Lake Taneycomo fishing report, December 1
Oh how things change quickly on our tailwater fishery. Two weeks ago, our trout just below the dam were fighting for their lives. Water quality was lethal for many reasons. I believe we've covered all the "why." (See my November 24th report for an explanation. ) But cold, windy weather last week has changed that, partially turning Table Rock over and sending good, oxygenated-water through the turbines and into our lake.
Our weather during this Thanksgiving break was as crummy as expected with cold, rainy days and nights. The front still hasn't completely moved out. Six inches of rain fell, and now our lakes are on the rise, again. Table Rock is jumping up and expected to go past 918 feet Tuesday. The U.S. Corps of Army Engineers experimented Monday with various flows through the turbines to see how much water could be run while keeping the dissolved oxygen levels above four parts per million. The magic generation was 199 megawatts, lake level 710.34 feet, about 3.5 turbines, with a DO level at 4.34 p.p.m.. We will see this flow until Table Rock's level reaches 915 feet.
During the time when the hatchery was having trouble with the water, staff moved some of their trout to other hatcheries while other fish were stocked in to Lake Taneycomo ahead of schedule. Needless to say, we have a lot of trout in the lake right now. These fish were stocked below Branson but have moved up lake and are being caught all through the upper lake.
Even though it was rainy and cold, I took my six-year-old grandson fishing Friday and Saturday. We drifted from above the resort down to about Cooper Creek and caught quite a few rainbows on a pink Berkley Power Egg. That's right -- one egg on a #10 hook, 1/4-ounce bell weight tied on a drift rig. Jeriah caught his limit of four rainbows all by himself.
Those who did get out and fish this last week, saw fish come in consistently.
Monday afternoon I fished the entire lake from our place to Table Rock Dam. Drifting and throwing white and sculpin-colored 1/8th-ounce jigs, I caught four rainbows (two on each color) in different places, all above Fall Creek. I also drifted a #12 gray scud on the bottom and caught two more rainbows in the Narrows area above Fall Creek. Then I drifted a pink Power Egg on a drift rig below Fall Creek and caught three rainbows and a nice rock. I was most proud of the rock. :)
My December forecast is bright with lots of trout in the lake and good prospects to see lots of running water for at least the first half of the month. Water quality is getting better every day. Monday afternoon when I was on the lake, there was a huge midge hatch. I had not seen that in weeks. After such a arduous fall season, we're all ready for our winter trout months -- the best fishing of the year!