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Phil Lilley

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  1. Like
    Phil Lilley got a reaction from Greasy B for a article, April 9 Taneycomo Fishing Report   
    It's been hard to sit down and write a fishing report because of the uncertainty of conditions lately.  The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers opened four spill gates last Monday and left those gates opened exactly one foot each for one week.  I speculated that the opening of the gates would be temporary, only a couple of days, but that was not the case. So now that the gates are closed, and the work has been completed at the dam, I can evaluate future conditions . . .  maybe.
    The release rate presently is 6,500 cubic feet per second (C.F.S.), Taneycomo's lake level is at 707.6 feet.  Dam operators are running it around the clock, and Table Rock Lake's level is dropping about two inches per day, 915.42 feet.  Power pool is 915 feet.  Beaver Lake is shut down and holding at 1,120 feet.  Their seasonal power pool is 1,120.43 feet.  Our water temperature is 43 degrees.
    I would speculate we will see this flow for the next few days, until Table Rock's level drops to 915 feet... but you never know.
    Our trout did see a good number of threadfin shad flow into Taneycomo from Table Rock through the spill gates, and now they are looking for about anything that looks like a threadfin -- white jigs, white hard baits, white flies.  Even spoons and spinners will work.  These fish can be aggressive in their feeding, especially the bigger browns and rainbows that are used to eating bigger meals, like other trout and forage fish.  So wake baits and larger jerk baits seem to be the ticket if you're fishing for trophies.
    With two units running, you can easily boat up to the dam, but just stay in the middle of the lake.  We're using 3/32nd- to 1/16th-ounce white jigs, throwing them straight with no float and smaller 1/32nd-ounce jigs under a float four to seven-feet deep.  Switch out the color if they're not taking white to sculpin, sculpin/ginger, black/olive or white/gray.
    Those who are throwing big jerk baits are throwing a Megabass 110+ in shad colors.  If you don't want to spend the big bucks on a Megabass, throw a Rouge or Rapala.  Suspending baits seemed to work better than floating or sinking.
    This is the time of year when we start to see a lot of green moss on the bottom of our lake, so drifting anything on the bottom is hampered by the green stuff.  But that's not to say you can't catch trout by drifting a gray or olive scud, egg fly, San Juan Worm or a shad fly on the bottom. I'd recommend using very little weight and no weighted flies, if possible.  Better yet, use a float and fish any of these flies under it four-  to eight-feet deep.
    Below Fall Creek, night crawlers are doing about the best along with minnows.  Minnows would be excellent because we know the threadfin shad have made it all the way down past Fall Creek, so those fish have seen and eaten a bunch of them.  White jigs are also pretty hot, even past Lilleys' Landing and Cooper Creek.
    Our guides are back to using the pink and red Berkley's PowerWorm under a float eight- to 10-feet deep.  The best area is from Monkey Island down past the Landing, according to Steve Dickey who had just brought in a happy group of clients.  He said they're having to thin through smaller stocker rainbows to get the nice ones, but they are for sure there!
    Another group of guys staying here brought in some nice rainbows which they caught drifting down by the Landing on white/orange PowerEggs with a pinch of worm on the hook.  You can't argue with success!  I did overhear some talking yesterday that they tried trolling and were surprised they did very well.  They were using a blue Rebel.
    Here are some pictures of trout caught over the weekend by anglers who fished in our CAM benefit tournament.
     




    These were all 20-inches-plus, the last one  24 inches caught on a white jig.  David Beal and Seth Turner.



  2. Like
    Phil Lilley got a reaction from laker67 for a article, April 9 Taneycomo Fishing Report   
    It's been hard to sit down and write a fishing report because of the uncertainty of conditions lately.  The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers opened four spill gates last Monday and left those gates opened exactly one foot each for one week.  I speculated that the opening of the gates would be temporary, only a couple of days, but that was not the case. So now that the gates are closed, and the work has been completed at the dam, I can evaluate future conditions . . .  maybe.
    The release rate presently is 6,500 cubic feet per second (C.F.S.), Taneycomo's lake level is at 707.6 feet.  Dam operators are running it around the clock, and Table Rock Lake's level is dropping about two inches per day, 915.42 feet.  Power pool is 915 feet.  Beaver Lake is shut down and holding at 1,120 feet.  Their seasonal power pool is 1,120.43 feet.  Our water temperature is 43 degrees.
    I would speculate we will see this flow for the next few days, until Table Rock's level drops to 915 feet... but you never know.
    Our trout did see a good number of threadfin shad flow into Taneycomo from Table Rock through the spill gates, and now they are looking for about anything that looks like a threadfin -- white jigs, white hard baits, white flies.  Even spoons and spinners will work.  These fish can be aggressive in their feeding, especially the bigger browns and rainbows that are used to eating bigger meals, like other trout and forage fish.  So wake baits and larger jerk baits seem to be the ticket if you're fishing for trophies.
    With two units running, you can easily boat up to the dam, but just stay in the middle of the lake.  We're using 3/32nd- to 1/16th-ounce white jigs, throwing them straight with no float and smaller 1/32nd-ounce jigs under a float four to seven-feet deep.  Switch out the color if they're not taking white to sculpin, sculpin/ginger, black/olive or white/gray.
    Those who are throwing big jerk baits are throwing a Megabass 110+ in shad colors.  If you don't want to spend the big bucks on a Megabass, throw a Rouge or Rapala.  Suspending baits seemed to work better than floating or sinking.
    This is the time of year when we start to see a lot of green moss on the bottom of our lake, so drifting anything on the bottom is hampered by the green stuff.  But that's not to say you can't catch trout by drifting a gray or olive scud, egg fly, San Juan Worm or a shad fly on the bottom. I'd recommend using very little weight and no weighted flies, if possible.  Better yet, use a float and fish any of these flies under it four-  to eight-feet deep.
    Below Fall Creek, night crawlers are doing about the best along with minnows.  Minnows would be excellent because we know the threadfin shad have made it all the way down past Fall Creek, so those fish have seen and eaten a bunch of them.  White jigs are also pretty hot, even past Lilleys' Landing and Cooper Creek.
    Our guides are back to using the pink and red Berkley's PowerWorm under a float eight- to 10-feet deep.  The best area is from Monkey Island down past the Landing, according to Steve Dickey who had just brought in a happy group of clients.  He said they're having to thin through smaller stocker rainbows to get the nice ones, but they are for sure there!
    Another group of guys staying here brought in some nice rainbows which they caught drifting down by the Landing on white/orange PowerEggs with a pinch of worm on the hook.  You can't argue with success!  I did overhear some talking yesterday that they tried trolling and were surprised they did very well.  They were using a blue Rebel.
    Here are some pictures of trout caught over the weekend by anglers who fished in our CAM benefit tournament.
     




    These were all 20-inches-plus, the last one  24 inches caught on a white jig.  David Beal and Seth Turner.



  3. Like
    Phil Lilley got a reaction from Seth for a article, March 25 fishing report   
    Generation is about as constant as it gets.  With one unit down, the U.S. Corps of Army Engineers is running the other three units at full tilt 24/7.  My guess (for what's it worth) is that officials are trying to run as much water as possible through the system (through Bull Shoals) because soon it will all have to be held back due to the mass of water heading down the Mississippi.  So they're running turbines and a little flood gates at Beaver Dam -- and Beaver is a little less than two feet above power pool.  They are running three units full at Table Rock Dam, and that lake is a little less than a foot above power pool.  Bull Shoals Dam is running four full units and the lake is a little less than one foot above power pool.  We just had about a half-inch of rain yesterday, so all the lakes are holding at the moment, with no rise or fall.
    Lake Taneycomo's water is 43 degrees and clear which is about normal for this time of year.  Our trout seem to be in great shape, fighting hard when hooked.  We're seeing midge hatches early and late in the day which the trout key in on at times.  We are not seeing any shad coming in from Table Rock through the dam.
    The best bite area has been drifting from Monkey Island through the bridges downtown Branson using red, orange or pink PowerWorms on the bottom.  Depending on the wind, anglers are using 1/4-ounce weight to get the bait to the bottom.  PowerBait is also working okay,  as well as worms and minnows.  There are some slower parts close to the bank where people are anchoring and straight-lining bait and doing well. If you try this area be sure to pick a slow spot AND have a knife ready to cut the anchor rope if you get in trouble.
    The "white bite" is a thing of the past I'm afraid, at least until the next time officials open the flood gates.  We didn't get a long enough run of threadfin shad for those trout to stay on the white bite this time.  They're back on darker colors -- brown, black, sculpin, sculpin/peach and sculpin/ginger.  It's not that you won't catch a fish on white, but just not as many.
    Work the jig in slack water against the bank from the dam down and in the middle on the bottom.  Use 1/8th- to 1/16th-ounce jigs, depending on line size and what you're working.  Also, the wind becomes a factor.  If it's breezy, switch to a heavier jig to control it, and/or two-pound line.
    Fly fishermen are drifting a scud, egg fly or San Juan Worm on the bottom in the trophy area and doing pretty well, too.  A great group from Oklahoma are fishing this week and catching nice rainbows on those flies. Their best area has been the Narrows, about 1/2-mile above Fall Creek.  Make sure you're on the bottom there, or you won't garner bites.
  4. Like
    Phil Lilley got a reaction from dpitt for a article, Fly Fishing Lake Taneycomo   
    Updated 9/27/2020 ~~
    The fall 2020 fishing season looks to be one of the best in many years.  Why?  Simply because we're seeing a lot of down water -- no generation.  This opens up the whole upper end of the lake to wading and fly fishing.  Compare this to years past when we've had to contend with high water and limited wading access to the lake.
    On top of great water conditions, we're seeing lots and lots of brown trout moving up close to the dam to go through their spawning moves.  We're also seeing an early run of rainbows brushing out spawning beds.
    Add to all of it the fact that our trout fishery is in the best shape it's been in since the 70's.  Big rainbows and brown abound, not just in the trophy area but throughout the lake.
    ~~~~~~~~
    Lake Taneycomo is a tailwater fishery.  When Table Rock Dam is not generating, the water below the dam is stable and easy to read.  I will, in this article, describe each area and how to fish for trout with a fly rod.
    I going to assume you are wading.  The water below the dam isn’t very deep.  In most areas, the water won’t be over your waders.  There aren’t any holes or drop offs except directly around the boulders placed by the Missouri Department of Conservation for fish habitat.  The deepest water is up close to the cable, marking the boundary line in which not to fish above.  The water up close to the cable is deeper and wading is difficult.
    Most of the bottom of the lake is gravel but there is larger chunk rock as well as bed rock.
    There’s steady, slow current from the cable down to the Rebar Hole.  Moving down close to the top of Rebar, the water does pick up speed. 
    **Rebar was named for pieces of rebar sticking up out of the gravel, left by workers who constructed the dam back in the late 50's.  But the flow of water has changed over the past couple of years (2019-2020).  Instead of forming a chute and crossing over to the south side of the lake, it basically runs through a wide chute almost down the middle of the lake.  There's no real deep spots to hold big fish... but the run does deepen eventually, and that's where you'll find big bruisers cruising around.
    The lake opens up below Rebar to a big pool we call Big Hole.  What used to be a deep hole has filled in with gravel over the years but is still 4-5 feet deep.  The water, again, moves slowly down to the Rocking Chair area.
    The Rocking Chair is marked by an access from the south side of the lake, where a person could walk down from a parking area to the lake and sit a rocking chair on the level bank there.  Here you’ll find more chunk and bed rock bottom.
    Just before you get to the MDC boat ramp access (north side of the lake), the lake gets deeper and narrower, hugging the north bank.  Some of the bottom is gravel as well as clay with a big gravel bar on the south side.
    At the bottom of this stretch, the lake again changes sides creating a long chute with a gravel bottom.  This chute is much longer and wider than Rebar, emptying into a stretch called Trophy Run.
    Trophy Run is a development on the south side of the lake marked by a community building.  The lake is very deep here, more than 8 feet in spots, and is not really wadeable.  At the bottom of this run is Lookout Island.
    At Lookout, and lake becomes very shallow again but wide.  There’s some current here but I wouldn’t call it a chute at all.  At the island, the water starts to deepen, dumping into Lookout Hole.  The bottom is all gravel through the shallow areas but turns into bed rock below the island.
    Flies
    Emergers:  Soft Hackles, Cracklebacks, RS2, WD40, Parachute Midge — any fly they settles just below the surface.
    Soft hackle color and styles:  Bodies can be thread with wire wrap, red, black, green, yellow, orange.  Wire wrap only with copper, gold or silver.  Flash or another type of mylar material, pearl, pearl red or pearl green.  Sizes range from #14 to #20.  I usually stay with #16’s and #18’s.
    Cracklebacks are tied with furnace hackle with various colors bodies.  Peacock herl is the preferred material in natural green, yellow, orange and red.  Size is usually a #14.
    RS2, Parachute Midge & WD40 – olive, cream and natural brown.  Size #18 - #22.
    Dries:  Blue Olive Dun, black ant, beetle, Adams, Humpy, Elk Hair Caddis, Royal Wolfe, hoppers, Griffin’s Gnat, Stimulator and cidada.   Sizes #8’s and #22’s.
    Mice are fished mainly at night, skipped across the surface below the dam and down through most of the Trophy Area.
    Wet Flies:  Scuds, Prince Nymph, Pheasant Tail, Squirrel Tail, sow bugs, various emerger patterns, San Juan Worm, Mega Worm, Miracle Fly, egg patterns and small bead head nymphs.  Sizes vary from #14’s to #22’s.


