Taneycomo Fly Fishing Report 12-6-2014/ Lake Level Pool – 910.19
December Monthly Report /What I think about the 2014 Brown Trout Run
Kyran’s Streamer Day at Taneycomo
Before I get into my thoughts about how our brown run was at Taneycomo, I would like to explain how Taney has been fishing as of late. I was on Taneycomo this past Sunday and the goal was to throw streamers because the conditions were right. We had two full generators running and overcast skies, perfect weather conditions for bringing up a brown trout in my opinion. I have a buddy that has recently taken on the challenge of streamer fishing and is hooked! This is his fourth time doing it and he’s figured out how to double haul by taking the time to practice in his yard which has made a huge difference; as far as, making his cast more effective.
I wanted to spend my time fishing two areas that have always produced those “streamer browns”. Due to the windy conditions and dropping the boat in around noon we had to have a game plan with the few hours of daylight left. Not only that, but we had a cold front coming in and the temperature was going drop about 45 degrees by midnight. I’ve always been a believer that nasty weather equals quality fishing. I decided to go downstream to take advantage of the area by Lookout Bluff at Point Royale to get away from the wind and to maximize my time in the daylight, before heading up to the dam.
I started hitting the bank when the current picked up along the bluff about even with the first house on the left, if you are going to downstream. This bank runs about 400 yards and is a perfect streamer bank and dry fly bank in the summer months, when trout start looking up for a meal that might fall off from the overhanging trees.
The critical thing you have to look for when running streamers is current that runs right along the bank. When a bank cuts in and out the current speed will change, especially when the river makes a turn, this is an area where you can find the majority of your aggressive takes. It definitely provides a seam that will push an easy meal to the fish. If you cast in dead water with no current, much like what you would see in a lake, a fish will most likely not take the fly because it’s not swimming correctly allowing the fish more time to think, resulting in nothing more than a wasted cast. I always say “wait for it”, in other words spend your time looking for productive water and make the cast count. This will increase your odds and in return deliver the presentation of how a trout would naturally see it. I want to make a trout think faster so it becomes more of a “competing hit” regardless of what color the fly; relying on the trout to act on pure impulse.
In order to fish this bank effectively, two units or more need to be running to even entertain the idea of an articulated streamer or you will not have enough current running along the bank. I started the afternoon off with an olive circus peanut. Let me get into articulated streamers for a minute. I need to touch on this subject so everybody who appreciates my style of fishing can relate to and hopefully others reading this article will relate to as well. More and more anglers are starting to join in on the craze of articulated streamers, there are so many different variations out there and they all offer different actions, sizes, color schemes and if fished correctly they can all end up producing a fish. Brown trout are aggressive and they like to eat and often eat big meals. I’ve caught a brown before throwing an articulated streamer that had a 10 inch rainbow in its mouth and as I was bring it up to the net you could see him spitting out the fish from being stressed. So if browns start eating trout at 20 inches, I’m sure smaller ones are doing the same thing. They are easily the aggressors of the “trout world” when compared to cutthroats, brookies and bows.
So back to what I was saying, a good ole circus peanut and peanut envy will do the trick just as much as any other streamer in its size, shape, and color. Yes, action plays a bit of a roll, but not as much as a brown just wanting a meal. There’s so many ways to fish streamers with incorporating light flies versus sinking lines and how to go about setting up different actions of how to fish a streamer. One way is to have a sinking line (30 foot head that sinks at 7-8 ips) for instance with a straight up articulated streamer or a very light streamer that has a deer hair head. They will give off two very different presentations in the water. The fly that has no deer hair on the head will just come back in a straight line as you strip it back to you. The one with deer hair will have a more side to side motion that will actually trigger more hits than the one that is just coming back in a straight line. I have found out what matters the most is the depth of the water is you are fishing. The deer hair streamer will stay up in the water column more than a fly tied with a cone head or dumbbell eye, which have more weight that will get down. You can use all three types of streamers on this one particular setup, but current speed and depth are what you need to be focusing on when choosing your setup for the day. It’s a whole other can of worms, than a 6wt with a floating line with a sink tip throwing a heavy weighted fly, which to me is not a properly outfitted setup. I believe in balancing the rod and reel/line set up. If you have never thrown a newer type of streamer set up, then you have no idea what this style of fishing is all about. It really is another level of fishing and a totally different way to approach the way you can fly-fish, but to me it’s the way to go when you’re out for a big brown in deep water. I could go on and on, but you really need to do a day with me to figure it out. I have the properly outfitted rods, so all you need is an open mind and a willingness to learn new things and together we can add fishing articulated streamers to your trout fishing arsenal. I have learned from of experience that you will need to book two days to really understand the idea. Day one caters itself more to learning and the next day in which we put the plan into action.
