Lake Taneycomo Fly Fishing Report 1-21-2014

Reports From The Field - Flys

January 22, 2014

Lake Taneycomo Fly Fishing Report

Are we going to have low water any time soon, you ask!?!

Close-Up-Brown-Trout!This Lake Taneycomo Fly Fishing Report will touch on our generation. What a start to the New Year! Every year is different.  The winter months on our Ozark Tail Waters offers  some phenomenal midge fishing, especially when the lakes turn over. This is when I get excited about swinging soft hackles and fishing various midge patterns.  Large numbers of fish are taken on any given day. The only rub is we need the water to be off to accomplish this spectacular bite. This year I thought we would have it, but not so much. Instead we had a few winter storms that changed everything. Like I say in my other reports, it doesn’t take much to get them to generate if we get a rainfall or run off from snow melt. We were looking good going into the winter with the lake being at 915.00. That changed due to a few early snowfalls that we haven’t had in the previous years, especially the one we had before Christmas that left us with snow on the ground for about a week and then another one that dumped eight inches. Another big reason for so much generation is this has been an extremely cold winter. I would say for the last month we have had steady generation with little or no water to wade productively. For the most part, it has been fishing along the bank or from a boat to have a productive day. I’m not talking about the outlets either. Those don’t count when I’m talking fishing, but I do understand that if that is your only option then it is what it is.

close-up-cutthroat-troutThe lake has been staying steady somewhere in the 915-916.00 range and you would think it would lower the lake faster from all the water we have been releasing. All that has done is keep it in power pool. It seems like as soon as we get it down, some type of snowfall or rain shower has raised it about a foot. It is taking a few weeks to get it back down to pool each time. I’m sure some of this has been power demand.   Also, it has to do with getting the lake back down for the spring. Either way, as of right now, we might be in good shape for some low water. As of today, we are scheduled to have low water for five hours. Hopefully it holds true.   As I’m writing this we are scheduled to have low water at 1pm today and I’m sure I’ll still be writing this as I check to make sure. If so, then they are following the predicted generation schedule. We will let you know later down the page.

Revised- Of course, they didn’t do what they said. It hasn’t shut off as of right now and it’s 2:27p.m. with three units online. The lake sits at 915.1 and they might lower it to 914 or even to 913 going into March. That way we can take on a 4 or 5 inch rainfall in one day without being overcome. That is what gets us in high water scenarios and keeps us guessing how long we will have high water.

Have you been fishing?

Lisas-Brown-TroutYes I have, but not a lot. The reason why is I scheduled some time off in the winter to get caught up tying streamers for the guide trips coming in late January and February. I also have a website that is not all the way completed. We have been working on it.  And the biggest reason is I needed a break big time. I felt like I needed to spend some time with my family, especially my kids because they are getting older and demand a lot more of my attention. They are only little  guys for a short time and I want to cherish those memories as much as I can. River will be six years old on January 29th and Fischer just turned four the day after Christmas, so birthday’s have been the big thing as of lately.

Beautiful-cutthroat-troutWe’ve had trips on the books for December and January, but because of all the high water, we had to reschedule some of them for another time. We prefer to offer a better experience later.  Our goal is  to offer great customer service and want everyone of our clients to have a special experience fishing with us. Many of these people are new to fly fishing.  High water equals a tougher trip with less fish brought to the net. I don’t like going for a boat ride and taking their money without them having a great experience. Some people might, but that’s not how we do our business. We will plan for a better trip as long as they can come back. It’s really about building the trip around the client’s level of fly fishing. Beginning fishers in 3-4 units makes for a boat ride at the most.  We want our clients to have a great trip so they will come back and also refer their friends.  . Not only that, but if you’re not fishing Taneycomo from a boat on a regular basis, what are you really getting out of the trip? If you come to Branson and don’t have a boat, it’s really pointless to fish high water from a boat in an attempt to learn how to fish low water.  If I can teach you how to fish low water and that’s how you usually are going to want to fish Taneycomo, then I want to teach you in low water. Then you can use what you learned on your next trip.

“But I’ve seen other boats do trips in high water and catch fish”!

