Fly Fishing Adventures

Lake Taneycomo March 2019 Fly Fishing for Trout

Lake Taneycomo March 2019 Fly Fishing for Trout


This week we had a ton of meetings in Kansas City, and were able to see some people in Springfield, MO towards the end of the day.  This gave us the opportunity to slip down to Lake Taneycomo to get out on the water for around an hour and a half before it got dark.  Lake Taneycomo is an epic tailwater with superb populations of rainbows and brown trout.  The tailwater runs very cold with water generating out of the bottom of Table Rock Lake.  This tailwater, like many others, fishes differently depending on the number of electricity generators running.  When I arrived, there were ZERO running, which is a fantastic situation.  


Rod & Reel:  El Cinco Combo

Sling Pack: El Bolso

Flies:  Tan & Gray Scuds, size 14-16, Red Midges, Black Zebra Midges

Tippet: 6X

Waders & Boots: Patagonia

Net:  (It's a Secret, new prototype super light carbon net coming soon!)



Fishing get's concentrated at the outlets, which are areas where water is pouring into Lake Taneycomo.  Fish tend to stack up in this rushing water due to the amount of food passing by.  With the fish stacking up in the outlets, you also have anglers stacking up in the outlets.  Sometime, I find it best to find space and move away from the other anglers since when I fish, I desire solitude for the most part.  



I hooked up almost immediately with a gray scud as my lower fly.  I choose to fish a two fly system with a zebra midge up top, and gray scud on the bottom under an indicator.  Since there was very little water movement, I didn't add weight.  Both flies were weighted so that was enough to get to the right level.  That changed after the water started moving and I added weight to get my flies down.  After a bit of time, I swapped the gray scud out for a tan scud and began getting significantly more strikes.  



I've got a ton of good fishing memories taking me back to when I was a very young angler.  One memory I have fishing here with my Dad, Mom, & sister is the single largest factor to my disdain for crappy fishing equipment.  When the water is rolling fast on Taneycomo, one of the most productive ways to fish is in a boat with spin gear and back then it was salmon eggs on a weighted rig.  I was probably 5 years old and just got a new fishing rod and reel for my birthday earlier in the year.  To make a long story short, my rig got tangled in a snag, and the rod zipped out of my hands while I tried to pass it to my Dad to help.  This was my favorite rod.  My dad did the best thing he could back then.  He took me to Walmart and picked up a replacement.  Although his intentions were in the right place, this might have been the single crappiest combo on the planet.  I hated it.  I'm pretty sure that memory got me hooked on wanting and needing great fishing equipment.  



It's hard to imagine it, but I landed between 12-14 fish in just under 2 hours that day.  There are a ton of fish in that water, ready to take properly presented flies.  The fish are finicky however and don't reward just any presentation.  Stick to scuds, midge patterns, and I'm told San Juan worms.  Keep your flies near the bottom with weight, and fish 5-6X tippet.  



One of the most productive and rewarding ways to fish this water when there is no water generating is swinging streamers, sculpins are my favorite.  It's also common in the fall during the brown trout run to see anglers fishing all night, swinging these large streamers, and hammering the big browns.  This tactic works during the day as well.  My plan was to stop back in the morning, string up El Ocho and fish some new dead head sculpins.  My plan was thwarted by four generators rolling and tons of fast water.  Next time!  Check out our YouTube video from our little adventure, we got some great footage of some sweet DIY fly fishing action on Lake Taneycomo.  See you on the water!




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