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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, January 1, 2020   
    Generation has stayed the same all week so there's no change in my report for Lake Taneycomo as far as water release.  Beaver has dropped a couple of feet but weekend rains have kept it from dropping even more.  Table Rock's level has risen a bit but they will all start going down as run off water slows down.  We should see this flow at least through this week.
    One of the hot lures is the small jerk baits Duane and Blake have been demonstrating on One Cast.  There's a variety of baits you can use just as long as they are floating and anywhere from 4 to 5.5 inches long.  Duane, and now Blake, custom paint their baits to look like shad, rainbows or sculpin but there again, there are baits out there that you can buy that look pretty close to what they're making.
    Here's a video Duane did explaining how he fishes them.
    We have some knock-off baits in our shop for sale and I've ordered several hundred due to come in next week.  As Duane says, you lose a lot of these baits due to snagging on the bottom so don't go out and spend a lot of money on them.  But they have been working very well!
    I got out the other day and drifted some PowerEggs with the grandkids down close to Monkey Island.  Ended up catching a half dozen rainbows in the short time we were out.  You have to use pretty small weights, even with the 3 units running, if you're fishing down lake because the current is pretty slow.  I was using a #4 split shot but a 1/8th ounce bell weight would be fine.
    I've also heard there's a lot of rainbows to be caught doing the same thing from Scotty's Trout Dock down through the Branson Landing area.  You just have to be careful of the wind in that area.
     
  2. Like
    Phil Lilley got a reaction from laker67 for a article, Lilley's Lake Taneycomo Fishing Report, January 1, 2020   
    Generation has stayed the same all week so there's no change in my report for Lake Taneycomo as far as water release.  Beaver has dropped a couple of feet but weekend rains have kept it from dropping even more.  Table Rock's level has risen a bit but they will all start going down as run off water slows down.  We should see this flow at least through this week.
    One of the hot lures is the small jerk baits Duane and Blake have been demonstrating on One Cast.  There's a variety of baits you can use just as long as they are floating and anywhere from 4 to 5.5 inches long.  Duane, and now Blake, custom paint their baits to look like shad, rainbows or sculpin but there again, there are baits out there that you can buy that look pretty close to what they're making.
    Here's a video Duane did explaining how he fishes them.
    We have some knock-off baits in our shop for sale and I've ordered several hundred due to come in next week.  As Duane says, you lose a lot of these baits due to snagging on the bottom so don't go out and spend a lot of money on them.  But they have been working very well!
    I got out the other day and drifted some PowerEggs with the grandkids down close to Monkey Island.  Ended up catching a half dozen rainbows in the short time we were out.  You have to use pretty small weights, even with the 3 units running, if you're fishing down lake because the current is pretty slow.  I was using a #4 split shot but a 1/8th ounce bell weight would be fine.
    I've also heard there's a lot of rainbows to be caught doing the same thing from Scotty's Trout Dock down through the Branson Landing area.  You just have to be careful of the wind in that area.
     
  3. Thanks
    Phil Lilley got a reaction from laker67 for a article, Lilley's Lake Taneycomo Fishing Report, December 10   
    Lake levels are down a bit, not much, but enough to trigger a change in flows at Beaver and Table Rock lakes.  Spill gates were shut and turbine operation was reduced.  Beaver is still high.  It's at 1,128.4 feet, eight feet above the seasonal power pool.  Table Rock dropped to 916.5 feet, 1.5 feet above  pool.  Bull Shoals, on the other hand, is dumping some serious water.  Between turbines and spill gates, more than 26,000 cubic feet of water per second is flowing.  Its lake level is 671.1 feet, 12.1 feet over pool.  It's dropping more than six inches a day at this flow.  Bottom line, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers needs to move a lot of water through this system before the rainy season is upon us.
    Back on Lake Taneycomo, we're seen two units of water running nonstop since the gates were shut on Saturday.  That equals about 7,000 c.f.s. with the lake level at 707 feet.  The loss of water and current almost immediately upped trout "catchability" (not sure that's going pass Marsha's editing.)
    Starting at the dam, boating shouldn't be much of a problem --- there's plenty of water depth to get there at the 707 feet level.  I fished Monday with long time friend John Johnson.  He drifted a double scud rig using a #12 gray scud, and I threw a black/yellow 1/16th-ounce jig (two-pound line) and neither of us did exceptionally well.  But the rainbows we did catch were big and colored up in their Sunday best spawning colors.

    Drifting from Lookout down through the Narrows, we did better, but the rainbows were a little smaller.  That's where most of his group has been fishing.  Sunday afternoon they did very good drifting scuds through this same area.  Guide Duane Doty said his clients caught their fish drifting from Fall Creek to Short Creek with scuds.
    For me, this flow is perfect for throwing 1/16th-ounce jigs using two-pound line.  I fished Monday morning just up from our dock, working the middle of the lake and did well, but did much better after I moved to the bluff side of the lake.  The black and yellow jig did the best.
    I did see a big swirl against the shallow bank close to the water pump station.  Whatever it was, it was huge -- and hungry -- but It did not want my jig offering.
    With this new flow, we're back to using small weights to get our flies and/or bait to the bottom.  One-eighth-ounce bell weights on drift rigs should work okay, but if that's too heavy, pinch on a split shot instead.  All you want to do is tick the bottom.  Off our dock, use enough weight to hold on the bottom using PowerEggs or salmon eggs.
    I'm sure the flow is great from Cooper Creek down for using the pink Berkley's Power Worm under a float.  I'd start four feet down and go deeper from there.  Use four-pound line, although two-pound would get you more bites.
    Try drifting from the Riverpointe Estates boat ramp down, staying in the middle of the lake and fish with a jig and float.  Use a two-pound leader to the jig. Good colors would be black/yellow, brown/orange head, pink or sculpin/peach with an orange head.  Start about four feet deep and move deeper until you find the right depth.

    Fly fishing using a scud under a float should work well as long as you get the scud to the bottom.  Use a big enough float to float the scud and the weight needed to get it to the bottom.  Fish the scud at least six- to eight-feet deep just about anywhere and go deeper if needed.  I believe we're going to have to go to a smaller scud now that the water is slower, so if the 12's aren't working, go smaller.  I caught a rainbow the other day that was spitting up small scuds as small as #16's.  Use gray, browns and I'd try a tan or orange scud.  They don't have to be weighted scuds.
     

  4. Like
    Phil Lilley got a reaction from Jthawks for a article, Elevenpoint River   
    The Eleven Point River is one of the most diverse and beautiful fisheries in Missouri.  The Eleven Point is Missouri's only National Scenic and Wild Riverway and runs in large part through the Mark Twain National Forest.  Fed by numerous springs, the river abounds with wildlife not only below the water's surface but also along its banks.  The forested banks of the Eleven Point along with the many bluffs and some caves all make the Eleven Point probably the most pristine of the Missouri Ozark float streams.  By being a little off the beaten path, the Eleven Point does not get nearly the traffic as the other famous float rivers in Missouri.
    As for fishing, the Eleven Point offers quality rainbow trout fishing for about 20 miles and boasts one of the only reproducing populations.  Other species of note are smallmouth bass, goggle-eye, chain pickerel, and walleye.
    Trout fishing starts at the confluence of the Greer Spring branch and the river.  Greer is the world's 10th largest spring and doubles the size of the river while turning it into a cold water fishery.  This is the beginning of the blue ribbon trout section and it extends about six miles to Turner Mill Spring.  Flies and artificial lures are only are allowed (soft plastic and baits are prohibited); the limit is one fish at 18 inches or longer.  There is a strong population in this section of river.  The trout have taken hold and are very healthy.  The average trout caught are 12-14 inches, and there are plenty of trophy-sized fish that are just a lot tougher to catch.
    The Eleven Point is deeper than most Ozarks trout streams and is difficult to wade for long stretches between shoals.  Therefore, watercraft is advisable.  You must be willing to go a little deeper for fish than in most rivers in this region.  Dry fly fishing is a rarity on the Eleven Point.  A 9-foot, 5- to 6-weight fly rod works best on this river.  The following is a list of recommended flies:
    -Don's Crawdad --This is one of the most productive patterns on the Eleven Point.  There are tons of crawdads in the river and they are a major food source.  Fish this small crawdad under a strike indicator and look for takes on the dead drift and the swing.  As with most things you fish here, you need to get it to the bottom for the best results.
    -M.O.A.T. (mother of all tungsten)- This is a stonefly like pattern with three tungsten beads, peacock dubbing, and rubber legs.  It really gets down and catches fish.  Use it as a lead fly and attach different smaller droppers.
    bh peasant tail soft hackle peasant tail hare's ear  in tan, olive and black in-cased caddis (mostly green pupae, but do have some cream-colored ones) bh crackle back egg in fall through December midge pupae copper johns (variety of colors) san Juan worms, especially after a rain stone flies in black or brown will work most of the year, although use gold from late August through the first part of November leech patterns --Mohair and bunny leeches work well in tan, olive and black wooly buggers (variety of sizes and colors) sculpins and other streamer patterns, something to imitate a little rainbow trout The 14 miles below Turner Mill to Riverton (Hwy 160 bridge) is stocked regularly and is designated as white ribbon.  The limit is four trout per day of any size and  any lures and baits are allowed.  All of the above flies and lures still apply to this area.  In addition many spin fishermen report good luck using little rubber grubs, minnows, worms and Power Bait.

    Eleven Point River Trip - Fall 2015 from Focal Imaging LLC on Vimeo.
    Floating the Elevenpoint River
    To the experienced canoeist, the Eleven Point is a relatively easy river (Class I and Class II on the International Scale) requiring intermediate experience. Snags, trees and root wads still remain the most dangerous of all obstacles and, on occasion, may require scouting from shore. Although canoes are the time-tested means of travel through fast water, flat bottom jon boats are used on the river, primarily for fishing trips. You may encounter some boats with motors. Motor boats are restricted to a 25-horsepower limit.
    Canoeists should learn to read the water ahead. Whitewater riffles mean that rocks lie very close to the water surface, and you are about to enter a "chute" where water flows faster. The safest course to follow is the smooth water, shaped like a "V" pointing downstream. Watch out for root wads! Water rushes under and through the exposed roots of fallen trees and creates  hazardous conditions. Learn to avoid obstructions. Back paddle as to change positions or use "draw" or "pry" strokes to move laterally.
    From OA Forum by Bob Steffen:
    Short 2 Day, trout intensive trek - Greer to Whitten 11.5 mi:
    Camp night before at Greer Access (NE intersection of MO-19 @ River).  Allow 1 hour to visit Greer Spring (drive to the Spring Trail, S of river, W of MO-19 - then hike 1 mile down plus one mile back up).  Or, allow 1 more hour to drive up to see the old mill at Falling Spring.  Fish under the MO-19 bridge, upstream, and wherever you can cast to the south bank.  Turn in early and get a good night sleep. See Eleven Point Canoe Rental for canoe and logistics.  Get latest fishing conditions from Brian.  Get on the river as early as possible. Spend lots of time fishing the side waters of the 1st island and below.  Be heavy, get down, get deep.  Stop and fish a lot.  Great spots consecutively appear. Stop immediately below Mary Decker shoals and throw heavy stuff at the pigs that live beneath those boulders. Stop at Turner Mill north access and hike up to see the old mill wheel and the spring. Camp at Stinking Pond (5 mi and not smelly in the springtime) or Horseshoe Bend (9 mi) Forest Service Float camps.  (Fish channel immediately upstream and waters across river from either Float camp).  Stay up late.  Enjoy the solitude.  Watch the eagles and bats hunt.  Keep an eye out for bears. Leisurely morning.  Fish to Whitten.  This is only 5 miles from Stinking Pond and even closer to Horseshoe Bend.  More great fishing, so take your time and enjoy.  All the way, you will need a strategy to keep the river from pulling you downstream faster than you want/need to go. Take out at Whitten Long 2 Day, fishing/exploration trek - Greer to Riverton 19 mi:
    All of the above, plus: Start catching 50-50 rainbows and smallmouth below Horseshoe Bend.  Don's crawdad fly and Rebel Craw lure are hard to beat. Camp at Horseshoe Bend (9 mi), Barnhollow (10 mi), Whites Creek (12 mi), or Greenbriar (14 mi).  Note:  Each of these float camps is a short distance up an inlet/feeder creek.  Some are not marked well.  They all have flat tent space, fire rings, nice latrines, and decent fishing nearby; making them good campsite options. Be sure to check out the Boze Mill Spring on right, about 2 miles upstream from Riverton.  Throw something meaty and deep downstream of the spring outlet, north shore. Take out at Riverton, US-160.  If early, fish west side of river bank. Long 3 Day, trout & smallmouth trek - Greer to The Narrows 30 miles:
    It doesn't get any better than this, unless you've got all week. 90% smallmouth downstream of US-160.  Rooster tail spinners (slower retrieve than trout). River Levels

