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Found 63 results

  1. Many issues to talk about, as well as fishing, in the fall. Dissolved oxygen, water temperature, restricted flows...... confusing details to understand when fishing tailwaters. Wish we didn't have to consider them when JUST fishing, but they do affect the way trout move, hold, feed-- and don't feed-- and that affects our fishing strategy. I know this is old hat to some of you, but I'd like to go over the basics. Lakes change at different seasons of the year. As spring and summer pass, surface water warms and separations or layers form. Because water density changes when it differs in temperature, these layers become very defined as summer wears on. If you look at the Lake Profile - http://www.swl-wc.usace.army.mil/pages/reports/remote/profiles/tabpro.htm you will see a profile, kinda of a photograph, of the water at the dam at Table Rock. See where the temp drops, as well as the DO level, as it gets deeper. And the big drop near the top - this is called the thermocline and where, generally, a large number of fish will hold. As the water warms on the surface, the thermocline drops lower in the lake. We get our water at 130 feet deep and is marked by an asterisk to the side. As you see, the water temperature is colder at that level than the surface but the DO is very low and gets lower as you drop down. As colder weathers rolls in-- November and December-- surface temperatures drop, literally. Cold water is heavier than hot water and thus drops and "turns" the lake over at some point in the game. It's like a tilting table: when the load on top gets heavier than the load on the bottom, it tilts and turns over, leaving the heavier on the bottom. This happens generally from around Thanksgiving into December. Until then, we're stuck with low DO levels entering into LT. Dissolved Oxygen Water contains oxygen, H2O - O stands for Oxygen. Oxygen is measure by parts per million. On a scales of 0 to 12, 12 is about the highest you'll find in lake water- usually in the top layers where sunlight, wind and rain adds oxygen. In any lake or pond during the seasons, the layers form layers. Each layer has different density and oxygen levels, depending on the season and temperature of the water at the different levels. The layers start forming in late spring when the top levels start to warm. As summer rolls on, temps in the upper layers really rise and becomes lighter then the layers below. Because of the lack of sunlight, oxygen levels drop as you get lower in the lake or pond and later in the fall, DO amounts at the bottom are nile. As it gets closer to winter and the air temps drop and winds pick up, the surface temperatures drop also. Cold water is heavier than warm water thus this cooler water sinks to the bottom. This starts the the turning effect. When alot of water on top become cooler than the bottom- heat rises- the two levels mix and thus- good DO throughout the depths. The the cycle starts all over again. As far as the different levels- 0 - 12...... where 0 is real bad (no oxygen- things die) and 12 is usually the surface reading on a lake during alot of wind- may be even 13. The State of Missouri has said that anything under 6 parts is considered pollution. If a business or private individual discharges water with a lower reading than 6- they could get in trouble. But since a dam and the water it releases is not considered "point source" discharge, these rules do not apply and cannot be enforced. The Corp's low point is 4 parts- they try and not go below 4 when they release water from Table Rock. Fisheries for MDC has said that 6 parts is a good bottom indicator-- where fish and other water creatures can live, feed and reproduce. They also say anything below 3 parts can and will cause death in most trout, but this depends on water temperature also. Stress is the key. If a rainbow is already in stress because the water temp is above- say- 60 degrees and then he's hit with low DO- say 3 or even 4 parts, he could die. And the bigger the trout is, the more stress all these factors affect it. What does low DO do to our trout? It slows them down a bit. How do you know when DO levels are too low and threaten the life and health of trout? A high number is 12 parts per million (ppm). A low number is 0 ppm. Generally, fisheries biologist say 3 ppm is the bottom on the scale, and with high water temperatures, could cause death if prolonged. Six ppm is what the State of Missouri Clean Water Act says is the standard for "safe" water. But the Corps, as a federal agency, doesn't have to adhere to state regulations and has set its mark at 4 ppm. Are we happy about this? No. We've appealed for change but to no avail-- yet. The Corps does put restrictions on flow at Table Rock. These flow restrictions differ as the fall months progress and the water quality drops. This just means that even in peak times, levels will not exceed the ability to add enough DO to the effluent to keep levels above 4 ppm. There are three ways dissolved oxygen is added to the near-nil levels in September and October. The hatchery outlets are rich in DO. That's why you will see large numbers of trout with their noses in the effluent. The Corps has modified the turbines and added vents at the top of the chambers to allow air to mix with the water, creating a sloshing effect as it enters the lake. This is hard on the turbine blades, causing the surface of the blades to weaken. Corps officials like to reminds us about this -- that they are sacrificing for the good of the trout. When all of the above fails to add adequate DO to the tailwater, the Corps injects liquid oxygen directly into the turbines. Monitors keep track of DO levels as they enter the lake. One thing you have to realize-- when the federal government build dams, bureaucrats have to promise that the dams won't hurt the fishery in either the lake above or the tailwater below. When they build dams that are high and the water coming out is too cold for warm water species, they have to provide coldwater species for that fishery, such as the Neosho Federal Trout Hatchery producing 200,000 rainbows per year. Water quality standards also have to be maintained at a level the fish can survive and thrive. The definition of thrive is in question here. The Corps' definition is to "just get by." Sportsmen and fishing-related businessmen think thriving means the fish "move and grow respectively, with adequate food supply to reproduce." But the food supply is low, and there is no reproduction. That must change, and I believe it will in time. View full article
