Lake Taneycomo

Lilleys’ Lake Taneycomo fishing report, December 9

Posted by Phil Lilley on December 10th, 2013
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December 9 Taneycomo Rainbow 1

Winter has made quite an entrance in Branson, adding to the festive Christmas decor.  I don’t know what the official snowfall count is in town, but here at Lilleys’ Landing it measured more than nine inches before settling down a bit.  It was a light, fluffy snow, but we still had to push snow off our docks to keep them from flipping.  Lots of shoveling and salting, but I think we’re over the hump.

How’s that affect trout fishing?  Well, the cold temperatures helped Table Rock to turn over, sending good oxygenated water into Taneycomo.  The U.S. Corps of Army Engineers has been generating every day for the last couple of weeks, taking advantage of the lifted restriction on generation.  Our trout are feeling the effects, too, striking and fighting much harder than just a couple of weeks ago.

December 9 Ice in Guides

To tell the truth, there haven’t been many anglers on the lake the last couple of weeks.  Even Thanksgiving weekend was light on boat traffic, and fishing was only fair — except for one report by Rick Lisek on the holiday weekend.  Rick told me, ” The big ones were hungry today.”  His client landed several lunker rainbows drifting a red San Juan worm, a peach egg fly and a gray scud up below the dam.

I will say, that if you’re going to drift a fly or tandem of two flies, it’s best to drift them when more than one unit is running.  If one unit or less is running, use a float, regardless whether you’re using a fly rod or spin rod.  Flies tend to drag the bottom, picking up moss, when drifting in slower water. In faster water, the fly stays up over the rocks and stays cleaner.

December 9 Taneycomo Dickey

I fished the other day with Steve Dickey, late in the afternoon.  A couple of units were running, but the wind was blowing uplake and throwing a jig was tough for me.  Steve brought his bait cast rod and reel along with some big stick baits.  He and I both caught a couple rainbows but nothing to brag about.

Marsha and I boated a long way yesterday to fish for an hour (across the lake) amid the beauty of the frosted trees and hillsides.  Less than two units were running with the water barely moving.  The rainbows were visibly midging but were not interested in my jigs or Trout Magnets.  I didn’t take any flies with me.  Marsha threw a small stick bait.  Neither one of us caught anything.

But today I boated up to the stump at Rebar (below the dam about a fourth mile) and gave myself enough time to try a lot of patterns.  Only one unit was running with very little wind.

I found big schools of rainbows in most of the eddies, aggressively taking something off the surface.  I threw a #16 black zebra under a palsa 12 inches deep at them and caught them at will — small freshly stocked rainbows.

I tried 1/8th-ounce sculpin jig and got lots of short strikes.  After I added a little ginger to a sculpin jig, they got a little more greedy.  I hooked more with the ginger but nothing really big.  Tried a small 1/50th-ounce brown jig and an orange head and — nothing.  But then when I added a #14 gray scud 18 inches below the jig, I caught several rainbows.  I fished the jig about seven feet deep.

December 9 Taneycomo Rainbow 2

It wasn’t until the last 20 minutes of the day that I did tie on a white jig.  White had not worked the last three times out, so I hesitated using it.  But you know, they really liked it.  I drifted the Trophy Run stretch twice and caught four of the biggest rainbows of the trip.

I wish I could report what’s been going on below Fall Creek, but too few people have been out to report any patterns.  December typically is one of the best trout fishing months of the year.  There should be good numbers of rainbows here in the upper lake and they should be aggressive eaters.

Last Minute Trip this afternoon

December 10 Taneycomo Rainbow Zebra Midge

Steve Dickey and I boated up past the Narrows (about a mile above Fall Creek) about 2:30 this afternoon and fished till 4:30.

Water was off but moving out and slight current the whole time.  Slight breeze from the south- partly cloudy- couldn’t have asked for better conditions.

We fished everything under a float, fly rod and spin rod.  Fished small jigs between 1/100th and 1/50th ounce, 6x tippet.  Depth varied between 30 inches and 5 feet.

Best colors were brown, sculpin/ginger and black/olive.  Lighter colors didn’t work.  Best fly was a #14 red Zebra Midge with nickel wrap and bead head fished 30 inches deep.  Oregon Cheese Miracle fly did well too.

December 10 Taneycomo Miracle Fly

Starting about 3:45 the surface came alive with midging rainbows although we couldn’t see what was hatching, if anything.  We saw schools of trout in tight areas and they seemed to be fresh stocked rainbows.  A lot of dark males.  The ones be themselves turned out to be larger and more colorful rainbows.

Steve fished a orange Zebra and a black with copper bead head and did well too.  We caught a lot of rainbows but nothing over 13 inches.

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