Chartered Waters Trout Shop, Inc.



The Chartered Waters Fishing Report

A comprehensive and informative fishing report for the tailwater that is... Lake Taneycomo, and other Ozark area trout streams. Often imitated, never duplicated... your source of knowledge when fishing for Missouri trout.


                                    


February 26th - 2015 -
*** It's ALMOST Spring!!! ***

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Guided Fishing/Lodging Special with Trout Hollow Lodge.

100$ Gift Certificates for $90
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*** All Specials available through March 2015 ***



Anyone can catch ONE fish at a time! Tommy here did a little multi-tasking a couple days ago catching two on one cast. Salty!

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Big Fish!...LOTS of Fish!...come join the fun.

March and April are starting to fill up. We have big rainbows spawning through May around here so big targets will abound in the upcoming warmer days.


*** Check us out on Facebook at charteredwaters.com ***

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Call us at 417-334-1005 or email at brader@charteredwaters.com and we'll get you set up for a fishing trip of a lifetime.

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Taneycomo -
Week of February 25th - Water on early am then off late morning most days. March is just days away!!!... LOTS AND LOTS of active fish are ALWAYS here!!!. It's REALLY good right now. We always like wading but boating is very good too.

Rainbows are GREAT!!! Big Fish!...LOTS of Fish!!!....lots of aggressive fish.

Good stuff.


Crane Creek
- I haven't hit Crane in a while so I can't tell you first hand how it's fishing. Cooler weather helps those fish out quite a bit so we'll hit that harder in a month or so. I'm about due even if only by myself. We love Crane Creek! Wild trout in a small stream environment. Challenging for sure but a whole lot of fun!

The Jr. Circuit
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A little something going on here and there. We've found "some" fish in "some" spots but overall its pretty light. We need a little rain before we start getting serious again. We'll keep you posted.

Roaring River -
Beat that Taneycomo generation by taking a trip with us to Roaring River. LOTS of fish!!! The ginger/olive Micro Baitfish continues to dominate that stream for us but we catch a lot on the trailer which is often a ginger/olive M-Bug # 24 plus dry fly fishing is usually pretty solid down there.


We sincerely appreciate all of our customers and the fact they choose us for their fly fishing and trout catching jones and their continuing education in the sport. We hope to fish with you soon.

Thanks everyone - Brett



    February 26th - Well, we're not fishing every day this time of year but I'm getting out a couple times a week at least. Great fishing!!! Weather has been fairly mild this year overall but we're in a bit of a cold snap at the moment. It looks like back to mid 50's early next week. It's almost March!...it's about time spring shows up right?

Table Rock is LOW!...that's a good thing for us fly fishermen on Taneycomo meaning less generation for wading and as a bonus...we'll be ahead of the game if it floods this spring. We're in a great cycle of a little water early in the am... then off around 10 am and for the balance of the day. Great stuff and the bite is good everywhere with good numbers of big rainbows still spawning up top.

And crowds?...there are non! We were fishing on a sunny afternoon just a couple of days ago and we saw 2 people from the dam downstream past the boat ramp. Here are some highlights from the last month or so. March is starting to fill up so don't delay if you want to play around with some trout with us.



Tommy and I had a raw day to play in but we caught a ton of fish and pretty much had the river to ourselves...and he caught that single/double at the top of the page.



Anthony and his buds were new fly fishermen suggesting that maybe I should bring spinning gear... in case they cant catch them with fly rods. THAT!...wasn't a problem as the boys agreed it may have been the most fish they've ever caught using any method. Good guys to hang with too.



I've been fishing a #18 flo. blue M-Shelled Scud (similar to Soft Shelled Scuds) and it has been the bomb for us! Seems best when it's overcast and nasty but I've caught them on sunny days too.



And if you're fishing downstream in deeper water (boating or wading) then the Micro Baitfish in that same color has been almost too easy at times. The ginger olive is always solid but for once in maybe forever...that flo. blue has been king for a day or two...or three.



A new set of steps up in the Trophy Area...they've been making improvements here and there.



Stripping a new sculpin clouser kind of thing...they've been hitting that too.



Big spawning rainbows are alive and well in that upper couple miles below the dam (mainly the top mile)...here's a relatively easy way to find them. Generally speaking...the bigger the redd...the bigger the fish making them. There are exceptions of course but I've found that to be true most of the time. These fish like to spawn right on the waters edge in shallow and fast moving water. Since our water rises and falls with regularity...our fish will follow the water line creating several beds at several different levels of running water. All but the "water off" beds will have any kind of production in the end but the fish leave obvious redds up and down the bank in fairly isolated areas.

...therefore!...as you walk the banks in the upper section you will see spawning beds left high and dry right where you're walking. Follow those beds down to the water line and you will likely find a big fish or two in that general area. Give it a try one time. It works!



He's a flat little bend in the river and fish are spawning all up and down that point. You can see one bed right at the water line at the lower right...another one at the upper middle part of the photo (light patch)...and if you look real close you can see another one or two up and slightly left of that one.



If you fish Taneycomo at all look closely in the background. We're fishing Rebar and we're the only ones there! Nobody upstream including outlet #2 and nobody within view downstream....that's winter/spring fishing here. No people...GREAT fishing!



Yeah we had some winter this year. About a week ago we had this 8" snow or so (view from the shops back porch)....but it's just about melted now so we're putting all that behind us and looking forward to spring.



One cold stretch had the water off for more than 24 hrs and the non moving water froze solid. It's not often you can "warm up" getting in to the 40 degree water here.



Dads moose shed. The squirrels like to gnaw on it.



...but like I said!...fishing is GREAT so layer up and lets get after it! Wind breakers and hand warmers! Two essentials that make life downright cozy on the river.



This has been more the norm this winter. We had 70 plus this day... in T's and enjoying some adult beverages while catching more fish than you can count.



Island Hopping!....one of my favorite and very unique ways we fish here on Taneycomo. 99% of everyone who wades Taneycomo does so in the upper mile of the river mostly. There are great places to fish up there but they aren't always the best. The lower portion of the Trophy Area has consistently produced more fish for the past few months and virtually NOBODY wades down there.

On this trip...two of our guests wanted to wade...one didn't...we can work with that!



There are countless places on the river that RARELY feel the tread of a boot.



A hot thermos of coffee is ALWAYS a good idea out there.





Another great part of Island Hopping is that you can still wade with medium to mild flows. The upper section is very limited to wading during generations sans the outlets and you know how crowded they can be.

Its a lot of fun. A little more wild...a little more of an adventure...and solitude.




    January (27th) 2015 - This is the slow season for Taneycomo in general. "Slow"...only in terms of the number of people in town. As far as fishing goes?.... it's about as good as it gets. Right now...all throughout the Trophy Area and at least the upper part of the bait area...is absolutely LOADED with fish. A lot of them are stockers but as you will see, there are plenty of big boys to play with too.



Here are a few recent trips....a few nice notes...plus a few highlights from the month.





This Sunday my guests caught "the most fish ever"...and Scott managed to land this 23" class rainbow on the coral M-Shelled Scud #18. A great battle of wits and patience that finally played out as planned.



Kind of a nasty day overall BUT...we had ZERO competition for where we wanted to fish and the fish were quite willing to play.

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Michael's first time fly fishing was this weekend and he lost count pretty quick. A great young man as was dad and we had a great time on a great day!



The return of the Big Hurt lately (below a float) but...a lot of things were catching them like this olive Eye Bugger swung and slowly stripped back in.



Panoramic fishing at The Log Jam. My name for it...since it doesn't have one.



Seriously...this guy catches so many big fish with us...unless it's in the 25" class he doesn't even bother with photos. Big Fish Bob!...The King...to be continued!



My man Rudy is a swinger and a stripper. He loves fishing sculpins and streamers and crackleback type stuff so we normally hit places that are conducive to that kind of fishing. Another sunny and 50's day here in late January. And what the hell...a little free advertising while I'm at it.



Does everyone else get the cracked fingers like I do? Hurts like a bitch when you have to tie flies.



A quiet little pool with beautiful targets swimming about for our pleasure.



Phyllis caught 2 - 3 browns in a row off Dunbar Shoals...ther's about 3 people who actually know that name. One of those fly over spots downstream. There are REALLY good places to wade Taneycomo where you WON'T see anybody else. Im not anti-social but I don't like crowds when I'm fly fishing if I can help it.

One of my non stop quests in life...finding the good spot that nobody knows.



...speak of the devil!...Dave and Mikey tag teaming them panorama style.



This was a big old toad Dave plucked out stripping an Eye Bugger through that spot.



Bob G. being Bob...a little silly and always a lot of fun!



Remnants from flood gates past. Can you figure out what that is? We get off the beaten trail sometimes...always interesting to know what's out there.



