We’ve been enjoying a lot of down water (no generation) here on Lake Taneycomo. Nights and mornings there has been no generation with a little flow added late in the afternoon/evenings for about three hours most days — just enough to clean out some of the leaves falling from the trees, at least on the upper lake.
Dissolved oxygen content on the lake has been fair to good. Most days the level has read at about six parts per million, but I did take a reading the other day that was pretty low — 3.6 p.p.m.. The fish were pretty sluggish that day. I can’t make any sense as to why it’s low some days. . . . it just is.
Lots of leaves fell today with the wind blowing hard out of the north. Leaves and boat motors don’t get along. Leaves will cause a motor to cavitate, which sounds like the motor is slipping out of gear. We tell anglers renting our boats to try not to run through a pile of leaves, explaining that if they do, and the leaves get stuck behind the shaft of the water, it will force air down to the prop and make it spin without power. They are instructed to stop, put the motor in reverse and blow the leaves out.
Bugs are on the leaves when they fall in the lake. Fish like bugs. We like to tie flies that looks like bugs. And we like to fish around floating leaves where trout are feeding.
I use a small jig-and-float rig when using a spin cast, and if fly fishing, I use a small Zebra Midge under a float. I target trout midging around patches of leaves on the lake, especially in the evening. It’s loads of fun.
If fly fishing, I’d use either a four- or five-weight rod, nine foot with a light to medium light tip action, weight forward line, 12 foot, 5x tapered leader and 6x tippet. Spin fishing, it’s best to use a longer, medium action rod like 6’6″ or 7’0.” The length of the rod provides more power when you set the hook on a fish.
I like the Turner Micro Jig in the half micro or a small marabou jig, as small as 1/125th ounce. We also carry PJ’s Finesse Jig, and they do come in two small sizes, perfect for this application — 1/125th- and 1/50th-ounce. Good colors are black, olive, sculpin, ginger and brown.
Good flies would be the Zebra Midge, Prince Nymph, Soft Hackle, or even a small beaded scud if you’re fishing close to a bed of pond weeds. I’d use nothing bigger than a size 14.
Our water clarity has been dirty lately, so using 6x or 4 pound line is okay, but especially when the sun is out bright and the surface is still, you might need to go to 7x tippet or two-pound line.
If there’s no chop on the water, you’ll need to give the jig a little action by nudging or popping the float every five seconds or so. Look for very subtle movements of the float for the bite and set the hook fast.
Fish around the leaves and especially look for rising fish feeding on midges and other bugs on the surface. Target them.
You’ll find these feeding on the surface trout throughout the lake, not just in the upper lake. You may specifically find them in the Branson Landing area when rainbows are freshly stocked at least once each week of the year.
Using the same application as small jigs and Zebra Midges, fish a marabou jig or micro jig under a float but deeper. Also try the Berkley Pink PowerWorm under a float four- to seven-feet deep.
We’ve been doing very well using a Mega Worm under a float, both below and above Fall Creek lately. Same application as the jig and float, fish it either with a fly rod or spin rod and get it close to the bottom. We carry two weights of Mega Worms — 1/100th- and 1/80th-ounce. The larger of the two is mainly for when the water is running and the smaller is for when there’s no generation.
Our shop carries several colors — white, peach, yellow, pink, brown and chartreuse. I’ve been using the peach and white and catching nice rainbows (no browns yet) on them. I’ve used them when doing One Cast a couple of times, showing how they work.
White jigs have made a comeback. We’re throwing 1/32nd- and 1/16th-ounce white marabou jigs using either two- or four-pound line (I use Trilene XL clear or green) and work the jig mid depth or close to the bottom. I’ve been fishing them in the Fall Creek area, both in and below the Trophy Area.
Fishing off our dock has been very good for the past couple of weeks, as well as fishing above and below the dock. Night crawlers are still catching the best rainbows, injected with air so they’ll float off the bottom and using four-pound line, #8 bronze hooks and a small split shot.