Lake Taneycomo

Lilleys’ Lake Taneycomo fishing report, February 5

Posted by Phil Lilley on February 5th, 2014
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We’ve encountered a snow day, then a nice sunny day, then another snow day  — a pattern that snow boarders and skiers would love. As for fishermen, we would like it if we could get ourselves to the lake or stream! Some of would like it if they could just get out of the driveway!

But it is beautiful here. The snow accentuates the outcrops on the bluff across the lake from us. Normally, it all blends in as trees and rocks. Monday morning the mist from the lake frosted the trees on the bluff. I ventured out just to show the effect. The camera picked up some unusual colors in the shade of the bluff. This afternoon I went out again to actually catch some fish and did just that.


This past weekend we hosted the Roger’s Adventure Weekend, a group of anglers who have been fishing their private tournament here on  Lake Taneycomo for the past 25+ years.  They hold an “invite-only” trout tournament on Saturday complete with attendance prizes and raffles after the contest.  It  has always been fun time, no matter the weather.

Anyhow, quite a few anglers after the weigh-in told me they had caught an extraordinary number of brown trout that day, some  as many as 15 browns, mostly on lures such as jigs.  No legal browns were weighed in but, like most tournaments, there were stories of “the one that got away.” Mike Riffle said he fought a very large brown for quite a while before losing it when it shot under the boat.  His line caught the side of the boat and broke!

As in any of our tournaments, teams must designate whether they will fish “up or down.” If they fish “up,” they are allowed to fish above the mouth of Fall Creek (the trophy area), but they cannot weigh in any rainbows in the 12- to 20-inch slot, no matter where the rainbow is caught.  If they choose “down,” they cannot fish above the mouth of Fall Creek.  Only one team fished above Fall Creek out of the field of 54 teams.  So the browns that were caught Saturday all were below Fall Creek.


The winning weight was 9.02 pounds (eight trout), caught by Shane Matthews and Brandon Buehler.  They beat out Joe Whelan and Chad Martens by only .02 pounds.  Shane and Brandon told me they fished several places from Fall Creek to Monkey Island and used Gulp Powerbait exclusively.  Joe and Chad boated all the way down to lower Taneycomo and fish close to the cable before Powersite Dam and caught their fish on lures, mainly jigs.  Joe caught the largest rainbow of the day.  Weighing a little over three pounds, it netted him the big fish pot of $530.  First and second place finishers pocketed $945 and $680, respectfully.  With so many teams, even 10th place earned  more than $110.


As a side note, Shane’s dad Skip is one of the original R.A.W. guys, and Shane started coming to the tournament with his dad when he was a young kid.  Now Shane brings up to five teams with him and enjoys the weekend with his friends.

Speaking of trout tournaments, our last winter contest is slated for Saturday, Feb. 22.  Entry is $50 per two-man team with the top four finishers earning money and a great handcrafted. cedar trophy made by our own Curtis Viscardis.  The heaviest rainbow pays $200 and the heaviest legal brown will pay $1,000!  See more information, rules and entry form on our resort site.

With milder temperatures, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has been leaving the water off most afternoons now for the past week or so.  This is nice for those fly fishermen who like to wade up below the dam.  Guide Duane Doty reported fly fishing to be very good on Monday.  He waded in and fished from the flats below outlet #1 clear down to Trophy Run.  He said he fished zebra midges mostly because the trout were all over the surface eating midges.  But he also used pine squirrels and a Mega Worm (a big white fluffy San Juan worm) and did just as well.  Duane reported catching nothing longer than 14 inches, but there were a lot that size caught and released.

In the last clip of the video, I was using a spin cast rod and reel and throwing a zebra midge under an indicator five-feet deep.  The zebra was a red #14 midge with a black bead.  I tied some 6x tippet material onto the four-pound line already on my reel because I like small diameter line when using flies that small.  I hooked and landed quite a few rainbows, the largest seen in this clip.  What I’m saying here is that you can use flies with this application just as easy as using jigs and sometimes, that zebra midge will catch older, more mature trout that you wouldn’t catch on jigs or even bait.

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