We’ve enjoyed a long dry spell that has given us long periods of no generation here on Lake Taneycomo. That has been especially nice for fly fishing. But we’re starting to see rain in the forecast, with one two-day rain event winding up as I type this report. We should start seeing more generation in the coming days. Beaver Lake area didn’t receive as much rain as Table Rock. Some areas in the James River basin received more than four inches.
Both Beaver and Table Rock lakes are just over their seasonal power pools, which I think you can say is normal for this time of year. We’ve been seeing fairly consistent generation patterns most days – up to four full units in the morning and again late in the evening. This has kept our lake levels in check through the winter so far. Our water color is excellent with the temperature averaging about 44 degrees.
We’ve enjoyed three fishing tournaments thus far in 2023. One permitted only artificial lures and two allowed live bait. In the contest with just flies and lures, scuds caught the better trout, while in the bait contests, night crawlers and power bait were king, with jigs and flies right behind them.
There were a very good number of big rainbows and browns brought in at each tournament, which is a great sign for the days to come. I believe we had more legal browns (20-inches or longer) weighed in than any other winter period. All big trout were released even though in two of the tournaments it was not required. One other thing about each tournament—no one fished above Fall Creek in the trophy area.
Berkley’s pink worm under a float fishing four- to eight-feet deep is still the most fish-catching technique outside of the trophy area. If water is running, use a heavier jig head to keep it down. Next would be drifting night crawlers or the pink worm on the bottom. It’s very important that your weight is bumping the bottom—that’s where the fish are holding. Although I haven’t fished them yet this winter, minnows should work, too, especially on bigger trout.
The one thing we see our trout eating is scuds, above and below Fall Creek. We are seeing them spitting them up when caught, and we see them in the stomachs of trout being cleaned. That’s why we say, if the water is running, drift a scud on the bottom. Typically, we use a little bigger size scud (#12) when drifting versus smaller sizes (#14, #16.) Egg flies and San Juan worms are working, too.
We’re catching fish on marabou jigs. If the water isn’t running, we’re throwing small jigs (1/32- and 1/16-ounce) using two-pound line. It’s best to work the bottom, but sometimes the trout are closer to the surface. You need to check both places. If the water is running, we’re using heavier jigs and working the bottom and edges of the bank in eddies and slower water. White jigs are catching more browns, and darker jigs are catching everything. Sculpin, black, olive and a combination of colored jigs like sculpin/peach or black/olive are the best colors.
Jerk baits should be good since more water will be running for a while. We sell custom baits (online and in the store) as well as Rapalas, Rouges, Flicker Shad and MegaBass. Work the banks and throw as close to the bank as possible because those bigger trout will be holding off the fast water in those area.
Keep watching One Cast for current conditions and changes to the generation pattern.