...and speaking of that...how many of you knew that the trails bordering the upper stretch of our river had signs like this out? I like it! We all need a little more adventure in our lives.



My little get away. I can see the river from here...good natural sun...I put some bird feeders outside the window. A little talk radio and a cup of coffee and I can get lost for days. Actually...about 15 minutes or so before one of the rug rats tracks me down.



Julies first fish on a fly rod...



...Julies LAST fish on a fly rod!...for now.



...hubby Larry has caught a couple fish on a fly rod in his life. One of my regular partners in crime.



Speaking of long time friends...Here's Chad (usually with Chris and Ryan) with one of many quality fish he's taken with us this year. Island Hopping!...we've done a lot of that this winter.





Not every day in the winter is sunny and 60. Having said that...if you want to catch a bunch of fish and BIG FISH!!...pick the crappiest day you can find with the water off and you'll have the river to yourself...and you'll have it full of aggressive fish who don't mind a little rain.

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December 2014 -
The end of a long and busy run for me for which I'm very thankful for. Some great new friends and lots of our regular buds hooked up with us for some fantastic fall fishing action. Here's the dirty little secret that I STILL have trouble convincing people of sometimes...the BEST fishing here on Taneycomo is just getting started!...but I digress.

Here's some highlights from the end of 2014.



Judge Pete with a gorgeous "cuttbow"? It's that Neosho strain of rainbow all grown up and past the 20" mark. Long, lean, golden and aggressive...if you see one you'd swear there's a little cutthroat in those fish.



Our fish are VERY healthy and well fed. Sharp, clear and white tipped fins is a sign of a healthy fish.



This little 26"er was waiting for us (Bob) at Roaring River. GREAT wading options for us down there too when generation keeps us off the big river.



Just the picture of health! A big spawning female rainbow (baring teeth) gave us another fun time before we gently sent her on her way.



My new bud Donny with another stunning rainbow.



One of the last big browns of the year. Greg and Phyllis got in to quite a few that day.

You wont catch as many browns from December through March but the rainbows are just getting started on their real spawn. Table Rock turns over and the river has high O2 levels...all good stuff.




Its rare that I'll fish the same "bugger" pattern two days in a row. Mainly because I'm always tweaking stuff on them to find the absolute best version for the moment. They're usually olive and they're usually small...other than that it's a pretty fluid situation.

We get a little "faux spawn" for the rainbows about the same time the browns are doing it naturally. That's a hatchery induced rainbow spawn (in my opinion) and I'm not complaining about it...but natural and "resident" rainbows (our fish) are winter/early spring spawners and the majority (and the biggest) rainbows will spawn in that time frame. Keep checking back here and you'll see what I'm talking about.

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November 28th - Just a couple of days ago my buddy Dimitri from Illinois brought his son and 1st time fly fisherman Nick along for a day of fun. A little weird with the water flows today but mostly off so we waded our whole time on a gorgeous 60 degree day. The boys stayed hooked up most everywhere we went.



When we met, the water was just dropping out so we fished that drop till things got normal.

Rebar is a popular place. I'll go months sometimes never even getting near it because of too many people and this morning it was a little too cozy for our pleasure. We mainly fished the edges and downstream early...then finishing up top in the afternoon.

A day that started with a couple of guys with a lot of apprehension ended with both of them sight casting to and catching BIG fish in shallow water and having an absolute blast doing it!



Doubled up once again!!!

These two guys are what it's all about. A father and son enjoying the day and each others company. Great fun had by all.

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My friends Ashley and Nigel joined me for a day of wading and catching a whole bunch of fish a few days ago. Great guys and young Nigel was as hard core as dad fishing/wading all day long and they never really slowed up too much at all with the catching.

I always say that it's all about enjoying the day. For some that's catching a whole bunch of fish...for others it may be hunting and catching BIG fish! Sometimes Nigel had as much fun making these little "holding ponds" for his fish as he did catching them.



I think that kind of stuff is great! Most kids dont have the focus to fish 8 hrs plus non stop so little breaks like this helps keep the mind fresh and the day interesting to them.

Don't worry...no fish were harmed during the course of our day and our little ponds kept a few of our smallest fish for a minute or two before sending them happily on their way.

Dad is very solid with the long stick but I think Jr here took top honors with this fish...even if he found the handle a little more slippery than normal.





Fun, fun stuff with some fun guys to hang out with.



    November 24th - Well, I had a little camera mishap and was w/o pics for the last couple of weeks. I have started a page on FaceBook (CharteredWaters.com) where some of those pics landed so check that out too. I get a little goofier on FB.

I had a very busy November and I want to thank all the great folks who chose to fish with us. Of course a busy time always makes my fishing reports suffer a little so thanks for bearing with me.

Very nice weather (low 60's) is in the forecast and the big spawning fish are up in FULL FORCE right now!!! Give us a call and we'll get you hooked up.



No, my buddy Mike didn't catch this one in Taneycomo. That's a big King he took up in Michigan.



....a HOW. how, how, how....



Mike and Tyler with a nice little double. One of many over the last couple of days with them.



    November 4th - Not many days left in November folks. We certainly hope you can join us but if you cant make it then remember that December, January and February is the PEAK of the rainbow spawn where LOTS of big fish are around for very few fishermen.

Available Dates in November: 30th

My buddies Mark and Ian brought Rusty along this time for a couple of days of chasing the big boys. Hard to follow up Marks Record Rainbow Troutzilla from last year but he gave it a pretty good run with a couple of (maybe the same?...) 25" THICK rainbows.









Pretty good results for everyone. Probably 6 - 8 fish over 20" brought to net with the (2) 25"ers topping the charts.

Coral W2-Egg above a coral Soft Shelled Scud #18. If we're specifically targeting browns we'll drop the egg and replace it with a #16 Soft Shelled Scud and mix and match the colors as the day goes on looking for the primo combo. The rainbows aren't as picky and as you can see by the pictures above...they are willing takers of either. Day one Mark caught that 25"er on a black Soft Shelled Scud as the trailer and on day two in the same general area...he plucked out that same fish on the W2 Egg which was the lead fly that day.

Lots of nice targets in shallow water for us to play with. This is a great time of year and it;s just getting started.



    October 28th - BUSY, busy busy!!! I wish I could elaborate more on recent trips but here's an overview.



Wading / water off: Mornings are slow in most areas. A few spots in the "flowy" areas like rebar will get you a few more and of course the outlets have spawning fish stacking up in them (plus fishermen) but they don't count. Buggers and cracklebacks will sometimes get those early, tough fish going but for me it's almost always taking off the weights and all but the littlest float ...then walking the banks and fishing the edges with #22's and #24's M-Scuds and M-Bugs. Micro Baitfish (ginger/olive) below a float is a good tough bite set up in deeper water for me too. The bite picks up nicely around mid day especially with wind and sunshine and a lot of flies and a lot of places will catch you fish...if the water stays off.



*** Good numbers of spawning fish are up in the shallow water and those fish are always more aggressive than the others. We've been living on a coral W2-Egg #18 above a #18 Soft Shelled Scud (coral, bubblegum, black, gray and olive...and in that order) as the trailer. That's about all you really need from now until April or so. Lots of big spawning fish from now through winter and in to spring and they ALWAYS like that set up best...for me.



Boating (water on)
: Not much different there. One to two units of water is really good....3 -4 not as good but still solid. It's been mostly mild when they run so that's good. It's my new WB Fly (white bass fly) as the lead in coral/white with a Soft Shelled Scud trailer from #18 (mild flows) to #14 (strong flows). The lower 1/3 of the Trophy Area is fishing better overall from the boat.



Some real good stuff going on now. I'd say things are about two weeks late. It's just starting to get good and it usually happens sooner than that.



*** A couple of recent replicas I've finished for my customer friends. A 22" brown pedestal mount for Ted and Brady and a 30" rainbow for Bob caught about 1 year ago.







I liked that shot from the tail.



    October 6th - A cold snap and a change in the moon has big fish showing up in waves up top. This time of year you can hit the same place 2 - 3 times a day and find new (big) fish in there each time. A lot more options and places to catch them and a whole lot more BIG FISH!

October - As of today I have October 15, 23, 24, 25, 26th, 29th and 30th available for full day trips with a couple of half day options available.

November
- The first available full day I have in November is the 13th...then it's just the 14th, 16th, 20th, 22nd, 23rd, 24th 29th and 30th available for full days after that.

I hope you can take advantage of this big fish season with us. From October through March or so....I'll put this river up against ANY trout stream on this planet or any other planet.... ANY DAY!!!



    September 27th - 28th - The Availability Page has been updated today. Not a lot of days left in October but our BIGGEST Big Fish month (november) is still fairly open. Don't delay too long. Those days will be gone soon enough.