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


  5. Like
    Phil Lilley got a reaction from nomolites for a article, Fly Fishing Lake Taneycomo   
    Updated 9/27/2020 ~~
    The fall 2020 fishing season looks to be one of the best in many years.  Why?  Simply because we're seeing a lot of down water -- no generation.  This opens up the whole upper end of the lake to wading and fly fishing.  Compare this to years past when we've had to contend with high water and limited wading access to the lake.
    On top of great water conditions, we're seeing lots and lots of brown trout moving up close to the dam to go through their spawning moves.  We're also seeing an early run of rainbows brushing out spawning beds.
    Add to all of it the fact that our trout fishery is in the best shape it's been in since the 70's.  Big rainbows and brown abound, not just in the trophy area but throughout the lake.
    ~~~~~~~~
    Lake Taneycomo is a tailwater fishery.  When Table Rock Dam is not generating, the water below the dam is stable and easy to read.  I will, in this article, describe each area and how to fish for trout with a fly rod.
    I going to assume you are wading.  The water below the dam isn’t very deep.  In most areas, the water won’t be over your waders.  There aren’t any holes or drop offs except directly around the boulders placed by the Missouri Department of Conservation for fish habitat.  The deepest water is up close to the cable, marking the boundary line in which not to fish above.  The water up close to the cable is deeper and wading is difficult.
    Most of the bottom of the lake is gravel but there is larger chunk rock as well as bed rock.
    There’s steady, slow current from the cable down to the Rebar Hole.  Moving down close to the top of Rebar, the water does pick up speed. 
    **Rebar was named for pieces of rebar sticking up out of the gravel, left by workers who constructed the dam back in the late 50's.  But the flow of water has changed over the past couple of years (2019-2020).  Instead of forming a chute and crossing over to the south side of the lake, it basically runs through a wide chute almost down the middle of the lake.  There's no real deep spots to hold big fish... but the run does deepen eventually, and that's where you'll find big bruisers cruising around.
    The lake opens up below Rebar to a big pool we call Big Hole.  What used to be a deep hole has filled in with gravel over the years but is still 4-5 feet deep.  The water, again, moves slowly down to the Rocking Chair area.
    The Rocking Chair is marked by an access from the south side of the lake, where a person could walk down from a parking area to the lake and sit a rocking chair on the level bank there.  Here you’ll find more chunk and bed rock bottom.
    Just before you get to the MDC boat ramp access (north side of the lake), the lake gets deeper and narrower, hugging the north bank.  Some of the bottom is gravel as well as clay with a big gravel bar on the south side.
    At the bottom of this stretch, the lake again changes sides creating a long chute with a gravel bottom.  This chute is much longer and wider than Rebar, emptying into a stretch called Trophy Run.
    Trophy Run is a development on the south side of the lake marked by a community building.  The lake is very deep here, more than 8 feet in spots, and is not really wadeable.  At the bottom of this run is Lookout Island.
    At Lookout, and lake becomes very shallow again but wide.  There’s some current here but I wouldn’t call it a chute at all.  At the island, the water starts to deepen, dumping into Lookout Hole.  The bottom is all gravel through the shallow areas but turns into bed rock below the island.
    Flies
    Emergers:  Soft Hackles, Cracklebacks, RS2, WD40, Parachute Midge — any fly they settles just below the surface.
    Soft hackle color and styles:  Bodies can be thread with wire wrap, red, black, green, yellow, orange.  Wire wrap only with copper, gold or silver.  Flash or another type of mylar material, pearl, pearl red or pearl green.  Sizes range from #14 to #20.  I usually stay with #16’s and #18’s.
    Cracklebacks are tied with furnace hackle with various colors bodies.  Peacock herl is the preferred material in natural green, yellow, orange and red.  Size is usually a #14.
    RS2, Parachute Midge & WD40 – olive, cream and natural brown.  Size #18 - #22.
    Dries:  Blue Olive Dun, black ant, beetle, Adams, Humpy, Elk Hair Caddis, Royal Wolfe, hoppers, Griffin’s Gnat, Stimulator and cidada.   Sizes #8’s and #22’s.
    Mice are fished mainly at night, skipped across the surface below the dam and down through most of the Trophy Area.
    Wet Flies:  Scuds, Prince Nymph, Pheasant Tail, Squirrel Tail, sow bugs, various emerger patterns, San Juan Worm, Mega Worm, Miracle Fly, egg patterns and small bead head nymphs.  Sizes vary from #14’s to #22’s.


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


  6. Like
    Phil Lilley got a reaction from Daryk Campbell Sr for a article, Bank Fishing: Working a Jig   
    I wrote this as a Facebook comment, and what started as an answer to a question became rather lengthy and in depth.  So I thought I'd post it here for future use.
    We do One Cast everyday. It's a video where originally we made one cast off the dock and kept track of how many we caught. It's become a little more than that the last couple of years but if you go back and watch the ones we did/do off the dock, we're doing the same thing you'd do off the shore below the dam.

    If you're really serious about this, you have to look at all the components of your presentation- your rod, line and lure. You need a long, medium light spinning rod, almost a medium. You can't work and set a hook with a wimpy rod, not throwing off the shore. I'd use a 7-foot rod, at least a 6-6.

    Match your line to the weight of your lure. I would try 2-pound Vanish and a true 3/32nd ounce jig. I say true because most jigs out there are not what they say they are. For instance, we carry PJ's jigs. They are almost a full size lighter than their label. Zig Jigs are a little lighter, not as bad. We've developed our own jig and they are very close, within 1/1000's of an ounce. But if you're using 4-pound line, use an 1/8th ounce jig. Play around with it and see what works best. But this combination - line and jig - is very important. And you have to match it to the current/depth of water.

    I don't think your cast should be out there as far as you can throw it every time. There are alot of fish just a few feet from the bank most times. Heck the guys out in boats are throwing to the bank's edge for a reason! Think of the area of water in front of you as a wall and paint it... work every inch, then move 6 feet, up or downstream. Don't keep throwing in the same place over and over... the fish are laughing at you about the tenth cast - "I've seen that lure before!" Well... if they could talk.

    When you're working the jig, hold your rod high enough to keep the jig up off the bottom but not too high that you can't set the hook, hard and fast. Don't move your rod tip much when you're working the jig but make short, sharp "jigs", giving it slack between moves. You need to make the jig fall - that's what triggers a strike. Yes they will hit it if it's just swinging and swimming but I guarantee you'll catch more if you get it to drop.

    Where you land the jig on your cast is equally important. Hitting the right spot in front of you as to current speed and depth of water, letting the jig drop enough, in time to be in front of the fish and get that 3-6 seconds "in the zone" before have to reel and repeat. Throwing above you - that "spot" - and distance of the cast is one formula... both components have to be right. That's where you use your long rod to extend the sweet spot a little.

    Gotta work it and practice. Vision in your mind - what is the jig doing? Find out what they want - fast or slow presentation. Change it up till you figure it out -- don't keep doing the same thing if it's not working. Change.... move.
     
  7. Like
    Phil Lilley got a reaction from JUNGLE JIM 1 for a article, New Missouri State Record Brown Trout, 2/23/19   
    Because there are so many facets to this Lake Taneycomo trout story, it's hard to know where to begin.  The prime fact is that Paul Crews of Neosho, MO, landed the biggest brown trout Saturday anyone's ever caught in the state of Missouri to date.  It was officially weighed by Missouri Department of Conservation Fisheries Biologist Shane Bush and documented at  34 pounds and 10 ounces.  That beat the previous state record by a little more than six  pounds, caught by Scott Sandusky of Arnold, MO,  in November, 2009, also on Lake Taneycomo.
    Crews and partner, Jimmy Rayfield of  Salem, MO, were fishing together in a trout tournament hosted by Lilleys' Landing Resort & Marina on upper Lake Taneycomo.  It's called the Vince Elfrink Memorial, named after Vince who was an avid sportsman, husband, father, and friend to many of the participants of the contest, including Crews and Rayfield.  Vince passed away in 2011 of brain cancer at the age of 52.  And just so happens that the pair won last year's tournament, sealed by a 21-inch brown trout Rayfield had caught.  The pair beat out 36 other teams to win this year's event.
    The day started out foggy and wet, but the afternoon brought out the sun and wind.  We all were watching for thunderstorms early but anticipating the high winds forecast for later in the day, and they did arrive about 2 p.m..  Fishing in wind gusts up to 40 m.p.h. is not easy, especially tossing a small 1/8th ounce, sculpin-colored jig around.  Working a lure that small in high winds is tough, even with four-pound line, but feeling a bite is virtually impossible, unless it's a huge fish, I guess.
    Crews and Rayfield had had a good day up to the minute the big fish was hooked.  They had been fishing down from Lilleys' Landing most of the day but ventured up to the mouth of Fall Creek to make a drift, working their jigs along the east bank.  Crews said they were in shallow water, able to see the bottom under their boat as they drifted.  Table Rock Dam was releasing water at a rate of 6,850 cubic feet per second, generating two units at 3 p.m.  Even with the difficulty of the wind blowing his line, Crews still felt a "tap" and set the hook.  That's when the excitement started.
    The fish came off the bank where it was hooked and ran toward the duo, swimming under their boat. Crews had to scramble his new rig, spinning it around so that his line didn't catch the edge of the boat or trolling motor.  The trout stayed down almost the entire fight, so Crews didn't really know what he had until the very end, but he knew it was big enough "to probably win the tournament" if he landed it.  Little did he know . . .
    "Frank'' eventually headed across the lake to the bluff bank, then switched back to the middle and eventually returned to the inside bank where docks dot the shore.  Yes, the fish has a name  explained later in the story.  Frank then headed to places he's probably familiar with -- the docks.  Crews said he swam under at least two docks. That heightened the high risk that the line might be cut on the dock itself or boats in the docks.  Crews, a seasoned angler, kept his rod way down in the water to keep the line from rubbing on anything that would end his fight.
    At one point, Crews said that Frank quit moving.  He thought for sure Frank had wrapped his line around something and escaped.  But Frank was just resting, and a fish that big can do whatever he wants to do.  Eventually, he came out, tired and ready to give in.  Rayfield worked their net over his head and the pair hoisted the fished into the boat.  They were just above Short Creek when the fight ended.
    Crews had just bought a new boat and this was its maiden voyage.  Fortunately, the live well was just big enough to fit Frank in, but he filled every bit of it.  Word got back to me that they were boating in with a huge fish, so we had everything ready to receive the package.  Frank was immediately placed in a large, aerated tank on our dock to rest after his ordeal. 
    We determined right off the bat that we'd try to keep Frank alive regardless if he was a new record or not.  Once he uprighted himself and was swimming around, we pulled him out and recorded a quick, unofficial weight of  33.4 pounds.  He was easily a new Missouri state record.  Now we had to come up with a plan to transport him to the hatchery to be officially weighed.
    We filled a stock tank full of lake water and that's where Frank rode, guarded by admirers in the back of my truck on the five-mile ride to the Shepherd of the Hills Hatchery.  Shane Bush was there with hatchery personnel, ready with their official scale to see if Frank made the record books or not.  Everything was done quickly and carefully, pulling him out of the stock tank to the scale, verifying his weight at 34 pounds, 10 ounces, and then moving him to an aerated tank in Shane's truck.  We still had no pictures out of the water, just shaky videos, but the goal was to return him back in the lake as quickly as possible.
    We caravaned down to the boat ramp access, less than a mile from the weigh in site.  Shane needed to get some official measurements before release -- 38 inches long with a 27-inch girth.  He confirmed our observations that the adipose fin had been clipped, which identified Frank as a triploid brown trout.  I'll explain what that means later.
    The sun was about to set over Table Rock Dam, so we hurried to the edge of the water to take a few pictures -- Crews and Rayfield with the new Missouri state record brown trout.  We slipped Frank into the water, and Crews gently held him there until he swam out of his hand.  We followed him a little ways downstream until he turned and swam close to the bank, holding his own in the swift water.  Frank dashed the record books, survived being fought, handled, trucked, weighed, trucked and photographed and before sundown was back in Lake Taneycomo -- we hope to keep growing and maybe, just maybe, give someone else a chance to catch a state record fish.
    Crews lives with his best friend and wife, Rita, and their son Matthew in Neosho, Missouri.  They own Crews Construction and specialize in wastewater treatment plant construction.  He is an avid outdoorsman, but his home waters are the Spring and Neosho rivers as well as Grand Lake, so he rarely fishes for trout except in the annual tournament honoring his fishing buddy.
    Frank's story - we've always had trout hovering under our dock, feeding on pieces and parts of fish discarded from our fish cleaning facility.  And on occasion there will be a big trout, either brown or rainbow, stop by for a treat.  They move up and down the lake seeking out the best meal, never staying in one spot very long. 
    One day about three years ago, Duane Doty (dockhand and guide for Lilleys' Landing) spotted a very large brown.  He stood out from the other trout.  He was a brute.  Duane called him Frank.  Shortly after Frank showed up, another brown trout showed up and he was much bigger!  Duane changed Frank's name to Frankie and called the new addition Frank.  We have since videoed and photographed Frank many times when he has trolled by, so we have good records on him.
    To sum up this incredible story up, fishing in a memorial tournament, named after his best friend, Paul Crews hooks a fish in extremely adverse conditions, fights a 34-pound fish on four-pound line for 20 minutes around docks, logs and boat traffic and lands it using a small trout net. He fits it in his live well and keeps it alive while transporting it to be officially weighed, measured and photographed and released back in the lake successfully to keep the story alive.
    And Crews says, "Praise the Lord!"
    Credit:  Ryan Miloshowski for pictures.

