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Phil Lilley

Lilley's Taneycomo fishing report, February 11

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Feb 11 rainbow c 530

Generation has been very constant and consistent the past couple of weeks. Operators at the dam have run 40 megawatts most of each day with the exception of a blast of water in the mornings of about two units. Forty megawatts is a little less than one full unit; the lake level is about 704.5 feet. It really is a nice flow of water, allowing you to boat to the cable at the dam if you know where you're going! And it's a perfect flow for drifting down here out of the trophy area.yH5BAEAAAAALAAAAAABAAEAAAIBRAA7

There have been some changes to the upper lake due to the heavy flows back in early January. There's some new root wads dotting the lake in the stretch from Short to Fall Creek -- one right in the middle of the lake. There's also some new trees on the inside bend in the same stretch. No changes at the mouth of Fall Creek that I can tell yet. The water is still too turbid to see the bottom. The channel is still on the far side of the lake away from the marina.

Above Fall Creek is still a mystery, too. The gravel bar coming off the island on the left, just up from Fall Creek, has changed some. There's some deep holes there that weren't there before. The Narrows has taken on a whole new look with the lower bank washed out and more trees laying long-wise in the channel. There is at least one deep hole with a steep drop-off off the shallow flat, and the channel may be deeper in some places. The lake from there to Lookout seems to be the same, but we won't know until the water is shut completely down and we can see the bottom.

The next change up lake is the cut above Trophy Run, where the lake's channel shoots up the right side to the clay bank hole below the boat ramp. The channel is much more defined and is very close to the right or NE bank now. Plus it looks to be much deeper.

Feb 11 rainbow b 530

Rebar chute and hole is still a mystery, too. I tried to look at it yesterday, idling up through the area in my boat. I could not find any kind of channel or deep run, only very shallow, flat gravel. There may be a chute or deep channel running straight up lake just off the island. If this is the new channel, rebar will look totally different.

Fishing! Fishing is still very, very good. There seems to be an abundance of trout in the lake, and they are very healthy from all the food they got during the high water. We had some of the best bags of fish weighed in at last Saturday's private trout tournament that we've seen in many years and fishing continues to be good this week, too.

Our water color is still kind of chalky in color, but visibility is still about five-feet deep. I think that hurts the jig fisherman because of the limited sight of the fish in the water, but it doesn't hurt the use of scented baits or live baits, like Berkley products and night crawlers.

Feb 11 rainbow a 530

Drifting bait from Fall Creek down has been very good, but you have to watch how much weight you use. I'd only use a #7 split shot or may be a 1/8-ounce bell weight at the most because the water is so slow. Stay in the middle of the lake, too, because of the wood along the sides. The best color of PowerBait has been white and orange.

There's been a lot of people trolling and finding browns and rainbows down lake from the Branson Landing. They are trolling Shad Raps mainly, but other smaller trolling baits will do.

In the trophy area, throwing an 1/8-ounce jig and working the middle of the lake has been the best. I've been faring better in the middle compared to working the sides, I think because the fish aren't holding in slower water. The water is slow enough that they can hold anywhere and be good. White still is a good color, but it's cooled off a bit. Dark colors have come on strong -- black, olive, sculpin and brown with highlights of ginger and orange.

IMG_3170

Dan Boone, Stillwater, OK. caught and released this 25-inch brown this morning while fishing in the trophy area on Lake Taneycomo. He caught it on a white, 1/8-ounce jig, in very tough, windy conditions.

I've tried drifting scuds and have not done well, but I wouldn't cross them off your list. Egg flies, as well as San Juan worms, should be good to drag on the bottom, too.

I've also done well fishing a 1/32-ounce jig under a float from 7 to 10 feet under an indicator. The best color has been an orange-headed sculpin/ginger jig. The trophy area isn't the only place this will work. Fish it below Fall Creek in the middle to the inside bend.

 

 


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Great report and pic's.  Both John Sappington and I guided the upperend today, drifting from the dam to Fall Creek.  John Guided yesterday and his party of 3 boated 101 rainbows and browns mixed.  That is one super day.  Today my party of two had close to 70 and I believe John was in the 60 fish range.

John is fishing a bit different that most of us and I believe he is catching them on a big bright worm pattern on a drift rig.  I'm still drifting shad flies and they bit them today from rebar down thru Fall Creek.

