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Fishing Report


Phil Lilley

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It’s Thanksgiving -- a wonderful time to reflect on our lives and acknowledge that we are blessed with wealth, family and friends, as well as the ability to show our appreciation and love to our neighbors.

In the Ozarks, we are blessed with great fishing opportunities everywhere we look. Lake Taneycomo is a perfect example. Although it’s not a free flowing stream teaming with wild trout, it offers anglers, novice and experienced alike, the chance to catch rainbow and brown trout fairly easily. I, for one, am thankful for what this fishery offers.

In saying all that, generation has been a little crazy lately. Most days, it’s running any where from 25 to 90 megawatts, which translates to from one half-unit to almost two full units, and this flow changes hourly all during the day. Our guides usually gripe about this flow pattern, but the alternative is worse. Most say when no water is running, the main lake (from boats, not wading below the dam) is very slow, especially if there’s no wind.

With these conditions, let me plug our new drift rigs. I came up with the idea of using removable split shot instead of a bell weight on our rigs. A small knot is tied where the bell weight usually is, and the shot is pinched on the line next to the knot. The knot keeps the shot from sliding off the end of the line. When the flow of the lake picks up or slows down, simply replace the shot with the right-sized weight to fit the flow. Plus if the shot catches something on the bottom of the lake, it’s more apt to pull off the line and not break the whole rig off.

I got a hot tip today that the Missouri Department of Conservation has stocked some very nice rainbows down by Monkey Island, and they are biting on Gulp Eggs in white/pink or white/orange. Make sure to put the bait on the bottom and keep it there while drifting. Even with two units running, there will not be a lot of current that far down lake. But you will have to contend with wind if it’s blowing.

Anglers are catching rainbows drifting from Fall Creek down past our place (Lilleys’ Landing) on night crawlers, but they aren’t as big as the ones being caught down lake.

Above Fall Creek, we’re still doing very, very well drifting scuds, egg flies and San Juan worms on the bottom with a spin outfit or a fly rod—using a float and fishing the proper depth. I’ve been using a BB split shot to get the flies to the bottom and also using an oversize float to keep the shot from hanging on the gravel bottom. Monday afternoon I drifted a #12 gray scud and a #14 red San Juan, 18 inches apart, pinching the BB split shot 18 inches about the first fly and fishing it 14-feet deep under a large indicator. I did very well catching quite a few rainbows up to 15 inches. They’re still fighting exceptionally hard for this time of year.

PS - got out this evening and made a couple drifts from the dam down throwing a 1/8th oz sculpin/peach jig. Got lots of bites but had a hard time setting the hook. Had them hooked for a couple of seconds and then gone. I blamed it on using 2 lb line so I switched to 4 lb and did better. The 2 lb seemed to stretch more than the 4 lb and I could really set it hard with the 4 lb. I landed about a dozen rainbows on 2 drifts from the day to KOA and one on down to Fall Creek. I tried drifting a scud from Lookout down a ways and only caught one. They liked the jig.

Lilleys Landing logo 150.jpg

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Phil, could a guy drag a dropshot rig ? Sounds like that ought to work too.

Dennis Boothe

Joplin Mo.

For a nation to tax itself into prosperity is like a man standing

in a bucket and trying to lift himself up by the handle."

~ Winston Churchill ~

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I have been making rigs similar to that for a while. the difference is that I tie a small loop knot on the tag end. I keep them on one of those tubular snelled hook holders so I can hook the loop over the little tab, and roll it up ready for use. The rubber ends come off the tube so you can store extra hooks, and weights. I also have used small bullet weights rather than shot. I had a bunch of the lighter ones that I didn't use on Texas rigs for bass fishing. They seemed to cause less line twist than the split shot, but that was probably because I was pinching the shot too hard, flattening it out, and making it work like a fin to spin, and twist the line.

BTW Phil, will you please stop talking about Monkey Island? There are no fish there, never has been, never will be. A terrible place to fish. Especially during R.A.W.! :D :D :D

Real men go propless!

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