Masters Trout Championship

Lilley’s Landing: Masters Trout Championship

Come on out and fish one of the Taneycomo tournaments this Winter! The rules for both tournaments require artificial baits only and are catch-and-release as well. The entry fee is $50 for each two-person team. Cash prices and trophies will be award to the top four teams. The teams with the heaviest trout are awarded big trout cash prizes.

Masters Trout Championship – Saturday January, 12, 2013
Times: 8:00 a.m. start, 4:00 p.m. weigh-in
Fees: $50.00 per team (two man team)
Entry Deadline: Saturday, January 12 – 7:45 a.m.

Visit this link for entry form and full details.

Location: Lilley’s Landing Resort & Marina

367 River Lane
Branson, MO 65616


Lilley’s Lake Taneycomo Fishing Report

Author: Phil Lilley

Summer can’t make up its mind whether or not it’s done with us or not.  We have had hot temperatures the last couple of days with low 80′s in the near future.  Generation has followed the heat pretty much.  When it’s really hot out,  a bit more generation happens in the afternoon and evenings but with no more than two units.

The last couple of mornings have been tough catching.  The trout have all but shut down under the  high sun until the wind starts up — and that differs daily.   But it was a different story earlier this week when we took out a group of boys from a boys’ home in Arkansas Tuesday morning.  With two pontoons of kids and sponsors, we headed up past Short Creek and anchored towards the shallow side of the lake above the Riverpointe boat ramp.  We fished with air-injected night crawlers, four-pound line and small split shots.  In about a three-hour trip, they averaged seven trout apiece with one brown and the rest rainbows.  All were released.  The wind didn’t pick up until about 9 a.m., but the trout bit even when it was dead still.  So you never know.

Ginger or olive/gold head micro jigs under a float four feet using two-pound line is also a good way to catch trout early before the wind starts.  Use this technique from Short Creek to Lookout Island.  Once the wind starts and there’s a chop on the water, a orange headed sculpin or brown marabou jig under a float four- to five-feet deep from Trout Hollow down to Lilleys’ Landing on the shallow side of the lake worked very well, especially later in the afternoon into the evening.

Later afternoon into the evening, especially if the wind is blowing, and there’s some cloud cover, hoppers have been good from Lookout Island down to the Narrows against the bluff bank. I’m still doing well on a flesh or pink #8 Rainy’s Hi Viz Hopper. I caught a 23-inch brown earlier in the week on one plus lots of rainbows between 14 and 19 inches long. If the water isn’t running very hard and there’s not a lot of wind, try a #10 black beetle or black ant in the same areas.

When the water is running, work a 1/8 – 3/32-ounce marabou jig in the channel from Rebar Hole down to Fall Creek. Good colors are white, sculpin, brown/orange head, sculpin/orange/orange head, brown or purple.

Here’s a report from Darin on fly fishing below the dam:

The fishing here on Lake Taneycomo has been getting better. The weather is cooling off a little bit and we have had some rain. The U.S. Corps of Army Engineers has been running the power generators usually just in the afternoon.

Wade fishing while the power generators is possible, you just have to find the right areas that you can safely fish and that are holding fish. My favorite spot when the generators are on is the Pointe Royale access. There are two good spots to fish there. The first one is just downstream from the access path. Where the lake starts to curve there is a little bit of slack water that holds fish. They hang out right where the fast and slow water meet. Fishing this can be a little difficult with the current moving at different speeds. I always put my fly just on the slow side of the current.

The second place is upstream for the access path. There is an island that has water behind it and holds fish most of the time. I fish my way up all the way to where I can’t walk on the bank anymore. Some of my biggest fish have come from back there. Both places I mainly fish the Miracle Fly about five feet under a Palsa on 5x or 6x Fluoroflex tippet. At the lower place I also fish Brad Wrights’ sculpin pattern on 3x or 4x Powerflex tippet. I fished both these the last few days and have caught fish every time I have gone out.

Talked to Tim Homesley from Tim’s Fly Shop at Roaring River State Park. He fished Tuesday morning wading below the dam. He said he’s starting to see more larger browns move in which is pretty early. By the end of this month, normally there are good number of brown trout in the first mile of the lake.


Using a Fly Fishing Rod

Written by John Berry

One of the most misused and misunderstood pieces of fly fishing equipment is the reel. Most anglers consider it some sort of glorified line storage device. I must say that I feel the reel doesn’t really matter until you hook a good fish. Most of my clients choose to just strip in most, if not all of the fish they hook. In fact, I often ask why did you spend four hundred dollars (or any other astronomical amount) to buy that reel, if you are not going to use it. If you are going to successfully land a big fish, you must fight it on the reel.

The other day I was guiding two gentlemen at Rim Shoals. One of them hooked a trophy trout. I got a pretty good look at it and it was a righteous twenty four inch rainbow with broad shoulders and a bad attitude. My client was stripping in the fish. I suggested that he fight the fish on the reel. He told me that he would just strip it in. As you can imagine, the rainbow easily broke the 5X tippet and quickly escaped. I said nothing.

