BRANSON, Mo., October 11, 2011 — The most comprehensive fishing report available Branson’s Lake Taneycomo submitted by people who fish the lake on just about a daily basis. As used in this report “Trophy Area” refers the portion of Branson’s Lake Taneycomo between the mouth of Fall Creek and the base of Table Rock Dam. It is the primary wade fishing area, a trophy management area and has special regulations and limits in effect within the area. Natural baits, Gulp and soft plastic baits are illegal in Trophy Area. but ok for the other 19 miles of Lake Taneycomo.
Lake Taneycomo Trophy Area – Fly Fishing – by Carolyn Parker, River Run Outfitters
The good, the bad and the ugly might describe this last weekend of fishing. Some nasty weather set up in the area bringing rain, sleet, hail and uncomfortable cooler temperatures. River Run still had some hardy fly fisherman willing to brave the elements and chase trout with the guides Friday and Saturday. Sunday was a turn around day for the weather and a banner day for fishing. The weather went from worse to better and the fishing went from good to great.
The generation at Taneycomo has been perfect for fly fishers looking to wade. Last week there was zero generation until the afternoons and then just a few hours of generation with one and then two units and then back off again. Of course, it leaves the water almost static every where except near the outlets at the hatchery and a few other places downstream. So far, it looks as though that trend may continue, never know for sure.
The same flies are still working for us. Pulling streamers is still working well, especially size 11-14 olive wooly buggers and the CQ streamer (a slight modification to the basic wooly bugger) or on a bright day, the golden variant sculpin pattern using the sinking leader or sink-tip line. This week, the holographic green crackleback has made a bit of a comeback, still not a steady bet.
Midges have been working very well for the past couple weekends, especially the Primrose & Pearl, a black zebra with a copper bead head and copper wire, and the copper dun—all in an 18. Sunday was fun day for a favorite customer from Louisiana fishing the Big Ugly with a size 18 ruby midge dropper. The Primrose and Pearl is good under the Big Ugly too in the flat water.
The gray or tan scuds in the smaller sizes 16-20 are always a good near the hatchery area. We are getting close to the fall spawn, so think egg patterns. We caught several rainbows over the weekend in spawn colors and some females dropping eggs. Good colors for the eggs are peach and even chartreuse. Eggs also make good attractors for dropping scuds and midges.
One thing we have noted lately is that there is a period during the morning hours (8:00-10:30 a.m.) when fishing is very slow. Once you get past that time frame, it’s like a switch flipped and the fish start hitting. So, stay with it even if it’s slow for a while in the morning.
Submitted by Carolyn Parker, River Run Outfitters
Lake Taneycomo – by Eric Prey, FocusedFishing.com
The rain over the weekend caused a little more generation this week. When the water is running the bite is much stronger than during slack water. Early and late in the day a Zig Jig has been one of the most productive lures to throw. Cast the jig close to wood cover and boat docks count it down to around six feet deep and retrieve it with a stop and go retrieve. Small jerkbaits have been working in these same areas but most do not get as deep as the jig and have not been nearly as effective.
Branson fishing guides continue to do well with Trout Magnets. Bright colors like pink or pink and white have been best. Fish can be caught with or without a float; with a float set the rig with a 6’-8’ leader and allow it drift close to wood cover and boat docks. Without a float work the Magnet slowly close to the bottom with small twitches as it is swum back to the boat.
Gulp and Power Bait eggs continue to produce on a drift rig from Cooper Creek through Branson. Fishing guides has been using white and any other color mixed on a hook to draw strikes from Taneycomo trout. If there is current allow the boat to drift and move the bait along the bottom. If there isn’t current slowly drag the bait along the bottom back to the boat.
Submitted by Eric Prey, FocusedFishing.com
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Lake Taneycomo by Phil Lilley, Ozark Anglers
Trees along Lake Taneycomo are starting to turn their fall colors. Some have said we may not have a colorful autumn because of the low rainfall this summer, but I don’t think so. It’s looking like the beginnings of a beautiful fall season.