  2. The 2005 Bassmaster Classic in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania was one of the toughest in history. With only 11 fish and a measly 12 pound 15-ounce weight, Kevin Van Dam pulled off his second Classic victory. The key? Being able to adapt and change to the conditions. Other anglers were catching fish, but hardly any keepers. Van Dam switched to a classic Smithwick Rogue and boated several keeper smallmouth bass. The one thing makes any person truly successful is being able to adjust when conditions change. Staying static when everything else around you remain dynamic does not bode well for success. With fishing, anglers tend to rely on techniques and spots that have worked previously. All of us are guilty of it. Southwest Missouri, known as the Tri-Lakes area, has gone through three 100-year floods from 2008-2017. In April 2017, Beaver, Table Rock, and Taneycomo all reached or crested flood stages for a few weeks due to heavy rains. Because of federal laws and practicality, the Southwestern Power Administration (SWPA) began releasing 20-50, 000 cubic feet per second (cfs) of water from Tale Rock Lake into Lake Taneycomo. With the floods came a challenge for fishermen on Taneycomo: where were the fish and how do you catch them? The usual hot spots were rendered useless due to the high water. Lake Taneycomo, with four turbines and 10 flood gates open at Table Rock Dam, was raging. Extremely fast and high, some guides were struggling to find clients fish. Fish hold in slower water like eddies and breaks when the current gets heavy. Islands, points, and docks all can prove useful during high water events. In 2017, typical eddies just weren’t holding enough fish. Enter Duane Doty, the dock manager and resident jig-tyer for Lilleys' Landing Resort and Marina on Upper Lake Taneycomo. He knew the fish had to be eating—he just needed to find him. He had an inkling the fish would be holding right on the bottom of the lake, where the current was, presumably, much slower. He was right. Another part of the equation changed during the high water. While the flood gates summoned raging current, it also brought over thousands of threadfin and gizzard shad, creating a buffet for Taneycomo trout and warm water species. Doty developed a technique so simple it’s hard to believe no one else thought of it prior. Targeting the shad influx, he tied on Bomber Fat Free Fingerling Shad crankbaits that dove from 8-12 feet, he threw out near the cable. With flood gates dumping thousands of gallons of water into Taneycomo painting the background, Doty turned the boat sideways and reeled fast to get the bait to reach the bottom. Keeping the crankbait in contact with the rocks, he only went 100 yards before he felt a big tug. After a battle, he netted his first fish of the day—a shad engorged, 22-inch brown trout. From the cable to Fall Creek, he landed five trout 20-inches or greater on the trip. For the next month, Doty and his clients managed to boat numerous trophy browns and rainbows, smallmouth bass up to 5 pounds, largemouth and spotted bass, hefty walleyes, white bass, and crappie on the technique. Others were struggling to simply catch fish, while Doty was putting his clients on big ones daily. In late March 2018, heavy rains returned to the Tri-Lakes area. With one turbine out of commission, and maybe some preemptive thought, the SWPA opened the flood gates for the second straight year. I called Doty and scheduled a trip for Easter weekend. His high school friend’s sons, Blake and Dillon Harris, were headed down as well. We knew what to do. Dragging crankbaits from the cable all the way to Fall Creek, in 24 hours we landed 10 browns from 18 ½-inches up to 23 ¾-inches, as well as several fat rainbows from 17-19 ½-inches. The top locations were behind Lookout Island all the way through the Narrows. Multiple fish came from the seam in the Narrows, including Blake Harris’ 6-pound lunker. Dillon hooked into his 23 ¾ inch 5.6-pound brown just as the bend started by Point Royale past Lookout Island. Being able to adjust to changing conditions put big fish in the boat for us. With more rain sure to come this spring and the possibility of high water, be sure to add this technique to your arsenal on Lake Taneycomo. Important Tips 1. Be prepared to lose crankbaits. We lost six in a three-hour period. With the lure constantly bumping the bottom, it is inevitable. 2. Boat control is of utmost importance with this tactic. Keeping the boat sideways and flowing nicely with the current keeps the bait on the bottom and in the strike zone. 3. An East wind will make this tactic extremely hard because it pushes against the current you are riding. 4. This tactic will only be possible from the cable to Short Creek. Once you get to Short Creek, you lose the stronger current and the crankbaits struggle to reach the bottom and keep in contact with it. 5. We use a 6-foot, medium heavy spinning rod with 6-pound line. You could use a baitcasting rod and reel, sure, but I think the spinning rod gives you more control and leeway when a big fish hits. Being able to backreel on a big brown in heavy current is key. 6. You may struggle with identifying a bite at first—until you get one. It’s unmistakable. But, as Duane says, jerks are free! Don’t be afraid to set the hook if the bait stops vibrating or if slack gets in your line. 7. Check your lure for moss and other debris every couple of minutes, especially in the first mile from the cable. There’s a lot of junk up there.