To my loyal fans of the Fishing Report who show up to see some of the fun we're having...I apologize. When I'm busy guiding, the Fishing Report gets a bit neglected. I've had trips EVERY day in September which has put me behind a little. Here are a few recent highlights where we actually took time t o take a few pictures too.

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My friend Dave brought 3 of his buddy's / co workers out for a couple of days of catching a bunch of trout. Really good fishing for us regardless of our techniques, locations and targets. We started day one off in waders chasing the big boys around at first. Nothing like jumping right in to the game eh?








A nice little 23"er as wide as he was long! Just a stud of a fish. This should let all you faint of heart fly fishingwould be's feel better about trying the game. Dave here was new to the sport but after starting with spin fishing he quickly became quite proficient with the long stick.



Justin here had never even touched a fly rod and like the rest of the group...he quickly lost count of how many fish he caught.

Saturday below the dam can get a little too cozy for comfort sometimes so after we wore them out and the followers started...following...we moved downstream about a mile and continued to catch fish the whole time out sans the people. Dave and Glen also caught a whole bunch of fish these last two days. The Micro Baitfish (ginger/olive) in the deep and slow water....Soft Shelled Scuds (coral has been my best) wading in the shallow water is hard to beat.

The CORPS promised water on much earlier than we got so we ended up wading the entire day. Always nice when they're wrong on the plus side of things.

Day 2 - After yesterday they really wanted to wade again but we had a mild flow going and I promised them the boat would be a better option. It was a very good option with LOTS and LOTS of fish caught our entire time out there including a few brief quadruple hook ups!

Great stuff and great guys to spend a couple of days with. It's getting good folks!...it's getting good.

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September 25th - 26th -
The Darby Boys spent a couple of days with me. We've had pretty much the whole enchilada as far as water goes starting with wading and finishing with 4 hard units in the boat. Real good stuff and good guys to share it with.




Big fish "landed" was Jim who pulled in this rainbow just a smidge under 20".




Bob did battle with a 25" class brown for quite a while when wading before the hooks pulled out. I had the net down twice on that fish but as they are want to do...they got the best of us today.

A real nice group of guys to fish with and we are in the middle of nothing but GREAT weather as far as they can forecast. Good stuff.

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September 22nd - Verlyn and Cory hung with me today for a little bit of everything in terms of water. Your typical late summer/early fall patterns. Water off till about mid day then on to some degree for the balance. A couple more great guys who had a fun time out there catching them wading and boating.





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September 15th
- My new friend brought some buddies with him for a little catching out there in the boat. Good stuff for us and some more great guys hanging with me.

Notice what seems a never ending stretch of blue skies in the background? Weather couldn't be much better in the grand scheme of things. The bite is good and trending better. Ginger/olive Micro Baitfish above a #18 Soft Shelled Scud is kicking some trout ass right now.







FUN!!!...fun stuff!



    September 3rd -

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Several of our customers recently have rented rods and waders and have gone out by themselves after their day with us. I'm happy to say that they have all had good days on the water (by themselves) after being first time fly fishermen just the day before. Nothing makes me happier if not a little proud to be able to see my new friends out there taking what they've learned and making it happen. Great stuff guys and gals. Here are a few recent stories I'll share.

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Marci and I would like to thank you for a great time fishing on Thursday. Conditions were tough but you still got us in the fish. We would also like to thank you for showing and selling us some of the flies that the fish of Taneycomo will feed on.

We fished on Friday morning for about 3 hours starting at the last outlet and caught a few there including my brown trout. Didn't seem to be any flow at all starting out and the fish were scattered all over. We walked down stream and fished a few spots picking up 1 here 1 there. We ended up in the narrow riffles below the steep stairs by boat ramp the current had seem to pick up along with the wind and there were lots of active fish in there.

Had hits on 3 out of 4 casts with the woolly bugger (Eye Bugger) but just weren't hitting real hard at first. Then it changed! Moved about 30 yards down and they nailed it for a while.

I only seen 3 people catch maybe 5 fish total and I was around 20.

On Saturday we drove to Roaring River about noon and fished for a while. BUSY!!!!! except the 150 yard section above the bridge which I believe is the catch and release section. Nobody but me. Caught lots of fish on the Woolly and micro (ginger/olive Micro Baitfish) including 2 over 2 pounds. I caught 2 trout, not sure what kind they were ,on dry's in some shallow riffles. These fish had a reddish belly, cream colored sides, spots more noticeable near tail end and 5-6 vertical dark bars ( blotches) on sides and about 6-7 inches long. They kind of looked like rainbows but again not and the spots were not like a brown trout. Didn't look like any rainbow I've ever seen.

Marci rested while I fished then she came down and I walked her thru the "hot spots" she was catching them on the micro and the scud (Soft Shelled Scud). Finally just fished the (Baitfish). She caught several on it and one over 2 pounds. She had one on that would go over 3 probably but ran up into brush pile in stream. I tried to untangle and net it but snapped off the scud. :(.

It was hard to leave and come home after spending 4 days in such beautiful country but I guess I need to work so I can come and go on my next adventure in November!!!!!!

Really looking forward to seeing some big ole fish swimming in those pools!!!!

Once again Thank You!

Todd & Marci Meyer


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Brett,

we wanted you to know how much fun we had & how much we appreciated everything you did for us while we were in Branson. Trout fishing was an awesome experience for us both & not nearly as daunting as we had anticipated, thanks to your experience & patient guidance.We will certainly recommend you to any of our friends who might be coming that way. Thank you very much & good fishing to you!

Greg & Becky McReynolds



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Hi Brett,

Every day was a slow bite Sunday to Tuesday in AM. It helps my confidence since you also agreed it was a slow bite. No one was catching any more fish than me, and I was catching bigger fish than most. While visiting with others, none were using 7X tippet at any time. I switched to 5x when the turbines started generating. Most said it was too risky using only 7x tippet and I would lose too many fish. Maybe they thought different after I landed the +18” rainbow on 7X Rio Fluorocarbon and I only had one break off the whole day, and that was when the water came up and I did not want to stop and retie my dropper scud.

One of the 18” fish I caught had three flies besides my scud in his mouth, and two bird nests of string following or around it. I freed it of the extra hardware before sending it back.
On Tuesday the #20 or #22 gray scud (M-Scud) still provided the most consistent bite for me.

If I can schedule a day of guiding next April, I will request you to show me how to strip wooly buggers while we are out. I hope to confirm a date soon.

Thanks for keeping me supplied with good bugs.

Dan Turnbull


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Hi, Brett,

Thanks for the guided trout fishing trip a couple of weeks back (Wed., 7/23); my boys and I had a great time. Ryan, the youngest, says that the fishing was the highlight of his week (and that included going to Silver Dollar City and three days of tubing on the lake).

He enjoyed it so much, in fact, that he’s planning on asking for money for Christmas and his birthday to buy himself a fly fishing setup. Since I know next to nothing about fly fishing, or the equipment, I was wondering if you could suggest the types of things he should look for in a “starter” kind of rig. Since we’re in Kansas, most of his fishing will probably be for bluegill, crappie, or bass, with maybe the occasional trout trip thrown in.

I’m sure you’re busy with end-of-summer guide trips, so don’t feel obligated to reply, but any guidance you could give on a decent starter setup that doesn’t break the bank would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks again,

Chuck Nichols



    August 26th - The dreaded "bounce back". If you play around here much you'll know what I'm talking about. While fishing in what seems like "water off" conditions here on Taneycomo....you'll notice the flow start moving back "upstream". This typically happens when they run water really hard for a spell...then shut it down really fast...followed by water back on really hard...continuing in that cycle for a period of days. The best way to describe it is if you poured water down a long watering trough (for cattle or something like that)...when it reaches the opposite end it "hits the wall" (Powersite Dam in our case)....then bounces back upstream. I've seen it bounce back as far up as the upper Trophy Area by the boat ramp before.

Fish Don't Like It! Even though our water off current is minimal... it does exist and fish will hold in their preferred areas accordingly. When the flow "bounces back"...their holding spots aren't working like they want them to so they start scattering and looking for other areas to hold in.

The first thing I'll do is go to the opposite side of the structure (shoal or rock pile etc) that typically holds them in the normal direction. That helps...but the fish are always searching until that flow goes back to the direction it normally flows. Then they start feeling comfortable again.

So we've been getting that bounce back nearly every day here with the hard water on then off nearly every day. Plus we have the normal low 02 levels we get here late summer early fall...plus... we have the clearest water of the year. All that happening at one time equals a tougher than typical Taneycomo bite for us fishermen. For wading/water off...the sooner the sun comes out...and the fog lifts and the wind picks up the better the bite becomes.

