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Found 50 results

  1. September 10 Fishing Report

    Generation lately has been anyone's guess. According to the SPA online forecast, they're supposed to run about one unit for an hour late evening every day but that's not been very accurate. They're been running water starting about noon - 1 p.m. and off by 8 p.m.. They are running 2-4 units, 100 megawatts at about 707 feet. Lake temperature remains about 58 degrees. So the water has been off from 8 p.m. till the next mid day giving fly fishers a chance to fish below the dam as well as other parts of the lake. Tim Homesley fished a couple of mornings last week and "was impressed" at the number, size and quality of our trout. Tim owns Tim's Fly Shop near Roaring River State Park. He said his best fly was a chammy worm which is basically a San Juan tied with a thin slice of shammy cloth. Some people use it on a small jig head. I've been told the best way to work either a shammy or mega worm (white) is let it go to the bottom and move it, keeping it in sight. And when it disappears, set the hook because it's probably in a fish's mouth. Other flies have been small (#20-22) gray scuds, cracklebacks (#16), P&P or rusty Zebra Midge (#18), foam beetles and ants and black or olive wooly buggers (#16). Also brown or olive sculpins have been catching fish too. Even some bass have been hooked below the dam fishing streamers. I've done pretty good fly fishing, using a red Zebra Midge (#16) under an indicator 3-4 feet deep, fishing from the Narrows down to Fall Creek when the water is off, 6x tippet. Below Fall Creek, the pink Berkley's power worm is STILL king! It's amazing how well this bait has worked for so long. Almost all our guides fish it because it works!! Steve Dickey has been parked 200 yards above our dock for a couple of weeks each morning with his clients catch rainbow after rainbow. He stays in the shade of the bluff until his trip is over about 10:30 a.m.. Even during the day in bright sunlight, it works. Buster Loving reported his clients caught over a hundred rainbows on spoons (Cleo 1/8th ounce) in the Branson Landing area a couple of days ago. It was a fish on every cast, he said. Night crawlers and PowerBaits still are catching trout too. Again, we haven't seen much of any slow-downs this season. I believe it's because of the warmer water. Our fish are more active and need to feed most of the time to keep their strength. This also helps the food base, minnows, sculpins and bugs. This is a picture of the gravel flat at the Narrows above Fall Creek. At low water, there's more exposed gravel than ever before. View full article
  2. Generation lately has been anyone's guess. According to the SPA online forecast, they're supposed to run about one unit for an hour late evening every day but that's not been very accurate. They're been running water starting about noon - 1 p.m. and off by 8 p.m.. They are running 2-4 units, 100 megawatts at about 707 feet. Lake temperature remains about 58 degrees. So the water has been off from 8 p.m. till the next mid day giving fly fishers a chance to fish below the dam as well as other parts of the lake. Tim Homesley fished a couple of mornings last week and "was impressed" at the number, size and quality of our trout. Tim owns Tim's Fly Shop near Roaring River State Park. He said his best fly was a chammy worm which is basically a San Juan tied with a thin slice of shammy cloth. Some people use it on a small jig head. I've been told the best way to work either a shammy or mega worm (white) is let it go to the bottom and move it, keeping it in sight. And when it disappears, set the hook because it's probably in a fish's mouth. Other flies have been small (#20-22) gray scuds, cracklebacks (#16), P&P or rusty Zebra Midge (#18), foam beetles and ants and black or olive wooly buggers (#16). Also brown or olive sculpins have been catching fish too. Even some bass have been hooked below the dam fishing streamers. I've done pretty good fly fishing, using a red Zebra Midge (#16) under an indicator 3-4 feet deep, fishing from the Narrows down to Fall Creek when the water is off, 6x tippet. Below Fall Creek, the pink Berkley's power worm is STILL king! It's amazing how well this bait has worked for so long. Almost all our guides fish it because it works!! Steve Dickey has been parked 200 yards above our dock for a couple of weeks each morning with his clients catch rainbow after rainbow. He stays in the shade of the bluff until his trip is over about 10:30 a.m.. Even during the day in bright sunlight, it works. Buster Loving reported his clients caught over a hundred rainbows on spoons (Cleo 1/8th ounce) in the Branson Landing area a couple of days ago. It was a fish on every cast, he said. Night crawlers and PowerBaits still are catching trout too. Again, we haven't seen much of any slow-downs this season. I believe it's because of the warmer water. Our fish are more active and need to feed most of the time to keep their strength. This also helps the food base, minnows, sculpins and bugs. This is a picture of the gravel flat at the Narrows above Fall Creek. At low water, there's more exposed gravel than ever before.
  3. John Weisgerber

    From the album Lake Taneycomo

    John Weisgerber brought in this 24.35 inch brown today, caught on a Lucky Strike Ghost Minnow, gray, just up from our dock. Weight - 6.94 pounds, 18 inch girth. Released.
  4. JohnWeisgerber

    From the album Lake Taneycomo

    John Weisgerber brought in this 24.35 inch brown today, caught on a Lucky Strike Ghost Minnow, gray, just up from our dock. Weight - 6.94 pounds, 18 inch girth. Released.
  5. John Weisgerber, 24.25-inch brown

    From the album Lake Taneycomo

    John Weisgerber brought in this 24.35 inch brown today, caught on a Lucky Strike Ghost Minnow, gray, just up from our dock. Weight - 6.94 pounds, 18 inch girth. Released.

    © ozarkanglers.com 2017

  6. August 14 fishing report

    I can honestly say this has been one of the best summer fishing seasons in many years here on Lake Taneycomo. I say that for a couple of reasons. First, catching trout hasn't really varied all summer. It's been pretty good. Normally we see slow times, either in early June or in August or both. We haven't seen that slow down. One reason why is our lake water temperature. It's held at 57 all summer, which is warmer than normal. Typically we see some of the coldest water of the year in May when it averages anywhere from 45 to 49. I've seen it as cold as 40. Then it starts warming up in June and July but we usually see 50 degrees until August. Joe Merendas with a 28-inch brown. Released. Our trout are more active at 57 verses 45 degrees, and that means they feed more, plain and simple. That's why fishing has been so good all summer. Second, we've consistently seen bigger trout caught, in the trophy area and below. We're even seeing big rainbows caught in areas down lake like by Monkey Island and the Branson Landing. And when I say big, I mean 15- to 18-inches long. I credit the flood we had in May that brought the influx of food over the gates from Table Rock Lake. Also, the water temperature is another reason. More activity and more feeding means good growth. We're also seeing a lot of trophy brown trout caught, and thankfully, most are being released to be caught again. This is attributed to the increased numbers stocked by the Missouri Department of Conservation in the past six years. So in short, I'm looking for a very good fall season. In a couple of weeks, we host a benefit trout tournament for the Branson Area Professional Firefighters. It's on Saturday, August 26th. I use these tournaments as a way to see what's in our lake -- where the trout are and how big. The tournaments bring some of the best trout fishermen to the lake, and they pull out and show us a segment of what's there. Most of the trout will be caught on marabou jigs, either thrown straight or fished under a float. I'm looking forward to see what's caught on that day. We've been getting a wide range of good reports from different areas of the lake. I'll start with the lower portions of the lake that we send anglers to and work my way up lake. Zach Behlmann with a nice rainbow caught down by Monkey Island on a jig. Branson Landing -- On any given morning, you'll see a flotilla of guide boats around the twi big docks in the Landing area. They're fishing the Berkley's pink power worm under a float about five-feet deep and catching almost all rainbows. Duane Doty talked to a party the other day that was fishing the pink worm -- without any luck. He noticed that they were using a curved hook and running the worm up the hook. He showed them the jig hook we use and explained how the worm had to be completely straight to get bit. I'm sure that's not 100% of the time, but it did change this party's luck after they adjusted their rigging. Monkey Island -- The pink worm is working here too but so are jigs, Power bait and worms. Dam operators have been running water in the afternoons, any where from a half unit up to three units. When enough water is running to create a good current through this area, drift pink Gulp eggs on the bottom. Lilleys' to Cooper Creek -- Yes, the pink worm is working here. I've seen some boaters trolling small inline spinners and doing well. If the water is running, work the bluff bank using 1/8th - 3/32nd-ounce sculpin or white jigs, as well as #5 or #7 Rapalas in silver/black or rainbow colors. Trout Hollow to Lilleys' -- This would be the hot spot on the lake if you ask most anglers, including guides. Either the pink worm under a float, or fishing a white 1/80th-ounce white, brown, black/olive or pink jig under a float four- to six-feet deep has been the ticket for most anglers. Also throwing a 1/16th-ounce sculpin/ginger or brown/orange jig using two-pound line. Towards evening, the black or black/olive is killing them. Mike Stevens with a 23-inch brown caught on a jig. Released. Fall Creek to Trout Hollow -- Air-injected night crawlers if the water is off or drifting them on the bottom if it's running have been catching some great quality rainbows and some browns. If the water is running, drift a Megaworm or a #12 gray scud on the bottom, too. The 1/16th-ounce jigs are working really well if the water is off or just barely running, and 1/8th-ounce jigs produce if the water picks up in the afternoons. White, sculpin, black, sculpin/ginger or sculpin/peach colors are working. Low Water Warning: On two days this past week, Friday and Saturday, the lake was drawn down lower than "normal." I don't know if there was a reason why or whether it just was an oversight by Empire Electric (owner and operator of Powersite Dam). If the turbines at Powersite are