  3. The 2005 Bassmaster Classic in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania was one of the toughest in history. With only 11 fish and a measly 12 pound 15-ounce weight, Kevin Van Dam pulled off his second Classic victory. The key? Being able to adapt and change to the conditions. Other anglers were catching fish, but hardly any keepers. Van Dam switched to a classic Smithwick Rogue and boated several keeper smallmouth bass. The one thing makes any person truly successful is being able to adjust when conditions change. Staying static when everything else around you remain dynamic does not bode well for success. With fishing, anglers tend to rely on techniques and spots that have worked previously. All of us are guilty of it. Southwest Missouri, known as the Tri-Lakes area, has gone through three 100-year floods from 2008-2017. In April 2017, Beaver, Table Rock, and Taneycomo all reached or crested flood stages for a few weeks due to heavy rains. Because of federal laws and practicality, the Southwestern Power Administration (SWPA) began releasing 20-50, 000 cubic feet per second (cfs) of water from Tale Rock Lake into Lake Taneycomo. With the floods came a challenge for fishermen on Taneycomo: where were the fish and how do you catch them? The usual hot spots were rendered useless due to the high water. Lake Taneycomo, with four turbines and 10 flood gates open at Table Rock Dam, was raging. Extremely fast and high, some guides were struggling to find clients fish. Fish hold in slower water like eddies and breaks when the current gets heavy. Islands, points, and docks all can prove useful during high water events. In 2017, typical eddies just weren’t holding enough fish. Enter Duane Doty, the dock manager and resident jig-tyer for Lilleys' Landing Resort and Marina on Upper Lake Taneycomo. He knew the fish had to be eating—he just needed to find him. He had an inkling the fish would be holding right on the bottom of the lake, where the current was, presumably, much slower. He was right. Another part of the equation changed during the high water. While the flood gates summoned raging current, it also brought over thousands of threadfin and gizzard shad, creating a buffet for Taneycomo trout and warm water species. Doty developed a technique so simple it’s hard to believe no one else thought of it prior. Targeting the shad influx, he tied on Bomber Fat Free Fingerling Shad crankbaits that dove from 8-12 feet, he threw out near the cable. With flood gates dumping thousands of gallons of water into Taneycomo painting the background, Doty turned the boat sideways and reeled fast to get the bait to reach the bottom. Keeping the crankbait in contact with the rocks, he only went 100 yards before he felt a big tug. After a battle, he netted his first fish of the day—a shad engorged, 22-inch brown trout. From the cable to Fall Creek, he landed five trout 20-inches or greater on the trip. For the next month, Doty and his clients managed to boat numerous trophy browns and rainbows, smallmouth bass up to 5 pounds, largemouth and spotted bass, hefty walleyes, white bass, and crappie on the technique. Others were struggling to simply catch fish, while Doty was putting his clients on big ones daily. In late March 2018, heavy rains returned to the Tri-Lakes area. With one turbine out of commission, and maybe some preemptive thought, the SWPA opened the flood gates for the second straight year. I called Doty and scheduled a trip for Easter weekend. His high school friend’s sons, Blake and Dillon Harris, were headed down as well. We knew what to do. Dragging crankbaits from the cable all the way to Fall Creek, in 24 hours we landed 10 browns from 18 ½-inches up to 23 ¾-inches, as well as several fat rainbows from 17-19 ½-inches. The top locations were behind Lookout Island all the way through the Narrows. Multiple fish came from the seam in the Narrows, including Blake Harris’ 6-pound lunker. Dillon hooked into his 23 ¾ inch 5.6-pound brown just as the bend started by Point Royale past Lookout Island. Being able to adjust to changing conditions put big fish in the boat for us. With more rain sure to come this spring and the possibility of high water, be sure to add this technique to your arsenal on Lake Taneycomo. Important Tips 1. Be prepared to lose crankbaits. We lost six in a three-hour period. With the lure constantly bumping the bottom, it is inevitable. 2. Boat control is of utmost importance with this tactic. Keeping the boat sideways and flowing nicely with the current keeps the bait on the bottom and in the strike zone. 3. An East wind will make this tactic extremely hard because it pushes against the current you are riding. 4. This tactic will only be possible from the cable to Short Creek. Once you get to Short Creek, you lose the stronger current and the crankbaits struggle to reach the bottom and keep in contact with it. 5. We use a 6-foot, medium heavy spinning rod with 6-pound line. You could use a baitcasting rod and reel, sure, but I think the spinning rod gives you more control and leeway when a big fish hits. Being able to backreel on a big brown in heavy current is key. 6. You may struggle with identifying a bite at first—until you get one. It’s unmistakable. But, as Duane says, jerks are free! Don’t be afraid to set the hook if the bait stops vibrating or if slack gets in your line. 7. Check your lure for moss and other debris every couple of minutes, especially in the first mile from the cable. There’s a lot of junk up there. View full article
  4. Phil Lilley

