Lake Taneycomo

Tiny midges and 7x

Posted by Phil Lilley on July 5th, 2012
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I found something yesterday that caught trout pretty readily on upper Lake Taneycomo in what I would consider the worse conditions. May be it was just the hour I fished and it wouldn’t work that well other times… but it makes sense from what I was seeing–the activity and movement of the trout.

Worse conditions: Bright sun, very clear, shallow water and no wind but there was a slight current.

I could see the trout and they could see me.

Water on the flat I was fishing was 2-3 feet deep. Moss covered, bedrock bottom with little gravel.

Some of the rainbows were cruising in packs of 2’s and 3’s and some were stationary. All were moving and feeding under the surface and in the film.

I visited with Brad Wright this morning and he thought they were feeding on midge pupa, olive or yellow and size #30. I’ve pumped the stomachs of rainbows feeding in this manner in the past and found exactly this pattern in large numbers.

Yesterday, after catching a few rainbows on dries (black ant and an Adams), I thought I’d try fooling them with something subsurface. Tied on 7x fluorocarbon and a #22 black thread midge and pinched on a white half palsa 24 inches above the fly, no weigh. I made sure the fly would sink before making the first cast.

When casting over these spooky fish, I made my cast high over the water and let the line fall softly on the water. Even then, trout would sometime scatter. But with a slight movement in the lake, the rig floated over more rainbows ready to take the fly and run.

The strike was fairly obvious–the indicator would move when a fish had taken the midge.

I had at least a strike on every drift yesterday and landed 7 rainbows in less than an hour. These are great numbers for tough conditions.

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