Rebar to the cable was crowded and the bite was not on that far up.  Water is about the same color as it has been, somewhat of an aqua green.  When the sun shines on it however you can see a lot of sediment in it.

We are going to fish shad flies on a flyrod tomorrow.  There were at least 1/2 dozen guys fishing streamers up there today and they were doubling like crazy.

I'm kind of like Phil in that I cannot judge the new bottom quite yet do to the off colored water.  I will tell you this, it is VERY shallow at the bottom of clay banks where it runs past the island.  Nice to have a tunnel hull and a hydro jack plate.  I believe we were at 704 this morning, much under that and we are going to see some messed up stuff.  The tail end of the island has really changed also.  There is a big exterior gravel run that is new and right at the end of it you will get bit every time.  When your drifting along the island, hug it as close as you can.   There is a seam running right down that gravel bar that empties into a nice hole.  The hole has always been there however it has been further east.  Now it is right at the end of the new gravel run and we doubled every past we made on it today.

Going to be really nice after next week.  This shad bite will not last forever and when they turn the dam off we will have to put on our thinking caps again.  Need to come and catch them when the catching is good.

Good Luck

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They are running 30 mw today with a level of 704.3 feet.  From what I saw the other day with the lake at 704.8 feet, if you're running uplake in a boat, several places will get you if you're not in the channel.

Fall Creek - I still haven't figured it out but staying to the left, then shooting back to the right just past the creek mouth should be ok.

Narrows - STAY IN THE CHANNEL.  Stay left.  I think there's going to be DRY gravel on the right edge of the channel when they shut the water down.  That's how shallow some spots are.  At 704.8 feet, my motor drug in a couple of places close to the channel edge the other day.

Lookout - Stay right and STAY ON PLAIN.  Watch for the big logs on the right - they should be out of the water.

Chute above Trophy Run - STAY ON PLAIN and look for green water.  There's some holes but they quickly shallow up at the head of those holes.  Should be fine as long as you don't cut the corner at the top - stay right.

Stay in the middle to the bottom of Big Hole - avoid the boulders.

Rebar - without going up there this morning, I'd say go real slow and see if you can get up there - find the channel - if there's one.  If you have the guts, blow past the root wade just on the right and veer off to the right.

Stay in the middle to the cable - again, avoid the boulders.

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20 minutes ago, Phil Lilley said:

 avoid the boulders.

Lol, Solid advice right there.

in all seriousness, everyone will have to re-learn the upper lake which is going to require 1) cleaner water 2) lower water levels and 3) Time.

Phil is Da Man. Y'all be careful. 

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Every time we get high water events like this, there are minor changes to the upper lake.  When I say "minor", I'm referring to the main channels not moving from one side to another but slight changes that need your attention when boating.  If you run the same route today as you would have last year, you wouldn't have any issues.  But you may not be able to cut a corner...

There is at least one tree or root wad about a half mile below Fall Creek in the middle right of the lake that at 704.5 feet is just under the surface of the water.  This will be sticking up out of the water if the water is shut down.  It is troubling that we are seeing more and more wood coming into play for boaters in the main boating lanes between our place and Fall Creek.  We will try to remove or move them once the water is off - or at least mark them with a buoy.

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It seems the lake level reading below Table Rock Dam is not working...  I'm going by what Bill Babler told me today.  He said it's read 704.36 today- both on the Corps App and on their phone recording but the lake appears to be much shallower- not as much water running as they're saying.

So beware.  It's very shallow, especially from Fall Creek up lake today.

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The mutt and I went to the Landing today for a walk, I carried a little ultra with a 1/8 white/grey jig, did catch 2 little trout, 1 little crappie, and a perch lol. (Earlier pic, I know there is no snow on the ground now)

741318_10152653645766332_2132895871156941639_o (1).jpg

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1 minute ago, Roger Craig said:

The mutt and I went to the Landing today for a walk, I carried a little ultra with a 1/8 white/grey jig, did catch 2 little trout, 1 little crappie, and a perch lol. (Earlier pic, I know there is no snow on the ground now)

741318_10152653645766332_2132895871156941639_o (1).jpg

Give it a little while, there may soon be snow on the ground.

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