Lake Taneycomo

Lilleys’ Lake Taneycomo fishing report, September 15

Posted by Phil Lilley on September 17th, 2012
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Generation patterns have remained the same on Lake Taneycomo —  they haven’t really changed in more than three weeks.  Three or four days a week, the U.S. Corps of Army Engineers  runs from a  half to a full unit, 24 hours a day.  The other days, the water has been off until about 3 p.m. when one to 1-1/2 units are then running until dark.  The targeted days have changed every week.  We’ve had some good days of rain, soaking rains, and the forecast is for more this coming week.  It’s not going to affect lake levels much, nor is it going to change the way the Corps is running water.  We should have mild temperatures for this week, too,  a nice intro to the fall season.

Trout fishing also hasn’t varied much in the last few weeks.  Catching is good, with most anglers catching at least their limits each day.  We trust they’re keeping only their limit, if they’re keeping fish, and practicing responsible catch-and-release  the rest of their day.  I tell our guests on our dock it’s like this:  You hope the anglers who fished before you got here stay within the law so you have fish to catch  — and you should do the same for the anglers who come after you.

Night crawlers are the premium bait.  One guest came into the office the other day and reported he could only catch trout on worms — as if he was disappointed.  It’s funny how people think sometimes.  He was catching — and that’s a good thing.  Shoot some air into the head of a worm, hook the middle and pinch the tail off.  Set the weight about 18 inches from the hook, throw it out and be patient.  Enjoy the outdoors.

PowrBait Gulp eggs.  I ran a merchandise report the other day.  We sell white eggs two to one over any other color.  The next most popular are orange, pink and chartreuse.  White seems to be the neutralizing color for trout.  They like it.  Our guides are still putting a couple of eggs on a jig hook and using that under a floatfive-feet deep, fishing from Lilleys’ Landing down to the Branson Landing.  The Cooper Creek flats are still pretty hot.  Trout Magnets are still a good go-to technique, too.  Pink is the hot color.

Our guides are also using a jig-and-float below and above Fall Creek; either area is good.  Micros are best with olive/orange head and ginger colors; a grey/chrome head has done pretty well, too.  They’re using two-pound fluorocarbon as tippet, mostly the Vanish brand.  Someone asked me if I use a barrel swivel to connect the two lines when not using straight two-pound on the reel.  I told him I didn’t —  but Bill Babler does, so it’s okay.  I use a triple surgeon’s knot to connect my line to the tippet and use about three feet.  Fish the jig three- to six- feet deep, depending on the depth of water.  You need to be within a foot of the bottom usually, but you can play with the distance until you find the right depth.

I’ve been doing some fly fishing, wading below the dam with the water running and when it’s off.  I’ve played around with some trout worms made with a puffy yarn Tim Homesley found last spring.  I’ve been told it’s called a “baby blanket worm.”  It is asnsoft as a baby’s bottom, I think.  Not sure what the trout think it is, but they like it.  The worm floats and moves really well through the water and when twitched,  triggers a take.  It’s good around the outlets as well as in any area of moving water like Rebar, the Gauntlet and Rocking Chair.  I’ve used it the last couple of evenings above the Missouri Department of Conservation boat ramp from the bank during generation, drifting it with and without a float.

I’ve heard of a big brown being sighted around the outlets the last couple of days but no numbers of browns yet.  It is time . . . but we haven’t had a normal spawn run in years.  It seems the season has retreated later into the fall.  We’ll see.

Zebra midges in  rusty, primrose and pearl and black, #16 and #18, have been working really in many places in the lake but especially in the trophy area.  If trout are midging or dimpling the surface, set a small float only 12 inches from the fly and target the rise.  If there’s no surface activity, set the float at three to four feet and work the area well.  Scuds, trout crack in tan #18 and #20’s worked well this weekend for some people fishing here from St. Louis.  The group was part of an outing from the Ozark Fly Fishers FFF club.  Soft hackles, red, yellow #16 and cracklebacks #16 red and orange worked well either when there was a chop on the water or when there wasn’t.  The rain acted as a chop Friday and Saturday.  Trout also hit a black or olive wooly bugger #10.

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