September 23, 2011
Streamer Fishing in the Ozark Rivers
One unit steady, makes for great streamer fishing on White River!!
Real quick, before I head out to do some serious fishing on the road. I have a few days off and I’m itching to hit all the Ozarks rivers in the next three days, but did want to get a report out. For the last week or so we’ve had steady flow and probably some of the sickest water you could burn streamers in from a drift boat, especially at night. While these browns will be on the move for the next few months the thing to do is take advantage of the type of water whenever you can. This is the type of water that can get some of these browns on the move, so right now is when you want to fish streamers, if that is your style of fishing. Now, with saying that, it is a tougher bite so don’t expect numbers, but do expect to catch different species of fish. We’ve been hooking more warm water game then trout, but I did have about a 24 inch rainbow that hit my streamer. The second it hit the water, which freaked me out and didn’t get a good hook set, maybe to early or wrong angle on how it hooked the fish, but it was a good ride while it lasted.
Guide Tip: Most the water right now is 2-4 feet deep from the dam down to Point Royale. And this water is key to keeping the fly (articulated streamers) in the “strike zone”. When you have water that is shallow all the way across the river then you can take total advantage of making longer cast and have a lot more time to strip the fly across the water column. Most of the time when the water is higher, then you have to concentrate more of your presentation along the banks, because you have to keep it coming from the shallowest water (which is along the banks) before it slopes into the drop and then in the deep water (more of the middle of the river). This water allows you to not focus all your attention on the banks. You can move big fish directly in the middle of the river and that’s where they are holding when the water isn’t running to hard. Easy current doesn’t move too many big fish along the banks so it’s better to focus streamers more in the middle of the river. Try to find the deeper channels and seams to get steady action, but I would recommend cover ground and stay in new water and fresh fish that haven’t seen your fly already.
Fishing White River Night and Day
To me, the streamer fishing is still a big learning curve at Taneycomo. I’m starting to realize that rainbows on Taneycomo just don’t relate to these bigger articulated streamers like the browns do on the White. These rainbows are not predatorial like browns so they don’t chase, especially during the day. Now at night it’s a different story. The rainbows turn on like wild fire and the fish will hit just about anything if it’s a good night. For the most part what I have found out about Taney and this is what I tell most my clients who fish with me, these fish like size 6 hooks over any other size for overall success when fishing woolies, leech patterns or any streamer for that matter when fishing at night. Taney can be a hit or miss, but that’s what keeps night fisherman coming back for more, that and you always have a chance on hooking a quality rainbows that can be hard to do on the other tailwater we have here in the Ozark’s.
A funny little story I will share…………
Yesterday I had a cancellation due to heavy rains. I decided to call my dad and see if we could fish together and use his boat. I don’t get the time like I used to, to be able to fish with my pops. So any time I can I will, especially during the next couple of months because he gets just as excited as I do for this particular time of the year, big brown trout on the move! The plan was to only bring streamer rods with articulated streamers and see if we could move anything big in this type of weather we had. Some of my best days fishing streamers has been in steady rainfall with no thunder or lightning. I’ve done more of this type of fishing on the White, but dialing in Taneycomo is on my list of things to do and that is really all I want to do on my free time this year.
We put in around 10am. It was still foggy and we had a good rain coming down. I brought tippet and few leaders and one cliff streamer box. We went up river a little bit and started fishing. My buddy and I were both rigged with White Bottom’s Ups throwing 8-9wts with 400-450 grains. I’ll tell you…. we were in the strike zone baby. Everything was right, but no fish were really cooperating with our offering. I’ve been doing so good with white patterns and then all the sudden you get a day like this and not much is going on. We did manage over the course of the last week to hook some largemouth and white bass, but today it was a struggle. I thought it would be an awesome day of streamer fishing and my thoughts were set on catching some larger fish whether it was a bass or a trout. Well, to make a long story short, I told Phil to change up and put on a black streamer. He goes to open that box and there was nothing in it. I forgot the day before I changed out boxes and remember the bigger cliff box was the one I needed. A perfect day for streamer fishing and we had none to fish. It sure makes you laugh when you think back on it. I’m sure we all have stories like that.
Here’s a podcast I did about this same time last year with Rick. I was listening to it today and thought maybe some of you who haven’t heard it might find it to help you during this year’s brown run. Feel free to visit us on Facebook, If you really liked this article, +1 above – check us out at +flysandguides (Google+) or send us a tweet with a question or just to say hi. You can also learn more about streamer fishing and other fly fishing tips by subscribing to our newsletter!