January 8 fishing report

All the lakes in the White River Chain of Lakes are almost to their seasonal power pool levels, but we have some rain forecast for the whole basin this weekend that might prolong generation below each dam.  Right now, we’re looking at three to four inches Thursday through Saturday morning with some snow mixed in.  But I’m wondering how accurate this forecast is and hoping, of course, that it’s wrong.

What’s nice about fishing below a dam is that you experience a variety of different conditions.  We’ve seen three units or 9,500 cubic feet per second of water flowing for the past month, and while fishing has been pretty good, we’re wanting a change, preferably less is better.  We did get a small change this morning — operators have dropped the flow from Table Rock Dam from 9,500 to 6,800 c.f.s. for a few hours, signaling that a change is about to happen.  But we’ll see what the rains bring this weekend.

Most of our normal fishing techniques are working, but nothing is working to the degree I would call “hot.”  We catching trout on jigs, jerk baits, the pink worm, night crawlers, Powerbait, scuds, egg flies and San Juan worms.  We’re drifting and dragging the bottom, casting and working a jig or jerk bait and fishing a pink worm or scud under a float. 

The Landing area is producing a lot of small rainbows ,probably freshly stocked.  But I’ve also seen some pictures of big rainbows caught down there, so you never know.  Monkey Island is fishing decent.  Drifting the area from our resort through Cooper Creek has been just okay, but we have seen some bigger rainbows come off the bluff bank.

The best area to catch nice rainbows below the trophy area has been from Fall Creek to Short Creek using night crawlers and drifting small jerk baits on the bottom.

Our guides, the few trips they are taking, have done well fishing the pink worm under a float, but they fish it deep — up to 11 feet deep according to Guide Bill Babler.  But that technique is producing good rainbows.

In the trophy area, Guide Steve Dickey is drifting #12 – #14 gray or tan scuds on the bottom and catching good numbers with some rainbows pushing 18 inches.

Guide Duane Doty is throwing his custom-painted jerk baits at the crack of dawn for a couple of hours and doing fairly well, although he hasn’t caught any big trout longer than 20 inches lately.

Dock hand Blake has been throwing a jig most days, faring the best on black/gray, white/gray and sculpin/ginger (brown head.) He’s throwing a 3/32nd- or an 1/8th-jig using four-pound line if he’s fishing the trophy area.  But we’ve been switching to two-pound line and smaller 1/16th- and 1/32nd-ounce jigs working the slower water from above the resort down through the Branson Landing.  I’ve been doing well on black/yellow, black/fl. flame and white/black.

One other thing I’ll mention.  When Table Rock Lake turns over in late fall, it kicks up silt on the big lake then we get the silt.  The turn over usually happens the first or second week of December but this year it happened almost 30 days early.  It takes about a month for the silt to settle out at which time our water becomes very clear again.  So, our lake water is already clear when it usually is silty so we’re going to 2-pound line now over 4-pound in a lot of instances.  Food for thought.

This Post Has One Comment

  1. Tawnee Eckhart

    Wow, I never thought I would land on the website for catching a fish…haha! Thanks to Duane, that beautiful trout was a keeper that we let live for another day. It felt different than the other multiple trout that day. Can’t wait to see what February brings in our outing again. Hopefully the luck falls on my husband this time. It was his birthday on January 8th, but I got the present!

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