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Phil Lilley
Phil Lilley

Lilley's Lake Taneycomo Fishing Report, August 9

Our generation pattern has been, well, fairly consistent.  Most days, the water is off until early to mid-afternoon, then there's some generation.  The difference mainly is the amount of water operators  run late in the afternoon.  But  each night the generation stops at 9-10 p.m. and is off the rest of the night.

The dissolved oxygen levels remain good.  The lowest I've found is 6.0 parts per million Monday morning at our dock.  With the hot sun, the water temp is reaching into the low to mid-60s before generation starts.  But even with this fairly good DO level, we're seeing some of our trout become lethargic when caught and struggle to s off strong.  So take care of fish that you plan to  release.  Think about how long you have them out of the water and handle them very carefully.

This morning's One Cast shows just how important finding a little chop on the water is to catching fish -- plus, going to small tippet.  I don't like using 7x tippet because I have to fight the fish too hard most of the time, but right now if you want lots of bites, light tippet is a must.  I like fluorocarbon because it allows my small flies to sink faster than mono.

As you can see, I had really good luck using a #14 reddish/orange zebra midge with a nickle head under a float about four-feet deep, working middle to the channel side of the lake above the Narrows.  If you're working the shallow flats or the Narrows itself, you'll have to move the indicator down and fish shallower.  It's best to fish the zebra midge fairly deep, especially as the sun hits the water.  Most of the trout I saw were moving around about two foot off the bottom.

I also fished a white mega worm under the float with the same setup, same tippet,  although I think you can get away with using 6x since it's a bigger fly.  The trout were eating it just like the midge, but these rainbows were bigger than the midge eaters.  I saw several big rainbows run up to the mega worm only to stop short of taking it.  They were definitely interested.

mega rainbow.jpg

Mega worm rainbow.

Sunday mid day I boated to Lookout Island when an unscheduled one unit was running. I drifted and worked the bluff bank for top-water fish.  I had two fly rods rigged up and ready to use, one with a #8 pink hopper and the other with a #10 black beetle.  I started with the beetle and had a take almost right off the bat.  Turned out the biggest catch of the day, pushing 20 inches.

hopper 1a.jpg

hopper 1b.jpg

This is my 20-inch photoarium box.

The next rainbow was a tough one.  I saw it working an area along the bank, close to the surface.  I held the boat with spot lock and floated the beetle a dozen times over his head.  He saw it but made no move for it.  He started trying to avoid it, so I was going to move on when he moved aggressively to the side and took something much larger than my beetle off the surface.  It looked like a cricket or something like that.  He took it down, chewed and spit out a couple of times before finally downing it.  I picked up my pink hopper rod and made the cast.  It didn't hesitate -- took it first drift.  That was fun!

hopper 2a.jpg

hopper 2b.jpg

The next three rainbows were blind takes--working the spots were I thought one might be.  And all came on the pink hopper.

hopper 3a.jpg

hopper 4a.jpg

hopper 5a.jpg

hopper 5b.jpg

The Berkley's pink worm is catching some fish.  The guides are fishing the worm on a small jig hook under a float, the depth depends on the time of day and depth of water.  Early, they're setting it from four-to five-feet deep.  Then as the sun comes up, they're moving it deeper, up to nine feet down.  There's a good school of rainbows at the Branson Landing as well as the Cooper Creek flats.  They're hitting the pink worm well in those areas.  Also, when they are generating, drift them on the bottom using a drift rig.  Levi and Blake did well with this set-up  the other day while videoing One Cast.


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On 8/9/2021 at 4:03 PM, Phil Lilley said:

Early, they're setting it from four-to five-feet deep.

What is early in the world of a guide? So, water off: worm/float; water on: worm/drift rig?

You're detailed reports are priceless.

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