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Lilley's Report (unedited)

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Generation has been consistent for the last 10 days - they're running about 2,200 cfs at a lake level of 704 feet, generating 30-35 megawatts of power from midnight till 2 p.m..  Starting at 2 p.m., they're building it up to 3 units (not full), almost 9,000 cfs at a lake level of 708 feet.  That's a lot of water!  But it goes back down to 704 feet by 8 p.m..image.gif

There's a weather change happening tonight though that might alter this pattern.  Cooler weather most of the time means less power demand, thus less generation.  We will see.  Some are hoping for no generation at least in the mornings, like it was back a couple of weeks ago.  Others like the low flow in the mornings... I think it's boaters against waders.  Who will win!?

Catching the last week has slowed down, especially off our dock.  Most anglers are catching their limit but it takes a considerable amount of time to do it.  Night crawlers has been the best, for both trout and suckers.  White suckers put up a great fight and cleaned/prepared right are great eating!

With a lake level of 704 feet, boating to the dam is tricky, even for us locals!  But if you can get up there to the cable below the dam, fishing has been pretty good.

First fly fishing.  Hoppers thrown against the banks is catching bigger than normal rainbows and a few browns.  Also other dries like beetles, ants and stimulators.  You won't catch a lot of fishing but if you love dry fly fishing, a few bites is worth trying.  Drop a #16 or #18 red zebra midge under the dry about 18 inches for an additional chance.

The white mega worm is also catching trout.  Use it tied on a small jig head under a float and make sure you have enough line below the indicator to get it to the bottom.  The water is clear enough to follow the white worm and if it disappears, set the hook -- it's probably in a fish's mouth.

Stripping an olive, brown or black beaded wooly bugger is pretty productive.  I caught several nice rainbows stripping an olive wooly bugger against the bluff bank from Lookout through the Narrows.  They like to chase!



Duane is still throwing the MegaBass 110+1 Ozark Shad stick bait up below the dam (from a boat) while they're running that big water in the late afternoons and catching some nice trout including browns and rainbows over 20 inches (all released).  He's hooked some really big fish but those are getting away, so far.

Guide Tracy Frenzel showed me he's catching trout drifting beads.  This is something we do up north in Alaska to catch big rainbows feeding on salmon eggs.  Trout beads come in many colors and sizes.  He was using a pinkish 12mm bead (yes that's a big bead) pegged with a toothpick about 2 inches above the hook.  He said it actually catches less moss than using bait just on a hook.  Yes we do carry beads in our fly shop.  And yes you can use these in the trophy area.  I'd think they'd work good up close to the dam where browns should be ready to spawn soon.

Marabou jigs are working real well.  Depending on the flow and conditions, I'm throwing 2 and 4 pound line and 1/16th, 3/32nd and 1/8th ounce jigs in several colors.  Best is still the sculpin/ginger 1/16th ounce with 2 pound line... but that's probably because I'm throwing it 80% of the time.  When the water is running harder, I'm going to 4 pound line and 1/8th ounce jigs.

I talked to a guest today that said they're catching good rainbows up close to Short Creek on 1/8th ounce sculpin jigs.  They're throwing them in this slower generation.  He asked if that was ok... I responded with "If you're catching fish, it's perfect!"



Tracy also told me that he was catching good numbers of rainbows from Cooper Creek down in a section of about a quarter mile.  His clients were fishing the pink Berkley Power worm.

These fish are staying together, may be following the midge hatches morning and evening.  There's usually a crud line in the lake - floating leaves and stuff that clumps up from wind and boat traffic - and that's where these trout are coming up and midging (dimpling) the surface.

Several ways to target these fish.  Throw something and run it through them like a spinner or a spoon.  Cast a small jig, like a 1/16th, and wiggle is through the schooling trout.  Or use a small jig or fly under a tiny float (fly or spin rod) and fish it pretty shallow - 18 to 24 inches deep.

The pink worm is still a guide's best friend - and it can be yours too.  For whatever reason, this bait has been a fish's favorite for well over a year now.


P.S.  After writing this report, Duane and I boated to the dam this afternoon for some fishing.  He took his bait casting rod and MegaBass 110+1 stick baits and I had a spinning and fly outfit, I was ready for anything!

This report is littered with pictures from the outing.  Duane caught the first trout, the biggest of the evening.  We didn't measure it but I think it pushed 20 inches.   He did hook and lost a couple of other nice browns (pictures).


I started with throwing an 1/16th ounce sculpin/ginger jig but didn't have any luck.  They were running 5,200 cfs or a little over a full unit, lake level 706 feet and the weight wasn't enough to get down deep enough.  I switched to a 3/32nd ounce white jig.  I was using 2 pound line.


Duane did catch some rainbows too.  Oh, and a few smallmouth bass.  I didn't catch any browns but I didn't catch rainbows, a lot of them, and most of them were quality trout!  Actually, I told Duane that it was one of the best catching trips of the summer for me.  Crazy!

I didn't work the jig very hard at all.  I'd let it go to the bottom and lift it fairly quick, not the pop I usually work a jig.  At the last, when the wind picked up, I just let it drift and they eat it right up!  We stopped taking pictures after a couple because it took too much time away from fishing.  And I forgot to take the video cameras...



We made 4 or 5 driftes from the hatchery outlets down to the top of Trophy Run.  We didn't see another boat, only the people wading around the outlets and one guy at Rocking Chair Access.  I guess white jigs are a hot item after all... I've had several people tell me in the last week or so but every time I'd throw them - nothing!  Told Duane I guess I didn't give them a good chance.

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Thanks for the detailed report, Phil. I agree with you on the tricky boating up to the cable at this lake level. The other day we just boated a little bit past the ramp and called it quits, drifting down from there.

Hopefully I can get back out there this weekend in the day & night. Need to throw some streamer meat at angry browns and chubby 'bows. Definitely will tie up some beaded buggers now in preparation. 


Appreciate the update!

Live count (10/19/17) : Streamers lost to Taneycomo's Giant Squid = 12


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I hope they let up on generation a bit for Sunday /Monday.  Glad to hear you had a great day catching though. I am bringing my streamer rod so maybe some generation won t be that bad. Thanks for another good report Phil.  


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