For boating...a perfect world would be one mild unit running in the early am and slowly building to no more than two units all day long. That's a great bite here and usually is.

Our Savior!....the spawning run. I'm seeing some snippets of it now with big fish moving up and some smaller ones starting the spawning process of chasing each other and fanning some redds. As that process begins....natures calling card starts drifting downstream letting all the other fish downstream know that good things are happening upstream. Eggs and milt start a new food supply as well as the urge to get busy. Active fish dislodge more bugs and debris in the water which also brings more fish upstream in the shallow water where the action is.

This little funk happens every year about this time. This one is a little funkier than recent years but it can still yield some good results if you're willing to change your ways now and then.


Here's a few pics from some recent trips. We're having a great time out there folks and we hope you can join us soon.

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August 16th - 26th - Same water patterns...off till about 12 noon then on vary hard till after dark. You can get in a good 6 hours of wading if you hit it early. That's what we've been doing most of time on full day trips. New fly fishermen Becky and Greg did the same with us spending most of our time wading then catching the last couple of hours in the boat in the big water. These guys lost count of how many they caught by the time we were done wading. It was pretty good compared to what most people are experiencing here lately. LITTLE stuff is your best bet. Our M-Scuds and M-Bugs (gray and olive and coral) are the best options in #22 - #24. Occasionally a "big" #18 - #16 Soft Shelled Scud (coral) as a lead fly has done very well.





Micro Baitfish trailing a #18 Soft Shelled Scud has done very well at times in the slower and deeper water. Wind helps with that technique. Here's Becky doing battle with a nice rainbow.





From the boat!...get it down there #1. Hard to use too much weight when it's cranking a hard 4 units. We've done best with the coral WB jig (white bass) as a lead and trailing gray or coral Soft Shelled Scuds in a #16 - #14.



The less water from he boat the better. Always tweak those weights and depths as the water comes up. You want to be ticking the bottom now and then but not so much that you're getting snagged often. It's a fine line but try to walk that line as close as you can.



    August 6th - 16th - Oh Canada! - What's a guy who fishes for a living do, when he goes on vacation?...he goes fishing of course. Some of my contemporaries will understand that when you're a busy fishing guide...you almost NEVER get to go fishing yourself. Some guides fish on their trips...I don't, so...yeah!...I'm always looking for a fix.

I had been looking forward to this trip for quite a while.

So here's my story...it probably wont help you catch any more fish on Taneycomo but I wanted to share it with some friends and customers who I know will appreciate some of this kind of stuff. I hope you like it as well.

Plus... I love my dad dearly and I want to honor him and thank him for making this trip happen. He's what inspired me to be a fishing guide.... plus many other major life choices I've made in my past.



So back around 1970...my dad was one of a group of 4 guys who bought a lease from the Canadian Govt to build a small cabin, on a remote lake in northern Ontario. The stories behind that project were impressive, entertaining and often bordering on the incredible. How that thing was even accomplished is fairly amazing. The lake itself is probably 6 - 8 miles long from end to end (following the main channel) with countless side bays, islands and inlets including streams from other lakes upstream.



That original group spent the better part of a summer "camping" and building the structure mostly using the surrounding timber via hand saws and axes. I can only imagine the mosquito and black fly conditions for those guys. It probably pre dated DEET.

My dad tells me they used a certain kind of "swamp spruce" for the cabin as that type of wood held up much better and longer than the surrounding pine. Problem was... those trees only resided on the other side of the lake (in a certain little bay) so they would canoe there...cut the timber by hand then canoe back dragging the trunks across the lake by canoe. We're talking real men here folks.

They hired a local Indian...sorry..."Native...Canadian?"...to do a lot of the heavy lifting. My dad tells me w/o him it probably wouldn't have happened. They paid him in whisky mostly (his choice as I understand it)....and...lets see...how many politically incorrect faux paux's have we committed so far?....well here's another one. I guess they ran out of food one time so the Indian guide takes off in his canoe... and a knife...and later, comes back with a dead caribou.

Apparently (back in the day) the natives waited for caribou to start swimming across the lake...canoe up to them...jump on their backs and slit their throats. Now...you may not like that, but come on!...how bad ass is that! We have seen caribou do that before ourselves and we would motor up close to take some photos, then motor away. I'm pretty sure that I can't paddle a canoe as fast as those things can swim. Once again...BAD... ASS!!!...just sayin'

I'd love to know more about that guy. He's probably not with us any more.

I can't even remember all the incredible stories that my dad told me about that initial adventure but just know this.

TODAY....you have to drive about 150 miles north from the top of Lake Superior on the only road in that part of the country... until it ends. Then...from a small little spec of a town (with a couple of outfitters who fly out to more modern pre-fab cabins on other lakes)....we take a bush plane another hour or so north to be dropped off at our cabin.

That's TODAY!!!!...it wasn't that easy back then.

The last little tip of the ice cream cone is that "our" lake and the surrounding area has since been declared a National Wildlife Caribou Refuge and they don't allow any more development on that lake. We have the ONLY cabin/structure on that lake...pretty damn cool.



You know you're up there when you're in caribou country!



Here's our boys from Huron Air bringing in our second group to our little home made dock that is always in various states of repair. The TV show "Survivorman" filmed an episode here in this area. That dumbass took a crappy little boat that didn't run!...we used these guys.

#guesswho'sNOTeatingmooseshitandpinetreestostayalive?


And speaking of docks...what you cant see is the "connection" (or lack there of) from dock to dry land. When we got there we had decent outer dock degrading down to one narrow plank that came up about 2' short of actual, dry land. We needed our best Russian gymnast skittles to get to the end sans a bath...followed of course by a dismount.

A couple of our party members opted for the "water dismount" as a change of routine. All I can say is that the American judges (me and Kathy) gave it two thumbs up when we finally stopped laughing. Ironically, those contestants gave us two "fingers" up in return? That's no way to win over the judges. I spent the better part of one day improving our balance beam/dock situation.



Our little cabin in the woods...literally.

So that's where we were...I haven't been there in over 20 years before this trip and basically...nothing has changed. They had a big fire in the area in the 90's (I think) and some of the landmarks looked a little different but mostly, everything was the same.

It's a little work getting there and a little more once you get there. No pampering or pre-cooked meals....nobody prepping your boats each morning or cleaning your fish. It's all you...next time I'll bring a strapping young lad to do that heavy lifting for me. Sad to say but I was that strapping young lad this trip!...minus the strapping and the young...and the lad for that matter.



Uncle Jon, (looking all the mountain man) sister Kathy and dad at one of the money holes for catching walleye. We probably kept a dozen walleye total up there. We had fish dinner 2 times...should have been more it was so good.



Me and sis with a few we invited to dinner that night.



Sister Heather with maybe the first fish she's ever caught?? She's not big on that whole scene but she figured it out and probably caught more than everyone one day...but...she's probably good for another 60 years now.

There are several little inflows and outflows on that lake that the walleye always love to hang in. We weren't exactly "in season" for the best fishing at that time of year but those fish consistently hold in a few areas. We caught fish nearly every cast in some spots even after the sun got high. They eventually do cool off though and by noon time we were usually ready for a Labatts or 3 to enjoy the coming evening.



Weather couldn't have been much better. All but one day was sunny and temps in the 80's. Not the best fishing weather like I said but it's always pretty good up there even at it's worst. I've never done it but they say if you hit that lake at "ice out" it's just ridiculous fishing all day long.... for EVERYTHING! Having said that....you don't get many of these when it's nasty out...



and for a family trip....these are more important.



My daughter never wants me to forget about her when I'm away so she gives me her friend of the day to watch over me. This is Rainbow Sparkle making sure I don't do anything stupid. Don't tell Rainbow but I did occasionally have a couple of Canada's finest lagers so....no promises.

I never caught a fish for the first two days. Save me from myself I guess but I couldn't help but get the family going in the right direction first. I had big dreams of fly fishing up there!....brought all the stuff and tied some beautiful big pike flies for months prior to departure. But when the consensus is trolling or jigging with leeches you just kind of go with the flow. Its all good.



Kathy and dad doubled up on Pike. Trolling is pretty damn effective up there I must say. Chartreuse shad raps are hard to beat but most any big, minnowy things trolled well.



I'd like to claim this fish as my own but dad once again was the Big Fish King! I just held him up for the photo so he could hopefully swim another day. We never really tried to fish for pike (which is what we used to do specifically back when I went there more often). You can land a handful of 40" plus fish on that lake with just a little bit of effort but it was a more casual approach this time...THIS time! Next time I have bigger plans.



