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Fishing Report

Phil Lilley

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Even with milder temperatures, generation patterns on Lake Taneycomo remain about the same as they were, compared to the winter blast days a couple weeks ago. It’s pretty much round the clock generation from one to two units, frustrating wade fisherman who have wait for months for the opportunity to fish below the dam without high water levels and current.

Table Rock is well below power pool but the lake above, Beaver, is being dropped from it’s high level to power pool. Some speculate that 7 feet of water from Beaver Lake added to Table Rock only equates to a 6-foot raise but regardless, it seems the Corps’s plan is to keep Table Rock’s levels about the same as they are now and move Beaver’s water through the system. Looking at the lake level charts, Beaver is dropping 4 to 5 inches per day which means it will take about 18 days to drop Beaver to power pool, without rains. But there is rain in the forecast.

So we’ll talk about boat fishing, although dock fishing off our dock (Lilleys’ Landing), and docks further down, are fishable and fishing has been fairly good.

Fishing pressure on the lake this month has been minimal. Not many people braved the cold temperature earlier in the month and since the weather broke, boaters have stayed away from the lake – probably don’t want to get the boat out of storage in fear of another cold spell. Regardless, there seems to be a huge number of rainbows in the lake right now with many of what I’d call lunker size.

I talked to some guys that fished yesterday and they did very well using 1/16th oz black jigs, working them off the bottom of the lake down below Branson down the Kanakuk Camp clear down to Bee Creek. These anglers have been fishing here for a number of years and said they’d never caught trout like this, ever. Many of the rainbows they caught were over 16 inches, big and fat and fought like steelhead.

Other anglers are heading down lake from the resort and having the same results using Gulp Powerbait eggs in varied colors – white, pink and orange. Above the resort up to Fall Creek, night crawlers and minnows seem to do better that Gulp Eggs. The current varies depending on where you are and how much water is running. When they are running only one unit, the current here at the resort is very slow and even gets slower the further down lake you get. So it’s almost like still fishing and dropping an anchor isn’t out of the question.

Bill and I got out yesterday in the boat for a while. We were out while that cold front moved through and temperatures dropped from the high 60’s to low 40’s. The water dropped out from two to one units too – we thought fishing wouldn’t be very good, but it was.

We boated up not quite to Lookout and started… Bill using his fly rod, pink micro jig under an indicator 9 feet deep and me using my jig/spin rod and throwing an 1/8th oz sculpin jig, working it off the bottom. They were running 2 units at 706 feet but the level had already started dropping out on our first drift. The top end didn’t produce much, it was only when we got below the tennis courts did the rods start bending, and they bent quite a lot.

Both techniques caught rainbows, many were small dinks from 8 to 11 inches. There were a few “eaters” as Bill calls them – right below the 12-inch mark. And there were the Taneycomo Trophy Rainbows we are accustomed to – 16 to 18 inches, beat red sides and gill plates.

Bill switched to his spin rod but stayed with his jig and float. He bought a 10-foot, Okuma Steelhead Rod for jig and float fishing and it worked pretty well. I tried it – it was a little heavy and awkward to cast but setting the hook even on a long cast was no problem.

All in all, we caught quite a few rainbows in the 2 hours we were out. Hopefully he can get the video to work on his new site at http://whiteriveroutfitters.com

Remember, we have our first public trout tournament next weekend, January 30, here at the Landing.

Lilleys Landing logo 150.jpg

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Thanks, Phil. Fished below the dam last Sat/Sun afternoons. Maybe a dozen each day but the good news was, as you have noted, they were healthy and all but two were 14-18" fish. Really pretty and fought well. Question, I fished the south side on Sun to avoid the crowds. Caught from rebar down to the big hole but had only a couple above the island to the cable. Was getting the bait down but wasn't getting bit. Any suggestions from someone who has figured that area out with water running? Thanks..

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My opinion as to why you werent getting bit is the flow - or lack thereof. Were you finding that the fly was sinking rather quick.. sometimes even hanging up ? If you were casting towards the car lot from the opposite side of the bank.. you have to really watch the fish and where they are holding / feeding.

Stripping a soft hackle is good to do there.. quarter casting downstream and stripping at an angle.

Just once I wish a trout would wink at me!


I'm the guy wearing the same Simms longbilled hat for 10 years now.

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A 6 minute video is now up and available on my new website www.whiteriveroutfitters.com Under the vid. is also a couple of stills and a short fishing report of Phil and I on Upper Taneycomo just click on that to read the report and look at the photo's. We used straight line, flyrod and jig and float. All preformend well.

Good general Lake report from Phil.

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Wow what a difference a day made. I dunno if it was the flow, or the weather change yesterday. It sure was polar opposites between yesterday and today.

Had good luck on spoons, the powerbait. I know I got some hits on some jigs that Phil pointed out... but wow that sure different fishing.

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Thanks, Brian. Didn't think to try a hackle. Was trying to fish near the bottom, around the rocks, etc. Flow was slower and I noticed more moss on bottom, perhaps that's not as attractive as the faster water/cleaner bottom on the hatchery side. Thought I might find something big and lazy behind a boulder.:) Will need to spend some more time over there...nice video Bill, reminds me of some of our trips...

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