  Drifting in the Monkey Island area down through Branson Landing is producing some nice limits of rainbows.  Also throwing Cleos and other small spoons... but let them drop down a bit before reeling.  Vary the speed of retrieve too.  Freshly stocked rainbows are prone to chase and the stocking boat has been out stocking rainbows quite a bit lately down in the Branson Landing area.
    In the trophy area, I've already covered drifting scuds on the bottom.  Some of our guides are also using San Juan Worms, shad flies and egg flies along with the scuds.  You can use a double rig, tying on 2 flies about 12 inches apart.  The only bad thing is if you snag and lose your rig, you lose 2 flies instead of one.   When drifting more than one drift, pick different paths each time you drift down, especially if you're not catching very many.  Also, I pay attention to my running path up lake.  I don't like to run over the same water I'll be drifting down.  And of course, try to be curious to those who are fishing when running.

    Drifting small jerk baits I believe will become more and more effective as this flood gate event goes on.  More and more shad will enter the lake and these small lures are just the thing to catch some big trout.  Use a floating jerk bait about 2.5 to 3 inches long in shad colors.  Any brand will do.  Less expensive is better because you will lose some lures.  Rig them using a drift rig or carolina rig.  Start with an 1/8-ounce weight and add weight if needed.  Four-pound line is fine, even 6-pound isn't too heavy.
    Throw a suspending jerk bait for big trout.  Early and late in the day are the best times.  Anywhere from Rockaway Beach to Table Rock Dam is the best place, and not even against a bank like we usually fish.  We've been seeing big trout come from the middle of the lake.  The trophy area has been hot, as well as the Cooper Creek Flats.
    Baits - Suspending Rouges, MegaBass 110+, Duane's Custom Baits, Smithwick Stick Baits... all will work.  Make sure they dive more than 8 feet deep and are suspending.  Use a snap swivel for best action (make sure it's a strong swivel and not a cheap one... they do break).

    With the spill gates open, there are warm water species of fish coming in to Taneycomo from Table Rock.  Seeing a lot of smallmouth bass and white bass caught.  This is pretty much at random but they are hitting white jigs along the bank in the slower water.

    Images cutesy of Becky and Seth Garrison who enjoyed a week fishing Lake Taneycomo.  Scud image cutesy of Captain Tony Weldele, Rainbow Chasers Guide Service.
     
  3. Like
    Phil Lilley got a reaction from TrophyFishR for a article, Good Explaination for Water Release, White River System   
    Shane Bush, Missouri Department of Conservation Fisheries Biologist for Table Rock and Taneycomo, sent me this PDF file of a presentation given last week by Gabe Knight.  Gabe works for the Little Rock Division of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.  It has some good straight forward information on how and why releases are made, encompassing all of the White River Water Basin.
    Water Management Overview Knight_2019.pdf
  4. Like
    Phil Lilley got a reaction from dpitt for a article, Lilley's Lake Taneycomo fishing report, May 20   
    What a week makes in time.  This week on Lake Taneycomo, the water is off, no generation.  And even my good friends and fishing guides are asking, "why???".  It's pretty simple really.  Everything downstream is flooded and there's no place to move the water to without adding to the flood waters.
    There are 2 reasons why the dam operators would start moving serious water through the White River System:
    Rainfall runoff would take all 3 lakes to their flood pool levels or The flood waters on the White River at Newport, Arkansas drop to safe levels. Here's some links to sites that are worth watching:
    https://www.swl-wc.usace.army.mil/pages/data/tabular/htm/bulsdam.htm
    https://www.swl-wc.usace.army.mil/pages/data/tabular/htm/newport.htm
    https://www.swl-wc.usace.army.mil/pages/reports/remote/white.htm
    This one shows, among other things, the percentage of storage for each lake.  We normally go by lake level (feet) but when managing the lakes, the Corps goes by percentages.
    Beaver - 86% Table Rock - 56% Bull Shoals - 88% As you can see, Table Rock Lake has the most room for runoff.  Of course, Taneycomo is just a pass-through lake.
    At the Newport (Ar) gage, you can see it is at 24 and flood stage is 26 feet.  Regulating stage is 12 and the 5-year average is 19 feet.  As this drops, Bull Shoals will be allowed to release water from its dam and thus starting the chain reaction at the other days... moving water through the system.  But this won't happen until the White drops out through the Mississippi River.
    We're hoping for a dry spell all through the White River Basin.
    For now, we're seeing either no generation or just a little generation during the afternoon this week.  This is a nice change of pace for those who like to fish slower water, or those of us who live to fly fish, we can get out and wade.  And yes, fly fishing has been excellent.
    I've been boating up to the Narrows and Lookout Island, getting out of the boat and wading those areas and fishing a scud, namely a Perfect Scud we carry in the shop made by Jeremy Hunt.

    I'm fishing a #14 gray using 4x tippet and a small hard foam indicator about 2 to 4 feet deep.  The fly is weights and I really don't need a split shot, especially if the water isn't running.  There are lots of great quality rainbows at the Narrows right now, as you can see in this video I shot the other day.
    Watching this on your phone won't give you the full value of this video.  The best way to get the most out of it is to go home and watch it on a big screen TV and turn off all the lights.  You'll see rainbows beating the gravel for scuds and sow bugs, you'll see them pick them off as they drift down... you'll even see one fish chomp on some rocks and when he spits them out, a small scud comes out of its mouth too.
    Yes I did run my scud in front of the camera... that was the point of the video.  And I did catch a couple in the first 3 minutes.  But I got so much more out of just filming the actions of the rainbows as they went about their business rooting out bugs from the moss and gravel.
    I did catch a lot of rainbows, no browns, on the #14 Perfect Scud both Monday and Tuesday.  But I think any other scud pattern will work.
    In this video, I shot scuds that were trapped in a pool of water.  Note the orange in the body.  I think it wouldn't hurt to tie a little orange in the body of your fly.
    I also caught rainbows on a #14 root beer Zebra Midge under an indicator fished any where from 3 to 5 feet deep, 6x tippet.  But I had fun stripping a yellow #14 soft hackle on Monday.  it was pretty windy and the chop on the water was perfect for stripping anything.  I bet a wooly would have worked too.
    The slow water has put the kabosh on the big brown trout party.  Blake has been going out and throwing a jerk bait but it isn't as hot as it has been.  Duane's client have been throwing it early with a little success but most of the brown they're seeing are chasing and not hitting and the ones that are hitting and hooked are lost.  The best bite is the first and last 60 minutes of daylight.
    The brown jig with an orange head is reportedly one of the best colors this week, along with the black jig.  The trophy area is doing pretty good and so is the Short Creek area.  If the water is off, throw a 1/16th-ounce using either 2- or 4-pound or throw a 1/32nd-ounce jig with 2-pound line.
    Night crawlers has been good for some and poo for others.  I personally have a love-hate relationship with them.  They bite them but I can't get a good hook set of them.  But there's been nice trout caught this week so far on them.  Tubby Johnson from Oklahoma caught this nice 22-inch brown on a worm one evening this week fishing with his grandson, Hunter.

    Power Eggs are working when the water is running.  An orange/white combination did well for those drifting from Cooper Creek down to Monkey Island.
    The Berkley Pink PowerWorm on a small jig head fished under a float 5 to 6 feet deep down around the bridges and the Branson Landing has been "gold" for most of the fishing guides.  Duane's clients the other day landed 22 "doubles".  That's when both clients have fish on at the same time.  Use 2-pound line for best results but 4-pound is probably ok.
  5. Thanks
    Phil Lilley got a reaction from snagged in outlet 3 for a article, Lilley's Lake Taneycomo fishing report, May 20   
    What a week makes in time.  This week on Lake Taneycomo, the water is off, no generation.  And even my good friends and fishing guides are asking, "why???".  It's pretty simple really.  Everything downstream is flooded and there's no place to move the water to without adding to the flood waters.
    There are 2 reasons why the dam operators would start moving serious water through the White River System:
    Rainfall runoff would take all 3 lakes to their flood pool levels or The flood waters on the White River at Newport, Arkansas drop to safe levels. Here's some links to sites that are worth watching:
    https://www.swl-wc.usace.army.mil/pages/data/tabular/htm/bulsdam.htm
    https://www.swl-wc.usace.army.mil/pages/data/tabular/htm/newport.htm
    https://www.swl-wc.usace.army.mil/pages/reports/remote/white.htm
    This one shows, among other things, the percentage of storage for each lake.  We normally go by lake level (feet) but when managing the lakes, the Corps goes by percentages.
    Beaver - 86% Table Rock - 56% Bull Shoals - 88% As you can see, Table Rock Lake has the most room for runoff.  Of course, Taneycomo is just a pass-through lake.
    At the Newport (Ar) gage, you can see it is at 24 and flood stage is 26 feet.  Regulating stage is 12 and the 5-year average is 19 feet.  As this drops, Bull Shoals will be allowed to release water from its dam and thus starting the chain reaction at the other days... moving water through the system.  But this won't happen until the White drops out through the Mississippi River.
    We're hoping for a dry spell all through the White River Basin.
    For now, we're seeing either no generation or just a little generation during the afternoon this week.  This is a nice change of pace for those who like to fish slower water, or those of us who live to fly fish, we can get out and wade.  And yes, fly fishing has been excellent.
    I've been boating up to the Narrows and Lookout Island, getting out of the boat and wading those areas and fishing a scud, namely a Perfect Scud we carry in the shop made by Jeremy Hunt.

    I'm fishing a #14 gray using 4x tippet and a small hard foam indicator about 2 to 4 feet deep.  The fly is weights and I really don't need a split shot, especially if the water isn't running.  There are lots of great quality rainbows at the Narrows right now, as you can see in this video I shot the other day.
    Watching this on your phone won't give you the full value of this video.  The best way to get the most out of it is to go home and watch it on a big screen TV and turn off all the lights.  You'll see rainbows beating the gravel for scuds and sow bugs, you'll see them pick them off as they drift down... you'll even see one fish chomp on some rocks and when he spits them out, a small scud comes out of its mouth too.
    Yes I did run my scud in front of the camera... that was the point of the video.  And I did catch a couple in the first 3 minutes.  But I got so much more out of just filming the actions of the rainbows as they went about their business rooting out bugs from the moss and gravel.
    I did catch a lot of rainbows, no browns, on the #14 Perfect Scud both Monday and Tuesday.  But I think any other scud pattern will work.
    In this video, I shot scuds that were trapped in a pool of water.  Note the orange in the body.  I think it wouldn't hurt to tie a little orange in the body of your fly.
    I also caught rainbows on a #14 root beer Zebra Midge under an indicator fished any where from 3 to 5 feet deep, 6x tippet.  But I had fun stripping a yellow #14 soft hackle on Monday.  it was pretty windy and the chop on the water was perfect for stripping anything.  I bet a wooly would have worked too.
    The slow water has put the kabosh on the big brown trout party.  Blake has been going out and throwing a jerk bait but it isn't as hot as it has been.  Duane's client have been throwing it early with a little success but most of the brown they're seeing are chasing and not hitting and the ones that are hitting and hooked are lost.  The best bite is the first and last 60 minutes of daylight.
    The brown jig with an orange head is reportedly one of the best colors this week, along with the black jig.  The trophy area is doing pretty good and so is the Short Creek area.  If the water is off, throw a 1/16th-ounce using either 2- or 4-pound or throw a 1/32nd-ounce jig with 2-pound line.
    Night crawlers has been good for some and poo for others.  I personally have a love-hate relationship with them.  They bite them but I can't get a good hook set of them.  But there's been nice trout caught this week so far on them.  Tubby Johnson from Oklahoma caught this nice 22-inch brown on a worm one evening this week fishing with his grandson, Hunter.

