Lake Taneycomo

2015 New Years Day, Lake Taneycomo

Posted by Phil Lilley on January 2nd, 2015
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Rainbow Head Jan 1 b 530

A bunch of guys and gals get together every New Years Day at the pavilion below Table Rock dam on Lake Taneycomo for some good food and fellowship. We don’t pick the day–it’s always January 1. So we take whatever weather comes and let me tell you we’ve endured some pretty extreme temps and conditions. But 2015 wasn’t too bad at all. No wind, a little chilly but over all, no complaints.

Those that fished found the catching to be slow. I walked down to outlet #2 and visited with some guys and while standing there we only saw 1 trout caught and there were quite a few anglers in sight.

After visiting and eating some tasty cajun jambalaya, spicy meatballs, jalapeno cornbread and more, I walked down lake to see if I could find some trout to catch. Wanted to get away from the crowds and I like the Rocking Chair area so me and Jackson set off.

So wind, the lake was as slick as marble but there were trout midging the surface like crazy. They were taking a tiny, dark midge, about a size 28. I had a #24 Griffith Gnat but they didn’t want any part of it. So I went to a #20 red Zebra Midge.

I didn’t have any floats on me–no palsas, no floats of any kind–so I greased my leader and tippet within 2 inches of the fly with fly floatant. I was hoping this would keep the Zebra up close to the surface where the trout were looking.

The Rocking Chair area doesn’t have a lot of gravel on the bottom–it has bed rock and big, jagged rocks. The north side where I was, there’s flat bedrock with pits or holes where the water is 6 inches to 24 inches deep. Rainbows get up on this flat shelf and pick off midging hatching from the moss covered bedrock. There’s also small worms that live in the moss–I’m sure they feed on those too.

Normally there is a very slow current in this area of the lake when there’s no generation. I like it–I usually fish a Zebra under an indicator and make real long drifted out towards the middle. But this time I targeted the rainbows on the shelf because they seemed like they were more feeding more aggressively.

Jan 1 Rainbow Head a 530

When fishing a Zebra in these conditions (no wind and no water movement), you just have to throw to an active spot and let it sit. I don’t move the fly much, if any, because moving it sometimes spooks fish. The water is so shallow, these trout are darting out in to deep water at the slightest sign of a heron or other predator.

I ended up catching 6 rainbows. But I have to say I didn’t do well at all until a slight breeze started rippling up the surface of the water. It makes a huge difference!

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