run too long -- too much after Table Rock shuts down -- it pulls water out of Taneycomo past the normal level. This impacts the upper lake the most, although it does not affect the area just below the dam. This water is held at its level by the shoals at Rebar and the shoal below the boat ramp. So you won't see any change in the official lake level, both online and on the phone recording. Where we saw the biggest change in level was from Short Creek up lake. There is a tree in the lake, right of center towards the channel, that will grab you even at normal levels. It's been there since the December 2015 flood. But there are two more trees or stumps close to that area that are lower-unit busters, too. We're going to get buoys on them as soon as possible. I hit one Saturday when the lake was low -- bent my prop pretty well. If the lake is low, you're going to have to watch from in front of Fall Creek Marina all the way to the Narrows. Then at the Narrows, well, you'll see. It's just shallow, but a great fishing spot!!! The Narrows to Fall Creek -- This area is full of trout, good ones. Use two-pound line with the jig-and-float method. Micro jigs are hot again in black or olive. Marabou jigs in 1/125th- and 1/80th-ounce, sculpin/ginger, brown (both with orange heads), black/olive and brown orange are working. Throw a 1/16th-ounce jig with two-pound line and work both sides as well as the middle of the lake. If there are fish rising to midges, work it shallow and fast. If not, let it go to the bottom and work it back. Fly fishing -- Zebra midges haven't been working as well as normal but scuds are! The best flies have been #12 to #16 gray or brown scuds under an indicator and fished deep enough to be on the bottom. I usually fish it 50% deeper than the depth of water I'm fishing. If you're fishing four feet, I set it six-feet deep. Our scuds are weighted and generally do not need extra weight to get down, but use your own judgement. At the Narrows there's usually at least a slight current, so fishing flies under an indicator is most productive. If there's a chop on the surface, I'd throw a soft hackle or crackleback. Or if you want to, strip a streamer like a pine squirrel, wooly bugger or sculpin. There have been some big browns cruising in this area. These are images taken Saturday afternoon just as the water started running. The lake was super low, as described. Looking up lake from the middle of the Narrows. Looking across at the bar. Notice there's a new channel that splits off the main channel and creates an island. This middle channel isn't very deep, but it has the makings of possibly deepening and becoming the new channel through this area. It's hard to say. Looking down lake. Looking from above the Narrows. You can see where someone could get out and fish from the middle gravel bar, fishing towards the channel. There's some great holes just off the bar holding a lot of nice trout. Lookout to the Narrows -- I've been trying dries in this area, especially when the water is running and doing less than fair. On one drift down, I may get a half dozen looks, four takes and two hookups on a hopper. I look for this bite to get better as fall approaches. The jig-and-float method is working really well. A good friend who fishes up there almost every day uses that 1/125th ounce- sculpin/ginger jig with an orange head, and he said he's caught a lot of rainbows lately. We are seeing a good number of BIG browns from the Narrows to Lookout -- some longer than 30 inches cruising around. Dam to Lookout -- I have not been up to the dam yet to see what it looks like since the May flood, but I've heard Rebar has changed a lot -- and holding a ton of trout! A gentleman who lives at Pointe Royal told me Monday morning that he drove up there early and threw a jig and caught a bunch of fish. He was amazed how many trout were stacked up there. When they're running water, throwing jigs is very, very good. Work the bottom with anywhere from an 1/8th- to a 1/16th-ounce, depending on how much water is running. They're still hitting white pretty well but also biting dark colors, too. Ryan Miloshewski spent the week here on Taneycomo fishing. He's an independent outdoor writer who attended our writer's conference in January. Fishing almost exclusively jigs, he landed a lot of good quality rainbows, both in the trophy area and below.
  7. August 14 fishing report

    I can honestly say this has been one of the best summer fishing seasons in many years here on Lake Taneycomo. I say that for a couple of reasons. First, catching trout hasn't really varied all summer. It's been pretty good. Normally we see slow times, either in early June or in August or both. We haven't seen that slow down. One reason why is our lake water temperature. It's held at 57 all summer, which is warmer than normal. Typically we see some of the coldest water of the year in May when it averages anywhere from 45 to 49. I've seen it as cold as 40. Then it starts warming up in June and July but we usually see 50 degrees until August. Joe Merendas with a 28-inch brown. Released. Our trout are more active at 57 verses 45 degrees, and that means they feed more, plain and simple. That's why fishing has been so good all summer. Second, we've consistently seen bigger trout caught, in the trophy area and below. We're even seeing big rainbows caught in areas down lake like by Monkey Island and the Branson Landing. And when I say big, I mean 15- to 18-inches long. I credit the flood we had in May that brought the influx of food over the gates from Table Rock Lake. Also, the water temperature is another reason. More activity and more feeding means good growth. We're also seeing a lot of trophy brown trout caught, and thankfully, most are being released to be caught again. This is attributed to the increased numbers stocked by the Missouri Department of Conservation in the past six years. So in short, I'm looking for a very good fall season. In a couple of weeks, we host a benefit trout tournament for the Branson Area Professional Firefighters. It's on Saturday, August 26th. I use these tournaments as a way to see what's in our lake -- where the trout are and how big. The tournaments bring some of the best trout fishermen to the lake, and they pull out and show us a segment of what's there. Most of the trout will be caught on marabou jigs, either thrown straight or fished under a float. I'm looking forward to see what's caught on that day. We've been getting a wide range of good reports from different areas of the lake. I'll start with the lower portions of the lake that we send anglers to and work my way up lake. Zach Behlmann with a nice rainbow caught down by Monkey Island on a jig. Branson Landing -- On any given morning, you'll see a flotilla of guide boats around the twi big docks in the Landing area. They're fishing the Berkley's pink power worm under a float about five-feet deep and catching almost all rainbows. Duane Doty talked to a party the other day that was fishing the pink worm -- without any luck. He noticed that they were using a curved hook and running the worm up the hook. He showed them the jig hook we use and explained how the worm had to be completely straight to get bit. I'm sure that's not 100% of the time, but it did change this party's luck after they adjusted their rigging. Monkey Island -- The pink worm is working here too but so are jigs, Power bait and worms. Dam operators have been running water in the afternoons, any where from a half unit up to three units. When enough water is running to create a good current through this area, drift pink Gulp eggs on the bottom. Lilleys' to Cooper Creek -- Yes, the pink worm is working here. I've seen some boaters trolling small inline spinners and doing well. If the water is running, work the bluff bank using 1/8th - 3/32nd-ounce sculpin or white jigs, as well as #5 or #7 Rapalas in silver/black or rainbow colors. Trout Hollow to Lilleys' -- This would be the hot spot on the lake if you ask most anglers, including guides. Either the pink worm under a float, or fishing a white 1/80th-ounce white, brown, black/olive or pink jig under a float four- to six-feet deep has been the ticket for most anglers. Also throwing a 1/16th-ounce sculpin/ginger or brown/orange jig using two-pound line. Towards evening, the black or black/olive is killing them. Mike Stevens with a 23-inch brown caught on a jig. Released. Fall Creek to Trout Hollow -- Air-injected night crawlers if the water is off or drifting them on the bottom if it's running have been catching some great quality rainbows and some browns. If the water is running, drift a Megaworm or a #12 gray scud on the bottom, too. The 1/16th-ounce jigs are working really well if the water is off or just barely running, and 1/8th-ounce jigs produce if the water picks up in the afternoons. White, sculpin, black, sculpin/ginger or sculpin/peach colors are working. Low Water Warning: On two days this past week, Friday and Saturday, the lake was drawn down lower than "normal." I don't know if there was a reason why or whether it just was an oversight by Empire Electric (owner and operator of Powersite Dam). If the turbines at Powersite are run too long -- too much after Table Rock shuts down -- it pulls water out of Taneycomo past the normal level. This impacts the upper lake the most, although it does not affect the area just below the dam. This water is held at its level by the shoals at Rebar and the shoal below the boat ramp. So you won't see any change in the official lake level, both online and on the phone recording. Where we saw the biggest change in level was from Short Creek up lake. There is a tree in the lake, right of center towards the channel, that will grab you even at normal levels. It's been there since the December 2015 flood. But there are two more trees or stumps close to that area that are lower-unit busters, too. We're going to get buoys on them as soon as possible. I hit one Saturday when the lake was low -- bent my prop pretty well. If the lake is low, you're going to have to watch from in front of Fall Creek Marina all the way to the Narrows. Then at the Narrows, well, you'll see. It's just shallow, but a great fishing spot!!! The Narrows to Fall Creek -- This area is full of trout, good ones. Use two-pound line with the jig-and-float method. Micro jigs are hot again in black or olive. Marabou jigs in 1/125th- and 1/80th-ounce, sculpin/ginger, brown (both with orange heads), black/olive and brown orange are working. Throw a 1/16th-ounce jig with two-pound line and work both sides as well as the middle of the lake. If there are fish rising to midges, work it shallow and fast. If not, let it go to the bottom and work it back. Fly fishing -- Zebra midges haven't been working as well as