Lake Taneycomo

Freezing on Taneycomo

March 18, 2014

Taneycomo rainbow

Warm, temperate, Missouri-springweather was hardly what we got on our day on Taneycomo. Really, it was more like hand-numbing, shivering, freeze-your-waders-off kind of weather. But it sure beats snow and negative fifty-something like we’ve had back home.

We stopped in Branson on the way back from Texas and hit Taneycomo. Braden and I stuck it out for most of the day despite rain and temps in the 40’s. I figured the miserable weather would discourage most anglers from fishing today, but I failed to calculate the horrible affects that cabin fever has on a fly fisher’s restless mind – there were still plenty of anglers plying the frigid waters with flies.

We followed the typical ritual that we perform each time we hit Taneycomo. Grab a few layers of clothes (which happened to be quite a bit this time around), stop at River Run Outfitters for licenses (an awesome shop right by the river), muse on the generation (didn’t exist today!!), find a likely spot (pretty close to anywhere on Taneycomo), and toss a midge at some trout.

The fishing wasn’t spectacular, but Braden and I each put some fish in the net. I managed to stick a nice rainbow (pictured above) on a tan #20 thread midge. He taped somewhere around eighteen to twenty inches and FAT, a good fish and definitely one of the bigger ‘bows I’ve caught on a fly. It was far too cold to take pictures, so the grip-n-grin will have to do for this trip. Fish were eating the typical stuff – midges, scuds, worms at high generation, and streamers (you can check out a few of our favorite flies for Taneycomo here). A few fish were even rising somewhat consistently to little midges, which was a beautiful sight for a few fly fishers that have looked at frozen lakes and snow for the past few months. Despite the rain, it was an awesome day on the water. Taneycomo is always a fun place to fish, and it was a good bridge to spring trout fishing in Minnesota. 

Tight lines,


10-26…White River Brown Trout

Today Braden and I hit Lake Taneycomo, Missouri’s portion of the legendary White River system. If you’re not familiar with Taneycomo, the “lake” is actually a tailwater flowing from the massive Table Rock Lake. Taneycomo is famous for its monster browns and rainbows, but is subject to an unpredictable generation schedule from Table Rock Dam. High generation makes wade fishing very difficult, if not impossible. We passed up the “combat” fishing at the hatchery outlets and found some solitude further downstream. We were greeted by a gentle Taneycomo at low generation and a multitude of visible trout.

Table Rock Dam

I started by tossing some streamers. I tied on a small beadhead chickabou bugger style fly and quickly found a willing rainbow. It wasn’t a bad fish at around twelve inches, but it was nowhere near the size Taneycomo is famous for. I played with a few different nymph rigs and hooked a few fish, but didn’t land any. A few midges started hatching later in the afternoon. Midges are the bread and butter on Taneycomo, which gets midge hatches almost every day.  Braden tied on a cdc midge and nailed a nice rainbow around the same size as mine.

Taneycomo rainbow on a dry fly

They started running water on us later in the afternoon, so we packed up and hit the outlets, which had emptied out a bit by then. Surprisingly, I got old outlet number three all to myself. I hooked a few rainbows on a scud, but nothing stuck. Braden caught the fish of the day, landing two nice browns in the fifteen inch range on a hare and copper.

Taneycomo brown trout

Today was tough, but fishing on the White is always a fun experience. Next up we are headed east for some mountain fly fishing to wild rainbow trout in the Smoky Mountains.

2011 Year in Review

2011 was a great year for us. We caught tons of fish in many different places and had lots of fun doing it. Here is a brief overview.

The Quarry

One of our favorite things about fly fishing is discovering new places. This year we found a gem. There is a park a short drive from our grandparent’s cabin full of old granite quarries stocked with trout (food for the monster bass) that also hold bass and sunfish. It has become one of our favorite places to fish. Because of the deep, cold water, the bass will stay shallow even in the heat of summer.

 The Cabin

Our grandparents have a spot on a lake in central MN, and we spend a lot of time fishing there in the summer.

Lake Michigan

Sunrise salmon fishing was awesome…

Trout in the Driftless Area

We hit the Driftless a few times this fall for some great spring creek trout fishing in the bluffs of SE Minnesota, a few hours from our house. Camping, tricos, and rising trout. Good times.

Arkansas and Missouri Tailwaters

Over Thanksgiving week we fished the Little Red River in Arkansas and Lake Taneycomo in Missouri. The fishing was great. We caught lots of fish on dries in Missouri.

Little Red River with Greers Ferry Dam in the background

Lake Taneycomo (Missouri) rainbow caught on a Cdc BWO Comparadun

Winter Trout

On New Years Eve day we went to Iowa. It didn’t really seem like winter. 45 degrees and no snow.

