August 4th fishing report
Generation patterns here on Lake Taneycomo have been fairly consistent this past week. Our water has been off every night and morning, running in the afternoon until just after dark. The "running" part has varied a bit. Most days it's been about three units, but it's been as little as one unit.
Trout fishing this summer has resembled a roller coaster -- it's been up and it's been down. Right now we're in the down cycle. Our lake water has cleared up, and the rainbows have gotten wise.
Some anglers are still doing well, catching their limits early in the morning. Most are fishing with PowerBait Gulp Eggs and boating down to the Monkey Island area. Early is the key. Before the sun gets high over head is your best chance to catch your limit of rainbows.
Fishing up between Fall Creek and Short Creek has been fair on air-injected night crawlers, but these trout are averaging a little bigger than the ones down lake. These might be rainbows that are swimming out of the Trophy Area. Four-pound line is okay, but two-pound is better considering our very clear water.
I suggest anchoring your boat over on the shallow side of the lake (off the bluff side.) The water from the mouth of Short Creek up to the boat ramp is very deep along the docks, up to nine-feet deep. You'll be out of the boat lane of traffic and still catch fish. Plus there's not as many snags on the bottom.
After the water starts to move in the afternoon, drifting Gulp Eggs from Lilleys' down past Cooper Creek has been fair. Jig fishing has been slow. When using either, the trout seemed be to just picking at the offering, not taking it aggressively at all. You'll get bites and maybe a hook-up, but the trout are coming off the hook before being landed. That's been my experience when throwing jigs.
This video shows exactly what I'm talking about. Drifting and throwing a 3/32nd white jig, I "hooked" two trout on successive casts, both hooked in the side of the fish towards the head. This tells me they're slashing at the jig with their head, not trying to eat it. This happened to me again a couple of evenings ago.
One thing you can do to help hook these tentative fish is pinch the marabou tail on the jig and make it shorter. If you're fishing with bait, let them eat it a little longer before setting the hook.
Also in the evenings, our guides are boating to the dam and fishing a tandem of flies under a float. Depending on how much water is running, they're fishing an egg fly and scud combo, #16 gray scud and peach egg, using 5x tippet under a float any where from six to 12 feet deep. You want to set your flies deeper than the water you're fishing. Add a split shot to get the flies down. Best drifting has been from the cable below the dam down past the Missouri Department of Conservation boat ramp, then from Lookout to Fall Creek.
I would suggest throwing a dark-colored jig against the bluff bank or out in the channel close to the bottom. Use either an 1/8th -or 3/32nd-ounce jig, depending on the amount of water running. If it's less than two units, use the smaller jig; with more than two units use the 1/8th ounce. I'd try sculpin, black, olive, sculpin/ginger or brown colors. I'd still try a white jig ,but white definitely has slowed down the last few weeks up close to the dam. You do have a better chance catching a brown trout on white, but you'll catch more trout altogether if you use dark colors.
I am still on a quest to catch that trophy brown on a white jig down here around the resort. I've been going out in the afternoons and evenings when the water is running, working either a 3/32nd- or 1/8th-ounce jig in the channel or close to the bluff bank from Trout Hollow down past Cooper Creek. Here's a video of me catching a big, heavy brown the other afternoon.
I didn't get a good hook set at all on this trout. I knew it after the fight began and tried to keep pressure on the fish. Sure enough, when pulling the hook out of its mouth, the hook tip wasn't even in the fish's flesh, it was stuck in its teeth.
Last evening, I got out and fished while they were running only about a half unit. Fished an 1/8th ounce white jig from Lookout to the Narrows and the trout actually bit a little better than my last couple of outings. I caught some nice rainbows (image at the beginning of the report) and a couple of medium sized browns.
I boated back closer to the resort before calling it a day. Fished in front of the old Riverlake and Sun Valley Resorts with a sculpin 1/8th ounce jig. I let it go all the way to the bottom before working it back. Caught 5 nice trout including 2 browns. It was a better than average evening!