We've enjoyed a lot of down water this fall here on Lake Taneycomo. And with the long cold spell in late October and into November, Table Rock Lake has turned over. Now we're benefiting from the great oxygenated water when the dam turbines are running. We're anticipating a very good winter trout fishing season.
Fly fishing below the dam while the water is off has continued to be pretty excellent. Lots of browns have been caught during the annual spawn as well as nice rainbows. We're starting to see a few reds where rainbows are cleaning their spawning beds. But the majority of the winter rainbow spawn happens later in December.
If you're having trouble catching fish while fly fishing, change flies. Change tactics. I'm guilty of fishing one fly way too long with little success. My mindset is, "They should bite this! Why aren't they biting this?" You can't force feed fish if they don't want to eat your presentation. Change!
I think zebra midges and the mega worm have been at the top of most fly fishers' lists for go-to flies. Scuds, for me at least, have been slow except when drifting with the water running. Then the egg/scud combo has been very productive.
My "have-to-have" flies for Lake Taneycomo right now are:
- Zebra midge in black, red, olive, prism and primrose in #14, #16 #18's.
- Mega worm in white, peach, chartreuse.
- Scuds in various shades of gray (w/ flash), tan and olive in #14, #16 #18's.
- Micro jig (Lilley's) white, brown, sculpin (orange head).
- Woolies in black, olive, brown in #14, #16.
Tippet -- 6x fluorocarbon and mono, 7x fluorocarbon.
We're selling a crystal egg that Jeremy Rasnik showed us that's done really well when fished with a #16 or #18 gray scud. It's working from the dam clear down to Short Creek.
I've seen some nice trout below the dam while stripping woolies, cracklebacks and soft hackles, especially if there's a chop on the surface (with no generation.) Also, stripping sculpin on the bottom, all above the Missouri Department of Conservation boat ramp has been successful.
I've done well with a white mega worm under a float from Lookout through the Trophy Area, then on down to our place. The peach and chartreuse mega worm is working, too, at times. Strangely, working scuds with the water off has worked poorly. The zebra midge continues to be one of the best flies to flat catch fish. Most of the time I have to switch colors and sizes to find out the best one that the trout prefer at that given time. It's surprising how picky they can be.
I'm using 6x tippet for the most part, either mono or fluorocarbon.
The pink Powerworm is still our guides go-to lure to catch fish below Fall Creek, either with no generation or with up to two units running. They're fishing it from four- to seven-feet deep under a float.
Night crawlers and Powerbait are catching a lot of stocker rainbows from Cooper Creek up to Fall Creek. They stocked a ton of rainbows off both Cooper Creek and Riverpointe Estate's boat ramps before the holiday weekend. Fishing for most of the weekend was very good.
The stockers were chasing everything moving. Spoons like Cleos and Bouyant, as well as rooster tails, were very good. I saw people trolling very slowly and picking up fish fairly often. When I was out, I had a lot of rainbows chase my jig all the way to the boat.
On our daily One Cast video we try to feature all the ways to catch fish that are working that day. We don't fish bait very often simply because they work most of the time.