Lake Taneycomo

Lilley’s Lake Taneycomo fishing report, June 4

Posted by Phil Lilley on June 5th, 2016
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Our generation pattern has been unpredictable this last week, mainly because of the increasing rain the area has received. Even though Northwest Arkansas has had a lot of rain, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has been dumping Beaver Lake — now to a full foot lower. Table Rock has held at 917 feet because of the release into Taneycomo. Thankfully, our forecast shows an end of precipitation today for at least eight days but it comes with an expected rise in temperatures into the 90’s.

We have continued to see a slow flow of 30 megawatts or about a half unit, 704-5 feet at the tail water, which is strange.  Years ago,  Corps officials said that prolonged slow flows played havoc with the turbine blades, but now it seems that is not the case. Instead of generating for part or half of the day and 1-2 units for the other half, they are running a half unit 24 hours a day, sometimes for many days in a row.  The former pattern would be ideal for anglers who like to wade below the dam, so at least part of the day they could wade.  But that’s the life of fishing a tail water–you just try to make the best of whatever the conditions are.

Thirty megawatts of generation is a nice flow to fish for most anglers, though.  The current isn’t too fast to fish from most docks and is very easy to manage fishing out of a boat.  At 704-5 feet, you can get a boat all the way to the cable with a little smart navigation and, thus, have access to fish the entire lake.

This flow is great for fishing something under a float.  Above Fall Creek, a white 1/32nd-ounce jig is still one of the best lures, along with a scud, zebra midge, San Juan Worm (especially after a rain like we’ve had this morning), a wooly bugger or a Miracle Fly (egg fly).  Our water has really cleared up more and more as the days go by, so we’re not necessarily fishing brightly colored flies.  We’re starting to see good results fishing grays, olives, brown and black again, although the bright colors are working too (orange, yellow, cerise, reds, pink, white and chartreuse).

Also with the slow generation, we’re dropping to lighter jigs such as 3/32nd- and 1/16th-ounce, but in doing so, we’re using two-pound line.  This makes it easier to throw and work smaller jigs.  Four-pound is fine if you’re throwing 1/8th-ounce or even 3/32nd-ounce as far as water color.  The fish aren’t going to shy away from four-pound line.

Our trout are still chasing jigs.  Duane Doty and I have seen this while fishing jigs up below the dam this week.  While reeling in our jigs after working them out away from the boat, one or even more than one trout will be trailing a foot or more behind the jig.  Duane was able to get one nice brown to take his jig at the boat, but most of the time as soon as we stopped reeling, the fish would break off and not come back.  I suggested we try a trailer fly or small jig next time, so that maybe they’d take it instead of the bigger, lead jig.  Will report back on that idea.

Throwing white and sculpin-colored jigs worked well for a group of guys this past week, fishing in the area around Trout Hollow.  They reported catching several rainbows from 18 to 21 inches long.

I still haven’t seen any top-water action along the banks.  I’ll be trying a hopper this week to see if any trout are looking “up” yet.

Over the holiday weekend, we saw an abundance of rainbows brought in and cleaned.  Seemed like the Missouri Department of Conservation did a great job stocking the lake for the crowd of fishers we had visit the area.  And they were good sized trout, too – some up to 14 inches long.  Freshly stocked rainbows are easy to spot.  They don’t have hardly any red or pink colors on their sides and they have a purplish look to them.  Their meat is always white, not orange.

Most of these rainbows were being caught from Monkey Island down through the bridges.  The mouth of Turkey Creek was a hot spot.  The favorite bait was, of course, Berkeley’s Power Bait, but I think everybody was using various colors and doing well.  There’s a Sunrise Power Egg that seems to be the favorite — at least we sold the most of it.  Night crawlers and minnows caught the biggest rainbows.

Guide Bill Babler did really well fishing with clients from Fall Creek to Trout Hollow throwing Trout Magnets under a float five- to six-feet deep.  He was using pink, orange and white.

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