December 16 Fishing Report

Our weather is the subject of national news this month  with our temperatures reaching the 60s and 70s most days.  And it’s been relatively dry with some rain in the forecast.  Our lakes are below power pool —  all three lakes.  And with the generation we’re seeing at least at Table Rock dam, officials will drop the water lower, barring any big rains.  This is welcomed news for those of us below dams.  We like to see room created for potential winter and/or spring rains.

Taneycomo’s water continues to run.  All generation restrictions have been lifted since Table Rock’s water has turned over,  and we’re seeing dissolved oxygen levels between seven and ten parts per million.  Our water temperature has slipped to 54 degrees, down two degrees from our highest fall temperature.  It should continue to drop, assuming we get some seasonal winter weather at some point.

This week we’ve seen 10,000 cubic feet per second of water for the first time in months.  That’s a full three units of water from Table Rock’s turbines.  This flow cleaned out the upper lake a bit, which was needed, although the algae is not as bad as it has been.  I think it’s because of less sunlight during winter months.  If we ever get a cold spell, we should see four full units of around 15,000 c.f.s..

Trout fishing has improved since our oxygen level has risen.  The trout have become much more active and willing to play.  They are hitting marabou jigs really well compared to the fall season, which warms my heart.  White has been the best color, which is strange since the trout haven’t seen anything white lately — that I know of.

We’re seeing some fish beds on the upper lake.  We don’t see beds when the brown trout are spawning but we do when the rainbows do.  With the constant flow, we see cleaned-out gravel spots on the shallow side of the lake from the Narrows to the dam.  And there are rainbows on these beds, although I don’t think they are actively spawning yet.  But it won’t be long.

Larry Edwards
Chris Renner
Larry Edwards

Drifting flies from the dam to Short Creek has been really good with egg flies leading the list.  Scuds and San Juan worms are close behind, though, and the fish are hitting them hard — when they’re biting. 

There are two ways to fish these flies — under a float or dragged on the bottom.  If you’re fishing them under a float, just make sure you have enough weight to present them close to the bottom and, of course, enough line below the float.  Likewise, if you drag them on the bottom with no float, use enough weight to place them there, but not too much that would snag the bottom a lot.

When operators are running more than two units, dragging jerk baits on the bottom should work pretty well, from the dam down to our resort.  Again, the amount of weight is key to a good drift.

I’ve talked to some anglers who fished white Gulp eggs from Cooper Creek down to Monkey Island and caught some nice rainbows.  If the current is too slow, try fishing them under a float five- to seven-feet deep.  Also fish the pink worm under a float at the same depth, but I’d fish it from Short Creek to the resort.


Spoons, like Cleos and Buoyant spoons, have been hot lately.  Plus, I heard white Rooster Tails are catching some good fish both in and out of the trophy area.

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