  8. Like
    Phil Lilley got a reaction from watermen2 for a article, New Missouri State Record Brown Trout, 2/23/19   
    Because there are so many facets to this Lake Taneycomo trout story, it's hard to know where to begin.  The prime fact is that Paul Crews of Neosho, MO, landed the biggest brown trout Saturday anyone's ever caught in the state of Missouri to date.  It was officially weighed by Missouri Department of Conservation Fisheries Biologist Shane Bush and documented at  34 pounds and 10 ounces.  That beat the previous state record by a little more than six  pounds, caught by Scott Sandusky of Arnold, MO,  in November, 2009, also on Lake Taneycomo.
    Crews and partner, Jimmy Rayfield of  Salem, MO, were fishing together in a trout tournament hosted by Lilleys' Landing Resort & Marina on upper Lake Taneycomo.  It's called the Vince Elfrink Memorial, named after Vince who was an avid sportsman, husband, father, and friend to many of the participants of the contest, including Crews and Rayfield.  Vince passed away in 2011 of brain cancer at the age of 52.  And just so happens that the pair won last year's tournament, sealed by a 21-inch brown trout Rayfield had caught.  The pair beat out 36 other teams to win this year's event.
    The day started out foggy and wet, but the afternoon brought out the sun and wind.  We all were watching for thunderstorms early but anticipating the high winds forecast for later in the day, and they did arrive about 2 p.m..  Fishing in wind gusts up to 40 m.p.h. is not easy, especially tossing a small 1/8th ounce, sculpin-colored jig around.  Working a lure that small in high winds is tough, even with four-pound line, but feeling a bite is virtually impossible, unless it's a huge fish, I guess.
    Crews and Rayfield had had a good day up to the minute the big fish was hooked.  They had been fishing down from Lilleys' Landing most of the day but ventured up to the mouth of Fall Creek to make a drift, working their jigs along the east bank.  Crews said they were in shallow water, able to see the bottom under their boat as they drifted.  Table Rock Dam was releasing water at a rate of 6,850 cubic feet per second, generating two units at 3 p.m.  Even with the difficulty of the wind blowing his line, Crews still felt a "tap" and set the hook.  That's when the excitement started.
    The fish came off the bank where it was hooked and ran toward the duo, swimming under their boat. Crews had to scramble his new rig, spinning it around so that his line didn't catch the edge of the boat or trolling motor.  The trout stayed down almost the entire fight, so Crews didn't really know what he had until the very end, but he knew it was big enough "to probably win the tournament" if he landed it.  Little did he know . . .
    "Frank'' eventually headed across the lake to the bluff bank, then switched back to the middle and eventually returned to the inside bank where docks dot the shore.  Yes, the fish has a name  explained later in the story.  Frank then headed to places he's probably familiar with -- the docks.  Crews said he swam under at least two docks. That heightened the high risk that the line might be cut on the dock itself or boats in the docks.  Crews, a seasoned angler, kept his rod way down in the water to keep the line from rubbing on anything that would end his fight.
    At one point, Crews said that Frank quit moving.  He thought for sure Frank had wrapped his line around something and escaped.  But Frank was just resting, and a fish that big can do whatever he wants to do.  Eventually, he came out, tired and ready to give in.  Rayfield worked their net over his head and the pair hoisted the fished into the boat.  They were just above Short Creek when the fight ended.
    Crews had just bought a new boat and this was its maiden voyage.  Fortunately, the live well was just big enough to fit Frank in, but he filled every bit of it.  Word got back to me that they were boating in with a huge fish, so we had everything ready to receive the package.  Frank was immediately placed in a large, aerated tank on our dock to rest after his ordeal. 
    We determined right off the bat that we'd try to keep Frank alive regardless if he was a new record or not.  Once he uprighted himself and was swimming around, we pulled him out and recorded a quick, unofficial weight of  33.4 pounds.  He was easily a new Missouri state record.  Now we had to come up with a plan to transport him to the hatchery to be officially weighed.
    We filled a stock tank full of lake water and that's where Frank rode, guarded by admirers in the back of my truck on the five-mile ride to the Shepherd of the Hills Hatchery.  Shane Bush was there with hatchery personnel, ready with their official scale to see if Frank made the record books or not.  Everything was done quickly and carefully, pulling him out of the stock tank to the scale, verifying his weight at 34 pounds, 10 ounces, and then moving him to an aerated tank in Shane's truck.  We still had no pictures out of the water, just shaky videos, but the goal was to return him back in the lake as quickly as possible.
    We caravaned down to the boat ramp access, less than a mile from the weigh in site.  Shane needed to get some official measurements before release -- 38 inches long with a 27-inch girth.  He confirmed our observations that the adipose fin had been clipped, which identified Frank as a triploid brown trout.  I'll explain what that means later.
    The sun was about to set over Table Rock Dam, so we hurried to the edge of the water to take a few pictures -- Crews and Rayfield with the new Missouri state record brown trout.  We slipped Frank into the water, and Crews gently held him there until he swam out of his hand.  We followed him a little ways downstream until he turned and swam close to the bank, holding his own in the swift water.  Frank dashed the record books, survived being fought, handled, trucked, weighed, trucked and photographed and before sundown was back in Lake Taneycomo -- we hope to keep growing and maybe, just maybe, give someone else a chance to catch a state record fish.
    Crews lives with his best friend and wife, Rita, and their son Matthew in Neosho, Missouri.  They own Crews Construction and specialize in wastewater treatment plant construction.  He is an avid outdoorsman, but his home waters are the Spring and Neosho rivers as well as Grand Lake, so he rarely fishes for trout except in the annual tournament honoring his fishing buddy.
    Frank's story - we've always had trout hovering under our dock, feeding on pieces and parts of fish discarded from our fish cleaning facility.  And on occasion there will be a big trout, either brown or rainbow, stop by for a treat.  They move up and down the lake seeking out the best meal, never staying in one spot very long. 
    One day about three years ago, Duane Doty (dockhand and guide for Lilleys' Landing) spotted a very large brown.  He stood out from the other trout.  He was a brute.  Duane called him Frank.  Shortly after Frank showed up, another brown trout showed up and he was much bigger!  Duane changed Frank's name to Frankie and called the new addition Frank.  We have since videoed and photographed Frank many times when he has trolled by, so we have good records on him.
    To sum up this incredible story up, fishing in a memorial tournament, named after his best friend, Paul Crews hooks a fish in extremely adverse conditions, fights a 34-pound fish on four-pound line for 20 minutes around docks, logs and boat traffic and lands it using a small trout net. He fits it in his live well and keeps it alive while transporting it to be officially weighed, measured and photographed and released back in the lake successfully to keep the story alive.
    And Crews says, "Praise the Lord!"
    Credit:  Ryan Miloshowski for pictures.

  9. Thanks
    Phil Lilley got a reaction from liphunter for a article, New Missouri State Record Brown Trout, 2/23/19   
    Because there are so many facets to this Lake Taneycomo trout story, it's hard to know where to begin.  The prime fact is that Paul Crews of Neosho, MO, landed the biggest brown trout Saturday anyone's ever caught in the state of Missouri to date.  It was officially weighed by Missouri Department of Conservation Fisheries Biologist Shane Bush and documented at  34 pounds and 10 ounces.  That beat the previous state record by a little more than six  pounds, caught by Scott Sandusky of Arnold, MO,  in November, 2009, also on Lake Taneycomo.
    Crews and partner, Jimmy Rayfield of  Salem, MO, were fishing together in a trout tournament hosted by Lilleys' Landing Resort & Marina on upper Lake Taneycomo.  It's called the Vince Elfrink Memorial, named after Vince who was an avid sportsman, husband, father, and friend to many of the participants of the contest, including Crews and Rayfield.  Vince passed away in 2011 of brain cancer at the age of 52.  And just so happens that the pair won last year's tournament, sealed by a 21-inch brown trout Rayfield had caught.  The pair beat out 36 other teams to win this year's event.
    The day started out foggy and wet, but the afternoon brought out the sun and wind.  We all were watching for thunderstorms early but anticipating the high winds forecast for later in the day, and they did arrive about 2 p.m..  Fishing in wind gusts up to 40 m.p.h. is not easy, especially tossing a small 1/8th ounce, sculpin-colored jig around.  Working a lure that small in high winds is tough, even with four-pound line, but feeling a bite is virtually impossible, unless it's a huge fish, I guess.
    Crews and Rayfield had had a good day up to the minute the big fish was hooked.  They had been fishing down from Lilleys' Landing most of the day but ventured up to the mouth of Fall Creek to make a drift, working their jigs along the east bank.  Crews said they were in shallow water, able to see the bottom under their boat as they drifted.  Table Rock Dam was releasing water at a rate of 6,850 cubic feet per second, generating two units at 3 p.m.  Even with the difficulty of the wind blowing his line, Crews still felt a "tap" and set the hook.  That's when the excitement started.
    The fish came off the bank where it was hooked and ran toward the duo, swimming under their boat. Crews had to scramble his new rig, spinning it around so that his line didn't catch the edge of the boat or trolling motor.  The trout stayed down almost the entire fight, so Crews didn't really know what he had until the very end, but he knew it was big enough "to probably win the tournament" if he landed it.  Little did he know . . .
    "Frank'' eventually headed across the lake to the bluff bank, then switched back to the middle and eventually returned to the inside bank where docks dot the shore.  Yes, the fish has a name  explained later in the story.  Frank then headed to places he's probably familiar with -- the docks.  Crews said he swam under at least two docks. That heightened the high risk that the line might be cut on the dock itself or boats in the docks.  Crews, a seasoned angler, kept his rod way down in the water to keep the line from rubbing on anything that would end his fight.
    At one point, Crews said that Frank quit moving.  He thought for sure Frank had wrapped his line around something and escaped.  But Frank was just resting, and a fish that big can do whatever he wants to do.  Eventually, he came out, tired and ready to give in.  Rayfield worked their net over his head and the pair hoisted the fished into the boat.  They were just above Short Creek when the fight ended.
    Crews had just bought a new boat and this was its maiden voyage.  Fortunately, the live well was just big enough to fit Frank in, but he filled every bit of it.  Word got back to me that they were boating in with a huge fish, so we had everything ready to receive the package.  Frank was immediately placed in a large, aerated tank on our dock to rest after his ordeal. 
    We determined right off the bat that we'd try to keep Frank alive regardless if he was a new record or not.  Once he uprighted himself and was swimming around, we pulled him out and recorded a quick, unofficial weight of  33.4 pounds.  He was easily a new Missouri state record.  Now we had to come up with a plan to transport him to the hatchery to be officially weighed.
    We filled a stock tank full of lake water and that's where Frank rode, guarded by admirers in the back of my truck on the five-mile ride to the Shepherd of the Hills Hatchery.  Shane Bush was there with hatchery personnel, ready with their official scale to see if Frank made the record books or not.  Everything was done quickly and carefully, pulling him out of the stock tank to the scale, verifying his weight at 34 pounds, 10 ounces, and then moving him to an aerated tank in Shane's truck.  We still had no pictures out of the water, just shaky videos, but the goal was to return him back in the lake as quickly as possible.
    We caravaned down to the boat ramp access, less than a mile from the weigh in site.  Shane needed to get some official measurements before release -- 38 inches long with a 27-inch girth.  He confirmed our observations that the adipose fin had been clipped, which identified Frank as a triploid brown trout.  I'll explain what that means later.
    The sun was about to set over Table Rock Dam, so we hurried to the edge of the water to take a few pictures -- Crews and Rayfield with the new Missouri state record brown trout.  We slipped Frank into the water, and Crews gently held him there until he swam out of his hand.  We followed him a little ways downstream until he turned and swam close to the bank, holding his own in the swift water.  Frank dashed the record books, survived being fought, handled, trucked, weighed, trucked and photographed and before sundown was back in Lake Taneycomo -- we hope to keep growing and maybe, just maybe, give someone else a chance to catch a state record fish.
    Crews lives with his best friend and wife, Rita, and their son Matthew in Neosho, Missouri.  They own Crews Construction and specialize in wastewater treatment plant construction.  He is an avid outdoorsman, but his home waters are the Spring and Neosho rivers as well as Grand Lake, so he rarely fishes for trout except in the annual tournament honoring his fishing buddy.
    Frank's story - we've always had trout hovering under our dock, feeding on pieces and parts of fish discarded from our fish cleaning facility.  And on occasion there will be a big trout, either brown or rainbow, stop by for a treat.  They move up and down the lake seeking out the best meal, never staying in one spot very long. 
    One day about three years ago, Duane Doty (dockhand and guide for Lilleys' Landing) spotted a very large brown.  He stood out from the other trout.  He was a brute.  Duane called him Frank.  Shortly after Frank showed up, another brown trout showed up and he was much bigger!  Duane changed Frank's name to Frankie and called the new addition Frank.  We have since videoed and photographed Frank many times when he has trolled by, so we have good records on him.
    To sum up this incredible story up, fishing in a memorial tournament, named after his best friend, Paul Crews hooks a fish in extremely adverse conditions, fights a 34-pound fish on four-pound line for 20 minutes around docks, logs and boat traffic and lands it using a small trout net. He fits it in his live well and keeps it alive while transporting it to be officially weighed, measured and photographed and released back in the lake successfully to keep the story alive.
    And Crews says, "Praise the Lord!"
    Credit:  Ryan Miloshowski for pictures.