Norfork-Brown-TroutI bet you have, but we do trips a different way.  I would say I’m a specialty guide. I run a drift boat here at Taneycomo, not a motor boat where you can run back up and keep fishing the same run. We have only one chance at it, unless the water is 1-2 units. Taneycomo is good for drifting the first three miles below the dam. It’s a lot different than the White, Norfork or Beaver. They have a lot more water that is productive for drift boats. It really doesn’t hurt my style of fishing until we get big water and then you get pushed too fast downstream. To know more about this read the article I wrote about drift boats. This is one reason why I fish several rivers. If Taney is running more than three units, I’m out of there. It’s just not a river I’m excited about bringing beginners to who are new to fly fishing.

Where have you been fishing?

Brown-Trout-MFI’ve done some trips, but nothing exciting to write about.   Now that we are coming into our “streamer time” on the White River and Norfork, I’m sure you’ll be seeing some more reports. We’ve been spending the majority of our time fishing on the Norfork. I just love it over there. It keeps you coming back for more. If you haven’t been over there in the last six months, it’s a whole different ball game. They have implemented the siphon for better oxygen levels. The trout are growing like weeds and the cutthroat actually have some size to them. It has a variety of trout including brooks and cutthroats as well as browns and rainbows!  It keeps the day fun never knowing what you going to have on the line. In our last report we also talked about rainbows having some greater size which is  something this river has had trouble producing in the past. All in all, it’s been great.

I had a chance to take Lisa over there for a trip not long ago and she did pretty well catching a lot of decent size browns with a few cutthroat in the mix. I’m still working with her as much as our  schedule’s will allow.  Yes, she is going to help me guide and the future is looking bright with her coming on board. Last year she took fourty or so guide trips on Taneycomo. So if you want to get your wife fly fishing, she’s just the guide to make it happen. Make sure you keep that in mind in the future. Lisa has been fly fishing for sixteen years so she knows the ropes.  She will have your wife casting and catching in no time. Lisa does have a full time job, but she has three days off a week. If the timing is right, she can make it happen!

Tying Class –

Western LadyWe do have another class coming up Saturday the 25th starting at 2pm and going till 4pm. We will be tying another hopper pattern made with foam.  It’s called a Western Lady and it’s my second go-to hopper pattern when going after big browns on the White. In the last class, some of you were having difficulties working with foam. This will be a follow up class to polish up on your skills. We will not have a class in February. We will be guiding on the White River. However, we will continue classes in March. Spring and summer patterns will be on the menu! They will be for Lake Taneycomo, the White River, Norfork and Beaver tailwaters. Hope you can make it to class!!

What flies are working?

All the typical flies including scuds, sow bugs, zebra midges, soft hackles, miracle fly, sculpins, and woolies. We sent out a newsletter in December promoting a kit we did that was a big hit.  In case you missed out, you have another chance! The kit includes 136 flies for only $120.00 dollars! They are the trout flies we use on our Ozark tail waters  including the White River, Norfork, Beaver and Lake Taneycomo. The really neat thing about this kit is you can mix and match it!  The promotion should be on the sidebar of our website. You can email me at [email protected] or give me a call at 417-294-0759 if you are interested in it before I get it’s posted on the website. It’s a deal you don’t want to pass up! Hey!!!! That’s less than a dollar a fly!!!


Articulated-Streamers-BackOn another note, I’ve been throwing some articulated streamers at Taneycomo having some luck, but nothing big. The one that I’ve had the most luck on is the olive Circus Peanut. The rainbows seem to like it more than the browns.  It is still a work in progress as I continue to figure out the whole streamer thing on Taney. I don’t know why it’s not a hit like on the White.  It must have to do with the fact we don’t hold near as many browns concentrated up near the dam.  They tend to hold in deep water downstream. In the White they are kind of stuck in areas that keep them in areas where you can fish to them. In the White, there are miles and miles of good water with structure, riffles, seams, docks and the biggest thing, shallower water for longer distances, even when they are generating. Taney has about three good miles and then it turns into the abyss and I think that is the big difference on how our browns hold vs. how the White River’s brown trout hold.

The Lake Taneycomo Fly Fishing Report is information you can use when you go fly fishing on Taneycomo. You can send me a email directly to [email protected] if you are interested in booking a guide trip. 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. Check out the Fly of the Month!

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