Lake Taneycomo -- May 2, 2015
There's been very little generation on Lake Taneycomo for three full days now. This does one thing to at least the upper lake here -- it warms up the water. Daytime temperatures have been in the upper 60's to upper 70's and sunny, so the surface water temperature here at our dock is now is 56.6 degrees, up from 43 when the water runs.
Our trout really like water temperatures in this range and are more active. Boat traffic is also kicking up silt from the bottom, and the water is cloudy, which is also good for fishing. We saw some nice stringers come in Saturday afternoon, proving my point.
When will dam operators run water again? It never fails that when I write a fishing report, things change. They're running a little water this evening -- right now. The lake levels are below power pool, but there's rain in the forecast. If we get a bunch, look for more generation.
Our bugs like the warmer water, too. Midges and mayflies, scuds and sow bugs all live better in this water versus 40-degree water. Again, this makes our trout more active, feeding more aggressively during the day.
A gentleman told me Saturday, after fishing most of this week, that the size of rainbows he and his buddy caught on average were bigger than in years past. I've heard this a lot this winter/spring. One of them caught a 3.5-pound rainbow close to the U.S. 65 Highway bridge on a marabou jig (released).
Rainbows I've been catching in our area of the lake have been bigger than normal as well as all colored up as if they've been in the lake for a while. That's a very good sign that the food base in the lake is healthy. We've had huge midge hatches this past week, mainly early in the mornings and late in the evenings.
The last few weeks, I've suggested using a jig-and-float rig plus a zebra midge dropper. I even made a short video showing how to rig up and fish with this combo. We're finding balls of black midges in the bellies of rainbows caught this week, signs that they're targeting midge larva that are swimming up from the bottom to the surface to hatch. That's why these zebra midges are so hot right now.
With our clear water, two-pound test is a must. I use Vanish, but Trilene XL Green is a good line, too.
Marabou jigs remain very hot. Best colors are mottled brown (mb), mb/ginger, sculpin/orange -- both with either orange or brown head. Jig weight depends on a variety of things. With water not running and very little wind, use 1/16th or 3/32nd-ounce (two-pound line). If there's wind and/or you are using four-pound line, use 3/32nd or 1/8th ounce. With the water running slightly and two-pound line, use 3/32nd- or 1/8th-ounce. With water running more than one unit, use 1/8th ounce.
In using jig-and-float, use a ginger or sculpin micro jig or a 1/50th-ounce brown, brown/orange, sculpin or mb with an orange head. Then drop a #14 black zebra midge below it, two-pound or 6x tippet line, 10 inches from the jig.
The depth between the float and the first jig depends on where the trout are holding and on the depth of water. I'd start at four feet and go deeper if you don't get bit. I've been fishing the stretch between the old Sun Valley down to our place and staying from the middle to inside bend of the lake. Morning and evening are the best times, but if there's a good chop on the surface and/or cloudy skies, any time can be good.
Air-injected night crawlers are catching some really nice rainbows in the Short Creek area as well as around Monkey Island. They're also hitting Gulp Eggs in white/pink and chartreuse/garlic Powerbait.
Below the dam, wading with the water off, between outlets #1 and #2, the white mega worm did well for Duane Saturday morning, as well as a #14 UV tan scud and a #16 black zebra. His crew then dropped down to the old KOA (Trophy Run) and stripped #10 Pine Squirrels in olive or sculpin and did okay. He said there wasn't much chop on the surface but did well on the mega worm again. One guy did really well using a 1/125th-ounce sculpin/ginger jig under a float 24 inches deep.
The forecast for the month of May is . . . more of the same. The only thing that could change, and probably will, is generation patterns. We surely will get some rain and, in turn. the U.S. Corps of Army Engineers will run more water.