Lake Taneycomo fishing report, 10/31/2015
This is going to be a tough fishing report for me to write because trout fishing on Lake Taneycomo is pretty slow, except if you're fly fishing below the dam while the water is off. Then it's pretty good.
There has been no generation during the day except in the evenings when dam operators might run a little "fish water" -- about 30 megawatts or a half-unit for a few hours. But this amount varies. Weekends it seems they're not running any at all.
Oxygen levels continue to be very low, especially below the dam. The Department of Conservation has issued a warning about handling trout if the fish are to be released. The stress a good fight puts on a trout, especially a larger trout, can be deadly even without proper handling. Keeping a fish out of the water for any extended time lessens the chance of survival. If a trout is foul hooked, it's extremely hard to land it using light line. This, again, puts undo stress on a fish in these type of conditions and can kill it.
You might think that it's almost impossible to foul hook a trout, but this time of year in the hatchery outlet flows, dozens of trout crowd a small stream of water, and drifting one or two flies through this group does greatly increase your chance to hook a fin or tail. If you choose to fish these outlets, you should be ready to break off your flies in order to not harm these fish if you foul hook a trout. Please don't fight it to death -- literally.
So in reporting on fly fishing below the dam, yes, the outlets are full of fish, but there are so many more in all areas. The Rebar has rainbows and a few browns holding at the head, in the flow and out the tail of the flow. They are taking scuds mainly but also egg flies and San Juan worms. Between outlets one and two, rainbows are taking soft hackles and cracklebacks stripped close to the surface. Also strip pine squirrels and sculpins there as well as below outlet #2 and below Rebar. Down towards the boat ramp, fish a Zebra Midge under an indicator 12-to 24- inches deep.
Night fly fishing below the dam has been pretty good. David Doty, Duane's brother, came down from St Louis with his wife Terry and his sister Jen, and they caught some nice trout on a variety of flies using glow stick indicators. David caught this nice 23-inch brown stripping a pine squirrel while the women caught some nice rainbow on scuds.
Below Lookout, throw a 1/16th-ounce jigs using two-pound line straight, no float. Work them off the bottom in the channel as well as off the channel on the flats. Dark colors have been working best for me - scuplin, olive, brown and black. Using two-pound line is crucial because you can't really throw a 1/6th-ounce jig using four-pound line.
Working a scud under an indicator has been working fairly well. It's best to fish if there's a choppy surface in the middle of the lake and up on the flats. I'm starting to use 7x tippet because I'm having a hard time getting bit. Not sure if the 7x helps, though, so you might want to start with 6x.
The flat just above Fall Creek has had a lot of rainbows on it. They have taken a soft hackle stripped as well as a scud crawled around the bottom.
I talked to some guys who went spotlight gigging for suckers last night. They said there's a ton of trout in the area down from the mouth of Fall Creek, and not as many suckers. I fly fished up there today, and I did see some good fish working midges, but I couldn't get them to take anything! Some people fishing off the bank caught several rainbows on night crawlers.
I boated up to a half-mile below Fall Creek yesterday and fished night crawlers. I don't do that very often - mainly when the grandkids are down and I take them out. But I had to see just how tough fishing really was. I know if they're biting, I can catch them on crawlers.
I used two-pound line and a small #3/0 split shot 12 inches above the worm. I used a half worm and shot some air in it to make it float. I ended up using six worms and missed hooking two bites, catching one. The other three trout I never saw or felt bite -- they just ate their worm without me even knowing it. That was in a two-hour time period. That's pretty slow in my book. Granted, I was throwing other things and not watching my bait rod as I should have been.
Some anglers just come in from fishing this afternoon with their limits of rainbows. They said they boated down to Roark Creek and fished Powerbait up in the mouth. Fishing was sporadic, they said, but the did pretty well.