    Elevenpoint River Levels near Ravenden Springs, AR

    Elevenpoint River Levels near Bardley, MO
     
    Access and Campsites-
    Thomasville at SH 99 Bridge at 0.0 miles (this section down to SH 19 not recommended in low-water) Cane Bluff Access and picnic area at 9.3 miles SH 19 bridge at 16.6 miles (campsites and put-in with trail to Greer Spring about a mile up the hill) USFS boat ramp in Greer Springs Campground on river right at about 16.7 miles Turner's Mill North (river left) and Turner's Mill South (river right) at about 21.5 miles Stinking Pond Float Camp on river left at 22.3 miles Horseshoe Bend Float Camp on river left at 26.5 miles Barn Hollow Float Camp on river left at 27.0 miles White Creek Float Camp on river left at 28.5 miles Greenbriar Float Camp on river left at 31.0 miles Bozeman Float Camp on river left at 33.5 miles Riverton / SH 160 bridge on east side at 35.7 miles Morgan Creek Float Camp at 44.0 miles SH 142 Bridge on river left at about 44.3 miles MDC Myrtle Access on river right at 48.0 miles Missouri-Arkansas state line at 49.0 miles Fishing Regulations
    Trout:
    5.5 miles Oregon County Greer Spring Branch junction to Turner Mill Access At least 18 inches Daily Limit 1
    Artificial lures and flies only No Red Ribbon Area on the Eleven Point 14.2 miles Oregon County Downstream from Turner Mill Access Rainbow trout - none.
    Brown trout - at least 15 inches. Daily limit- 4 trout. No bait restrictions *Limits: 4 trout daily. 8 possession. (no size restriction)
    *Brown trout state-wide limit is 15 inches.
     
    Eleven Point River Special Bass Management Area Map (pdf, 208 KB) Eleven Point River Blue Ribbon Trout Map (pdf, 184 KB) Eleven Point River White Ribbon Trout Map (pdf, 165 KB) Smallmouth Bass: They are found throughout the system.  Statewide season on bass in rivers and streams is open from the 4th Saturday of May till the last day in February annually.
    From Thomasville Access to the Arkansas line:
    Goggle-eye—8 inch minimum length limit.  15 daily. 30 possession.
    Smallmouth bass—15 inch minimum length limit. The daily limit of 6 black bass may include only 1 smallmouth bass.
    Walleye and Sauger: These fish are found closer to the Arkansas border. The better walleye fishing is in Arkansas.
    4 daily, 8 possession. 18-inch minimum length.
    Chain Pickerel: 6 daily, 12 possession
    Fishing Licenses -
    Residents - those fishing of the ages of 16 and older and 65 are required to have on their person a valid Missouri fishing license. Those 65 and older do not need a fishing license.
    Proof of residency - Valid Missouri Drivers License.
    Non-residents - those fishing of the ages of 16 and older are required to have on their person a valid Missouri fishing license.
    A Missouri TROUT STAMP is required for ANYONE who fishes the trophy or Blue Ribbon area on the Current River, regardless if the angler is keeping or releasing their catch. (New March 1, 2005)
    Cost- (prior to 3/31/20)
    Resident - $12 annual (March 1 thru last day of February)
    Border Permit - $10
    Non-Resident - $42 annual (March 1 thru last day of February)
    Daily Permit - $7 (midnight to midnight)
    Buy Missouri Fishing Licenses Online!
    Report Violations - Poachers
    In cooperation with the Missouri Department of Conservation, Operation Game Theft works to stop the illegal taking of fish and wildlife that includes trophy animals and rare and endangered species.
     
     
  5. Like
    Phil Lilley got a reaction from dpitt for a article, Lilley's Lake Taneycomo fishing report, December 4   
    Another week and --  another high water event on Lake Taneycomo.  Yes, operators are running spill gates at the dam again.  We had three days of intermittent rain, which in total equaled about three inches of rain for much of our watershed. That brought Beaver Lake up above its flood pool of 1,130 feet and triggered flood gates at Beaver Dam.  About the same time, Table Rock Dam opened five gates at a foot each while running three turbines. That equals a release of 14,000 cubic feet per second of water.
    Presently, Beaver Lake has dropped to 1,129.17 feet, dropping about three inches per day.  Table Rock Lake crested yesterday at 918.14 feet and is dropping ever so slightly.
    There is one turbine not working at the Table Rock facility, either because of scheduled maintenance or a problem, I don’t know which.  That’s the reason operators are running water over the dam.  The flow would equal four full turbines.
    Taneycomo’s water temperature continues to drop,  now at 53.6 degrees.  The water’s also looking more and more clear from Table Rock’s turnover.
    The key to catching trout right now on Taneycomo is to get your fly, lure or bait to the bottom and keep it there while drifting.  You could try anchoring in an eddy or along the bank where the current is much less, but most people are going to drift with the current.  Stay towards the middle of the lake, not on the side, where there’s a lot of downed trees and snags.
    Drifting scuds (freshwater shrimp) is still the best thing to fish with, even below Fall Creek.  It wouldn’t hurt to use a little bigger scud with so much water running, like a #10 or even a #8.  Gray is still the best color, but you could try brown, olive or tan.  On a sunny day, try one with ultraviolet material (flash) mixed in to the dubbing.
    With the heavy generation, we’re running crank baits on the bottom again for bigger trout.  If you can find them (they’re out of production we understand), the Bomber, Fat Free Fingerling in Tennessee Shad, Shadtreuse or white shad color is what our guys use.  Also Flicker Shad in shad colors will work pretty well, too.
    Guide Bill Babler will drift with a small floating stick bait using a drift rig.  He tends to use the cheaper baits because anglers will lose them fairly often.  He drifts them mainly below the dam, but they’ll work anywhere.
    For drifting anything on the bottom, we’ve gone to either 3/16- or ¼-ounce bell weights.  You really need to feel the weight ticking on the bottom or you won’t get bit.
    Night crawlers has been the best live bait below Fall Creek.  The better fishing has been from Scotty’s Trout Dock down through the Branson Landing.
    We’re also starting to see some crappie schooling up around the structure in front of the Landing and close to the Fish House.  We tend to see some big crappie during the winter months.  They can be caught on a minnow or jig under a float or casting a swimming minnow or jig.
    Below the dam, we’re drifting scuds and shad flies and doing pretty well.  No sight of any shad  through the gates, and the trout aren’t going really crazy on white jigs.  Seems like there’s no way to guess when threadfin shad will come through the open gates, but we are always hopeful and will try the white jig every time we’re up there.
    Other jigs are working, though.  The 1/8th ounce sculpin/peach with an orange head has been pretty hot, and I’ve done okay using a black/yellow combination.
    The best stretch to drift a scud on the bottom is from Lookout to Short Creek.  Right in the middle is Fall Creek. If you start there, you can keep any size rainbows you catch.  If you fish above Fall Creek, you have to throw
  6. Like
    Phil Lilley got a reaction from dpitt for a article, Lilley's Lake Taneycomo Fishing Report, November 25   
    Generation here on Lake Taneycomo has been very consistent the last four or five days now, and with the lakes above us well above season pool levels, we're going to continue to see this flow for quite some time.
    Typically, our lakes have been drawn down to at least power pool, ready for the winter season and spring rains to follow.  But unseasonably wet weather has kept the lakes in what I would call the caution zone (not the danger zone.) Beaver Lake is still above 1,128 feet, less than two feet from its flood pool, and Table Rock is hovering at 917 feet, variably two feet over winter power pool.  The area got a two-inch rain late last week, and more rain is expected this week.
    Table Rock Dam has been running three units round the clock.  Now I don't know for sure, but I think one unit at the Table Rock facility is under seasonal maintenance, so all operators can run is three units.  Any additional water has to come over the spill gates, as it did about 10 days ago.  So we're going to see this flow until both Table Rock and Beaver drop to seasonal power pool levels, and that might not happen until after the first of the year.
    Table Rock Lake did turn over, and the water that's flowing from the dam is high in oxygen but just a bit turbid.  Visibility isn't all the bad though --- better than most seasonal turnover events.  And best of all, it's not affecting trout fishing, as far as we can tell.  The trout we're catching are full of fight and in great shape.
    Our lake water temperature is about 55 degrees, down more than six degrees since the lake started to turn over.  The cooler temps are helping trout activity, too.
    As for "catching," there's really not much that is not working right now.  Bank and dock fishing isn't the greatest, but surprisingly it isn't not too bad either.  People off our dock are catching some pretty nice rainbows on Power Eggs mainly, using heavy weights to drop the bait to the bottom.  The one thing that's different than, say, a few months ago in the summer, is that's there's no algae flowing down in the current. Taneycomo  is pretty clear of "stuff."
    Drifting night crawlers and Power Bait on the bottom below Fall Creek is catching fish.  Picking the right amount of weight is important.  Use enough to drop the bait to the bottom.  You should feel your weight ticking the bottom consistently.  If you don't, you probably won't get bit.
    I drifted a #12 gray scud on the bottom from Fall Creek down to the River Pointe Estates boat ramp on Sunday and caught four rainbows on one drift.  I stayed in the middle of the lake and made sure I was in contact with the bottom.
    Drifting scuds in the trophy area has been "lights out,"  according to fishing guides Duane Doty and Steve Dickey.  Again, stay in the middle of the lake and make sure the fly is on the bottom.  Also drifting shad flies on the bottom from the dam down to Trophy Run has picked up good numbers of rainbows.
    We've been also throwing a variety of colors of jigs and doing pretty well.  I'm not sure what color has been best, though, because they're all doing about the same.  Sculpin, black, black/yellow, sculpin/peach/orange head --- all have been working very well.  We still haven't seen any really big trout caught with the flood gates open and the water improving in quality.  That has surprised  me.  But the overall quality of rainbows has been impressive.
    If you want to fly fish, tie on a #12 gray scud with a split shot under an indicator and fish anywhere from eight to 10 feet  deep. Anglers have caught trout from the cable down past Fall Creek with this rig.
    I haven't heard anything about the guide-favorite Berkley's Pink Worm lately but I'd think it would work from Cooper Creek and down lake through Monkey Island, the bridges and past the Landing.  The water from Cooper Creek down is much more conducive to this technique because the current is slower and less turbulent.  And remember, rainbows are normally stocked from the Branson Landing up and just past Monkey Island so there's usually fresh stocked trout in this area.
    The fishing forecast for December looks very good, although with the lakes as high as they, we may see more heavy flows including spill gates.  But spill gate releases means more shad flowing in to our lake for our waiting, hungry trout, as well as more warmwater species of fish for us to play with!
  7. Like
    Phil Lilley got a reaction from snagged in outlet 3 for a article, Lilley's Lake Taneycomo Fishing Report, November 18   
    Just in... the spill gates were just closed today at Table Rock Dam after a week or more.  Table Rock's level is just north of 917 feet, dropping more than three feet from its high after the last rain event.  Beaver Lake is holding at 1,128.5 feet, just a foot and a half below its flood pool.  There is rain in the forecast now, but it's due next week, expecting right now about two inches of rain.
    Table Rock Dam is now running only 1,400 cubic feet of water per second.  The tailwater level is 704 feet, only about 2.5 feet high. Table Rock Lake has turned.  The water coming from Table Rock is about 56 degrees, high in oxygen level but turbid.  Its clarity isn't the best, but that's normal with Table Rock's turnover.  This will last about a month and won't effect fishing that much.
    We've enjoyed a good run of threadfin shad over the spill gates as well as lots of warmwater species of fish -- crappie, white bass, walleye, blue gill, black, spotted and smallmouth bass, needlenose gar and spoonbill (I'm sure there are more species but that's what we've been seeing.)