    Power Eggs are working when the water is running.  An orange/white combination did well for those drifting from Cooper Creek down to Monkey Island.
    The Berkley Pink PowerWorm on a small jig head fished under a float 5 to 6 feet deep down around the bridges and the Branson Landing has been "gold" for most of the fishing guides.  Duane's clients the other day landed 22 "doubles".  That's when both clients have fish on at the same time.  Use 2-pound line for best results but 4-pound is probably ok.
  6. Like
    Phil Lilley got a reaction from JUNGLE JIM 1 for a article, Lilley's Lake Taneycomo Fishing Report, May 11   
    In this Lake Taneycomo fishing report, I will talk a little about how the fishing has been and about lake conditions in the next few days, but everything will change by the end of this week because of the rains forecast . . . it's supposed to start raining later today and continue for the next week.
    We had some slow-to-no generation the last few days, which has been a nice change from the heavy flows.  Beaver Lake remains just below its flood pool at 1,129.4 feet (flood pool starts at 1,130 feet) and Table Rock is a bit high at 917.2 feet.  Its power pool is 915 feet.  So any rain that falls above Table Rock will have to be released through Taneycomo.  If Table Rock rises to or above 920 feet, officials will have to open some spill gates.

    Table Rock's spill gates have been opened more in 2020 than any other time in the history of the dam, partly because one turbine at the facility had been off awaiting repair, so releasing water over the gates made up for the shortfall.  Now that that turbine is fixed and working, we're back to normal operation.
    Water coming over the gates will bring warmer water into Lake Taneycomo, averaging 60 degrees.  This will make our trout happy -- since they like 60-degree versus 47-degree water.  That flow will also bring in more warm-water species of fish including threadfin shad which, again, our trout love!  The only downside is that fishing from docks and the bank will be very tough, if not impossible, especially in the upper end of the lake.
    Here's what we've seen here in the last week or two -- big trout!  For more than a month, Blake and Duane have been experimenting and garnering great success using bait fish type lures to catch mainly big browns.  Of course, Duane developed a jerk bait series of lures, custom painted and geared to catch big browns.  But they also have zeroed in on areas that are holding these browns and have landed multiple trophies for themselves and for clients.

    Others have joined in on the fun.  Rob from Kansas stayed here at the Landing for about 10 days and landed more than a dozen browns longer than 20 inches on a KVD suspending jerk bait.  Other anglers,  including out of town guests and even locals, have also landed browns on jerk baits.  Then some fishermen have found brown trout targeting jigs; white has been good but so has sculpin/peach colors.
    And then there are the big rainbows.  I personally have landed a 23-inch rainbow trout and a 22-inch rainbow on successive days, one on a jig and one on a zebra midge.  Other rainbows were caught on jigs and flies (scuds mainly) in the upper end of the lake.  On Saturday afternoon, there was no generation here for the first time since last fall.  I understand locals and near by residents flocked to the area below the dam to enjoy wade fishing, and they were very successful catching numerous trophy rainbows on flies.  The low water was unfortunately short-lived.
    Some observations of fish activity lately:
    Lots of surface action.  Trout have been aggressively taking bugs off the surface early in the morning but more in the late evening.  I've witnessed pretty big may fly hatches as well as midge hatches and big, mature trout are taking them.  We've seen a good deal of big swirls in different areas of the lake by big trout chasing small trout, or something else.  Earlier last week, we saw browns chasing shad on the surface on the Cooper Creek flats, but that has subsided.  These swirls, although not new, are more frequent and witnessed over many parts of the upper lake.  I've seen them in several places above Fall Creek but more just below the creek to down in front of our dock (Lilleys' Landing), and on the Cooper Creek flats on down through Monkey Island.  The number of big takes is amazing. We are seeing more and more big mature rainbows caught, mainly in the trophy area.  These rainbows, measuring from 17 to 20 inches, are healthy specimens  with broad shoulders, wide girths and full of rainbow color.  They are feeding aggressively, and when hooked, are giving the angler all he wants in a fight.  And then there are the rainbows longer than 20 inches  . . . they are in a class all their own.  These fish have been in the lake since they were 11 inches old.  They've survived the onslaught of hooks and bait, herons and eagles and otters.  They have earned the right to be called wild trout, although technically they are not.  But they move, feed and act like they are, so the angler has to consider that the Taneycomo trout he stalks are smarter than typical trout park fish. Less pressure.  In this extraordinary time, there have been days when the unimaginable has happened -- in the months of March and April, only a handful of anglers, if that, fished the whole lake.  Boats were not seen on the lake until way past 10 a.m. in the morning.  The lake was never "shut down" but you might have thought so.  All the while, trout were still being stocked as if nothing was different.  Even now, here in mid-May, boat traffic is minimal during the week. All this to say that the fishing future of Lake Taneycomo looks extremely bright, thanks to a broken turbine, lots of rain and a world wide pandemic.
    How to catch fish?
    You've read a little about what we've tried.  I did not mention that I went out this morning (Monday, May 11) and cast a big, white articulated fly on an eight-weight fly rod with a 400-grain sink tip down at the Cooper Creek flats.  No takes today,  but I think the right big fly should get some love in the coming days. It will be worth a try for sure.

    We're getting in a variety of jerk baits in our fly shop.  Rouge makes several suspending jerk baits as well as Smithwick that aren't too hard on the pocket book.  Bass Pro has their KVD series.  You want a suspending bait that dives down from 5 to 10 feet.  For colors white has been good but I'd try others also.  Hard to know what they will take.  I think it's more action that style.  Keep watching One Cast.  Blake and Duane will keep throwing their baits, so observe how they work them. I think that's the most important thing about fishing jerk baits -- how you serve them.

    We are selling Duane's signature series jerk baits, custom painted, on our website now.  They are proven to catch trout.
    And that's not to say smaller, medium sized jerk baits won't work.  Try what you have in your tackle box before buying a pile of baits.
    I've been forcing myself to throw a white 1/8th-ounce jigs where the guys have worked their jerk baits, and, so far, I've caught one 20-inch brown.  If they're looking for shad, the white jig will work.  Rob did catch one of his browns on a white/gray jig.  And I caught the big rainbow yesterday on one so white is still a color you should be throwing.  It's just not catching as many as it did back when shad were coming over the spill gates from Table Rock Lake.
    Jig colors that have been catching good numbers of trout have been black/yellow, sculpin, sculpin/peach, tri-olive dark, ginger and sculpin/orange.  If you're using a jig and float, a sculpin/ginger/orange head 1/50th ounce (PJ's Jig) is working.  I'd almost go to two-pound tippet when fishing a jig and float and fish it from four-six-feet deep most of the time.  A Turner Micro Jig in brown, ginger or olive is working, too.

    Now I'd love to report bait fishing is pretty good, but I'm not sure I can.  I took out some friends on Saturday when the water was off and tried a night crawler -- even pumped it up with air to float off the bottom -- and did not get a bite in two hours in three different locations! It was unbelievable!  That doesn't mean they're not hitting them at all . . . but it means something.  Powerbait hasn't been working too well either.
    What's been working extremely well is the Berkley Pink Power Worm under a float.  Even if operators are running up to three units, fishing down at the Branson Landing area has been very good lately.  Fish it with four-pound line and about five- to seven-feet deep under the float.  You can also hook it on a #8 hook and fish it drifting on the bottom using a split shot or a drift rig.
    So now the scoop for when the water starts running again -- and when I say running I mean three-plus units.
    Those small jerk baits are still working pretty well from the dam down through Short Creek.  At our shop, we really had a run on them, but we still have some in stock and more coming.  You ca drift them on the bottom using a drift rig setup, but even better should be a carolina rig setup.  You don't have to use as much weight as you think since the lure itself will take you to the bottom with its action.
    Speaking of action, the bigger crank baits will work if four units or more are running (15,000 cubic feet of water per second).  The Bomber Fatfree Fingerling in shad colors has worked well for us.  Just throw it out upstream and hold your rod tip just under the water's surface while cranking slowly until you feel the lure digging on the bottom.  It should stay there.
    If we get spill gates, shad flies and white jigs will be hot.  Fly fish using a white streamer or a small white jig or shad fly under a float six- to eight-feet deep.  Spoons will work, too.  Also try the bigger jerk baits (mentioned previously) in shad colors.
    Our trout have been eating a lot of scuds.  When the lake water dropped out, some were stranded in pools of water off the lake.  Here's a video I shot with my iPhone of those scuds swimming around in the pool.
    Drift a scud on the bottom anywhere from the dam down to Short Creek using a drift rig or carolina rig.  A cerise San Juan Worm is working pretty well, too.  You could use a tandem of the two flies, tying them about two feet apart.  Four-pound line is fine this time of year.
     
     
  7. Like
    Phil Lilley got a reaction from EzFishN for a article, Good Explaination for Water Release, White River System   
    Shane Bush, Missouri Department of Conservation Fisheries Biologist for Table Rock and Taneycomo, sent me this PDF file of a presentation given last week by Gabe Knight.  Gabe works for the Little Rock Division of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.  It has some good straight forward information on how and why releases are made, encompassing all of the White River Water Basin.
    Water Management Overview Knight_2019.pdf
  8. Like
    Phil Lilley got a reaction from MNtransplant for a article, Lilley's Lake Taneycomo Fishing Report, May 11   
    In this Lake Taneycomo fishing report, I will talk a little about how the fishing has been and about lake conditions in the next few days, but everything will change by the end of this week because of the rains forecast . . . it's supposed to start raining later today and continue for the next week.
    We had some slow-to-no generation the last few days, which has been a nice change from the heavy flows.  Beaver Lake remains just below its flood pool at 1,129.4 feet (flood pool starts at 1,130 feet) and Table Rock is a bit high at 917.2 feet.  Its power pool is 915 feet.  So any rain that falls above Table Rock will have to be released through Taneycomo.  If Table Rock rises to or above 920 feet, officials will have to open some spill gates.

    Table Rock's spill gates have been opened more in 2020 than any other time in the history of the dam, partly because one turbine at the facility had been off awaiting repair, so releasing water over the gates made up for the shortfall.  Now that that turbine is fixed and working, we're back to normal operation.
    Water coming over the gates will bring warmer water into Lake Taneycomo, averaging 60 degrees.  This will make our trout happy -- since they like 60-degree versus 47-degree water.  That flow will also bring in more warm-water species of fish including threadfin shad which, again, our trout love!  The only downside is that fishing from docks and the bank will be very tough, if not impossible, especially in the upper end of the lake.
    Here's what we've seen here in the last week or two -- big trout!  For more than a month, Blake and Duane have been experimenting and garnering great success using bait fish type lures to catch mainly big browns.  Of course, Duane developed a jerk bait series of lures, custom painted and geared to catch big browns.  But they also have zeroed in on areas that are holding these browns and have landed multiple trophies for themselves and for clients.