Caribou, Moose, wolves and bears...beaver, otter, martins and fishers are common guests to our area. Grouse (Spruce and Ruffed) frequently walk our path to our cabin avoiding us no more than a feeding chicken would as you walk through the barnyard.



This one (Spruce Grouse we determined) would just hop up on a pine along our path some nights to roost. You could literally touch the thing before it would fly away. We got some video of that on other cameras.

And while I'm not a huge fan of blueberries...the girls would walk out the front steps every morning and gather some up for their cereal.... from an ENDLESS supply that spanned in every direction you looked. Pretty cool stuff. So much life all around us but man!...the winters must be brutal!



Some great looking fungi and shrooms all over the place. Maybe next time i'll get risky and search out some of the edible varieties up there. This bad boy was about as big as a volleyball.





We all know what that's for right? Not too bad considering where we are.

While I'm always anxious to see the family at the end of our time there i'm just as sad having to say goodbye. There's an isolation and solitude up there that's hard to find in the world today. It's not for everyone but everyone should try something like it at least once. It's an incredible adventure. This is the first year EVER that we rented a satellite phone where we could have outside contact in an emergency. We never needed it but nice to have obviously.

When I describe this place to folks I call it an adventure more than a fishing trip. Yes the fishing is great even if you go (like we did) in the middle of their summer when fishing is typically the worst but... getting there is half the fun.

There are risks involved in getting there and being there. Best case scenario is you're probably 4 or 5 hours from a hospital in case of an emergency like a broken leg or appendicitis attack. Most people today don't or wont take such risks opting for a more controlled environment in their lives. I thank my dad (and mom) for taking us on such adventures throughout our lives and making me the kind of person who also takes those risks.

We not climbing Everest or wrestling sharks or anything but I like to think we're living life more than the average person. I hope I'm never the one sitting on the couch afraid of what might happen if I do something that carries a little risk. I might have been if not for my dad.

My dad...80 plus and still living life to its fullest....



I should be so lucky.




    July 20th - August 5th - Not a lot of pics through this stretch but some great folks who spent some time with us catching a bunch of fish. Mild running water is a very solid bite with our coral "white bass" fly as the lead with a coral #18 - #16 Soft Shelled Scud as a trailer. Wading pretty good most of the time but sometimes a tad tougher. Most of our wading is being done "away" from the dam where I think the water is warmer and the O2 levels higher. The bite has been better downstream for us.













    July12th through July 19th -

Lonnie and the Mrs enjoying a nice day of catching on another beautiful day.







Another first time fly fisherwoman...young Madison here. Guess if she's ever held a fish before today??





....take two!















    July 11th - I know....where the hell have I been?

Well... It' summer time! And that usually means a very busy time for me which also equates to very lackluster updates on my fishing reports. So... in keeping with that not so fine tradition....here's the speed round version for a couple of months of fishing reports. My apologies to old friends and new who deserve a little more "Hemingway" on their stories. No disrespect meant at all....just busy, and not complaining about it.

Overall this summer it's been very good for water off conditions for wade fishermen. We're having some great trips and meeting some great folks along the way. These last couple of weeks have had a tough day or two thrown at us now and then. It seems like it's an O2 issue as the fish those days are very lethargic and passive in their actions in general. Those days are few though and even those days have people catching ..."more fish than I've ever caught in my life"...so maybe I'm just a bit spoiled living on this waterway.

Still some good slots available with us in the coming days and weeks so give us a call and we'll hook you up.

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July 10th -
My old friend Dan did great on a tough day! Now I'm sure it happened on the river somewhere today but within our viewing area....we never saw another fish caught by another fisherman. We waded and boated and no...it wasn't a great day out there but we found a good solution on a tough day.

Motoring through the bait area we saw some of the bait/spinning guides chasing groups of stockers around. Better than nothing certainly but most likely coming up with a lot of 8-10" fish. We stayed in the Trophy Area and if I had to put a number on total fish caught by Dan in his 3/4 day Combo I would say about 25-30 in the net. Lots more hooked and lost but yeah, it was a tough bite. Dan was quick on the hookset and in an ever changing fly selection looking for the #1 thing (ginger/olive Micro Baitfish above a #18 coral Soft Shelled Scud from the boat) he did very well plucking out a handful of 16-18" fish too. Great guy and a great job on a tough day.


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July 9th -
Keith, Peter, Harold.....

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July 7th -
Matt








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July 6th -
Tom had a group of 3 out w/us.

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July 5th -
Roger in the afternoon and Jamie here in the am hooking up nicely.






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July 2nd -
Mike's group did the boat thing today. Pretty solid bite for us.

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July 1st -
My new friend Troy had a group of 3 with us today. Another great day out there.



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June 30th -
My buddy SCott and I met up at Roaring River to teach the Mrs (after all these years) how to catch them with a fly rod. She did great! Scotty always does a great job and they're always fun to hang out with.

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June 29th -
Lindy was a new fly fisherman this am. Some nice fish and beautiful scenery all around us. (truth be known....trout fishermen aren't big fans of herons)



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June 28th -
Jake and Brian did some catching with me in the am....

Kevin in the pm



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June 27th -
John and Michael trying the Taneycomo section of the White River chain of lakes for the first time. Look at that weather!...with a trout on the end of your line! That's what it's all about.



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June 25th -
Randy and his crew hit the boat today. Good stuff. Honestly...it's hard to find a bad day out there.

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June 24th & 26th -
Mr Bob and the boys (Rob and Tim) joined me for a couple of days of catching the trout.





They caught some epic fish with us before and they caught some seriously nice ones these two days with us too. Some of the nicest folks you're going to meet.


Our afternoon trip w/Susan and her son was a good one too. We waded all day and caught a bunch of them. First time fly fishermen who did a fantastic job today.











Lots of doubles...lots of fish! They used crossed this one off their bucket list with a big, red Sharpie!


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June 23rd -
Grandpa Gary brought his 10 year old twin grandsons out to try this game.













Doubles...triples! Great guys to hang with for sure.

Our boat trip this afternoon had this young fawn swimming up to the boat (bleating) like we were it's mother. Hopefully mom was just gone for a short time and life is good again for the youngster.



We had a real nice one out there on both trips.

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June 22nd -
My new friends Matt and Dennis

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June 21st -
Some real nice folks (the Millers) having a blast their first time fly fishing.





That's a triple hookup fading in to the background.


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June 20th -
New fly fishermen Eric and the boys from just north in Nixa joined me for the fun today.



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June 19th -
New fly fisher folks Tracy











That fish was jumping so much I had time to get ready and take a picture of him. Always a classic!



There should always be a little adventure in your day.


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June 16th -
Ryan was a new guy to fly fishing and we hit it early this am.



Another great guy and another great day on the water.






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June 15th -
Weekend off to help out my father in law Paul out with some yard work and things. He is doing much better since his surgery that had some complications. Still not where he wants to be (on a golf course) but god willing he'll get there. We all have our thing in life and nobody wants to lose that too early. He'll get there. He's working hard at it.

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June 12th -
A big group with Paul had us asking for the services of River Run to help us out today. One of those tougher than average days for everyone with some weird water generation to boot. We managed pretty well with what we had to work with.

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June 11th & 13th -
My friends Kirk and Warren return to join us again for a couple of fun days of fishing. My "soul mates" in pop culture....it seems like were always watching the same things...having the same take on world issues ...memorizing lines from Team America World Police...you know...the important things in life.

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June 9th -




Celina and Bill Were new to the game but after today their rookie status is long behind them.







A nasty day and the water came on early so (since nobody was there) we finished up around #1 for a half hour or so. Shhh!!...don't tell anyone.

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June 7th -
My new friend Bruce had a big group of 7 for us today so we asked River Run to help us out with a few of them.


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June 4th -
Big Fish Bob returns to the CWTS family after a long hiatus. We met at Roaring River for our adventure today and had a great time catching a bunch of fish!


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June 3rd -
My buddy Ed joined me for a day of chasing silver. A pretty salty fly fisherman and a great guy on top of that.


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June 2nd -
Our new friend Chris had a big group of 4 out with us today.


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May 29th -
My new friend John hung out with me today and we always have a real good time out there. He's one of those guys new to fly fishing and just cant get enough of it.



    May 26th - New fly fisherfolks Andrew and Megan were my guests today for the better part of all day. Andrew has dabbled in the sport on farm ponds and still water but never for trout and never in moving water. Megan wanted to make sure I bring a spinning rod along in case she couldn't figure it out. Just to put a little extra pressure on her, I told her not to worry as most women do better than their male counterparts when they dip in to this game. To say the least....Megan kept pace with hubby pretty much all day long and like most of our guests...never felt the urge to do the spinning thing after smoking them with the long stick.







