Lake Taneycomo

Lilleys’ Lake Taneycomo fishing report, September 6

Posted by Phil Lilley on September 5th, 2014
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dickey fog fish pic

I am conflicted. I usually start out my fishing report talking about generation patterns and how they’ve been affecting our trout fishing here on Lake Taneycomo, but tomorrow we’re in for a big weather change. Cooler temperatures are in the foreseeable future and that’s going to change how the U.S. Corps of Army Engineers is running water on our lake. So, only thing I can do today is guess!

See they’ve been leaving the water off all night, all morning for weeks, I think it’s a safe bet to say that pattern will continue. There may be days when the Corps will run 25 megawatts, or a half unit all day, but there’s usually no rhyme or reason when and why that is done. If the water runs in the afternoons, it won’t be three or four units as it has been.  An old fall patterns is — no water all day, a little “fish water” in the evening, maybe a half unit for an hour. We will see!

Trout fishing has been pretty normal for late summer. Our water is clear and the trout are picky! There does seem to be more rainbows in our area of the lake and up towards Fall Creek than there’s been in a month. Anglers are catching trout off our dock early in the morning on PowerBait Gulp eggs and worms. But light line is a must — two-pound is best but four-pound is okay.

One party of four rented a pontoon from us yesterday. I told them to try both down at the bridges and up close to Short Creek. They said they had their limits pretty quickly and caught and released the rest of the morning. They did the best at Short Creek but caught fish at Monkey Island, too. Another pontoon boat came in with another four trout anglers just afterwards and said they caught — zero.

We hear and see that a lot. Some motor  in with glowing reports and others with nothing to brag about.  Honestly, I can’t figure that out.

The party that was catching — they were using our drift rigs (four-pound line) and Gulp Eggs, mainly white, pink and orange.

I got out a couple of times this week, once to video and another time to just see what was happening. Both times were in mid morning  when the sun was up and bright and the fog had lifted. The water was off with very little wind to start. I was determined to catch something on a dry fly up in the trophy area. I love to fish a dry and love to see the take even more.

There was a little bit of surface activity under the trees, close to the bluff bank, so I was hopeful. I tied on a #10 Stimulator, 3x tippet and a #18 Green Ugly Zebra Midge dropper 16 inches below the dry, 7x tippet. I had two “looks” on the dry and two takes, which I missed. But I caught two rainbows on the Zebra.

I also tried throwing a 3/32nd-ounce jig, straight line with no float.  Only tried one color — black/olive.  I missed several fish but did land one nice rainbow (video).  These fish don’t see many small jigs using this presentation, so I think you can catch quite a few trout up in the trophy area and even below Fall Creek using small jigs.  Use two-pound line when throwing these small jigs.

The wind kept picking up and dying off.  It was frustrating because I wanted to switch to a small jig or fly that I could fish under a float, but the chop on the water kept going away, so I decided to head down lake to see whether I could find more consistent wind. I did.

The stretch from Fall Creek around the corner to Short Creek has had good wind and chop on the surface the last couple of days from about 10 a.m. through the rest of the day. As I came down yesterday, I passed a boat with two couples who were fishing. They asked me if I had caught anything up lake and I shared that it had been slow – with no wind. They recounted that it had been great fishing for them. I told them it was due to the wind causing the choppy water they were in.

I fished a pink/white Trout Magnet under a float seven- to eight-feet deep using 6x tippet (two-pound) down closer to Short Creek, staying in the middle of the lake. I hooked several really nice rainbows but missed a bunch on short strikes. Again, there was a good chop on the surface.

With cooler temperatures and less humidity, we should see less fog at night and in the morning on the lake. If you’re up for an adventure, go night fishing. The water should be off at night and the trout do bite after dark.

Typically, brown trout feed at night. If you were to target browns at night, I’d throw a medium-sized stick bait, aiming try to throw it in fairly shallow water to start. Close to the bank or on flats are good places. Try cranking the bait in slowly, not letting it go very deep in the water.

If you’re fly fishing, cast streamers such as Pine Squirrel, sculpins, Matukas, Wooly Buggers, PMS and Mohair Leeches. If you’re fishing below the dam (wading) try something that stays close or even on top of the water. For colors try both light and dark colors to discover what they want — and change often!

Here’s a fishing report called in by one of our fishing guides, Steve Dickey.  You need FLASH to play this.

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