    March 30 Report

    Recent rains have brought our lakes up in elevation again. On Wednesday, 3/28, The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers opened 5 gates and released water at a rate of 5,000 cubic feet per second, along with running water through 3 of its 4 turbines totallying 15,000 c.f.s.. The Corps is required to release 15,000 c.f.s of water if Table Rock rises above the spring time power pool level of 915 feet and they will continue releasing that amount until the lake is back down to that level. On Thursday, mid day, the 4th turbine came back online and the flood gates were closed. We are also watching Beaver Lake's level. They typically hold Beaver's release until it gets above 112???????? at which point they will release water to keep it from going any higher. In the past, Beaver's lake level is held even at this high level until Table Rock and Bull Shoal's levels are equal to it's capacity. It's all a little hard to understand but everything the Corps does in managing our lakes is mandated by congress. Bottom line, we are going to see heavy generation on Lake Taneycomo for quite some time. The question is what future rain may be heading this way and how would that affect additional releases over our flood gates. Four units of water is a lot of water and pretty intimidating to a lot of anglers. There's no a whole lot you can do bank or dock fishing - the water is just too fast to present your bait or lure to the fish. Boat fishing, on the other hand, can be very good. The best way to catch trout when there's this much water is running is to drift with the current and drag something on or real close to the bottom. That goes for anywhere on the lake -- at the dam or the Branson Landing area. Trout will be heading to the creeks during high water. Typically Turkey and Roark Creeks are prime targets for rainbows seeking less current and warmer water temperatures. A few weeks ago, anglers found fishing in both creeks excellent including catching some bass, crappie and blue gills. Fishing below the dam and drifting through the whole trophy area should be very good after flood gates were opened for about 24 hours. Our trout were treated to a run of threadfin shad from Table Rock Lake which should make using white jigs, spoons and hard baits, as well as shad flies hot lures for the next few weeks. We also saw a few warmwater fish end up in the tailwater from Table Rock Lake -- smallmouth, spotted bass and I'm sure a walleye or two.
  5. Phil Lilley

