Is winter over? The long range forecast says is may be. But it is only February 8 and there's well over a month left before March 21 gets here. And even then, you never know. Snow could be right around the corner... but for today, there's a 75 degree Saturday in sight! And Lilleys' Landing Resort has openings.
Generation patterns have been pretty consistent. They've been running water most mornings and evenings up to 2 units but off during the middle of the day. We're still dry here - we need some rain to bring the lakes up.
Starting at the dam and working down, when the water is running and you can get up there by boat, drifting and using several flies have been working. Red or brown San Juan Worms, egg flies and scuds are good. Scuds in size #14 and either olive or gray. Bill Babler said he did well Monday using a small floating minnow lure like a Rapala, Rebel or Trout Magnet on a drift rig. The floating bait keeps it from getting snagged on the bottom, most of the time.
If you're throwing jigs, good colors have been sculpin, sculpin/peach and ginger. White isn't working because there's no shad coming from Table Rock. Size depends on how much water is running. They've been fluctuating between a half unit to 2 units. I'd throw the lightest jig possible. I wouldn't throw an 1/8th unless they're running morning that 90 megawatts of water, or almost 2 full units.
Jig and float is working too. Colors are about the same. Weights - most of the time I'd put a 1/32nd ounce under a float 3 to 6 feet deep.
Line size - I'd use 2-pound line no matter what you're throwing. I talked to a good friend about line size last week and he said that he noticed his heavier line wasn't doing as well as his partner's 2-pound line although his 4.4 pound Tec Tan line usually does real well. He changed to 2-pound P Line and started catching right along with his buddy.
They've been catching some real nice rainbows below the dam and down through the trophy area, but along with the 17's and 18-inch rainbows there are more of the very small 9 to 10 inch rainbows up there - and down here around our place too. Not sure when these small rainbows were stocked but they seem to be schooling together and attacking everything they run into. Take great care in releasing these beauties... they are the ones that will get smart and grow to be trophies.
If you're wading, now is a great time to come to Taney. Very good water conditions and the area below the dam is full of beautiful rainbows in spawning colors. Here's a rainbow caught today by local angler, Mike Curry.
Below Fall Creek, we've seen some awfully nice rainbows brought in at the 2 trout tournaments we've held in the past couple of weeks. In the last contest, where no one fished above Fall Creek, there were over a dozen 18-inch-plus rainbows weighed in as well as 2 legal browns. I was just amazed at the number of colored up trout that had clearly been in the lake long enough to lose their grayish, freshly stocked look. Most of these rainbows were caught on bait - night crawlers and various colors of Powerbait, and were caught between our dock and Fall Creek.
Steve Dickey has been catching trout on a ginger Turner's micro jig under a float 4 to 6 feet deep. He's using light 6x or 2 pound line. Of course catching is better if there's been a chop on the surface. He's also still catching fish on the pink Berkley's Power worm too.
Roy Anderson just stepped in to my office and asked if I could take a picture of a rainbow he'd caught. I did. He promptly released it. Caught it close to Short Creek on a sculpin/orange 3/32nd ounce jig.
If you're interested in bass fishing, I've heard they're catching some nice blacks and kentuckies down on the lower lake throwing an A-Rig.