The year 2022 will go down in the record books as one of the best lunker trout years in recent history. It may not have surpassed the “good ole’ days of the 60’s and 70’s” but I think we gave them a run.
Just that we recorded so many trout longer than 20 inches compared to the past 40 years is impressive. I’m just not sure if this streak will continue.
Our fishing pressure really dropped off in December. Fishing continued to stay good for most anglers who braved the cold and rainy days. But for us, we didn’t see a lot of bigger trout.
We did not, though, fish below the dam where I know a good number of big fish live. I believe the pattern for Taneycomo is when the heavy generation starts, the trout tend to scatter over the upper half of the lake. Then we’ll see the lunker numbers increase for all parties fishing the lake.
When Table Rock Lake turns over, which it did in mid November, our water becomes dirty with silt flowing from the dam. Our Dock Manager Blake Wilson noticed that when that happened, our jig bite really took off. Since the last week of December though, our water from Table Rock has really cleared up considerably. This should help with overall fly fishing in the whole lake. I believe our trout see smaller flies a lot better in this clear water versus the brown, silted water we had experienced.
Generation has been sporadic. Even during our cold spell, dam operators didn’t run much the first couple of days, then ran it full blast the last couple of days. If they run water now, it’s the first few hours of the morning and/or the last hour of the evening and into the night. But there’s no pattern at all.
Lake water temperature has dropped from the 50’s to the 40’s in the last few weeks. Last time I checked it was about 47 degrees coming from Table Rock. I have been fishing on Table Rock and have seen its temperature as low as 39, but mostly it’s about 44 degrees. So we should see our water temperature continue to drop in the coming weeks.
I have some personal fishing info from doing One Cast lately. I’ve been catching rainbows on the white mega worm under a float — probably my best producer overall. Second would be the zebra midge under a float. The scud has been slow except that I do know that some of our guides have drifted it in running water, with an egg fly, and done well from the dam through Short Creek.
Jig fishing turned on after Table Rock turned over and our lake got silty. White jigs have been the best followed by ginger and then sculpin. Olive and black have been good, too, at times. I’ve been fishing mostly when the water isn’t running so I’m throwing 1/32- and 1/16th-ounce jigs on mainly two-pound line. If the water is running, I’m increasing the size of jig and going with four-pound line.
Night crawlers have been the best bait, injecting them with a little air and adding a split shot 18 inches above the hook. Or you can float the worm with a marshmallow. I took my grandkids out a few weeks ago and fished strictly with a marshmallow and did very well. I did have to watch the kids to make sure they didn’t eat the bait. I’ve also suggested using red Pautzke’s salmon eggs with gold glitter off the dock. That’s producing good catches.
Our rainbows are really gaining color right now. Most of our rainbows are winter spawners, although very few successfully spawn.