    March 30 Report

    Recent rains have brought our lakes up in elevation again. On Wednesday, 3/28, The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers opened 5 gates and released water at a rate of 5,000 cubic feet per second, along with running water through 3 of its 4 turbines totallying 15,000 c.f.s.. The Corps is required to release 15,000 c.f.s of water if Table Rock rises above the spring time power pool level of 915 feet and they will continue releasing that amount until the lake is back down to that level. On Thursday, mid day, the 4th turbine came back online and 4 flood gates were closed and one left open. We are also watching Beaver Lake's level. They typically hold Beaver's release until it gets above 1128 at which point they will release water to keep it from going any higher. In the past, Beaver's lake level is held even at this high level until Table Rock and Bull Shoal's levels are equal to it's capacity, or I guess they think it's safe to start dropping Beaver. I've never been real clear how they handle Beaver Lake. It's all a little hard to understand but everything the Corps does in managing our lakes is mandated by congress. Bottom line, we are going to see heavy generation on Lake Taneycomo for quite some time. The question is what future rain may be heading this way and how would that affect additional releases over our flood gates. Lake water temperature is about 45 degrees at the dam. Four units of water is a lot of water and pretty intimidating to a lot of anglers. There's no a whole lot you can do bank or dock fishing - the water is just too fast to present your bait or lure to the fish. Boat fishing, on the other hand, can be very good. The best way to catch trout when there's this much water is running is to drift with the current and drag something on or real close to the bottom. That goes for anywhere on the lake -- at the dam or the Branson Landing area. Trout will be heading to the creeks during high water. Typically Turkey and Roark Creeks are prime targets for rainbows seeking less current and warmer water temperatures. A few weeks ago, anglers found fishing in both creeks excellent including catching some bass, crappie and blue gills. As of right now, they have not found the creeks. There's a few in them to catch but not the big numbers like there were a couple weeks ago. Generally, it takes these rainbows a few days to settle in to a flow pattern. The Missouri Department of Conservation stocked a couple of days ago down in the Branson Landing area but so far our guides haven't located them. They are looking... Freshly stocked rainbows will stay together for a few days and are easy to catch. We have had some anglers boat down and catch them around the Fish House, the floating restauant at the Landing. Some of the trout people have caught and cleaned from below the dam are full of scuds so drifting #12 or #14 gray scuds is the go-to fly right now. One complaint is that the trout below the dam aren't being aggressive right now. This should change, I just don't know when. I took a couple of guys up there yesterday afternoon and we found the rainbows biting but taking our jigs short. We were getting bites but missing them. Our guides reported that their clients were hooking fish but some of them were coming off before getting them to the boat, another sign of not being aggressive. I had several rainbows follow my jig to the boat, just not acting like they wanted to engage. This "attitude" is not uncommon at all... it's all part of fishing, and it will change. We're going to keep at it and figure out what these trout want and report back. View full article
  6. Phil Lilley

