It's been hard to sit down and write a fishing report because of the uncertainty of conditions lately. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers opened four spill gates last Monday and left those gates opened exactly one foot each for one week. I speculated that the opening of the gates would be temporary, only a couple of days, but that was not the case. So now that the gates are closed, and the work has been completed at the dam, I can evaluate future conditions . . . maybe.
The release rate presently is 6,500 cubic feet per second (C.F.S.), Taneycomo's lake level is at 707.6 feet. Dam operators are running it around the clock, and Table Rock Lake's level is dropping about two inches per day, 915.42 feet. Power pool is 915 feet. Beaver Lake is shut down and holding at 1,120 feet. Their seasonal power pool is 1,120.43 feet. Our water temperature is 43 degrees.
I would speculate we will see this flow for the next few days, until Table Rock's level drops to 915 feet... but you never know.
Our trout did see a good number of threadfin shad flow into Taneycomo from Table Rock through the spill gates, and now they are looking for about anything that looks like a threadfin -- white jigs, white hard baits, white flies. Even spoons and spinners will work. These fish can be aggressive in their feeding, especially the bigger browns and rainbows that are used to eating bigger meals, like other trout and forage fish. So wake baits and larger jerk baits seem to be the ticket if you're fishing for trophies.
With two units running, you can easily boat up to the dam, but just stay in the middle of the lake. We're using 3/32nd- to 1/16th-ounce white jigs, throwing them straight with no float and smaller 1/32nd-ounce jigs under a float four to seven-feet deep. Switch out the color if they're not taking white to sculpin, sculpin/ginger, black/olive or white/gray.
Those who are throwing big jerk baits are throwing a Megabass 110+ in shad colors. If you don't want to spend the big bucks on a Megabass, throw a Rouge or Rapala. Suspending baits seemed to work better than floating or sinking.
This is the time of year when we start to see a lot of green moss on the bottom of our lake, so drifting anything on the bottom is hampered by the green stuff. But that's not to say you can't catch trout by drifting a gray or olive scud, egg fly, San Juan Worm or a shad fly on the bottom. I'd recommend using very little weight and no weighted flies, if possible. Better yet, use a float and fish any of these flies under it four- to eight-feet deep.
Below Fall Creek, night crawlers are doing about the best along with minnows. Minnows would be excellent because we know the threadfin shad have made it all the way down past Fall Creek, so those fish have seen and eaten a bunch of them. White jigs are also pretty hot, even past Lilleys' Landing and Cooper Creek.
Our guides are back to using the pink and red Berkley's PowerWorm under a float eight- to 10-feet deep. The best area is from Monkey Island down past the Landing, according to Steve Dickey who had just brought in a happy group of clients. He said they're having to thin through smaller stocker rainbows to get the nice ones, but they are for sure there!
Another group of guys staying here brought in some nice rainbows which they caught drifting down by the Landing on white/orange PowerEggs with a pinch of worm on the hook. You can't argue with success! I did overhear some talking yesterday that they tried trolling and were surprised they did very well. They were using a blue Rebel.
Here are some pictures of trout caught over the weekend by anglers who fished in our CAM benefit tournament.
These were all 20-inches-plus, the last one 24 inches caught on a white jig. David Beal and Seth Turner.