    Others have joined in on the fun.  Rob from Kansas stayed here at the Landing for about 10 days and landed more than a dozen browns longer than 20 inches on a KVD suspending jerk bait.  Other anglers,  including out of town guests and even locals, have also landed browns on jerk baits.  Then some fishermen have found brown trout targeting jigs; white has been good but so has sculpin/peach colors.
    And then there are the big rainbows.  I personally have landed a 23-inch rainbow trout and a 22-inch rainbow on successive days, one on a jig and one on a zebra midge.  Other rainbows were caught on jigs and flies (scuds mainly) in the upper end of the lake.  On Saturday afternoon, there was no generation here for the first time since last fall.  I understand locals and near by residents flocked to the area below the dam to enjoy wade fishing, and they were very successful catching numerous trophy rainbows on flies.  The low water was unfortunately short-lived.
    Some observations of fish activity lately:
    Lots of surface action.  Trout have been aggressively taking bugs off the surface early in the morning but more in the late evening.  I've witnessed pretty big may fly hatches as well as midge hatches and big, mature trout are taking them.  We've seen a good deal of big swirls in different areas of the lake by big trout chasing small trout, or something else.  Earlier last week, we saw browns chasing shad on the surface on the Cooper Creek flats, but that has subsided.  These swirls, although not new, are more frequent and witnessed over many parts of the upper lake.  I've seen them in several places above Fall Creek but more just below the creek to down in front of our dock (Lilleys' Landing), and on the Cooper Creek flats on down through Monkey Island.  The number of big takes is amazing. We are seeing more and more big mature rainbows caught, mainly in the trophy area.  These rainbows, measuring from 17 to 20 inches, are healthy specimens  with broad shoulders, wide girths and full of rainbow color.  They are feeding aggressively, and when hooked, are giving the angler all he wants in a fight.  And then there are the rainbows longer than 20 inches  . . . they are in a class all their own.  These fish have been in the lake since they were 11 inches old.  They've survived the onslaught of hooks and bait, herons and eagles and otters.  They have earned the right to be called wild trout, although technically they are not.  But they move, feed and act like they are, so the angler has to consider that the Taneycomo trout he stalks are smarter than typical trout park fish. Less pressure.  In this extraordinary time, there have been days when the unimaginable has happened -- in the months of March and April, only a handful of anglers, if that, fished the whole lake.  Boats were not seen on the lake until way past 10 a.m. in the morning.  The lake was never "shut down" but you might have thought so.  All the while, trout were still being stocked as if nothing was different.  Even now, here in mid-May, boat traffic is minimal during the week. All this to say that the fishing future of Lake Taneycomo looks extremely bright, thanks to a broken turbine, lots of rain and a world wide pandemic.
    How to catch fish?
    You've read a little about what we've tried.  I did not mention that I went out this morning (Monday, May 11) and cast a big, white articulated fly on an eight-weight fly rod with a 400-grain sink tip down at the Cooper Creek flats.  No takes today,  but I think the right big fly should get some love in the coming days. It will be worth a try for sure.

    We're getting in a variety of jerk baits in our fly shop.  Rouge makes several suspending jerk baits as well as Smithwick that aren't too hard on the pocket book.  Bass Pro has their KVD series.  You want a suspending bait that dives down from 5 to 10 feet.  For colors white has been good but I'd try others also.  Hard to know what they will take.  I think it's more action that style.  Keep watching One Cast.  Blake and Duane will keep throwing their baits, so observe how they work them. I think that's the most important thing about fishing jerk baits -- how you serve them.

    We are selling Duane's signature series jerk baits, custom painted, on our website now.  They are proven to catch trout.
    And that's not to say smaller, medium sized jerk baits won't work.  Try what you have in your tackle box before buying a pile of baits.
    I've been forcing myself to throw a white 1/8th-ounce jigs where the guys have worked their jerk baits, and, so far, I've caught one 20-inch brown.  If they're looking for shad, the white jig will work.  Rob did catch one of his browns on a white/gray jig.  And I caught the big rainbow yesterday on one so white is still a color you should be throwing.  It's just not catching as many as it did back when shad were coming over the spill gates from Table Rock Lake.
    Jig colors that have been catching good numbers of trout have been black/yellow, sculpin, sculpin/peach, tri-olive dark, ginger and sculpin/orange.  If you're using a jig and float, a sculpin/ginger/orange head 1/50th ounce (PJ's Jig) is working.  I'd almost go to two-pound tippet when fishing a jig and float and fish it from four-six-feet deep most of the time.  A Turner Micro Jig in brown, ginger or olive is working, too.

    Now I'd love to report bait fishing is pretty good, but I'm not sure I can.  I took out some friends on Saturday when the water was off and tried a night crawler -- even pumped it up with air to float off the bottom -- and did not get a bite in two hours in three different locations! It was unbelievable!  That doesn't mean they're not hitting them at all . . . but it means something.  Powerbait hasn't been working too well either.
    What's been working extremely well is the Berkley Pink Power Worm under a float.  Even if operators are running up to three units, fishing down at the Branson Landing area has been very good lately.  Fish it with four-pound line and about five- to seven-feet deep under the float.  You can also hook it on a #8 hook and fish it drifting on the bottom using a split shot or a drift rig.
    So now the scoop for when the water starts running again -- and when I say running I mean three-plus units.
    Those small jerk baits are still working pretty well from the dam down through Short Creek.  At our shop, we really had a run on them, but we still have some in stock and more coming.  You ca drift them on the bottom using a drift rig setup, but even better should be a carolina rig setup.  You don't have to use as much weight as you think since the lure itself will take you to the bottom with its action.
    Speaking of action, the bigger crank baits will work if four units or more are running (15,000 cubic feet of water per second).  The Bomber Fatfree Fingerling in shad colors has worked well for us.  Just throw it out upstream and hold your rod tip just under the water's surface while cranking slowly until you feel the lure digging on the bottom.  It should stay there.
    If we get spill gates, shad flies and white jigs will be hot.  Fly fish using a white streamer or a small white jig or shad fly under a float six- to eight-feet deep.  Spoons will work, too.  Also try the bigger jerk baits (mentioned previously) in shad colors.
    Our trout have been eating a lot of scuds.  When the lake water dropped out, some were stranded in pools of water off the lake.  Here's a video I shot with my iPhone of those scuds swimming around in the pool.
    Drift a scud on the bottom anywhere from the dam down to Short Creek using a drift rig or carolina rig.  A cerise San Juan Worm is working pretty well, too.  You could use a tandem of the two flies, tying them about two feet apart.  Four-pound line is fine this time of year.
     
     
  9. Thanks
    Phil Lilley got a reaction from laker67 for a article, Lilley's Lake Taneycomo Fishing Report, April 13   
    Our water situation is honestly unknown for Lake Taneycomo, right at the moment.  All lakes in the White River chain of lakes have been dropping over the last week, but Sunday the area received from two to three inches of rain, and the lakes are back on the rise.  Where they end up is the question.  But one thing is for sure -- there will be much more generation for Taneycomo.
    Presently, dam operators are running three units at 9,600 cubic feet per second plus five spill gates at 5,300 c.f.s., totaling about 15,000 c.f.s. of water.  Table Rock had dropped to right at 918 feet but it is climbing this morning.  Beaver has been holding at 1,128.5 feet and is also climbing.  If it reaches 1,130 feet, operators will open some spill gates.  Table Rock will not increase its flow unless their level reaches 920 feet , which is doubtful.
    The U.S. Corps of Army Engineers has been working on one of the gates that leads to a turbine at Table Rock Dam this week.  They have to send divers down to the intake on the lake side of the dam at a depth of 130 feet deep.  At the same time they're running spill gates, they are shutting down all gates on the north side of the dam close to the divers -- to keep them safe -- and opening the five gates on the south side. 
    This flow, 15,000 c.f.s., is equal to all four turbines being open.  The magic number is somewhere between 917 and 918 -- the depth Table Rock needs to drop to for the Corps to slow the flow down.
    A question was asked on Facebook, "Is the state still stocking trout in to Lake Taneycomo?"  The answer is yes.  Agents are continuing to stock trout as scheduled.
    The next question could be, "Is there anyone fishing?"  Very few boats out these days.  It is very, very quiet.
    "So how is the fishing?"  The answer is it is very, very good, when they're biting.

    Seriously, the quality of trout we've been catching is by far the best I've seen it in my 37 years of living and fishing here.  And I'm sure it's because of the constant generation, the spill gates being open for much of the winter and dumping lots and lots of food (shad) in our lake. The absence of hooks in the water doesn't hurt either, although it hasn't affected the quality of the trout, rather more, the number of fish in the lake.  Virtually no trout are being taken out right now.
    The "white bite" is still on although I'm actually doing better throwing a sculpin/peach jig than a white one.  But Blake has been dragging the small floating minnow baits in shad colors and catching browns from the dam clear down to the Branson Landing.  I, in turn, tried dragging a minnow from the resort down to Monkey Island the other day on One Cast and caught one nice brown trout, although I missed several other bites.

    Blake and Duane are both throwing the MegaBass 110+ in white or bone color and catching browns.  Again, they're fishing anywhere from the dam down to Monkey Island and not necessarily working the banks as they usually do.  Blake has been casting and working the middle of the lake and seeing more takes than along the banks.
    I do have to be honest and report  that I have not talked to anyone who is drifting PowerBait or night crawlers this past week.  I'm sure they would catch trout anywhere below the Trophy Area.  Blake did drift a scud on the bottom the other day and caught a few but not as many as expected.  We're not cleaning any trout so we're only assuming they're seeing and eating scuds.  They usually do when the water runs this hard.

    Writing a fishing report these days is very strange.  We just don't have enough boats on the water, so there's not much info to relay.  But we will continue to do our best scope out our trout and pass the intel on!!

    Images:  Credit Angler's Advantage, Captain Steve Dickey and Buster's Guide Service, Captain Buster Loving.
     
  10. Like
    Phil Lilley got a reaction from dpitt for a article, Lilley's Lake Taneycomo Fishing Report, April 7   
    This report is pretty photo heavy, short on text fishing report for Lake Taneycomo.  You'll see why.
    As of Monday morning, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers was running 5,000 cubic feet per second of water over five spill gates and about 10,000 c.f.s. of water through three turbines.  This is a reduction of 5,000 c.f.s. of water because Table Rock's lake level dropped below 920 feet.  Beaver Lake is still more than eight feet above its seasonal power pool, but officials are running water through their turbine, and it is dropping but very slowly.  Bull Shoals has risen more than 20 feet since the rains started over a month ago, but operators there are now running between 17,000 and 21,000 c.f.s. of water so may be they'll drop it to decent levels by summer time.
    The lack of boats on our lakes is so very strange.  Marsha and I were on Table Rock around Clevenger last evening and watched one single sail boat out to enjoy the lake alone.  I'm sure they were amazed, too.  No wakes, just smooth water.  Some days here on Taney, we don't see a boat go up lake until mid morning.  So you'd think we wouldn't have much to talk about or to refer to for reports.  But that's not the case.  We have lots to report.
    Last week when the Corps opened five gates three feet wide to accommodate divers diving on the lake side of the dam to make repairs, it sent a lot of shad into our lake.  Some were stunned and floating down, but there were a lot that came over live.  We believe these huge schools of shad made their way down lake while our trout ambushed them as they swam by.  There are a few guides out and other anglers, as well as Blake and Duane targeting these fish, drifting a variety of shad flies, jigs and lures in areas that we don't usually fish.  And the results are eye-opening.












    Almost every day, it seems, someone sends us an image of a trophy brown or rainbow -- and that's with very few anglers actually fishing the lake.  I'm not sure we've seen this many big browns caught in one week, let alone within 24-36 hours.
    The only other thing I can report is that the fish some guides are cleaning, coming from below Fall Creek, have been packed full of scuds.  Now we've tried drifting scuds and San Juan worms and haven't done that well, but with the slower flow we might start having more success with them.
    While we are sure missing our spring anglers, we appreciate everyone taking the needed safeguards to curtail the virus so that everyone can  enjoy health -- and some great fishing memories in the future.
    Credit Captain Steve Dickey for images.  https://www.facebook.com/www.anglersadvantage.net/
  11. Like
    Phil Lilley got a reaction from laker67 for a article, Lilley's Lake Taneycomo Fishing Report, April 7   
    This report is pretty photo heavy, short on text fishing report for Lake Taneycomo.  You'll see why.
    As of Monday morning, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers was running 5,000 cubic feet per second of water over five spill gates and about 10,000 c.f.s. of water through three turbines.  This is a reduction of 5,000 c.f.s. of water because Table Rock's lake level dropped below 920 feet.  Beaver Lake is still more than eight feet above its seasonal power pool, but officials are running water through their turbine, and it is dropping but very slowly.  Bull Shoals has risen more than 20 feet since the rains started over a month ago, but operators there are now running between 17,000 and 21,000 c.f.s. of water so may be they'll drop it to decent levels by summer time.
    The lack of boats on our lakes is so very strange.  Marsha and I were on Table Rock around Clevenger last evening and watched one single sail boat out to enjoy the lake alone.  I'm sure they were amazed, too.  No wakes, just smooth water.  Some days here on Taney, we don't see a boat go up lake until mid morning.  So you'd think we wouldn't have much to talk about or to refer to for reports.  But that's not the case.  We have lots to report.
    Last week when the Corps opened five gates three feet wide to accommodate divers diving on the lake side of the dam to make repairs, it sent a lot of shad into our lake.  Some were stunned and floating down, but there were a lot that came over live.  We believe these huge schools of shad made their way down lake while our trout ambushed them as they swam by.  There are a few guides out and other anglers, as well as Blake and Duane targeting these fish, drifting a variety of shad flies, jigs and lures in areas that we don't usually fish.  And the results are eye-opening.