  10. Thanks
    Phil Lilley got a reaction from Daryk Campbell Sr for a article, Generation and Wade Fishing   
    Lake Taneycomo is a tailwater lake below Table Rock Lake.  Table Rock's dam releases water for two reasons -- flood control and generation of electricity.   Recreation does not figure in to the overall plan for managing water.  The U.S. Corps of Army Engineers does work with the power companies, as well as the Missouri Department of Conservation, when asked to change water flows for various, important projects.  For instance, Table Rock Dam will hold generation when work is needed to be done on the lower dam at Powersite.
    The dam's operation is in the hands of the US Army Corp of Engineers.  The entity that controls the power generation is Southwest Power Administration.
    Seasons
    There are four lakes in this White River Chain -- Beaver, Table Rock, Taneycomo and Bull Shoals.  Each one is managed to reflect the whole chain as to water storage simply because each one has different abilities to store a volume of water.  This comes in to play when heavy, seasonable rains come, normally in the spring.  That's when we may see high flows from Table Rock Dam, moving rain water down the chain of lakes to prevent flooding.
    Summer time brings hot temperatures and more demand for electricity.  This is when we may see more heavy flows at peak times of the day, when air conditioners are running at full tilt.  We also may see heavy flows after a rainy spring season, moving floods waters out of the upper lakes.
    Fall is normally the time we see low flows.  Less demand for electricity and drier skies means less generation most years.
    Winters bring cold temperatures and more demand for power.  We can see heavy generation during peak times during the mornings and less as it warms up in the afternoon.
    Flows
    702.0 feet -- 000 m.w. -- 0,000 c.f.s.
    703.0 feet -- 010 m.w. -- < 1,000 c.f.s.
    704.0 feet -- 035 m.w. -- 2,500 c.f.s.
    705.0 feet -- 055 m.w. -- 4,000 c.f.s. -- 1 turbine (unit)
    705.5 feet -- 075 m.w. -- 5,000 c.f.s.
    706.0 feet -- 085 m.w. -- 6,250 c.f.s.
    707.0 feet -- 110 m.w. -- 8,000 c.f.s. -- 2 turbines (units)
    708.0 feet -- 125 m.w. -- 9,500 c.f.s.
    708.5 feet -- 165 m.w. -- 12,000 c.f.s. - 3 turbines (units)
    709.0 feet -- 175 m.w. -- 13,500 c.f.s.
    710.0 feet -- 200 m.w. -- 14,750 c.f.s.
    711.0 feet -- 220 m.w. -- 16,000 c.f.s. - 4 turbines (units)
    Understand that if there's a number of units running at any one time, those units may be running at less than capacity.  That's why you can't depend on flow according to the number of units reported running.  You have to read the lake level and/or and cubic feet per second flow.
    Flow vs Wading Below the Dam
    Warning!  A loud horn will sound when turbines come online.  Get out of the water immediately.  Do not wait until water is rising.
    Warning!  Water release may increase WITHOUT any sounding horn or warning!!  Be watchful, and have an exit strategy in mind.
    The following is a general depiction of flow conditions as to the availability to successfully wade from the shore below Table Rock Dam.
    702 feet -- no generation.  Wading is possible below dam.
    703.0-704.5 feet -- up to 4,000 c.f.s..  Some wading on edges, at outlets, behind island across from #2 Outlet, in front of #3 Outlet and out on gravel bar, below boat ramp and above Trophy Run there's a long chute that can be good, but be careful not to get caught on rising water back to boat ramp (on foot) and Lookout Island (boat access only).  The inside bend at the Lookout area along Pointe Royale's property (boat access only unless you have special access to the property, which is private).
    704.5-706.5 feet -- up to 7,000 c.f.s.  Wading is difficult but not impossible.   Wade at the hatchery outlets and some edges, but be careful.
    706.5 + feet -- Wading is restricted to the outlets only.  Be very careful.  Currents are strong even along the banks.
    If you're wading below the dam and hear the horn blast, move to the bank immediately. Don't cast a few more times, don't try to catch that last trout, don't hesitate and get caught in rising water. Many have done it and found themselves in a dangerous situation, having to wade across fast and rising water to dry ground. Some have not made it. Be smart and get to the bank as soon as you hear the horn.
    Call the automated service provided by the U.S.A.C.E. at 417-336-5083.  It will give you real time information as to what the lake level is (above and below the dam), how many units are running and the c.f.s. flowing at that time.
    Other useful links:
    http://forums.ozarkanglers.com/topic/17240-quick-link-lake-levels/
    Boating up lake with different flows on Lake Taneycomo
    The #1 question we get asked when it comes to boating on Lake Taneycomo is how high up lake lake can I boat?  That all depends on how much water is running at Table Rock Dam.
    *Zero water running, lake level 701-702 feet
    If there is no water running, you're generally safe to boat up and past the mouth of Fall Creek to the Narrows.  Stay middle to bluff side to Fall Creek and middle to right side past Fall Creek.
    At the Narrows, you HAVE to be on the far left, "at the tips of the tree branches" in the channel.  I can't express enough how narrow this channel is and how shallow the right edge will be.  The gravel is generally very dark and it is hard to see the bottom there.
    If there is a boat or two fishing the Narrows, don't try to be nice and go to the right of them.  Excuse yourself and stay in the channel.  They will understand . . .  and if they don't, well, they are clueless to the lake.
    There's a tree stump on its side off the bank that marks the top of the Narrows.  From there, go to the right slightly and get away from the bluff bank a bit.  Don't ride too close to this bank because there are big trees and rocks that will get you.  Stay middle left of center all the way to Lookout Island.
    You can boat more than halfway up past the island at Lookout but that's about all.  The lake is super shallow all the way across -- there is no channel here.  I have seen boats raise their motors up and creep past this shallow area to the Trophy Run Hole, but I wouldn't advise it.  But if you do get up there, the next chute past the club house will be too narrow and too shallow to get through.
    703.0 feet -- 010 m.w. -- < 1,000 c.f.s.
    These produce the same conditions as if the water was not running.  Not much difference in levels, just a little more current at the narrow areas.
    704.0 feet -- 035 m.w. -- 2,500 c.f.s.
    At the Narrows, you still should stay in the channel.  The current will be a lot faster, and it will look safe, but there's not enough water to go over the bar.  I have seen some people make it, but I sure wouldn't chance a prop by cutting through to save time.
    At Lookout Island, if you keep your boat up on plane, you can run up by the island, staying right of center.  You should be able to see the shallow flat riffling off the top of the island -- stay clear of that shallow water.  There's also a couple of big logs on the right, too, but their tops should be exposed, up out of the water.
    At this level, you can run up through the chute above Trophy Run.  Head right straight up the "V." marking the center of the channel along the right bank.  Again, don't get too close to the bank because there are a few logs and bigger rocks.  Better to stay on the left side and tip the gravel if you're going to err.
    At the ramp, you should be right of center.  Stay there until you're at the Rocking Chair access on the left bank (road/path coming down out of the trees).  At that point, you need to edge to the left and head towards the stump sticking up below the island.  Some people will stop at this point, but I would miss the stump on the right and cut it hard right toward the wooden steps on the right bank.  That's about where the channel is at Rebar.
    When you've traveled to about mid-lake, turn up towards the dam and stay mid center  all the way to the cable.  You should be clear of the boulders on each side.
    705.0 feet -- 055 m.w. -- 4,000 c.f.s. -- 1 turbine (unit)
    705.5 feet -- 075 m.w. -- 5,000 c.f.s.
    At this flow, you should be able to run over the shallow flat at the Narrows.  And you should be able to run the middle of the lake all the way to the cable below the dam.  But I would stay on plane over all the areas I've mentioned that are shallow.
    706.0 feet -- 085 m.w. -- 6,250 c.f.s.
    No worries at this point.  Unless you're running too close to any bank, you should be fine boating anywhere in the trophy area.
    *If there is no water running, don't assume the lake level is at "power pool" or 702 feet.  There are times, although not often, that Empire Electric draws more water out of the lake than it should.  Empire owns and operates Powersite Dam, the dam at the lower end of Taneycomo.  If  too much water is let out there, our lake level does drop to levels above Short Creek that could get you in trouble.
     
  11. Like
    Phil Lilley got a reaction from laker67 for a article, Lake Taneycomo fishing report, February 13   
    It's that time of year when I check several indicators on my phone -- the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Little Rock App and the NOAA Weather Prediction site because both will tell me the future and how to plan my trout fishing strategy for the days to come.  They also gives me what I need to tell others what to expect as far as flows here on Lake Taneycomo and what fishing report to give.
    The indicators, right now, tell me we're going to see heavy generation for at least a week.  But with very little rain predicted, we should see lake levels dropping very soon and less generation in the near future.
    We were starting to see lower flows until the area received 1 to 1.5 inches over the Beaver and Table Rock basin.  Actually, Bull Shoals got more rain, and we'll see it jumping up more than the upper lakes.  One inch of rain doesn't sound like a lot of rain -- plus it was a slow, steady rain over two days -- but Beaver has come up 18 inches and still is rising.  Table Rock has risen 12 inches and crested. Beaver is running its turbines a full 12 hours a day (so far) and Table Rock is now running 199 megawatts or 13,000 cubic feet per second round the clock.
    Now to translate all that information into a fishing plan.
    The common and most used fishing pattern is drifting with the current and using live bait, Power Bait or a fly or lure.  And for the most part, that technique is the most effective.  The keys are -- the right amount of weight and position of the boat.  That's right, it's not really what you're putting on the hook but how you're drifting that hook.  If you're not putting your offering in front of or in sight of the fish, you're not going to get bites.
    Getting the weight right is key.  You want just the right amount of weight to get your weight to the bottom and keep it there.  Yes, position of the boat is important, too -- the speed of the drift -- keeping the boat moving at the speed of the current.  You should feel the weight consistently ticking the bottom.  If it's not, add more weight.  If it's grabbing a lot, reduce the weight. 
    Trick:  To add weight you can add a removable split shot to the line and slide it down onto the bell weight.  This allows you to change weights quickly.
    Where you drift in relation to the bend of the lake is vital.  I tend to drift on the inside quarter of the lake.  In another words, if you draw a line down the center of the lake, the bluff of the channel side is on one side and the lower bank/shallow side is on the other. I will stay on the inside half of the lake, toward the shallow side.  Nothing wrong with staying dead center in the middle, but I would not go past the line towards the channel.  To do that, assuming I have a trolling motor (and I strongly recommend having one in these conditions), I would point the trolling motor towards the inside bend so I can pull the boat to that side.  The current will want to pull you to the outside, but keeping the method of propulsion pointed in the direction you want to go will make the operator's job much easier.

    Regardless of where you drift, keep clear of the banks.  Trees fall into the lake off the banks and trees eat drift rigs.  Enough said. What to use?  Power Bait Gulp eggs are good for fishing when the water is not running or when it's running pretty slowly.  They smell good!  But they're softer than Power Eggs and fall off the hook faster.  Power Eggs smell, too, but not as much (just my observation), but when the egg is drifting at 5 mph, smell plays less of a part in luring the fish to bite.  So I'd go with Power Eggs instead of paste or Gulp Eggs.  Color?  That's where you need to have all the colors and try them all.  Even during the day, if they stop hitting one color, change.  You'll find a favorite, probably.  But even that preference will change as the sun changes the light at the bottom of the lake.
    Night crawlers and minnows are other great baits.  I believe you will have a better chance of catching a bigger trout using natural baits similar to what they see every day, especially minnows.  But depending on their mood, being aggressive or not, you might go through a lot of minnows.  My experience is that they tend to suck the minnow off the hook, assuming you're hooking the minnow in the lips.  If this is the case, find the smallest minnow in the bucket and see if that helps.  If they're aggressively feeding, it won't matter.
    Most anglers will fish down past Cooper Creek, down past the Branson Landing, when four units are running.  The water is much more manageable, slower, and there's plenty of trout in these areas to catch.
    If you find a "hot spot" where  you consistently catch a trout or double up in one particular area, keep motoring back up to drift through that area until the well runs dry.
    Now for other methods of fishing.

    Duane has been throwing stick baits and drifting crank baits on his guide trips this week and faring well. He's using the Bomber Fat Free Shad and ticking it on the bottom, catching a lot of browns up to 22-inches.  He's also using the MegaBass 110+ shad and doing fair.  These methods aren't for the faint at heart. They're a lot of work with less results compared to drifting bait or even throwing jigs.  But you have a better chance of catching a trophy fish.  Seriously, if you don't have the equipment or time to spend learning this bite, hire a guide who does have the equipment (hundreds and hundreds of dollars in equipment) and the know-how to put you on fish throwing big lures. You'll be much happier.  Plus, it'll be his lures you'd lose, not your own!
    We're back to using our 1/8th-ounce jigs in this fast water.  And we're seeking out slower water, eddies where fish will be holding.  We're fishing the inside banks, or, if we're fishing the channel, bluff banks, we're working the eddies, places out of the current and getting bit.  And  . . .  we're losing a lot of jigs in the process.
    We're also using four-pound line, too, either Vanish or Trilene XL (green or clear).
    If you're not losing a few jigs, you're probably not catching very many trout.  You need to be down where they are and that's usually down where there's some snags.
    The darker colors are working better that white or white/gray BUT we're always trying white just in case they switch, or are starting to see shad or bait fish.  If they get on white, they will be much more aggressive on the bite, in my experience.  Always have white jigs in your box.
    Drift a fly on the bottom in the trophy area... actually I'd drift one all the way down to Trout Hollow.  A bigger scud (#12) in gray or olive, an egg fly or big San Juan Worm.  Even a Mega worm.  The bottom is fairly clear of moss so you'll get a clean drift this time of year.  And make sure it's on the bottom.
    Media Note!  Between my fishing reports, if you're wanting to know what's going on here on Lake Taneycomo, tune in to our DAILY BROADCAST called One Cast.  We talk about lake levels as well as who's catching fish on what.  And we might catch a fish ourselves.
    One Cast... going for almost 1500 days in a row. Subscribe and click the BELL for instant notification.  Or see us on Facebook.
  12. Like
    Phil Lilley got a reaction from duckydoty for a article, Lilley's Lake Taneycomo fishing report, December 1   
    It's been a wild start to winter here in the Ozarks!  The Lake Taneycomo area was rocked Friday night by tornado-like winds and thunderstorms but brought rain that we actually needed.  If there were any leaves and acorns in the trees before last night, there are none now!  This is supposed to be followed by colder temperatures with snow in the forecast later next week.  I know parts of north Missouri have already seen eight-inch-plus snowstorms twice in November.  What will this winter bring -- when it officially gets here?
    But actually, the fish don't care!  Cold temperatures and wind help Table Rock Lake turn over, so Taneycomo gets higher oxygenated water. A cold winter cools Table Rock's water so that Taneycomo gets good cold water all summer long.  So whether it rains or snows, trout could care less.  Wind -- heavy winds, like today -- stir up the water and push bugs out of the gravel in shallow water, triggering feeding frenzies in the upper end of our lake.
    Now what we as anglers have to do is figure out how to fight the elements and present our lures to the fish in way that fools them.  That is not always easy.