    We're in for a week or more of mild weather with daytime temperatures in the 50's and 60's and not much wind.  With the slower water -- and less water -- trout fishing should be very good.
    With the water running hard yesterday, Guide Don House reported catching very nice rainbows drifting Powerbait from Scotty's buoys down to the Fish House at the Branson Landing.  We've sent anglers down there, and they've done well, too.  Now that the water is slower, more people will be fishing other areas down lake and reporting back.  Honestly, there just haven't been that many anglers fishing so getting a good fishing report, especially down lake, has been tough.  I've been fishing down here a little, throwing white jigs along the bluff bank and doing fair, but the trout I'm catching are bigger than average.
    This reduction of flow has caught us by surprise.  We knew the U.S. Corps of Army Engineers would close the gates and reduce flows when Table Rock dropped to desired level, but we didn't think that would mean a drop from 15,000 to 1,400 c.f.s. in just a few hours.
    Ryan and I went out this afternoon to try our luck.  I felt like it was going to be really  good, or really bad.  It was better than good.
    Trout were rising aggressively all over the lake as we boated up past Fall Creek and the Narrows, jumping out of the water after hatching midges.  Good sign.  Quite a few boaters were out fishing and we saw lots of bent rods --- and even better sign!  Boated past Guides Steve Dickey and John Sappington and got two thumbs up --- all right!!
    I tied on a while 1/32nd-ounce jig on a spinning outfit with two-pound line.  Ryan had the same rig but he was using a black/yellow 1/32nd-ounce jig.  He caught fish on his first two casts and I didn't get a bite after a few throws.  I switched to black and yellow, started One Cast and caught one on the first cast.
    Steve Dickey's clients were drifting scuds and were hooked up most of the time we were up there.  He told me just yesterday the trout were off the scud, not biting them at all.  Today is a new day.  They're liking scuds now.
    Now we were using two-pound line because we wanted to throw small jigs, but because the water clarity is not-so-good, you can get away with four-pound line for using bait -- just about anything.
    Fishing off our dock today was pretty successful.  Everyone that I saw caught their limit plus some, throwing a few back.  The bait of choice was orange and pink or yellow and pink PowerEggs.
  8. 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
  9. Like
    Phil Lilley got a reaction from FishnDave for a article, Naknek River Report, October 26-31, 2019   
    I'd never gone up to Naknek this late... not many people have except locals I'm told.  And even then, didn't see but a couple of boats on the river today.
    Stayed at Katmai Trophy Lodge near the "rapids" on the Naknek, owned by the Johnson family.  They also own Naknek River Camp at the head of the river, at Lake Camp.  The camp is closed because all their water lines are exposed, above ground.  KTL is a regular lodge with power (electricity) and indoor plumbing so they could stay open all year, if there was fishing to be had. 
    I went up to spend time with good friend, John McCloskey, one of their main guides at KTL.  John did a spey casting clinic for us at the resort last December.
    John had 3 clients this week from Georgia.  They are clients of his on his home waters in north GA.  Jason, Jane and their 9 year old son John.
    John specializes is swinging flies and the Cooke's were there to partake.  The river was a little high and off color due to rains and an east wind.  John says the rainbows don't like dirty water.  Water temp was 43-44 degrees. 
    We had a variety of weather.  Three days of winds in excess of 40 mph and a couple "breezy" days.  Rain everyday except one.  But temps stayed decent - 45 - 53 degrees daytime and rarely dropped below 40 at night.  Unseasonably warm, but always windy and rainy.  I'd call it normal RAW Alaska weather for late October.
    Fishing was good the first day in spite of heavy winds but the bite steadily slowed down each day, like the rainbows were leaving the river.  We were seeing some flesh flowing by but not much.  Nothing else for them to eat really except may be a sculpin here and there.  They winter in Naknek Lake and will migrate there about now.  John says they stated one week too long.  But the rainbows we did catch were impressive.
    They swung flesh and sculpins and I threw my spinning gear and 1/8th ounce jigs.  I used mostly 4-pound line but did use 6-pound occasionally.  The bigger the rainbow and easier they were to land, mainly because they were so fat with flesh. 
    We fished flats - fast water spots with depressions and rocks holding fish and depths not more than 3 feet deep.  That's what made my jig work, they hit it even if it was real close to the surface - and the swing or worked out in front of me.
    I landed 3 - 30+inch bows, 6 bows between 25 and 29, one at 20 and 2 about 15 inches.  I lost a couple - one at the net and one broke off.  The best color was black/purple and sculpin/ginger a close second. 
    John played around with the jig and loved it.  He couldn't get over how effective it was.  I know he hooked several rainbows and landed one that I saw.
    They caught a half dozen swinging flies.  I know Jason landed a couple pushing 30 inches.
    They saw one bear.  I wasn't fishing at the time though so I didn't see it.  We didn't fish any other areas - stay below the Counting Towers and across from King Island.  There were 2 other guide boats out all week with 2 clients each... that's it.












     
     
  10. Like
    Phil Lilley got a reaction from tho1mas for a article, Naknek River Report, October 26-31, 2019   
    I'd never gone up to Naknek this late... not many people have except locals I'm told.  And even then, didn't see but a couple of boats on the river today.
    Stayed at Katmai Trophy Lodge near the "rapids" on the Naknek, owned by the Johnson family.  They also own Naknek River Camp at the head of the river, at Lake Camp.  The camp is closed because all their water lines are exposed, above ground.  KTL is a regular lodge with power (electricity) and indoor plumbing so they could stay open all year, if there was fishing to be had. 
    I went up to spend time with good friend, John McCloskey, one of their main guides at KTL.  John did a spey casting clinic for us at the resort last December.
    John had 3 clients this week from Georgia.  They are clients of his on his home waters in north GA.  Jason, Jane and their 9 year old son John.
    John specializes is swinging flies and the Cooke's were there to partake.  The river was a little high and off color due to rains and an east wind.  John says the rainbows don't like dirty water.  Water temp was 43-44 degrees. 
    We had a variety of weather.  Three days of winds in excess of 40 mph and a couple "breezy" days.  Rain everyday except one.  But temps stayed decent - 45 - 53 degrees daytime and rarely dropped below 40 at night.  Unseasonably warm, but always windy and rainy.  I'd call it normal RAW Alaska weather for late October.
    Fishing was good the first day in spite of heavy winds but the bite steadily slowed down each day, like the rainbows were leaving the river.  We were seeing some flesh flowing by but not much.  Nothing else for them to eat really except may be a sculpin here and there.  They winter in Naknek Lake and will migrate there about now.  John says they stated one week too long.  But the rainbows we did catch were impressive.
    They swung flesh and sculpins and I threw my spinning gear and 1/8th ounce jigs.  I used mostly 4-pound line but did use 6-pound occasionally.  The bigger the rainbow and easier they were to land, mainly because they were so fat with flesh. 
    We fished flats - fast water spots with depressions and rocks holding fish and depths not more than 3 feet deep.  That's what made my jig work, they hit it even if it was real close to the surface - and the swing or worked out in front of me.
    I landed 3 - 30+inch bows, 6 bows between 25 and 29, one at 20 and 2 about 15 inches.  I lost a couple - one at the net and one broke off.  The best color was black/purple and sculpin/ginger a close second. 
    John played around with the jig and loved it.  He couldn't get over how effective it was.  I know he hooked several rainbows and landed one that I saw.
    They caught a half dozen swinging flies.  I know Jason landed a couple pushing 30 inches.
    They saw one bear.  I wasn't fishing at the time though so I didn't see it.  We didn't fish any other areas - stay below the Counting Towers and across from King Island.  There were 2 other guide boats out all week with 2 clients each... that's it.












     
     
  11. Like
    Phil Lilley got a reaction from Ham for a article, Naknek River Report, October 26-31, 2019   
    I'd never gone up to Naknek this late... not many people have except locals I'm told.  And even then, didn't see but a couple of boats on the river today.
    Stayed at Katmai Trophy Lodge near the "rapids" on the Naknek, owned by the Johnson family.  They also own Naknek River Camp at the head of the river, at Lake Camp.  The camp is closed because all their water lines are exposed, above ground.  KTL is a regular lodge with power (electricity) and indoor plumbing so they could stay open all year, if there was fishing to be had. 
    I went up to spend time with good friend, John McCloskey, one of their main guides at KTL.  John did a spey casting clinic for us at the resort last December.
    John had 3 clients this week from Georgia.  They are clients of his on his home waters in north GA.  Jason, Jane and their 9 year old son John.
    John specializes is swinging flies and the Cooke's were there to partake.  The river was a little high and off color due to rains and an east wind.  John says the rainbows don't like dirty water.  Water temp was 43-44 degrees. 
    We had a variety of weather.  Three days of winds in excess of 40 mph and a couple "breezy" days.  Rain everyday except one.  But temps stayed decent - 45 - 53 degrees daytime and rarely dropped below 40 at night.  Unseasonably warm, but always windy and rainy.  I'd call it normal RAW Alaska weather for late October.
    Fishing was good the first day in spite of heavy winds but the bite steadily slowed down each day, like the rainbows were leaving the river.  We were seeing some flesh flowing by but not much.  Nothing else for them to eat really except may be a sculpin here and there.  They winter in Naknek Lake and will migrate there about now.  John says they stated one week too long.  But the rainbows we did catch were impressive.
    They swung flesh and sculpins and I threw my spinning gear and 1/8th ounce jigs.  I used mostly 4-pound line but did use 6-pound occasionally.  The bigger the rainbow and easier they were to land, mainly because they were so fat with flesh. 
    We fished flats - fast water spots with depressions and rocks holding fish and depths not more than 3 feet deep.  That's what made my jig work, they hit it even if it was real close to the surface - and the swing or worked out in front of me.
    I landed 3 - 30+inch bows, 6 bows between 25 and 29, one at 20 and 2 about 15 inches.  I lost a couple - one at the net and one broke off.  The best color was black/purple and sculpin/ginger a close second. 
    John played around with the jig and loved it.  He couldn't get over how effective it was.  I know he hooked several rainbows and landed one that I saw.
    They caught a half dozen swinging flies.  I know Jason landed a couple pushing 30 inches.
    They saw one bear.  I wasn't fishing at the time though so I didn't see it.  We didn't fish any other areas - stay below the Counting Towers and across from King Island.  There were 2 other guide boats out all week with 2 clients each... that's it.