    Lower Trophy Area - Lake Taneycomo

    This area of upper lake Taneycomo can be classified as a river portion of the lake. Water flow and movement or the lack there of, are always an important factor in fishing this river/lake stretch. Let’s number the entire 1 plus miles of this area, into zones. Due to the curvature of the lake in this area, we will start on the Southwest shore line directly in front of the large white house, in this location known to belong to Andy William’s. Zone 1 Andy’s house to the tennis courts, on the same southwest side. Directly in front of the William’s house a long ridge or shoal runs parallel to the shore line some 40 ft. from the bank. This reef section in front of the second white house is very wade able during no flow and up to 2 generators. The shoal or ridge runs about 200 yards and is an area that holds fish at all times. During heavy generation, this is an inside bank with a somewhat slower milder flow that allows the fish to maintain position outside of the direct current. The ridge creates a seam that provides easy access for feeding trout to gather necessary subsistence with little movement. If the flow is right, you can anchor in front of the second white house in this slower water and cast out and down for these trout, stripping streamers, wooly buggers, sculpins and if they are midging, soft hackles and cracklebacks. Along this gravel flat extending half of the width of the lake from west to east, is a feeding ground and a holding area for large numbers of rainbows. Midge’s scuds, and sow bugs are present in this area and it is easily wade able or boat fished using like patterns. On slow or zero flow small crustation patterns from size 16 to 22 work well as do emergers and midge patterns in similar sizes. Natural color selections in earth tones tend to get more attention than flashy presentations. On power generation, bright hue’s in purple, pink, peach, and larger size browns, grey, olive and tan in 10’s and 12’s will get attention. Zone 2 is that area just below the tennis courts that has a small un/named creek, or what some call Dry Wash. The small creek has formed a delta that forges almost three quarters of the lakes width, and encompasses an area running to the north and south, of about 200 yards. This area should be navigated very carefully while operating a boat during low, or minimum flow due to this shallow rock delta that has been formed by the creek. Similar fly patterns work very well in this location and you can also add a san juan worm to the mix if a flow is present, especially after a rain. This is also a good area for dry fly presentation or a tandem rig. Small stimulators, humpys, ants, beatles or caddis are great dry’s, and a small scud or midge can be added to complete the double fly rig. The bluff bank should be targeted there, casting real close to the chunk rocks on the bank and under overhanging trees. Zone 3 continues on the same side and is a gravel flat that is extremely shallow flowing thru the remaining houses on the Western shore of the lake. This area can be hard to fish and probably holds the smallest density of fish in the area. The channel isn't as deep as other areas in this strech -- may be this is why there's not as many trout in this area. Light midging does occur at times in this area but the trout seem to run small at times and are extremely sensitive to movement and water disturbance. Emergers, midges and small scud presentations can take these wary fish, and you are always more apt to be successful here if there is current and wind present. Zone 4 is a large flat that has formed just below the glass front house on the west shore. This area shallow reef area extends to within 30-40 feet of the eastern shore and encompasses a north south area of approximately 400 yards. This flat has excellent possibilities for wade fishing as well as boat fishing. On zero or moderate flow earth colors, as described above, are very good, as well as a multitude of dry fly presentation. On generation this flat is known to be an excellent producer or egg patterns and bright pink and chrome micro jigs. Some call this the "Scud Bed" because of it's ability to hold loads on freshwater shrimp. Rainbows always seem to be midging here too. Don't be scared to cast and work the very shallow water flat, not just the channel. There are some surprisingly big rainbows that cruise this shallow flat. Zone 5 starts at the Fall Creek condo’s and extends to Fall Creek on the same shoreline. The bottom structure changes here from gravel to more of a table rock or chunk rock, along with big log jams and rock ledges. Brown and rainbows both occupy this deeper area as this is the beginning of a channel swing bank. On water flow or generation, this area is extremely hard to fish, as the fish maintain a bottom attitude and making effective presentations to deeper fish in this location is extremely hard. Shore line structure can be fished with suspending stick baits and straight line jig presentations. Colors: sculpin, brown, black, olive, white and combinations of sculpin and ginger, orange and peach. Size jigs: 1/4rd to 1/16th oz. On zero generation, jig and float fishing this stretch is deadly. Natural presentations using, sculpin, olive, and tan micro jigs will account for wonderful catches. Make sure your jig is near the bottom usually about 5 feet under the indicator. Fluorocarbon tippet, 2-pound, will increase your catch. Click image for a larger image.
  7. Phil Lilley

