This will be a quick report — mainly because conditions have been changing almost hourly here on Lake Taneycomo.
We’ve been on quite a ride the last four days. Lots of rain this past weekend sent Beaver Lake into emergency dump mode, opening flood gates and releasing water at a rate of more than 25,000 cubic feet per second. This inflow, along with rain from the system, jumped Table Rock to up over 920 feet and triggered another flow of water at 20,000 c.f.s. into Taney.
We were a little concerned about the temperature of the water coming over the top of Table Rock Dam since the surface temp on the upper lake now exceeds 80 degrees with summer here. I saw 72 degrees below the dam while down lake, but after the water mixed with water coming in from the turbines, we saw about 60 degrees. While 72 is pretty warm for trout, they could easily move to cooler water.
Today, Table Rock Dam operators shut off three of the 10 spill gates, knocking down the flow to 19,000 c.f.s.. While they shut down some gate water, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers brought the fourth turbine back online, so we’re still seeing about the same amount of water running without three gates open. Our water temp at the dock went from 60 to 57 degrees, and the water level dropped about 18 inches.
When water comes over the spill gates at Table Rock Dam, it brings a whole host of warm water fish, including threadfin shad (which our trout love to eat), needle nose gar, walleye, crappie, white bass, smallmouth bass and all the other types of bass, too.
In May of this year, five spill gates were open the entire month, but we didn’t see much evidence that threadfin washed over the dam. But this time, with 10 gates open 12 inches each, our trout are attacking anything white — meaning they are seeing and eating these small shad.
We are catching nice rainbows from the cable down to Trophy Run on white jigs, small shad stick baits, spoons — plus drifting scuds, egg flies, San Juan Worms and shad flies on the bottom. We have not tried drifting a crank bait on the bottom yet. Four-pound line is perfect.
Images are from Duane’s guide trip this morning. One young man landed two rainbows longer than 20 inches on white shad flies.
From Lookout down to Fall Creek, I have drifted a #12 gray scud and caught some nice rainbows. I think that bite is still slow but will get much better as time goes on. I used an 1/8th-ounce bell weight to get it to the bottom on four-pound line.
A guest said he did really well today drifting from Fall Creek to Short Creek using orange Power Eggs. He caught a three-pound rainbow among other nice trout.
Right now I have nothing else to report, mainly because not many people are out fishing, especially below Fall Creek. Dock fishing is, well . . . very hard with the rapid flow.
It looks like we’re going to see this water for about a week, maybe a little less. We aren’t supposed to see much rain, which will help, but with Beaver so high and water still flowing into the system, it will take about that long to get Table Rock back down to “safe” conditions.