Updated Fishing Report for 10-4-10
Two nights of drift fishing on Lake Taneycomo produces excellent results
I guided a couple of great guys from Kansas City this last weekend, and we ended up primarily night fishing out of the drift boat below Table Rock Dam. On the first night, we began at 9pm; starting out by wading in right below the dam. The bite up there has been tough of late, and my guess is that this is a direct result of rampant fishing pressure in that area. Those fish only get a break when the water is running hard, and we were definitely not the only ones out there on Friday night. My clients still managed to land some decent rainbows, but the overall fishing was slow and there are not a bunch of browns hanging out in the upper reaches of the tailwater…yet. After a couple of hours, we decided to get the boat in the water, but the horn at the dam went off at midnight, and since my clients were tired, we decided to call it a night.
The plan was to hit the White on Saturday, but we would have had a very late start, so all of us decided to wait until evening and fish from the boat ramp down to Fall Creek on Taneycomo. We did give the dam a try for a short bit, but like the previous night, the fishing was slow up there. Because all of the water is pretty accessible in the dam zone, it is hard to find fish that haven’t been beaten down by the recent crowds coming to fish low water. On Saturday night, I only counted six other anglers out there, but there were at least thirty folks hammering that same stretch the night before. One of my clients did catch about five rainbows in that first hour, but the other guy was seemingly jinxed. The client having all of the success was using a crazy tinsel streamer I tied up to experiment with, but of course, I only had one of these flies which that guy ended up using for the entire night.
After putting the boat in, this trend of lopsided results continued. The guy with the crazy fly was hooking one after another, and it didn’t take long before the other client’s confidence started to wane. As we slowly moved downstream, I instructed the snake-bitten fisherman to make a cast into a deep little hole about 100 yards down from the ramp. He immediately hooked into something BIG and after a long battle, we brought a gorgeous brown to the boat. It’s amazing how one nice fish can change the overall mood of the trip, and after that big boy was landed, we started hammering one rainbow after another. In three hours of extremely slow drifting down to Point Royal, we got a bite or a fish on virtually every cast. It was truly the kind of fishing that most anglers only dream about and rarely get to experience.
Employing the Correct Fishing Methods
There may be many reasons as to why Saturday was so much better than Friday, but I firmly believe the change in productivity had everything to do with the area we were fishing and the methods we employed. By getting into water that is rarely fished – especially at night – we were basically able to fish a completely different river than the night before. Most anglers tend to stick up by the dam because that is where the most and biggest fish are ‘supposed’ to be, but because of the fact that I am able to spend so much time on the water, I almost always know where the majority of nice and aggressive fish are hanging out. Downstream of the ramp has been the place to be this year, but if the fish move, you can bet that I will move with them to the spots where I think my customers will have the best shot at catching the highest number of big fish. Since the fall run is not yet in full swing on Taneycomo, most of the huge browns are staging in the deep pools below the ramp. Another reason that we were exponentially more productive the second night is that we were able to spend the majority of our time fishing from my drift boat. This type of vessel allows me to sneak up on wary trout because it glides virtually silently through the water. Smaller fish don’t spook as easily as large fish, so utilizing a stealth approach almost always pays off in a big way. Fly patterns and casting prowess are also components that contribute to a good day or night on the river, but without the drift boat, it becomes far more difficult to cover water and get a fly in front of the right fish during low water conditions.
Notice the red (spawning bed in the image), please pay attention to these areas and avoid with caution. Please consider a nighttime drift fishing trip if you are interested in finding and hooking into a trophy rainbow or brown on Taneycomo, the White or the Norfork. I’m the only guide service offering this option, and it is truly magical to fly fish from a boat in the dark as one’s senses become heightened. This October and November are the perfect time to plan a midnight drift fishing trip and as of now, I still have some days and nights open – but I’m receiving inquiries every day, so it is wise to book now if you want to ensure a spot. Outside the box thinking is what I am all about, and I’m truly thrilled to have the chance to deviate from the beaten path and realize great success in the process. With the weather starting to really cool off (it never got above 40-degrees on Saturday night and this change in temperature may have also turned the trout on), expect more and more browns to start stacking up in the trophy area. I am predicting that this fall will offer up some of the best day and night fly fishing we have experienced in years because there are so many fish that held over and got fat during the near non-stop high water of the previous three years. The next six to eight weeks are going to be amazing, and this is the perfect time to see what Ozark trout fishing is all about.
***Many of you have noticed that my Web site has been looking a little weird lately, and this is because I am in the process of putting together a brand new site that will be more aesthetically pleasing and user friendly. Hopefully, everything will be done within a month, and I am really excited about this change. Once the new site is up and running, look for a bunch of new how-to steps to be posted in the near future and in the meantime, please “pardon our dust”.
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