Lake Taneycomo

Lilley’s fishing report, 2/24/12

Posted by Phil Lilley on February 24th, 2012
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You cannot beat this weather!  The only thing potentially bad about it is that trees and flowers are starting to bud and bloom, and with the next freeze, it’ll stunt our spring growth, not to mention kill our fruit production.  I’ve also heard that white bass are starting to move and act like it’s April, and that’s not good either.  In years past, early warm weather followed by cold fronts stymied spawns, almost rendering them void.  As for our trout, it has very little effect on them, thankfully. The warm weekends have brought out the trout fishermen, that’s for sure!  In years past, I’ve seen Lake Taneycomo absolutely packed with boats on President’s Day Weekend, but since the elimination of so many resorts and marinas on the lake, it hasn’t been too bad.  Plus, warmwater fishing this winter has been very good, so bass fishermen who usually take a break and fish for trout are  sticking with big lakes and big bass this winter.

Trout fishing has really been good this week for most people.  There have been off days and lulls within each day, reported by our guides — who have been very busy.  Mornings when the water is running, it’s been a mixed bag.  If the dam is cranking the water — more than three units — it’s been tough.  Then when the water drops,  it happens fast and the trout don’t necessarily like that.  When the water starts, they move to their “water on” spots, and when it’s shut off, they move to their “water off” spots.  When the water drops out fast, I believe it rattles them; they have to move quicker than they like to and are not interested in a jig,  worm,  fly or  Gulp egg.  Once they get settled again, they’re back in the feeding mode.

Afternoons, it’s been bright and a little windy.  Wind is in the forecast.  Springtime means wind so we have to learn how to deal with it.  I’d rather have wind than no wind at all, as far as the fish biting.  But it makes it difficult to keep the bait, fly or lure in a good place to work it right.  I have one piece of advice for you — fish downwind. I fished  Tuesday morning while the water was dropping out.  I managed one drift out in front of the resort and caught three rainbows on white/orange Gulp eggs.  I drifted using a 1/8th-ounce  bell weight drift rig until the water got too slow for that weight.  Then above Short Creek where the water was still moving good (the lake is more shallow and narrow there),  I pinched on a split shot and tied a night crawler, missing two and catching three rainbows.  A heron thought I was serving fish for lunch!

Darin, a young man who works in the shop for us, went fly fishing the other day and sent me this report.  The water was off  (no generation.) Had a chance to go fishing for just a couple of hours today and decided to wade the Pointe Royale access.  There was only a couple other people there, and they had been doing well for most of the day.  They said they were doing the best on wine and copper midges and also on a copper dun midge.  They were fishing them on 6x fluorocarbon tippet about three feet below a small indicator.  They also had caught some on a black and olive woolly bugger letting it swing downstream and then stripping it back upstream in small fast strips.

I decided to fish a peach Miracle Fly on 5x fluorocarbon tippet under a palsa stick on indicator.  While fishing this you want the fly to be on the bottom.  I fished the main channel and caught a few small fish along with one that was about 17 inches, which was the biggest of the day.  I also fished on the back side of the island just above lookout bluff and there were only a few fish there, but I did manage to catch a few.  All in all it was a good day for the Miracle Fly.

Fishing last weekend with some friends, we used jig-and-float rigs, fishing a black micro under an indicator.  We found a bunch of nice rainbows below the Narrows against the chunk rock bank on the west side and fished that bank all the way down to Fall Creek.  Jig-and-float also worked above the Narrows to Lookout but fish were spotty up there.  There is a good scud bite on the flats and just off the flats in the channel above the Narrows in windy conditions in the afternoons.  Most evenings, there’s a midge bite just about everywhere on the lake, just look for the circles in the water.

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