Fishing Report by Lilley's Landing.
Generation has been fairly consistent lately. It’s been geared toward temperature and power demand. The colder the weather here, the heavier generation is at night and during the morning hours. With temperatures warming the last few days, generation has been light in the morning. It’s been off almost every afternoon for a couple of weeks.
Water temperature has dropped to 46.5 degrees. This is a 10-degree drop since Table Rock turned over in early December. Our lake water has cleared considerably, too. The lake looks great!
December is the month when rainbows are stocked from the Neosho hatchery (federal). These trout are usually smaller than those from Shepherd of the Hills Hatchery and this stocking was no different. The average rainbow I’ve seen is about 10 inches, but they’re pretty rainbows destined to be real beauties if they get to grow.
This is what we call a “silver bullet.” It’s a rainbow from the Neosho hatchery.
The Boswell Memorial tournament was this past Saturday. Lots of trout were caught. About everyone said they caught a lot of small rainbows, but of the 44 teams who participated, I saw more than a dozen rainbows that I would consider very nice trout — longer than 18 inches. There were quite a few teams who came in with one good rainbow, just under or just over two pounds, with only average trout to complete their stringers. There was one keeper, a 20-inch brown, weighed in for the contest, but there were three brought in to be weighed on Friday by the group. All browns were released. Some were caught on stick baits and others on jigs. What a good sign of things to come!
The winners boated all the way down to Powersite Dam, our lower lake, and threw black rooster tails. Who knew?!
I was told pink was a hot color for those throwing jigs. I wouldn’t mention it, but there was more than one angler who said pink was their color.
Boated to Lookout on Tuesday afternoon and started throwing a 1/16th-ounce jig on two-pound line. The wind was out of the west, pushing me towards the bluff bank. I kept the boat towards the shallow side and threw to the middle. I also had a jig-and-float rigged up with four-pound line, a float and a 1/50th-ounce brown jig with an orange head, four-to five-feet deep. When the wind was blowing too hard to throw the jig, I’d pick up the jig-and-float and use it.
The brown jig/orange head did very well, but when the wind died, so did that bite. I tried a couple of new color combinations on the 1/16th-ounce jig — black and burnt orange/orange head and an olive and light olive/orange head. The olive did much better than the black . . . actually it did very well.
I did the best on bigger rainbows out in front of the tennis court. As I worked closer to the Narrows, I started to see big schools of small rainbows chasing everything that moved. I tied on a #16 black/copper Zebra Midge with a float using my spin cast (didn’t’ take a fly rod). I set the float about 18 inches away — and the trout liked that! But there had to be just a slight chop on the water to get bit.
I worked through the Narrows. There was a fairly good current there which seemed to keep the trout aggressive. I caught seven trout in a row off one of the downed trees in the channel. The first one was a brown, my first of the year. The next six were all rainbows all colored up in their spawning colors. All these fish were between 16 and 20 inches in length and fighters! I caught them on a white 1/16th-ounce jig.
I saw one guy throwing a small silver Cleo, and he was hooking fish, too. Others were throwing jigs and fly fishing probably with a small jig or Zebra Midge.
Guide Tony Weldele reported they did very well throwing Cleos in the Branson Landing area this week.
Guide Steve Dickey said his clients Wednesday morning caught trout on small 1/100th-ounce ginger jigs under a float.
Other anglers fishing Tuesday caught them on yellow Power Eggs. They said they tried all the other colors and yellow by far was the best color. Fall Creek down was the best area for them, especially with the water running in the mornings.
Got out this afternoon seeing how nice it is. But it was windy! Boated up past the Narrows and started casting a black/red Hybernator. It’s a smallish streamer, bead head. I set the boat on the shallow side about 400 yards from the top of the Narrows. The wind was blowing down lake from the south.
As I said in my report, there’s a lot of small rainbows in that area. There’s also some decent rainbows there too but you have to thin through a bunch of dinks to get one.
Good chop on the water and the trout wanted to chase. Almost a strike on every cast… missed a lot of them. Worked my way down to the top of the Narrows and switched to a scud.
Fished a #14 gray scud under a float 36 inches deep. Tippet – 6x. They didn’t like it till I was down into the Narrows a ways, then they loved it. But still nothing of any size.
The bite slowed down after 100 feet or so so I went back to the Hybernator. Lots of short strikes and a few hookups.
The key in throwing any streamer on Taney is wind or current… I like no generation and wind better. I also like fishing them in fairly shallow water – less than 4 feet deep. Fishing the shallow side flats from Lookout down to the Narrows is always good for stripping something… soft hackles, wooly buggers, cracklebacks, streamers.