Lake Taneycomo

Lilley’s Lake Taneycomo fishing report, February 27

Posted by Phil Lilley on February 27th, 2013
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Winter is hanging on . . . actually it seems like it just arrived!  Snow, well some sleet and thunder showers here, but no snow yet!  But colder temperatures and a bit breezy makes tough fishing conditions.  But trout don’t mind.  They like it!

Trout fishing has steadily improved as winter goes by.  What I consider to be our “trout opening” was the first weekend in January when our Boswell group came and fished.  No one was impressed with the number or size of our trout that weekend but since we’ve seen better rainbows caught and more of them.  But we aren’t seeing as many good rainbows (15 to 18 inch) as we did in 2012.  Why?  Not sure.  But it is what it is.

This last weekend, we hosted our last winter trout tournament.  At the weigh in, we saw quite a few nice  pound to pound-and-a-half rainbows brought in and weighed.  Most of these were males, sporting dark colors and a hooked lower jaw.   Our Shepherd of the Hills Hatchery does stock male rainbows, and this is the time of year our rainbows spawn, so it’s normal to see them, just not quite this big.

Most of the trout caught in the tournament were caught on jigs.  I talked to quite a few participants and they were throwing earth-colored 1/16th to 1/8th-ounce jigs straight, without a float.  The largest rainbow was caught on a white jig and he caught it early in the day down by the railroad bridge.  A hot area where they found good rainbows was between Short Creek down through the docks to where the old Sun Valley dock used to be and fishing the dock side of the lake.  Colors:  ginger, olive, olive/sculpin, tri-olive, sculpin/ginger, black and white.

Capt. Bill Babler had a great trip on Monday, fishing primarily with night crawlers, with one unit running, drifting from Fall Creek past Short Creek.  His clients caught rainbows and a few browns regularly for their six-hour guide trip.  When the water is running, you don’t need to inject air in the worms.

A gentleman last week found crappie down at the Landing.  He fished a minnow under a float and drifted in 10 to 15 feet of water.  He said he caught some nice crappie and a few bass, too, along with trout.  I went down there yesterday and ended up trolling a 1/16th oz head with a purple swimming minnow and caught one nice crappie, missed two more and caught three rainbows.  It was windy and cold!  I tried to stay within 50 feet of the Landing wall.

Fly fishing below the dam has been very good.  Scuds and sow bugs worked on the bottom, #12 to #20’s in tans, olive and grays.  On the flats, use a #16 rusty, P&P or ugly zebra midge under a palsa float 6 to 24 inches deep, depending on the depth of water.  I drove up to the dam this morning and fished from the bank just above the MDC boat ramp for an hour.  It was cold and windy, but I caught several very nice rainbows on a #16 rusty midge under a palsa six inches deep.  They were midging even in the heavy chop.

The Rebar area has produced some great rainbows this past couple of weeks.  The veterans here have been using a tandem rig that includes a scud and soft hackle tied about 24 inches apart.  Use the soft hackle below the scud.  Also try a San Juan worm or a Mega worm in the fast water.  When fishing the chute at Rebar, don’t pass over the fast, shallow looking water towards the end of the chute.  This is holding some very nice trout.

If there is a chop on the surface, as there was this morning, strip and swing a soft hackle.  Use lime green, red, black or pearl colors in size #14 to #18’s.

In the trophy area above Fall Creek, jig-and-float is working very well.  Most of us use two-pound Vanish which is a fluorocarbon line.  It disappears in the water better than regular mono filament.  We’re setting the float four- to six-feet deep, depending on the depth of water we’re fishing and using small marabou and micro jigs.  Marabou jigs:  1/125th to 1/64th-ounce in brown/orange head, sculpin/orange head (best), ginger, sculpin, olive, black and white.  Micro:  Half micros olive/orange head, ginger, gray/chrome head.  If the water is running, use a full micro, pink/chrome head.

Jig-and-float also works well below Fall Creek, anywhere in the main lake.  You might set the depth of the jig a little deeper.

Also use a Miracle fly under an indicator.  This is a egg pattern developed by Jeremy Hunt.  The best colors have been Oregon cheese and peach.

Here’s a night fly fishing report by Duane Doty who fished last night:

We got down there at 8 and went straight to the old KOA area to start. It was cold. It was windy. It was dark and the fish were hungry. We fished down there until about 11 and easily landed 35+ fish each. Bites on white mink sculpins on every drift. Did I mention it was cold?  Needed a finger warm-up break so we jumped in the truck and headed up to fish the rebar hole around 11. Both my buddy and I caught several more in that area on white mink and black pine squirrel. It just so happened to be cold there, too. About midnight we took another warm-up and snack break then headed to the flats between outlets one and two. We finished the night there with another dozen or so fish each. Most fish all night were in the 10- to 13-inch range. A few in the 15- to 17-inch range and one nice one pushing 19 inches.


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