Two hours later my other client, who was on his first fly fishing trip, hooked a good trout. In this case it was a stout twenty one inch brown. I suggested that he fight it on the reel. He carefully listened as I explained how to get the line on the reel and fight the trout and did exactly what I suggested. Four minutes later the brown was in the net and we were taking pictures and swapping high fives. Both of the anglers learned something important that day, if you hook a big fish, fight it on the reel.

When you are stripping in a fish, you pull the line in and hold it with one or more fingers of your rod hand. If the fish takes a run it is difficult to smoothly let out line to accommodate the fish’s movements. In fact, the tendency is to hold the line tightly. If the line does not smoothly play out, the fish can break it or slip the hook.

On the other hand, if the fish is on the reel, the line goes out with the fish and it is unable to break the line. It is also more difficult to slip the hook. The secret is to keep constant pressure on the trout. You crank line in when you can. The tendency is to try and muscle the fish in. I always tell my clients that only one of you (the trout or the angler) can do something at a time. If you are cranking in the fish and it begins to struggle, stop cranking. If the fish wants to take a run, let it. I have seen many anglers lock down the reel by holding on to the reel handle. This is essentially the same thing as holding the line tightly. When I am fighting a fish, the only time I touch the handle is when I am cranking in line. If the trout begins to struggle or run, I take my hand off of the reel.

One thing that happens often is that we discover that we have hooked a big fish as we are stripping the line in. There are several feet of line on the deck of the boat or the surface of the water that must be wound on the reel. The trick is to put the fish on the reel with out losing it. If you are lucky, the trout will take a long run and pull all of the line out for you. If not, you have to quickly crank the extra line on the reel all the while keeping pressure on the line under your finger.

When fighting a good fish, it is important to keep constant pressure on the fish. How do you determine exactly how much pressure you are putting on a fish? Your rod can tell you. The amount of bend in the rod increases as you put more pressure on it. Different rods will bend more or less based on their overall stiffness. A light four weight will bend more easily than a stiff six weight. Of course, you can put more pressure on 4X tippet than you can 5X.

All reels have a drag system. As the fish pulls out line he is working against the drag system that puts a given amount of pressure on it. You crank the fish in when you can and it will pull out line when it makes a run. Over time it will expend its energy from fighting against the drag and it can then be landed.

It is best to get in the habit of fighting your fish on the reel. When the opportunity to land a big fish comes, you will be more comfortable with the process and more likely to prevail. I try to fight all of my fish that way and find it very effective. If you are going to spend the big bucks to buy a quality reel, use it. It will enable you to land the big ones.


Another Large Rainbow Caught on Lake Taneycomo

Author: Phil Lilley   |  July 30th, 2012

Gerry Dwiggins and Tom Burckhardt are two very good friends of mine. They’ve been fishing Taneycomo for as many years as we’ve been down here, I’m pretty sure longer. I met them while fishing the trout tournaments held at the old Main Street and Branson Trout Dock Marinas. In those tournaments and in our winter trout tournaments now, they show up at the top of the standings more times than naught. When they asked me to go fishing with them this morning before they headed back home, I said SURE!!

We started fishing at Lookout Island. They both are excellent jig fishermen and that’s what we were throwing. Tom threw a jig-and-float a little but most of the time we all threw jigs straight, no float. I took my rod and one jig, a 3/32nd-ounce brown/orange/brown head I had tied on to the line from the last time I was out. I figured I’d bum a jig off them if I lost it.

We caught trout all the way down the lake. Running one unit this morning, the float was perfect for throwing a jig.

Got down past narrows and the last stretch before Fall Creek when I set the hook on a fish directly in front of the old Fall Creek ramp. It immediately came up and shook close to the surface. We all three had the same reaction… “Oh my God! That’s a huge fish!!”

Gerry handled the boat perfectly and I landed the rainbow right at the gravel bar at Fall Creek. Gerry has a large net but it almost wouldn’t fit. Tom took video which I haven’t looked at yet… but will get it on Youtube shortly.

Snapped a few pics and got her back in the lake. She swam off strong.

I marked my spinning rod to get her length – 29 inches. She may go 12 or 13 pounds… I’ll let the picture tell that story.

To date, this is my largest rainbow caught in Lake Taneycomo. What a beautiful fish! Thank you Lord Jesus!!


Eric’s Elite Guide Service

Eric has been a full time Professional Guide on Table Rock, Taneycomo and Bull Shoals Lakes in the Branson Missouri area for over a decade now. He specializes in catching bass, trout, crappie, walleye, whitebass and Spoonbill. Eric has been a successful tournament fisherman and has won many local and regional tournaments and has competed on the FLW Tour and BASS circuits. Even though he loves the travel and competition, his main focus is on his family and customers. Eric loves being at home with his four girls and being a dad. He loves fishing with families and kids. The reason he is a guide today is because of his grandfather, who owned and operated several resorts on the White River in Arkansas and was also a full time guide. The everlasting memories with him on the river changed Eric’s life forever!

Yearly, Eric spends over 275 days on the water and extra time on building fish structure so that his clients have an advantage and CATCH fish! His goal is to provide a top notch professional service as well as having a blast on the water. Whether you are a novice or a professional you will surely have a great day on the water with Eric’s Elite Guide Service!