    These windy days are good for throwing heavier lures, lures that fly through wind and are reeled back pretty fast so that the wind doesn't affect the action.  Spoons, spinners, hard baits like crank and stick baits are examples.  Plus the trout tend to be more active and more aggressive when it's very windy.
    Generation helps.  The patterns have been unpredictable lately.  If the dam does  run water, it's usually a half  to one unit, but only for a few hours.  But with colder days and nights ahead, that might be bumped up.  Plus the restriction has been lifted for running water because Table Rock Lake has turned over, but it seems that one turbine at the plant is down for maintenance.  We'll see what happens with generation in the days to come.
    Minnows and night crawlers are the hot live baits right now.  Live minnows are always good in winter months.  We've had a good crop of pond weed along our bank with schools of small forage fish moving in and out of this cover.  But before long, the U.S. Corps of Army Engineers will open the turbines with heavy current,  washing all of it out.  You see, most of it is dead already, and it will easily be taken out and down lake.  This removes all the cover for these small fish, pushing them out where trout and other fish will feed on them.  

    Marabou jigs, spoons and small stock baits will be the ticket for much of the winter months, too.  Trolling, casting -- whatever you want to do -- should be a way to catch a bunch of good trout.
    For the rest of my report, I can point to my last fishing report on November 20th.  Scuds are still the best fly to catch fish almost anywhere on the lake but especially from Short Creek up.  Tan, gray and brown are the best colors.

  13. Like
    Phil Lilley got a reaction from Seth for a article, November 20 fishing report   
    It's been a "kind" fall season this year.  Our water quality hasn't tanked like in past years, which caused the fish in Lake Taneycomo to become lethargic.  The water in Table Rock Lake typically stratifies during the spring and summer,  forcing low-oxygenated water to the depths where Taney gets its water through the dam.  Because of high water and flash flood events in the past, tons of bio material (wood and leaves) were washed into the lake, causing even more "damage" to the water close to the bottom.  That also adversely affected our water quality.  Fortunately, with have had no floods this year!!  Praise the Lord!!!
    The end of these seasons are marked by what we call "Table Rock turning over." This is when surface water on Table Rock cools and becomes colder than the water below it.  Eventually a majority of this surface water cools down enough that it causes a flip --- the water on top sinks down, forcing water towards the bottom up to the surface.  In time, sometimes it takes a week or more, all the water mixes and becomes uniform.  The water at 130 feet deep at the dam where Taney gets its water improves to the point the U.S. Corps of Engineers doesn't have to add liquid oxygen to water passing through the turbines, and restrictions are lifted as to how much water can be run at one time.
    We are at the end of that season.  Table Rock's water has mixed to the point as of last Friday that the water coming into Taneycomo measures 3.45  parts per million, up from <1.p.p.m..  When this process starts, it continues until the water is fully mixed.  As I type this report, I suspect that 3.45 reading has gone even further up and will continue for the next week or so.
    The bottom line is that it's an exciting time for our Taneycomo trout because their water has improved.  It's like they've been living on the top of a high mountain for three months and now have been brought down to sea level where the oxygen is much better.  They should be much more active.  It's an exciting time for us fisher people, too.  It means "catching" should improve, too, not that it's been that bad this fall.
    Compared to other times of the year, fishing pressure has been very low this past few weeks, except for the wading area below the dam.  This means stocker rainbows have been left to live and grow in the lake with less chance of being bothered by someone with a hook and line.  Our trout seemed to be spread out through the upper lake, too.  There's good concentrations of rainbows almost everywhere between the Landing and Table Rock Dam.  So I'd say there's no "hot spots" to report, only that catching is good in most places right now.
    The generation pattern has changed.  Since last Friday, dam operators have been running water around the clock, anywhere from 35 to 75 megawatts, which is really not a bad flow.  It's not too fast to make fishing off our dock tough.  You can get a good drift if you're fishing from a boat, but it does make wading below the dam pretty tough, although not impossible.  Not sure how long this will continue, and I don't know if there's a reason for it either.  It just is . . .
    We've haven't been going very far from the dock and catching some really nice rainbows this week.  I've caught two rainbows throwing a jig within sight of the dock weighing more than two pounds, and measuring 18-19 inches long.  Plus I've caught other rainbows all colored up and looking healthy in the 13-to 15-inch range, along with a couple of browns in the 14-to 15-inch range.

    We've been throwing the color sculpin with or without another combo color (ginger, burnt orange, olive, red) straight, no float, using either two- or four-pound line.  If we're throwing an 1/8th- or 3/32nd-ounce jigs, we're using four-pound line and throwing smaller jigs using two-pound line.  White/gray jigs are working pretty well up lake in the trophy area, according to Duane, who's had a few guide trips the past couple of weeks.  Most of the fish I've been catching have come off the bottom rather than when working the jig higher in the water column.
    If you're out in a boat and drifting bait on the bottom, with such slow current, you should pay close attention to the amount of weight you're using to get the bait to the bottom.  It's much better to have less than more.  Only use enough weight to get the bait to the bottom, even if it takes a while to sink.  Too much weight will do two things - - you will get snagged up much quicker and the heavier weight will make feeling a bite much harder.  If you're using drift rigs, use the smallest weight, and if that weight is too heavy, break it off, tie a simple knot on the end of that line and pinch on a small split shot.  The knot keeps the shot from sliding off the end of the line.
    Night crawlers will catch bigger fish.  But Powerbait catches fish, too.  Use PowerEggs and use a white egg with another color, pink, orange or chartreuse.
    Cleos and other spoons are doing pretty well, too.  I watched a group in one of our pontoons the other day throwing Cleos just up from our dock, on a bright, sunny, calm day, and they caught quite a few rainbows.  The bites  should be much better if there's some wind, chop on the water.  And Cleos are easy to use, especially in wind.

    The pink Berkley's Powerworm is still catching rainbows.  Under a float anywhere from four- to eight- feet deep depending on how bright the day is.  Under a bright sun, fish them deeper.  With choppy/cloudy conditions, fish them closer to the surface.
    If you go up in the trophy area.  You'll see gobs of bugs come out and float around.  Most of them are sow bugs.

    Trout do eat them but they're not high in protein like freshwater shrimp, or scuds.

    Both are in abundance right now, so that's the fly of choice to use.
     Fly rod - the best color lately has been brown, but you can see from these images that they can be several shades of olive, beige, brown and gray.  Sow bugs are almost always gray.  Fish them under an indicator and make sure they're on the bottom because that's where they live.  For spin cast rig, fish them under a float.  You may have to use a tiny split shot to make sure they get down, although the scuds we sell in our shop are weighted.  Best tippet size right now is 6x.
    Midges are working fairly well but not half as good as a scud.  But if there's a chop on the surface and trout are rising to midges, strip a crackleback or a soft hackle.
     
  14. Like
    Phil Lilley got a reaction from tho1mas for a article, October 26 fishing report   
    Considering all things, I don't think you can ask for better fishing conditions on our lake this fall.  Lake Taneycomo, a tail water, is subject to low oxygen conditions because it is a tailwater.  We get our water from the depths of Table Rock Lake where the dissolved oxygen bottoms out this time of year.  But when the water is run through Table Rock Dam, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers adds liquid oxygen to the water in the turbines, bringing the oxygen levels up to fish-livable levels.  But in our present case, our lake water continues to register at high levels of oxygen.  Just today we measured 8.0 parts per million -- which is incredibly high.  Our water temperature remains low, which is also helpful, at 53 degrees.
    The other thing to consider is generation.  For fly fishermen who like to wade and fish below the dam, this fall season has given them just what they love - low water conditions.  They've been seeing many trophy browns - and rainbows - and they've been hooking a few of them.
    Personally, I don't venture up below the dam anymore to wade and fish.  The main reason is that  I don't like crowds.  I take the option to boat to where I want to fish and thereby find good numbers of trout of all sizes to catch . . . without the crowds.  But if I did, I'd fish this way:
    My friend and fellow fly shop owner, Tim Homesley, drives over from Crane and his home water, Roaring River, and fishes our tailwater several times in the fall season.  He likes to fish the "skinny water," which is my favorite, too.  Rainbows especially hug the banks with their backs out of the water sometimes, digging in the gravel to pick up a bug or two.  Casting a small sow bug or scud, even a big mop worm or mega worm, and working it in and around these feeding rainbows will catch them.  These trout are typically veterans, too, full of colors and larger than the young stockers just arriving on the scene.
    In the past, I know anglers have scored big browns and rainbows stripping soft hackles and cracklebacks well below the hatchery outlets and below Rebar and the Chute (below the Missouri Department of Conservation boat ramp) where the current is still moving from the area but is slower, not calm.  If there is a breeze and a chop on the surface -- better yet.  And then there's the streamers like sculpins, Hybernators, leaches, woolly buggers and Pine Squirrels.  Strip these in the bigger, deeper pools out in front of outlet #1, the pool below outlet #2 and from the Rocking Chair down to the Chute.
    Is it time to go to 7x tippet?  Maybe.  I did for a little bit last month, but our water seems to have some color to it now, so I've gone back to 6x fluorocarbon, and it's worked pretty well.

    With the leaves dropping pretty fast now, we're starting to fish the Zebra Midge under a small float 12 inches deep and targeting midging trout around the leaf clusters on the lake.  There's something about these leaves that attracts fish -- whether there's bugs on the falling leaves or midges that attach themselves to the leaves before flying off.  We're doing this about any place on the lake right now, especially towards evening time.
    I've been fishing with a scud (fly) a lot this week and doing very well!  So much so that I videoed some of my fishing and posted it to show exactly what and how I was catching rainbows.
    We've been throwing 1/32nd-ounce jigs with two-pound line and catching some good fish around the dock and up lake around Short Creek.  Sculpin/ginger or brown/orange with a brown head best colors.  If you're using four-pound line, throw a 3/32nd-ounce jig instead.
    We've had some requests for fly tying demonstrations, so Duane and I did a few this morning and posted them.
     
     
     
    Bait fishing, for whatever reason, has been slow --  not terrible -- but slow. Anglers have had to work to catch them off the dock, but there have been spurts where you'll have a bunch biting, and then the bites will slow down.  Again, two-pound line will catch more fish, especially if you're fishing with a night crawler or Powerbait.  Air-injected night crawlers have been the best though.
  15. Like
    Phil Lilley got a reaction from Johnsfolly for a article, October 26 fishing report   
    Considering all things, I don't think you can ask for better fishing conditions on our lake this fall.  Lake Taneycomo, a tail water, is subject to low oxygen conditions because it is a tailwater.  We get our water from the depths of Table Rock Lake where the dissolved oxygen bottoms out this time of year.  But when the water is run through Table Rock Dam, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers adds liquid oxygen to the water in the turbines, bringing the oxygen levels up to fish-livable levels.  But in our present case, our lake water continues to register at high levels of oxygen.  Just today we measured 8.0 parts per million -- which is incredibly high.  Our water temperature remains low, which is also helpful, at 53 degrees.
    The other thing to consider is generation.  For fly fishermen who like to wade and fish below the dam, this fall season has given them just what they love - low water conditions.  They've been seeing many trophy browns - and rainbows - and they've been hooking a few of them.
    Personally, I don't venture up below the dam anymore to wade and fish.  The main reason is that  I don't like crowds.  I take the option to boat to where I want to fish and thereby find good numbers of trout of all sizes to catch . . . without the crowds.  But if I did, I'd fish this way:
    My friend and fellow fly shop owner, Tim Homesley, drives over from Crane and his home water, Roaring River, and fishes our tailwater several times in the fall season.  He likes to fish the "skinny water," which is my favorite, too.  Rainbows especially hug the banks with their backs out of the water sometimes, digging in the gravel to pick up a bug or two.  Casting a small sow bug or scud, even a big mop worm or mega worm, and working it in and around these feeding rainbows will catch them.  These trout are typically veterans, too, full of colors and larger than the young stockers just arriving on the scene.
    In the past, I know anglers have scored big browns and rainbows stripping soft hackles and cracklebacks well below the hatchery outlets and below Rebar and the Chute (below the Missouri Department of Conservation boat ramp) where the current is still moving from the area but is slower, not calm.  If there is a breeze and a chop on the surface -- better yet.  And then there's the streamers like sculpins, Hybernators, leaches, woolly buggers and Pine Squirrels.  Strip these in the bigger, deeper pools out in front of outlet #1, the pool below outlet #2 and from the Rocking Chair down to the Chute.
    Is it time to go to 7x tippet?  Maybe.  I did for a little bit last month, but our water seems to have some color to it now, so I've gone back to 6x fluorocarbon, and it's worked pretty well.

