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Lake Taneycomo Fishing Report For The Labor Weekend, 2011

Phil Lilley

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<img src="http://ozarkanglers.com/ice/narrows_530.jpg" width="530" height="195"></p>

<p>Since my last fishing report was almost six weeks ago, I’m going to have to cover a lot of water, so to speak, because a great deal has changed since my last report… quite literally.<br><br>

At the time I was leaving for Alaska, the boards at Powersite Dam were being reinstalled, bringing our lake back to what we call “normal pool.”&nbsp; But if you’re a frequent caller to the dam hotline, calling to see if water is generating or what the lake level is, you’re used to hearing “701.3 feet” as being the normal lake level when the water is off.&nbsp; Today, that’s not so.&nbsp; The new level is 702.0 feet.&nbsp; Why?&nbsp; Because gravel was moved by the high water from the banks and bottom above outlet #2 and piled up at the rebar area.&nbsp; It now acts as a little dam, holding back more water at a higher level than prior to the flood.&nbsp; There’s also very little current at all from the dam face to rebar, unlike before when there was good current, especially from about half way between outlets #1 and #2 through outlet #2.&nbsp; It’s deeper and pretty much still water in this area.<br><br>

The rebar has changed completely, except for the fact that it’s still turns and goes to the south bank through what we call “the gauntlet.”&nbsp; Rebar isn’t one big shoot of water anymore.&nbsp; It’s four separate shoots, starting at different points but all ending up dumping into a big pool.&nbsp; I haven’t had time to look at it closely or fish it at all.&nbsp; It’s a matter of going and feeling out the area and see where the trout are holding.&nbsp; One thing positive is that I think there’s more room for anglers to find a good spot and not be as crowded.<br><br>

I’ve also fished down at the boat ramp this past week.&nbsp; The water seems higher down there, too.&nbsp; The shoot at the end of the long pool down from the boat ramp has no channel whatsoever.&nbsp; It’s a shallow riffle all the way across at the top, which makes me think it’s dammed up, too, holding water behind it at a higher level.&nbsp; Also, there is not as much current either.&nbsp; This shoot at the end of the pool is much longer—extending all the way down to the former KOA property.&nbsp; It’s all filled in with gravel.&nbsp; At the end and on the south side, there’s a good channel that’s holding some nice trout, towards the point of the island.&nbsp; You can wade all the way down to the start of the KOA high rock bank, then it drops off into the deep channel as before.<br><br>

Down from Lookout, the first pool is wide and deep from bank to bank.&nbsp; There’s very little left of the long shallow point just down from Andy William’s house that so many waders used to wade out on.&nbsp; It drops off pretty quickly and there are some deep holes washed out on that west side.&nbsp; There are also piles of gravel on the west side that extend well into the lake channel up and down this whole stretch.&nbsp; The edges are steep, and I’m sure loose, so if you’re wading close to them watch your step.&nbsp; You could be up to your chest in water real quick.<br><br>

The narrows is another area that’s changed a lot.&nbsp; I posted some pictures of the narrows back when the boards were off and the water was running, and you can see the new shape of the gravel bar that extend from the west to east side of the lake.&nbsp; It’s higher out of the water for sure and there are all kinds of sticks, branches and small trees sticking out of the gravel all over the bar.&nbsp; All of it is buried, I guess washed down from above, and covered up by moving gravel with only parts sticking up.&nbsp; The flat used to be pretty clean of anything but gravel.&nbsp; With the water off, a lot of it is completely out of the water now, leaving just the channel on the east side.&nbsp; It’s narrow and shallow.&nbsp; When a boat is fishing the narrow, it’s tough to get around them without disturbing their fishing.&nbsp; I would not blow up through this anymore with my boat.&nbsp; There’s a couple of large boulders above the overhanging tree that come into play close to the bank and in the channel.&nbsp; You have to go slow and look for them.&nbsp; I’ve been going through with my motor trimmed up.&nbsp; This is a HUGE difference from the way it was before the flood.<br><br>

Below the narrows the lake deepens out&nbsp; -- actually deeper than it was in some places,&nbsp; I think. It is much deeper along the chunk rock bank on the west side and holds a lot of fish, especially if generation is one to three units.&nbsp; The east side used to be fairly uniformed, straight and predictable—gravel bar sliding off into a deep channel.&nbsp; Now there are a couple of big trees lying on top of the bar and the bar has curves and cuts, dropoffs and shoots.&nbsp; The channel or west side is close to the same all the way to Fall Creek.<br><br>

At Fall Creek, the channel most of us used to get up past the gravel bar is filled in so much that I’m not going to suggest using it anymore to boating clients here at the resort.&nbsp; The channel is deeper on the dock or west side of the lake now.&nbsp; The bar itself is not as deep all the way across, but when the water is off, it’s still shallow enough to eat props.<br><br>