Water off "almost" our entire time out there. We caught a unit coming up the last hour of the day which was actually VERY good when that happened. Early on, when it was off it was mostly the little M-Scuds and M-Bugs in #22's to #24's. We also had decent action swinging Hammerhead Sculpins and Micro Batfish. Our friend Greg was cross the stream from us just killing them stripping a micro Baitfish.

It started slow. A heavy fog and dead calm air made our early am bite slower than normal. We were catching them but it wasn't typical Taneycomo. As the fog lifted the bite improved exponentially and our heroes stayed hooked up real well for the balance of the day with several double hookups.





When that water came up I had Megan out in the faster water dead drifting coral and gray #16 Soft SHelled Scuds. That was a hit a drift most times. Andrew stayed with the real small set up and fished the tight, shallow inside seam as the water rose...just stepping back towards the shore as the water came up. Both these two were just smokin em in both scenarios.

Well here's something you don't see every day.



We're wading and we see this lump of something slowly making it's way towards us. I didn't bother looking too closely but it was either a coyote or a big gray fox. It was in good shape (short of being dead of course) and it looks like it met it's maker quite recently? Strange to say the least.

Sans the dead animal floating by...it was a real fun day out there with some extremely nice folks. Great students too. We had a fun time.


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May 25th -
My old buddy Pete had 1/2 a day to play around with since the ladies were doing the shopping thing today. Most of our days have had water off for us but today they threw that i mild unit at us all day long. Not to fear...Pete was up for anything so we spent most of our time "Island Hopping" from the boat. Island Hopping is my term for boating to little shoals and islands and getting out and wading the edges and seams. Most are only accessible by boat so its very rare to have to share the water with anyone sans a family of foxes or maybe some bald eagles.





I'm not gong to say our wading spots were "red hot" but they were very solid and Pete stayed hooked up most of our time out getting to fish some spots he hadn't fished here before.





We even found a nice little pod of rising fish where we were able to coax a few up with dries. In the middle of Memorial Day Weekend...we were able to wade fish with literally nobody else within eyeshot of us. Not that we're anti-social....but when you're fly fishing...the more solitude, the better.

It was a real nice time out there with Pete as always and another textbook, Ozarks spring day.





May 18th -
I know!....it's been a while. That usually means I've been busy which is a good thing. We've been in about a week long stretch of very mild flows on Taneycomo but it's been off during the day the last TWO days! GREAT boat fishing!!! ...with that mild flow going...wading is a little more sketchy when it's running. There is still some good wading to be had for sure but some of the normal hot wading spots (when the water runs) are a little less than stellar these days.

When the water is off it's crazy good wade fishing in some brand new areas we've rarely fished before.

We still had some great white bass fishing as recently as May 1st. I hadn't had the opportunity to make it back since but it wouldn't surprise me to still find a few around. I'd heard they were still catching them very well at night as late as May 15th.

The Jr Circuit was on a nice little hot streak but maybe starting to wane just a tad lately. Having said that...it got a breath of life this week with a couple of good, cold rains which always get the fish moving more in there. I'm checking it out today in fact.


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May 17th and 18th -
A big group of 7 spent the last day and a half with Tracy and I as we stayed hooked up real well for 2 days straight.





The "mistake" pics are always more fun.

Jimmy, Kevin. Kris, Kris Jr, Blaine (shown above) ...and I never got the twins names?...

Well, we got carbon copy water conditions with the mild, 1 unit flow of about 2k cfs. A GREAT boat bite and these guys had doubles, triples and yes...even quadruple hookups between Tracy's boat and mine.

I broke out a white bass fly to put on as a lead...I honestly thought it would probably be a little too big ...but that thing has been the bomb lately. About a 1/32 oz tube bait jig head painted white with a coral marabou skirt. Typically the "lead" fly will catch about 10% of the fish for me. This thing was catching 60% - 70% of our fish and I found that fact quite interesting. It's almost as if shad may be coming through the way they were attacking it but I haven't seen or heard of any? Who knows?...it's a chew toy for sure but man they love it.

We had a great time and these guys were wonderful folks. Grandpa, a couple of dads and a bunch of kids and too many trout to count! FUN, fun stuff


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May 15th -
My friends Mark and Antoinette made the drive from LA. to chase the trout around with us again today. A couple of stellar folks who hook up with us every couple of times a year and I always look forward to our time together.

Mark plucked out this nice little 28"er last fall with us on a black Soft Shelled Scud.





I just wrapped up a replica of that fish for him and he was quite excited to bring it home with him. He was first up this year for a return trip so I made sure I got it done in time.



It was an awesome fish and he handled him like a champ. Antoinette reminded me that Mark caught a world class redfish last year on a fly rod too. One that may have been a fly rod record but he (like us) practices good C&R and that fish (like his rainbow) still swims.

Today we had that same mild one unit flow and we stayed hooked up on fish pretty much all day long.





Lots of 16" - 18" fish plus we hooked a few bigger than that. A REALLY good bite from the boat. The top mile is really good and the bottom mile is really good plus many nice little pockets throughout the upper part of the bait area.

We stopped and island hopped at a few places just to get out and wade and I must say it was pretty slow overall. Typically that one unit flow is still pretty good for wading but overall it wasn't as good as usual. We had one real nice spot for about an hour where the kids stayed hooked up very well.







How about a little "single/double" here by Antoinette. Two fish landed on one cast (one fish on each fly). The Micro Batfish and a #16 coral Soft Shelled Scud if you're scoring at home. A pretty rare event and one that is pretty damn cool if I say so myself.

We really just significantly downsized our boating rigs (depth, float, weight and line size) and never skipped a beat.

That gave us about an hour of good fishing then it started to fade so we checked out some other places. Our other places were never as good as that spot so we wrapped up drifting from the boat where we had been hammering them all day long./

A great day with some great folks.


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May 12th -
Mack, Jane, Mike and Cindy were my buddies today in the boat. One mild flow once again which made for outstanding boat fishing.

These guys wanted to boat specifically so conditions were set up quite nicely for them all day long. My coral white bass fly (no name yet) has been THE LEAD FLY on most of my boat rods and trailing Soft Shelled Scuds #16 in coral, gray, pink and ginger/olive (in that order).

Very nice folks who picked up on our little fly technique for catching trout quite well. They couldn't believe the size of the flies we were using (#16) to catch those trout. Wait till they see our wading flies (#24)!


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May 10th -
Dustin, Juan and Gene really wanted to wade first and foremost today so that's how we started. After jumping around to a few of the more reliable spots in our waders we soon found out that the fish just weren't in there like normal. We hooked a few but certainly not enough for these 1st timers to completely enjoy their day so we wrapped things up Deep Drifting from the boat. THAT was great and the boys quickly went from "fishing"...to our specialty which of course is...CATCHING!









One of the rare times when wading isn't at least comparable to the boat bite. It happens sometimes but not usually for long. Real fun guys and nice guys and these rookies are rookies no more. They all picked things up very well and we had doubles and even triples often.



If you look close you can see a few fox pups out on that bank. We counted 8 pups at one time with two adults. We see them a lot out there and they're not too spooked by people. Pretty cool.


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MAY 8th & 9th -
Casey and the boys caught some more of that mild flow boat water these last couple of days and the catching was outstanding!



The Big Hurt hasn't shined quite as well as our lead fly lately. Egg flies and other bright stuff seems to be doing a little better. An interesting trend we'll keep our eye on. Really nice and fun folks to hang out with too.


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May 5th -
Our friends Nick and Jason joined us again today for another extremely fun day of catching trout out there. Real good stuff going on for sure. When water is on its generating pretty mild and a great boat bite. When it's off it's stellar Taneycomo wading with more fish and more options than you can handle in a day.

More nice folks to spend a great day with.


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May 3rd -
Steve and Jeff hooked up with us today for some good old fashioned wading on Taneycomo.



Our fishing options are very good right now. When it flows the flows are mild and boating is outstanding. When it's off it has also been...OUTSTANDING!!! Hard to go wrong on that scenario. Our fish weren't complete pushovers today. We had to get in just the right spot to keep a very good bite going. It was "good" in other places but it was REALLY good in fairly narrowly defined spots. The Real Estate Bite!....location, location, location!

More extremely nice folks I got to share the day with

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May 1st -
A mixed bag of fishing today! Rick, Jeremiah and JJ were very much up to chasing some white bass around. Their path to the shop brought them right past the Little Sac so we met there early am to see what we could find.





All brand new fly fishermen (grandpa, dad and grandson) and they're getting their feet wet on a fairly challenging quarry. Well they did a fantastic job and in 2 - 3 hours of fishing these guy s landed about a dozen whites with a few extra species thrown in for good measure.



Lots of fish hooked and lost and lots broke off too so our action was pretty solid. It would have been a lot better than that except the one and only person we saw all day long thought it was necessary to walk in and fish right in the middle of us 4.

