Lake Taneycomo

Lilley’s Lake Taneycomo fishing report, December 8

Posted by Phil Lilley on December 8th, 2012
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Our weather has been unseasonably warm so far in December, but it looks like there’s a change around the corner.  Not a huge cold front, but it’s going to end the spring-like temperatures we’ve had.  I think it will make our trout fishing better.

Generation patterns have been the same with water running on colder mornings and off until late in the day.  But this doesn’t hold true on every occasion.  The bottom line is there is not a lot of running water.  Table Rock is very low as are all the lakes in the White River chain.  Water quality remains good except for the clarity — but again that helps fishing.

Table Rock Lake has not turned over.  It has to turn very cold and stay cold for it to turn.  But as I said, the lake water quality is good, so we really don’t have to depend on it turning for the fishing to be good.  Water temperature is still about 47 degrees.

We’re seeing big midge hatches all through the day now.  Trout are up feeding on these bugs as they skim across the surface of the lake drying their wings.  In some areas you’ll see hundreds of dimples created by trout nosing up to pick off these small insects right and left.  With a good soft cast and light two-pound tippet, a very small, light weight float and a #18 primrose & pearl zebra midge set eight inches below the float will catch these feeding trout almost every time.

I’ve been doing well fishing with a spin cast using a jig and float rig but using a miracle fly instead of a jig under the float.  This is an egg fly tied on a small jig hook tied by Jeremy Hunt.  Even if there’s not much wind, they seem to like it over a micro jig in some cases.  I fished it above the goal poles (the two trees in the water just above Trout Hollow) on the flats there about four-feet deep.  With no wind and no chop, they took it very aggressively, and I caught some pretty nice rainbows with it.  I used a Oregon cheese color this morning.

Guides are still doing well fly fishing above and below Fall Creek using micro jigs in ginger and olive under a float four-feet deep.  It’s best to find chop on the surface for better action.  Scuds are working up close to the bank on gravel flats in shallow water.  The best color has been light blond.

There’s a tree lying in the water with gravel piled up below it just above Fall Creek where I found a bunch of blue gill and trout up shallow.  I caught them on the blond scuds.  It was fun seeing them come running at the fly after it dropped in the water on the cast and/or after working it, making it swim.  One more twitch and they’d hammer it.  Blue gills aren’t that big, but they are fun to catch.

Bill Babler, one of our guides, is still doing well catching trout using a 1/100th-ounce jig head on a Gulp Egg and fishing it under a float four-to five-feet deep.  Of course you have to use this below Fall Creek.

A few times I have noticed  boats anchored from 30 to 100 yards up past the mouth of Fall Creek with anglers fishing live bait.  I believe anglers sometimes get mixed up where Fall Creek comes into the lake.  There’s a slough on the east side of the lake that looks likes a new stream entering the lake, but Fall Creek enters on the west side just above Fall Creek Marina’s dock.  You have to be below the upper side of the mouth and fishing/casting downstream to be legally fishing bait.  Just fishing a few feet on the wrong side could cost your some big bucks!  Believe me, the fishing isn’t any better 10 yards above the mouth and certainly not worth the money of a fine.

The outlook through the holidays is very good, that’s, of course if this weather holds.  Rain is needed and won’t affect flows or fishing from now until the end of the month.  Table Rock has almost 10 feet to make up, just to get to power pool.  Rain will actually help, I think, because any hard rain will wash a lot of food into the lake — and that means night crawlers and san juan worms will be hot baits.  Cold weather will help, too, since Table Rock has not turned over yet.  Cold, windy weather is what’s needed to make this happen.  Every year we look forward to this event because it improves the oxygen in the water coming through Table Rock dam.  This fall, however,  our water quality and temperature has been pretty good. It hasn’t had negative effect on the trout or fishing (catching).

We’re looking forward to our winter trout fishing season with the Christmas break being our “opener” followed by our trout fishing tournaments.  I’ve always said the best fishing on Lake Taneycomo is in the dead of winter!


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