During October, we saw no generation for a large portion of the month. With an abnormally dry summer and fall season, Table Rock’s elevation is setting at 909.58ft. The power pool for this time of the year is 917.00ft, putting Table Rock almost 9ft below its normal seasonal depth. We have measured some dissolved oxygen readings by the dam below .5 parts per million due to this low water flow. These levels being seen more often at night.
Despite all that, overall fishing remains good for most anglers. Reports indicate big schools of stockers are
providing a good number of fish to be brought in. Most of them in the size of 10-12 inches. However, the opposite can be said about wading below the dam whenthe water is off. Even though it’s trout mating season below the dam, most fisherman are reporting lower numbers being caught there, but the quality and size of those fish are excellent. The population of browns this year is the highest we have seen in quite some time. Just the other day Bob Manton, a local here, caught this beautiful 31″ brown below the mouth of Fall Creek on a white mega worm.
The hot baits for our guides and vacationing anglers alike have been a nightcrawler injected with air and the Berkley pink power worm on a 100th oz jig head under a float. These are especially effective from daybreak till around 9or 10am with the water off. Other productive methods when the water is at a standstill are various colors of micro jigs, mega worms, miracle flies, scuds and midges. On the off chance the water is running, dragging eggs, scuds and san juan worms have worked well.
Reports from our wade fisherman below the dam have been primarily scuds and midges: ranging anywhere from a size 16 to as small as a size 24. Small wooly buggers and crackelbacks in the shallow moving water have also been productive. If you are looking to target a bigger, more aggressive trout, stripping a sculpin streamer is a great way to catch one of these fish. The sculpin streamers have heavy lead eyes to help keep them on the bottom, so it’s best to use a heavier weight fly rod: 6 to 8 weight. Based on the way this fly is retrieved, you can also get away with heavier tippets: 2x and 3x.
Big trout are still being caught at night as well. Jerkbaits and marabou jigs have been the best on a spin cast rod. Small pine squirrel streamers, leeches, sculpins and wooley buggers have been most effective on the fly rod. Most anglers at night are reporting low numbers of high quality and good size trout being caught. So patience is key!
No water running also means the threat of low oxygen levels at certain times. This is the time of year where good fish handling practices go a long way to preserve the fishery. Here is a link with some great info on fish handling practices: