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Phil Lilley
Phil Lilley

Lilley's Lake Taneycomo Fishing Report, July 21

Guessing what our generation pattern is going to be day to day is a crap shoot at best.  Table Rock is now below its seasonal power pool but they're still running water -- and it's different every day.  It has been off from midnight till early morning the last couple of days which is a nice change.  But they're still dumping later in the afternoon and evenings.

Big rainbows are still being caught.  It's crazy to see them show up on Facebook, on the guide pages.  Plus some anglers who are staying here at the resort show me pics of trout they're catching -- random spots at random times.  But the best fishing has been starting at daylight (5:30 a.m.) for a couple of hours.

There's a couple of stocker "hot spots" -- one is at the Branson Landing and the other is down lake, just above Twin Islands which is just above the mouth of Bull Creek.  They're hitting almost anything under a float -- pink worm, micro jig, marabou jig or a jig with a piece of worm on it.  Fish them from 4 to 7 feet deep.

I personally have struggled lately throwing and working a jig but I've seen some great catches this past week, people catching big rainbows and a few browns on jigs.  The color is random. I can't name one color better than the other.  A friend came in late last week and said he was doing real well on straight black.  One this morning said he caught a nice brown on white... today.  And the crazy thing is a lot of these trophies are coming from below Fall Creek.

 With the water slowing down, you need to reduce the weight you're using when drifting bait or flies on the bottom.  Be aware of changes of generation and switch out weights if needed.

Four-pound line has been the norm most of the spring and summer so far but with the water slowing down, you might think about sptringing up a reel or two with 2-pound line for throwing smaller jigs and flies.  Our water is still very clear and we will start throwing more small jigs (1/32-ounce).

Fly fishing should be getting real good with the slower water too.  If you like to wade below the dam, there are lots of opportunity and places to fish.  Of course scuds will be one of the best flies to use, either in moving water or still water.  But there is some current in most places up there.  Tippet size -- you should be ok using 6x but as summer moves on and the fish wise up, 7x may come in to the picture.

Midges should be good too.  We're starting to see more midge activity, in the morning and evenings and even during the day a little, especially on cloudy days.  A Zebra Midge under an indicator anywhere from 12 inches to 4 feet will work--depth depends on where the fish are hanging.  If we ever get a breeze, a wooly or soft hackle stripped in the film will draw a bite or two.

I've been working on our trout this month, trying to get them to "look up" and take a dry.  So far very little luck.  But I'll keep trying and keep you informed.

Scuds are still hot.  Our algae problem seems like it's not as bad as it's been but you still have to check and clean your fly off if you're dragging it on the bottom.  The best still is fishing it under a float but keeping it deep enough to get to and stay on the bottom.  The angle seems to be better at keeping the fly clean.

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