Lake Taneycomo Norfork Fishing Report
September 14, 2010
The browns are starting to move upstream on the Norfork and Lake Taneycomo
I’ve had the chance to float the Norfork and guide on Lake Taneycomo recently and there is definitely some good news to report: the browns are starting to show up in exceptional numbers. This is the ‘normal’ time of year for brown trout to start staging prior to their annual runs on these two fisheries. While fishing during the peak of the spawn (October) is a somewhat controversial issue, targeting pre-spawn fish is ethical and offers anglers the chance to go after these fish in a manner that does not negatively impact the rivers.
First off, the Norfork is in the best shape it’s been in since the massive flood of 2008. We put in at Quarry Park (Norfork Dam), and literally saw stacks of browns from start to finish; including about a half-dozen pigs just below the ramp. Fishing for all species was ‘on’ during this particular day, and it was nice to see so many beautiful cutthroats of respectable size. The biggest cutt we ran into looked to be in the six-pound range, and it was a gorgeous specimen with cherry-red gill plates – sure wish we would have caught that beast.
Still, we hooked up with scores of fat and chunky rainbows and browns (with some cutthroats and a brook trout thrown in), so I would say that the day was a success.
The area where we saw the most and biggest fish was in the middle of the catch and release area. This zone was literally stacked with trout in certain spots, but most of these fish are only reachable via some sort of boat. My guide schedule is somewhat open for the rest of September, so if you want to experience some of the best fishing the Norfork has to offer, please give me a call for more information.
Lake Taneycomo is
Still Fishing Well
Lake Taneycomo is still fishing well, especially around the boat ramp area (and down) where crowds are less of an issue. I’ve seen several browns the last few times out, and I managed to catch one good one while out on my own. My dad hooked and landed a 21-incher just yesterday down by Fall Creek, which is definitely an indication that the browns on Taneycomo are starting to move up towards the dam.
Within the next few weeks, brown trout will start to stack from Fall Creek all the way to the upper boat ramp, and the best strategy is to fish deep and slow. These pre-spawn fish are intent on gaining some mass before “doing the deed”, so the rest of September will offer up some excellent fishing for aggressive browns. The run will be in full swing by the start of October, but so will the crowds, so now is a great time to target huge fish in areas that are not easily accessible to the masses.
We are all very excited about the potential for amazing runs this year, as the White, Norfork and Lake Taneycomo are loaded with healthy browns. Look for a fresh newsletter this week that covers methods of fishing during these times without making a negative impact on these fragile fisheries. As a guide, I will never do anything that could possibly compromise our wild trout potential, and I feel it is my duty to educate others about how to approach areas where trout are actively spawning. This means avoiding the redds (spawning beds) while looking for holding water where pre and post spawn fish reside.
Please feel free to drop me a line to discuss this issue further, and I look forward to a great fall season of [trophy] trout fishing in the Ozarks.
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