Lake Taneycomo

Lilleys’ Lake Taneycomo fishing report, March 30

Posted by Phil Lilley on March 29th, 2014
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March 29 brown 530

Generation patterns right now are all but impossible to predict, except for the fact that Table Rock is on the rise again after a good rain Friday night.  My guess is the the Corp will try to keep lake levels down close to power pool.  That means we’ll probably see more generation from Table Rock Dam for at least a week, I’d say.

Frequency and how much flow is a whole other set of guesses.  Warmer spring temperatures should keep power demand at bay, so flood control kicks in as the primary reason to run water.  Seems like the water is  running early in the morning and less during the day and on into the evening.  That could be the pattern for a while.

Water temperature is holding at 43 degrees from Table Rock Lake.  While trout aren’t crazy about this cold water, they’re pretty active except when  3-4 units are running full.  Then the fish hunker down and don’t do much eating.  That’s when most anglers have been heading to the creeks, where they’re finding good numbers of rainbows and just a few browns.

Heading down lake is another move fishermen are making when the water is running hard.  Monkey Island through the bridges has been consistently very good all this week, drifting either Powerbait or minnows on the bottom.

16 inch rainbow stockers

Shepherd of the Hills Hatchery has been stocking some very nice rainbows lately.  This picture was taken Thursday afternoon as people were bringing their catch in to be cleaned.  The biggest of these rainbows were 16 inches, and they were freshly stocked — note the color of the trout.  Average size of rainbows stocked in Lake Taneycomo is 11.5 inches, so this is pretty special to see this size rainbows being caught.  These rainbows were caught mainly drifting minnows on the bottom between Monkey Island and the bridges.

The creeks are still hot.  We took some boys from a boys’ ranch in Kansas fishing last Tuesday.  Taking three pontoons, we squeezed in between a couple of boats close to the first bridge in Roark Creek.  Steve Dickey, fishing guide, and his son were helping in one of the pontoons with four boys.  I had just put a brand new anchor and rope on his boat and he promptly dropped it in the water to hold the boat in place.


The wind was blowing out of the north pretty hard.  Our anchors were no match, and we all drifted toward the rock bluff bank.  Steve noticed his boat was moving way too fast in the wind, then saw that his anchor rope was untied.  Then he remembered a couple of boys getting tangled in the rope just a few minutes earlier and before he got back to them, they were free.  Trouble was they had untied the rope to get loose but didn’t tie it back!

At one point, all three of us were pushed against the south bank together by the wind, playing bumper boats while trying to keep the boys from making an absolute mess of their lines.  We got freed one by one and ended up tying off to the trees on the north side of the creek … forgetting the anchors.


Did we catch trout?!  Oh yes.  Each of the boys almost caught their limit of rainbows and some were nice ones!  We used minnows under a float four feet deep and only cast 10 feet off the boat onto the mud flat, not in the channel.  That’s where Steve had been catching them.

With one unit running yesterday, Bill Babler’s clients caught good trout drifting from Short Creek to Trout Hollow and fishing a pink Trout Magnet under a float five feet deep.  They were using fly rods.  Guides have also been going up in the creeks and fishing a jig and float using fly rods.


Steve Dickey, fishing guide, called in a new fishing report for us.  Here’s the voice recording (flash required).

Late Saturday morning I fished for a couple of hours until noon, drifting and working an 1/8th ounce white jig mainly against the bluff banks from the dam down to the Narrows.  I did try darker colors but didn’t do well at all.  The best stretch was Lookout to the Narrows.  The fish were holding on the drop off from the bluff bank, not in the channel and not on the banks.  I found them on the edge of eddies, too.

Almost all of the trout I caught were quality rainbows and browns, with only a couple of small rainbows.  I worked the jig extremely slow, daring it to get hung up on the bottom — which it did a few times.

The video shows catching some of the nicer trout.  It also includes an amusing close call.  Stepping off the elevated deck, my foot slipped on the wet boat floor and I almost fell backward over the side of the boat.  It would have been the first time I’d ever fallen in  — but I did manage0 to stay in the boat.  I was so rattled I didn’t notice breaking my rod until I went to cast it again.

If I ever make a blooper video, this will be included, for sure!


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