Posted by Phil Lilley on October 10th, 2014
Generation on Lake Taneycomo still hasn’t changed much. If anything, a little less water is running in the afternoons with less volume. The water temperature is the same — 48-49 degrees coming through the turbines, and oxygen seems to be staying at high levels — all good for trout fishing.
Even with good conditions for October, that doesn’t mean our trout don’t bite at times. Two days this week you’d have thought someone had shut off the feeding switch. Even our guides said it was tough, especially after the sun rose high in the sky. Those who did catch a few trout found where the surface of the lake was choppy because of a slight breeze.
Those who went to fishing night crawlers, injecting them with air and floating them off the bottom did the best this week. Using four-pound line was fine for even fishing still water — no need to go to two-pound line. The best areas were from Short Creek down along by Lilleys’ Landing.
Where there is wind, that area has been a good stretch because it blows south northward. Fishing a Trout Magnet under a float five- to seven-feet deep in a south wind down lake from here has been working very well for most people.
In the Trophy Area, fishing has been pretty good fishing out of a boat using scuds and midges from 7:30 to 8:45 a.m., but after the sun comes out, it has been tough unless the wind picks up. “Peppy” or gray scuds in sizes #12-#16 or “mink” or brown scuds in the same size have been working good as long as you get the fly on the bottom and crawl it along.
I ventured out yesterday afternoon right as the water came on and started fishing at the bottom of the Narrows. At first I had a small zebra midge under a float fishing it deep in the channel, picking up a few, but when the water picked up, I put on a #14 Peppy scud with a #3/0 split shot and set the float at six-feet deep. I worked the east bank, which is the more shallow side, as the water came up and picked up rainbows on almost every cast. They were moving up with the water, feeding on bugs that were in the gravel, I guess.
I worked this bank almost to Fall Creek. There’s a long, flat bar that extends out and there were fish all over it. I did take off the split once I started fishing the flat because the water was only 12- to 24-inches deep, and my scud was weighted.
Here’s a map marking this bank. It really is one of my favorite shallow banks to sight fish for trout. Click the map for a larger view. Orange marks the best area.
I also caught rainbows on a #16 ugly zebra midge under an indicator 18 inches deep. I caught those fish along the same bank and on the flat in 24 inches of water, targeting trout I could see.
Another hot combination is a Miracle Fly (egg fly on a small jig head) under a float and a zebra midge dropper 18 inches below the egg. Fish it three- to four- feet deep early, then move it within a foot of the bottom as the sun gets up.
From the looks of other reports and Facebook posts, anglers are catching some nice brown trout up below the dam. They are making their annual spawning run. Browns are being caught around outlet #2 on a variety of scuds. Once the water comes on, anglers move back and line up below the outlet as the water rises. Then it’s dead drifting scuds along the bank where you’ll see both browns and rainbows lined up. The trick is to change flies often — big, little, gray, brown, olive, with and without tinsel or flash. It really can be good fishing!
I’ve seen people do well stripping a crackleback for browns this time of year. I’ve caught some nice trout below the Rebar in the swift water stripping crackleback and woolies in the film. You might try it.
Night fishing has picked up, too. Quite a few anglers are fishing at night, wading in below the dam and throwing streamers from the cable clear down to Trophy Run. Sculpin, leaches, PMS, wooly buggers, pine squirrel, even dead drifting scuds where there’s current.
Friday, October 10
We received a reported 2.5-inches of rain last night and this morning, but it was a slow rain and the ground soaked up a lot of it. Run-off was minimal but it did color up the lake from the dam down to Trout Hollow. But I actually like this colored water — it’s still a green tint, and the fish were feeding for much of the day today. One unit is running as I type this, so by morning most of the colored water will move below our place.
Friday afternoon I again hit the bank at and below the Narrows. I started with the same #14 Peppy scud under a float six-feet deep but added a fluorescent pink San Juan worm 18 inches below the scud. I worked the bank out and picked up a few really nice rainbows around the laydowns (trees in the water). Four pictures follow:
Note the heron beak marks on the first rainbow. I’d say he got lucky. The second rainbow is a male — note the dark colors.
Both these trout were NOT hooked in the mouth. The first one was hooked in the anal fin and the other in the cheek. I hooked and landed two other smaller rainbows on this bank — they were hooked in the eye socket. On all these hookups, the indicator moved just as it would with a normal “take,” but all were not hooked in the mouth. Strange!
My net is 21-inches from the end of the handle tube to the top of the hoop, so both rainbows were pushing 18 inches.
I didn’t do as well on the gravel bank or flat. The lake’s surface was flat, which attributed to the slow fishing.
Fishing today off the dock and out in boats was pretty rewarding. We’ve told people to try night crawlers. They’re always good after a rain because worms get washed in the lake during a rain. I’d try close to mouths of creeks for at least a few days because the trout should be looking for worms!
Additional Scud Info:
Here’s a picture from my archives: I had in an aquarium of freshwater shrimp a few years back. Note the colors; I count four different colored scuds in this image — olive, gray, tan and brown.
Here’s a picture of the Peppy scud I was using. The Peppy scud was created by Rolan Duffield of Leawood, Kansas, a long-time Taneycomo trout fisherman. He uses fur from his dog, mixed with gray antron dubbing to make the Peppy.
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