Posted by Phil Lilley on August 24th, 2012
Not much has changed this week compared to the last couple of weeks here on Lake Taneycomo. Generation pattern is the same most days–running 25 to 50 megawatts (up to one unit) of power starting anywhere from 3 to 5 p.m. until dark or a little after dark. The last two weekends, the U.S. Corps of Army Engineers has run 25 mw of power all day and night, Saturday and Sunday. For what we reason, we don’t know, but the flow has been nice for everyone except those wanting to wade below the dam. You could still wade and fish but in far fewer areas.
First I’ll talk about fishing the slow flow, 25 megawatts or a half unit of water. This raises the lake about two to three feet just below the dam, about 18 inches at Fall Creek with hardly a raise at all at Cooper Creek access. The flow of water below the dam is fast, leaving pockets of slow water along the banks. At Lookout and below, the flow is steady but not fast. The water along the bluff bank is slow in some stretches but eddied with no flow in most spots. Most of the current is in the middle of the lake. The Narrows area is fast but shallow. The water picks up again at the mouth of Fall Creek but slows considerably from there down. At Lilleys’ Landing, it’s barely moving.
Starting at the dam, by boat, you can run up and get to the Rebar Hole, but getting past this point takes time and effort. The water is still shallow and fast until you get up close to outlet #1 where it deepens. You’ll be surprised how many trout you’ll see up in this area holding in the current. We threw jigs up there last evening and caught a few rainbows, but they shut the turbines down on us before we could figure out a good pattern. Floating a jig, a Zebra midge or a beaded scud under an indicator would be good up in this area down to Rebar. If there’s a chop on the water, stripping a soft hackle or wooly or drifting a hopper, beetle or ant along the south bank would be good.
Watch out for the boulders both when running upstream and drifting back down.
From Rebar down, work a 3/32nd or 1/16th-ounce jig, sculpin, brown/orange, ginger or olive jig off the bottom. This is especially good in the Trophy Run area. Drifting a #12 brown or gray scud with an egg fly, spinning gear using just a small split shot to get it down works well. With anything you’re throwing, two-pound line is best, 6x tippet if using a fly rod. We fished a 1/50th-ounce marabou jig under a float about the depth of the water we fished from Rebar down through Trophy Run last evening and caught some nice rainbows.
The hopper bite has slowed some, mainly because the conditions haven’t been right. For it to be effective, we need at least one full unit running and/or some good wind making waves. If conditions are not ideal, we have been dropping in size to ants and beetles and doing fairly well.
Below Fall Creek, drift with night crawlers or Powerbait Gulp Eggs. I’d still inject air into the worms to float them off the bottom. Only use enough weight to get your bait to the bottom. Too much weight will get you snagged more often, and you won’t be able to feel the bite as well. You can anchor in slower current, off to the sides of the lake. Always anchor off the front of your boat, never off the side or back, and always have a knife ready in case you need to cut the rope if you get in trouble.
When there’s no generation, mornings are a little tough. Mornings have been very still, no wind. Our water is still very clear and cold – 49 degrees. Again, you’ll do better if you use two-pound line when using bait. Just tie on a three-foot piece of line to your line and tie your hook to the two-pound line. Attach the two lines using a triple surgeon’s knot. It’s easy to tie.
Triple Surgeon’s Knot — This animation shows only a double knot. Run the tag end and tippet through one more time to make if a triple knot.
Our jig- and-float technique has been working fairly good early. Try the bank across from Trout Hollow down almost to Lilleys’ Landing using a brown/orange/orange head under a float five-feet deep. Use two-pound line or tippet. Jerk the float every five to eight seconds and then leave it alone. Watch for slight movement and set the hook fast. Also, ginger-colored micro jigs have been working well, especially early up in the trophy area. Again, the trout don’t like a lot of movement but they like some.
If you see trout midging or dimpling the surface of the water, tie on a Zebra midge and fish it 12 inches under a float (palsa). Target the fish feeding on midges. The best one has been a rusty or black Zebra #16 or #18. Trout usually midge early and late in the day.
For fly fishing below the dam when the water is off — there are lots of very nice rainbows and a few browns now below the dam. I’ve been fishing from the Big Hole down to the tower or where the horn is on the north side of the lake above the ramp. If the wind isn’t blowing, I’m sight fishing for rainbows using a single palsa, long leaders and a #18 rusty, red or black Zebra fished about 18 inches deep. I’ve also been using a #18 trout crack scud or a #22 red thread midge — using 7x fluorocarbon tippet. If there a chop on the water, I tie on a #16 black Rainy’s HiViz ant and the trout been taking it pretty well.
Leave a Comment