Posted by Phil Lilley on June 14th, 2014
Last week, our area received quite a bit of rain, bringing up Table Rock Lake’s levels above 917 feet prompting the US Army Corp of Engineers to run 2 to 3 units all this past week through Lake Taneycomo. With our water temperatures hovering around 42 degrees, this made trout fishing really tough, especially for people fishing off docks.
This morning, we were greeted with a surprise–no generation. Lake levels have dropped to the point the Corp is comfortable with Table Rock’s lake levels and they’ve cut back on releasing water for the time being. Generation patterns will be re established in the coming days. If I had to guess, they’ll run some water in the afternoons and evening. leaving the water off in the mornings.
One thing that this generation has done this spring has boosted our trout’s growth, big time! Constant generation grows bugs. More bugs grow big trout. That’s about as simple as I can make it. Our freshwater shrimp’s population has exploded this year, and it’s showing by the fish growth rates we’re seeing.
A couple of weeks ago I reported having a stellar guide trip, taking a couple of guys up in the trophy area and catching numerous rainbows in the 17 inch range. Big and fat, these trout were in the first mile of the lake and were taking white jigs during generation. They’re still up there.
Last evening, I took my daughter Megan up for a little evening fishing. We boated to the dam about 7 p.m. with 3 units running hard. No fog made the trip enjoyable although it was still chilly. When the water temperatures are in the low 40’s, it could be 100 degrees 15 feet above the lake’s surface but in the 40’s on and lake. We took sweatshirts but the cold air cut right through. But it was worth it!
It was the first time I had Megan out on the lake in a couple of years. She’s always been my little fisherman. Last night she showed she hadn’t forgotten how to set a hook!
I had tied on 1/8th ounce white jigs on our spin cast rigs, 4 pound line, and was ready when we arrived at the cable below the dam. Megan’s first couple of hookups were quick-released. She needed a little practice. But her persistance paid off, fighting and landing a nice 16 inch, fat rainbow.
We only drifted past the first island, picking up and heading back to the cable. On the next drift, she hooked into something pretty big–I knew by the action of her rod. It wasn’t until it came within sight that Megan got real excited and exclaimed, “Oh dad, oh dad”!! I slipped into the net and thought this one might be over 20 inches. I was a half-inch short in my estimate.
Back up to the dam, I changed out our jigs for s different color. Sculpin/ginger and sculpin/orange was my pick. We both boated nice rainbows all the way down to the MDC boat ramp, most were well over 15 inches. Megan caught the last fish, a pretty rainbow I had to get a pic of.
With the water off this morning, Kelly Stammer, a good friend from Parsons, Kansas took his wife and friends out this morning in our 20-foot jon boat for some trout fishing. We visited about the water situation, that it had been running all week and this morning to our surprise, it was off. He tied on Trout Magnets, jigs and spoons on their lines and left the dock headed up lake. I headed to the laundry room for a day of folding linen!
It wasn’t 45 minutes I got a text from Kelly and an image of a beautiful brown Riley Bond had caught on a silver Super Duper spoon, fishing close to Short Creek.
Back a few months ago, I wrote about all the 16-17 inch browns anglers we were catching. Well, now it seems like these browns have put on an inch or two. Now we’re seeing quite a few 180-19 inch browns being caught and released. That’s, again, the result of our food supply being in great shape.
With the water now being off at least part of the day, air injected night crawlers are going to be hot, especially in the upper bait area from Short to Fall Creek. Tip it with a marshmallow or a white Gulp egg if you don’t have a way to float the worm.
Our water is very clear to 4-pound line is a must, 2-pound line is better., when the water is off and you’re still fishing.
Jig and float or a Trout Magnet (pink, pink/white) under a float should be good too. Drop a Zebra Midge under the main lure about 18 inches for more strikes. This works above or below Fall Creek.
Above Fall Creek when the water is off, they’re eating scuds and midges. Number 16 and 18 red, rusty, black, green, ugly and P&P Zebras and #10 – #14 gray, brown or olive scuds. Work the scuds on the bottom and the Zebras under a float 12 to 36 inches deep. Use 6x fluorocarbon for tippet. On bright, still days use 7x.
When the water starts, drift night crawlers or Gulp eggs on the bottom from Fall Creek down to the Landing. You’ll find quite a few stocked rainbows from Cooper Creek down lake. Pink Trout Magnets under a float 6 feet deep drifted on the bluff banks. Throw small to medium stick baits against the bluff banks for brown trout.
Above Fall Creek, of course white jigs from the dam down to Trophy Run and brown, black, sculpin, ginger and olive jigs working the banks all the way to Lilleys’ Landing.
Here are some pictures sent in by Steve Dickey of last week’s guide trips:
And a nice 22-inch rainbow from a client of Captain Rick Lisek.
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