Tight Lines,

3 Brothers Flies



Trout, Turkeys, and Tailwaters

Our family just returned from a week in the Ozarks, home of the legendary White River and some huge trout.

For the first half of the trip, we were a short drive from the Little Red River, a tailwater and tributary to the White. It once gave up the world record brown trout, and continues to produce trophy fish. A national fish hatchery sits on the banks, and the trout stack up below the outlets, where we fished for the day. There was no generation, so we enjoyed low water for the afternoon. I started with a Gormans Egg and a gray

scud for a dropper. Noah dredged a streamer and Braden fished an egg with a zebra midge dropper. Within a few casts I hooked a ten inch rainbow on the scud, my first Arkansas trout. Noah got a bite on his streamer, but after that the fishing slowed down. We moved downstream to the next outlet. This outlet had a steep drop off close to the bank, and held tons of fish, including some monster rainbows (25″). As I waded across I noticed some rainbows nymphing in 6″ of water just above the drop off. At this time I had a bead head Nuke Egg on and drifted it to the trout. When it was about a foot from the trout it got lodged in the sand, but the trout didn’t care. He swam right up in the shallow

Braden's bow

water and grabbed that thing off the bottom. He turned, and I set the hook. As soon as he felt the metal, he shot across the riffle into the fast water and made a few hard runs before he broke my 6x tippet. It was a nice fish too, around 16″! The trout were nymphing and occasionally dimpling the surface eating midges. They were very selective and refused a number of patterns. Upon the recommendation another fisherman, I tied on a blood midge, which worked for another 12″ rainbow. I was on the other side of the outlet when I heard Braden shout “got one”! I splashed across the outlet and net the fish, a respectable rainbow that also ate a blood midge. By that time it was almost dark, so we packed up and ended a great day on a great river.

Little Red River with Greers Ferry Dam in the background

We spent the next half of the trip on Lake Taneycomo in Branson,

My biggest fish of the trip. Look at the colors

Missouri. Before we hit the water on Wednesday we stopped at River Run Outfitters, a great little shop just minutes from the river. When we got to the river we had low water, as the schedule had said the night before. Trout were rising and I put on a tiny cdc bwo comparadun to try and match the hatch of midges or possibly blue winged olives. I spotted a trout rising steadily about twenty feet out. I waited for him to rise again and made a cast. A few seconds into the drift and the trout gulped my fly. Somehow the size twenty hook stuck. He made a few runs and came to the net. A beautiful sixteen incher, my biggest of the trip.

Back to swim another day

After I released him, I hiked a little ways upstream to a riffle that had  fish rising in it. Before I could get a good cast, I heard some splashing and shouting downstream. Noah had hooked a fish and it was splashing like crazy. Since I was the only one with rubber boots, I ran over to net the fish. I got the fish on the first scoop. It was another big rainbow, around 16″ (Noah thinks it was 17″). Noah caught it on a Zoo Cougar, the polar opposite of the tiny dry I caught my big fish on. I went back to my riffle and caught a small rainbow on a blood midge before the horn blew and the water went up, ending our day of fishing.

Lake Taneycomo

On Thanksgiving we went fishing with Grandpa in a small creek behind the hotel. We caught a few green sunfish and saw a pod of carp, but couldn’t get them to bite.

Noah's Bow


Grandpa went with us to Lake Taneycomo for a solid day of fishing to rising fish almost all day long. We stopped by the hatchery outlets but they were crazy busy. I mean like fifteen people fishing an outlet! It was way too busy for my liking, so we drove down to the boat landing and found a less busy spot. This time we had some higher water, but the fish were still rising. Noah

Braden caught this trout on a cdc bwo

caught the first fish, a healthy 12 inch bow. As usual, he was fishing a streamer. For the next hour or so, the fishing was pretty good. I caught a feisty little bow on the same cdc fly I had used on Wednesday. Braden caught his first two Taneycomo trout on the cdc olive fly, both decent fish. Then it was Grandpa’s turn. He made a good cast, got a great drift, and his fly was slammed by a 14″ rainbow. He played it well and landed a nice fish. There was a lot more current today, so the fish were on the current seams instead of scattered throughout the “lake”. Noah switched to an Adams and landed another rainbow. After that fish the trout stopped rising as steadily and appeared to be eating emergers. I switched to a Ausable Bomber dry fly and a blood midge dropper. I cast the flies to a fish expecting the midge to be eaten. Surprisingly, a bow rose and grabbed the big dry. I set the hook and landed another rainbow. Two more trout took the bomber and ignored the blood midge. It was awesome to see midging trout take the big dry. The trout started rising again, so I tied on the cdc olive. The fish were in a seam rising like crazy. I caught three more trout, all rainbows, on the tiny dry as the sun was setting. It was great to do some trout fishing in November.

Grandpa's big rainbow


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