     
     
  12. Like
    Phil Lilley got a reaction from Johnsfolly for a article, Naknek River Report, October 26-31, 2019   
    I'd never gone up to Naknek this late... not many people have except locals I'm told.  And even then, didn't see but a couple of boats on the river today.
    Stayed at Katmai Trophy Lodge near the "rapids" on the Naknek, owned by the Johnson family.  They also own Naknek River Camp at the head of the river, at Lake Camp.  The camp is closed because all their water lines are exposed, above ground.  KTL is a regular lodge with power (electricity) and indoor plumbing so they could stay open all year, if there was fishing to be had. 
    I went up to spend time with good friend, John McCloskey, one of their main guides at KTL.  John did a spey casting clinic for us at the resort last December.
    John had 3 clients this week from Georgia.  They are clients of his on his home waters in north GA.  Jason, Jane and their 9 year old son John.
    John specializes is swinging flies and the Cooke's were there to partake.  The river was a little high and off color due to rains and an east wind.  John says the rainbows don't like dirty water.  Water temp was 43-44 degrees. 
    We had a variety of weather.  Three days of winds in excess of 40 mph and a couple "breezy" days.  Rain everyday except one.  But temps stayed decent - 45 - 53 degrees daytime and rarely dropped below 40 at night.  Unseasonably warm, but always windy and rainy.  I'd call it normal RAW Alaska weather for late October.
    Fishing was good the first day in spite of heavy winds but the bite steadily slowed down each day, like the rainbows were leaving the river.  We were seeing some flesh flowing by but not much.  Nothing else for them to eat really except may be a sculpin here and there.  They winter in Naknek Lake and will migrate there about now.  John says they stated one week too long.  But the rainbows we did catch were impressive.
    They swung flesh and sculpins and I threw my spinning gear and 1/8th ounce jigs.  I used mostly 4-pound line but did use 6-pound occasionally.  The bigger the rainbow and easier they were to land, mainly because they were so fat with flesh. 
    We fished flats - fast water spots with depressions and rocks holding fish and depths not more than 3 feet deep.  That's what made my jig work, they hit it even if it was real close to the surface - and the swing or worked out in front of me.
    I landed 3 - 30+inch bows, 6 bows between 25 and 29, one at 20 and 2 about 15 inches.  I lost a couple - one at the net and one broke off.  The best color was black/purple and sculpin/ginger a close second. 
    John played around with the jig and loved it.  He couldn't get over how effective it was.  I know he hooked several rainbows and landed one that I saw.
    They caught a half dozen swinging flies.  I know Jason landed a couple pushing 30 inches.
    They saw one bear.  I wasn't fishing at the time though so I didn't see it.  We didn't fish any other areas - stay below the Counting Towers and across from King Island.  There were 2 other guide boats out all week with 2 clients each... that's it.












     
     
  13. Like
    Phil Lilley got a reaction from fishinwrench for a article, Naknek River Report, October 26-31, 2019   
    I'd never gone up to Naknek this late... not many people have except locals I'm told.  And even then, didn't see but a couple of boats on the river today.
    Stayed at Katmai Trophy Lodge near the "rapids" on the Naknek, owned by the Johnson family.  They also own Naknek River Camp at the head of the river, at Lake Camp.  The camp is closed because all their water lines are exposed, above ground.  KTL is a regular lodge with power (electricity) and indoor plumbing so they could stay open all year, if there was fishing to be had. 
    I went up to spend time with good friend, John McCloskey, one of their main guides at KTL.  John did a spey casting clinic for us at the resort last December.
    John had 3 clients this week from Georgia.  They are clients of his on his home waters in north GA.  Jason, Jane and their 9 year old son John.
    John specializes is swinging flies and the Cooke's were there to partake.  The river was a little high and off color due to rains and an east wind.  John says the rainbows don't like dirty water.  Water temp was 43-44 degrees. 
    We had a variety of weather.  Three days of winds in excess of 40 mph and a couple "breezy" days.  Rain everyday except one.  But temps stayed decent - 45 - 53 degrees daytime and rarely dropped below 40 at night.  Unseasonably warm, but always windy and rainy.  I'd call it normal RAW Alaska weather for late October.
    Fishing was good the first day in spite of heavy winds but the bite steadily slowed down each day, like the rainbows were leaving the river.  We were seeing some flesh flowing by but not much.  Nothing else for them to eat really except may be a sculpin here and there.  They winter in Naknek Lake and will migrate there about now.  John says they stated one week too long.  But the rainbows we did catch were impressive.
    They swung flesh and sculpins and I threw my spinning gear and 1/8th ounce jigs.  I used mostly 4-pound line but did use 6-pound occasionally.  The bigger the rainbow and easier they were to land, mainly because they were so fat with flesh. 
    We fished flats - fast water spots with depressions and rocks holding fish and depths not more than 3 feet deep.  That's what made my jig work, they hit it even if it was real close to the surface - and the swing or worked out in front of me.
    I landed 3 - 30+inch bows, 6 bows between 25 and 29, one at 20 and 2 about 15 inches.  I lost a couple - one at the net and one broke off.  The best color was black/purple and sculpin/ginger a close second. 
    John played around with the jig and loved it.  He couldn't get over how effective it was.  I know he hooked several rainbows and landed one that I saw.
    They caught a half dozen swinging flies.  I know Jason landed a couple pushing 30 inches.
    They saw one bear.  I wasn't fishing at the time though so I didn't see it.  We didn't fish any other areas - stay below the Counting Towers and across from King Island.  There were 2 other guide boats out all week with 2 clients each... that's it.












     
     
  14. Like
    Phil Lilley got a reaction from laker67 for a article, Naknek River Report, October 26-31, 2019   
    I'd never gone up to Naknek this late... not many people have except locals I'm told.  And even then, didn't see but a couple of boats on the river today.
    Stayed at Katmai Trophy Lodge near the "rapids" on the Naknek, owned by the Johnson family.  They also own Naknek River Camp at the head of the river, at Lake Camp.  The camp is closed because all their water lines are exposed, above ground.  KTL is a regular lodge with power (electricity) and indoor plumbing so they could stay open all year, if there was fishing to be had. 
    I went up to spend time with good friend, John McCloskey, one of their main guides at KTL.  John did a spey casting clinic for us at the resort last December.
    John had 3 clients this week from Georgia.  They are clients of his on his home waters in north GA.  Jason, Jane and their 9 year old son John.
    John specializes is swinging flies and the Cooke's were there to partake.  The river was a little high and off color due to rains and an east wind.  John says the rainbows don't like dirty water.  Water temp was 43-44 degrees. 
    We had a variety of weather.  Three days of winds in excess of 40 mph and a couple "breezy" days.  Rain everyday except one.  But temps stayed decent - 45 - 53 degrees daytime and rarely dropped below 40 at night.  Unseasonably warm, but always windy and rainy.  I'd call it normal RAW Alaska weather for late October.
    Fishing was good the first day in spite of heavy winds but the bite steadily slowed down each day, like the rainbows were leaving the river.  We were seeing some flesh flowing by but not much.  Nothing else for them to eat really except may be a sculpin here and there.  They winter in Naknek Lake and will migrate there about now.  John says they stated one week too long.  But the rainbows we did catch were impressive.
    They swung flesh and sculpins and I threw my spinning gear and 1/8th ounce jigs.  I used mostly 4-pound line but did use 6-pound occasionally.  The bigger the rainbow and easier they were to land, mainly because they were so fat with flesh. 
    We fished flats - fast water spots with depressions and rocks holding fish and depths not more than 3 feet deep.  That's what made my jig work, they hit it even if it was real close to the surface - and the swing or worked out in front of me.
    I landed 3 - 30+inch bows, 6 bows between 25 and 29, one at 20 and 2 about 15 inches.  I lost a couple - one at the net and one broke off.  The best color was black/purple and sculpin/ginger a close second. 
    John played around with the jig and loved it.  He couldn't get over how effective it was.  I know he hooked several rainbows and landed one that I saw.
    They caught a half dozen swinging flies.  I know Jason landed a couple pushing 30 inches.
    They saw one bear.  I wasn't fishing at the time though so I didn't see it.  We didn't fish any other areas - stay below the Counting Towers and across from King Island.  There were 2 other guide boats out all week with 2 clients each... that's it.












     
     
  15. Like
    Phil Lilley got a reaction from Daryk Campbell Sr for a article, Naknek River Report, October 26-31, 2019   
    I'd never gone up to Naknek this late... not many people have except locals I'm told.  And even then, didn't see but a couple of boats on the river today.
    Stayed at Katmai Trophy Lodge near the "rapids" on the Naknek, owned by the Johnson family.  They also own Naknek River Camp at the head of the river, at Lake Camp.  The camp is closed because all their water lines are exposed, above ground.  KTL is a regular lodge with power (electricity) and indoor plumbing so they could stay open all year, if there was fishing to be had. 
    I went up to spend time with good friend, John McCloskey, one of their main guides at KTL.  John did a spey casting clinic for us at the resort last December.
    John had 3 clients this week from Georgia.  They are clients of his on his home waters in north GA.  Jason, Jane and their 9 year old son John.
    John specializes is swinging flies and the Cooke's were there to partake.  The river was a little high and off color due to rains and an east wind.  John says the rainbows don't like dirty water.  Water temp was 43-44 degrees. 
    We had a variety of weather.  Three days of winds in excess of 40 mph and a couple "breezy" days.  Rain everyday except one.  But temps stayed decent - 45 - 53 degrees daytime and rarely dropped below 40 at night.  Unseasonably warm, but always windy and rainy.  I'd call it normal RAW Alaska weather for late October.
    Fishing was good the first day in spite of heavy winds but the bite steadily slowed down each day, like the rainbows were leaving the river.  We were seeing some flesh flowing by but not much.  Nothing else for them to eat really except may be a sculpin here and there.  They winter in Naknek Lake and will migrate there about now.  John says they stated one week too long.  But the rainbows we did catch were impressive.
    They swung flesh and sculpins and I threw my spinning gear and 1/8th ounce jigs.  I used mostly 4-pound line but did use 6-pound occasionally.  The bigger the rainbow and easier they were to land, mainly because they were so fat with flesh. 
    We fished flats - fast water spots with depressions and rocks holding fish and depths not more than 3 feet deep.  That's what made my jig work, they hit it even if it was real close to the surface - and the swing or worked out in front of me.
    I landed 3 - 30+inch bows, 6 bows between 25 and 29, one at 20 and 2 about 15 inches.  I lost a couple - one at the net and one broke off.  The best color was black/purple and sculpin/ginger a close second. 
    John played around with the jig and loved it.  He couldn't get over how effective it was.  I know he hooked several rainbows and landed one that I saw.
    They caught a half dozen swinging flies.  I know Jason landed a couple pushing 30 inches.
    They saw one bear.  I wasn't fishing at the time though so I didn't see it.  We didn't fish any other areas - stay below the Counting Towers and across from King Island.  There were 2 other guide boats out all week with 2 clients each... that's it.