    Almost every day, it seems, someone sends us an image of a trophy brown or rainbow -- and that's with very few anglers actually fishing the lake.  I'm not sure we've seen this many big browns caught in one week, let alone within 24-36 hours.
    The only other thing I can report is that the fish some guides are cleaning, coming from below Fall Creek, have been packed full of scuds.  Now we've tried drifting scuds and San Juan worms and haven't done that well, but with the slower flow we might start having more success with them.
    While we are sure missing our spring anglers, we appreciate everyone taking the needed safeguards to curtail the virus so that everyone can  enjoy health -- and some great fishing memories in the future.
    Credit Captain Steve Dickey for images.  https://www.facebook.com/www.anglersadvantage.net/
  12. Like
    Phil Lilley got a reaction from dpitt for a article, Lilley's Lake Taneycomo Fishing Report, March 23   
    I have written fishing reports on the internet for Lake Taneycomo for the past 25 years . . .   but this report feels very eerie.  Why?  Because I'm not really writing for anyone who's coming to fish the lake anytime soon.  For that reason, I have to write it coming from a different perspective.  May be it will look the same. . . I don't know.

    The whole White River basin received a big rain on Friday, one that was not forecast.  Most of the area received four inches of rain while some netted six inches or more.  Beaver Lake jumped up past its flood pool of 1,130 feet so officials have been dumping more than 16,000 cubic feet of water per second since Saturday morning.  That lake is now below 1,129 feet, falling fairly rapidly.  But this, in turn, is adding to Table Rock Lake.  Last time this happened, officials cut back on the release when Beaver hit the 1,128.5 feet mark which will be today.  We'll see what they do.

    Table Rock has come up over six feet since Friday and is still rising about four inches a day.  Dam operators are running 20,000 cubic feet of water per second through Table Rock Dam presently and will continue for at least a week.  This is while the weathermen are forecasting more rain this week -- up to two inches in some places.  Table Rock's level is up over 923 feet.
     I think our flood gates at Table Rock Dam have been opened more in the past year than any other year in its history.  Now I don't have statistics to back that up, but since they were open quite a lot in October through December and then again in February and now March, I'd say I'm safe with that assumption.  Besides a good run last March and a few here and there  other times, we've haven't seen threadfin shad coming over the top.  Not until this week.
    Starting Tuesday of last week, shad started pouring over the spill gates in Lake Taneycomo, delighting those fishing that day.  But the shad continued into Wednesday, and Thursday, and our trout quickly stomached their fill of shad flies and white jigs.  Fishing got tough, at times.  But then we started to see periods of no shad and the bite started again.

    This past weekend, the bite was on most of the time, although in the middle of the day it slowed down.  It could have been because of the influx of boat traffic up close to the dam.  Sometimes that drives the fish down, and they don't bite.  But still, most people were catching big, fat rainbows and loving it.
    When it slowed, the trick was to keep the white 1/8th-ounce jig or the shad fly on the bottom where the fish were holding.  During feeding times, it seemed like you didn't have to do anything special except drop the jig or fly into the lake.

    So just about anything white was hot.   We're using white jigs and white shad flies but then we're using combination of colors with white and something else like blue, gray, olive or pink.  We're also dragging small stick baits on the bottom, too.  They're not hitting scuds or San Juan worms anymore -- not right now and I really not sure why.  Usually the San Juan does well in high water after a big rain.
    There was so many shad that came over the dam that Blake Wilson from our staff saw some all the way down at the lower dam on Taneycomo -- Powersite Dam.  They'd drifted all 22 miles of the lake.  Since fish throughout the lake were fed some threadfins this week, there's nothing wrong with throwing that white jig throughout the lake, not just in the trophy area.
    We're pulling the boat up in slack water different places and working the white jig in both the seam, where the fast and slow water meet, and in the slower, eddy water and doing very well.  Here's a One Cast video where I did just that.
    Captain Rick Lisek had his clients drift shad flies from the mouth of Fall Creek down to Trout Hollow on Sunday, catching their limits of nice rainbows.  That's not surprising at all knowing our trout have seen these shad throughout the lake now.
    Nathan Bolerjack of our staff fished with me Monday and, while doing One Cast, took some pictures of rainbows we caught using my Photarium, a plexi-glass tank made for holding and photographing fish in.  Although the catching was slow, we managed a few pretty rainbows to photograph.  I've sprinkled the report with the pics.
     

    And here's a walleye we float alive but floating below the dam.  Took a pic and put her back.  She swam away - hopefully it survived the 200 foot fall... it was pretty shook up.
  13. Like
    Phil Lilley got a reaction from Daryk Campbell Sr for a article, Lilley's Lake Taneycomo Fishing Report, March 9   
    At the beginning of each of my fishing reports for Lake Taneycomo, I start with lake conditions of the lakes above and below us because their levels dictate, in some degree, the generation patterns we might see.  But at the time of this writing, we're looking at rain almost every day for the next 10 days in our area so conditions on Lake Taneycomo might change; hence, the ways I talk about fishing might change, too.  We will see.
    Beaver Lake, the upper most lake in our White River Chain of Lakes, is now being dropped from its high mark of 1,127.8 feet, 7.8 feet above its seasonal power pool.  Dam operators are running about 3,900 cubic feet of water per second around the clock, and the lake is dropping about .4 inches per day.  Table Rock Lake is holding at 915.5 feet, and the release rate from Table Rock Dam into Lake Taneycomo is 10,000 cubic feet per second.
    Wow -- I haven't even finished my report and Beaver has opened spill gates to the tune of 4,000 c.f.s..  Monday alone the lake dropped a whopping six inches in a 24-hour period.
    Bull Shoals Lake's level is now just above its seasonal power pool after two weeks of full generation at its dam.  Its level is at 659.8 feet and dam operators there are still running 16,000 c.f.s. round the clock, dropping the lake about .2 of a foot per day.
    The seven-day forecast is calling for two to four inches of rain in southwest Missouri and northwest Arkansas, but that forecast changes on a daily basis.  It does look like we should receive at least a solid two inches, so that will raise all our of lakes a couple of feet.  All this means continued generation here on Lake Taneycomo.
    If Table Rock Lake jumps past 917 feet again, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will start running about 15,000 c.f.s. of water from its dam.  One of our four turbines has not been in operation lately, and operators have been spilling water over the spill gates to make up for the turbine flow.  If the turbine cannot be used, then we might see water released again over the spill gates.  This would bring more warm water fish into the lake and probably a good push of threadfin shad.
    I posted a video on March 10th of last year while fishing below Table Rock Dam with the spill gates open.  We were catching big, fat rainbows on white jigs because threadfin shad had been washing into the lake through the spill gates.  We might see a replay of this very soon.
    As I said, we're seeing three full units running 24/7 right now on Taneycomo, and trout fishing has been pretty good.  With the flow increasing from two to three units, our trout are back to taking bigger scuds and fatter San Juan Worms as they did several week ago when generation was heavier.  We expect that with more flow, the freshwater shrimp will be more active and move up out of the gravel,  then carried by the current to become easy prey for fish.  That seems to be the pattern anyhow.  Faster current means  flies will move past the fish more quickly with less time to react and inspect the offering.  So bigger sizes are permissible, it seems.

    Our rainbows are still in spawning mode and are taking egg flies, too.  So what most of our fishing guides are doing is running flies in tandem -- two flies tied about 18 inches apart, usually with a scud/egg or a scud/San Juan worm.  Four-pound line is fine.  Use just enough weight to drop your fly to the lake bottom, probably a 3/16-ounce bell weight.  Early, fishing guide Steve Dickey reports he's drifting a #12 scud with an egg fly in the trophy area.  But later in the day he's switched to a duo scud and downsizing to a #14 or #16.  Colors on the scuds are gray, olive or tan and peach on the egg fly.
    There's some algae on the bottom of the lake in the trophy area, so if you tire of fighting it, use a float and fish your flies about seven- to nine-feet deep.

    David English, long time Taney trout angler, caught this personal best, 23-inch brown Monday on a Lilleys' white jig while drifting right at the trophy area line  by Fall Creek. It was released after a quick picture.
    Marabou jigs are working fairly well in the trophy area, working both banks, and the middle on the bottom.  If you use four-pound line, I'd suggest using a 3/32nd- or a 1/8th-ounce jig.  With two-pound line, you could switch to a 1/16th-ounce jig if the wind isn't too bad.  Best colors are white (red or white thread), white/blue if you're fishing up close to the dam, then sculpin/peach, black/yellow or brown/orange.

    Fishing Guide Duane Doty reports rainbows have moved up in the creeks down in the Branson area.  The water temperature in Turkey, Coon and Roark creeks is about six degrees warmer than the lake right now, and our trout are seeking out that warmer water.  Anglers are catching them on the Berkley Pink Powerworm under a float five-  to six-feet deep -- and throwing spoons and rooster tails.
    Drifting minnows, worms and Gulp Power Bait Eggs from Cooper Creek down through Monkey Island is working pretty well.  Down here, the water is moving pretty slowly, so I'd use a 1/8th-ounce bell weight with four-pound line.
    Duane is still catching some nicer rainbows on his signature series jerk baits early in the mornings, but the bite is short.  You can use a Rapala, Rouge or a MegaBass 110+ in shad colors, but make sure you use a suspending jerk bait.  Work both the shallow and deep banks from the dam down past our place, Lilleys' Landing.
    Images:  Credit Duane Doty, Ozark Trout Runners
     
  14. Like
    Phil Lilley got a reaction from tho1mas for a article, Crappies at Bridgeport and Cricket Creek 3/4-5   
    Put in at Bridgeport 10:30 on Wednesday morning.  Cloudy and a little breeze. Water color was fair and 49-50 degrees.
    Headed to Flat Creek.  Water was much clearer in Flat and muddy coming out of James but temps were about the same.  There were 3-4 boats below the bridge but saw nothing caught.  They seemed like they were looking for crappie on the flats.  I didn't go above the bridge.
    Came back out of Flat and down past the ramp.  First cove on the left is where I've fished alot.  Found a few fish on the livescope out in 24 feet of water but couldn't get them to play.  There was a guide in the middle with spider rods out.  Saw them catch a couple - they left.
    Ventured across the main lake to the other side and sought out MDC brush piles.  Found the first one - nothing.  Second was really small but yielded the most fish.  6 big keepers and 6-7 shorts.  24 feet of water on the bottom.  Next one yielded a few shorts - then MDC agents pulled up and checked me.  Kirby and a guy from Barry county.  Last one was on the bluff - big pile.  Caught 2 more nice keepers off that one and a few shorts.  4:15 had to head back.  Could have limited if had more time but 8 is plenty for us.  I think there was 3 females in the bunch.

