Lake Taneycomo generation patterns have not changed since my last fishing report. Dam operators are leaving the water off most of the day most days until about anywhere from 1 - 4 p.m. when 2-3 units then run until dark. On weekends, though, they are leaving it off until 5-6 p.m. and only running it for 1-2 hours. The dissolved oxygen levels and water temperature are holding the same, too. The water temperature is about 55 degrees and the D.O. is 4-6 parts per million. All in all, water quality has been fairly decent for this time of year.
Water clarity did change about 10 days ago. It turned a stain color and just a tad cloudy. This has helped the bite a bit and now it's safe to say one can use 6x for most flies instead of 7x. You will still get more bites using two-pound line when using bait and small lures, but it's not as essential to catching trout.
The one great thing our fall season has brought for fishing is wind. That has been the number one thing that has helped our fishing. Most days, the breeze isn't picking up until about 9 a.m. but when it does, I tell people to "chase the chop." It doesn't matter what you're using -- bait, jigs, flies or lures--our fish are biting so much better when there's a chop on the water's surface.
Our fall brown trout run is well under way. With the water down, we have easy access to these trout directly below the dam day and night. The Fly Fishing Lake Taneycomo Facebook Page has blown up with photos of browns and rainbows coming mostly from around the outlets. Anglers are catching them mostly on small scuds and tiny egg flies, but I heard some are taking #14 cracklebacks and sculpins. At night, try stripping a dark pine squirrel or wooly bugger.
Blake's been scoring big rainbows at night. Friday night he caught his best rainbow-- a 24-inch beauty -- on a pine squirrel.
Then he trounced that record by landing a huge 28-inch rainbow on the same fly. He was fishing between outlets #2 and 3 using 2x tippet. I snapped a quick picture and both trout swam away hard and healthy.
The boat fishing in the trophy area has been hit and miss but one thing is certain -- you always have a great chance to catch a trophy rainbow and may be a brown up there. Numbers aren't great but the size is awesome.
On the last few trips for me above the Narrows, I have not found the rainbows up in the real skinny water feeding on scuds and sow bugs as a few weeks ago. They've been out off the bank in 18 to 30 inches of water rutting around in the gravel. I'm still picking them up on the unweighted scud, mainly #14's in brown or gray, but I'm using 6x fluorocarbon instead of 7x and getting the fish in a lot quicker.
I'm also catching fish on the white or chartreuse Mega Worms and Zebra Midges fairly well. They're liking the "snow cone" midges the best -- #16 red or black with a white tungsten head. I will drop down to 7x tippet on the midges, especially if I go to a smaller #18 or #20 fly.
We're also catching fish on the small Turner Micro Jig under a float in olive or black.
Moving down out of the trophy area, I'm still using the jigs and Zebras and catching fish but maybe fishing a little deeper since I'm getting into deeper water. I'm also going to the PJ's 1/125th-ounce jig in sculpin or brown with an orange head.
The guides are fishing night crawlers some, but the bite has been hit- and-miss for whatever reason. You'd think a fish would always eat a worm, but I guess not. The Berkley Pink Worm has made a comeback. They're fishing it on the flat above our dock, at Monkey Island and down at the Branson Landing.
The jig bite is getting a little better. With the water off, we're using 2-pound line on our spin cast rigs and throwing 1/32nd- or 1/16th-ounce jigs. We had one report over the weekend of anglers doing well using white jigs below the mouth of Fall Creek. They brought in some real nice rainbows that morning, Blake said. We are still throwing dark jigs mainly though--sculpin or brown with ginger or peach.
Someone asked me a couple of weeks ago about what pound test to use on a spinning outfit. I told them if they really wanted to catch more trout they needed to use 2-pound test. They asked if they needed to put 2-pound on their whole real or just tie some onto the end of it. I said to restring the reel with 2-pound test. If you think about it, you're spending a little bit of time and money restringing your reel with 2-pound but I guarantee you you'll do so much better at catching more fish on your trip. We recommend Vanish or Trilene XL clear but there are other good lines out there.