Posted by Phil Lilley on October 10th, 2012
Trees along Lake Taneycomo are starting to turn their fall colors. Some have said we may not have a colorful autumn because of the low rainfall this summer, but I don’t think so. It’s looking like the beginnings of a beautiful fall season.
Very little generation lately. Mild temperatures dominate our days and colder ones our nights. Feels like brown trout season which normally happens later in October and November. Speaking of brown trout, we have seen a few nice browns in the upper lake, mostly small males but a few larger trout holding below Lookout. No reports of anyone catching any browns at night below the dam — yet.
No generation means easy access to wade anglers below the dam. There are lots of places to find trout and many ways to catch them. Hatchery outlets always will have a lot of trout holding in their flow, but those outlets will be crowded. Rebar chute will also be a hot spot. Anywhere there’s flow, fishing should be better. Scuds from size 14 to 24 will work. Other flies to try are San Juan worms, white or brown, thread or zebra midges in size 18, rusty, p&p and olive.
If fishing slower or dead water, drop the fly size and use thread midges, wd40′s, loop wing or RS2′s, #20 – #24 in red, olive or black. I use palsa indicators because they drop on the water quietly and are pulled under easily.
In choppy water, strip a soft hackle #18 in red, black, olive or copper or a crackleback #16 in red, yellow or green or a wooly #14 in olive, brown or black.
One suggestion: Look before wading in. You’ll probably see trout feeding very close to the bank, even in very shallow water. Scuds are known to swim along the edge of the water in big schools and fish know this. Stand and observe before wading in.
If the upper end of the lake below the dam gets too crowded, boating up to get out and wade is a great deal. You can get out and wade the island at Lookout, behind the island or walk/wade the shallow side of the lake down to the narrows and then on opposite side almost to Fall Creek. There is good midge fishing in the shallows and site scud fishing a little deeper out.
Depending on the day, conditions and fish-bite, the jig-and- float technique is working fairly well. The best jig has been a half micro, ginger. I saw Buster Loving’s client catch quite a few rainbows on a ginger micro this morning while on a guide trip. But I have heard that at times it’s been tough catching up there on jigs. Most days we’ve had a good chop on the water, making it better, but this morning it was dead calm and the fish bit really well.
I got out a couple of times this week so far. The other morning they kicked the water on for about an hour. I noticed the trout were midging hard up on the shallow side, so I took the boat over and set the motor in the gravel as an anchor. I fished a #18 primrose & pearl midge under a palsa six inches and caught a dozen rainbows, none very big. The water dropped on me and I had to get out and push the boat off the gavel. Almost had to pitch a tent and camp!
This morning I started at Lookout on the bluff bank. Trout were midging in close to the rocks on the bluff bank. I tried several dries – elk hair, black ant and stimulator with no takers, and the trout were still feeding like crazy. So I tied a #18 ugly zebra midge (olive body, black bead) under the stimulator six inches deep and targeted the rising trout. They didn’t go nuts over it, but I did start catching rainbows. Ended up with a couple of dozen before heading in about noon. They wanted it no more than three feet from the edge of the bank, in shallow water.
I’ve talked to several guests and guides and all say, as far as bait goes, night crawlers rule below Fall Creek. But most of our guides are fishing a jig and float below Fall Creek because they maintain they can catch more trout using jigs than using bait. There are a few “hot spots” I can share. Out in front of the River Pointe Estate boat ramp down to the mouth of Short Creek has been good. From Trout Hollow down to where Sun Valley used to be. The Cooper Creek flats and between the bridges and below the last bridge to the “Fish House” is holding a lot of rainbows. Some have done well trolling the old cow bells with a red worm.
Bill Babler and I this evening. Very calm, flat water, trout were midging but not real interested in what we were offering. But still caught a few.
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