    With the leaves dropping pretty fast now, we're starting to fish the Zebra Midge under a small float 12 inches deep and targeting midging trout around the leaf clusters on the lake.  There's something about these leaves that attracts fish -- whether there's bugs on the falling leaves or midges that attach themselves to the leaves before flying off.  We're doing this about any place on the lake right now, especially towards evening time.
    I've been fishing with a scud (fly) a lot this week and doing very well!  So much so that I videoed some of my fishing and posted it to show exactly what and how I was catching rainbows.
    We've been throwing 1/32nd-ounce jigs with two-pound line and catching some good fish around the dock and up lake around Short Creek.  Sculpin/ginger or brown/orange with a brown head best colors.  If you're using four-pound line, throw a 3/32nd-ounce jig instead.
    We've had some requests for fly tying demonstrations, so Duane and I did a few this morning and posted them.
     
     
     
    Bait fishing, for whatever reason, has been slow --  not terrible -- but slow. Anglers have had to work to catch them off the dock, but there have been spurts where you'll have a bunch biting, and then the bites will slow down.  Again, two-pound line will catch more fish, especially if you're fishing with a night crawler or Powerbait.  Air-injected night crawlers have been the best though.
  16. Like
    Phil Lilley got a reaction from nomolites for a article, October 26 fishing report   
    Considering all things, I don't think you can ask for better fishing conditions on our lake this fall.  Lake Taneycomo, a tail water, is subject to low oxygen conditions because it is a tailwater.  We get our water from the depths of Table Rock Lake where the dissolved oxygen bottoms out this time of year.  But when the water is run through Table Rock Dam, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers adds liquid oxygen to the water in the turbines, bringing the oxygen levels up to fish-livable levels.  But in our present case, our lake water continues to register at high levels of oxygen.  Just today we measured 8.0 parts per million -- which is incredibly high.  Our water temperature remains low, which is also helpful, at 53 degrees.
    The other thing to consider is generation.  For fly fishermen who like to wade and fish below the dam, this fall season has given them just what they love - low water conditions.  They've been seeing many trophy browns - and rainbows - and they've been hooking a few of them.
    Personally, I don't venture up below the dam anymore to wade and fish.  The main reason is that  I don't like crowds.  I take the option to boat to where I want to fish and thereby find good numbers of trout of all sizes to catch . . . without the crowds.  But if I did, I'd fish this way:
    My friend and fellow fly shop owner, Tim Homesley, drives over from Crane and his home water, Roaring River, and fishes our tailwater several times in the fall season.  He likes to fish the "skinny water," which is my favorite, too.  Rainbows especially hug the banks with their backs out of the water sometimes, digging in the gravel to pick up a bug or two.  Casting a small sow bug or scud, even a big mop worm or mega worm, and working it in and around these feeding rainbows will catch them.  These trout are typically veterans, too, full of colors and larger than the young stockers just arriving on the scene.
    In the past, I know anglers have scored big browns and rainbows stripping soft hackles and cracklebacks well below the hatchery outlets and below Rebar and the Chute (below the Missouri Department of Conservation boat ramp) where the current is still moving from the area but is slower, not calm.  If there is a breeze and a chop on the surface -- better yet.  And then there's the streamers like sculpins, Hybernators, leaches, woolly buggers and Pine Squirrels.  Strip these in the bigger, deeper pools out in front of outlet #1, the pool below outlet #2 and from the Rocking Chair down to the Chute.
    Is it time to go to 7x tippet?  Maybe.  I did for a little bit last month, but our water seems to have some color to it now, so I've gone back to 6x fluorocarbon, and it's worked pretty well.

    With the leaves dropping pretty fast now, we're starting to fish the Zebra Midge under a small float 12 inches deep and targeting midging trout around the leaf clusters on the lake.  There's something about these leaves that attracts fish -- whether there's bugs on the falling leaves or midges that attach themselves to the leaves before flying off.  We're doing this about any place on the lake right now, especially towards evening time.
    I've been fishing with a scud (fly) a lot this week and doing very well!  So much so that I videoed some of my fishing and posted it to show exactly what and how I was catching rainbows.
    We've been throwing 1/32nd-ounce jigs with two-pound line and catching some good fish around the dock and up lake around Short Creek.  Sculpin/ginger or brown/orange with a brown head best colors.  If you're using four-pound line, throw a 3/32nd-ounce jig instead.
    We've had some requests for fly tying demonstrations, so Duane and I did a few this morning and posted them.
     
     
     
    Bait fishing, for whatever reason, has been slow --  not terrible -- but slow. Anglers have had to work to catch them off the dock, but there have been spurts where you'll have a bunch biting, and then the bites will slow down.  Again, two-pound line will catch more fish, especially if you're fishing with a night crawler or Powerbait.  Air-injected night crawlers have been the best though.
  17. Like
    Phil Lilley got a reaction from laker67 for a article, October 26 fishing report   
    Considering all things, I don't think you can ask for better fishing conditions on our lake this fall.  Lake Taneycomo, a tail water, is subject to low oxygen conditions because it is a tailwater.  We get our water from the depths of Table Rock Lake where the dissolved oxygen bottoms out this time of year.  But when the water is run through Table Rock Dam, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers adds liquid oxygen to the water in the turbines, bringing the oxygen levels up to fish-livable levels.  But in our present case, our lake water continues to register at high levels of oxygen.  Just today we measured 8.0 parts per million -- which is incredibly high.  Our water temperature remains low, which is also helpful, at 53 degrees.
    The other thing to consider is generation.  For fly fishermen who like to wade and fish below the dam, this fall season has given them just what they love - low water conditions.  They've been seeing many trophy browns - and rainbows - and they've been hooking a few of them.
    Personally, I don't venture up below the dam anymore to wade and fish.  The main reason is that  I don't like crowds.  I take the option to boat to where I want to fish and thereby find good numbers of trout of all sizes to catch . . . without the crowds.  But if I did, I'd fish this way:
    My friend and fellow fly shop owner, Tim Homesley, drives over from Crane and his home water, Roaring River, and fishes our tailwater several times in the fall season.  He likes to fish the "skinny water," which is my favorite, too.  Rainbows especially hug the banks with their backs out of the water sometimes, digging in the gravel to pick up a bug or two.  Casting a small sow bug or scud, even a big mop worm or mega worm, and working it in and around these feeding rainbows will catch them.  These trout are typically veterans, too, full of colors and larger than the young stockers just arriving on the scene.
    In the past, I know anglers have scored big browns and rainbows stripping soft hackles and cracklebacks well below the hatchery outlets and below Rebar and the Chute (below the Missouri Department of Conservation boat ramp) where the current is still moving from the area but is slower, not calm.  If there is a breeze and a chop on the surface -- better yet.  And then there's the streamers like sculpins, Hybernators, leaches, woolly buggers and Pine Squirrels.  Strip these in the bigger, deeper pools out in front of outlet #1, the pool below outlet #2 and from the Rocking Chair down to the Chute.
    Is it time to go to 7x tippet?  Maybe.  I did for a little bit last month, but our water seems to have some color to it now, so I've gone back to 6x fluorocarbon, and it's worked pretty well.

    With the leaves dropping pretty fast now, we're starting to fish the Zebra Midge under a small float 12 inches deep and targeting midging trout around the leaf clusters on the lake.  There's something about these leaves that attracts fish -- whether there's bugs on the falling leaves or midges that attach themselves to the leaves before flying off.  We're doing this about any place on the lake right now, especially towards evening time.
    I've been fishing with a scud (fly) a lot this week and doing very well!  So much so that I videoed some of my fishing and posted it to show exactly what and how I was catching rainbows.
    We've been throwing 1/32nd-ounce jigs with two-pound line and catching some good fish around the dock and up lake around Short Creek.  Sculpin/ginger or brown/orange with a brown head best colors.  If you're using four-pound line, throw a 3/32nd-ounce jig instead.
    We've had some requests for fly tying demonstrations, so Duane and I did a few this morning and posted them.
     
     
     
    Bait fishing, for whatever reason, has been slow --  not terrible -- but slow. Anglers have had to work to catch them off the dock, but there have been spurts where you'll have a bunch biting, and then the bites will slow down.  Again, two-pound line will catch more fish, especially if you're fishing with a night crawler or Powerbait.  Air-injected night crawlers have been the best though.
  18. Like
    Phil Lilley got a reaction from Smallmouth Addict 12 for a article, October 26 fishing report   
    Considering all things, I don't think you can ask for better fishing conditions on our lake this fall.  Lake Taneycomo, a tail water, is subject to low oxygen conditions because it is a tailwater.  We get our water from the depths of Table Rock Lake where the dissolved oxygen bottoms out this time of year.  But when the water is run through Table Rock Dam, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers adds liquid oxygen to the water in the turbines, bringing the oxygen levels up to fish-livable levels.  But in our present case, our lake water continues to register at high levels of oxygen.  Just today we measured 8.0 parts per million -- which is incredibly high.  Our water temperature remains low, which is also helpful, at 53 degrees.
    The other thing to consider is generation.  For fly fishermen who like to wade and fish below the dam, this fall season has given them just what they love - low water conditions.  They've been seeing many trophy browns - and rainbows - and they've been hooking a few of them.
    Personally, I don't venture up below the dam anymore to wade and fish.  The main reason is that  I don't like crowds.  I take the option to boat to where I want to fish and thereby find good numbers of trout of all sizes to catch . . . without the crowds.  But if I did, I'd fish this way:
    My friend and fellow fly shop owner, Tim Homesley, drives over from Crane and his home water, Roaring River, and fishes our tailwater several times in the fall season.  He likes to fish the "skinny water," which is my favorite, too.  Rainbows especially hug the banks with their backs out of the water sometimes, digging in the gravel to pick up a bug or two.  Casting a small sow bug or scud, even a big mop worm or mega worm, and working it in and around these feeding rainbows will catch them.  These trout are typically veterans, too, full of colors and larger than the young stockers just arriving on the scene.
    In the past, I know anglers have scored big browns and rainbows stripping soft hackles and cracklebacks well below the hatchery outlets and below Rebar and the Chute (below the Missouri Department of Conservation boat ramp) where the current is still moving from the area but is slower, not calm.  If there is a breeze and a chop on the surface -- better yet.  And then there's the streamers like sculpins, Hybernators, leaches, woolly buggers and Pine Squirrels.  Strip these in the bigger, deeper pools out in front of outlet #1, the pool below outlet #2 and from the Rocking Chair down to the Chute.
    Is it time to go to 7x tippet?  Maybe.  I did for a little bit last month, but our water seems to have some color to it now, so I've gone back to 6x fluorocarbon, and it's worked pretty well.

    With the leaves dropping pretty fast now, we're starting to fish the Zebra Midge under a small float 12 inches deep and targeting midging trout around the leaf clusters on the lake.  There's something about these leaves that attracts fish -- whether there's bugs on the falling leaves or midges that attach themselves to the leaves before flying off.  We're doing this about any place on the lake right now, especially towards evening time.
    I've been fishing with a scud (fly) a lot this week and doing very well!  So much so that I videoed some of my fishing and posted it to show exactly what and how I was catching rainbows.
    We've been throwing 1/32nd-ounce jigs with two-pound line and catching some good fish around the dock and up lake around Short Creek.  Sculpin/ginger or brown/orange with a brown head best colors.  If you're using four-pound line, throw a 3/32nd-ounce jig instead.
    We've had some requests for fly tying demonstrations, so Duane and I did a few this morning and posted them.
     
     
     
    Bait fishing, for whatever reason, has been slow --  not terrible -- but slow. Anglers have had to work to catch them off the dock, but there have been spurts where you'll have a bunch biting, and then the bites will slow down.  Again, two-pound line will catch more fish, especially if you're fishing with a night crawler or Powerbait.  Air-injected night crawlers have been the best though.
  19. Like
    Phil Lilley got a reaction from tho1mas for a article, Lilley's Lake Taneycomo fishing report, September 27   
    Well  autumn is finally arriving here --  at least we hope we all are done with summer high temperatures.  We've received good rains lately and everything is green again.  The trees are starting to show a little color on the bluffs, and the fall flowers are in full blooms along the lake.
    Trout fishing on Taneycomo stayed pretty strong all summer.  We usually see water conditions deteriorate as fall approaches -- the dissolved oxygen drops, and water temperature rises -- but we haven't seen hardly any of that yet.  The lake temperature is holding at about 52 degrees, and the water is very clear.  
    Generation has varied; weather and temperature seem to dictate how much and how long dam operators run water.  Since its grown cooler, they've been running water for two to three hours late in the afternoon and only running one to two units.
    Our brown trout move up in the lake in fall months to spawn.  They actually don't spawn successfully, but do go through the motions.  We are seeing a good number of browns already up below the dam, some being caught up near the hatchery outlets.  Guide Chuck Gries told me clients are hooking most browns when  wading and fly fishing below the dam.  Most of these browns are on the small side, but several in the 22 - to 26-inch range have been brought in.
    Guide Tony Weldele has been seeing some very large browns moving up, staging in the Narrows area.  These browns are almost always on the move and won't stay in one area for very long.
    Browns and rainbows are being caught on scuds, sow bugs, egg flies and sculpin streamers.  I know other flies are good, too, including cracklebacks, WD40's, san juan worms, mega worms, soft hackles and woolybuggers.  Night fishing has been very good throwing big streamers, as well as the miracle fly and scuds under a glowing indicator.

