Posted by Phil Lilley on July 26th, 2012
Here on Lake Taneycomo, every day is different . . . and every day is almost the same. The same in that it’s been generally hot and sunny, good for White Water and jet ski rentals and tough for theme park goers. But different in trout fishing methods and the varying conditions that dictate whether it’s a good catching day or a slow one.
There are plenty of rainbows in our lake, thanks to Shepherd of the Hills Hatchery and the federal hatchery in Neosho. Just getting them to eat is the issue most days. Weather conditions play a major part, as they have this past week, this past month.
You could say trout fishing has been tough this week, and you’d be right in some cases, but you could also say it’s been incredible — and you’d be right again. The bottom line is that if there’s a breeze at all and a chop on the water, our trout will bite. If there’s not, if the water is slick and clear, catching is tough. You get what the weather gives you. The heat actually doesn’t play a major part at all here.
I just saw a pontoon come in to our dock with a couple of men and four or five boys. They pulled all their rainbows out of the live well, hung them up on stringers and held them all up for a group photo. Estimating that there were six in the group, I figured there were 24 rainbows altogether — an impressive sight flashing their colors in the sun! Catching was good this morning for this group. Memories were made and captured on film.
Guide Bill Babler reported his clients caught more than 50 rainbows yesterday morning on a trip above Fall Creek on olive/orange head micro jigs under a float. He said the breeze was perfect and the trout responded accordingly. He said it’s been like that for the last month. Wind/chop equals catch lots of rainbows. Gray and ginger micro jigs have also done well, but remember to use two-pound line/tippet. Set the float about four-feet deep.
Fly fishing below the dam continues to be very good. Again, a chop on the water dictates the behavior of the trout and how to go about fishing for them. When you have that chop on the water, strip soft hackles (red, olive, black #18) and woolies (olive, purple, black #10) and try #16 black ants, #14 adams or #8 hoppers. With a glass surface (these also will work with choppy water), use scuds (#14 – #18 gray or mink), sow bugs (#16 – #18 olive), thread midges (#22 – #24 red or black), RS2s (#18, #20 olive), WD40s (#18, #20 cream), and San Juan worms (micro red, white, purple). Use 6x tippet if you’re fishing moving water like at the outlets, Rebar Hole or the chute below the ramp, but use 7x – 8x if you’re fishing still water. I recommend using fluorocarbon.
I’ve done well throwing hopper patterns late in the afternoon, but the water level has to be just right for it to be good. It appears that when the lake level is 706 to 707 feet, the run between Lookout and Fall Creek fishing the bluff side is perfect, and the trout are looking for bugs to come out of the grass and trees. They’ve been aggressive taking hoppers. Those trout are much larger than you’ll find taking other smaller lures and flies. But if the lake level is higher, the bite is usually not there. You have a better chance if the water is lower, but the best level is about 706 feet.
Hopper patterns that have been working are Rainy’s Hi Viz yellow, flesh or brown #8, Furimsky’s Hot Legs chartreuse #8, Goodman’s Mosh-pit tan hopper #8, and Doman’s Insect brown Hot Rod #6.
In the evenings when the dam is generating, one-eighth ounce marabou jigs have been working well, fishing from the dam down to Fall Creek and even farther down past Short Creek, working the deeper, channel water. Brown/orange, sculpin/ginger, olive, black and white are the best colors. Work them close to the bottom and slowly. Strikes have been fairly hard and aggressive.
Night fly fishing has picked up. The fog at night has been minimal, so it’s not as damp and cold as normal. Stripping woolybuggers (#8 – #10 black, olive, purple, white), leeches (#8 blood red, purple, black, ginger), articulated streamers (Galloup’s Dungeon (black, white, olive, natural), Circus Peanut (yellow, brown) and Galloup’s Bottom’s-up (cinnamon, olive, white, black). Some anglers are also throwing mice patterns, too.
Darin submitted the following yesterday:
The Southwestern Power Administration has not been running generators most mornings but running about one occasionally during the afternoon. The lake water temperature is hovering around 51 or 52 degrees with the air temperature hovering around 100 most afternoons.
Fly fishing up in the trophy area has been good because there’s been no generation in the mornings. The fish have been eating a few different flies. Midges have been working well as they do most of the time. Rusty, Primrose and Pearl or a Ruby Red midge have been the colors the fish have been hitting. These are fished under a Palsa on 6x or 7x tippet about 18 inches deep.
Below Fall Creek, out of the trophy area, worms injected with air have been the ticket. These are fished on the bottom just as you would for catfish, but the worm floats up just a little because of the air inside it. Orange and white Gulp or Powerbait have also been working well. If you are wanting to fish with a float, Trout Magnets and marabou jigs are the best choice. If you are using a Trout Magnet, any pinkish color will work as well as Sassy, Bison, and Salmon Fix. These are fished about seven- to eight-feet deep under a Trout Magnet EZ Float with about three foot of Trout Magnet Phantom 6x or 7x tippet.
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