Lake Taneycomo

Lilley’s Lake Taneycomo fishing report, May 24

Posted by Phil Lilley on May 24th, 2013
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Like most of the country, we’ve had some strange weather lately, but it looks like it’s leveled out for a beautiful Memorial Weekend and  the week following.

Generation patterns have been fairly constant.  Table Rock and Beaver lakes, both just above power pool levels, are dropping slowly.  It’s hard to predict what the U.S. Corps of Army Engineers will run this weekend, but I will bet it won’t be more water — if anything, it will be less.

One unit has been running in the morning building to 2+ in the afternoon.  Water temperature has held steady at 46 degrees, which is nice.  Usually this time of year we see it drop into the lower 40’s which  doesn’t thrill the trout.  We also usually see a great deal of moss flowing from Table Rock through the dam which we haven’t seen either.  Both are positives.  We just need to tell the trout  . . . they haven’t been very cooperative lately.

“Catching”has been slow the last week or so.  For some anglers, it’s taking several hours to catch their limits.  A few are coming back empty handed.  There are success stories, though, and I wanted to key in on some of them.

I realize that a lot of people don’t like to go above the mouth of Fall Creek, but, honestly, right now that’s where the best concentration of trout is.  Now you know you can’t use Gulp Power Bait or worms or corn up there, but you can use scuds and egg flies, jigs and small crank baits.  Take a drift rig and cut off the hook.  Replace it with a #16 gray scud (ask us in the fly shop what a scud is) and drift it instead of bait.  I think you’ll be surprised.

Remember the other thing you can’t do is keep every rainbow you catch.  The size restriction above Fall Creek requires you to  release rainbows from 12 to 20 inches.  An 11-1/2 inch rainbow isn’t anything to sneeze at!  And it’s better to catch and release nice rainbows and keep average size trout than to not catch anything!!

Please don’t take this information, fish above Fall Creek and poach rainbows in the slot (12 to 20 inches).  Take a picture, handle them with care and release them to be caught again.

Details:  You don’t have to go far above Fall Creek to drift over some good spots.  You’ll notice about 1/2 mile up the water, if it’s running, will be very fast and choppy.  That’s a big shoal with the channel or deep part on your left.  Stay to the left of center and you’ll be fine.  You’ll see some trees that have been cut close to the water’s edge on the left bank.  Motor up another mile to Lookout Island (big white house on the right) and start drifting.  Stay in the middle of the lake and drift all the way to Fall Creek.  Depending on how much water is running, use a small to medium bell weight, 1/4 to 5/16 ounce.

Flies:  Use a #16 gray scud with another attractor fly like an egg fly or San Juan worm in a bright color.  Our guides have gone to a #16, which is small for  running water instead of a #14 or even a #12, because the trout have keyed in on smaller scuds this past week.  Another lure you can try, but a little more costly if lost, is a small floating crank bait.  Trout Magnet makes such an animal at a relatively low cost.  Use the clear or “Hawk” or a Rainbow color.  You can also use a Rebel, blue/silver minnow F-5 floating crank bait.  These actually work better drifting them below the dam, but they will catch trout anywhere when drifted off the bottom.

The jig-and-float technique also works well, using either a 1/32nd-ounce marabou jig or a full micro jig.  Depending on how much water is running, you need to get it down to the bottom.  Micro jig colors are pink/chrome head and olive/gold head.  Marabou, I’d try white, olive and ginger plus brown with an orange head.

Steve Dickey has a good Youtube video on his slip float technique that he’s been using lately and doing very well.  You might want to watch and give it a try.

Throwing marabou jigs straight has been fairly to good, depending on where you’re fishing and who you talk to.  We had six guys, good jig fishermen, last weekend catch and release more than 400 trout in the trophy area on Saturday alone.  Their best colors were white, sculpin, sculpin/ginger, ginger and olive.  They used mostly 3/32nd-ounce jigs but also used 1/8th-ounce jigs.

Below Fall Creek, you have to work for your dinner. There are pockets of rainbows here and there.  They seem to move almost every day, but the better schools are just below Fall Creek, just above and through the Short Creek area, down through Trout Hollow, the Cooper Creek area and Monkey Island.  We’ve been drifting Gulp Power Bait, using  white/pink or white/orange combinations.  I’ve been running a white egg up the line, pinching a night crawler in half and hooking it in the middle, letting it hang off both sides, then dropping the egg on top of the worm to make it float off the bottom.

There’s an eddy on the bank just up from and across the lake from Trout Hollow.  I let my boat drift up against the bank in that eddy and toss either Gulp eggs or the worm/egg combo in the current and let it swing into the slower water.  This caught several nice rainbows yesterday.  There seems to be a good school holding in this slower water.  You also might find other slow water against banks where trout are holding and do the same.

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