Posted by Phil Lilley on March 28th, 2017
Our areas has seen little rainfall since last summer and the White River Chain of Lakes had all dropped to low levels. But we had good amounts of rain here in the last 10 days and lake levels have risen an average of about 2.5 feet.
Beaver Lake is approaching 1115 feet, up 3 feet, Table Rock is at 910 feet, up 3 feet and Bull Shoals is up almost 2 feet to 953.5 feet. But all lakes are still below normal pools for this time of year.
In its position in the chain of lakes, Lake Taneycomo is a pass-through lake, rising and falling with generation from Table Rock Lake. We haven’t seen much generation in months but with the rains and rising lake levels, we are starting to see more running water.
The pattern has been generation in the mornings and then in late afternoon into the evening here on Taneycomo. They’ve been running from one to two units at times, enough to clear out any dirty water from heavy rains. Our water has good color and is clearing up more and more each week. Water temperature is about 50 degrees.
Overall trout fishing the last month has been very good, I’d say better than pasts winters. Although catching has been very good, the average size of rainbows caught has been smaller than normal. I believe these small rainbows have come from the federal hatchery at Neosho, Missouri. They have a history of stocking smaller rainbows in our lake. The good news is, though, that we shouldn’t see anymore federal rainbows stocked the rest of the year… so the rainbows stocked from our local hatchery, Shepherd of the Hills, should bring up the average size.
There’s really nothing new about how rainbows have been caught lately. We’ve had very good reports of good numbers down at the Branson Landing, Monkey Island, Cooper Creek Flats and from Short to Fall Creek.
Anglers have done well trolling or casting spoons and spinners. Freshly stocked rainbows generally like to chase things to you’ll tend to catch those fish that haven’t been in the lake very long on lures like this.
Fishing something under a float, whether it’s a jig or pink Berkley’s Power Worm on a jig head, has been our guide’s go-to method of catching lots and lots of trout. That pink worm just keeps producing! But the jig and float has been good too. Turner’s Micro jig in ginger or olive, marabou jig 1/125th – 1/32nd ounce in brown/orange head, sculpin/orange,brown head or black/yellow/black head have been good colors. Use 2-pound line for best results.
Night crawlers, minnows and Gulp Powerpait has been catching trout too. Use 2-4 pound line with a small weight, enough to get you on the bottom and that’s all. If you’re drifting in current, same thing. Use a small bell weight on a drift rig, just enough to tick the bottom.
The trophy area has been fishing very well, especially the area from Lookout to Fall Creek. The Zebra Midge has been the hot fly lately along with the scud. Best Zebra’s have been a P&P, a rusty or a green midge. Best scuds have been the larger ones tied on the 200R hook, #12 or #14 in gray, brown or tan. I’m catching bigger rainbows on the scud verses the midge. Fish the scud on the bottom, dragging it in the gravel. Use 6x tippet.
If the water is running, throw a marabou jig straight line. Best colors have been black, brown, sculpin or light/dark combos like sculpin/ginger, black/olive or brown/orange. Depending on how much water they’re running, use the weight that works best – 1/16th, 3/32nd or 1/8th ounce. I’d use 4-pound like to throw the 1/8th and 2-pound line to throw the smaller jigs.
Trip Report, March 28
Boated up to just below the dam this morning. They were running just under 2 units at 706 feet, then dropping to 705 feet.
I started throwing an 1/16th ounce black jig, 2-pound line with no results. Switched to a 3/32nd ounce sculpin/peach/orange headed jig, 2-pound line and caught one small rainbow. Then went with a heavier 1/8th ounce sculpin/brown headed jig, 4-pound line and started catching trout pretty consistently down past the boat ramp.
The smaller rainbows weren’t biting, only the better ones. Landed 2 rainbows in the 17 inch range. Switched to a white 1/8th ounce jig just to see if they were interested in a light colored jig and they were. Landed one more nice rainbow and a small brown.
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