Last Sunday, we managed to hook one small brown with a few chasers. Probably not the best day; as far as, streamer fishing goes but we were committed to stick to the plan. We then motored up to the dam and decided to run the opposite side of the river away from the public where the two chutes are. Mostly rainbows hug this side, but occasionally there is the occasional brown just staying out of harm’s way. Unfortunately it didn’t happen, so my next run was the other side of the river where most of the bigger browns are enjoying oxygenated water from the two outlets flowing from the hatchery. We started up top and made our way down to outlet two, this is really where the browns will eat streamers the most, especially from about 50 yards past the chute all the way down to the steps. There are some rocks the corp. put in place to create habitat and it’s seems to be working. Browns come off those things all the time to eat streamers. As we made our way down into this run I decided to stay out a little bit and make longer casts to not spook the fish. Due to the pressure from the abundant bank fisherman, trout like to hold a little bit out. This is where having a boat has an advantage when throwing streamers. The beauty of it is, we are able respect their water, because for the most part they are only throwing indicator rigs and we in return get some great streamer water, resulting in a win for everybody. As we drifted down some guys we knew were fishing along the bank and told us that they saw a few browns that were holding. The brown run has been over for a several weeks and not much has been said about browns being caught, but it’s always good to throw streamers just in case they are in the mood to come out and play and that is exactly what happened. Sometimes it only takes one to make the whole day worth it. It wasn’t big, but it was a solid 20 inch brown that he can now say he caught at Taneycomo fishing an articulated streamer! Keep in mind, Kyran is new at this and from all the practicing that he’s done it is finally paying off and he is getting rewarded for his hard work. Don’t let anybody tell you that it’s easy or they are just out to take your money. Hire a guide who cares and is honest with you from the get go. Kyran, goes about 5-6 times a year with me and I now consider him a friend and from time to time we fit in a day where we are just buds who go fishing and I’m sure a lot of you see him on my site from year to year, he’s hooked and has the bug for sure. I feed off this type of stuff. He makes me a happy guide because I’m seeing the results. It’s a passion and that’s why I do it, to teach the sport and share it with as many people as I can. Fly-fishing can truly be life changing.
General Report – Taney
Taney is now running water around the clock. It’s been a hit or miss to find low water, but the water they are running is wadeable for the most part. The fishing has picked up as well and most of all the bigger browns are back downstream doing what they do. As we sit, the Lake level is at 910.19 which is 5 feet below power pool so the water the corp. is running is definitely being sold. We should see lower flows when it gets a little warmer, but we all know this time of year the generation can be all over the place, especially if we have a cold winter. All I can say is rent a boat or bring one with you so you don’t get stuck fishing the banks. I haven’t been fishing as much as I would like, so I really can’t give you an idea on what is working better than others, but the good ole standbys will never let you down.
High Water –
Gray Scud’s in size 14 tied with Sowscud are a go-to. Cerise San Juan Worm (standard or jumbo size) in the middle, worm brown on the sides of the bank and red if all else falls. Swing Wooly Buggers in olive and black in a size 6 or 8. Strip Crackleback’s or Soft Hackles real fast in bigger sizes. Also don’t forget the Mega Worm; it’s been a big hit in running water fishing along the banks.
Low Water –
FISH MIDGES!! Trusty Rusty or Zebra Midges in black with nickel or gold beads in size 16-18. Swing small Soft Hackles in size 18’s. That’s what I would do first, then the rest follows; Loop Wing or RS2 Emergers, in olive and black, size 18,20’s. Awesome Possum Scud’s in 16 and smaller. Sculpin’s in gray or golden variant in size 6 or smaller. Play the kiss program, keep it simple stupid. This should do the trick and I’ll keep you posted with short reports on the Facebook feed that can be found the right side of the flysandguides.com home page. Good luck out there and stay warm. And remember to never hesitate if you have any questions whatsoever, I’m always here to help.
Brown Run –
Wow!! What a surprise we had in store for 2014. I must say that I was ecstatic in what I saw this year versus the last two or three previous years we had. We all know the floods we had back in 2008 and 2011 were devastating to our brown trout population and had a huge impact on all people who come to this fishery from all over. Since 2011, the corp. has been stocking an extra 10,000 trout annually since. I knew this would help our fishery in the long run, but I didn’t think we would see big browns like we used to have in the late 90’s to early 2000. I figured it would be awhile before we saw the numbers again, and boy was I wrong. Even though I didn’t really get to fish it I was up top scoping out things from time to time. For some reason this year, I wanted to spend more of my attention on the Norfork because of the fish I’ve been catching over there for the year versus what I’ve seen here in the past few years. The Norfork tailwater is thriving so I had to see what was in store for October.
It seemed like we had the numbers and for the most part, many within the 16-18 inch range with a bunch between 20-23, typical of the size fish we have been seeing in years past, but this year there were some giants that showed up. So you have to ask yourself this question, where have they been and why didn’t they show up the previous years after the flood? They had to be in there, but why did they not show up? Was it poor water quality? Was it the source of food? Or was it just the simple fact we didn’t have a good shot at hooking them the previous years. The outlet fisherman had a ball this year hooking big browns. There were a few 28-30 inch trout caught and one was caught in mid-September that proved to be one of the biggest browns caught this year. It seems like we had a longer run with more sticking around then I can remember. The answer to the question is those big fish never left. I’m sure we lost some from the water getting to hot from the flood gates staying on for a long period of time, but we still had some lurking in the depths that manage to survive. It looks like some exciting times will be ahead for the 2015 brown run and it’s definitely got me thinking again.
If you would like to know more about fishing on Lake Taneycomo or Norfork in Arkansas and how they work well during certain times of the year 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!