    Put in at Cricket at 10 yesterday morning.  Windy.  Water color dingy and 52 most places.  I fished up Yocum, above and below the bridge, up Long and up Cricket.  Brush piles - some had fish but couldn't get them to bite.  Fished the flats.  Saw lots of fish on the livescope but couldn't get anything to bite.  Quite at 4... too tired to fight it anymore.  Others were moving around a lot and not catching that I could see.  Just an off day.
    Did meet the new owners at Cricket Creek Marina.  Awesome couple!  And they've done a lot of work/improvements to the facility.  Young family... wish them well!
  15. Like
    Phil Lilley got a reaction from Quillback for a article, Lake Taneycomo fishing report, February 25   
    It's been a couple of weeks since my last report.  At the beginning of last week, water and fishing conditions had not changed at all, so there was no need to update it.  But a big change happened midweek -- the dam operators decided to shut the spill gates off plus a turbine. That left only two units, or about 6,800 cubic feet of water, running from Table Rock Dam.  This is has been the flow ever since.
    About the same time, operators shut down Beaver Dam's gates and started regulating the flow from Beaver.  Its level is still 8.5 feet over the seasonal power pool, but that's where they've held it for a month now. 
    Table Rock's lake level sits at 915.7 feet, just a tad over its season pool, which is 915 feet.
    Bull Shoals Lake, on the other hand, is dropping a whopping six-inches-plus per day.  Its level right this minute is 666.45 feet, 7.45 feet over its seasonal power pool.  More than 24,000 cubic feet per second of water is being released through turbines and gates there.  My guess is that officials aim to release as much water as possible now because very soon the lower White and Mississippi Rivers will be inundated by recent flood waters in the state of Mississippi.
    Yesterday's rain dumped a couple of inches in an area north of Joplin, while most of the White River basin received less than a half inch.  This amount will not affect any lake levels here, and the forecast is for very little rain in the next seven days.  This will allow our lakes to be drawn down even more to make room for spring rains, which are just around the calendar!
    What all this means for our lake -- Lake Taneycomo -- is that we should see slow flows and even a chance of zero generation at times during the day or night.  But that remains to be seen.

    Lake Taneycomo’s trout fishery is in great shape after more than 12 months of constant generation.  Our rainbows and browns are very healthy, sporting fantastic growth rates because of an abundance of food available.  Our freshwater shrimp, sculpins, creek chubs and other minnows thrive in current much better than they do in still water.  Now that we’re seeing less generation, our midge hatches should increase.  We’re already starting to see that happen.
    We held our fourth trout tournament of the year Saturday, the Vince Elfrink Memorial.  Like a lot of our contests, we host some really good trout anglers, some who have fished Lake Taneycomo for over 40 years.  Surprisingly, the overall weights were lower than the last tournament, but most contestants said they caught big numbers of small rainbows. 

    I had reported last week that thousands of rainbow trout were stocked from the Neosho Federal Hatchery, which typically are smaller than our state-raised fish.  These Neosho rainbows seem to be very aggressive, and if that’s the case, they will beat the bigger rainbows to the bait or lure.  That’s my theory.  We do have to “thin through” small ones to get to the big ones right now.
    With the slower current, we are changing a few of our spools from four-to two-pound line, not because the water is getting clear (it’s not a sight thing), but because we’re wanting to throw smaller lures.
    When there’s less generation, slow currents, there’s less churning and swirling, especially from Trout Hollow to the dam.  The current is gentle, allowing a smaller lure to drop without having to fight its way down. 
    When you’re throwing a jig from a boat drifting down a bank, you want that jig to drop pretty fast because the boat will move you out of that strike zone pretty quickly.  So we use a heavier jig to drop through all the currents in the water column.  If you’re throwing a light, 1/32nd-ounce jig in that situation, the jig really won’t sink and, at times, would be lifted up by the swirling currents.
    Now that we’re seeing slow, gentle currents, a small 1/32nd-ounce jig will fall nicely, and can be worked in deep water, if that’s where the fish are.  And, of course, we’d rather use two-pound line when throwing small jigs simply because we can cast them further!
    Here’s One Cast from Sunday, February 23rd where Duane and I are fishing six to eight feet of water using small jigs.  Duane is using a 1/16th-ounce, and I am using a 1/32nd-ounce jig.  Although I’m fishing four- to five-feet down, and Duane is fishing closer to the bottom in eight-feet of water, we’re both finding plenty of bites.
      With the current slower, you’re going to change your 1/4th-ounce weights for a smaller 1/8th-ounce, in most cases.   That’s if you’re drifting bait or flies or lures on the bottom.  If you’re fishing down by Monkey Island or lower in the lake, you might have to go even lighter.  Just keep trying different weights to find the right one.  You want to get to the bottom, but you don’t want to drag to the point of losing a lot of hooks.  You want enough to just tick the bottom. Minnows and night crawlers are going to catch bigger trout below Fall Creek, if you’re using live bait.  The Berkley Pink Worm will catch almost anything.  If you’re drifting it, hook it wacky style.  The water is slow enough to fish it under a float six- to eight- feet deep, too.
    If you’re throwing jigs, throw the size your tackle allows.  In other words, if you have two-pound line, you’re going to be able to throw small 1/32nd-ounce jigs along with bigger jigs but if you’re using four-pound line, you’ll have to stay with 1/16th-ounce and bigger. 
    I had several fishermen tell me they did best on white jigs over the weekend while others said the Tri-Sculpin Olive, Dark did the best for them.  With the sun coming out more often, I’d try black and black combos.
    Our trout have moved off the banks with the water slowing down.  You’ll find them mid-lake now; before  the water was down, you’d find them closer to the banks in eddies.
    Drifting scuds and San Juan worms on the bottom should be good, too, although after some time we might be using smaller versions of these flies.  With the higher water, we were using #12 scuds and big, poufy worms. Now as trout will get a better look at these flies as we drift them a little slower, we’ll drop to #14 or #16 scuds and a medium or micro San Juan worm.  Colors:  Gray and olive for the scuds, and cerise, pink, brown and red on the worms.
    Regardless of what you want to try, our fishing forecast looks incredibly rosy heading into March and we’re all excited!!  Come see us if you can!
  16. Like
    Phil Lilley got a reaction from tho1mas for a article, Lake Taneycomo fishing report, February 25   
    It's been a couple of weeks since my last report.  At the beginning of last week, water and fishing conditions had not changed at all, so there was no need to update it.  But a big change happened midweek -- the dam operators decided to shut the spill gates off plus a turbine. That left only two units, or about 6,800 cubic feet of water, running from Table Rock Dam.  This is has been the flow ever since.
    About the same time, operators shut down Beaver Dam's gates and started regulating the flow from Beaver.  Its level is still 8.5 feet over the seasonal power pool, but that's where they've held it for a month now. 
    Table Rock's lake level sits at 915.7 feet, just a tad over its season pool, which is 915 feet.
    Bull Shoals Lake, on the other hand, is dropping a whopping six-inches-plus per day.  Its level right this minute is 666.45 feet, 7.45 feet over its seasonal power pool.  More than 24,000 cubic feet per second of water is being released through turbines and gates there.  My guess is that officials aim to release as much water as possible now because very soon the lower White and Mississippi Rivers will be inundated by recent flood waters in the state of Mississippi.
    Yesterday's rain dumped a couple of inches in an area north of Joplin, while most of the White River basin received less than a half inch.  This amount will not affect any lake levels here, and the forecast is for very little rain in the next seven days.  This will allow our lakes to be drawn down even more to make room for spring rains, which are just around the calendar!
    What all this means for our lake -- Lake Taneycomo -- is that we should see slow flows and even a chance of zero generation at times during the day or night.  But that remains to be seen.

    Lake Taneycomo’s trout fishery is in great shape after more than 12 months of constant generation.  Our rainbows and browns are very healthy, sporting fantastic growth rates because of an abundance of food available.  Our freshwater shrimp, sculpins, creek chubs and other minnows thrive in current much better than they do in still water.  Now that we’re seeing less generation, our midge hatches should increase.  We’re already starting to see that happen.
    We held our fourth trout tournament of the year Saturday, the Vince Elfrink Memorial.  Like a lot of our contests, we host some really good trout anglers, some who have fished Lake Taneycomo for over 40 years.  Surprisingly, the overall weights were lower than the last tournament, but most contestants said they caught big numbers of small rainbows. 

    I had reported last week that thousands of rainbow trout were stocked from the Neosho Federal Hatchery, which typically are smaller than our state-raised fish.  These Neosho rainbows seem to be very aggressive, and if that’s the case, they will beat the bigger rainbows to the bait or lure.  That’s my theory.  We do have to “thin through” small ones to get to the big ones right now.
    With the slower current, we are changing a few of our spools from four-to two-pound line, not because the water is getting clear (it’s not a sight thing), but because we’re wanting to throw smaller lures.
    When there’s less generation, slow currents, there’s less churning and swirling, especially from Trout Hollow to the dam.  The current is gentle, allowing a smaller lure to drop without having to fight its way down. 
    When you’re throwing a jig from a boat drifting down a bank, you want that jig to drop pretty fast because the boat will move you out of that strike zone pretty quickly.  So we use a heavier jig to drop through all the currents in the water column.  If you’re throwing a light, 1/32nd-ounce jig in that situation, the jig really won’t sink and, at times, would be lifted up by the swirling currents.
    Now that we’re seeing slow, gentle currents, a small 1/32nd-ounce jig will fall nicely, and can be worked in deep water, if that’s where the fish are.  And, of course, we’d rather use two-pound line when throwing small jigs simply because we can cast them further!
    Here’s One Cast from Sunday, February 23rd where Duane and I are fishing six to eight feet of water using small jigs.  Duane is using a 1/16th-ounce, and I am using a 1/32nd-ounce jig.  Although I’m fishing four- to five-feet down, and Duane is fishing closer to the bottom in eight-feet of water, we’re both finding plenty of bites.
      With the current slower, you’re going to change your 1/4th-ounce weights for a smaller 1/8th-ounce, in most cases.   That’s if you’re drifting bait or flies or lures on the bottom.  If you’re fishing down by Monkey Island or lower in the lake, you might have to go even lighter.  Just keep trying different weights to find the right one.  You want to get to the bottom, but you don’t want to drag to the point of losing a lot of hooks.  You want enough to just tick the bottom. Minnows and night crawlers are going to catch bigger trout below Fall Creek, if you’re using live bait.  The Berkley Pink Worm will catch almost anything.  If you’re drifting it, hook it wacky style.  The water is slow enough to fish it under a float six- to eight- feet deep, too.
    If you’re throwing jigs, throw the size your tackle allows.  In other words, if you have two-pound line, you’re going to be able to throw small 1/32nd-ounce jigs along with bigger jigs but if you’re using four-pound line, you’ll have to stay with 1/16th-ounce and bigger. 
    I had several fishermen tell me they did best on white jigs over the weekend while others said the Tri-Sculpin Olive, Dark did the best for them.  With the sun coming out more often, I’d try black and black combos.
    Our trout have moved off the banks with the water slowing down.  You’ll find them mid-lake now; before  the water was down, you’d find them closer to the banks in eddies.
    Drifting scuds and San Juan worms on the bottom should be good, too, although after some time we might be using smaller versions of these flies.  With the higher water, we were using #12 scuds and big, poufy worms. Now as trout will get a better look at these flies as we drift them a little slower, we’ll drop to #14 or #16 scuds and a medium or micro San Juan worm.  Colors:  Gray and olive for the scuds, and cerise, pink, brown and red on the worms.
    Regardless of what you want to try, our fishing forecast looks incredibly rosy heading into March and we’re all excited!!  Come see us if you can!
  17. Like
    Phil Lilley got a reaction from dpitt for a article, Fly Fishing Lake Taneycomo   
    Updated 9/27/2020 ~~
    The fall 2020 fishing season looks to be one of the best in many years.  Why?  Simply because we're seeing a lot of down water -- no generation.  This opens up the whole upper end of the lake to wading and fly fishing.  Compare this to years past when we've had to contend with high water and limited wading access to the lake.
    On top of great water conditions, we're seeing lots and lots of brown trout moving up close to the dam to go through their spawning moves.  We're also seeing an early run of rainbows brushing out spawning beds.
    Add to all of it the fact that our trout fishery is in the best shape it's been in since the 70's.  Big rainbows and brown abound, not just in the trophy area but throughout the lake.
    ~~~~~~~~
    Lake Taneycomo is a tailwater fishery.  When Table Rock Dam is not generating, the water below the dam is stable and easy to read.  I will, in this article, describe each area and how to fish for trout with a fly rod.
    I going to assume you are wading.  The water below the dam isn’t very deep.  In most areas, the water won’t be over your waders.  There aren’t any holes or drop offs except directly around the boulders placed by the Missouri Department of Conservation for fish habitat.  The deepest water is up close to the cable, marking the boundary line in which not to fish above.  The water up close to the cable is deeper and wading is difficult.
    Most of the bottom of the lake is gravel but there is larger chunk rock as well as bed rock.
    There’s steady, slow current from the cable down to the Rebar Hole.  Moving down close to the top of Rebar, the water does pick up speed. 
    **Rebar was named for pieces of rebar sticking up out of the gravel, left by workers who constructed the dam back in the late 50's.  But the flow of water has changed over the past couple of years (2019-2020).  Instead of forming a chute and crossing over to the south side of the lake, it basically runs through a wide chute almost down the middle of the lake.  There's no real deep spots to hold big fish... but the run does deepen eventually, and that's where you'll find big bruisers cruising around.
    The lake opens up below Rebar to a big pool we call Big Hole.  What used to be a deep hole has filled in with gravel over the years but is still 4-5 feet deep.  The water, again, moves slowly down to the Rocking Chair area.
    The Rocking Chair is marked by an access from the south side of the lake, where a person could walk down from a parking area to the lake and sit a rocking chair on the level bank there.  Here you’ll find more chunk and bed rock bottom.
    Just before you get to the MDC boat ramp access (north side of the lake), the lake gets deeper and narrower, hugging the north bank.  Some of the bottom is gravel as well as clay with a big gravel bar on the south side.
    At the bottom of this stretch, the lake again changes sides creating a long chute with a gravel bottom.  This chute is much longer and wider than Rebar, emptying into a stretch called Trophy Run.
    Trophy Run is a development on the south side of the lake marked by a community building.  The lake is very deep here, more than 8 feet in spots, and is not really wadeable.  At the bottom of this run is Lookout Island.
    At Lookout, and lake becomes very shallow again but wide.  There’s some current here but I wouldn’t call it a chute at all.  At the island, the water starts to deepen, dumping into Lookout Hole.  The bottom is all gravel through the shallow areas but turns into bed rock below the island.
    Flies
    Emergers:  Soft Hackles, Cracklebacks, RS2, WD40, Parachute Midge — any fly they settles just below the surface.
    Soft hackle color and styles:  Bodies can be thread with wire wrap, red, black, green, yellow, orange.  Wire wrap only with copper, gold or silver.  Flash or another type of mylar material, pearl, pearl red or pearl green.  Sizes range from #14 to #20.  I usually stay with #16’s and #18’s.
    Cracklebacks are tied with furnace hackle with various colors bodies.  Peacock herl is the preferred material in natural green, yellow, orange and red.  Size is usually a #14.
    RS2, Parachute Midge & WD40 – olive, cream and natural brown.  Size #18 - #22.
    Dries:  Blue Olive Dun, black ant, beetle, Adams, Humpy, Elk Hair Caddis, Royal Wolfe, hoppers, Griffin’s Gnat, Stimulator and cidada.   Sizes #8’s and #22’s.
    Mice are fished mainly at night, skipped across the surface below the dam and down through most of the Trophy Area.
    Wet Flies:  Scuds, Prince Nymph, Pheasant Tail, Squirrel Tail, sow bugs, various emerger patterns, San Juan Worm, Mega Worm, Miracle Fly, egg patterns and small bead head nymphs.  Sizes vary from #14’s to #22’s.


