July 24th fishing report
Generation patterns have held true here on Lake Taneycomo the last week, although our daytime temperatures have not. We've had nice hot days and nice cool days, but I don't think anyone is complaining! Our water has been off most mornings and running hard in the afternoons and evenings. Some days a half unit is running in the mornings, then the flow is cranked up in the afternoons, but there's no rhyme of reason for the difference. We're taking whatever is given to us.
Trout fishing has been getting better each week from the lackluster "catching" we experienced in June and early July. I believe the sole reason is the Missouri Department of Conservation is stocking rainbows here in the upper end of the lake again. In June, they were stocking the lower lake, and not many trout were finding their way up here , which made finding fish a trick. But it's all good now . . . as much as fishing can be.
Our guides have been doing well mainly early in the mornings, taking their clients down lake to the Landing area and fishing Trout Magnets under a float. Steve Dickey says they're using pink and cotton candy colors seven- to eight-feet deep, still using two-pound line and catching good numbers of rainbows. They're also stopping and catching them close to Monkey Island all the way up to Cooper Creek.
I'm still finding a lot of rainbows across the lake from the public fishing dock at Cooper Creek, especially when the water is running. These rainbows vary in size but are schooled up behind some downed trees against the bank, holding in slow water. I'm catching them by throwing 3/32nd-ounce jigs up in the eddied water and jigging back fairly quickly. The colors I'm using are white, brown and olive. I bet you could use a jig and float to catch these fish too.
I fished this morning in the Short Creek area. I threw a 3/32nd-ounce jig and changed colors several times, but didn't get a bite, so I switched to a jig and float. That's what the fish wanted -- something hanging from a float. They didn't want to chase anything.
In the video, you see I'm fishing about seven-feet deep and fishing the middle of the lake. The chop on the water would be great for 10 minutes, then it would go slick, but it didn't seem to matter. I caught fish under both conditions. I used a 1/50th-ounce brown jig with an orange head on two-pound line. On the third fish I caught, I noticed that the marabou had completely come off the jig. I wondered whether the marabou had come off before the rainbow bit the jig or after, so I didn't change out the jig but I threw it out.
Crazy! I missed a strike!! Then I hooked a fish. . . on a bare hook!
One of my guides told me once that he sometimes will start with a bare jig hook and fish it until he started not catching fish. Then he would start putting "things" on the hook like pieces of plastic worms or chenille (yarn). He uses bright-colored heads on his jig heads, too, brighter than my orange head. I wasn't sure I believed him, but now I do.
When the water is running, I've done well using a white 1/8th-ounce jig from Fall Creek past our place (Lilleys' Landing), working the middle of the lake (not the bluff.) I'm either catching or I'm not. They're either biting good or not at all. One day last week, I made a drift and caught a dozen brown trout (video) but I haven't been able to duplicate that drift since.
When the water isn't running, in the morning, fishing Powerbait anywhere between here and Fall Creek has been good. Chartreuse or orange paste has been the best followed by Gulp Eggs in white and orange. The bigger trout, including brown trout, are coming on night crawlers, either drifting or fishing them when the water is off. Most of our guests are using four-pound line and doing just fine.
In the trophy area, our trout are a little more picky so we're using two-pound line to catch their fish. Early in the mornings, flies or jigs under an indicator is best. Good flies include #16 Zebra Midge, black, olive, rusty or P&P, #14 dead orange or gray scuds and #16 black or red soft hackles if there's a chop on the water.
Trout are also taking an olive 1/16th-ounce jig thrown straight with no float on two-pound line. If you're working the area between Lookout and the Narrows, you'll find there are stretches of water where you won't see a lot of trout and others that are loaded. Do I have to say it -- fish the areas where there's lot of trout!