Lake Taneycomo

Lilleys’ Lake Taneycomo fishing report, July 20

Posted by Phil Lilley on July 20th, 2012
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This is Phil Lilley with the Lake Taneycomo fishing report.  Yes, it’s summer and yes, it’s hot but the mornings and evenings on our lake are quite pleasant.  Our water temperatures are hovering around 50 degrees so the temperatures on the water are very cool, almost cool enough for a sweatshirt, if you can believe that!

Generation has been pretty consistent everyday–they’re running 1 to 2 units starting about 3 p.m. and running it till about dark.

Each day is different.  Some mornings trout are moving around and looking for things to eat and some mornings they’re not hungry… just sitting there not paying attention to anything.  That’s fishing.  One thing that helps trout with their craving for food is movement.  If the water is moving all at, trout are usually looking around to see if there’s food involved.  Movement can come from the US Army Corp running water, but in our case, in the morning anyhow, we’re looking for the lake to”shift” or the wind blowing.

Yes, Lake Taneycomo shifts, ever so slightly at times.  Watch the leaves on the surface–you’ll see them moving up or down lake knowing they’re not releasing water from the dam.  You’ll see this more often further up lake, for instance around and above Fall Creek.  Shifting could be caused by water being release at Powersite Dam, the dam at the bottom of Lake Taneycomo, or it could be caused by water just moving–it just shifts sometimes.  Regardless, trout are sensitive to it and usually react positively to it.

Wind is our best friend.  If there’s a chop on the surface of the lake, fish are more apt to feed.  I’ve seen this time and time again–even this morning below the dam while fishing.  It was absolutely dead still early.  I could see almost every fish in front of me, like they were suspended in air, not water, and they weren’t moving at all.  If there was the slightest of movement in the lake (shifting) in front of me, I targeted that area.  And sure enough, when a breath of air blew through and disturbed the surface in the slightest, trout moved and I got a strike.  Too bad the wind didn’t blow much this morning!  I managed though.

Night crawlers are king!  So says most of our fishing guides who make their living putting their clients on fish.  Now there are some, mostly fly fishers, who would never stoop so low (said in jest) but to use a live worm but if everything else fails, there’s always the “inflated worm”.  Visiting with Bill Babler today about his fishing success this week, he said he had to rely on the inflated night crawler to bring trout to is boat several days.  He said Power Bait wasn’t doing it and neither was using jigs and micro jigs but most of the time our rainbows can’t resist a big juicy worm.

Why inject air?  To float it off the bottom so the fish can see it quicker and bite it harder!  And if you want to get more bites, tie on a piece of 2-pound line to the end of your line and attach the hook to it.  Bill said the water is so clear right now you can see a dime on the bottom of the lake in 20 feet of water – he tried it!  It cost him a dime though.

Babler said they’re catching rainbows in the Monkey Island area as well as below the Branson Landing out in front of the mouth of Roark Creek.  They’re also catching a few nice sized rainbows between Fall Creek and Short Creek.

The trophy area has been tough most days but not impossible.  Almost everyone has gone to using 6x or 7x fluorocarbon tippet up there because the water is so clear.  There seems to be a good school of rainbows in the Trophy Run area, the Lookout area and in the Narrows area.  They’ve also seemed to have migrated to deeper water, deeper holes especially after the sun gets up over the bluff.

If the surface of the lake is choppy and there’s some wind, try a jig and float, either a marabou 1/50th oz brown with an orange head or an olive micro jig under a float 4-5 feet deep.  Also try a #16 black, rusty or red Zebra Midge 3-4 feet deep.  There’s always current at the Narrows and next to Lookout Island.  That’s a great place to get out and wade.  Use #16 and #18 gray scuds and sow bugs, #20 to #24 thread midge or micro red or white San Juan worms.  If there’s a chop in these areas, strip a black or olive wooly, #10, or a #16 olive soft hackle.

Afternoons when the water is running, hit the bluff banks using hopper patterns.  They’ve started working very well.  I’ve been told even below Branson, blue gill and bass are hitting them very well.  Also working 1/8th oz marabou jigs along the bluff banks and deep channels.  Good colors have been olive, sculpin, brown/orange and black.

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