normal but scuds are! The best flies have been #12 to #16 gray or brown scuds under an indicator and fished deep enough to be on the bottom. I usually fish it 50% deeper than the depth of water I'm fishing. If you're fishing four feet, I set it six-feet deep. Our scuds are weighted and generally do not need extra weight to get down, but use your own judgement. At the Narrows there's usually at least a slight current, so fishing flies under an indicator is most productive. If there's a chop on the surface, I'd throw a soft hackle or crackleback. Or if you want to, strip a streamer like a pine squirrel, wooly bugger or sculpin. There have been some big browns cruising in this area. These are images taken Saturday afternoon just as the water started running. The lake was super low, as described. Looking up lake from the middle of the Narrows. Looking across at the bar. Notice there's a new channel that splits off the main channel and creates an island. This middle channel isn't very deep, but it has the makings of possibly deepening and becoming the new channel through this area. It's hard to say. Looking down lake. Looking from above the Narrows. You can see where someone could get out and fish from the middle gravel bar, fishing towards the channel. There's some great holes just off the bar holding a lot of nice trout. Lookout to the Narrows -- I've been trying dries in this area, especially when the water is running and doing less than fair. On one drift down, I may get a half dozen looks, four takes and two hookups on a hopper. I look for this bite to get better as fall approaches. The jig-and-float method is working really well. A good friend who fishes up there almost every day uses that 1/125th ounce- sculpin/ginger jig with an orange head, and he said he's caught a lot of rainbows lately. We are seeing a good number of BIG browns from the Narrows to Lookout -- some longer than 30 inches cruising around. Dam to Lookout -- I have not been up to the dam yet to see what it looks like since the May flood, but I've heard Rebar has changed a lot -- and holding a ton of trout! A gentleman who lives at Pointe Royal told me Monday morning that he drove up there early and threw a jig and caught a bunch of fish. He was amazed how many trout were stacked up there. When they're running water, throwing jigs is very, very good. Work the bottom with anywhere from an 1/8th- to a 1/16th-ounce, depending on how much water is running. They're still hitting white pretty well but also biting dark colors, too. Ryan Miloshewski spent the week here on Taneycomo fishing. He's an independent outdoor writer who attended our writer's conference in January. Fishing almost exclusively jigs, he landed a lot of good quality rainbows, both in the trophy area and below. View full article
  8. These days I don't think about writing a fishing report for Lake Taneycomo very often because I feel like I'm giving one every day when I do One Cast, a daily video we do off our dock in which we try to catch a fish by making only one cast. It's broadcasted on both our resort's Youtube channel and Facebook page. There's not many people fishing right now and that's a little surprising seeing the weather is so nice for late December. Those that are here are catching trout. We haven't heard too many bad reports lately. Generation (the lack of) has been nice to those who like to wade below the dam, as well as still fishing off docks and out in boats. On cold mornings, they'll run up to 3 units for 2-3 hours and then it's off the rest of the day. Water quality is superb now that Table Rock has fully turned over. The Corp has lifted all generation restrictions and closed the vents on their turbines. We have noticed that a lot of the rainbows that have been stocked this month are bigger than normal. I'm not sure if these trout are from Neosho's hatchery or Shepherd of the Hills. We normally get a big load from the federal hatchery at Neosho in December and typically these fish are small. We're still seeing some small rainbows but I think they've been in the lake for several months. Duane and I fished Thursday evening from Fall Creek up to the Narrows throwing mainly black 1/16th or 3/32nd ounce jigs and catching a lot of rainbows. A good number of them appeared to be freshly stocked but measured 13-14 inches and were thick and stocky. I can't say they were newly stocked trout for sure but they did have that dull coloring we see from stockers. We didn't catch many small trout, less than 10 inches. Black has been the color of choice for several months now. I even threw a brown jig yesterday and didn't get bit like I did throwing a black. Duane threw a sculpin/ginger for a bit and caught a few but his bite slowed down when he did switch so he changed back. We've also been throwing black combos too, like black/olive, black/brown and black/yellow and doing well. I'm using 2-pound Vanish line, not because the fish can't see it but because I'm throwing small jigs. One thing that's absolutely great to see is our midge hatches returning in big numbers. The last week, especially in the morning and evening, we've had midges coming off the water and our trout responding to them. I have to point out both because we've had good hatches lately but our trout have turned a blind eye to them. Not the last few weeks! I've been out several evenings, fishing below Fall Creek on the shallow side mainly and seeing dozens and dozens of rises to midges skating across the surface, drying their wings before flight. Rainbows are chasing and jumping, cruising and sipping and something I haven't seen before (I don't remember seeing)-- rainbows coming straight up out of the water like a whale and inhaling a midge. The rainbows on the San Juan River are famous for this technique but they are rising to clumps of midges. I am targeting these trout using my fly rod and fishing a small Zebra Midge under a tiny float and only fishing it 6-10 inches deep. Some of the water I'm fishing is only a foot deep--that's where some of the fish are cruising and feeding. I'm using a rusty, a red or black, and if it's sunny I'm using a P&P midge, mostly a #14 or #16. And I'm using 6x tippet, or 2-pound line. Someone using a spin cast can fish a Zebra under a float but I would suggest fishing out in deeper water and fish it 24-48 inches deep. When casting with spinning gear, you have to use a bigger float and a bigger float would spook fish holding in shallow water. I've tried fishing a scud up above Fall Creek lately and haven't done as well as I had been. But we had some guests last weekend fish an egg fly under a float and it worked real well for them. We carry an egg fly called a Miracle fly that's an egg tied on a small jig head and fished just like a small jig under a float. Some of our rainbows are starting to drop eggs so they're responding to an egg fly pretty good. Anglers fishing up below the dam are doing well using a white Mega Worm which is a big, fluffy piece of yarn tied on a hook. It can also be tied on a small jig head too. They usually sight fish using it simply because the white worm shows up so clear in the water, you can see it disappear in the fish's mouth. Mike Curry, a long time angler who lives here in Branson, is one of the best at this technique and has caught some big trout over the years. But I believe fly shop owner, Tim Homesley, discovered the yarn at his local Wal Mart and started using it on his home waters at Roaring River State Park. The Berkley Pink Powerbait Worm is still a hot ticket to catch trout below Fall Creek. Take only a small 1.5 inch piece of the soft plastic worm and thread it onto a small jig head, fish it anywhere from 3 to 6 feet deep under an indicator. It's still one of our guide's go-to techniques for catching trout for clients. They're using either 2 or 4 pound line. If you're bait fishing, yellow Powerbait paste is catch a lot of trout off our dock and out in boats. There doesn't seem to be a hot area on the lake--I see people fishing up close to the mouth of Fall Creek and doing well and hearing others going down towards Monkey Island and the Landing and catching trout too. Remember.... and this is very important! If you're fishing with bait, the trout are going to swallow the hook most of the time. Don't try to dig your hook out and by all means, don't just jerk it out! Cut the line without touching the fish and drop it back in the lake. The trout will have a better chance of surviving this way. The hook should dissolve in time. One person can literally kill dozens of trout a day by catch and releasing in an improper way. One other thing. Remember the limit is 4 trout per person per day. That's not 4 in the morning and 4 in the afternoon. We see that quite often here... and it doesn't go unnoticed. We chose to protect the fishery so that anglers arriving tomorrow have fish to catch rather letting someone take more than their limit and ruin it for the next guy. Note: The two images of rainbows posted in this article were taken after I finished writing this report. I took out one of our jon boats in front of the resort and threw a 1/16th ounce black/olive jig in hopes of catching a few pretty trout for pictures to go with this report, between rain showers. I caught 3 rainbows, one was nice size but not real pretty. These two were actually bigger than what I was expecting. But what I wanted to take note of is that both of these rainbows spit up both scuds and sow bugs when placed in the tank.
