Hot cicada action continues on Lake Taneycomo – Fishing Report Updated Report for 6-14-11
The pressing question is… how long will this hot cicada fishing continue? It has been an extremely busy time for me of late with a trip to Michigan to get my new drift boat, tying 100’s of flies commercially and a hectic guiding schedule; this is why I haven’t reported as much as I would have liked to. The 13-year Cicada emergence is in full swing on Lake Taneycomo, and the trout are taking big foam patterns off the surface with reckless abandonment. What I find interesting is that these massive bugs were all over the place on the White and Norfork Tailwater down in Arkansas just a few weeks ago, and the surface action was all but dead on Taneycomo. But now, it seems that the hatch is moving to the north, and the only reason I can think of for the reasoning behind this phenomenon is that these insects need specific conditions to come off, and since temperatures are a bit lower in the Branson area than in Arkansas, they may be following the slightly cooler air. Of course, we only get the chance to study the 13-year Cicadas every 13 years, so this prognosis could be way off base, and for all we know, the top-water bite could start back up in Arkansas at any time. The bottom line is that chasing a hatch such as this is risky from a fly fishing point of view, and we won’t know when it’s over until the fat lady sings…as of now, she’s quiet as a mouse, and the hot cicada fishing is spectacular.
I’ve been on the water almost every day over the last week, and there is no doubt that the fish are looking up at Lake Taneycomo. It is a total blast to see nice trout crash your fly on the surface, but the fishing isn’t exactly simple. Accurate casts are in order, and it is critical not to spook the fish. This is why it is key to get into shallow water, and the guys using motorized boats are not doing nearly as well as the guys using drift boats unless they kill the motor and use an oar to get into position. This can be tough when there is even a breath of wind, and in the next newsletter (I promise, it’s coming this week) there will be a section that discusses the pros and cons of each type of vessel. I’ve also been using a special cicada pattern tied with an orange wing in lieu of a ‘natural-colored’ wing, and this seems to make a difference at certain times. This fly isn’t on my “Flies for Sale” page yet, but if you are interested in purchasing some, just let me know.
My recent trips have involved doing several shuttles in order to stay on the fish, and this little bit of extra work is well worth the effort, as it keeps us in the best big-fish zones for the majority of the day. June is a great month for fishing the White River, the Norfork Tailwater and Lake Taneycomo, and now that the lakes and rivers are stable, we are seeing some great conditions. The other day they ran only two units on Taneycomo all day long and that is perfect cicada water. Air temperatures are starting to cool down from that unusual heat wave we saw over the last couple of weeks, so it is very comfortable on the rivers. The water still has a slight tinge to it, but this can be an advantage because the trout have a more difficult time seeing you coming.
There is no telling how long the great fishing with big dries will continue, so if this type of bite is your type of thing, I would be trying to make it down here ASAP. Still, even if you don’t catch it just right, don’t worry; San Juan Worms are killing ‘em, and the streamer fishing for big browns is still respectable on the White. Flows have moderated significantly on all three of the rivers I guide on, as well, so it’s a great time to fish a bunch of different techniques. Please feel free to call me in the evenings for day-to-day reports, and I’ll be happy to let you know exactly what is going on. It has truly been a spring in the Ozarks like no other in the history of the dams, but I’ve learned that when conditions seem like they are at their absolute worst, it’s time to get on the water because you will likely be surprised by the remarkable angling.
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