     
     
  16. Like
    Phil Lilley got a reaction from dpitt for a article, Lake Taneycomo fishing report, October 23   
    Generation patterns on Lake Taneycomo have changed since my last fishing report.  Spill gates have shut down and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has gone back to running generators for much of the day and some nights.  Oxygen levels remain decent and water temperatures steady at about 57 degrees.  Water clarity has dropped, though, which is good for us anglers.  We talked about using two-pound line for months because our water was so clear -- but not anymore.  Four-pound line is fine for almost all applications.
    Flows have been pretty consistent, running 6,500 and 8,600 cubic feet per second of water, or the equivalent of 1.5 to two units of water.  Table Rock is 916.8 feet above sea level and dropping slightly.  With the current flow, it's just keeping up with inflows caused by rains and some water from Beaver Lake which is a little high at 1,126 feet. 
    As fate has it, they shut the water down today but I'm afraid it's going to short-lived.  Quite a bit of rain is forecasted for the next 4-5 days which, if we get it, will bring the lakes up and more generation.
    At these medium flows, wading below the dam is very limited, mainly at the outlets and along the bank in some areas.  I've seen some guys wading below outlet #3 at deep depths, going out in current to their waist which, in my opinion, is unnecessary and dangerous.  No fish is worth getting swept downstream, putting you and may be someone else trying to help rescue you at risk.  Be wise.
    Drifting #12 gray, brown and orange scuds from the cable down to Trout Hollow has been pretty successful this week, along with egg flies and San Juan worms.  Fish them under a float or using a drift rig or just a split shot; either is fine.
    We're still doing pretty well throwing white jigs in and below the trophy area.  Sculpin jigs and black jigs are producing well, too.
    Drifting night crawlers below Fall Creek is netting some really nice rainbows, according to Guide Bill Babler.  The stretch between Fall Creek and Short Creek has been the best.
    Guide Steve Dickey has been doing well using the pink PowerWorm under a float six- to nine-feet deep from above Monkey Island through the bridges.
    The wind has made drifting and fishing pretty tough in general the last few days but that should change shortly.
  17. Thanks
    Phil Lilley got a reaction from laker67 for a article, DO and Temp Levels   
    OK - got some readings this morning.  All from the bank, tossing the probe out as far as I could (8-10 ft cord), on the north side of the lake.   Dissolved Oxygen Level (parts per million) - Water Temperature (F)   At the cable - 5.4  57.9 From the small outlet -  9.7  57.2  Below the small outlet - 5.3  57.7 Outlet #1 - 9.8  57.3 Below outlet #1 (about 75 feet down) - 6.2  57.5 Outlet #2 - 8.6  57.3 Below outlet #2  (about 100 feet down) - 6.9  57.7 At the stairs - 6.4  58.2 In the fish ladder - 8.4  57.8 Lilleys' Landing Dock - 5.3  57.9   Note: From what I've read, and I may be corrected by a professional in the field of coldwater fisheries, trout flourish in water with DO levels above 8 ppm, do ok in water with DO levels at 6 ppm, struggle a bit with DO levels between 4 and 5 ppm and don't do well at all in water with levels below 4. Temperature does play a role. Trout normally don't do well in water where temps are above 60 degrees. They are very receptive to stress and parasites that can cause death.   Compare this fall season with previous years - our water temps are on the high side but not critical and our DO levels aren't too bad. Of course, any O2 in the water released at Table Rock Dam is put there by the Corps through injectors and running turbines with air vents open. Also from the hatchery outlets. All this is in the life of most tailwaters... it's something we go through every year at this time.
  18. Like
    Phil Lilley got a reaction from ness for a article, October 14 fishing report   
    We've had big changes here on Lake Taneycomo the last few days.  We've gone from a constant flow of about 2,000 cubic feet per second since Sept. 1st to 11,000 c.f.s. with a couple of flood gates open, all from one "little" rain we had Thursday night.
    It was one of those "toad soaker" rains, a slow moving system that sat on us for about six hours and dumped up to eight inches of rain in some areas to the east of Branson.  Our rain gauge tops at five inches, and it was plum full Friday morning when I checked it.  Most of the big rain fell east of the Table Rock watershed, but it did rain a solid two to four inches over all of Southwest Missouri, which brought Table Rock's level up to 917.45 feet.
    Now this is where it gets a little complicated, but I'll try to explain.
    When Table Rock rises past certain levels, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is required to release water at predetermined amounts.  At 917 feet, they need to release about 11,000 c.f.s. of water until lake levels drop back below that level.  That equates to about four full units of water, but due to seasonal restrictions of release, not all of that can be released  through the turbines.  If officials did, they would have to inject massive amounts of liquid oxygen to the release so that the oxygen levels would meet safe federal Clean Water Act levels (four parts per million).  So the Corps opened three spill gates one foot each at about 5,500 c.f.s., combining it with four turbines at half capacity to equal the release needed to curb rising lake levels.
    So we have water being released at roughly 40 feet and 130-feet deep from Table Rock Lake.  I took readings Monday and found the following temperatures and dissolved oxygen levels:
    Spill side, dam -  8.8 ppm. 67.5 degrees
    Turbine, dam side 4.0 ppm. 57.5 degrees   Lookout, middle 5.7 ppm.  59.7 degrees   Fall Creek, middle. 6.7 ppm. 62.4 degrees   Lilleys' Landing, middle 6.8 ppm. 61.5 degrees So we're getting a good mix of dissolved oxygen with the gates opened, and the water temperature on the spill gates side isn't as high as we thought it might be.  That was the concern.  Our trout don't do well in warm water, especially brown trout.  With this mix of cool and warm water, our trout should thrive pretty well.  Thankfully, Table Rock's water temperatures have been dropping steadily with the cooler weather moving in.  The other day when air temps dropped and the winds picked up, Table Rock's level really dropped out fast.
    Note:  It usually takes me two or three sittings to write my reports, sometimes over a couple of days.  When I talk about things like lake levels, those change between the time I start the report and finish it.  So it is in this case.  By the time this is published, Table Rock's level will reach 917 feet, and our flow will drop dramatically, changing a lot of what's in this report. 
    My fishing report now is going to be very hard to write . . . simply because lake conditions will change shortly and so will how we go about catching fish.  I guess I'll just write about how I THINK it's going to be and hope for the best.
    I'm going to assume  that when operators shut the spill gates down, the Corps will keep the turbine release about the same, so there will be plenty of flowing water coming from Table Rock.  They may go back to the 35-50 megawatts of generation they were running prior to the heavy rains that prompted this big release, but I don't expect that since Table Rock will still be a couple of feet over normal and rain is in the forecast.  Regardless, we're going to see running water for quite some time.
    When they run gates and send warmer water through the system, our scud population explodes.  So drifting with scuds (flies that mimic freshwater shrimp or scuds) should be one of the best things to drift on the bottom.  They actually have been good,  both when drifted on the bottom without a float and with a float, but these conditions should make them even more desirable.
    Some of the guides have been using larger scuds -- up to an #8 -- but with the water slowing down, I'd go back to #12's to as small as #16's.
    White jigs have been working below the dam as well as drifting crank baits on the bottom, as long as there enough current to do that.  If the water release drops too low, the cranks won't work.  We use the Bomber Fat Free Shad Fingerling in shad flavors.  You need to throw it out toward the dam and crank it down until you feel it ticking on the bottom, then let it ride. 
    With white jigs, let them drift, too, working them as little as possible.  Threadfin shad have been coming over the spill gates (although we haven't seen any) and drifting down lake, eaten up pretty quickly by trout and other fish.  You should probably use 1/8th-ounce jigs until dam operators  drop the flow, then go to smaller jigs.  Other jig colors have been working, too, such as black, brown, sculpin, sculpin peach.
    Don't forget that when drifting flies on the bottom in the trophy area and even farther down past Fall Creek, try red San Juan worms and egg flies.  Use one of these with a scud in a tandem rig.  With this much flow, four-pound line is perfectly fine.
    I've seen more and more top water action.  If you're a dry fly lover, start throwing those hoppers, stimulators, ants, beetles and elk hair caddis flies along the banks and see what happens.
    I've also witnessed a lot of people catching rainbows drifting below Fall Creek with night crawlers and power eggs.  Use a quarter-ounce weight t with this much flow but drop to an 1/8th-ounce when the water is kicked back.
    A lot of boaters have been anchoring in current lately, some right in the middle of the lake.  First, I can't imagine catching anything and, second, this can be very dangerous.  Those whom I've seen are anchoring off the front and are in deep V boats, so they can handle the current, but if you anchor in the wrong way in the wrong kind of boat, the current can and will pull the boat under in a second.  I would never suggest anyone try this, regardless of whether they are operating in a safe manner.  You'd be much better off anchoring over on the side in an eddie or slower current where you'd find more fish primed to take your bait.  Also, anglers  are asking for trouble when anchoring in the middle of the lake since  most boaters are drifting.  It's dangerous to assume that  all boaters can handle their boats in current and won't drift into another boat in their path.


     





    All images above are from Duane Doty's Facebook Page, Ozark Trout Runners.  They are pictures he's taken out on guide trips the past two weeks.  And all of the fish -- walleye, bass and trout -- were caught on his signature series, custom painted jerk baits.

    This is Blake Wilson, one of our dock workers.  He's been throwing Duane's jerk bait almost every evening, and he finally scored a trophy brown.  It was 27 inches long and weighed more than nine pounds.  He released it after reviving it in our holding tank.
    We always have a big holding tank with lake water running through it for big fish that are brought in to the dock.  Because of the seasonal low D.O. conditions, we added an oxygen tank and a diffuser stone to add more O2 to the water in the tank.  Now that we (Lilley's Landing) have become known for this service, we do get a lot of big trout brought in for weighing and pictures. But please consider this:  If you catch a big fish miles from our dock, you may put the fish in peril if you bring it in instead of just releasing it immediately.  Consider the size of your live well, whether it is big enough for your fish?  If you're running a long distance, you won't be adding fresh water to the live well on your run, with the lake water already low in O2.
    I would ask you to consider pulling over to the bank (where it is safe to anchor) and take your time, letting the fish rest in the live well or even in the net in the lake.  Wait 10 or 15 minutes and let the fish recover before getting pictures.  I caught a very nice rainbow once and pulled over to the side, got out of the boat with the fish in the net so I could just lift it out of the water for a few seconds for pictures, then after I made sure it was strong enough, released it.  Yes, I got my feet wet but it was well worth it.