Very little generation lately. Mild temperatures dominate our days and colder ones our nights. Feels like brown trout season which normally happens later in October and November. Speaking of brown trout, we have seen a few nice browns in the upper lake, mostly small males but a few larger trout holding below Lookout. No reports of anyone catching any browns at night below the dam — yet.
No generation means easy access to wade anglers below the dam. There are lots of places to find trout and many ways to catch them. Hatchery outlets always will have a lot of trout holding in their flow, but those outlets will be crowded. Rebar chute will also be a hot spot. Anywhere there’s flow, fishing should be better. Scuds from size 14 to 24 will work. Other flies to try are San Juan worms, white or brown, thread or zebra midges in size 18, rusty, p&p and olive.
If fishing slower or dead water, drop the fly size and use thread midges, wd40′s, loop wing or RS2′s, #20 – #24 in red, olive or black. I use palsa indicators because they drop on the water quietly and are pulled under easily.
In choppy water, strip a soft hackle #18 in red, black, olive or copper or a crackleback #16 in red, yellow or green or a wooly #14 in olive, brown or black.
One suggestion: Look before wading in. You’ll probably see trout feeding very close to the bank, even in very shallow water. Scuds are known to swim along the edge of the water in big schools and fish know this. Stand and observe before wading in.
If the upper end of the lake below the dam gets too crowded, boating up to get out and wade is a great deal. You can get out and wade the island at Lookout, behind the island or walk/wade the shallow side of the lake down to the narrows and then on opposite side almost to Fall Creek. There is good midge fishing in the shallows and site scud fishing a little deeper out.
Depending on the day, conditions and fish-bite, the jig-and- float technique is working fairly well. The best jig has been a half micro, ginger. I saw Buster Loving’s client catch quite a few rainbows on a ginger micro this morning while on a guide trip. But I have heard that at times it’s been tough catching up there on jigs. Most days we’ve had a good chop on the water, making it better, but this morning it was dead calm and the fish bit really well.
I got out a couple of times this week so far. The other morning they kicked the water on for about an hour. I noticed the trout were midging hard up on the shallow side, so I took the boat over and set the motor in the gravel as an anchor. I fished a #18 primrose & pearl midge under a palsa six inches and caught a dozen rainbows, none very big. The water dropped on me and I had to get out and push the boat off the gavel. Almost had to pitch a tent and camp!
This morning I started at Lookout on the bluff bank. Trout were midging in close to the rocks on the bluff bank. I tried several dries – elk hair, black ant and stimulator with no takers, and the trout were still feeding like crazy. So I tied a #18 ugly zebra midge (olive body, black bead) under the stimulator six inches deep and targeted the rising trout. They didn’t go nuts over it, but I did start catching rainbows. Ended up with a couple of dozen before heading in about noon. They wanted it no more than three feet from the edge of the bank, in shallow water.
I’ve talked to several guests and guides and all say, as far as bait goes, night crawlers rule below Fall Creek. But most of our guides are fishing a jig and float below Fall Creek because they maintain they can catch more trout using jigs than using bait. There are a few “hot spots” I can share. Out in front of the River Pointe Estate boat ramp down to the mouth of Short Creek has been good. From Trout Hollow down to where Sun Valley used to be. The Cooper Creek flats and between the bridges and below the last bridge to the “Fish House” is holding a lot of rainbows. Some have done well trolling the old cow bells with a red worm.
Submitted by Phil Lilley, Ozark Anglers
As part of its continuing commitment to serving the community, Branson Tourism Center (BTC), one of Branson’s largest and most respected sellers of vacation planning services, Branson show tickets, attraction tickets and lodging is proud to sponsor this fishing report, the Central Pro-Am Association and K.A.S.T. (Kids Are Special Too). BTC can be reached by calling 800-785-1550 or by visiting their website www.BransonTourismCenter.com. The Central Pro Am Association, through such sponsorship and that of Ranger Boats and Mercury Marine,is pleased to participate in furnishing this report to those fishing the Branson Tri-Lakes area.