    Wooly Buggers

    by Don Mulnik ~~ It was last summer when I discovered the Woolly Bugger while fishing in Lake Taneycomo. It was one of those days when nothing seemed to work well in the trophy area below the dam. So, a friend of mine said "try this" as the sun started to heat up the rocks below the dam. I tied on the odd looking creature in a brown color on a #8 hook and let it fly. The rest is history, I have been hooked on the woolly bugger since. Since that summer encounter with the woolly it has produced consistently right thorough Fall and into the Winter and onto my trips thus far in the Spring. What is it about this thing that consistently produces results? Well, it seems to be everything and nothing at the same time to the waiting trout. It is both a simple attractor and imitator of aquatic life all at the same time. It can imitate the Sculpin, the Crayfish, and larger insects and minnows in the food chain. Joel Vance has a feature article in the April 99' issue of the Missouri Conservationist about the Woolly Bugger. In it he tells us that this fly gets no respect but has been around since the days of Izaak Walton. He further states that "Woolly buggers are woolly worms with chrome fenders", meaning they are usually tied with a little flash in the tail or body. And, I agree with his conclusions that this fly is "Dynamite" in Missouri waters. Having had almost a years experience with this fly let me tell you how I fish it in Taneycomo. Just like the Soft Hackle I cast this fly across current or at a quarter downstream. I use a five weight rod with a tapered leader of 7 feet and at least a 4 foot section of 5x tippet. After casting cross current I let the fly sink while watching the line, many times strikes occur while the fly sinks. After the line takes a natural bow I begin slowly stripping the line and watch for the strike. Sometimes they will hit on the strip in the swing other times they will hit when the line is almost straight downstream from you. At times you have to vary the retrieve, so experiment. To trout it must seem a big meal compared to our usual offerings below the dam and I especially like it when things get a little windy and there's a healthy chop on the water. The woolly has done well for me since last summer catching trout of all sizes, from the dinks that come from our Federal hatchery to the nicer fish put in by the DOC and on to the brutes that have been around awhile. My favorite woolly color is a dark olive, on a size 10 hook, with a 2x long shank. I tie mine with several strands of flash in the tail and a little along the body. I also weight them with 15-20 turns of medium lead on the hook. I have also had success with black, brown, and light olive. And, while I have made them in various sizes from 12 to 6. It seems that the size 10 produce the best for me. So, next time when you have the need to try something different get out the woolly buggers with "Chrome fenders" and hang on. They are easy to tie, available at local fly shops, and releasing fish is a breeze thanks to the long shank.
  8. There are basic things to consider when tackling trout fishing for the first time on Lake Taneycomo. If you're already a trout fishers, there's not much you have to change in your tackle but this article might give you an excuse to make a trip to the local tackle store. But depending on what kind of water you'r'e used to fishing for trout, Taneycomo is probably quite a bit different. It's big water, wide and deep for the most part so it takes a different mindset than your typical small stream fishing. Three main ingredients are needed for a successful trout fishing trip - 1. Two to four- pound green line 2. Small weights, hooks and/or lures 3. Ultra-light rod and reel If you don't have an ultra-light or light line and don't want to go out and buy a new rig, it would be just as effective to tie a light leader onto the end of your line with a swivel. Hook size is important. Trout, especially rainbows, have small, soft mouths. Numbers 6, 8 and 10 are average sizes for any type of bait used. Short, bronze hooks are commended. Weights should only be heavy enough for successful casting. You won't be able to feel the trout bite if there's too much weight. Your equipment should be comfortable, something you are familiar with and know how to use. Your reel should have a good drag. You never know when a big trout will strike and take off. The reel should give line and let the fish run instead of your line breaking. Your rod should be fairly limber, yet stiff enough to set the hook on a trout. Where to look.... The Upper Lake, which most locals define as the first six miles below the dam, is the most productive fishing area. When the water is off, the first mile is the most shallow and offers ideal conditions for fly fishing. The land in this area is owned by the Missouri Conservation Department- for public use. There are a few riffles and several large pools. Skipping woollies and drifting nymphs work well in these areas. Also see our lake map for better understanding where these areas are. Lookout Hole: is marked by an island, just below a scenic overlook on Missouri Highway 165. This is the first deep hole below the dam and is known for holding big trout. When the water is running, drift with the same or throw crank baits such as rapalas or rogues. Work the bait fast, jerking them down and stopping, wait a couple of seconds and then jerk again. Brown trout are very aggressive and will hit when the bait stops. Rainbows will hit a big rapala too but this technique eworks best on browns. From Lookout to Fall Creek, work the deep bank with rapalas for brown sand the shallow bank with spinners and spoons for rainbows. One-sixteenth ounce jigs, worked slow off the bottom, will catch nice trout. Use earth colors such as brown and dark green as well as white and ginger. The jig and float technique will work when water is not moving or moving slow. Work the drop-off at the edge of the channel where trout hold. Fall Creek Area: is just what it states- a creek. It enters Lake Taneycomo three and-a-half miles downstream from the dam. The lower end of the Trophy Area is marked by fall creek. There is a sign at