Appreciate that buddy. You wonder if anything goes off in someone's head like that?... maybe something that says..."you know...with 2 miles of open water on either side of them...maybe I shouldn't be fishing so close to these people?"

Obviously not in this guys case. I know, I know...he wanted that spot! Well, that's why god gave us the ability to buy alarm clocks. Common decency is just something you have to learn I guess. Of course we all know who would be the first one to bitch when someone does the exact same thing to him. What are you going to do. There was a time when i would be more politely confrontational to people like that (sometimes my customers aren't as polite) but I try to be quiet and move on any more. I try?

Well, as the sun got high the white bass started to fade... plus our fishing buddy seemed to be camped out on our area for the near future...we decided to wrap up our day for white bass and turn our attention Taneycomo and switching to trout. A seamless transition I might add as we swung by the shop...switched out our bass rods for trout rods and we were soon catching the aforementioned.

I always find days like this very rewarding. It's not often you can do two such dynamic types of fly fishing on the same day in the same area.We all had a fantastic time and we caught a whole bunch of fish. A great time had by all for sure.



    April 27th - Trout by choice! My friend Pete and his son PJ got together at our place for a 1/2 day of fly fishing. Pete' been a handful of times in his life but it was PJ's first adventure with the stick. Really good students and really good action for our first time wading the big river in about a month!



Some quality fish coming to net for us today. With all the water, the fish are fat and healthy and have put on a few ounces and inches during the process.

The boys caught several 16 - 18" fish and too many to count smaller ones. The unbeatable...ginger/olive Micro Baitfish and trailing a Soft Shelled Scud #18 (ginger/olive, black, coral, pink)....color didn't seem to matter too much. They took both bugs but they took the trailer 8 to 1 probably.

The day couldn't have been any better. Mid 70's and sunny and just enough breeze to give us a good bite. The guys were very nice folks and picked up the game very quickly. A real nice time out there for sure.


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In the middle of getting some replicas done (especially Marks since he's here in May). I put a LOT of time in to the sculpting aspect of replica work. Something most people DON'T do but it completely makes the mount. I take a lot of pride making my customers fish look just like the one they caught and not just recreating a fish of the same length. A lot of detail and the character of the fish is done in the sculpting process. My background as an artist always comes to the forefront when creating these things, Here's the evolution of how I'll set the eyes on a replica.



Here's the eye socket as it comes from the factory. They tell you it comes factory ready?..."just glue the eye's in an go!"...maybe?.... if you like your fish to have a dead and vacant look to their face.



Here's the same socket after filling with sculpting epoxy and placing, then shaping the eye area...



Sanded and smoothed....and here's the finished eye prior to painting. I'll show the finished product shortly and with a little luck Mark will be able to take his fish home with him this May after his trip.

I really enjoy doing the replica work. It's not the most profitable thing I do for a living but it is one of my favorite things to do.






    April 24th - Another perfect day in paradise. I hit this place on the Little Sac in late March and we never saw a fish. That day we went back to Taneycomo and did great on the Jr Circuit while we waited for the whites to arrive another day. Today we went back there to find a river rich with fish and a plethora of targets that would be hard to duplicate any place...anywhere.







We'll keep a few whites now and then if our guests are fish eaters. 15 is the limit but trust me when I say you don't want to lug out a 30 - 40 pd stringer of fish. I like them a lot too but...not that much.

Target A:
White Bass - Lots of whites to target and many were in the heat of the spawn. A GREAT sign after that cold snap we had a week ago that pretty much shut down everything.





Yes we're catching these on the usual "clouser" type stuff and our Simple Minnows (chartreuse is usually the #1 color) are always good too but I've been tying some parade float type stuff for these guys and they're doing great. Keeping it on the cheap...I've been using #6 - #8 straight shank bait hooks (not the ones with the bait holder barbs on the shank)....putting a # 1/8th or so bead head on...an Ice Dubbed little body and a longer than average marabou tail. In the shallow water this year they don't need any weight and make a great trailer...like this one below.









The river was SOOOO FULL OF LIFE! Moving, spawning fish everywhere and in a dirty kind of water color where clarity is about a foot....to be able to see that much life just under the surface tells you there is SO much more going on down deep...



We caught some really nice largemouth and spotted bass (about a 3 pounder)...small mouth bass...



...and a few unexpected treats. I think this was a redhorse sucker (above). We caught several on this one shoal and this one was a solid 5 pounder. All these guys were taking our flies like the bass were, which was very aggressively. Fishing the James a lot this year, those fish weren't nearly as aggressive as these were. The bottom feeders were taking our flies and the white bass were often inhaling them.



So... we're casting to these massive groups of fish on these super shallow shoals... and what came up on each cast was unique and exciting to say the least.

So again... I find some BIG FISH on spawning beds in very shallow water on this little side channel off the main river. I was surprised to see such acivity from BIG FISH in such skinny water in the first place. First cast has a big 3pd plus smallmouth take our Simple Minnow and come flying out of the water. The hook came out shortly after that jump but we thought we were on to a big group of monster spawning smallmouth. It was one of those rare instances where the water was alive with fish and everything was chasing your bugs. A couple more white bass later...a little smallmouth and WHAM!...something hits and takes us downstream like we're fishing with snoopy rods. The hook pulls out... but that was no smallmouth. Hooked and lost another one...hooked and lost another one then finally a solid hookup and our suspicions were confirmed when we finally turned then beached a massive carp...a massive carp, on the fly!







We landed 4 of these monsters in the 8 - 12 pd range I would guess. Of course I HAD to get in on the action as I've never landed a carp on the fly. One broken rod later on what I guessed was about a 20 pounder...I managed to get one in too.

Imagine fishing a shallow little set of riffles for trout but instead of trout your riffles are filled with 2pd white bass, 3 pd smallmouth, 5 pound suckers and 20 pd carp....ALL TAKING YOUR FLIES!!!

It was so insane and just too damn much fun.

It wasn't like we were lining these fish or flossing them...they were taking our flies with a purpose! I've never experienced carp acting so aggressively towards a fly before so that experience for me was a special moment. Probably protecting the nest I'd guess. I'm seriously taking a 7 or 8 wt next time for those bad boys. Maybe Bob's 10 wt he has for musky! That would work. Those fish had CRAZY power!

While white bass was our target (and we easily caught our limit of those) the 4 carp were pretty cool. All these fish were tearing out after our flies (even chasing them) as we swung them through the shoals.

Species on the fly today:
White bass, largemouth bass, spotted bass, smallmouth bass, red horse sucker, some other type of long, slender sucker...and carp. In that river I've also caught crappie, walleye, drum and asst. bluegill types. We could have come back to Taneycomo for a couple trout and a few other species as well. Pretty diverse and exciting stuff for one day with a fly rod.

Anyone interested in having some of this kind of fun just let me know. You only have to experience it to make you change your views of a day chasing warm water fish. Now is the time!



    April 21st - Even the J.C. is seeing a second little run of white bass.



A nice warm rain today followed by sunshine spells a great few days for white bass. Unfortunately I am housebound until Tuesday or Wednesday but I'm going to try real hard to scout out a couple of spots early tomorrow before house duties kick in.

Taneycomo still runs pretty hard but I predict it will come off this week. My only basis for this theory is that Beaver Dam has been generating right along with Taneycomo this last month or so. Beaver stopped that "all day running " schedule this weekend so usually Taneycomo follows suite soon afterwards. Lets hope so ....we've all had enough of this crap! Even the Jr Circuit fishes better when they don't run water on Taneycomo.


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April 19th (AM) -
This morning David brought a first time fly fisherman friend along with him to try out this game. We started Deep Drifting by the dam. That was and has been slower than average especially when they have it cranking hard. We caught fish (6 - 10 per drift in that upper mile) but that's slow for us so we motored downstream and ended up fishing a couple of creek mouths where there are some big groups of fish hanging out. Some big groups of stockers have moved in and are roaming around randomly and are very quick to take a fly. You have to chase them a little some times as they don't hold well in one place but when you're in them it's fast and furious.

These guys caught a lot of fish and caught them on a lot of different things. A little peach and white (white bass) fly was doing as well as anything. These were real nice guys and enjoyed a beautiful sunny Ozarks day... these guys had a great time.

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April 19th (PM) -
my new friends Jon and Julie were up for just about anything I suggested in terms of fly fishing today. After a little discussion of the options we had at hand we chose to hang in the Jr Circuit for the afternoon. Great choice and we had a great time catching (mostly) trout with a splash of largemouth, smallmouth, bluegill, WHITE BASS...and an assortment of other un identifiable small minnow type fish.







