Lake Taneycomo

Lilleys’ Lake Taneycomo fishing report, October 30

Posted by Phil Lilley on October 30th, 2013
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It’s been a long time coming but here’s the latest for upper Taneycomo. Trees right now are at their peak but the rain forecasted tonight might drop most of their leaves to the ground. It will still be beautiful tomorrow. I actually like late fall when there’s only a few bright colored leaves left of the trees on the bluff. They will offer a great contrast.

Fall trout fishing can be frickle, and that’s what it’s been. Our guides are reporting good catches starting at daylight for about 2 hours and then it gets slow. Then later in the day, toward dusk, catching picks up again.

Generation has also been fickle. Up to this week they were running water from daylight till dark at various rates but this week they’re leaving the water off in the mornings and running from half to a full unit in the afternoons.

The US Corp of Engineers at Table Rock are scheduled to work on a turbine at the dam on Tuesday, November 5th. To get to the area of the turbine that needs repair, the water level on Lake Taneycomo needs to be dropped to an elevation of 697 feet, 4 feet below it’s normal level.

Here’s a schedule sent to me by Empire Electric who is in charge of Taneycomo’s lower dam, Powersite Dam. They will be drawing the lake down to this level starting Monday, November 4th.

1. Operate Taneycomo as normal until 9:00 a.m. November 4.

2. Our dispatchers (Empire Electric) will then use generation and gates to bring Taneycomo’s elevation to 697.00 by 5:00 a.m. on November 5.

3. Table Rock will use the house generator to wet the upper end during the work.

4. Work is estimated to take approximately 5 hours, beginning at 6:30 a.m.

5. Once work is complete, Table Rock generation is to resume as soon as possible to recharge Taneycomo.

This draw down is not a new occurrence on our lake. It’s been done quite a few times in the past 20 years.

Below Fall Creek, air injected night crawlers is the best bait to use for catching rainbows. Fish the middle to shallow side of the lake from Fall to Short Creek and down past Trout Hollow.

Second best is using a small jig head baited with 2 Gulp Eggs, one white and one pink. Use super glue to hold the eggs on the hook. Fish this under a float 4 to 6 feet deep using 2 to 4 pound line. Jig head can to from 1/80th to 1/32nd ounce.

Next, Gulp Eggs on the bottom using a white and either pink or orange, 2 eggs on a hook. Fish them on the bottom using 4 pound line.

Trolling is difficult because of the all the leaves on the water’s surface. Casting spoons is too but if the leaves aren’t too bad, try throwing a silver Cleo and keep it close to the surface, especially if you see trout rising for midges.

Above Fall Creek, white 1/8th or 3/32nd ounce jigs worked off the bottom when the water is running has caught some nice browns the last few weeks, especially if you can get to the cable and drift down past the boat ramp. Rainbows are also taking them. Some of the guides are throwing stick baits same area and catching a few big browns. Early and late while the water is running.


I’m also catching a few rainbows casting Stimulators against the bluff bank, under trees and against the rocks.  Size #6 in various colors and styles.

Steve Dickey reported his clients are catching about 15 trout each the first 2 hours of the day drifting from Rebar Hole down to the boat ramp either in the mornings (when the water is running) and in the evening using eggs flies and scuds. Steve uses a drop shot weight – a 1/16th ounce which I guess are hard to find. He buys his at Bass Pro. We’re looking for some. He says they don’t hang up on the bottom as bad a bell and split shots.

Flies: #14 and #16 gray or olive scuds, peach or yellow eggs flies and cerise or pink San Juan Worms.

When the water is off, wade fishing below the dam has been very good. Zebra Midge- #16 and #18 Rusty’s, P&P’s and black with gold beads, #18’s and #20’s. Soft Hackles in red or yellow, #14’s and #16’s and Cracklebacks in yellow or white #16’s.

Beads or eggs flies are working in the faster water.

Night fishing below the dam is still very good. Leeches in black, blood red and purple as well as Muddlers fished below or on the surface.

Fishing out of a boat in the trophy area with the water off: Jig and float using either a black or olive micro jig fished 4 to 5 feet deep, 6 or 7x tippet. You can drop a #16 Zebra Midge under the jig as a dropper.

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