  19. Thanks
    Phil Lilley got a reaction from laker67 for a article, October 14 fishing report   
    We've had big changes here on Lake Taneycomo the last few days.  We've gone from a constant flow of about 2,000 cubic feet per second since Sept. 1st to 11,000 c.f.s. with a couple of flood gates open, all from one "little" rain we had Thursday night.
    It was one of those "toad soaker" rains, a slow moving system that sat on us for about six hours and dumped up to eight inches of rain in some areas to the east of Branson.  Our rain gauge tops at five inches, and it was plum full Friday morning when I checked it.  Most of the big rain fell east of the Table Rock watershed, but it did rain a solid two to four inches over all of Southwest Missouri, which brought Table Rock's level up to 917.45 feet.
    Now this is where it gets a little complicated, but I'll try to explain.
    When Table Rock rises past certain levels, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is required to release water at predetermined amounts.  At 917 feet, they need to release about 11,000 c.f.s. of water until lake levels drop back below that level.  That equates to about four full units of water, but due to seasonal restrictions of release, not all of that can be released  through the turbines.  If officials did, they would have to inject massive amounts of liquid oxygen to the release so that the oxygen levels would meet safe federal Clean Water Act levels (four parts per million).  So the Corps opened three spill gates one foot each at about 5,500 c.f.s., combining it with four turbines at half capacity to equal the release needed to curb rising lake levels.
    So we have water being released at roughly 40 feet and 130-feet deep from Table Rock Lake.  I took readings Monday and found the following temperatures and dissolved oxygen levels:
    Spill side, dam -  8.8 ppm. 67.5 degrees
    Turbine, dam side 4.0 ppm. 57.5 degrees   Lookout, middle 5.7 ppm.  59.7 degrees   Fall Creek, middle. 6.7 ppm. 62.4 degrees   Lilleys' Landing, middle 6.8 ppm. 61.5 degrees So we're getting a good mix of dissolved oxygen with the gates opened, and the water temperature on the spill gates side isn't as high as we thought it might be.  That was the concern.  Our trout don't do well in warm water, especially brown trout.  With this mix of cool and warm water, our trout should thrive pretty well.  Thankfully, Table Rock's water temperatures have been dropping steadily with the cooler weather moving in.  The other day when air temps dropped and the winds picked up, Table Rock's level really dropped out fast.
    Note:  It usually takes me two or three sittings to write my reports, sometimes over a couple of days.  When I talk about things like lake levels, those change between the time I start the report and finish it.  So it is in this case.  By the time this is published, Table Rock's level will reach 917 feet, and our flow will drop dramatically, changing a lot of what's in this report. 
    My fishing report now is going to be very hard to write . . . simply because lake conditions will change shortly and so will how we go about catching fish.  I guess I'll just write about how I THINK it's going to be and hope for the best.
    I'm going to assume  that when operators shut the spill gates down, the Corps will keep the turbine release about the same, so there will be plenty of flowing water coming from Table Rock.  They may go back to the 35-50 megawatts of generation they were running prior to the heavy rains that prompted this big release, but I don't expect that since Table Rock will still be a couple of feet over normal and rain is in the forecast.  Regardless, we're going to see running water for quite some time.
    When they run gates and send warmer water through the system, our scud population explodes.  So drifting with scuds (flies that mimic freshwater shrimp or scuds) should be one of the best things to drift on the bottom.  They actually have been good,  both when drifted on the bottom without a float and with a float, but these conditions should make them even more desirable.
    Some of the guides have been using larger scuds -- up to an #8 -- but with the water slowing down, I'd go back to #12's to as small as #16's.
    White jigs have been working below the dam as well as drifting crank baits on the bottom, as long as there enough current to do that.  If the water release drops too low, the cranks won't work.  We use the Bomber Fat Free Shad Fingerling in shad flavors.  You need to throw it out toward the dam and crank it down until you feel it ticking on the bottom, then let it ride. 
    With white jigs, let them drift, too, working them as little as possible.  Threadfin shad have been coming over the spill gates (although we haven't seen any) and drifting down lake, eaten up pretty quickly by trout and other fish.  You should probably use 1/8th-ounce jigs until dam operators  drop the flow, then go to smaller jigs.  Other jig colors have been working, too, such as black, brown, sculpin, sculpin peach.
    Don't forget that when drifting flies on the bottom in the trophy area and even farther down past Fall Creek, try red San Juan worms and egg flies.  Use one of these with a scud in a tandem rig.  With this much flow, four-pound line is perfectly fine.
    I've seen more and more top water action.  If you're a dry fly lover, start throwing those hoppers, stimulators, ants, beetles and elk hair caddis flies along the banks and see what happens.
    I've also witnessed a lot of people catching rainbows drifting below Fall Creek with night crawlers and power eggs.  Use a quarter-ounce weight t with this much flow but drop to an 1/8th-ounce when the water is kicked back.
    A lot of boaters have been anchoring in current lately, some right in the middle of the lake.  First, I can't imagine catching anything and, second, this can be very dangerous.  Those whom I've seen are anchoring off the front and are in deep V boats, so they can handle the current, but if you anchor in the wrong way in the wrong kind of boat, the current can and will pull the boat under in a second.  I would never suggest anyone try this, regardless of whether they are operating in a safe manner.  You'd be much better off anchoring over on the side in an eddie or slower current where you'd find more fish primed to take your bait.  Also, anglers  are asking for trouble when anchoring in the middle of the lake since  most boaters are drifting.  It's dangerous to assume that  all boaters can handle their boats in current and won't drift into another boat in their path.


     





    All images above are from Duane Doty's Facebook Page, Ozark Trout Runners.  They are pictures he's taken out on guide trips the past two weeks.  And all of the fish -- walleye, bass and trout -- were caught on his signature series, custom painted jerk baits.

    This is Blake Wilson, one of our dock workers.  He's been throwing Duane's jerk bait almost every evening, and he finally scored a trophy brown.  It was 27 inches long and weighed more than nine pounds.  He released it after reviving it in our holding tank.
    We always have a big holding tank with lake water running through it for big fish that are brought in to the dock.  Because of the seasonal low D.O. conditions, we added an oxygen tank and a diffuser stone to add more O2 to the water in the tank.  Now that we (Lilley's Landing) have become known for this service, we do get a lot of big trout brought in for weighing and pictures. But please consider this:  If you catch a big fish miles from our dock, you may put the fish in peril if you bring it in instead of just releasing it immediately.  Consider the size of your live well, whether it is big enough for your fish?  If you're running a long distance, you won't be adding fresh water to the live well on your run, with the lake water already low in O2.
    I would ask you to consider pulling over to the bank (where it is safe to anchor) and take your time, letting the fish rest in the live well or even in the net in the lake.  Wait 10 or 15 minutes and let the fish recover before getting pictures.  I caught a very nice rainbow once and pulled over to the side, got out of the boat with the fish in the net so I could just lift it out of the water for a few seconds for pictures, then after I made sure it was strong enough, released it.  Yes, I got my feet wet but it was well worth it.

  20. Like
    Phil Lilley got a reaction from tho1mas for a article, October 14 fishing report   
    We've had big changes here on Lake Taneycomo the last few days.  We've gone from a constant flow of about 2,000 cubic feet per second since Sept. 1st to 11,000 c.f.s. with a couple of flood gates open, all from one "little" rain we had Thursday night.
    It was one of those "toad soaker" rains, a slow moving system that sat on us for about six hours and dumped up to eight inches of rain in some areas to the east of Branson.  Our rain gauge tops at five inches, and it was plum full Friday morning when I checked it.  Most of the big rain fell east of the Table Rock watershed, but it did rain a solid two to four inches over all of Southwest Missouri, which brought Table Rock's level up to 917.45 feet.
    Now this is where it gets a little complicated, but I'll try to explain.
    When Table Rock rises past certain levels, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is required to release water at predetermined amounts.  At 917 feet, they need to release about 11,000 c.f.s. of water until lake levels drop back below that level.  That equates to about four full units of water, but due to seasonal restrictions of release, not all of that can be released  through the turbines.  If officials did, they would have to inject massive amounts of liquid oxygen to the release so that the oxygen levels would meet safe federal Clean Water Act levels (four parts per million).  So the Corps opened three spill gates one foot each at about 5,500 c.f.s., combining it with four turbines at half capacity to equal the release needed to curb rising lake levels.
    So we have water being released at roughly 40 feet and 130-feet deep from Table Rock Lake.  I took readings Monday and found the following temperatures and dissolved oxygen levels:
    Spill side, dam -  8.8 ppm. 67.5 degrees
    Turbine, dam side 4.0 ppm. 57.5 degrees   Lookout, middle 5.7 ppm.  59.7 degrees   Fall Creek, middle. 6.7 ppm. 62.4 degrees   Lilleys' Landing, middle 6.8 ppm. 61.5 degrees So we're getting a good mix of dissolved oxygen with the gates opened, and the water temperature on the spill gates side isn't as high as we thought it might be.  That was the concern.  Our trout don't do well in warm water, especially brown trout.  With this mix of cool and warm water, our trout should thrive pretty well.  Thankfully, Table Rock's water temperatures have been dropping steadily with the cooler weather moving in.  The other day when air temps dropped and the winds picked up, Table Rock's level really dropped out fast.
    Note:  It usually takes me two or three sittings to write my reports, sometimes over a couple of days.  When I talk about things like lake levels, those change between the time I start the report and finish it.  So it is in this case.  By the time this is published, Table Rock's level will reach 917 feet, and our flow will drop dramatically, changing a lot of what's in this report. 
    My fishing report now is going to be very hard to write . . . simply because lake conditions will change shortly and so will how we go about catching fish.  I guess I'll just write about how I THINK it's going to be and hope for the best.
    I'm going to assume  that when operators shut the spill gates down, the Corps will keep the turbine release about the same, so there will be plenty of flowing water coming from Table Rock.  They may go back to the 35-50 megawatts of generation they were running prior to the heavy rains that prompted this big release, but I don't expect that since Table Rock will still be a couple of feet over normal and rain is in the forecast.  Regardless, we're going to see running water for quite some time.
    When they run gates and send warmer water through the system, our scud population explodes.  So drifting with scuds (flies that mimic freshwater shrimp or scuds) should be one of the best things to drift on the bottom.  They actually have been good,  both when drifted on the bottom without a float and with a float, but these conditions should make them even more desirable.
    Some of the guides have been using larger scuds -- up to an #8 -- but with the water slowing down, I'd go back to #12's to as small as #16's.
    White jigs have been working below the dam as well as drifting crank baits on the bottom, as long as there enough current to do that.  If the water release drops too low, the cranks won't work.  We use the Bomber Fat Free Shad Fingerling in shad flavors.  You need to throw it out toward the dam and crank it down until you feel it ticking on the bottom, then let it ride. 
    With white jigs, let them drift, too, working them as little as possible.  Threadfin shad have been coming over the spill gates (although we haven't seen any) and drifting down lake, eaten up pretty quickly by trout and other fish.  You should probably use 1/8th-ounce jigs until dam operators  drop the flow, then go to smaller jigs.  Other jig colors have been working, too, such as black, brown, sculpin, sculpin peach.
    Don't forget that when drifting flies on the bottom in the trophy area and even farther down past Fall Creek, try red San Juan worms and egg flies.  Use one of these with a scud in a tandem rig.  With this much flow, four-pound line is perfectly fine.
    I've seen more and more top water action.  If you're a dry fly lover, start throwing those hoppers, stimulators, ants, beetles and elk hair caddis flies along the banks and see what happens.
    I've also witnessed a lot of people catching rainbows drifting below Fall Creek with night crawlers and power eggs.  Use a quarter-ounce weight t with this much flow but drop to an 1/8th-ounce when the water is kicked back.
    A lot of boaters have been anchoring in current lately, some right in the middle of the lake.  First, I can't imagine catching anything and, second, this can be very dangerous.  Those whom I've seen are anchoring off the front and are in deep V boats, so they can handle the current, but if you anchor in the wrong way in the wrong kind of boat, the current can and will pull the boat under in a second.  I would never suggest anyone try this, regardless of whether they are operating in a safe manner.  You'd be much better off anchoring over on the side in an eddie or slower current where you'd find more fish primed to take your bait.  Also, anglers  are asking for trouble when anchoring in the middle of the lake since  most boaters are drifting.  It's dangerous to assume that  all boaters can handle their boats in current and won't drift into another boat in their path.