    Thursday morning I fished the Narrows area with no generation.  Since it was almost 9 a.m., the sun was already up over most of the area.  Struggling for most of the morning, I tried larger scuds (12's and 14's) in gray and brown with no takers.  I stripped a sculpin woolybugger for a while with not even one chaser.  It wasn't until I changed to 7x tippet and a #18 gray scud that I started picking up trout.  I also tried and caught a few on a #18 primrose -n- pearl zebra midge under a float 30 inches deep.
    It was sunny with hardly any wind, so conditions were tough.  When fishing the bigger flies, the fish would come and look, then turn away.  But later when I reduced the size of everything, I was able to target feeding rainbows, especially close to the bank and on the shallow flats.
    This is why they are digging around in the gravel and along the banks:
    Scud flies come in lots of sizes, shapes and colors.  We tie most of them using natural fur of various kinds -- squirrel, rabbit, mink, muskrat, dog and cat . . . even kangaroo!  Each one has a different texture and ties differently on a hook.  They also act differently in water.  The shape depends on the style of hook used, whether long, short, curved or straight.  And, of course, the size depends on the size of hook.  We add weight using very thin lead wire wrapped around the hook or thin brass or copper wire wrapped around the fur to give the fly a segmented look.  Once the fur is applied and the fly is done, a small wire brush is used to comb the fibers down, creating the legs under the bug.  Excess fibers are trimmed on top -- although my example scuds aren't combed and trimmed very well.

    I observed scuds in tan, gray, olive and brown colors while raising them in an aquarium several years ago.
    In the evenings when water has been running, I have been jig fishing, mostly in the trophy area.  Wednesday evening I started up close to the dam, looking up in some slack water pockets for staging brown.  I did find a few medium-sized browns in what I would call outlet #4 -- where the water comes out of a pipe about 150 yards below outlet #3.  I hooked one of these browns for a few seconds on a chartreuse mega worm under an indicator, but the hook pulled out.  I tried a few dry flies in this area because I've had luck in the past picking up both browns and rainbows, but they weren't interested.
    I moved on down the bank throwing a 1/8th ounce sculpin jig, brown head and caught a few decent rainbows.  Skipping the Trophy Run area, I boated on down below Lookout Island.
    That's where this video starts.
    I was hoping to luck into one of the browns that our guides had been telling us about.  This was a big female.  Its adipose fin had been clipped, identifying it as a triploid brown.  Triploids are rendered sterile from birth.  Eggs from brown trout are treated with hot water just after being fertilized, making them sterile.  These browns are thought to grow faster because they supposedly don't go through the motions of spawning like other browns.

    The Missouri Department of Conservation first stocked triploids in Taneycomo in 2011.  They only make up a small percentage of the total number of browns stocked.
    Jig fishing has been fair to good.  We've been using smaller jigs when the water is off and heavier jigs during generation.  Tony Weldele  told me his clients were catching a lot of rainbows below Lookout in the mornings on the 3/32nd-ounce sculpin/ginger/brown head jig,  four-pound line.  (I'm guessing this is up closer to Lookout in deeper water and early before the sun gets up high overhead.)
    We've been pretty successful throwing smaller jigs with two-pound line down around the resort area, up closer to Fall Creek but still out of the trophy area.  The area from Fall Creek up to the Narrows has also been profitable with  sculpin/ginger, sculpin/peach and straight sculpin or olive in 1/32nd -and 1/16th-ounce jigs.  Before the sun hits the water, work your jig close to the surface, especially if the trout are midging, and fish them deeper as the sun hits the water.
    During generation, we're using four-pound line and heavier jigs -- 3/32nd and 1/8th ounce in the same colors.
    Duane has been drifting with the Berkley's Pink Powerworm during generation and doing the best down lake around the Landing.  Note how he threads the worm up the hook and line:

    This is a #8 short shanked hook we sell on our drift rigs.
    Salmon eggs are still doing very well when the water is off, fished from our dock and other locations on the lake.  Also Powerbait paste in yellow and orange as well as PowerEggs when drifted with the current.
  20. Thanks
    Phil Lilley got a reaction from Marcus Swartz for a article, Lake Taneycomo fishing report, September 1   
    Overall, this has been a very good summer for trout fishing here on Lake Taneycomo.   Taneycomo's water temperature has risen a degree to 50 and still is very clear.  We've seen periods of cooler days where generation is short and lessens in the afternoons and hot days when the flow starts about 1 p.m. and runs up to four units until late into the evening.  The dissolved oxygen in the water varies widely, but in general has been very good.  We bought a D.O. meter so we could keep an eye on the levels and have found readings between 5.9 and 9.1 p.p.m. which is great!
    Here's an article I wrote describing what changes our tail water goes through each fall season.
    Seasonal Issue: Low Dissolved Oxygen and Restricted Flows
    The United States Geological Society performs a test at each of the U. S. Corps of Army Engineers' lakes in our area once a month from July through December.  The August profile just came out.  It measures temperature and dissolved oxygen at different levels of the lake at the dam face.  You might find this interesting.
    Table Rock's Profile
    Note:  Taneycomo's water comes from 130 feet deep in Table Rock, and the house units gets it water from at 150 to 160 feet deep.  House units are running anytime the turbines are not, so the water you see at that level is what's running into the upper lake.  This explains why the dissolved oxygen level drops when the water isn't running, especially at night when the water doesn't get any help from the sun.
    The house unit powers only the powerhouse itself.
    Big winter and spring floods affect the water flowing from Table Rock Lake, not just for the current year, but the following year, too.  We are one  year out  from the last flood, so this fall we could see warmer water temperatures than normal.  Cold water holds oxygen better than warm water, so we also might see our cold water fish stress easier.  This does affect fishing, but more than that, it affects catch-and-release survival rates. That means we need to be even more mindful about how we handle trout caught if they are to be released.  I need to write an article on handling trout . . .  I'll work on that.
    All that said, I believe this is going to be a banner fall season for both rainbows and browns.  We are already seeing large browns in the trophy area as well as very good quality rainbows being caught mid-lake.
    In our fishing tournament this last Saturday, we saw more good quality rainbows weighed in than we've ever recorded in a summer tournament.  Looking at the leader board, I can count 10 rainbows that topped three pounds. Plus the rainbows in the winning bag that were not weighed individually could have added two or three to that category.  None of these rainbows were recently stocked as "broad stock," although some broads have been stocked lately by the hatchery.  And this is not counting the large rainbows and one brown caught the previous two days by anglers fishing before the tournament.
    All of these big trout were caught below Fall Creek, out of the trophy area.  A good number of these were caught below the U.S. Highway 65 bridge.  We do not have details and on how each trout was caught, but  they were caught in multiple ways.  Most, I think, were caught trolling using spoons and crank baits.  Others were caught on the pink worm/jig head under a float, throwing stick baits and casting jigs.
    Swing Oil Baits is a one-man operation owned by Frank Dietl of Washington, MO.  He and his partner, John Hittler, of Hillsboro, MO, won the benefit tournament on Saturday.  Frank makes a soft plastic worm just like the Berkley pink worm that we plan to sell in our shop.  He caught at least one of big rainbows on his pink worm.
    I personally haven't  fished down lake as much as a lot of tour tournaments anglers, but their time there has truly paid off, as witnessed by the big trout caught down there in the past couple of years.  It's bigger, deeper water, so there's more places for fish to hide.  Rainbows aren't known for holding around structure, but I think they do tend to be found in and around docks. Browns, on the other hand, are structure fish, lying in wait for something to swim by.

    On bright, sunny days, wind is almost always the key to the bite.  The last few days, I have fished about 10 a.m. to net a few rainbows for a "fish- weighing experiment."  I hope to improve the way we weigh our trout at tournaments.  I've been running up lake about a quarter mile to where the wind starts to come around the corner from the southwest and I find feeding rainbows under the surface at about five feet deep.  I'm using my fly rod, throwing a two-fly rig with a #14 green zebra midge, gold head and wire, and a #16 red zebra midge with a gold head, gold wire, fishing it under a float five feet deep.  I'm using Rio 6x tippet.  The take is aggressive -- and I've caught four trout in less than 30 minutes.
    I know that they will take a small micro jig or marabou jig under a float, too.  Try the same setup with two-pound line and a sculpin or ginger micro jig or a 1/100th-ounce brown or sculpin jig with an orange head.  Using two-pound line is essential, too.  I use Trilene XL clear two-pound line.
    If you want to throw a jig, we're still doing well using a 1/32nd- or 1/16th-ounce, sculpin/ginger or brown/burnt orange jig and two-pound line,  catching a lot of rainbows in our area of the lake.  This setup is best to use early and late in the day, or mid-day if the wind is up. But if you're throwing it in wind, cast directly against or with the wind.
    The lower trophy area has a lot of trout right now.  There's some good-sized rainbows, but most are in the smaller range - less than 14 inches.  These trout seemed to be pretty smart and are accustomed to natural foods such as small minnows, sculpin, midges and scuds.
    Our brown trout make a ceremonial run up the lake in the fall for spawning.  I say "ceremonial" because they don't actually have a successful spawn.  Our lake conditions aren't right for either the rainbow or brown trout to reproduce.  But they do move up close to the dam in September, lingering for a couple of weeks before they head back down.  This spawning season tends to last into the first week of November.  The main rainbow spawn overlaps just a bit into the brown spawn and continues on into January.
    It does seem like sculpins are a big part of brown trout's diet these days.  When catching browns this spring and summer, some would spit up a sculpin or two when in the net.  I know the walleye and bass are living off sculpins just below the dam , plus small rainbows.  So throwing jigs and sculpin flies should do the trick when fishing for browns this fall.
    Guide Steve Dickey has observed that we've haven't had the big midge hatches like last summer.  One reason, I know, is the lower water temperature.  Last summer, the lake temperature never dipped below 55 degrees.  Insects do much better in warmer water.  This year the temp has been in the low to upper 40's.  But trout are still keying in on midge flies like the zebra, wd40's, soft hackles, cracklebacks and chili peppers.
  21. Thanks
    Phil Lilley got a reaction from Marcus Swartz for a article, Seasonal Issue: Low Dissolved Oxygen and Restricted Flows   
    Many issues to talk about, as well as fishing, in the fall. Dissolved oxygen, water temperature, restricted flows...... confusing details to understand when fishing tailwaters. Wish we didn't have to consider them when JUST fishing, but they do affect the way trout move, hold, feed-- and don't feed-- and that affects our fishing strategy.
    I know this is old hat to some of you, but I'd like to go over the basics. Lakes change at different seasons of the year. As spring and summer pass, surface water warms and separations or layers form. Because water density changes when it differs in temperature, these layers become very defined as summer wears on. If you look at the Lake Profile - http://www.swl-wc.usace.army.mil/pages/reports/remote/profiles/tabpro.htm you will see a profile, kinda of a photograph, of the water at the dam at Table Rock. See where the temp drops, as well as the DO level, as it gets deeper. And the big drop near the top - this is called the thermocline and where, generally, a large number of fish will hold. As the water warms on the surface, the thermocline drops lower in the lake. We get our water at 130 feet deep and is marked by an asterisk to the side. As you see, the water temperature is colder at that level than the surface but the DO is very low and gets lower as you drop down. As colder weathers rolls in-- November and December-- surface temperatures drop, literally. Cold water is heavier than hot water and thus drops and "turns" the lake over at some point in the game. It's like a tilting table: when the load on top gets heavier than the load on the bottom, it tilts and turns over, leaving the heavier on the bottom. This happens generally from around Thanksgiving into December. Until then, we're stuck with low DO levels entering into LT.
    Dissolved Oxygen
    Water contains oxygen, H2O - O stands for Oxygen. Oxygen is measure by parts per million. On a scales of 0 to 12, 12 is about the highest you'll find in lake water- usually in the top layers where sunlight, wind and rain adds oxygen. In any lake or pond during the seasons, the layers form layers. Each layer has different density and oxygen levels, depending on the season and temperature of the water at the different levels. The layers start forming in late spring when the top levels start to warm. As summer rolls on, temps in the upper layers really rise and becomes lighter then the layers below. Because of the lack of sunlight, oxygen levels drop as you get lower in the lake or pond and later in the fall, DO amounts at the bottom are nile. As it gets closer to winter and the air temps drop and winds pick up, the surface temperatures drop also. Cold water is heavier than warm water thus this cooler water sinks to the bottom. This starts the the turning effect. When alot of water on top become cooler than the bottom- heat rises- the two levels mix and thus- good DO throughout the depths. The the cycle starts all over again.
    As far as the different levels- 0 - 12...... where 0 is real bad (no oxygen- things die) and 12 is usually the surface reading on a lake during alot of wind- may be even 13. The State of Missouri has said that anything under 6 parts is considered pollution. If a business or private individual discharges water with a lower reading than 6- they could get in trouble. But since a dam and the water it releases is not considered "point source" discharge, these rules do not apply and cannot be enforced. The Corp's low point is 4 parts- they try and not go below 4 when they release water from Table Rock. Fisheries for MDC has said that 6 parts is a good bottom indicator-- where fish and other water creatures can live, feed and reproduce. They also say anything below 3 parts can and will cause death in most trout, but this depends on water temperature also. Stress is the key. If a rainbow is already in stress because the water temp is above- say- 60 degrees and then he's hit with low DO- say 3 or even 4 parts, he could die. And the bigger the trout is, the more stress all these factors affect it.
    What does low DO do to our trout? It slows them down a bit. How do you know when DO levels are too low and threaten the life and health of trout? A high number is 12 parts per million (ppm). A low number is 0 ppm. Generally, fisheries biologist say 3 ppm is the bottom on the scale, and with high water temperatures, could cause death if prolonged. Six ppm is what the State of Missouri Clean Water Act says is the standard for "safe" water. But the Corps, as a federal agency, doesn't have to adhere to state regulations and has set its mark at 4 ppm. Are we happy about this? No. We've appealed for change but to no avail-- yet.
    The Corps does put restrictions on flow at Table Rock. These flow restrictions differ as the fall months progress and the water quality drops. This just means that even in peak times, levels will not exceed the ability to add enough DO to the effluent to keep levels above 4 ppm.
    There are three ways dissolved oxygen is added to the near-nil levels in September and October. The hatchery outlets are rich in DO. That's why you will see large numbers of trout with their noses in the effluent. The Corps has modified the turbines and added vents at the top of the chambers to allow air to mix with the water, creating a sloshing effect as it enters the lake. This is hard on the turbine blades, causing the surface of the blades to weaken. Corps officials like to reminds us about this -- that they are sacrificing for the good of the trout. When all of the above fails to add adequate DO to the tailwater, the Corps injects liquid oxygen directly into the turbines. Monitors keep track of DO levels as they enter the lake.
    One thing you have to realize-- when the federal government build dams, bureaucrats have to promise that the dams won't hurt the fishery in either the lake above or the tailwater below. When they build dams that are high and the water coming out is too cold for warm water species, they have to provide coldwater species for that fishery, such as the Neosho Federal Trout Hatchery producing 200,000 rainbows per year. Water quality standards also have to be maintained at a level the fish can survive and thrive. The definition of thrive is in question here. The Corps' definition is to "just get by." Sportsmen and fishing-related businessmen think thriving means the fish "move and grow respectively, with adequate food supply to reproduce." But the food supply is low, and there is no reproduction. That must change, and I believe it will in time.
  22. Like
    Phil Lilley got a reaction from MOstreamer for a article, Jack's River Information   
    Mark, a member on OzarkAnglers forum, ask a question about help on floating and fishing the Jack's Fork River.  One thing nice about OA's forum, there's quite a few members who's knowledge of Missouri's rivers is extensive and their willingness to give advice is second to none on the world wide web.  The following is a compilation of postings by various people answering questions about the Jack's Fork.
    Mark's questions:  He and his buddy are planning on floating the second week in June.  Their put-in point is Prongs or Buck Hollow.  They expect to float between 5 to 10 miles a day and pull out somewhere between Bay Creek and Eminence.  Mark is hauling down a squared off Stern canoe and thinking about taking a 2.5 hp motor to get them through the slow stretches of the river.

