Lake Taneycomo Fly Fishing Report
March 6, 2010
Every silver lining has a cloud
I just wanted to post a brief report on the trip I did the other day. A really nice gentleman and I decided to fish Lake Taneycomo after much deliberation. Flows have been much lower at both Bull Shoals and Table Rock Dams, so it was a tough decision picking a spot. All in all, I think I made the right choice by staying close to home.
The water ran steady at the one-unit level all day – this may be the rarest of all flows to see with much regularity on Lake Taneycomo. Fishing is almost always good on one unit and yesterday was no exception. There was just one annoying issue that prevented us from having a hey-day: an over-abundance of federally stocked rainbow trout from the hatchery in Neosho, Missouri. We could not keep these little squirts off of our line, and I am convinced that these fresh trout will grab the fly before the larger fish get the chance to. Still, we did manage to land a few good ones here and there, and most of these larger fish were very dark purple in color. I love it when they take on this shade; I think it may be indicative of a fish that is either pre or post-spawn. Those that fish Taneycomo a lot know how cool these purple rainbows look in person.
All in all, we landed around forty fish, which I think is very good for someone new to the sport. Sure, the majority of what was landed was dinky, but he still had to do everything right to get the hook-up.
The only guaranteed way to keep these stockers off of your line is to throw a fly bigger than they are, and I was close to trying that at points throughout the day. We ended the outing right by landing a thick and hard-fighting rainbow in the 17-inch range.
It does frustrate me that they stock so many tiny fish on upper Taneycomo throughout the year. Basically, no one wants these fish, so they have to go somewhere. But seriously, the trophy area on upper Lake Taneycomo never needs stocking, and if it does, why not use the trout with strong genetic traits from Shepherd of the Hills hatchery below Table Rock Dam? I’m sure this whole deal can be traced back to the times when the federal government was instituting stocking programs to mitigate the loss of warm water habitat below the dams. These swarms of stockers not only diminish the fishing experience on upper Lake Taneycomo, they also stress the habitat to its breaking point.
I did just hear that my dad was just checked by the game wardens while fishing today. It is good to finally see the enforcement officers below the dam on Lake Taneycomo again. They used to check fishermen for violations all the time, but the effort has slacked off in recent years. Poachers beware: the officers said that they will be patrolling the dam area far more frequently this year.
Look for lower flows on all the rivers this upcoming week, and dead low water is a strong possibility on the White and Lake Taneycomo. It hasn’t really happened lately, but the lakes are all below power pool, so I am expecting serious changes in generation patterns. Check out the Flies for Sale page – I have a new dry fly box offering a selection of patterns that can bring the big boys to the surface.
Fishing is great right now. Let me help you plan the perfect Ozark fly fishing getaway.