More really nice folks to spend a afternoon with. Julie was a first timer and she picked it up in no time at all. John (kind of looked like Russell Crowe??) also did great and maybe classed up the joint a little bit rockin the english accent (having grown up there as a young man).

Very fun folks and while it wasn't "typical" Taneycomo is was a very good version of Taneycomo and a lot more intimate in terms of solitude and the experience as a whole.


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April 18th (AM) -
My new friend Scott brought dad and the kids (Gunner and Cannon) along for their first time at fly fishing. With the water running hard we're still getting that "ok" boat bite. Pretty good when the water slows down...tougher than average when it runs hard.

We're finding the bigger, coral Soft Shelled Scuds #14 doing best for us. Always trailing it behind some kind of white/shad pattern is also the best thing I've found. Real nice folks experiencing this for the first time. We had a great time on another great day to be out. We cant complain about weather too much. It's been very good for a while now


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April 18th (PM) -
More Deep Drifting this afternoon with a tougher than average bite happening for us. I look around and I see us doing better than anyone else out there (beware of pig polished fishing reports) but the big water has the fish hunkered down on the big river. When the flows slow down and the tailwater gets below 707' or so it can get pretty good but when folks have the desire to wade fish, the Jr Circuit is doing better for us overall. That and white bass of course and hopefully they'll crank back up again too.


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April 17th -
My friend Greg from Wichita had an all timer white bass day last year on this same date. Had it not been for a cold snap a couple of days ago I would have had much better hope for us today.

Yesterday I checked out the James for sings of whites and no fish were seen. I spoke to a boat group who said they could see them in groups on the bottom but no takers. With that scouting trip in mind from yesterday we chose to hit Beaver and Swan looking for some action today. We thought we found a shoal that had some fish activity from a distance. When we got there, any fish we saw moving around earlier had moved out. It was strange as what we saw looked every bit like white bass but it was blank when we looked close. We must have spooked them.


So...with nothing happening on that scene we went back to spend the balance of the day in The Jr Circuit where we did quite well at most locals. One spot that had been great was nearly void of fish today but the other 3 spots we hit were solid and kept us hooked up.

How close can you get to a nesting goose before getting attacked???...




...abut this close!



There are quite a few of these guys out there on our trails less traveled (the Jr Circuit) which makes for an even more entertaining experience. This week I've seen two different litters of red fox pups playing on the banks below their dens. Both mamas came out to see me then bolted away quickly as the pups played on. Pretty cool stuff.



    April 12th - This wasn't too far off from what we experienced yesterday. Really, really good stuff and our heroes today ALSO wore their arms out to the point of waving the white flag by days end.







A while ago Nick, Gary and Tyler (never having touched a fly rod) singed up for a full day trout fishing trip for today's activities. Fair enough...BUT....with a once in a lifetime event sitting right in front of us ...I had to do my best to convince them that this was a better experience. "This"...of course would be white bass fishing on a fly rod vs trout. Water continues to run hard on Taneycomo and our fly fishing would have been limited to the Jr Circuit or the boat using our Deep Drifting technique. That's always a productive choice but As far as learning the art of fly fishing...you're going to learn more about it when you wade fish which is why we're always trying to make that happen at least for part of your trip.


I called Nick last night and told him about this event going on and how they would have more fun doing that . They talked about it and decided to give it a try, If nothing else..."we can always go back and fish for trout out of the boat right?"

We never made it back to the trout.

The morning bite was just as good as what Mel and Larry had yesterday. When the mid day sun came out the bite slowed but still solid and the fish were still there in huge numbers running up shallow shoals with their backs out of the water. We could have caught our limits with our dip nets if we chose to. Of course we prefer the hook and line method and even though these guys released all their fish, they easily caught their limits of 15 fish each.







That's a white bass (then a shad) caught on a white, Soft Shelled Scud. Did I tell you we were catching them on just about anything? They were very "trouty" in that respect. Not your typical aggressive attack you get from a white bass. These fish are spawning so they're not in a "feeding first" mood. We're getting mostly reaction strikes where they spit it out pretty quickly so we had to be fast.

What a great day. These brand new fly fishermen had an experience that they'll likely never have again. The only bad thing about our day is that it will be hard to eclipse the success of their very first fly fishing experience.

I've probably caught more trout in a day than we've caught white bass over the last two days. Mostly because those bass take longer to bring in. Having said that....I've never had a fishing experience any more dynamic than what I've had the last few days. Truly incredible!

Now...I am out of the water the next 3 days doing some family stuff. With a consistent weather pattern I would guess that our activity would remain the same. The problem is....our weather is getting cold starting Sunday Night and Monday. I'll be checking it out again Wednesday so hopefully Greg and I can have some of that same fun on Thursday.


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April 11th - BEST DAY EVER!!! -
MY friends Larry and Mel scheduled this trip a while back in hopes of timing it right t0 chase the white bass around with trout in the JC as a fall back plan. Always a good plan as the Jr Circuit has been red hot this year. With the activity we've been getting with white bass I felt pretty good about our timing with those guys.

I've been hitting one or two places early then scouting out from there as the day progresses. Our first spot was really hot and after I got the boys thinking a little differently with this variety they started plucking out fish after fish in an environment that we all hope to find when chasing whites on the fly.









The standard approach with these fish is a sink tip line and swinging lead eyed clousers and jig type flies through the deep holes. Larry has chased them for many years and is familiar with that approach. These fish we're after are crazy shallow and in very clear water. You can see everything in front of you and often you can see the fish take your flies. With our approach you need NO SINK TIP SECTION at all...3x - 4x tippet on a standard tapered leader with very lightly weighted (or un weighted) minnow flies. We're usually standing on the shore and out of the water in many cases as we swing those flies through the fish (who happen to be 3' - 5' off shore at times).







I've never fished for whites this way before this year. The normally murky river water is currently running pretty clear so we can spot these fish like trout and cast for them similar to trout. It's just crazy fun and these fish are PIGS!!!! We only caught 2 - 3 of the typically small males while EVERYTHING else were BIG males and REALLY big females. These guys caught the biggest white bass I've ever seen and nearly every one of them were in that same class.



Doubles more than singles and we lost count really, really early.

SO that was really good and the guys couldn't even THINK about walking away from a spot that was giving up big fish every 2nd or 3rd cast right?. I decided to scout the next set of riffles upstream and see if anything was going on up there today.

Since April 8th...I've scouted this place on every trip. It's about 1/2 a mile upstream where we've been doing most of our fishing (which is a good mile walk back to start with). So...EVERY DAY before today I hadn't seen a single fish there. The water looked great! Lots of shoals and riffles and there SHOULD have been fish there but there hasn't been yet....until today!



What I saw was nothing short of unbelievable. Imagine the biggest, thickest schools of salmon you've ever seen on a PBS documentary....times 3! The picture above is the best I could manage to show the sheer numbers. The scattered dark shapes in the foreground are fish....the solid dark stretch just in front of Larry's feet on the opposite side are fish!...and they go upstream and downstream about as far as you could see.

A 200 yd swath of white bass up and down stream and from one side to the other. For most of the morning it didn't matter what you threw or where you threw it. Fish were so thick it was just a matter of where you wanted to catch fish not where you could catch fish.



The only way we could have possibly caught more fish is if they were smaller than the ones were were catching therefore making it faster to get them in to catch another one. It was nothing short of a dream and a moment and a day I'll never forget.

The guys eventually just got too tired to catch fish any more after about 9 hours of non stop action. Guide boy here just HAD to hang out a little longer so I called my friend Bud in Springfield and told him what was going down. He did what EVERY white bass fisherman would do in that situation...he left work and joined me. Nothing skipped a beat...we were catching them just like Larry and Mel were.

It's the kind of day that everyone hopes for but you never REALLY expect to see happen. Well it happened and I have to believe we have some more days ahead as this seemed to be the beginning of the best action. Add to it all a couple of great guys to share it with. Larry's a white bass chaser from way back and the day and the moment was not lost on him. This was Mel's first time chasing white bass o a fly rod. He was very impressed to say the least and most likely...peaked WAY too early in his white bass fishing career.


Larry sent us a nice note post trip. If you think I'm making this up then see what he has to say.


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Brett -

I told Mel on the way home, that was a bad way to begin his white bass fishing experience.... really a once in a lifetime event. I fished the White river at Goshen on Sunday... it was muddy and the fish mostly males were not a 1/3 the size of the James. I really would like to get another trip to one of the other white bass fisheries, but a tough time of year in healthcare.... we still have not got to hit the Jr. Circuit and that is on my list. I fish with a guide 3 or 4 times a year, but would be content to fish with you 3 or 4 times a month... I always learn new things and really do think you get as much charge out of helping others catch fish as we do in catching them!

Larry



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