     





    All images above are from Duane Doty's Facebook Page, Ozark Trout Runners.  They are pictures he's taken out on guide trips the past two weeks.  And all of the fish -- walleye, bass and trout -- were caught on his signature series, custom painted jerk baits.

    This is Blake Wilson, one of our dock workers.  He's been throwing Duane's jerk bait almost every evening, and he finally scored a trophy brown.  It was 27 inches long and weighed more than nine pounds.  He released it after reviving it in our holding tank.
    We always have a big holding tank with lake water running through it for big fish that are brought in to the dock.  Because of the seasonal low D.O. conditions, we added an oxygen tank and a diffuser stone to add more O2 to the water in the tank.  Now that we (Lilley's Landing) have become known for this service, we do get a lot of big trout brought in for weighing and pictures. But please consider this:  If you catch a big fish miles from our dock, you may put the fish in peril if you bring it in instead of just releasing it immediately.  Consider the size of your live well, whether it is big enough for your fish?  If you're running a long distance, you won't be adding fresh water to the live well on your run, with the lake water already low in O2.
    I would ask you to consider pulling over to the bank (where it is safe to anchor) and take your time, letting the fish rest in the live well or even in the net in the lake.  Wait 10 or 15 minutes and let the fish recover before getting pictures.  I caught a very nice rainbow once and pulled over to the side, got out of the boat with the fish in the net so I could just lift it out of the water for a few seconds for pictures, then after I made sure it was strong enough, released it.  Yes, I got my feet wet but it was well worth it.

  21. Like
    Phil Lilley got a reaction from Blackjeepjk for a article, Trout Fishing on Taneycomo for the Novice   
    There are basic things to consider when tackling trout fishing for the first time on Lake Taneycomo. If you're already a trout fishers, there's not much you have to change in your tackle but this article might give you an excuse to make a trip to the local tackle store. But depending on what kind of water you'r'e used to fishing for trout, Taneycomo is probably quite a bit different. It's big water, wide and deep for the most part so it takes a different mindset than your typical small stream fishing.
    Three main ingredients are needed for a successful trout fishing trip -
    1. Two to four- pound green line
    2. Small weights, hooks and/or lures
    3. Ultra-light rod and reel
    If you don't have an ultra-light or light line and don't want to go out and buy a new rig, it would be just as effective to tie a light leader onto the end of your line with a swivel. Hook size is important. Trout, especially rainbows, have small, soft mouths. Numbers 6, 8 and 10 are average sizes for any type of bait used. Short, bronze hooks are commended. Weights should only be heavy enough for successful casting. You won't be able to feel the trout bite if there's too much weight. Your equipment should be comfortable, something you are familiar with and know how to use. Your reel should have a good drag. You never know when a big trout will strike and take off. The reel should give line and let the fish run instead of your line breaking. Your rod should be fairly limber, yet stiff enough to set the hook on a trout.
    Where to look....
    The Upper Lake, which most locals define as the first six miles below the dam, is the most productive fishing area. When the water is off, the first mile is the most shallow and offers ideal conditions for fly fishing. The land in this area is owned by the Missouri Conservation Department- for public use. There are a few riffles and several large pools. Skipping woollies and drifting nymphs work well in these areas. Also see our lake map for better understanding where these areas are.
    Lookout Hole: is marked by an island, just below a scenic overlook on Missouri Highway 165. This is the first deep hole below the dam and is known for holding big trout. When the water is running, drift with the same or throw crank baits such as rapalas or rogues. Work the bait fast, jerking them down and stopping, wait a couple of seconds and then jerk again. Brown trout are very aggressive and will hit when the bait stops. Rainbows will hit a big rapala too but this technique eworks best on browns. From Lookout to Fall Creek, work the deep bank with rapalas for brown sand the shallow bank with spinners and spoons for rainbows. One-sixteenth ounce jigs, worked slow off the bottom, will catch nice trout. Use earth colors such as brown and dark green as well as white and ginger. The jig and float technique will work when water is not moving or moving slow. Work the drop-off at the edge of the channel where trout hold.
    Fall Creek Area: is just what it states- a creek. It enters Lake Taneycomo three and-a-half miles downstream from the dam. The lower end of the Trophy Area is marked by fall creek. There is a sign at the mouth informing anglers of the restrictions. Fall Creek Resort and Marina is located at the mouth of the creek. There is a gravel bar protruding directly from the mouth of the creek. It crosses three-quarters of the lake in distance and is only about 18-inches below the surface of the water when the water is not running. It has claimed hundreds of props and lower units in its time. But trout like to hang around it. Above and below the bar is water ranging from five to nine feet deep. Fishing with lures is excellent in this area. Throwing white 1/4-ounce rooster tails against the east bank will produce nice-sized browns and rainbows. Jig and float works great here. Work rapalas against both banks hard and fast for big browns.
    Short Creek Area: is the next hot spot downsteam, located about a mile below fall creek. It enters the lake from the opposite side of the lake than fall creek, and is marked by a boarded wall built on the downstream side of the mouth. Like fall creek, it also has a very shallow gravel bar stretching most of the way across the lake. This is a popular area to fish- you will see lots of boats above and below and even on top of the bar. When the water is off, getting by this area can be tricky. Go to the far right side (going upstream). Even though the channel might be blocked by fisherman, stay right to miss the shallow water. Excuse yourself and wind your way up, avoiding the bar. The same techniques used around fall creek also work here. The bar is much wider, shallower from the top of the bar downstream, for about 100 feet. When the flow of water is fairly hard, trout will hold on top of this bar. Drift worms, eggs and power bait through them and on down to our place. Stay in the middle of the lake, avoiding trees and other snags on the bottom toward the edges of the bank.
    Lilleys' Landing's Stretch: is a long, deep area with few holes or gravel bars. But it is a very popular area for many anglers. Again, stay off the bluff bank when drifting bait on bottom. The trees that have fallen claim lots of hooks and weights. This is where a good number of big, big browns stay for most of the year. You will also find black bass along the banks in the heat of the summer, but few are caught. Throwing big rapalas is one way to hook a big brown as well as minnows and shiners.
    Cooper Creek Area: is just below Cooper Creek Resort. Across the lake are 2 gravel points. On and below these points are places trout hold. Drift across them with bait or throw lures around them. This whole area is good for drifting. There are spots where the water is about 5-7 feet deep, when the water if off, and is ideal for jig and float. Brown trout hold along the bank around fallen trees and stumps. The lake below cooper creek is all about the same, good for drifting or still fishing.
    Money Island and the Bridges: The lake is wider at this point. When the dam is generating, the flow of water from this area downstream is much slower and easier for drifting. The depth of the water is constant- about 20 feet. Gravel Gerty, a shovel bearing barge, has taken gravel off the bottom of Lake Taneycomo for years, creating large holes. These holes will hold trout, especially on the edges. The holes aren't marked. They can only be found with a good depth finder. Drifting salmon eggs and worms are good for catching rainbows. Throwing cleos and rooster tails when the water is running is good, too. When the water is off, anchor and use the same baits. Trolling cowbells and spinners will catch trout.
  22. Like
    Phil Lilley got a reaction from dpitt for a article, Lake Taneycomo fishing report, October 1   
    Summer has stuck around late this fall (yes it has officially been autumn for a week now despite the 90-plus degree weather.) But we know the splendor of fall colors is just weeks away!  It looks like we're in for a cool change this week.
    We've received a little heavy generation already this week, I assume because of the hot weather.  It sure was nice, though, moving a lot of loose pond weed and other floating scum out of our area of the lake.  That's one nice thing about being on a tail water -- we get new water every time operators run water at the dam.
    They're still running that minimum flow 24/7 as they have been since September 1st.  No word of any changes on the horizon.  Dissolved oxygen levels have been holding up pretty well, and water temperatures are about 57 degrees.  When they do switch modes and start leaving the water off, I think we'll see no generation for most of the time and little generation until cold weather dominates our days and nights.

    The San Juan worm continues to be the hot item this week, mentioned on social media many times as the go-to fly.  The best colors are pink and red in the micro version, which is basically a small diameter chenille tied on a #14 or #16 hook.  The material is called micro chenille . . . go figure.
    Most fly fishers are using the micro San Juan in a double fly rig under an indicator.  They're using a heavier fly up from the San Juan about 18- to 24-inches from, say, a weighted scud or a beaded midge.  But you could use a beaded version of a San Juan by itself since the bead would take the fly down where it needs to be.
    You want to fish the worm, and scuds for that matter, on the bottom when drifting along in the current, so set the indicator at a depth where the flies rake across the bottom.  If your flies are coming back with Taneycomo slime, move the indicator so that you're not fishing as deep.  But you'll drift across shallow and deep areas, holes and flats, and will need to pick a good average depth to cover as much water as possible.

    Our dockhand Blake Wilson has been fly fishing quite a bit, scoring really well using a double scud rig.  He's fishing a peppy scud (medium gray), two sizes under a float and drifting from the cable below the dam down to Trophy Run.  He ties the smaller scud, usually a #16 or #18, as the bottom fly and a larger #14 on top, separating them by about 18 inches.  He's using 6x fluorocarbon tippet.

    As far as where to fish either of these rigs, any fairly shallow gravel flats are best, and you'll find those areas from the dam down to Trout Hollow Resort.  From Fall Creek to Trout Hollow, stay towards the inside of the bend.
    Drifting real worms is still the best way to catch trout below the trophy area.  These two things will help you catch more fish.
    First, your weight.  Your weight needs to match the flow of generation.  When you throw the rig out, how long does it take to hit the bottom?  If it goes right to the bottom, and you feel it catch and pull, you're using too much weight.  Depending on the depth of water, of course, it should take a few seconds to reach the bottom, and you should feel a slight touch every once in a while.  When this happens, you know your bait is skimming across the bottom like a natural worm would.  Plus when a fish picks it up, you'll feel it immediately.
    With the present generation, all you really need is a small split shot to get your bait to the bottom.  And less is better.  Even if your bait isn't on the bottom all the time, it will get eaten. With too much weight you will only catch, snag and grow frustrated.
    The second thing is how you present your worm.  Don't use the whole worm.  No need to thread it, although that’s not a bad option -- it just takes too much time and is unnecessary.  Pinch the worm in two.  Take the piece and run your hook through the middle, letting it hang off each side.  No need to hide the hook.  I use a #8 short shank bronze hook by the way.  And four-pound line is fine when drifting.
  23. Like
    Phil Lilley got a reaction from Daryk Campbell Sr for a article, Lake Taneycomo fishing report, October 1   
    Summer has stuck around late this fall (yes it has officially been autumn for a week now despite the 90-plus degree weather.) But we know the splendor of fall colors is just weeks away!  It looks like we're in for a cool change this week.
    We've received a little heavy generation already this week, I assume because of the hot weather.  It sure was nice, though, moving a lot of loose pond weed and other floating scum out of our area of the lake.  That's one nice thing about being on a tail water -- we get new water every time operators run water at the dam.
    They're still running that minimum flow 24/7 as they have been since September 1st.  No word of any changes on the horizon.  Dissolved oxygen levels have been holding up pretty well, and water temperatures are about 57 degrees.  When they do switch modes and start leaving the water off, I think we'll see no generation for most of the time and little generation until cold weather dominates our days and nights.