    River levels are important when floating any stream.  USGS provides measuring stations at various points in Missouri's rivers and there are 3 on the Jack's Fork.  The Prongs stretch of the river can be marginal later in the summer for floating because the river becomes too low and Mark's next question is about which measuring station should he read and at what level should he not put in at Prongs because of low levels.
    Gavin - The river really flattens out below Rymers and the main obstacles are submerged rocks, sweepers, and there are a few sporty little ledges to run. Best scenery is between Prongs & Rymers.  I'd want at least 150 cfs if you want to head down from the Prongs in a loaded boat.  Prongs or Buck down to Alley would be a nice trip for 3 nights on the river. Bring a good saw because firewood can be scarce.  Moreover, the shuttles are LONG...you might want to hire that out to maximize your time on the river. I'd use Harvey's @ Alley Springs and park your vehicles in their lot.  Watch for flash floods, forecast.
    Steve - Four or five days = 3 or 4 nights? Three nights is perfect for me from Buck Hollow to Alley assuming the river is floatable. My reference point on the gauge is feet instead of cfs. My preference is 1.5 to 2.0 feet. Below 1.5 & you will start dragging quite a bit. The gauge gets to three feet & the river is moving along a somewhat better clip. Much less time will be needed on the river. I think it is closed at 4 feet.
    My wife and I do Buck to Alley every year in three nights, and and we paddle basically not at all & fish it pretty hard.
    About the only "must see" location on the river to me is Jam-up cave. Really a spectacular entrance. Also the mill at Alley Springs.
    Flash floods- always camp high above the water and have a way to escape rising water if there is rain in the forecast or if it's raining. River levels can rise as much as 10 feet in some areas.

    ColdWaterFshr - I think you could get away with as less as 100 cfs on that gauge, but you would have some dragging to do.
    If it were me, I would put in at Prongs or Buck and take out at Alley Spring. Leave your cars at Alley because they'll be safer there due to the Park Ranger and campground host that patrols the area.
    Only time I felt it was slightly tricky was from the Prongs and that was in high water -- the gradient is a little steeper up there and its a little more twisty. I remember once when we floated that 7 or so miles from Prongs to Hwy 17 in a little over an hour and it had some fun little rolling waves, but still very mild class I-II.
    From Buck (Hwy 17) on down to about Bay Creek its not as fast, and after Bay Creek its slows even more.
    Blue Spring and Ebb and Flow Spring are also cool to check out, but the bluffs are what you'll spend your time viewing.
    Freeze milk jugs full of water for ice.  Always keep a damp cloth over the ice chest lids, this will help keep the ice.
    Al Agnew - The Mountain View gauge is the best one to use, but the Alley Spring gauge is located above the spring, and much of the time there isn't much difference between the two gauges. With a square stern canoe loaded with camping gear and two guys who don't want to work too hard, I'd want at least 120 cfs on the Mountain View gauge to float from the Prongs. But also keep in mind that the upper river from the Prongs to Rhymers has some steep little rapids and rock gardens, along with some serious sweepers here and there (sweepers are trees that lean over the river or into the river on the outside of fast water bends, too low to go under, and the current "sweeps" you into them, "sweeping" you out of the canoe or the canoe under the tree). Unless you are really good at maneuvering that square stern in fast water, you for sure don't want TOO much water. I wouldn't attempt it from the Prongs if the gauge reading is much over 300 cfs unless you're sure you know what you're doing in that canoe full of gear. I know you float the Eleven Point a lot, but the Eleven Point is much wider and more open in all the riffles than the upper Jacks Fork.
    The Buck Hollow and the Alley Spring gauges are about equally valid for the Jacks Fork above Alley Spring. The Alley gauge is above the spring, and its flow readings are usually pretty similar to the Buck Hollow gauge (note I'm talking flow in cfs, not level in feet) unless there's a flash flood that has reached Buck Hollow but not Alley yet. If I'm floating from Rymers to Alley I'll use the Alley gauge, if floating Prongs to Rymers the Buck Hollow gauge.
    I'll say it again, if you are already familiar with a stream and know what the level in feet signifies for that stream, that's great, but the flow in cfs is a much more useful reading if you aren't familiar with the stream. If you tell me the Jacks Fork is at 2 feet on the gauge and I don't know the Jacks Fork and have never paid attention to that particular gauge, I have zero idea what you're talking about. But if you tell me the Jacks Fork is flowing 200 cfs at that gauge, I KNOW what 200 cfs looks like on ANY Ozark stream, and know that on any stream comparable in size to the Jacks Fork, 200 cfs is very floatable but not high.
    From the Prongs to Buck Hollow, the river is all short rocky pools and fast, steep riffles full of rocks. The pools start to get a little bigger below Buck Hollow, the riffles are a little wider, but it's still a lot of fast water to Rhymers. From Rhymers to Bay Creek you start encountering a lot more shallow, gravelly pools and runs, but with enough deep water and rocky riffles to keep things interesting. From Bay Creek to Alley the runs get longer and shallower, the pools farther between, and the riffles often wide and very shallow. From Alley to Eminence, due to the influx of Alley Spring, the river is much bigger and easier to run, but the fishing suffers. In the upper end the bluffs are numerous but not very big. The farther downstream you go, until you reach Alley Spring, the bigger the bluffs get. Below Alley the valley widens considerably and the bluffs get less tall. But the upper river is almost a canyon, with no bottomland, just a hill on one side and a bluff on the other all the way. Which is why it comes up so quickly after heavy rain and gets so high. It truly is the most dangerous river in MO when there is heavy rain in the watershed.
    Jam-up Cave is the only "must-see", although I would argue that the whole river from the Prongs to Alley is a "must-see". If you wanted to, you could spend a day poking around Jam-up Cave, because it's a part of a very interesting geological system. The cave comes out onto the river valley in a big bluff. Jam-up Creek is a small stream that flows off the highlands toward the river to a point just a hundred yards or so in back of that bluff, and then the valley of Jam-up Creek swings away from the river and winds through the hills for another couple of miles before reaching the river valley. But the creek drops through a hole in its bed (which is sometimes jammed up with driftwood, hence one origin of the name) right where its valley comes closest to the Jacks Fork, to emerge at Jam-up Cave. Not only that, but there is another hole in the roof of the cave between where the creek enters it and where it empties into the river, which gives you a "skylight" into the cave. The creek within the cave drops over a waterfall a little ways back into the cave, and that skylight, at the right time and the right sunny days, shines a sunbeam right onto the waterfall. it's a truly magical place. So you could hike around the bluff and atop it, and look for the holes from above, as well as clambering around within the cave.
     
  23. Like
    Phil Lilley reacted to ozarkflyfisher for a article, Smallmouth on a Fly Rod   
    I decided to post some smallmouth pictures of fish caught during a three day trip wading trip to New York State last month in hopes that this audience will be more appreciative than the guys at work.  When we talk about our vacations and I talk about fishing, I receive comments like, “I hate fishing--it is so boring”.  And, this comment is from a guy who goes to Florida with his family for a week and as far as I can tell, mainly just sets on the beach or swimming pool.  Oh well, I suppose if everyone was as passionate about fishing as most of us on this board, then our fishing waters would be way too congested.
     
    My wife is from the Buffalo area and I’ve come to appreciate the fly fishing in the area through the years while visiting her family.  I usually do a Spring and/or Fall Steelhead trip, however some Springs I get up there too late for Steelhead and so, like this year, we mainly fished for smallmouth bass.
     
    --ozarkflyfisher









  24. Like
    Phil Lilley got a reaction from Daryk Campbell Sr for a article, Wappapello angler sticks state-record yellow bullhead while bowfishing   
    MDC congratulates Michael Williams on breaking the state record by shooting a 2-pound, 4-ounce yellow bullhead while bowfishing on Duck Creek in Bollinger County.
    BOLLINGER COUNTY, Mo. – The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) reports Michael Williams of Wappapello became the most recent record-breaking angler in Missouri when he stuck a yellow bullhead on Duck Creek in Bollinger County. The new “alternative method” record fish caught by Williams on April 23 weighed 2 pounds, 4 ounces with a length of 14.75 inches. Williams’ recent catch broke the previous state-record of a 1-pound, 1-ounce caught in 1993.
    “2018 is off to a great start!” MDC Fisheries Programs Specialist Andrew Branson said. “This is the fourth state record we’ve had this year and I’m sure it won’t be the last with this great weather we’ve been having.”
    MDC staff verified the yellow bullhead’s weight by it weighing on a certified scale in Puxico.
    “Bullheads are a short, chubby catfish that seldom get bigger than 18 inches. They are nongame fish that are commonly used for bait,” Branson said.
    Learn more about yellow bullhead on MDC’s website at https://bit.ly/2G3lqFr.
    Missouri state-record fish are recognized in two categories: pole-and-line and alternative methods. Alternative methods include: throwlines, trotlines, limb lines, bank lines, jug lines, spearfishing, snagging, snaring, gigging, grabbing, archery, and atlatl. For more information on state-record fish, visit the MDC website at http://on.mo.gov/2efq1vl.

    Congratulations to Michael Williams on breaking the state record by sticking a 2-pound, 4-ounce yellow bullhead while bowfishing on Duck Creek.
  25. Like
    Phil Lilley got a reaction from JestersHK for a article, Doty-Lilley Crappie Trip 4/29-30   
    We left Branson about 2:30 yesterday for Stockton, Marsha, MonaCheri, Duane and myself, with Duane's boat in tow.  Our target was to put in at Sons Creek and fish the evening, stay at Stone Creek Lodge (good friends Kris and Amanda Nelson, owners) and fish again Monday morning before heading back.
    Put in about 4:30 and headed out.  Water temp about 64 degrees I think and windy.  Seemed like it was out of the SE but was hard to tell not being used to the lake and direction.  Duane has a nice fish finder... and we looked for fish.  We went over to the left bank heading out and started there.  
    Duane is going to have to add to my report because he has better knowledge of water temp and depth.
    I caught the first fish on a chart/red tube jig - a 19 inch walleye.  Thought it was on!  But of course there's a big leaning curve in most fishing trips.  We dinked around that area, up and down the bank, marking fish all over the place but couldn't get them to bite.  Did catch one here and there, mostly keepers.  Then MonaCheri stumbled onto the pattern... trolling.
    I'm glad we caught in on the video... she set her rod down to check her phone.  She's a birder and had been "talking" to a little yellow bird (MC can chime in and add to the report too if she wants to name the little bird).  After catching one while not doing anything but moving along, she caught another one, and it was one.
    We ran out of deep water and turned around.  Catching picked up as it got darker.  Started catching some shorts but most were over 11 inches.  The battery ran out on my GoPro and it was on silent so we didn't notice it until we were done.  Too bad... we had doubles and triples... lots of stumbling around trying to net fish and untangle lines.
    We ended with 25 crappie, 7 whites and the walleye.
    After cleaning our fish at the lodge, we decided we weren't going to get out early Monday - the girls vetoed 5 a.m. wake up call.  So we didn't get out he water till after 9 a.m. Monday.  The wind was already blowing, we tried the same area with little success.  The troll bite wasn't there.  Pulling up in a cut Kris told us about, we got out and headed inland looking for some mushrooms.  Found a few.
    We ended finding some crappies on the south bank in deep water but they didn't want to play very hard.  We gave our 3 crappies and 1 white to a guy at the ramp, pulling out about 12:30.
    We had a wonderful time... and the fishing was even pretty good.  Look forward to going back again.
     
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