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.


                                    


September 3rd - 2014

We're seeing some pre spawn activity out there?



This one found a black Soft Shelled Scud #18 too hard to resist!

We're finding the fish slowly coming out of that late summer funk. We've had some real nice trips lately with water off till 1:00pm or so. Now is when we start seriously looking for the early arrivals of big fish preparing to spawn. Once it starts....it just keeps getting better and better. The "big fish" net is in tow...Soft Shelled Scuds are tied and ready in all the favorite flavors. We'll start seeing more and more guys like the one above as the days get shorter and a little bit more cool.

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Big Fish Season is upon us now and it will get better and better as fall and winter approach us. We ALWAYS book up in October and November so if you want that fantastic experience..dont wait too long.

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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 September 1st - Water is off most days until noon or so. We're able to wade for the better part of most days until the water comes on. When it comes on it usually ends up coming on a hard 4 units until late evening then it's back off...most days. The window of "good" can be fairly tight some times. I like to think we know where those spots are when the tough times kick in. 1 to 2 units of running water is always very solid from the boat. We'll catch a LOT of fish when that happens. 3 - 4 units is tougher but still solid.

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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September/October will be the new "season" for the JC. We need a cool down where the nights are hitting the 60's consistently before we start getting serious again. We'll keep you posted.

Roaring River -
A great time to be at Roaring River right now. Kids are back to school and the park is very light on crowds. Beat that Taneycomo summer time 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.


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



    September 3rd - 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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April 10th -
Big Fish Bob had talked about trying white bass on the fly for quite a while now. Timing seemed to be about right for us when we booked it weeks ago. The fish indeed were there as they have been the last couple of days.

This was a good lesson for me as a guide and the saying, one man's trash is another mans treasure. Bob wasn't a big fan of the white bass. They were there by the hundreds as they have been lately but maybe not quite as hot to take a fly as they have been. Having said that, we caught a dozen or so before we decided to call it a half day.





Bob's been chasing musky around for a couple of years now so he probably needs a bigger target to chase. The thought of a mass of white bass in front of you suggests they will attack your lure (fly) with abandon but these spawning, shallow water fish are very "trouty" when it comes to the take. Very subtle and very quick to release it. I put a very small float on one set up where the fly line meets the leader to use as an indicator to help pick up the quick takes. It worked quite nicely actually. The water is so shallow that it didn't keep your fly too high in the water column while helping immensely on seeing the subtle takes.




We caught 3 smallmouth I believe and lost one that was in the 2-3 pd range. That was pretty cool too. So go figure?....I personally think chasing these fish on the fly is the MOST fun a fly fisherman can have around here. Bob was like...eh?

To each his own of course and as we walked out of there we crossed one off the bucket list that Bob doesn't have to revisit again.



    April 8th then 9th - Well, after my 1/2 day with Larry F from STL yesterday I decided to do a little scouting for tomorrows trip with another STL Larry. On a tip, I hit the James River by myself starting in the deeper, slower water and walking up till I started finding riffles.

LOTS of boats on the river but not a lot of catching going on. The odd, small male being pulled up now and then by spin fishermen and I flung my arsenal at them in those same areas with no success.

I kept moving up and as I started finding faster water I stared seeing some fish. I finally found a nice little hump in shallow water where I found good numbers holding for the first time this year and yes....WHITE BASS!!!!







I was so excited and played around there until dark bringing a few home for supper that night. A scouting trip with a purpose as we hit the same place on the 8th at the crack of dawn.

So... My other buddy Larry from STLMO has NEVER caught a white bass on a fly rod and that was our goal today. Mission accomplished to say the least and what a great time we had with those guys on a warm and sunny Ozarks spring day.








Depending on the water we were fishing, it was one of my many WB Flies (White Bass Flies) then trailing a Simple Minnow. Most came on the Simple Minnow and Chartreuse or coral were a couple of their favorite colors.





We had a great time and caught quality fish on the fly. Just the start of things I hope. The fish are JUST coming up in the shallows and weather looks fairly consistent for several days out. I like our chances of timing this really well in the next few days. Stay tuned!


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April 7th -
Maybe the fewest fish I've ever caught on a trip. Last night we had a big, quick soaker that brought up the water in a lot of our JC hotspots. Too hot to play around in even tough we spent the first few hours of our day doing just that.

After our best attempts there we went Deep Drifting from the boat in 3 -4 big units of water. That bite is not great right now. Yes we caught fish but probably only 6 - 8 fish a drift which is pretty slow for this place. Mike, his brother and dad were my guests. Mike was one of the first people I met when starting up my business down here and has remained a good friend throughout. They caught a perfect storm of crap conditions that made catching fish a fairly difficult task today. Great sports about it of course and it was certainly nothing they did wrong...just a tough day for Taneycomo.


If we drifted from the boat our whole time we probably wouldn't have had that distinction of one of the worst days ever but we wanted to fish the skinny water so we made every attempt to do so early on. Hindsight?

