Lake Taneycomo

November 3, 2011 Fishing Report

Posted by Phil Lilley on November 3rd, 2011
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Without delving into the lengthy history lesson of Lake Taneycomo , let me just explain that we sometimes experience draw downs to repair our lower dam, Powersite. This time, though, officials are installing a new set of gates on top of the dam, which should preclude any further need for dropping the lake so low. Unlike past draw downs that lasted only a day or two, however, this one will take two to three weeks.

Our lake is now four feet lower than normal with the exception of the depth of water added by Table Rock Dam generating about one unit of water. What this looks like is, in the first couple of miles from the dam, the lake level is about what it would be normally at this level of generation. But on down, the level is much lower than normal but the current is actually faster than normal because of the incline.

When boating, most of our boats and guests’ boats cannot motor above Trout Hollow because the gravel bar above there is too shallow. Now I did run one of our jon boats up through this area but only in the middle of the lake and at full throttle to keep the boat up on plane. I really wouldn’t suggest this unless you want to risk trashing a prop. Our dock policy has been to prohibit rental boats going above Trout Hollow, which is probably the smartest thing to do for most boaters with jet boats as the exception.

One of our guides had a very good fishing trip yesterday. He ran his bass boat up to the bottom of the gravel bar above Trout Hollow and started drifting night crawlers in that faster current. As I boated past him yesterday, I saw one client land a nice 15- inch rainbow, and the other client had one on, too.

Later in the morning, the guide took his clients down and fished jigs and floats using black micro jigs under a float five feet deep in front of the Cooper Creek access. The current picks up a little there, and they did very well catching lots of rainbows. The Missouri Department of Conservation has stocked several loads of rainbows off that ramp the last seven days.

Below the dam, waders are finding rainbows mostly, very few browns. It seems that our brown run is pretty much over. There’s been lots of talk about our brown trout population over the past couple of years since it seems the population is quite down. Before the 2008 season, we would see hundreds of brown trout move up below the dam in October and November to spawn, but their numbers are down maybe 70%, in my opinion. MDC has increased the number of brown trout stocked in the spring to offset this drop in numbers.

Of course, the outlets are the most popular place to find trout as well as the rebar shoot and gauntlet below the shoot.

Scuds, eggs and San Juan worms are the best flies. Scuds in sizes #12 to #18 in gray shades have worked well. Yesterday I had heard dark-colored scuds worked best, although when I was playing around with rainbows below the gauntlet, in the Big Hole area, that were nosing around in the dead, shallow water there and found they liked a light tan scud. I only had my spin cast rod, so I put a float on with a #14 tan perfect scud, tied by Jeremy Hunt. Although I was fishing in less than 12 to 20 inches of water, I put the float about 36 inches from the fly. If a rainbow didn’t pick it up as soon as it hit the water, I’d let it sink, then move the float/fly and drag the fly across the bottom. I had to keep it moving to see or feel the bite. That’s the disadvantage of using a spin rod over a fly rod. My float was too big to see a soft bite but needed to be that big to cast it.

I also tried using a 1/100th-ounce jig under a float using the same technique. Olive/black was the best color, but , again, I had a hard time hooking or even seeing the bite better than the fly.

Report by Bill Babler

Just a little supplement. Guided today from Lilleys’ up to the riffle we now call it just above Trout Hollow. Early bite is wonderful on either power bait or crawlers as the water moves very swiftly through that area. Horn sounded about 8:30 and the water shut off. Fishing did not. Either fly fishing with brightly colorer midges in the size 14 to 16 range under an indicator or TJ Full Micro Jigs in either Pink or Black, drifted on a spinning rod with a carrot float 6 ft. above the jig are working excellent.

There are at least 3 loads of very nice fresh fish that have been dumped off the Ramp at Cooper Creek, in the last two weeks in the area. Look for surface midging action and make your presentations there.

Be extremely careful below Cooper from there thru the docks as the lake has lots of submerged trees that are just under the surface down there.

Saw a boat parked up above Trout Hollow on Lilleys’ side and two persons were wade fishing across and below Short Creek. They had walked up the bank about 200 yards. and then waded out . Spoke to them at the ramp. They were in the middle of the lake, about knee deep stripping olive woolley buggers. Said it was unbelievable, caught about 50 each in 4 hrs. this morning. Said they had fished Taneycomo since the 1960’s and never had a morning like that. Also said they had never wade fished the middle of the lake below Short Creek before.

Great technique for the two guide boats this morning, was just drifting down the middle of the lake and making our presentations on the spinning rods and micros. Did see quite a few boats fly fishing and it seemed they were hooking up nicely. As Phil said, lots of fish in the 15 to 18 inch range. The wade fisherman told me they had two fish at 19 inches and loads of solid 16 inch fish. It is really pretty cool up there and the trees are just magnificent.

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