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.
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.
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.
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.
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.