Great guys to fish with and spend some time with. They still had a lot of fun and compared to most trout streams it was still pretty good.


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April 6th -
Hard Core fishermen Zach, Jarred and Brandon were my guests today on a 3/4 day of chasing the trout around. Zach is a well traveled fly fisherman, Jarred is on the Bass Masters tour and was here competing at Table Rock this weekend. He was in 8th place after day one but day two found him just missing the final cut so they went fly fishing instead. Brandon was fairly new to the game but picked it up great in no time at all.







The Jr Circuit was where we spent most of our time and the success rate was very good.



There was plenty of more water to explore but these guys wanted to see how we catch them out of the boat in big water too so we wrapped up our day doing that. Really good out there too folks! There was no shortage of catching going on no matter where we tried and these were some great guys to spending some time with.

No amount of fish caught or time well spent can overshadow the really important tings in life. I consider myself a spiritual guy though I know I still fall short sometimes of the man I try to be. I will pray for my new friend Zach as he battles cancer. Meeting fantastic people like Zach and his friends puts your relatively small problems in life in to perspective.

Amazing things can happen in life sometimes. Miracles can happen!...and I'm praying that a miracle can happen for Zach and his family. You guys need to come back in the fall and chase some REALLY big fish around these parts. See you soon!


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April 4th and 5th -
Some of my friends from the STL area Larry, Tom and Tom were my guests for a couple for days of wading the JC. We thought about trying for whites but with limited time to play we decided to stick with the sure thing (the Jr Circuit) and just catch a bunch of trout. Mission accomplished.





It was a cool morning for sure but the action was as hot as it could possibly be. We never even got to all our JC options and stayed hooked up the whole way along. Great time and great folks to be sure .I always enjoy my time with Larry, Tom and the boys.


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April 3rd -
My new friend Dan and I got in a couple 3 good hours of wading (Taneycomo had water off today???) before one kick ass storm kicked us in the ass.



We see this little fox and a couple of his buddies nearly every day we fish this area. Not too spooked by us most of the time. That little guy has come up to my thermos on the beach and taken a sniff or two of my things that I've left there during trips.

Well our fishing was FANATSTIC!!! and this new fly fisherman was picking it all up in no time at all. Dan was a natural and he was plucking out fish pretty much every drift. That was before that crazy quick and violent storm knocked us off the water and sent us flying home amid a marble sized hailstorm and 50 mph winds. We survived but that kind of killed our time for the day. I promised Dan a discount next time we do it again. Real fun time for us today...while it lasted.


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April 2nd -
My new buddy Warren from Indianapolis IND has always wanted to try fly fishing. A GREAT day on tap for us had us having a wonderful experience on the Jr. Circuit.





Never having touched a fly rod before, we wanted that traditional wading experience and the only place to find that these days is on The Jr Circuit. More big water running 24/7 on Taneycomo. We beat that rap wading, having all the water we wanted all to ourselves.





Warren was such a nice guy and a great student of the game. He was catching in no time and had a great handle on things by our half days end.

I keep saying ANY time now for those white bass. The few hours I have between trips is spent scouting my favorite haunts for those fish hoping to see signs of life. I don't like taking people blind to those places w/o some hope of catching. People are doing some catching in the deeper holes of the rivers (by boat) but it certainly hasn't happened where it counts yet. We're still watching closely.


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March 31st -
Wrapping up the month of March...still no sign of white bass in the shallows. Not a problem for Robert and the boys as we hit the JC for an afternoon of a lot of fun. I LOVE the Jr Circuit! It's been over a year since it's been this good and we are taking full advantage. Today we caught about an 18" brown in there plus a nice white bass....and more trout than we could ever hope to count. More fun folks to spend a day of catching with.



Hooked up with another JC trout!


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March 29th -
My new friends Rene and Barbara joined me for an excursion on the Jr Circuit. Big water on Taneycomo is forcing us to find more appealing options for the wading fly fishermen and women. We are finding it on the Jr Circuit and hopefully soon..the white bass will be joining us there, Great folks who had a great time on a great day.LOTS of fish caught in a variety of locations.

Barbara was just happy I didn't make her cry like the last guided trip she went on out west. It always amazes me some of the "bad guide" storied I here from my customer friends. If you make a customer cry when you're trying to teach them how to catch a fish on a fly rod...you need to look at a different line of work. We had a lot of fun today and caught a LOT of fish...and no tears shed.

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March 28th -
Local fly fishing legend Bud Hogan and I (I just said that so his buddies will give him some crap about it) we were looking first for white bass today then if that was a bust....we'd hit the Jr Circuit. The first was indeed a bust. They just haven't come up in the shallows yet. Last year it was mid-late April and it was another long and cold spring (like this year) so the best is yet to come.

The Jr Circuit was FANATSTIC!!!!! more and more water is opening up for us all loaded with GREAT fish! Running water be damned! We are wading and CATCHING great numbers of trout in water that has barely ever seen a fly fisherman. That's right!...I said it!

