Is winter over? The long range forecast says it might be. But it is only February 8, and there's well over a month left before March 21 arrives here. And even then, you never know. Snow could be right around the corner . . . but for today, there's a 75-degree Saturday in sight (after our 75-degree Tuesday yesterday!) And Lilleys' Landing Resort has openings.
Generation patterns have been pretty consistent. Generation officials have been running water most mornings and evenings up to two units with no generation during the middle of the day. We're still dry here and need some rain to bring the lakes up.
Drifting with several flies has been working, starting at the dam and working down, when the water is running and you can get up there by boat, Red or brown San Juan Worms, egg flies and scuds are good. Scuds in size #14 and either olive or gray. Bill Babler said he did well Monday using a small floating minnow lure like a Rapala, Rebel or Trout Magnet on a drift rig. The floating bait keeps your hook from getting snagged on the bottom -- most of the time.
If you're throwing jigs, good colors have been sculpin, sculpin/peach and ginger. White isn't working since there have been no shad coming from Table Rock. Size depends on how much water is running, which has fluctuated between a half unit to two units. I'd throw the lightest jig possible. I wouldn't throw an 1/8th unless they're running more that 90 megawatts of water, or almost two full units.
The jig-and-float method has been working, too. Colors are about the same. As far as weights, most of the time I'd put a 1/32nd-ounce under a float three- to six-feet deep.
Line size - I'd use two-pound line no matter what you're throwing. I talked to a good friend about line size last week, and he said he had noticed that his heavier line wasn't doing as well as his partner's two-pound line although his 4.4 pound Tec Tan line usually does really well. He changed to two-pound P Line and started catching right along with his buddy.
Anglers have been catching some really nice rainbows below the dam and down through the trophy area. But along with the 17- and 18-inch rainbows there are more of the very small 9- to 10-inch rainbows up there and down here around our place, too. Not sure when these small rainbows were stocked, but they seem to be schooling together and attacking everything they run into. Take great care in releasing these beauties since they are the ones that will get smart and grow to be trophies.
If you're wading, now is a great time to come to Taneycomo. The water conditions are very good, and the area below the dam is full of beautiful rainbows in spawning colors. Here's a rainbow caught today by local angler Mike Curry.
Below Fall Creek, we've seen some incredibly nice rainbows brought in at the two trout tournaments we've held in the past couple of weeks. In the last contest, where no one fished above Fall Creek, there were more than a dozen 18-inch-plus rainbows weighed in as well as two legal browns. I was just amazed at the number of colored-up trout that had clearly been in the lake long enough to lose their grayish, freshly stocked look. Most of these rainbows were caught on bait -- night crawlers and various colors of Powerbait -- and were caught between our dock and Fall Creek.
Guide Steve Dickey has been catching trout on a ginger Turner's micro jig under a float four- to six-feet deep. He's using light 6x or two-pound line. Of course catching is better if there's been a chop on the surface. He's also still catching fish on the pink Berkley's Power worm, too.
Roy Anderson just stepped in to my office to ask if I could take a picture of a rainbow he'd caught. I did, and he promptly released it. He caught it close to Short Creek on a sculpin/orange 3/32nd-ounce jig.
If you're interested in bass fishing, I've heard they're catching some nice blacks and kentuckies down on the lower lake throwing an A-Rig.