From Fall Creek to Trout Hollow, it’s changed, too.&nbsp; The channel is the same—along the bluff.&nbsp; There are two trees in the lake on the channel side that will get your lower unit.&nbsp; We took a chain saw to them back when they drew down the lake in July, but we couldn’t cut them low enough.&nbsp; We have tied buoys to them twice but they’re broken free.&nbsp; We are going to attempt to mark them again Friday (tomorrow) so that boaters can see where they are and avoid them.&nbsp; (There’s actually another tree about 1000 yards above our place (Lilleys’) that we will also mark with a buoy)&nbsp; You’ll see that the gravel is piled up high on the inside of the bend.&nbsp; If you have a depth finder on your boat, you should notice that the channel is deeper than it was before.&nbsp; There are actually several holes that are as much as 16 feet deep at low water.&nbsp; The gravel bar at Short Creek, the one that ate more props and lower units than any other on the lake, extends less than half what it used to; where the main part of the bar used to be, the water there is 10 feet deep.&nbsp; Amazing!&nbsp; It took that gravel and moved it about 300 yards and spread it all the way across the lake.&nbsp; There are two trees lodged on either side of the lake above Trout Hollow.&nbsp; At that point, the lake shallows up to less than four feet deep from bank to bank.&nbsp; There’s no channel.&nbsp; You can boat through this area with little trouble but back when the boards were off and the lake was lower, you could barely get a jon boat through this area with the motor tilted up.<br>

No other noticeable changes below Trout Hollow.<br><br>

Generation patterns have been fairly consistent this past week but should change as this cold front moves through the area later this weekend.&nbsp; The water has been off until mid day and then one to three units have been running until evening and off by 10 p.m.&nbsp; The DO (dissolved oxygen) content is starting to drop and is low when they are not running water.&nbsp; It jumps up when they run water because the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is injecting liquid o2 in the water as they generate.&nbsp; This will continue to be a factor until the lake turns over later in December.&nbsp; Our water temperature is higher than normal because of the hard rains and flooding in the spring.&nbsp; It’s running about 57 degrees while normally it’s closer to 50.&nbsp; Low o2 levels coupled with high water temperatures means trout will feed less, and be less active than normal.&nbsp; They also won’t fight quite as hard and will be harder to release successfully.&nbsp; This means you need to fight them quickly and return them back to the water immediately.&nbsp; When flyfishing, don’t use ultra light tippet like 7x.&nbsp; A larger trout will literally give his all and you’ll fight him to his death— which is counterproductive when you want to catch and release.<br><br>

Seems like to me our trout are looking for scuds when flyfishing.&nbsp; I’ve had the best luck fishing scuds early this week, before the water starts in the morning.&nbsp; Conditions have been rough with no generation, no wind and very bright sun.&nbsp; Those can make for a slow fishing trip most of the time, but we’ve been fishing with long leaders (5x or 6x fluorocarbon) and #14 gray or brown (mink) weighted scuds under an indicator and doing well.&nbsp; I’m fishing 1.5 times the depth of the water I’m fishing, setting a palsa indicator on the line and letting the scud drift to the bottom.&nbsp; Then I move it, swimming the scud across the gravel bottom.&nbsp; The trout are picking it up pretty quickly.&nbsp; I’ve been fishing below and above the narrows and between the narrows and Lookout.&nbsp; When the wind picks up and there’s a chop on the surface, I’ve gone to a jig and float and done well.&nbsp; Olive or tan micro, sculpin or ginger marabou jigs are great.&nbsp; Chuck Gries also sells a white micro jig that does real well, too.&nbsp; It has a chenille body and tiny marabou tail.&nbsp; They are chasing a small #16 wooly or crackleback, too, in windy conditions.<br><br>

I ventured up below the dam this morning and visited with Tim Homesley from Roaring River.&nbsp; He was having fun catching rainbows close to outlet #2 on a white San Juan worm.&nbsp; I picked up a few rainbows on the north bank below outlet #2 on a #16 brown trout crack scud.&nbsp; I didn’t get to fish much before the horn blew. &nbsp;Night flyfishing has been pretty good, I hear.&nbsp; Some anglers are launching their boats at the boat ramp and fishing that area using darker jigs, PMS and sculpin patterns.<br><br>

When they’re running water, I’ve done well throwing a 1/8t-ounce jig against the bluff banks from the dam clear down to Trout Hollow.&nbsp; Good colors have been sculpin, olive, black, brown, ginger and white.&nbsp; If they’re only running one to two units, throw a jig and float and fish it five-to seven- feet deep.&nbsp; Use white or pink micro or marabou jigs.<br><br>

Air-injected night crawlers are catching most of the bigger trout below Fall Creek.&nbsp; I’d inject them either with the water off or running right now.&nbsp; Use the least amount of weight as needed to get the bait to the bottom.&nbsp; Unfortunately there’s more on the bottom of the lake now to get snagged on when drifting.&nbsp; The Missouri Department of Conservation has stocked rainbows this week in preparation for the Labor Day crowds, probably releasing them from Branson up to Cooper Creek because of water temperatures.&nbsp; It would be too warm for them to stock below Branson from now through the fall.</p>

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Noticed a report on Chartered Waters they noticed an oil slick on the water from the dam to around Trout Hollow Thursday am and you could actually smell the oil......anyone else hear of this incident?

"God gave fishermen expectancy, so they would never tire of throwing out a line"

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Phil: This is an excellent report about current Lake conditions. It will take some time to learn about the changes.

If your going above Lilleys Landing, be very careful as there are many new obstructions and changes as Phil has reported. Trees in the lake and even a log just under the surface on the North side about half way to the curve above Lilleys dock. I Hit it unexpeditly.

The area above Fall Creek is totally changed and there are some very shallow sections that may require raising the prop to go through.

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