    Scuds, or freshwater shrimp, are tied with many types of dubbing material — rabbit, squirrel, mink, possum, kangaroo, dog or cat, synthetics like rayon, and combinations of all of the above.  They’re tied on either a TMC #2487, #2457, #3769, #3761 or a #200R hook, depending on your preference.  They can be weighted or not.  Some are tied with a shell back.  Scuds in the natural can be varied shades of gray, olive, tan or brown.  When they die they turn orange.  They can be fished in sizes ranging from #12 to #24 but the average size is #14 to #20.

    Streamers:  Woolies, Wooly Buggers, Sculpins, Pine Squirrel, PMS, Hibernator, Mo Hair Leach.  Woolies and Buggers run from #10’s to #16’s in white, olive, purple, black, brown and pink.  Sculpins usually are fished in size #8 or #10.  Good colors are gray, ginger, olive, orange, brown or white.  Pine Squirrel, PMS, Hibernators and Leeches are fished in the same sizes, adding black, blood red, purple and white to the color selection.
    Big Ugly Streamers:  For the big ones, throw anything you want but Taneycomo isn’t known as a big streamer fishery, unlike its kin, the White River.  They’re thrown at night if the water is off or during the day but the water should be running for best results.
    Fly Fishing Tactics

    Outlet #1 is a small stream that flows out a pipe, down a chute, then across a gravel bar in to the lake.  The stream is very small and really doesn’t hold fish itself.  There’s a dropoff at the end where it meets the lake.  Trout will hold on this drop and will take a variety of flies, mostly nymphs and worms under an indicator.
    The lake from the cable down about 150 yards is wide with some current.  This water is good for stripping flies and dead drifting nymphs and midges.  This is one of the best places to strip sculpins along the bottom although the bottom is rocky and tends to catch heavy flies.  But that’s the reason sculpin flies are good – there’s sculpins that live in the rocks.
    As the lake narrows and gets a little shallower, the current picks up.  The trout can be more active in this area, picking up midge larva as well as scuds and sow bugs because the bottom is mostly gravel.  Fish are apt to take surface and/or film flies like small dries, midges, soft hackles and cracklebacks.

    Outlet #2 enters the lake as a waterfall and doesn’t run very far before hitting the lake.  Trout are attracted to this outlet more than any other because of the volume of water and the frequent run of trout food escaping from the hatchery raceways.
    Fish take many kinds of flies here, mainly dead drifting.  The number one fly is a scud with egg flies and San Juan worms close behind.  Because the water is faster here, you can get away with using a little heavier tippet.
    When the trout are fed in the hatchery, pellets escape and are washed in to the lake at the outlets.  You may try a pellet fly, a small brown, round dry fly.
    The pool below outlet #2 is good for stripping small and medium size streamers, film flies and dead drifting midges.  Also strip sculpins along the bottom here.

    Where the lake picks up speed again close to the Rebar Chute, you’re back to drifting scuds, midges, eggs and worms.  In the chute, use all of the above but add more weight so that the fly gets to the bottom quickly.
    Most anglers use a strike indicator or float when dead drifting but some do not.  Either is fine.  Do what is most comfortable.
    The short stretch below the chute has changed over the years.  It’s not as deep as it used to be but it’s still a very area for fishing a small dry or small midges.
    Swinging and stripping flies in the Big Hole, especially when there’s a chop on the water or at night, can be excellent fishing.  Also dead drifting midges under an indicator.  This big area is where you can start fishing a jig under a float–micro and small marabou jigs under a float in various earth colors, black, brown and sculpin being the best.

    At Rocking Chair, drift scuds, sow bugs, worms and egg flies in the slow current.  Strip film flies if there’s a chop on the water.  Throw small dries if the trout are rising to midges.
    Back too a jig and float at the boat ramp since the water is much deeper.  Also beaded flies under a float at various depths.  Using sink tip line, throw sculpins in this deeper water because there’s a very good population of sculpins here.

    The big chute is a great place to dead drift all kinds of flies close to the bottom and for stripping and swinging streamers and film flies.  Work the end of the chute, where it opens out and slows, with those streamers and film flies.
    You’re jig and float will work very well through the long, deep water at Trophy Run.  Pay attention to the depth of the jig because the water here can be as deep as 10 feet.  Find where the trout are — start at 4 feet deep and work down.
    When the water starts to shallow up, go back to dead drifting nymphs and midges.  As the current picks up, swing and strip film flies.  Then, after the water gets deeper, fish all of the above — jigs, scuds, midges, eggs and worms.  Also strip sculpins in this area.
    Notes and Techniques
    When using a fly or jig under an indicator in deeper water like from the cable down below outlet #1, Big Hole, MDC boat ramp or Trophy Run, a double fly rig is useful, pairing a heavier fly with a small fly.  Use the heavier fly (jig may be) being on top and the smaller fly (zebra midge, scud or even soft hackle) on the bottom.  We use this rig down lake in deeper water with a fly or spinning rod.  Tippet recommendation:  6x – 7x.
    Use a dry fly as an indicator.  There are times our trout will readily take a dry even though there’s no hatches occurring.  Use a big enough dry to float your nymphs or midges.  Keep your leader greased well so that your line doesn’t drag your dry under the water. Any of the dry flies I mentioned are good to use.  Tippet recommendation:  6x – 7x.
    In areas where there’s fairly good current, and you’re dead drifting a nymph under an indicator, add a soft hackle below the nymph.  At the end of the drift, let the flies swing up.  This is good action for the soft hackle and chances are you’ll get bit at the very end of the drift.  Tippet recommendation:  6x – 7x.
    Sight Fishing – Even with the water off, no generation, water level on tailwaters is constantly changing, most times by only inches.  Fish are keenly aware of this and will work the edges of the water for bugs moving in and out with the water.  When bugs (scuds, sow bugs) are on the move they are easy to pick off.  Therefore, the edges of the shore is the best place to sight fish.
    When targeting these fish, use something they’re looking for — scuds, sow bugs, midges and worms.  Don’t back down from using large imitations, especially where there’s schools of trout working a bank.  Competition spawns aggressiveness and aggressiveness promotes eating flies that don’t look anything like natural food.  Tippet recommendation:  5x – 6x.
    Case in point:  The White Mega Worm.  This big, fluffy yarn worm, sometimes tied on a very small jig head, is more than an attractor fly.  Big trout are known to attack this fly in very shallow water.  It also works in deeper water.  If the fly disappears, it’s probably in a fish’s mouth — set the hook!  I suggest using 4 or even 3x tippet.  You’ll find yourself getting excited seeing the fish take the fly and setting the hook too hard can be a problem.  Plus using a big fly like this, you can get away with heavier tippet.
    Midge flies are a fly fisherman’s staple on most tailwaters.  Taneycomo is no different.  We have midge hatches every day, sometimes all day and even at night.  Without going into details like a midge’s life cycle, I just want to convey what midges to use in certain conditions.
    I’ve caught more trout using a simple rig where I use a zebra midge under a palsa float than any other technique.  Depth is important.  If trout are actively taking flies off the surface or in the film, set the indicator only 6 to 12-inches from the first fly.  If there’s little or no activity, set it deeper and keep adjusting until you start getting bit.  Tippet recommendation:  6x – 7x.
    Soft hackles and Cracklebacks are what I call film flies.  Both can be skimmed across the surface or just under the surface in the film.  Use long leaders and make long casts.  There are many ways to retrieve this fly from short, fast to long, slow strips.  If there’s current, letting the fly just drift and swing will draw a strike.  Tippet recommendation:  5x – 6x.
    Streamers are worked in and same way except the fly is further under the surface.

    Sculpins are fished with heavy tippet.  Most sculpin flies are weighted enough you shouldn’t need to use sink tip leaders.  This fly is worked across the bottom so you should use it in gravel areas mainly.  Sculpin move quickly from spot to spot, coming to a complete stop when they’re not moving.  Your retrieve should mimic this action.  Tippet recommendation:  2x – 3x.