the mouth informing anglers of the restrictions. Fall Creek Resort and Marina is located at the mouth of the creek. There is a gravel bar protruding directly from the mouth of the creek. It crosses three-quarters of the lake in distance and is only about 18-inches below the surface of the water when the water is not running. It has claimed hundreds of props and lower units in its time. But trout like to hang around it. Above and below the bar is water ranging from five to nine feet deep. Fishing with lures is excellent in this area. Throwing white 1/4-ounce rooster tails against the east bank will produce nice-sized browns and rainbows. Jig and float works great here. Work rapalas against both banks hard and fast for big browns. Short Creek Area: is the next hot spot downsteam, located about a mile below fall creek. It enters the lake from the opposite side of the lake than fall creek, and is marked by a boarded wall built on the downstream side of the mouth. Like fall creek, it also has a very shallow gravel bar stretching most of the way across the lake. This is a popular area to fish- you will see lots of boats above and below and even on top of the bar. When the water is off, getting by this area can be tricky. Go to the far right side (going upstream). Even though the channel might be blocked by fisherman, stay right to miss the shallow water. Excuse yourself and wind your way up, avoiding the bar. The same techniques used around fall creek also work here. The bar is much wider, shallower from the top of the bar downstream, for about 100 feet. When the flow of water is fairly hard, trout will hold on top of this bar. Drift worms, eggs and power bait through them and on down to our place. Stay in the middle of the lake, avoiding trees and other snags on the bottom toward the edges of the bank. Lilleys' Landing's Stretch: is a long, deep area with few holes or gravel bars. But it is a very popular area for many anglers. Again, stay off the bluff bank when drifting bait on bottom. The trees that have fallen claim lots of hooks and weights. This is where a good number of big, big browns stay for most of the year. You will also find black bass along the banks in the heat of the summer, but few are caught. Throwing big rapalas is one way to hook a big brown as well as minnows and shiners. Cooper Creek Area: is just below Cooper Creek Resort. Across the lake are 2 gravel points. On and below these points are places trout hold. Drift across them with bait or throw lures around them. This whole area is good for drifting. There are spots where the water is about 5-7 feet deep, when the water if off, and is ideal for jig and float. Brown trout hold along the bank around fallen trees and stumps. The lake below cooper creek is all about the same, good for drifting or still fishing. Money Island and the Bridges: The lake is wider at this point. When the dam is generating, the flow of water from this area downstream is much slower and easier for drifting. The depth of the water is constant- about 20 feet. Gravel Gerty, a shovel bearing barge, has taken gravel off the bottom of Lake Taneycomo for years, creating large holes. These holes will hold trout, especially on the edges. The holes aren't marked. They can only be found with a good depth finder. Drifting salmon eggs and worms are good for catching rainbows. Throwing cleos and rooster tails when the water is running is good, too. When the water is off, anchor and use the same baits. Trolling cowbells and spinners will catch trout.
  9. Welcome to the most active and informative fishing site on the internet for Lake Taneycomo. Please take advantage of this wealth of information on our fishery, join in on the conversation and ask questions. Our rules are simple: Be nice, read before you post questions, share fishing reports if you'd like and enjoy our beautiful lake! And oh yes, be safe on the water.
  10. Shane Bush, Fisheries Management Biologist Lake Taneycomo was formed by the construction of Powersite Dam (Ozark Beach Dam) in 1913 and is Missouri's oldest hydroelectric reservoir. The lake is riverine in nature, 22 miles in length and encompasses 2,080 surface acres. Prior to 1958, Lake Taneycomo supported one of Missouri's best warm-water fisheries. This changed in 1958 when Table Rock Dam, located in the headwater of Lake Taneycomo, began discharging cold hypolimnetic water into Lake Taneycomo. The discharge of cold water changed Lake Taneycomo into a cold-water environment, providing good conditions for trout. <Read More>
  11. Shane Bush, Fisheries Management Biologist Lake Taneycomo was formed by the construction of Powersite Dam (Ozark Beach Dam) in 1913 and is Missouri's oldest hydroelectric reservoir. The lake is riverine in nature, 22 miles in length and encompasses 2,080 surface acres. Prior to 1958, Lake Taneycomo supported one of Missouri's best warm-water fisheries. This changed in 1958 when Table Rock Dam, located in the headwater of Lake Taneycomo, began discharging cold hypolimnetic water into Lake Taneycomo. The discharge of cold water changed Lake Taneycomo into a cold-water environment, providing good conditions for trout. <Read More> View full article
  12. 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.
  13. Phil Lilley

    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
  14. Phil Lilley

    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.
  15. Phil Lilley

    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.
  16. Phil Lilley

    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

  17. Phil Lilley

    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.
  18. Phil Lilley

    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
  19. 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.
  20. 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
  21. 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.
  22. Phil Lilley

    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
  23. 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.
  24. 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
  25. 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.
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