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Phil Lilley

June 4 Fishing Report

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Here on Lake Taneycomo, we're finally seeing some slower generation after months of high water.  But we're an oasis in the middle of flooding, all around us.  There are so many people affected by flooding,  our hearts go out to them.  We could easily be in the same position if weather patterns shift.

We've had rain this past week but our watershed hasn't been blanketed with inches, only isolated storms delivering a half-inch at a time which soaks into the ground with little runoff.  So our lakes are not jumping up and generation has slowed.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers have been running up to 3 units, starting early in the morning and shutting down after dark but this isn't the case every day.  Today, they are not running water until 2 p.m. which gives those who like to fish from the bank, or dock or wade a chance to enjoy some quiet water.  Hard to say what will happen in the coming days... we are forecasted to get quite a bit of rain this weekend but we will wait and see what falls and where.





Duane had a guide trip this morning, early, and Steve did great throwing a stick bait.  He landed 4 rainbows over 20 inches, all in the lower trophy area.

Speaking of scuds, a beaded scud under an indicator works well, using 6x or 2-pound line from Short Creek up.  So will a zebra midge.  I really don't have specific colors and sizes because I haven't been out to try it yet.  Same size tippet on the Zebras.

Air injected night crawlers almost always catches fish anywhere on the upper lake but especially in the Short Creek area.


The pink Powerworm caught this 15-pound brown in the Short Creek area last week.  We like to think a brown is smarter than that, growing from a 12-inch stocker to a 30-inch brute without being caught.  Taking a pink Powerworm shouldn't have been on this guy's menu.

See all the trophies caught and released on our Trophy Page.

Black/Olive marabou jigs have been doing pretty good so far this week, even out fishing the sculpin/peach jig.  White is still the color on the first half-mile of the lake, then switch to the darker colors.

dd brown.jpg

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If you don't mind me piggy backing or help your report I fished the lower lake this morning cause the fog was just to thick to get all the way up from below the landing.  From the bee to rockaway there are alot of rainbows and some are very nice, they obviously have been in the lake awhile. On a couple occasions I saw schools that had 50 to 100 fish in them. Lots of midging going on too.   The landing has the usual lots of fish but they aren't near the size that they are down stream.  Sculpin/amber sculip peach with orange heads tricked a ton this morning 

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Relative to the question on what to expect on WR flows, I copied this note from USACE concerning the high water situation on the White river from the TU Facebook page. (It is a couple weeks old)...


Laurie Driver, Public Affairs Specialist with the Corps of Engineers in Little Rock, was very kind to answer our questions and provide clarification, regarding the high-water situation the White River System is currently experiencing.

Laurie wanted to stress, first and foremost, safe boating practices, given the holiday weekend. The most critical safety precaution is to always wear a personal flotation device/life jacket. With a lot of boats on the river, you may be confident in your boating skills, but you can’t be confident in the boating skills of others.

We first asked Laurie if the Arkansas River flooding in Oklahoma would have any bearing on the decision-making with regards to the White River System, releases and generation. She explained that all the flood control, on the Arkansas River, is managed in Oklahoma. Their flood control lakes are full, so that water will run, uncontrolled, through Arkansas, to the Mississippi River. The situation will not affect the decision-making for our rivers. She explained the chain of flood control lakes in Oklahoma operate much like the chain of lakes in the White River System.

Laurie affirmed that the gauge for release management is at Newport. At 19 ft, as of this writing, the gauge needs to drop to 12 ft, before generation will ramp-up. Until then, we will experience periods of minimum flow, mixed with moderate flows, for an estimated 6 days. Before or after 6 days, all the lakes are expected to reach the top flood pool. Flood gates will be opened and with maximum generation, there will be significant flooding downstream.

When the lakes reach their top flood pool, there are no other variables. There’s no “gray area”. It’s essentially automatic…it is time to dump the water! The situation with record flooding on the lower Mississippi river will probably become more untenable.

In the interim, get out there, have fun and be safe. There should be ideal water for wading and boating at different times of the day. Unfortunately, however, according to Laurie, once releases begin, we will have high water, downstream from Bull Shoals dam, until approximately mid-August.


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Fished the lower lake again this morning. Caught around 15 or so but they were biting funny, not taking a jig great, just nipping at it.  Probably hooked up and lost twice as many as I caught. Good morning but could of been great if they would of stayed hooked up.  Mainly chased schools of midgers around. Was weird everytime it would sprinkle they would stop midging then when the rain stopped here came the fish again.  I also think they bit better after the fog burned off which seemed weird again to. Size was decent but bit quite as many bigger ones as the last few days. Still a really good morning on the best place on earth!  Yesterday I ran up and fished from the cable down to short creek with the water running. Threw a jerkbait the entire float and caught 5 brownies and 6 bows. Biggest brownie was about 16 inches and had a couple bows in the 17 inch range.  Just flat got to dang hot for me yesterday afternoon so back to the pool with the family I went. 

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