    Tips
    Keep in mind trout in shallow water spook easily so stay on dry ground when ever possible.  Rainbows will cruise the edges of the shore in very shallow water looking for scuds which travel along the banks.  Don’t just arbitrarily wade out to the middle of the lake — you’ll miss some of your best fishing opportunities.
    Try to land your fly line as gently on the water as possible when casting.  It is true our rainbows are used to anglers casting and wading in the upper lake but you’re chances improve greatly the more stealth you are in your presence.
    Proper mending of line is a must when dead drifting, swinging and even stripping flies.  Pay attention closely and make adjustments where needed.
    Change.  I suggest never casting and retrieving the same way more than a few times.  Cover water like you’re painting a wall.  Vary your strip patterns till you find what the fish like and then if they get off that pattern, change again.  Same with flies.  Change color and sizes will you find something that will work.  Never assume they’re not feeding — they’re just not interested in what you’re throwing and/or how you’re offering it.
    Your indicator should be as small as possible to float and/or pull the fly through the water you’re fishing.  If you’re dragging a fly across the bottom, like a scud, your indicator needs to big a little bigger so that the fly, when it catches the bottom, doesn’t stop, pulling the indicator under.  This especially works in #2 outlet and the Rebar Chute.
    Dead drifting:  Always set the hook downstream, into the fish’s mouth.  Keep the rod tip low when possible and use the water to add tension to the line set.  It will be a quicker hookset as well as keep your lone/fly from ending up in the trees behind you.
    Film flies:  Soft hackles and cracklebacks.  On the take, trout will almost always hook themselves.  Setting the hook will break your line more times than naught.

    Read Water Conditions and Adapt
    Fish will almost always feed better under a choppy surface verses a calm, slight surface.  Current does make up for no wind but still, a slight breeze does wonders for the bite.
    Couple of things to consider when reading the water.  Darker skies and broken water — fly size can be bigger and so can your tippet size.  Bright sunshine and slick surface conditions mean the fish won’t be as active and can see everything more clearer.  Drop in tippet size and go to smaller flies.
    ** Added/Edited September 27, 2020


  18. Thanks
    Phil Lilley got a reaction from nomolites for a article, Lilley's Lake Taneycomo Fishing Report, February 5   
    I'm sure glad I didn't write an extensive fishing report on Monday for Lake Taneycomo because everything changes today.  After more rain fell in the White River Basin above Lake Taneycomo in the past 24 hours, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers have decided to open 5 spill gates at Table Rock Dam one foot each this morning, on top of the 3 turbines running at the facility.  That equals 15,000 cubic feet of water per second pouring through Taneycomo presently.  This equals 4 full turbines. 
    Beaver Lake is inching up and is at 1128.66 feet, less than 18 inches below its flood pool level.  The Corps really haven't made any attempts to drop this level since they had it down to 1121 feet about 3 weeks ago.  Table Rock Lake has been holding steady at about 916.5 feet but is now rising slowly because of the rains.  Its seasonal power pool is 915 feet but with Beaver so high and Table Rock rising, they really need to move some water!!  I'm not sure why they aren't dumping Beaver Lake plus they have been only running 2 units at Table Rock the last 5 days.  They need to keep moving this water through... please!!

    Fishing continues to be very good, even with heavy generation.  With the spill gates coming back on, there's always the chance of threadfin shad coming over, plus a few bass and walleye.  We will be testing the waters!!
    We have 3 trout tournaments under our belt so far this winter and in the last 2 contests we saw very good quality rainbows come in which is a great sign.  Our first tournament was plagued with off colored water after a big rain so fishing wasn't very good.  This last Saturday, out of 76 teams, 50 weighed in 7 pounds or more, an 8 trout bag.  That's very good.
    There are a lot of rainbow trout to be caught in the Branson Landing area right now.  We've been fishing down there and catching big freshly stocked rainbows that are over a pound each.  We were catching them on various colored jigs while fishing for crappie -- yes crappie!
    Some of the tournament contestants were fishing an 1/8th ounce jig on the bottom down close to the Kanakuk Camp and catching rainbows too.  I'd imagine you could catch them on PowerBait as well.
    With more water running from Table Rock, we'll go back to heavier weights to get to the bottom when drifting baits, lures and flies.
    There is a pattern we've seen when they first kick more water on and that is scud flies get real hot.  It might be because the heavier flows dislodge scuds from the bottom and up into trout's mouths.  It's plausible!  So we'll be drifting big #12 gray scuds from the dam down to Short Creek this week along with an egg fly and/or a San Juan Worm.
    If you don't book a trip with Duane Doty and don't have his custom painted jerk baits, the MegaBass 110+ is a good match to throw for big browns and rainbows.  Good colors would be French Pearl,  Ozark Shad, Perch and Elgy Bone.

    One of our Outdoor Writers who attended our conference this week brought in a big brown just as I was writing this report this morning.  John Neporadny, nationally recognized fishing writer recently inducted into the Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame,  caught and released this 13 pound brown on one of Duane's jerk baits.  He caught it below Fall Creek about a half mile around the docks.  He was fishing with Scott Pauley, outdoor marketing representative for Missouri Tourism.
    So we're back to dragging hard minnow baits on the bottom using the carolina rig, 1/4rd-ounce bell weights and 4 to 6-pound line.  We carry several lengths and styles in our shop, knock-offs from China because we do lose quite a few baits to the bottom monsters.  These baits are like the F-5 and F-7 Rapala, from 2.75 to 3.25 inches long, floating and shallow divers in perch, shad and sculpin colors.

    Bill Babler, fishing guide, showed us this week that when he drifts these baits, he takes the front set of treble hooks off the bait, only leaving the back set.  He says he doesn't lose as many baits and believes he doesn't miss any fish because of it.
    We will be throwing 1/8th ounce white jigs up below the dam this week along with other colors like sculpin, brown and black.  But white has been a pretty good color lately... white with gray and white with black also.
    REPORT:  They are liking white jigs below the dam!  Here's evidence:

    Snagged in the butt... but still a beautiful rainbow!!


     
  19. Thanks
    Phil Lilley got a reaction from snagged in outlet 3 for a article, Lilley's Lake Taneycomo Fishing Report, February 5   
    I'm sure glad I didn't write an extensive fishing report on Monday for Lake Taneycomo because everything changes today.  After more rain fell in the White River Basin above Lake Taneycomo in the past 24 hours, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers have decided to open 5 spill gates at Table Rock Dam one foot each this morning, on top of the 3 turbines running at the facility.  That equals 15,000 cubic feet of water per second pouring through Taneycomo presently.  This equals 4 full turbines. 
    Beaver Lake is inching up and is at 1128.66 feet, less than 18 inches below its flood pool level.  The Corps really haven't made any attempts to drop this level since they had it down to 1121 feet about 3 weeks ago.  Table Rock Lake has been holding steady at about 916.5 feet but is now rising slowly because of the rains.  Its seasonal power pool is 915 feet but with Beaver so high and Table Rock rising, they really need to move some water!!  I'm not sure why they aren't dumping Beaver Lake plus they have been only running 2 units at Table Rock the last 5 days.  They need to keep moving this water through... please!!

    Fishing continues to be very good, even with heavy generation.  With the spill gates coming back on, there's always the chance of threadfin shad coming over, plus a few bass and walleye.  We will be testing the waters!!
    We have 3 trout tournaments under our belt so far this winter and in the last 2 contests we saw very good quality rainbows come in which is a great sign.  Our first tournament was plagued with off colored water after a big rain so fishing wasn't very good.  This last Saturday, out of 76 teams, 50 weighed in 7 pounds or more, an 8 trout bag.  That's very good.
    There are a lot of rainbow trout to be caught in the Branson Landing area right now.  We've been fishing down there and catching big freshly stocked rainbows that are over a pound each.  We were catching them on various colored jigs while fishing for crappie -- yes crappie!
    Some of the tournament contestants were fishing an 1/8th ounce jig on the bottom down close to the Kanakuk Camp and catching rainbows too.  I'd imagine you could catch them on PowerBait as well.
    With more water running from Table Rock, we'll go back to heavier weights to get to the bottom when drifting baits, lures and flies.
    There is a pattern we've seen when they first kick more water on and that is scud flies get real hot.  It might be because the heavier flows dislodge scuds from the bottom and up into trout's mouths.  It's plausible!  So we'll be drifting big #12 gray scuds from the dam down to Short Creek this week along with an egg fly and/or a San Juan Worm.
    If you don't book a trip with Duane Doty and don't have his custom painted jerk baits, the MegaBass 110+ is a good match to throw for big browns and rainbows.  Good colors would be French Pearl,  Ozark Shad, Perch and Elgy Bone.

    One of our Outdoor Writers who attended our conference this week brought in a big brown just as I was writing this report this morning.  John Neporadny, nationally recognized fishing writer recently inducted into the Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame,  caught and released this 13 pound brown on one of Duane's jerk baits.  He caught it below Fall Creek about a half mile around the docks.  He was fishing with Scott Pauley, outdoor marketing representative for Missouri Tourism.
    So we're back to dragging hard minnow baits on the bottom using the carolina rig, 1/4rd-ounce bell weights and 4 to 6-pound line.  We carry several lengths and styles in our shop, knock-offs from China because we do lose quite a few baits to the bottom monsters.  These baits are like the F-5 and F-7 Rapala, from 2.75 to 3.25 inches long, floating and shallow divers in perch, shad and sculpin colors.

    Bill Babler, fishing guide, showed us this week that when he drifts these baits, he takes the front set of treble hooks off the bait, only leaving the back set.  He says he doesn't lose as many baits and believes he doesn't miss any fish because of it.
    We will be throwing 1/8th ounce white jigs up below the dam this week along with other colors like sculpin, brown and black.  But white has been a pretty good color lately... white with gray and white with black also.
    REPORT:  They are liking white jigs below the dam!  Here's evidence:

    Snagged in the butt... but still a beautiful rainbow!!


     
  20. Thanks
    Phil Lilley got a reaction from laker67 for a article, Lilley's Lake Taneycomo Fishing Report, January 20   
    Turbines and flood gates continued to move water from Table Rock Lake into and through Lake Taneycomo this past week.  Rains Thursday and Friday kept the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers from making any headway, though.  Beaver Lake's level rose slightly to 1,126.5 feet while Table Rock's level remains at 919.1 feet.  Operators are running 15,000 cubic feet of water per second through Table Rock Dam, equal to four full turbines.
    We had a very busy weekend with lots of boats on the lake.  Despite the heavy flow, most anglers did exceptionally well.  Almost everyone was drifting something on the bottom -- from shrimp (yes, the ones from the ocean) to minnows and worms, and from Power Bait to flies and jigs.

    Anglers reported catching "nothing but brown trout" drifting minnows on the bottom from Cooper Creek through the Branson Landing stretch.  No one bought in or told us of any browns caught longer than 20 inches, though. 
    Scuds (freshwater shrimp) flies continue to be one of the hottest baits to catch trout, both above and below Fall Creek.  You'll need at least a quarter-ounce weight to pull down to the bottom and drift basically down the middle or a tad on the inside bend of the lake.  A #12 gray is the best size and color. Of course, there are quite a few shades of gray, at least in our shop.  And we're using four-pound clear or green line -- no need for two-pound simply because of the speed your fly is flying by the trout. They have no time to snub their noses based on the weight of the line.  Those trout only have a fraction of a second to react -- whether to eat or pass.

    Other hot flies are the medium cerise San Juan Worm and the Mega Worm, reported by Flys and Guide's Lisa Bellue.
    The best stretch to drift is from Lookout Island down to Short Creek with the Narrows taking the hot spot designation.