    The San Juan worm continues to be the hot item this week, mentioned on social media many times as the go-to fly.  The best colors are pink and red in the micro version, which is basically a small diameter chenille tied on a #14 or #16 hook.  The material is called micro chenille . . . go figure.
    Most fly fishers are using the micro San Juan in a double fly rig under an indicator.  They're using a heavier fly up from the San Juan about 18- to 24-inches from, say, a weighted scud or a beaded midge.  But you could use a beaded version of a San Juan by itself since the bead would take the fly down where it needs to be.
    You want to fish the worm, and scuds for that matter, on the bottom when drifting along in the current, so set the indicator at a depth where the flies rake across the bottom.  If your flies are coming back with Taneycomo slime, move the indicator so that you're not fishing as deep.  But you'll drift across shallow and deep areas, holes and flats, and will need to pick a good average depth to cover as much water as possible.

    Our dockhand Blake Wilson has been fly fishing quite a bit, scoring really well using a double scud rig.  He's fishing a peppy scud (medium gray), two sizes under a float and drifting from the cable below the dam down to Trophy Run.  He ties the smaller scud, usually a #16 or #18, as the bottom fly and a larger #14 on top, separating them by about 18 inches.  He's using 6x fluorocarbon tippet.

    As far as where to fish either of these rigs, any fairly shallow gravel flats are best, and you'll find those areas from the dam down to Trout Hollow Resort.  From Fall Creek to Trout Hollow, stay towards the inside of the bend.
    Drifting real worms is still the best way to catch trout below the trophy area.  These two things will help you catch more fish.
    First, your weight.  Your weight needs to match the flow of generation.  When you throw the rig out, how long does it take to hit the bottom?  If it goes right to the bottom, and you feel it catch and pull, you're using too much weight.  Depending on the depth of water, of course, it should take a few seconds to reach the bottom, and you should feel a slight touch every once in a while.  When this happens, you know your bait is skimming across the bottom like a natural worm would.  Plus when a fish picks it up, you'll feel it immediately.
    With the present generation, all you really need is a small split shot to get your bait to the bottom.  And less is better.  Even if your bait isn't on the bottom all the time, it will get eaten. With too much weight you will only catch, snag and grow frustrated.
    The second thing is how you present your worm.  Don't use the whole worm.  No need to thread it, although that’s not a bad option -- it just takes too much time and is unnecessary.  Pinch the worm in two.  Take the piece and run your hook through the middle, letting it hang off each side.  No need to hide the hook.  I use a #8 short shank bronze hook by the way.  And four-pound line is fine when drifting.
  24. Like
    Phil Lilley reacted to Billie R. Cooper for a article, Cowtown Carp Chasers Go to Branson   
    Cowtown Carp Chasers Go to Branson
    Bill Cooper Aug 6, 2019
    Cowtown Carp Chasers Team members traveled to Branson, Missouri recently to meet with members of the Branson Convention and Visitors Bureau to promote both fly fishing and bow fishing for carp.
    Fly fishing for carp is very popular in Europe, and is catching on in the U.S. Bow fishing is popular in the U.S., particularly among tournament fans. 
    The CCC is the brainchild of Bill Cooper, who saw the opportunity to pull together talented individuals from the bow fishing and fly fishing realms. Cpt. Bryan Wilson, from Jerome, Missouri owns Stained Water Bowfishing. “Organizing the CCC is a great way to promote two enjoyable outdoor sports,” he said. “ I have a big Legend SS boat from Cowtown, that is the perfect platform for bow shooters and fly fishermen, too.” 
    Damon Spurgeon, of Rolla, owns Cardiac Mountain Outfitters. “Although I primarily guide for trout and smallmouth, carp are an underutilized fishery that are not only sporty, but plentiful,” he said.
    Jerry Cook, of JCook Flyrods, in St. James, is familiar with fly fishing for carp and sees it is an opportunity for fly fishermen to spend more days fishing. “It’s huge in Europe,” he said. “Americans have not been big carp fans, but they are a worthy sport fish.  Too, carp exist in about any body of water you can think of.”
    Well known fly fisherman Stacey Gibson, from St. James, jumped at the invitation to join the CCC Team. “I love fly fishing for carp,” he said. “They are one of the hardest fighting fish swimming our waters. I’m very anxious to help develop this fishery.”
      Doug Davis, of Cowtown USA, readily joined the CCC Team. “I think fly fishing for carp is a great idea,” he said. “And combining fly fishing and bow fishing for them is genius. The CCC guys are all fishing fanatics. They will now be fishing both day and night!” 
    Cpt. Gene Frank, from Camdenton, joined the CCC team for the trip to Branson, when Spurgeon was unable to attend. “I love the idea of fly fishing for carp,” he said. “It’s a tremendous way to utilize a resource that doesn’t draw a lot of attention.”  
    Cooper arranged a meeting with Larry Whitely, the Outdoor Ambassador for Branson, and Courtney Goff, the Media Relations Manager for the Branson Convention and Visitors Bureau to discuss the possibilities of expanding interest in bow fishing and fly fishing for carp at Lake Taneycomo.
    The Branson CVB provided lunch at The Fish House on The Landing at Branson for the CCC Team. After introductions everyone enjoyed a hearty lunch, while discussing the tremendous potential of promoting and developing interest in a new outdoor adventure in the Branson area.
    “I know there are some bow fishing tournaments in the area for carp and other rough fish,” Whiteley said. “But, I’ve never heard of fly fishing for carp. I certainly see the attraction and the possibility for growing an interest.”
    “I deal with all avenues of recreation and family entertainment for CVB,” Goff said. “Fly fishing for carp is certainly a new idea, and I’m interested.” 
    “We’ve assembled the best bow fishermen and fly fishermen in our area for the CCC Team,” Cooper said. “Cpt. Wilson has decades of experience with Lake Taneycomo and will be leading our fishing efforts here. I’m confident that with his leadership and the talents of our team members, we can build an interest in carp fishing at Lake Taneycomo. I can see the day when tournaments for fly fishing for carp will be held here.” 
    After lunch, the CCC Team headed to Rock-a-way Beach to launch and begin the search for spawning carp. Cpt. Wilson had been there on a scouting trip two weeks previous, and had excellent luck bow fishing in the shallows.
    Minutes after launching, Cpt. Wilson eased his Legend SS into a clear, shallow cove. “We killed lots of carp in here two weeks ago,” he said.
    The water was a bit higher than when Cpt. Wislon had been there, pushing water into new timber and shoreline cover. “This is perfect carp spawning habitat,” Gibson said. 
    “There here,” Cpt. Frank said. “Look, see the swirls.”
    Cpt. Frank was the first to lay a fly in front of a feeding carp. He was shocked when the fish took the fly on his second cast.
    “Dang,” he shouted. “I had that carp on for just a second.” It had spit the tiny fly.
    I had the cameras rolling to catch the action. Cook and Gibson swung into action, flinging different flies in different directions in hopes of duplicating Cpt. Frank’s feat.
    Rain soon began pelting down making visibility tough. Additionally, the wind picked up and waves made visibility even tougher.
    Cpt. Wilson made a move to another cove where the wind wasn’t as much of a problem. He soon announced, however, that he was not seeing the volume of carp he had seen two weeks earlier. The temperature hovered in the mid-thirties.
    “I think the weather has forced most of the fish into deeper water,” Cpt. Wilson said. “All we need is for the weather to warm with a little sunshine, and the carp will swarm back in here to spawn. Too, the really big females, from 30-to-50 pounds will begin showing up.” 
    As darkness closed in the CCC team traded fly rods for bows. They had no more than began their hunt when driving wind and rains struck, driving us from the lake. 
    “We’ll come back soon, when the weather is more cooperative, “Cpt. Wilson said.  “Then it’s going to be a different story.”
    The CCC Team headed to the comforts of the Radisson Hotel, compliments of the Branson CVB.
    Branson, Missouri is a world class destination for family entertainment and vacations. Check www.visitbranson.com to make your plans.
     
    Note: Stained Water Bowfishing is now running trips out of Lilley’s Landing.
     
     
       
  25. Like
    Phil Lilley got a reaction from tho1mas for a article, Lilley's Lake Taneycomo Fishing Report, August 6   
    I usually start my fishing report by talking about the generation pattern, which really dictates how we chose to fish at any given time. But there's one thing that at least right now is more important if you want success in catching trout on Lake Taneycomo . . . and that's line size.

    Our water is presently gin clear which means the trout are line weary. Using the right line size in whatever fishing application you're using is very important. For instance, I was fly fishing yesterday morning, using 6x tippet (Rio Powerflex 3.4-pound .005 inch diameter), fishing with a fly called a zebra midge (#16 under an indicator) in the trophy area. The trout weren't having it at all. I switched to 7x tippet (Rio 2.5-pound .004 inch diameter) and immediately started catching fish with the same presentation. You'll see the same results fishing, say, with a pink Powerworm under a float using two-pound line versus four-pound line. And I venture to say, you'd see the same thing using bait fished on the bottom.

    We talk to anglers all the time, fishing from the dock and in boats, who are having difficulty catching fish. Most have read my reports and watch One Cast but still have not tried two-pound line. It makes a difference... just ask Daniel Sauers. He caught trout off our dock every day last week using Pausky's salmon eggs with gold glitter, a #16 treble hook and two-pound line. He arrived at the dock early, which is another key to catching trout.


    This beauty was caught off our dock using a night crawlers and was successfully released.

    The water has been off from basically 9 p.m. through the night and morning each day for the past week. This has given anglers a chance to do some wading and fishing below the dam as well as fishing off any dock or bank. There's no current to deal with. Then generation powers up to four full units in the afternoons until dark.


    Guide Bill Babler with a client's 27-inch brown caught on a night crawler and then released.

    Night crawlers continue to be the best live bait. When fishing with crawlers with no generation, throw your line out with a little weight and let it sit on the bottom. We use half a worm, hooking it once in the middle and letting it hang off the hook naturally. We're not balling it up on the hook as done to entice catfish. They bite by smell, but trout mainly bite by sight. We are also injecting the worm with air to make it float off the bottom. This is not essential BUT you will get bit quicker and catch more fish if you float the worm.



    I've already mentioned the pink Powerworm. Use a small jig head hook and thread the whole worm up on the hook, letting it hang off the hook straight. Straight is important. Use a little super glue to help stick the worm in place; otherwise it will want to slide off. Use two-pound line from the worm to the float. We use a weighted float to help throw the line. Fish the worm anywhere from five- to 10- feet deep, depending on where the fish are hanging. Generally they are up in the water column early in the morning, but as the sun rises, they tend to go deeper. Adjust the depth if you're not getting bit and move around.



    Fly fishing up in the trophy area by boat yesterday, I did well using a #16 root beer zebra midge under a float three- to five-feet deep using 7x tippet. The other boats up there were also catching fish using flies under a float, probably some kind of midge or beaded scud.

    I'm still catching trout on a small marabou jig using two-pound line in the mornings in various places. Black has been the best color although I'm throwing sculpin and brown, too, and doing well. When the water generation starts, you'll have to go to a heavier jig -- plus four-pound line is probably necessary. When the water starts running, the trout are not as line shy. Same for drifting bait on the bottom.

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