Posted by Phil Lilley on April 16th, 2015
Yesterday marked the first day that the water was completely down, with no generation on Lake Taneycomo, in more than a month. This was a welcomed sight for at least fly fishermen who like to wade below the dam. I think this establishes a new pattern we might see for a few days. We might see even less generation for the weekend, too.
Thursday morning when I came down to the dock, I was amazed by the clouds of midges flying just above the surface of the lake. Trout were excited, too — they were snatching as many as they could swallow for almost an hour. When they’re surfacing like that, you need to fish closer to the surface as with a lure that swims or something under a float set shallow — not more than three-feet deep. When we’re throwing jigs, we don’t let them sink hardly at all before retrieving them.
I think jig fishing for trout here has become a trend. I’ve seen more people throwing jigs in the last couple of days than I’ve seen in a long time, except during our trout tournaments. There was a gentleman casting a jig off the dock this morning. I gave him a 3/32nd-ounce jig because he was throwing an 1/8th-ounce which I considered too big for no generation. It sinks too quickly and causing you to work it too fast. It wasn’t any time before he caught his first trout on a jig — followed by another and another.
Duane Doty and I are always devising ways to share our trout fishing with the world in fun ways so we set a challenge to see how many fish we could catch off the dock in five minutes. Why five minutes? Because that’s about the average length of our One Cast videos; I think people will lose patience if they’re longer. So we tried it:
I lost count but Duane was right — five trout in five minutes, all successfully released. If I would have connected on a couple of my bites, it would have been more.
Today, after the water started, these anglers ventured out on the lake at 1:30 p.m.. They caught their limits of nice rainbows drifting Gulp Eggs on the bottom from the resort downstream.
Shepherd of the Hills Hatchery is stocking some real nice rainbows right now, measuring well above 12 inches. We’re also seeing some in the 16-inch range.
So in the mornings before they kick on the water, fish with something under a float four- to six-feet deep. Either a jig, Trout Magnet or fly on two-pound line are best because our water is getting pretty clear. If fly fishing, use a Zebra Midge under an indicator anywhere from one- to four-feet deep and target fish that are surfacing, eating midges. If you’re throwing jigs, cast a 3/32nd-ounce jig with either two or four-pound line. The best colors are mottled brown with brown or orange head, brown/orange, sculpin/ginger or peach or straight sculpin, brown or orange head.
After the water starts, drift Gulp Eggs, minnows or night crawlers on the bottom from our resort down to the bridges; the best area has been close to the resort.
Thursday evening after we closed I boated out with our new dockhand John. We boated up to Lookout with four units running but not full. The lake level was 709 feet.
We started by throwing 1/8th-ounce jigs, targeting slack water along the bluff bank. I caught a couple but it was tough. I wanted to feel something at the end of my line, so I made a couple of drift rigs sporting a #12 gray scud and an egg fly on my rig and a red San Juan worm on John’s.
Drift rig: A line (two-pound Vanish is what I used) with a bell weight tied at one end and the flies on the other, 18 inches apart. Then a loop is tied about 12 inches from the bell weight. Total length is 48 inches. Tie a snap swivel to the line and attach the loop to the snap.
We drifted from the Red House down past Fall Creek and caught some nice rainbows including the one John is holding.
We boated down to the ramp at Riverpointe and drifted down to Short Creek, catching more rainbows. All but three rainbows were caught on the scud. Two came on the egg and one on the San Juan.
It was fun since I don’t drift that often.
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