    Last week, Duane (and others) saw threadfin shad in the water below the dam.  These small bait fish come over from the spill gates from Table Rock, along with other warm water species of fish, into Lake Taneycomo, and our trout love to eat them.  Unfortunately, we haven't seen evidence that many of these bait fish have come over the dam in the last couple of months, but we hope we're seeing the beginning of a "shad run," as it's called.
    Some of the guides have been drifting white jigs and shad flies below the dam and have been picking up some nice rainbows and a few browns.  If and when we get a true shad run, catching will get really, really good with shad lures and flies.
    I would also suggest to try dragging small stick baits like F5, floating Rapalas in shad colors using a carolina rig with a  quarter-ounce weights.  We carry a cheap knock-off in our shop -- cheap because we tend to lose a lot of baits to snags on the bottom.
    For bank fly fishing below the dam,  fishing a gray or tan #14 or #16 scud under an indicator at the hatchery outlets has been about the only good access, but fishing those locations has been very good.  Also anglers are catching fish on San Juan Worms.
    Images courtesy of Ozark Trout Runners, Duane Doty.
  21. Like
    Phil Lilley got a reaction from brother dave for a article, Lilley's Lake Taneycomo Fishing Report, January 20   
    Turbines and flood gates continued to move water from Table Rock Lake into and through Lake Taneycomo this past week.  Rains Thursday and Friday kept the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers from making any headway, though.  Beaver Lake's level rose slightly to 1,126.5 feet while Table Rock's level remains at 919.1 feet.  Operators are running 15,000 cubic feet of water per second through Table Rock Dam, equal to four full turbines.
    We had a very busy weekend with lots of boats on the lake.  Despite the heavy flow, most anglers did exceptionally well.  Almost everyone was drifting something on the bottom -- from shrimp (yes, the ones from the ocean) to minnows and worms, and from Power Bait to flies and jigs.

    Anglers reported catching "nothing but brown trout" drifting minnows on the bottom from Cooper Creek through the Branson Landing stretch.  No one bought in or told us of any browns caught longer than 20 inches, though. 
    Scuds (freshwater shrimp) flies continue to be one of the hottest baits to catch trout, both above and below Fall Creek.  You'll need at least a quarter-ounce weight to pull down to the bottom and drift basically down the middle or a tad on the inside bend of the lake.  A #12 gray is the best size and color. Of course, there are quite a few shades of gray, at least in our shop.  And we're using four-pound clear or green line -- no need for two-pound simply because of the speed your fly is flying by the trout. They have no time to snub their noses based on the weight of the line.  Those trout only have a fraction of a second to react -- whether to eat or pass.

    Other hot flies are the medium cerise San Juan Worm and the Mega Worm, reported by Flys and Guide's Lisa Bellue.
    The best stretch to drift is from Lookout Island down to Short Creek with the Narrows taking the hot spot designation.


    Last week, Duane (and others) saw threadfin shad in the water below the dam.  These small bait fish come over from the spill gates from Table Rock, along with other warm water species of fish, into Lake Taneycomo, and our trout love to eat them.  Unfortunately, we haven't seen evidence that many of these bait fish have come over the dam in the last couple of months, but we hope we're seeing the beginning of a "shad run," as it's called.
    Some of the guides have been drifting white jigs and shad flies below the dam and have been picking up some nice rainbows and a few browns.  If and when we get a true shad run, catching will get really, really good with shad lures and flies.
    I would also suggest to try dragging small stick baits like F5, floating Rapalas in shad colors using a carolina rig with a  quarter-ounce weights.  We carry a cheap knock-off in our shop -- cheap because we tend to lose a lot of baits to snags on the bottom.
    For bank fly fishing below the dam,  fishing a gray or tan #14 or #16 scud under an indicator at the hatchery outlets has been about the only good access, but fishing those locations has been very good.  Also anglers are catching fish on San Juan Worms.
    Images courtesy of Ozark Trout Runners, Duane Doty.
  22. Like
    Phil Lilley got a reaction from dpitt for a article, Lilley's Lake Taneycomo Fishing Report, January 14   
    One big rain and we're back to big generation here on Lake Taneycomo.  Beaver Lake jumped 4 feet to 1125 feet while Table Rock rose to 919.9 feet.  Both lakes were almost down to their seasonal power pool.
    Right now, they are releasing a little bit of water from Beaver and releasing water at Table Rock to the tune of 15,000 cubic feet per second.  That's a little more than if they were running 4 full units but they are only running 3 turbines along with 5 flood gates opened 1-foot each.  At Beaver, my app says there's one gate open one foot at 970 c.f.s..
    We are going to see this flow from Table Rock all this week and probably into the weekend with more continuing at 3 units when they get Table Rock down a little.  If they do the same thing as previously, we're going to see 3-unit-water for several weeks.
    Fishing was tough over the weekend because the upper lake was still feeling the affects of Friday night's rain.  The lake Saturday was pretty dirty, and when the cloudiness cleared up, anglers had to still deal with leaves and sticks flowing in from feeder creeks.  By Monday, the lake was free of stuff and very fishable.
    There's only really one thing you must do to catch a trout now and that is to be on the bottom.  That's where the fish are holding up.  That and in eddies along the bank.
    And they are biting and can be caught.  Guide Steve Dickey put 2 of his clients on big trout already.

    Randy from St. Louis landed this 28” 10.5lb. drifting a Bomber on the bottom in the trophy area.

    Steve from St. Louis Caught this beautiful 26 inch brown on a #14 gray scud using 6x tippet.
    Yeah!  Both browns!  All of a sudden they're showing up which is cool.
    So whether you're fishing a gray scud, cerise San Juan worm, a stick bait, a Bomber, night crawler, minnow or PowerBait, get it on the bottom and drift away.
  23. Like
    Phil Lilley got a reaction from ness for a article, Lilley's Lake Taneycomo Fishing Report, January 14   
    One big rain and we're back to big generation here on Lake Taneycomo.  Beaver Lake jumped 4 feet to 1125 feet while Table Rock rose to 919.9 feet.  Both lakes were almost down to their seasonal power pool.
    Right now, they are releasing a little bit of water from Beaver and releasing water at Table Rock to the tune of 15,000 cubic feet per second.  That's a little more than if they were running 4 full units but they are only running 3 turbines along with 5 flood gates opened 1-foot each.  At Beaver, my app says there's one gate open one foot at 970 c.f.s..
    We are going to see this flow from Table Rock all this week and probably into the weekend with more continuing at 3 units when they get Table Rock down a little.  If they do the same thing as previously, we're going to see 3-unit-water for several weeks.
    Fishing was tough over the weekend because the upper lake was still feeling the affects of Friday night's rain.  The lake Saturday was pretty dirty, and when the cloudiness cleared up, anglers had to still deal with leaves and sticks flowing in from feeder creeks.  By Monday, the lake was free of stuff and very fishable.
    There's only really one thing you must do to catch a trout now and that is to be on the bottom.  That's where the fish are holding up.  That and in eddies along the bank.
    And they are biting and can be caught.  Guide Steve Dickey put 2 of his clients on big trout already.

    Randy from St. Louis landed this 28” 10.5lb. drifting a Bomber on the bottom in the trophy area.

    Steve from St. Louis Caught this beautiful 26 inch brown on a #14 gray scud using 6x tippet.
    Yeah!  Both browns!  All of a sudden they're showing up which is cool.
    So whether you're fishing a gray scud, cerise San Juan worm, a stick bait, a Bomber, night crawler, minnow or PowerBait, get it on the bottom and drift away.
  24. Thanks
    Phil Lilley got a reaction from laker67 for a article, Lilley's Lake Taneycomo Fishing Report, January 14   
    One big rain and we're back to big generation here on Lake Taneycomo.  Beaver Lake jumped 4 feet to 1125 feet while Table Rock rose to 919.9 feet.  Both lakes were almost down to their seasonal power pool.
    Right now, they are releasing a little bit of water from Beaver and releasing water at Table Rock to the tune of 15,000 cubic feet per second.  That's a little more than if they were running 4 full units but they are only running 3 turbines along with 5 flood gates opened 1-foot each.  At Beaver, my app says there's one gate open one foot at 970 c.f.s..
    We are going to see this flow from Table Rock all this week and probably into the weekend with more continuing at 3 units when they get Table Rock down a little.  If they do the same thing as previously, we're going to see 3-unit-water for several weeks.
    Fishing was tough over the weekend because the upper lake was still feeling the affects of Friday night's rain.  The lake Saturday was pretty dirty, and when the cloudiness cleared up, anglers had to still deal with leaves and sticks flowing in from feeder creeks.  By Monday, the lake was free of stuff and very fishable.
    There's only really one thing you must do to catch a trout now and that is to be on the bottom.  That's where the fish are holding up.  That and in eddies along the bank.
    And they are biting and can be caught.  Guide Steve Dickey put 2 of his clients on big trout already.

    Randy from St. Louis landed this 28” 10.5lb. drifting a Bomber on the bottom in the trophy area.

    Steve from St. Louis Caught this beautiful 26 inch brown on a #14 gray scud using 6x tippet.
    Yeah!  Both browns!  All of a sudden they're showing up which is cool.
    So whether you're fishing a gray scud, cerise San Juan worm, a stick bait, a Bomber, night crawler, minnow or PowerBait, get it on the bottom and drift away.
  25. Thanks
    Phil Lilley got a reaction from laker67 for a article, Lilley's Lake Taneycomo Fishing Report, January 8   
    All the lakes in the White River Chain of Lakes are almost to their seasonal power pool levels, but we have some rain forecast for the whole basin this weekend that might prolong generation below each dam.  Right now, we're looking at three to four inches Thursday through Saturday morning with some snow mixed in.  But I'm wondering how accurate this forecast is and hoping, of course, that it's wrong.
    What's nice about fishing below a dam is that you experience a variety of different conditions.  We've seen three units or 9,500 cubic feet per second of water flowing for the past month, and while fishing has been pretty good, we're wanting a change, preferably less is better.  We did get a small change this morning -- operators have dropped the flow from Table Rock Dam from 9,500 to 6,800 c.f.s. for a few hours, signaling that a change is about to happen.  But we'll see what the rains bring this weekend.
    Most of our normal fishing techniques are working, but nothing is working to the degree I would call "hot."  We catching trout on jigs, jerk baits, the pink worm, night crawlers, Powerbait, scuds, egg flies and San Juan worms.  We're drifting and dragging the bottom, casting and working a jig or jerk bait and fishing a pink worm or scud under a float. 
    The Landing area is producing a lot of small rainbows ,probably freshly stocked.  But I've also seen some pictures of big rainbows caught down there, so you never know.  Monkey Island is fishing decent.  Drifting the area from our resort through Cooper Creek has been just okay, but we have seen some bigger rainbows come off the bluff bank.
    The best area to catch nice rainbows below the trophy area has been from Fall Creek to Short Creek using night crawlers and drifting small jerk baits on the bottom.
    Our guides, the few trips they are taking, have done well fishing the pink worm under a float, but they fish it deep -- up to 11 feet deep according to Guide Bill Babler.  But that technique is producing good rainbows.
    In the trophy area, Guide Steve Dickey is drifting #12 - #14 gray or tan scuds on the bottom and catching good numbers with some rainbows pushing 18 inches.
    Guide Duane Doty is throwing his custom-painted jerk baits at the crack of dawn for a couple of hours and doing fairly well, although he hasn't caught any big trout longer than 20 inches lately.
    Dock hand Blake has been throwing a jig most days, faring the best on black/gray, white/gray and sculpin/ginger (brown head.) He's throwing a 3/32nd- or an 1/8th-jig using four-pound line if he's fishing the trophy area.  But we've been switching to two-pound line and smaller 1/16th- and 1/32nd-ounce jigs working the slower water from above the resort down through the Branson Landing.  I've been doing well on black/yellow, black/fl. flame and white/black.
    One other thing I'll mention.  When Table Rock Lake turns over in late fall, it kicks up silt on the big lake then we get the silt.  The turn over usually happens the first or second week of December but this year it happened almost 30 days early.  It takes about a month for the silt to settle out at which time our water becomes very clear again.  So, our lake water is already clear when it usually is silty so we're going to 2-pound line now over 4-pound in a lot of instances.  Food for thought.
     
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