Fly Fishing Adventures

Lake Taneycomo Streamer Fishing at Night

Lake Taneycomo Streamer Fishing at Night

 

Large Rainbow Trout Caught at Night on Lake Taneycomo, Branson Missouri

Large Rainbow Trout Caught at Night on Lake Taneycomo, Branson Missouri

 

Lake Taneycomo is a world famous tailwater that flows out of Table Rock Lake in Southern Missouri, near Branson.  This tailwater produces some VERY large trout, and is known for large brown trout.  I’ve been coming down here from Iowa fly fishing since I’ve been a kid.  One of the tricky aspects of fishing here is the water flow.  The flow is controlled by generation schedules that produce power for the city.  Rainfall can also make generation increase.  There is a great wade fishing area near a trout hatchery up by the dam.  The problem is, if there is too much water being generated, it’s virtually impossible to wade fish.  Many fly and spin anglers do quite well floating Lake Taneycomo during heavy generation.

 

Jeff Ditsworth Owner of Pescador on the Fly Getting Ready to toss Some Streamers with El Jefe

 

From my experience, the fishing here is the best during periods of rising and falling water.  It’s not an exact science, but today they post projected generation estimates on this website.  (Link in the Photo Below). Back in the day we used to only have an 800 Number that gave us the exact generation at that very moment.  That was helpful, but not ideal for planning.  Think about how many times a guy like me would call this number the week before heading down there to get some sort of pattern of water flow!

 

Southwestern Power Administration Generation Schedules

Southwestern Power Administration Generation Schedules

 

I was down on a business trip meeting with some clients, and after we had dinner, I knew that the water was supposed to drop from Four Generators, which is the maximum, to Two, to Zero over the course of an hour or two.  I got to the area near the dam to find the parking lot empty and the water dropping as planned.  If you have ever fished here, you know that sometimes the parking lot is packed, an empty parking lot got me excited!

 

EL Jefe 5 Weight Combo

EL Jefe 5 Weight Combo

 

It was getting dark quickly, and I rigged up two fly rods.  I wanted to throw my 5 weight El Jefe a bit to get my nymphing rig rolling for my morning where I was taking my friend Tom fly fishing.  I also wanted to cast my new streamer rod, El Jefe Salt Series in 8 weight.  I rigged my 8 weight up with 3X tippet and tied on a cone head olive streamer I tied up the past winter.  

 

Olive Conehead Streamer, Size 8 Hook, Tied by Jeff Ditsworth

Olive Conehead Streamer, Size 8 Hook, Tied by Jeff Ditsworth

 

I really love this place when the conditions are right, I was able to hook into a pretty rainbow with my nymphing set up on the first cast.  When I landed this one, I could actually feel the water dropping around me, it was coming down fast.  When I could no longer see my indicator, I swapped out my 5 weight El Jefe for my 8 weight streamer rod.

 

El Jefe Salt Series - My Streamer Rod of Choice

El Jefe Salt Series - My Streamer Rod of Choice

 

If you have fished much with streamers, you know that many times the strikes can get a little violent.  That was the case on my first one.  There are some moments in the fly fishing life when you are incredibly grateful to be holding an 8 weight in your hands, and this was one of them.  It was completely dark, and I threw my streamer straight out into the current, while it sank, and began to swing, WHAM!  The strike came out of nowhere so violent that it startled me.  This fish ran up river and in almost an instant, my entire fly line was out and up river.  I quickly recovered the fly line onto the reel as my trout came back down river.  I was afraid I may be at the beginning of a lengthy battle, but luck was on my side.  Fortunitly, I had our new large carbon net with me, which is 37 inches long.  I was able to reach out and get this giant head into the net, probably way earlier than I should have.  It’s always good to get your fish in as soon as possible, and like I said, this felt a little lucky.   

Wow, here I was in the dark, all by myself with a beast of a rainbow in my net.  Taking photos in this situation was a bit difficult, but I got it done quickly and released this amazing fish.  I’m glad my iPhone has a nice flash!

 

Large Streamer Caught Rainbow Trout, Lake Taneycomo, Branson, Missouri

Large Streamer Caught Rainbow Trout, Lake Taneycomo, Branson, Missouri

 

I’ve fished in this tailwater more times than I can count, and this was by far the largest trout I’ve ever caught on this water.  If you are ever in this area, I highly recommend you check this place out, you never know what you may hook into!

Until next time, tight lines my friends!

Jeff

 

Large Rainbow Trout Lake Taneycomo, Branson Missouri

 

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