April has been a spectacular month for catching trout here on Lake Taneycomo. Reports from guests and guides alike relay copious amounts of fish — and many quality, trophy-sized fish as well. Our trophy catch-and-release program has recorded 105 trophy trout caught and released. A record April for the books!
Table Rock Lake is down to power pool, but Beaver Lake is still pretty high so the the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has been maintaining a 35-megawatt flow for most parts of every day with occasional surges to 100 or 150 mw for a few hours here and there. This slower flow has provided opportunities for all types of fishing including fly fishing and wading.
Over the last few weeks most guides have been using the Pink Powerworm on a small jig head, 1/50 to 1/100 ounce, under a float in the 35-mw flow when catching fish below Fall Creek. The honorable bait of the month has been, hands down, marabou jigs. Either free jigging in the 1/16-ounce size or smaller 1/50- to 1/80-ounce jigs below
a float both above and below Fall Creek. Interesting mention — some larger rainbows have been caught down in the Branson Landing area this last week.
Nightcrawlers and minnows along with different color combinations of Powerbait, including white, corn yellow, orange and pink have been working to put fish in the boat. Our dock fisherman have also been enjoying good catches from the dock with these slower flows, generally with nightcrawlers, salmon eggs or Powerbait.
When the water drops to this rate of flow, it provides excellent fly fishing opportunity. Fishing the smaller 1/50- to 1/80-ounce marabou jigs under a strike indicator has been an optimal method. Midges under a float in various colors, including the Ruby midge, have been performing as well. The Miracle Fly and Mega Worm are finding fish periodically, also.
The jerkbait bite has been hit and miss; however, trophy trout are still being caught with this method. Early morning or late evening has been the best times for this bite. Throwing suspending models from three- to seven-feet deep with lots of sporadic movement has been the ticket for the slower water.