  9. These days I don't think about writing a fishing report for Lake Taneycomo very often because I feel like I'm giving one every day when I do One Cast, a daily video we do off our dock in which we try to catch a fish by making only one cast. It's broadcasted on both our resort's Youtube channel and Facebook page. There's not many people fishing right now and that's a little surprising seeing the weather is so nice for late December. Those that are here are catching trout. We haven't heard too many bad reports lately. Generation (the lack of) has been nice to those who like to wade below the dam, as well as still fishing off docks and out in boats. On cold mornings, they'll run up to 3 units for 2-3 hours and then it's off the rest of the day. Water quality is superb now that Table Rock has fully turned over. The Corp has lifted all generation restrictions and closed the vents on their turbines. We have noticed that a lot of the rainbows that have been stocked this month are bigger than normal. I'm not sure if these trout are from Neosho's hatchery or Shepherd of the Hills. We normally get a big load from the federal hatchery at Neosho in December and typically these fish are small. We're still seeing some small rainbows but I think they've been in the lake for several months. Duane and I fished Thursday evening from Fall Creek up to the Narrows throwing mainly black 1/16th or 3/32nd ounce jigs and catching a lot of rainbows. A good number of them appeared to be freshly stocked but measured 13-14 inches and were thick and stocky. I can't say they were newly stocked trout for sure but they did have that dull coloring we see from stockers. We didn't catch many small trout, less than 10 inches. Black has been the color of choice for several months now. I even threw a brown jig yesterday and didn't get bit like I did throwing a black. Duane threw a sculpin/ginger for a bit and caught a few but his bite slowed down when he did switch so he changed back. We've also been throwing black combos too, like black/olive, black/brown and black/yellow and doing well. I'm using 2-pound Vanish line, not because the fish can't see it but because I'm throwing small jigs. One thing that's absolutely great to see is our midge hatches returning in big numbers. The last week, especially in the morning and evening, we've had midges coming off the water and our trout responding to them. I have to point out both because we've had good hatches lately but our trout have turned a blind eye to them. Not the last few weeks! I've been out several evenings, fishing below Fall Creek on the shallow side mainly and seeing dozens and dozens of rises to midges skating across the surface, drying their wings before flight. Rainbows are chasing and jumping, cruising and sipping and something I haven't seen before (I don't remember seeing)-- rainbows coming straight up out of the water like a whale and inhaling a midge. The rainbows on the San Juan River are famous for this technique but they are rising to clumps of midges. I am targeting these trout using my fly rod and fishing a small Zebra Midge under a tiny float and only fishing it 6-10 inches deep. Some of the water I'm fishing is only a foot deep--that's where some of the fish are cruising and feeding. I'm using a rusty, a red or black, and if it's sunny I'm using a P&P midge, mostly a #14 or #16. And I'm using 6x tippet, or 2-pound line. Someone using a spin cast can fish a Zebra under a float but I would suggest fishing out in deeper water and fish it 24-48 inches deep. When casting with spinning gear, you have to use a bigger float and a bigger float would spook fish holding in shallow water. I've tried fishing a scud up above Fall Creek lately and haven't done as well as I had been. But we had some guests last weekend fish an egg fly under a float and it worked real well for them. We carry an egg fly called a Miracle fly that's an egg tied on a small jig head and fished just like a small jig under a float. Some of our rainbows are starting to drop eggs so they're responding to an egg fly pretty good. Anglers fishing up below the dam are doing well using a white Mega Worm which is a big, fluffy piece of yarn tied on a hook. It can also be tied on a small jig head too. They usually sight fish using it simply because the white worm shows up so clear in the water, you can see it disappear in the fish's mouth. Mike Curry, a long time angler who lives here in Branson, is one of the best at this technique and has caught some big trout over the years. But I believe fly shop owner, Tim Homesley, discovered the yarn at his local Wal Mart and started using it on his home waters at Roaring River State Park. The Berkley Pink Powerbait Worm is still a hot ticket to catch trout below Fall Creek. Take only a small 1.5 inch piece of the soft plastic worm and thread it onto a small jig head, fish it anywhere from 3 to 6 feet deep under an indicator. It's still one of our guide's go-to techniques for catching trout for clients. They're using either 2 or 4 pound line. If you're bait fishing, yellow Powerbait paste is catch a lot of trout off our dock and out in boats. There doesn't seem to be a hot area on the lake--I see people fishing up close to the mouth of Fall Creek and doing well and hearing others going down towards Monkey Island and the Landing and catching trout too. Remember.... and this is very important! If you're fishing with bait, the trout are going to swallow the hook most of the time. Don't try to dig your hook out and by all means, don't just jerk it out! Cut the line without touching the fish and drop it back in the lake. The trout will have a better chance of surviving this way. The hook should dissolve in time. One person can literally kill dozens of trout a day by catch and releasing in an improper way. One other thing. Remember the limit is 4 trout per person per day. That's not 4 in the morning and 4 in the afternoon. We see that quite often here... and it doesn't go unnoticed. We chose to protect the fishery so that anglers arriving tomorrow have fish to catch rather letting someone take more than their limit and ruin it for the next guy. Note: The two images of rainbows posted in this article were taken after I finished writing this report. I took out one of our jon boats in front of the resort and threw a 1/16th ounce black/olive jig in hopes of catching a few pretty trout for pictures to go with this report, between rain showers. I caught 3 rainbows, one was nice size but not real pretty. These two were actually bigger than what I was expecting. But what I wanted to take note of is that both of these rainbows spit up both scuds and sow bugs when placed in the tank. View full article
  10. For the most part, there's been very little generation on Lake Taneycomo the past couple of weeks. If operators run the turbines, it's early in the morning for an hour or two (70 megawatts) and in the afternoon beginning 2 to 4 p.m. and running either for an hour or until dark. I know that sounds arbitrary, but there really isn't a pattern. We count on some water running every day but with extended periods of no generation most of the day and all night. Speaking of night time, fishing after dark has been good below the dam, wading and throwing a variety of streamers. Brown trout activity has slowed, but there are still a lot of nice trout up there to be caught. Flies that will do well are leaches, Hybernators, wooly buggers, Cracklebacks, Pine Squirrels and sculpins. Some of the guys who regularly fly fish below the dam say fishing has really been slow until they start generating, and then it's good around the outlets. But fly fishing from the Missouri Department of Conservation boat ramp down seems to be pretty good. I've fly fished a couple of times around Lookout Island and have caught a few very nice, colored up rainbows on scuds -- whether the water was off or running. I fished both sides of the island. I've also been throwing a 1/16th-ounce olive or black marabou jig from Lookout Island and down lake and have fared better than I did earlier in the fall and even in the summer. Of course, I am using two-pound line when fishing a small jig. I use Trilene XL clear. I have heard some fly fishers are catching a few trout on dries on the upper lake. Jeremy Hunt, a fishing guide, says his clients are throwing #16 and #18 black ants and catching big rainbows and a few browns. He said it's best to find chop on the water for the ants to work. For the past week, I've been fishing a scud in an area below Fall Creek, not above in the trophy area. I got the notion to throw a scud after fishing a flat over a week ago. Zebra Midges weren't cutting it, and as I was fishing, and not catching, I noticed rainbows cruising around in front of me nosing the gravel trying to kick up bugs. I know there's a good population of scuds in that area, so I tied on a #12 peppy (200R hook) and pinched on a palsa indicator four feet above the fly, 6x fluorocarbon tippet. That day, I was out about 1 p.m. and it was sunny with very little wind--not the best fishing conditions. But the trout were actively feeding, and they liked my peppy scud. I've gone out several times since at all times of the day. Saturday I went out at 9 a.m. and started fishing the flat. This is the east or inside bank from the Riverpointe boat ramp up to the first dock somewhat across from Fall Creek Marina. It's a stretch that was formerly dotted with a dozen docks, but all have been taken out since the last flood. Because of the trajectory of the sun right now, this water is in the shade most of the day, and that's where I was keying in on, the shade. But it was slow . . . one rainbow and few bites. So I boated on up into the trophy area and tried some deeper banks and set the scud at eight- to nine-feet deep. After striking out on the deep bank, I trolled over to the shallow side, the bank below the Narrows, and started fishing some water where I knew I'd catch fish. And I did, sight fishing to some rainbows cruising in less than a foot of water -- that was fun. Then I fished the water just above the mouth of Fall Creek. By this time, the wind had really picked, blowing down lake or out of the south. That, I believe, really turned the fish on and I was rewarded with a bite on every cast. I wanted to again hit the bank where I had started before heading in, so I boated back down and started at the log below the log house/dock. This log is about 50 feet from the bank and runs long ways with the root wad sticking out of the water. I set the boat as close to the bank as I could get it without bottoming out, (although I did many times.) So I was fishing 50 feet or less from the bank behind me in no more than three feet of water. Most of the time I was throwing to 18 to 24 inches of water and set the scud at five feet from the indicator. This is what I have determined: These rainbows are taking a scud in sunlight better than shade. I've fished this area enough in both conditions, and every time I fished in sunny conditions, no matter what the surface looked like, they were much more active in sunlight. Of course, Saturday's chop on the water really helped. I caught more than 20 rainbows in that small stretch of time. One rainbow took me to my backing, twice! It was only 17 inches long, but he thought he was 23! I'm going to keep experimenting with scuds below Fall Creek because I know it's an untapped resource. These trout haven't seen many scud flies, but at the same time they're seeing lots of live ones. Bill Babler, one of our fishing guides, reports he's using a ginger micro jig in the trophy area and catching well. His clients caught and released 60 trout Saturday morning. But it hasn't been like that every day for the guides. I'd say at least three days last week, they were struggling to find trout that would bite. Some days were better than others. The same can be said about trout fishing in general. Anglers using bait are having some great days catching fish and some not-so-great days, especially off our dock. White is back as the hot color. Last week was yellow paste.
