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Phil Lilley

Lilley's Lake Taneycomo Fishing Report, December 23

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It's been a couple of weeks since my last report for Lake Taneycomo, and that's because there hasn't been much change.  Generation is holding steady at about two units, or 7,000 cubic feet per second of flow, but we're about to see a change, I think.  Table Rock Lake's level is now 914.8 feet, a few inches below its seasonal power pool which is 915 feet.  Monday's flow dropped slightly, maybe because Table Rock is at power pool.  The question now is what is the plan since no rain is forecast in the next week to 10 days.

Beaver Lake is still pretty high but dropping slightly at 1,127.5 feet.  That's 7.5 feet above the seasonal power pool.  It's dropping about an inch per day.  I would think officials would need to drop Beaver's level to power pool, but there seems to be no hurry.  Bull Shoals, on the other hand, is still dropping about a foot a day and  should be down to seasonal power pool by the end of the week.

So what's next for Taneycomo and generation?  I would think slower releases or no generation -- or both.

We're starting to see more midge hatches, especially towards evening.  Trout are hitting the surface, taking both dries and emergers.  I haven't tried them yet, but I'd think zebra midges should be working, fished under an indicator 12 to 24 inches deep.  Also, if the fish are rising, strip a soft hackle, crackleback or even a wooly, and you should get some chasers.

Fishing Monday under a  blue bird sky and high sun there were  no clouds and very little wind.  About 6,000 c.f.s. of water was running, which is a nice flow for fishing about anywhere.  I drifted from Lookout Island to the Narrows twice, trying the spin and fly rods.  I threw a small 1/32nd -ounce black/yellow jig with two-pound line but had no luck.  With a #12 gray scud under an indicator about six-feet deep, I caught two rainbows; with a #14 brown zebra midge under a float four- to five-feet deep, three small rainbows were netted.  That was almost two hours of hard fishing, which, in my book,isn't that good.

Flat water, I thought, was my problem.  I could see fish but nothing was moving; they weren't feeding.  I decided to drift on through the Narrows where the current picks up and the surface is broken.  Plus I picked a 1/32nd-ounce black/olive jig to try. It worked.  I caught several nice rainbows in short order. 

It was time to video One Cast, and I knew what I needed to do.  I switched to a 1/16th-ounce black/olive jig and started through.  The first fish was a nice 17-inch rainbow that ran me ragged.  Because of my two-pound line, this guy had an advantage.  He bull-dogged me, and it took a lot of the Narrows to land him.  But I ended up with several before calling it quits and heading home.  But that was definitely the hot spot.

Blake Wilson said he had fished Sunday evening and caught nothing but saw nice rainbows against the shallow bank from Lookout down through the Narrows.  He said he thought they were females spawning because a lot of them were dropping eggs.  I did see quite a few reds, or spawning beds, when drifting down but none with fish on them.  I speculated that there were a couple of reasons -- the lessened generation and increased sun.  More water was running when Blake fished, and it was cloudy and later in the day.

For the rest of my report, I'm going to wait and get more information in the next day or two.  I want to see how anglers fare in the coming days, especially below Fall Creek using bait.  And we'll see what changes in generation happen. 

Stay tuned.


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