Lake Taneycomo

Lilley’s fishing report, April 26

Posted by Phil Lilley on April 26th, 2012
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This is Phil Lilley with the Lake Taneycomo trout fishing report. ¬†Generation pattern changed this week from water running all the time to only during the mid to late afternoon until late at night. There’s been no generation every morning this week. Our trout have responded in a positive manner! When the U.S. Corps of Army Engineers has run water, it’s been two to three units — a pretty good flow. And there hasn’t been much time to reach the highest point, bringing the water on pretty fast. So if you’re wade fishing below the dam, you had better get off the water as soon as you hear the horn.

Our spring weather is starting to migrate to summer temperatures, and we’re starting to see some wind, which we’ve lacked this month. Wind, although it’s tougher to fish in, is good for the bite. Most fish like windy conditions because it chops up the surface of the water, making it darker down where they are. Plus, wind stirs up the water, moving bugs and nymphs around so that they’re easier to see and eat. You’ll see this more in shallow water than in deep water on Taneycomo. The worse fishing conditions are when there’s no wind at all and the surface becomes beautifully glassy. You can see the fish — but they can also see you!

Wade fishing below Table Rock Dam has been very good for most anglers. Most are fly fishing, using a variety of flies and methods. Red #18 zebra midge fished under an indicator has reportedly been catching 14- to 17-inch rainbows pretty consistently the last few days, while some have been casting and working olive or black #16 wooly buggers in choppy surface conditions. I’ve gotten one report of some topwater action, fishing small hoppers and ants from the Big Hole down to the boat ramp.

When the water is running, Jeremy Hunt has been banging the banks throwing big articulated streamers (fly fishing) for brown trout and doing well. He’s using a fly called Peanut Envy in a light- to medium-brown color. He offers guide service from a drift boat.

I’ve gotten out several times this week fly fishing up above Fall Creek in the trophy area. I’ve tried fishing the shallow side of the lake from Lookout down, targeting rainbows I can see and doing fair using zebra midges and scuds. I didn’t find one good color or size but had to change flies quite a bit. I did use 6x fluorocarbon tippet.

Guides are reporting catching good numbers but not necessarily good-sized rainbows throwing silver cleos and black rooster tails. They have also been fishing white thread jigs and black micro jigs under a float four- to five-feet deep.

I got out this morning with a friend. We started at 7 a.m. and boated to Lookout. No water running, no wind. We started throwing black 1/16th to 3/32nd-ounce jigs straight, with no float, toward the bluff bank. It was slow to start, but about 8 a.m. they started feeding on the surface and hitting our jigs. We moved and fished all the way to Fall Creek, taking three hours to do so. All the way down we caught trout, all rainbows except one small brown. It didn’t seem to make any difference how we worked our jigs — they were attacking them.

Down below Fall Creek, people are anchoring and fishing bait — and catching their limits. Most are still fishing PowerBait Gulp eggs, using two colors on one hook, a white and one other color. Four-pound line is fine but two-pound is better. Throwing or trolling cleos or in-line spinners are working, too, especially when the wind is blowing.

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