  11. Lake Taneycomo, October 29

    For the most part, there's been very little generation on Lake Taneycomo the past couple of weeks. If operators run the turbines, it's early in the morning for an hour or two (70 megawatts) and in the afternoon beginning 2 to 4 p.m. and running either for an hour or until dark. I know that sounds arbitrary, but there really isn't a pattern. We count on some water running every day but with extended periods of no generation most of the day and all night. Speaking of night time, fishing after dark has been good below the dam, wading and throwing a variety of streamers. Brown trout activity has slowed, but there are still a lot of nice trout up there to be caught. Flies that will do well are leaches, Hybernators, wooly buggers, Cracklebacks, Pine Squirrels and sculpins. Some of the guys who regularly fly fish below the dam say fishing has really been slow until they start generating, and then it's good around the outlets. But fly fishing from the Missouri Department of Conservation boat ramp down seems to be pretty good. I've fly fished a couple of times around Lookout Island and have caught a few very nice, colored up rainbows on scuds -- whether the water was off or running. I fished both sides of the island. I've also been throwing a 1/16th-ounce olive or black marabou jig from Lookout Island and down lake and have fared better than I did earlier in the fall and even in the summer. Of course, I am using two-pound line when fishing a small jig. I use Trilene XL clear. I have heard some fly fishers are catching a few trout on dries on the upper lake. Jeremy Hunt, a fishing guide, says his clients are throwing #16 and #18 black ants and catching big rainbows and a few browns. He said it's best to find chop on the water for the ants to work. For the past week, I've been fishing a scud in an area below Fall Creek, not above in the trophy area. I got the notion to throw a scud after fishing a flat over a week ago. Zebra Midges weren't cutting it, and as I was fishing, and not catching, I noticed rainbows cruising around in front of me nosing the gravel trying to kick up bugs. I know there's a good population of scuds in that area, so I tied on a #12 peppy (200R hook) and pinched on a palsa indicator four feet above the fly, 6x fluorocarbon tippet. That day, I was out about 1 p.m. and it was sunny with very little wind--not the best fishing conditions. But the trout were actively feeding, and they liked my peppy scud. I've gone out several times since at all times of the day. Saturday I went out at 9 a.m. and started fishing the flat. This is the east or inside bank from the Riverpointe boat ramp up to the first dock somewhat across from Fall Creek Marina. It's a stretch that was formerly dotted with a dozen docks, but all have been taken out since the last flood. Because of the trajectory of the sun right now, this water is in the shade most of the day, and that's where I was keying in on, the shade. But it was slow . . . one rainbow and few bites. So I boated on up into the trophy area and tried some deeper banks and set the scud at eight- to nine-feet deep. After striking out on the deep bank, I trolled over to the shallow side, the bank below the Narrows, and started fishing some water where I knew I'd catch fish. And I did, sight fishing to some rainbows cruising in less than a foot of water -- that was fun. Then I fished the water just above the mouth of Fall Creek. By this time, the wind had really picked, blowing down lake or out of the south. That, I believe, really turned the fish on and I was rewarded with a bite on every cast. I wanted to again hit the bank where I had started before heading in, so I boated back down and started at the log below the log house/dock. This log is about 50 feet from the bank and runs long ways with the root wad sticking out of the water. I set the boat as close to the bank as I could get it without bottoming out, (although I did many times.) So I was fishing 50 feet or less from the bank behind me in no more than three feet of water. Most of the time I was throwing to 18 to 24 inches of water and set the scud at five feet from the indicator. This is what I have determined: These rainbows are taking a scud in sunlight better than shade. I've fished this area enough in both conditions, and every time I fished in sunny conditions, no matter what the surface looked like, they were much more active in sunlight. Of course, Saturday's chop on the water really helped. I caught more than 20 rainbows in that small stretch of time. One rainbow took me to my backing, twice! It was only 17 inches long, but he thought he was 23! I'm going to keep experimenting with scuds below Fall Creek because I know it's an untapped resource. These trout haven't seen many scud flies, but at the same time they're seeing lots of live ones. Bill Babler, one of our fishing guides, reports he's using a ginger micro jig in the trophy area and catching well. His clients caught and released 60 trout Saturday morning. But it hasn't been like that every day for the guides. I'd say at least three days last week, they were struggling to find trout that would bite. Some days were better than others. The same can be said about trout fishing in general. Anglers using bait are having some great days catching fish and some not-so-great days, especially off our dock. White is back as the hot color. Last week was yellow paste. View full article
  12. With little change in weather patterns, rainfall throughout the month of July, generation patterns on Taneycomo have been fairly consistent. Most days dam operators are running a half unit, 25-35 megawatts of power, at night through the morning, then kicking on any where from 100 to 150 megawatts, or up to two full units, from mid-afternoon until sunset. There have been a few days when they've had the dam completely shut down with no water running, but they've been few and far between with no rhyme or reason why. Water clarity is pretty much back to normal. It's very clear -- clear enough that some of us are thinking about using 7x tippet (very small, light line). Water temperature is still a cool 49 degrees coming from the dam. We should be in good shape heading into the fall season. The midges here on the lake have been out of control! They start hatching at sunset and continue to come off into the night at huge numbers. They're hatching in the day time, too, at normal numbers, but in the morning everything is covered with dead bugs. Now you might think our trout are keying in on them, and they are at times. Duane Doty witnessed it Saturday morning on a guide trip. He started at 6 a.m. just above our dock fishing the trout worm under an indicator. All of a sudden, a school of trout came to the surface and started porpoising, eating midges as fast as they could. Duane said the midges were so thick above their heads that they almost couldn't see through them. They followed the school all the way up the lake and around the corner, all the while catching rainbows on their worms. Midge larva hatch out of the silt on the bottom of the lake and make their way to the surface. These are easy morsels for fish to pick off, and I'm sure they do. We use zebra midges under an indicator to fool trout into biting. Guide Steve Dickey, reports that a #16 black or olive zebra has been working in the trophy area but notes that it has to be "one-inch" from the bottom. "They just aren't coming up to eat it, it has to be right in front of their face." Steve says the scud bite in the trophy area is good if the water is running. A #16 or #8 olive or tan scud has been working the best, as long as it is on the bottom for the fish to take it. Chuck Gries, fishing guide, keyed in on midge fishing Saturday morning, too. We saw him finish his trip across the lake from our dock, his clients hooking doubles as we watched. I asked him what were they using, and he said black or brown zebra midges under an indicator eight-feet deep. He was using 6x tippet. I'd imagine he was using a small split shot to get a fly down that far. Duane has had other trips, and he's done well drifting a mega worm either on a drift rig or under an indicator. A mega worm is a big, fluffy white yarn worm fly. Throwing jigs has been slow, which is another head-scratcher. We catching a few fish, especially from the dam down to Lookout, but the rest of the lake is slow. Back when the lake water was off-color, the trout wanted to chase them. Now they want it floating with the current - and won't pursue it. It's very strange, and disappointing, since throwing jigs is our favorite way to fish for trout. Drifting bait below Fall Creek is catching fish. Night crawlers are by far the best. I've talked to several people this week that have said they've caught more and bigger rainbows on worms than Gulp Eggs or Powerbait. And there don't seem to be any slow areas right now. We've had groups that have fished exclusively from Fall to Short Creeks, and others that have gone down to Monkey Island and the Landing and all have done well. One gentleman told me they went down to the lower dam (Powersite) to let the kids swim and ended up catching a lot of trout down there on Powerbait. He said the surface temperature was 72 degrees, but they caught their fish in deep water. There is a new technique that's catching trout. Bill Babler, fishing guide, showed me he was taking Berkley's pink Power Worms and pinching them into 1.5- to 2-inch segments and putting them on a small 1/125-ounce jig head. Using two-pound line, he fishes them under an indicator five- to eight-feet deep. I've been playing around with it and have done pretty well. Friday morning, I took my cousin's grandson out fishing. His family was here for his sister's World Series fast-pitch softball tournament. We didn't get out till 8:30 a.m. when the sun was already peaking over the bluff across from the resort, but with 35 megawatts of water running, we started fishing the pink worms and stayed in the shade of the bluff. Hunter caught his first rainbow trout pretty quickly. Being from Texas, he doesn't see many trout. He has fished in the Gulf and caught speckled trout but not coldwater trout. He ended up with 10 rainbows, all caught on the pink worm. Bill says he'll switch to a pink Trout Magnet if the bite is short. The worm is scented and doesn't have a split tail unlike the Magnet, and you can leave the worm on longer than the Magnet. Guide's Secret: Spin a bead of thread onto the shank of your jig hook and use Super Glue to stick the worm or Magnet to the hook. This will keep it from sliding down the hook. After Report Trip: It never fails that soon after I write a fishing report I will gain new information that either changes my previous report or adds to it. This one is an add. Saturday evening I fished after my dock shift. I wanted to try out Chuck's deep midge technique. I boated up close to Fall Creek with a half-unit running and rigged my fly rod with a small, hard foam indicator and nine feet of 6x tippet with two#14 Zebra Midges tied on. I had 18 inches of tippet between them, one black with nickle head and rib and the other a rusty midge. I drifted and fished the deep channel which varied in water depth from eight to 12 feet. I was concerned that the weight of the two midges mighty not be heavy enough to take the flies down, but there didn't seem to be any issues. I caught a dozen rainbows before I got to Short Creek and missed half that many strikes.
