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Old fishing report may help

Phil Lilley

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Gabe Cross

Sorry for my delay in reporting...been guiding the last three days and had a little trouble getting changes made. Anyway, after the really fine day on Tuesday, the weather and fishing was quite a bit tougher the next day. The wind was steadily blowing from the north and temperatures were a good 25 degrees colder. For some reason the browns were not biting like the day before, but we worked hard and probably brought 35 fish to the boat. Lots of beautiful and chunky rainbows that day. Shad patterns were still not working.

Yesterday (Thursday) I had the pleasure of taking Phil Lilley of Lilleys' Landing Trout Resort in Branson, and a friend of his, Randy Waggoner of the Kansas City area out for the day on the Norfork Tailwaters. The weather was chilly, breezy and overcast. Phil loves fly fishing, but is a jig fisherman (and an awesome one for that matter) at heart. Randy was interested in fly and jig fishing. Well Phil started out HOT on white jigs, catching one nice brown after another. His friend caught three nice trout on the fly rod, but it was a special jig bite, and I wasn't going to keep him off of it. Now these guys didn't catch a 100 fish or anything like that (probably landed 50 to 60), but the quality and beauty of the fish was remarkable. Nothing over 20 inches, but two were right in that ball park. A lot of the fish were 15 to 18 inches, mostly browns with two brookies and two cutthroats. One rainbow went 19" and they caught several other nice 'bows. It was a fun day and I had a chance to witness something different. Believe me when I tell you it takes a lot of skill to catch fish like these guys were on jigs...it wasn't just casting and reeling in. They really know how to work the jig and keep it near the bottom during extremely heavy flows. It is strange that we only got three bites on my shad pattern while they were tearing up the white jig. My theory is the jig covers more water and produces better right when the shad start coming through. Perhaps because all the trout are not keyed in, so the jig finds the more aggressive fish. Last year fishing with a jig fisherman buddy, the same thing happened and he schooled me. But as the trout became more selective, dead drifting shad patterns became just as effective (if not more) than the jig. But you can't explain trout a lot of times, and every day trout fishing is truly a unique experience. My thanks to Phil and Randy for showing me a fun time and some awesome trout.


Started fishing at Newlands this am - all 8 units running and the water was MOVING!! But saw gulls swarming the surface and even saw shad in the water. Caught a few on white jigs but wind was very tough and we were fishing with some rookies so we pulled out and went to Norfork Dam. 2 units running full but much manageable water and no wind. Caught some extremely nice browns, rainbows, a few cuts and brooks. All fish obiously eating shad- all caught on white jigs and were FAT. Saw gulls picking p stuff on the surface a short time but didn't see any shad.

More to come in an article and great pics in a few days.

From http://ozarkanglers.com/reports/wr_archive05.php

See other pics here - http://forums.ozarkanglers.com/images/2005/norfork/

Lilleys Landing logo 150.jpg

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