Lake Taneycomo

Lilleys’ Lake Taneycomo fishing report, Nov. 15

Posted by Phil Lilley on November 15th, 2013
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The leaves have all fallen and we’ve had our first hard freeze. Yep . . . winter is right around the corner! I believe some great trout fishing is around the corner, too, here on Lake Taneycomo.

Generation has slowed to a crawl.  Almost two units have been running early in the morning, but that generation has been off by 10 a.m.. It has stayed off the rest of the day with a bump after dark for less than two hours. My guess is that this will be the weekday pattern for a while with probably less generation, if any at all, on weekends.

Trout fishing has been pretty good for most people boating, but dock fishing has been only fair. Most fish a large part of the day to net their limit of four trout off the dock, but they’re catching rainbows on a variety of Power Bait and night crawlers. Our water is not really clear, so four- pound line is okay, but two-pound is better. That goes for the whole lake, not just off the dock.

We’ve had some wind, which is good. Choppy conditions are always good for fish biting. Some anglers have done well going down lake from the resort and fishing a pink Trout Magnet under a float five-feet deep.  They have also put on a Gulp pink egg on a small jig head hook, fishing it five-feet deep under a float.

A lot of people are boating up to the mouth of Fall Creek and fishing either night crawlers or Power Bait and catching quite a few rainbows. The few times I’ve been out the last couple of weeks, I’ve noticed a lot of boats cheating past the line and using bait in the restricted area. Now I really don’t know how much of a stickler our agents are on the line at Fall Creek, but a $150 ticket isn’t worth 50 feet, I would think. Those trout just above the line aren’t any bigger than the ones just below the line.

I’ve heard that many anglers mistake where Fall Creek exactly flows into the lake. It enters Taneycomo from the west or right side if you’re looking upstream from Fall Creek’s dock. There’s a slew that looks like a creek on the left side, farther up lake from Fall Creek, which some boaters think is Fall Creek. That could be an expensive assumption.

The mouth of Fall Creek is marked by a big sign placed by the Missouri Department of Conservation identifying the bottom boundary of the restricted area.

Above Fall Creek, if you are there when the water is running early in the morning, throw a 3/32nd-ounce white jig from the dam down to the MDC boat ramp. There are still a few big browns up there.  You can also work a medium stick bait like a Rapala or Rouge or drift an egg fly on the bottom. These trout have seen quite a few eggs laid by browns, and now rainbows are starting to spawn.

When the water stops, fish a jig and float on two-pound line and fish it four- to six-feet deep, depending on how deep the water is.

There was hardly anyone else on the lake Thursday afternoon when I was out for a few hours.  I boated up past Fall Creek, past the Narrows and started there,planning  to try many variations to find the what the fish fancy.  I started with darker colored jigs under a float, 6x tippet. The trout didn’t want any of them. So I put on a brown with an orange head jig and they liked it. I switched to a black/brown, black head and — nothing. Then sculpin/ginger, brown head was a hit.  A pattern was emerging — they wanted something with a light or bright color. Ginger, sculpin/peach, even pink, was hot.

There was a fairly good chop on the water most of the time, but when the wind died, so did the bite. I caught most of my fish below the Narrows in the deeper water down closer to where the condos start.

Trout were midging on the east or shallow bank there, so after catching my last jig rainbow, I tied on a #16 Ugly Midge (green body) and a palsa float only 12 inches from the fly and started working those feeding rainbows.

I had great action for the next 30 minutes. I didn’t want to change flies, because as soon as I cast the zebra in close to a rise, the float would take off and I would hook another rainbow. These trout were quite a bit bigger than the ones caught on the jig out in the deeper water, too, but nothing longer than 14 inches.

This is the bank where I caught trout on zebra midges.  It’s always a great bank because there’s deep water close to this shallow gravel bar.  Rainbows come up on it and eat both scuds and midges.

I took pictures of the rainbows I caught on a different colored jigs and then a few on the midge. It’s always hard to stop and take time for photos when the fishing is as good as it was Thursday evening.

I have heard reports that fishing below the dam, wading and fly fishing, has been very good.  As I said, there are still a few browns up there, but the spawning rainbows are starting to show up in good numbers and size. I was told they’re keying in on egg flies really well.  Just let the egg flies sink slowly without weight and let them drift in the slow current. If there is current, add just a tiny split shot. Around the outlets, of course, fishing is the hottest, but it’s very hard not to snag fish because there are just so many stacked in on top of one another (I am referring to the trout, but, yes,  anglers can get stacked up in the outlets, too).

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