  13. With little change in weather patterns, rainfall throughout the month of July, generation patterns on Taneycomo have been fairly consistent. Most days dam operators are running a half unit, 25-35 megawatts of power, at night through the morning, then kicking on any where from 100 to 150 megawatts, or up to two full units, from mid-afternoon until sunset. There have been a few days when they've had the dam completely shut down with no water running, but they've been few and far between with no rhyme or reason why. Water clarity is pretty much back to normal. It's very clear -- clear enough that some of us are thinking about using 7x tippet (very small, light line). Water temperature is still a cool 49 degrees coming from the dam. We should be in good shape heading into the fall season. The midges here on the lake have been out of control! They start hatching at sunset and continue to come off into the night at huge numbers. They're hatching in the day time, too, at normal numbers, but in the morning everything is covered with dead bugs. Now you might think our trout are keying in on them, and they are at times. Duane Doty witnessed it Saturday morning on a guide trip. He started at 6 a.m. just above our dock fishing the trout worm under an indicator. All of a sudden, a school of trout came to the surface and started porpoising, eating midges as fast as they could. Duane said the midges were so thick above their heads that they almost couldn't see through them. They followed the school all the way up the lake and around the corner, all the while catching rainbows on their worms. Midge larva hatch out of the silt on the bottom of the lake and make their way to the surface. These are easy morsels for fish to pick off, and I'm sure they do. We use zebra midges under an indicator to fool trout into biting. Guide Steve Dickey, reports that a #16 black or olive zebra has been working in the trophy area but notes that it has to be "one-inch" from the bottom. "They just aren't coming up to eat it, it has to be right in front of their face." Steve says the scud bite in the trophy area is good if the water is running. A #16 or #8 olive or tan scud has been working the best, as long as it is on the bottom for the fish to take it. Chuck Gries, fishing guide, keyed in on midge fishing Saturday morning, too. We saw him finish his trip across the lake from our dock, his clients hooking doubles as we watched. I asked him what were they using, and he said black or brown zebra midges under an indicator eight-feet deep. He was using 6x tippet. I'd imagine he was using a small split shot to get a fly down that far. Duane has had other trips, and he's done well drifting a mega worm either on a drift rig or under an indicator. A mega worm is a big, fluffy white yarn worm fly. Throwing jigs has been slow, which is another head-scratcher. We catching a few fish, especially from the dam down to Lookout, but the rest of the lake is slow. Back when the lake water was off-color, the trout wanted to chase them. Now they want it floating with the current - and won't pursue it. It's very strange, and disappointing, since throwing jigs is our favorite way to fish for trout. Drifting bait below Fall Creek is catching fish. Night crawlers are by far the best. I've talked to several people this week that have said they've caught more and bigger rainbows on worms than Gulp Eggs or Powerbait. And there don't seem to be any slow areas right now. We've had groups that have fished exclusively from Fall to Short Creeks, and others that have gone down to Monkey Island and the Landing and all have done well. One gentleman told me they went down to the lower dam (Powersite) to let the kids swim and ended up catching a lot of trout down there on Powerbait. He said the surface temperature was 72 degrees, but they caught their fish in deep water. There is a new technique that's catching trout. Bill Babler, fishing guide, showed me he was taking Berkley's pink Power Worms and pinching them into 1.5- to 2-inch segments and putting them on a small 1/125-ounce jig head. Using two-pound line, he fishes them under an indicator five- to eight-feet deep. I've been playing around with it and have done pretty well. Friday morning, I took my cousin's grandson out fishing. His family was here for his sister's World Series fast-pitch softball tournament. We didn't get out till 8:30 a.m. when the sun was already peaking over the bluff across from the resort, but with 35 megawatts of water running, we started fishing the pink worms and stayed in the shade of the bluff. Hunter caught his first rainbow trout pretty quickly. Being from Texas, he doesn't see many trout. He has fished in the Gulf and caught speckled trout but not coldwater trout. He ended up with 10 rainbows, all caught on the pink worm. Bill says he'll switch to a pink Trout Magnet if the bite is short. The worm is scented and doesn't have a split tail unlike the Magnet, and you can leave the worm on longer than the Magnet. Guide's Secret: Spin a bead of thread onto the shank of your jig hook and use Super Glue to stick the worm or Magnet to the hook. This will keep it from sliding down the hook. After Report Trip: It never fails that soon after I write a fishing report I will gain new information that either changes my previous report or adds to it. This one is an add. Saturday evening I fished after my dock shift. I wanted to try out Chuck's deep midge technique. I boated up close to Fall Creek with a half-unit running and rigged my fly rod with a small, hard foam indicator and nine feet of 6x tippet with two#14 Zebra Midges tied on. I had 18 inches of tippet between them, one black with nickle head and rib and the other a rusty midge. I drifted and fished the deep channel which varied in water depth from eight to 12 feet. I was concerned that the weight of the two midges mighty not be heavy enough to take the flies down, but there didn't seem to be any issues. I caught a dozen rainbows before I got to Short Creek and missed half that many strikes. View full article
  14. This was a great fish. My friend and former co-worker from many years ago, Donald (Butta Bean) Whitelaw, and his friend, Todd Murphy, came down from the STL area today for an extended weekend of trout fishing on beautiful Lake Taneycomo. Donny stopped by the fly shop for some advise and to say hello early this afternoon. I invited them back for a little fishing when I was done with a project I was working on. About 3:30 or 4 in the afternoon, we headed up the lake to the cable at the dam. We did one long drift from the cable down to the narrows. We were all throwing jigs most of the time. Donny kept switching from a jig to a jerk bait and back to a jig again. 3/32 ounce jigs in sculpin and ginger along with grey and white jigs were catching fish. There were a couple of hot spots below the cable to the boat launch that were good. 3 small rainbows were caught across from outlet one. 4-5 more were caught from the lower half of the island across from outlet 2 down to past the tree below the old rebar hole. We picked up a couple of fish from the boat ramp down to Trophy Run and then a few more from there down to below Look Out. We hit a slow spot the 1st half of the bluff below Look Out to the Narrows. The second half of that bluff to the narrows has been a good area for browns for me the last couple of weeks and I was telling Donny and Todd this. I kept the boat close to the bluff and we threw as close to the bank as we could get. Todd caught the first brown and it was about 15 inches. Donny caught the next and it was a nice male about 17 inches long. I caught a small rainbow and was visiting with a friend in another boat that was drifting by when Donny said he thought he had a good one. It was taking line and running up stream pretty hard so I started chasing it with the trolling motor so Donny could gain some ground on it. It finally came to the surface and it was a pig! I had Todd reel in and get the net ready. She came up and dove down a few more times before gliding head first into the net. This was Donny's largest brown he has ever caught and it was great being a part of and watching it happen.
  15. This was a great fish. My friend and former co-worker from many years ago, Donald (Butta Bean) Whitelaw, and his friend, Todd Murphy, came down from the STL area today for an extended weekend of trout fishing on beautiful Lake Taneycomo. Donny stopped by the fly shop for some advise and to say hello early this afternoon. I invited them back for a little fishing when I was done with a project I was working on. About 3:30 or 4 in the afternoon, we headed up the lake to the cable at the dam. We did one long drift from the cable down to the narrows. We were all throwing jigs most of the time. Donny kept switching from a jig to a jerk bait and back to a jig again. 3/32 ounce jigs in sculpin and ginger along with grey and white jigs were catching fish. There were a couple of hot spots below the cable to the boat launch that were good. 3 small rainbows were caught across from outlet one. 4-5 more were caught from the lower half of the island across from outlet 2 down to past the tree below the old rebar hole. We picked up a couple of fish from the boat ramp down to Trophy Run and then a few more from there down to below Look Out. We hit a slow spot the 1st half of the bluff below Look Out to the Narrows. The second half of that bluff to the narrows has been a good area for browns for me the last couple of weeks and I was telling Donny and Todd this. I kept the boat close to the bluff and we threw as close to the bank as we could get. Todd caught the first brown and it was about 15 inches. Donny caught the next and it was a nice male about 17 inches long. I caught a small rainbow and was visiting with a friend in another boat that was drifting by when Donny said he thought he had a good one. It was taking line and running up stream pretty hard so I started chasing it with the trolling motor so Donny could gain some ground on it. It finally came to the surface and it was a pig! I had Todd reel in and get the net ready. She came up and dove down a few more times before gliding head first into the net. This was Donny's largest brown he has ever caught and it was great being a part of and watching it happen. View full article
  16. On Tuesday of this week, the U.S. Corps of Army Engineers shut our flood gates off, ending almost a month of high water on Lake Taneycomo. We went from moderate flows in December to flood conditions and a record breaking 73,000 c.f.s. flow in just a couple of days. As flood water moved through the system and lake levels dropped, that flow dropped to its present level. Our release has been about 6,500 c.f.s. or two units of water since the first of the week. Personally, I'm keeping an eye on Beaver Lake, the lake above Table Rock. It has not budged in weeks, holding at 1128.5 feet, eight feet over its winter power pool. I would think officials would go ahead and drop it, making room for the next rain. Not sure why they're holding it so high. Our trout saw a steady stream of threadfin shad flowing into Taneycomo from Table Rock, coming over the gates. Now that the gates are closed, the shad have stopped, and fish have started to look for them. They're nipping at anything white and shiny right now -- small stick and crank baits, spoons, jigs and shad flies. The closer to dam the better, too. Best area to drift and fish these lures is from the dam to Lookout Island. Personally, I haven't done any good at all from Lookout to the Narrows -- and I'm not sure why. But for now, I wouldn't suggest spending much time in that area. I've ventured out a few times this week since the gates were shut down and caught some nice rainbows on an 1/8th-ounce white jig. Now as the week wore on, I did better. I think the reason is that the fish are starting to get hungry. Today, I boated to the dam with friend and guide Steve Dickey. He wanted to test the waters a bit for a fly fishing guide trip he has Saturday. I tagged a long with my spin cast rig and white jig. I had time for one drift from the dam to Lookout Island since we fished between 1 and 2 p.m. I had two-pound line on (Trilene XL clear) and my jig. He fished with a fly rod, shad fly and split shot, playing around with different depths because a lot of the bottom has changed since the high flows. I landed about 14 trout, 12 rainbows and two browns. Nothing longer than 16 inches, but they were big and chunky. He boated about eight rainbows. Not bad for one drift in the middle of a bright and sunny day. Bill Babler, another one of our guides, had a trip today, and he also took his client up to fish the trophy area. They dragged shad flies and caught dozens of nice rainbows and a few browns. Bill said another guide drifting up there was using a big red San Juan Worm and did just as well as they did. I guess they were just hungry today and not too picky. Below Fall Creek, we've been watching people drift by the resort the last couple of days who are catching fish. We've been telling anglers who come in the shop that white and orange has been working good in Powerbait, but chartreuse is another good color that's been working. You don't have to use much weight to sink the bait down, especially if there's not a whole lot of wind, which there hasn't been. Drifting with minnows and night crawlers is catching bigger trout. Minnows will catch more brown trout. I usually hook them in the lips or the top of the back. I've had some guys say they've been working bigger stick baits but with no luck. It might be because of the off-color water we have right now. I've been told bass fishing on Table Rock is off because of turbid water conditions up there, but since I'm not a regular bass fisherman I couldn't tell you! The future prospect for our fishing on Taneycomo is very good, as long as the water keeps running. Some might be surprised at that -- or even disagree. But if you're fishing out of a boat, you want the water running. These fish are used to running water. Even before the high water, there wasn't much down water at all. Now if the pattern changes and we see a lot of days without generation, then the fish will adapt to that and continue to feed with no water running. But initially, they won't like the lack of current. With the higher lake levels above us and cold weather in the forecast, my guess is that we'll continue to see some generation most days. It seems like we've settled into a pattern of two units running 24/7 -- which is okay with me!! Videos from this week:
  17. On Tuesday of this week, the U.S. Corps of Army Engineers shut our flood gates off, ending almost a month of high water on Lake Taneycomo. We went from moderate flows in December to flood conditions and a record breaking 73,000 c.f.s. flow in just a couple of days. As flood water moved through the system and lake levels dropped, that flow dropped to its present level. Our release has been about 6,500 c.f.s. or two units of water since the first of the week. Personally, I'm keeping an eye on Beaver Lake, the lake above Table Rock. It has not budged in weeks, holding at 1128.5 feet, eight feet over its winter power pool. I would think officials would go ahead and drop it, making room for the next rain. Not sure why they're holding it so high. Our trout saw a steady stream of threadfin shad flowing into Taneycomo from Table Rock, coming over the gates. Now that the gates are closed, the shad have stopped, and fish have started to look for them. They're nipping at anything white and shiny right now -- small stick and crank baits, spoons, jigs and shad flies. The closer to dam the better, too. Best area to drift and fish these lures is from the dam to Lookout Island. Personally, I haven't done any good at all from Lookout to the Narrows -- and I'm not sure why. But for now, I wouldn't suggest spending much time in that area. I've ventured out a few times this week since the gates were shut down and caught some nice rainbows on an 1/8th-ounce white jig. Now as the week wore on, I did better. I think the reason is that the fish are starting to get hungry. Today, I boated to the dam with friend and guide Steve Dickey. He wanted to test the waters a bit for a fly fishing guide trip he has Saturday. I tagged a long with my spin cast rig and white jig. I had time for one drift from the dam to Lookout Island since we fished between 1 and 2 p.m. I had two-pound line on (Trilene XL clear) and my jig. He fished with a fly rod, shad fly and split shot, playing around with different depths because a lot of the bottom has changed since the high flows. I landed about 14 trout, 12 rainbows and two browns. Nothing longer than 16 inches, but they were big and chunky. He boated about eight rainbows. Not bad for one drift in the middle of a bright and sunny day. Bill Babler, another one of our guides, had a trip today, and he also took his client up to fish the trophy area. They dragged shad flies and caught dozens of nice rainbows and a few browns. Bill said another guide drifting up there was using a big red San Juan Worm and did just as well as they did. I guess they were just hungry today and not too picky. Below Fall Creek, we've been watching people drift by the resort the last couple of days who are catching fish. We've been telling anglers who come in the shop that white and orange has been working good in Powerbait, but chartreuse is another good color that's been working. You don't have to use much weight to sink the bait down, especially if there's not a whole lot of wind, which there hasn't been. Drifting with minnows and night crawlers is catching bigger trout. Minnows will catch more brown trout. I usually hook them in the lips or the top of the back. I've had some guys say they've been working bigger stick baits but with no luck. It might be because of the off-color water we have right now. I've been told bass fishing on Table Rock is off because of turbid water conditions up there, but since I'm not a regular bass fisherman I couldn't tell you! The future prospect for our fishing on Taneycomo is very good, as long as the water keeps running. Some might be surprised at that -- or even disagree. But if you're fishing out of a boat, you want the water running. These fish are used to running water. Even before the high water, there wasn't much down water at all. Now if the pattern changes and we see a lot of days without generation, then the fish will adapt to that and continue to feed with no water running. But initially, they won't like the lack of current. With the higher lake levels above us and cold weather in the forecast, my guess is that we'll continue to see some generation most days. It seems like we've settled into a pattern of two units running 24/7 -- which is okay with me!! Videos from this week: View full article
  18. We are a couple of weeks beyond the winter flood, and all of us are breathing a little easier. The U.S. Corps of Army Engineers has been releasing 20,000 cubic feet per second since early January, moving all this flood water through our lake system. The word is that operators will continue this flow until Table Rock Lake is down to 920 feet, which may happen as early as next week. The Corps has managed our lakes in a way that kept a lot of us from being totally submerged by flood waters. Did you know the water entering Table Rock Lake reached an estimated 300,000 c.f.s.? That was a record. At the same time, only 72,000 c.f.s. of water was being released, which did flood many roads and houses for a few days, including our lower three units, 19-21. But can you imagine three times that amount running over Branson? Our dam system kept all that water back until it was safe to release it. (Thanks to an amazing army of volunteers, we were able to move out all the furnishings. New drywall is going up this week and carpet next week, so the affected units will be hosting guests again for the Masters Tournament. We so appreciate all the prayers and calls of concern from so many.) Just a couple of days into our highest release (72,000 c.f.s.), our lake water turned off-color. This was from the "flash flood" water entering Table Rock, bringing muddy water into the main lake and through the dam. The same thing happened with the 2011 high water, but this time the water was much more dirty. When we started fishing, it was tough, not because of the fast current but because of the muddy water. This week our water cleared up considerably. It's not the clear water we associate with Lake Taneycomo, but visibility is such that the fish can now see four to five feet ahead. I'd call this water clarity "ideal for fishing." One bonus from our flood waters from Table Rock Lake is the steady flow of threadfin shad -- which our trout absolutely love. Most of the shad we're seeing are about an inch long, the perfect size for even smaller trout. We live for shad runs on Lake Taneycomo and for good reason. Our trout get a big growth boost -- you can see how fat they are! Plus they really go nuts on anything that looks like a shad for weeks after the shad stop running. It's some fun fishing. Fishing with so much water running sounds pretty intimidating, but a lot of people have been fishing slower water from below Cooper Creek all the way down to past Branson Landing. And the best part has been the number of really nice, big trout caught down there, both browns and rainbows. Drifting is the technique. Use enough weight to tick the bottom. This is very important. Stay in the middle of the lake and away from the sides. There are more trees washed into the lake and they line the sides. Use a drift rig and at least a 1/4-ounce bell weight with four-pound line. Drag a shad fly, egg fly or San Juan worm if you're fishing above Fall Creek in the trophy area. Also, we've been seeing trout, mainly between Fall and Short Creek, full of freshwater shrimp -- so drift a scud. I'd use a #12 gray scud. If you're fishing from Cooper Creek down, drift with minnows, night crawlers or Gulp Powerbait, white or orange. I'd also use a shad fly here. Some guys this weekend have been using raw shrimp and catching fish. I think they look like shad . . . maybe. All boat ramps are clear. The public fishing dock at Cooper Creek is still not accessible because of high water.
  19. We are a couple of weeks beyond the winter flood, and all of us are breathing a little easier. The U.S. Corps of Army Engineers has been releasing 20,000 cubic feet per second since early January, moving all this flood water through our lake system. The word is that operators will continue this flow until Table Rock Lake is down to 920 feet, which may happen as early as next week. The Corps has managed our lakes in a way that kept a lot of us from being totally submerged by flood waters. Did you know the water entering Table Rock Lake reached an estimated 300,000 c.f.s.? That was a record. At the same time, only 72,000 c.f.s. of water was being released, which did flood many roads and houses for a few days, including our lower three units, 19-21. But can you imagine three times that amount running over Branson? Our dam system kept all that water back until it was safe to release it. (Thanks to an amazing army of volunteers, we were able to move out all the furnishings. New drywall is going up this week and carpet next week, so the affected units will be hosting guests again for the Masters Tournament. We so appreciate all the prayers and calls of concern from so many.) Just a couple of days into our highest release (72,000 c.f.s.), our lake water turned off-color. This was from the "flash flood" water entering Table Rock, bringing muddy water into the main lake and through the dam. The same thing happened with the 2011 high water, but this time the water was much more dirty. When we started fishing, it was tough, not because of the fast current but because of the muddy water. This week our water cleared up considerably. It's not the clear water we associate with Lake Taneycomo, but visibility is such that the fish can now see four to five feet ahead. I'd call this water clarity "ideal for fishing." One bonus from our flood waters from Table Rock Lake is the steady flow of threadfin shad -- which our trout absolutely love. Most of the shad we're seeing are about an inch long, the perfect size for even smaller trout. We live for shad runs on Lake Taneycomo and for good reason. Our trout get a big growth boost -- you can see how fat they are! Plus they really go nuts on anything that looks like a shad for weeks after the shad stop running. It's some fun fishing. Fishing with so much water running sounds pretty intimidating, but a lot of people have been fishing slower water from below Cooper Creek all the way down to past Branson Landing. And the best part has been the number of really nice, big trout caught down there, both browns and rainbows. Drifting is the technique. Use enough weight to tick the bottom. This is very important. Stay in the middle of the lake and away from the sides. There are more trees washed into the lake and they line the sides. Use a drift rig and at least a 1/4-ounce bell weight with four-pound line. Drag a shad fly, egg fly or San Juan worm if you're fishing above Fall Creek in the trophy area. Also, we've been seeing trout, mainly between Fall and Short Creek, full of freshwater shrimp -- so drift a scud. I'd use a #12 gray scud. If you're fishing from Cooper Creek down, drift with minnows, night crawlers or Gulp Powerbait, white or orange. I'd also use a shad fly here. Some guys this weekend have been using raw shrimp and catching fish. I think they look like shad . . . maybe. All boat ramps are clear. The public fishing dock at Cooper Creek is still not accessible because of high water. View full article
  20. It's been an interesting 30 days here on our tailwater. News of the trouble on Lake Taneycomo in November reached most local newspapers. But about as soon as the news was really spreading, the situation righted itself and tragedy was adverted. The water quality from Table Rock had deteriorated so badly that trout started dying both in the tailwater and in the Shepherd of the Hills Hatchery. But a welcome cold snap flipped Table Rock's water over at the dam, sending good, oxygenated water to the bottom. Our water here on Taneycomo is excellent now and will stay that way through the summer. Generation has been consistent the past couple of weeks. The pattern has been two units running 24/7. We've had a couple of good, soaking rains that bumped up lake levels above us, but that has only has prolonged the current water flows, not increased them. As soon as Table Rock's level drops to or below 915 feet, we may see less generation -- or maybe no generation for periods of time. I'd almost call Taneycomo's trout fishing excellent right now. I don't use that word to describe fishing (catching) very often because it implies that everyone can catch fish if they try. But if you drift using a drift rig and a 3/8-ounce bell weight, topping your hook either with half a night crawler or a Power Bait egg, and drift from Fall Creek to the Landing, you'll catch a trout, probably several trout. The Shepherd of the Hills Hatchery has stocked more rainbows than staff had scheduled for these winter months because of the poor water quality back in November, so there are more fish in the lake than normal for December, translating to a plethora of trout to be caught. But as I said in my last fishing report, please do not take advantage of this abundance of trout. If you're keeping fish, please obey the law and keep your daily limit of four trout and your possession limit of eight -- and that's all. And be mindful how you handle trout when you release caught fish. Cut the line if the hook is buried. Hooks are cheap! I've already given you the best way to catch trout right now. Dock fishing is just okay at present, but night crawlers are the best bait. If you're interested in catching bigger trout, throw a crank bait. Stick baits such as Rapalas, Rogues and all the other baits you'd throw for bass will work. I'd throw medium to large baits, too, not the small ones. Fly fishing has been tough mainly because of the turbidity of the water. When Table Rock turns over, we get a lot of brown sediment in our water, but it will clear up in January. If you're fly fishing and using flies under a float deep, I'd try larger flies such as a #10 scud, egg flies or San Juan Worms in big, bright colors. I've drifted these flies using a drift rig in the trophy area lately but really haven't done that well. It really is better fishing below Fall Creek right now.
  21. It's been an interesting 30 days here on our tailwater. News of the trouble on Lake Taneycomo in November reached most local newspapers. But about as soon as the news was really spreading, the situation righted itself and tragedy was adverted. The water quality from Table Rock had deteriorated so badly that trout started dying both in the tailwater and in the Shepherd of the Hills Hatchery. But a welcome cold snap flipped Table Rock's water over at the dam, sending good, oxygenated water to the bottom. Our water here on Taneycomo is excellent now and will stay that way through the summer. Generation has been consistent the past couple of weeks. The pattern has been two units running 24/7. We've had a couple of good, soaking rains that bumped up lake levels above us, but that has only has prolonged the current water flows, not increased them. As soon as Table Rock's level drops to or below 915 feet, we may see less generation -- or maybe no generation for periods of time. I'd almost call Taneycomo's trout fishing excellent right now. I don't use that word to describe fishing (catching) very often because it implies that everyone can catch fish if they try. But if you drift using a drift rig and a 3/8-ounce bell weight, topping your hook either with half a night crawler or a Power Bait egg, and drift from Fall Creek to the Landing, you'll catch a trout, probably several trout. The Shepherd of the Hills Hatchery has stocked more rainbows than staff had scheduled for these winter months because of the poor water quality back in November, so there are more fish in the lake than normal for December, translating to a plethora of trout to be caught. But as I said in my last fishing report, please do not take advantage of this abundance of trout. If you're keeping fish, please obey the law and keep your daily limit of four trout and your possession limit of eight -- and that's all. And be mindful how you handle trout when you release caught fish. Cut the line if the hook is buried. Hooks are cheap! I've already given you the best way to catch trout right now. Dock fishing is just okay at present, but night crawlers are the best bait. If you're interested in catching bigger trout, throw a crank bait. Stick baits such as Rapalas, Rogues and all the other baits you'd throw for bass will work. I'd throw medium to large baits, too, not the small ones. Fly fishing has been tough mainly because of the turbidity of the water. When Table Rock turns over, we get a lot of brown sediment in our water, but it will clear up in January. If you're fly fishing and using flies under a float deep, I'd try larger flies such as a #10 scud, egg flies or San Juan Worms in big, bright colors. I've drifted these flies using a drift rig in the trophy area lately but really haven't done that well. It really is better fishing below Fall Creek right now. View full article
  22. Oh how things change quickly on our tailwater fishery. Two weeks ago, our trout just below the dam were fighting for their lives. Water quality was lethal for many reasons. I believe we've covered all the "why." (See my November 24th report for an explanation. ) But cold, windy weather last week has changed that, partially turning Table Rock over and sending good, oxygenated-water through the turbines and into our lake. Our weather during this Thanksgiving break was as crummy as expected with cold, rainy days and nights. The front still hasn't completely moved out. Six inches of rain fell, and now our lakes are on the rise, again. Table Rock is jumping up and expected to go past 918 feet Tuesday. The U.S. Corps of Army Engineers experimented Monday with various flows through the turbines to see how much water could be run while keeping the dissolved oxygen levels above four parts per million. The magic generation was 199 megawatts, lake level 710.34 feet, about 3.5 turbines, with a DO level at 4.34 p.p.m.. We will see this flow until Table Rock's level reaches 915 feet. During the time when the hatchery was having trouble with the water, staff moved some of their trout to other hatcheries while other fish were stocked in to Lake Taneycomo ahead of schedule. Needless to say, we have a lot of trout in the lake right now. These fish were stocked below Branson but have moved up lake and are being caught all through the upper lake. Even though it was rainy and cold, I took my six-year-old grandson fishing Friday and Saturday. We drifted from above the resort down to about Cooper Creek and caught quite a few rainbows on a pink Berkley Power Egg. That's right -- one egg on a #10 hook, 1/4-ounce bell weight tied on a drift rig. Jeriah caught his limit of four rainbows all by himself. Those who did get out and fish this last week, saw fish come in consistently. Monday afternoon I fished the entire lake from our place to Table Rock Dam. Drifting and throwing white and sculpin-colored 1/8th-ounce jigs, I caught four rainbows (two on each color) in different places, all above Fall Creek. I also drifted a #12 gray scud on the bottom and caught two more rainbows in the Narrows area above Fall Creek. Then I drifted a pink Power Egg on a drift rig below Fall Creek and caught three rainbows and a nice rock. I was most proud of the rock. My December forecast is bright with lots of trout in the lake and good prospects to see lots of running water for at least the first half of the month. Water quality is getting better every day. Monday afternoon when I was on the lake, there was a huge midge hatch. I had not seen that in weeks. After such a arduous fall season, we're all ready for our winter trout months -- the best fishing of the year!
  23. Oh how things change quickly on our tailwater fishery. Two weeks ago, our trout just below the dam were fighting for their lives. Water quality was lethal for many reasons. I believe we've covered all the "why." (See my November 24th report for an explanation. ) But cold, windy weather last week has changed that, partially turning Table Rock over and sending good, oxygenated-water through the turbines and into our lake. Our weather during this Thanksgiving break was as crummy as expected with cold, rainy days and nights. The front still hasn't completely moved out. Six inches of rain fell, and now our lakes are on the rise, again. Table Rock is jumping up and expected to go past 918 feet Tuesday. The U.S. Corps of Army Engineers experimented Monday with various flows through the turbines to see how much water could be run while keeping the dissolved oxygen levels above four parts per million. The magic generation was 199 megawatts, lake level 710.34 feet, about 3.5 turbines, with a DO level at 4.34 p.p.m.. We will see this flow until Table Rock's level reaches 915 feet. During the time when the hatchery was having trouble with the water, staff moved some of their trout to other hatcheries while other fish were stocked in to Lake Taneycomo ahead of schedule. Needless to say, we have a lot of trout in the lake right now. These fish were stocked below Branson but have moved up lake and are being caught all through the upper lake. Even though it was rainy and cold, I took my six-year-old grandson fishing Friday and Saturday. We drifted from above the resort down to about Cooper Creek and caught quite a few rainbows on a pink Berkley Power Egg. That's right -- one egg on a #10 hook, 1/4-ounce bell weight tied on a drift rig. Jeriah caught his limit of four rainbows all by himself. Those who did get out and fish this last week, saw fish come in consistently. Monday afternoon I fished the entire lake from our place to Table Rock Dam. Drifting and throwing white and sculpin-colored 1/8th-ounce jigs, I caught four rainbows (two on each color) in different places, all above Fall Creek. I also drifted a #12 gray scud on the bottom and caught two more rainbows in the Narrows area above Fall Creek. Then I drifted a pink Power Egg on a drift rig below Fall Creek and caught three rainbows and a nice rock. I was most proud of the rock. My December forecast is bright with lots of trout in the lake and good prospects to see lots of running water for at least the first half of the month. Water quality is getting better every day. Monday afternoon when I was on the lake, there was a huge midge hatch. I had not seen that in weeks. After such a arduous fall season, we're all ready for our winter trout months -- the best fishing of the year! View full article
  24. Just want to provide you with an update and let you know that the Corps is monitoring the weather forecast closely for the weekend and possible impacts to the White River System.The National Weather Service is forecasting a significant rainfall event for the Little Rock District basins; the forecast indicates rainfall amounts of 5-7 inches across the upper Arkansas and White Rivers basins and 7-8 inches across the Little River and Clearwater basins. Little Rock District Lakes/Reservoirs have 95% to 99% of flood storage available to capture runoff, except Clearwater Lake which is at 85%. This should be sufficient storage for this event. We will monitor the rain and lake levels closely as rainfall develops, depending on how the rainfall develops, we expect all lakes to see significant rises, and expect rivers downstream from dams to experience several rises as the rainfall occurs.5-day QPF: http://www.wpc.ncep.noaa.gov/qpf/p120i.gif?1448479231WHITE RIVER SYSTEM. Beaver, and Table Rock remain in their conservation pools, Bull Shoals, Norfork, and Greers Ferry are slightly into their flood pools.Beaver: elev 1120.06 (98.9% conservation storage)Table Rock: elev 916.82 (99.4% conservation storage)Bull Shoals: elev 660.77 (1.8% flood storage)Norfork: elev 557.86 (13.7% flood storage)Greers Ferry: elev 462.38 (1.2% flood storage)Forecasted Pool crests with predicted rainfall amounts:BV - 1125TR - 920BS - 668NF - 565GF - 469Please keep in mind that these are predictions and there are a lot of variables. This is just an FYI in case you have questions on what the lake levels might do if we get the rain they are predicting.Current stage at Newport is 16.39' and falling (12' regulating stage). Will transition to 21' regulating stage December 1st.Current stage at Georgetown is at 16.72' and rising slightly (13' regulating stage). Will transition to 21' regulating stage December 1st.
  25. 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.usace.army.mil/wcds/rdo2.html 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.
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