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March 26th -
We had a nice little day on the water today with Travis, Cooper and John. Water continues to run but we are beating that issue with JC fishing and doing fantastic! Great guys to fish with for sure today. Very nice guys and good students of the game I must say.



    March 24th - They ran a bunch of water through the weekend and it continues today. I'm not sure why all the water but of course we're hoping for less real soon. Be that as it may, we've been able to fix our wading and catching "jones" by exploring the Jr Circuit and finding it quite friendly to our offerings. The best it's been in over a year and we haven't even hit them all yet. Fun, fun stuff doing some wading and hooking up with some great action! We're still looking for those white bass to come up where we can hit them with the fly rods. Now, let me end this sentence like the majority of ALL white bass fishermen (who await the start of the white bass season)...end their sentences...."should be any time now".


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March 23rd -
My new friends Joe and Charlie were my guests today on a "scheduled" boat trip. Big water greeted us and it promised to remain big for the day. With that in mind I suggested the Jr Circuit to these veteran fly rodders who have been emasculated by Taneycomo's water generation more than once in their lives. This was a great option for them I thought and at the end of the day, the boys agreed whole heartedly.





I have to admit, I took these guys to where I thought we'd spend our entire half day there. A little scouting had found zero fish where there had been hundreds just yesterday. Surprising to say the least, but we had back up plans and we found a little gem of an area that was just yesterday...void of fish.

We're really hunting fish before anything . It's a rare day when we blindly cast to areas hoping there are fish there. We had sunshine and a little breeze now and then so our targets showed themselves quite nicely.

Soft Shelled Scuds, Micro Baitfish, my new Taneycomo Dry #22 even caught a handful to groups of rising fish. Really fun stuff and these guys were great to fish with.

Charlie is a beast with the fly rod! I'm pretty sure he out fished dad. What impressed me most about him was how gracious he was with dad. When he started slaying them he wanted dad to come over and fish where he was. He'd take time out to just watch and stand next to him as he caught fish. One of those young men you have to drag off the river at the end of the day all the while taking in the experience together with dad and not just worried about himself.

A nice quality to see in a person these days. I'm sure mom and dad had a little something to do with that. Good job!


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March 21st -
New friends Herschel, Dakota, Diego and Josh joined me for a half a day in the boat today. More big water running for us and we had a mixed crew of spin fishermen and a couple of the guys who wanted to try fly fishing. It was the toughest day we've had in a long while. Big water then fluxing up and down with a cold front coming in. A couple of the guys were counting and they each got over 10 fish to net but a 40 - 50 fish (1/2 day trip) isn't so hot for around here. Great guys! A real fun time out there but to say the least, we had to work for them today.


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MArch 20th (am) -
Will and his new wife Charlotte were my guests today in the boat. Water running pretty good for us early but it slowed later and our bite improved. Either the gray, ginger/olive of coral Soft Shelled Scud is the one for the trailer and we're still leading it with a Big Hurt. 90% of the fish are coming on the scud.

These guys were spin fishermen so we went after them with the long spinning rods. These guys picked it up very well and once we pin pointed the best bite they stayed hooked up real well too. Real nice folks I enjoyed spending the day with.


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March 20th (pm) -
Chasing a rumor from my buddy Robert at Trout Hollow, John and I hit the Jr Circuit in hopes of running in to a few fish. We hit the jackpot today!





What a beautiful experience on a trout stream. No people, rising fish stacked like cordwood (as they say). John was hammering trout using a variety of techniques and tactics and most were in that 14-16" range. Really good stuff!!!





It's been a while since the Jr Circuit has made some noise. It gave us some great fun today and from what I saw I'd say they'll be some staying power with this stint. John and Tracee are a couple of the good ones in this world. I always have a great time hanging with them.


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March 19th -
My good buddies John and Tracee are with me for the next couple of days. We hit it this afternoon with a promise of very low flows so that gave us a lot of good options. Starting in the boat we made a couple of drifts down through the good stretches and we stayed hooked up well.

The flows got very, VERY low and we started getting some good wading options opening up for us. These two are always up for some of that and we ended up having an evening that could NOT have been any better at hooking a trout on a fly rod.



We found a nice little collection area where the fish were stacking up and we could fish them in about 2' of water. John was swinging and stripping an olive Hammerhead Sculpin while Tracee was dead drifting a coral and ginger/olive Soft Shelled Scud below a float. It was a hit a drift and then some for both techniques for as long as we wanted to do it. NICE fish too which made it even that much more fun.

After a while of catching Tracee was wanting to try swing the Hammerhead sculpins She found that a WHOLE lot of fun and she too was hooking up pretty much every swing down. It s a fun way to practice the traditional fly cast as (in my opinion) it's always best to cast in the traditional sense using a single fly.



Indicator fishing is usually best done using a roll cast. Not that you cant do it the traditional way but you WILL get more tangles no matter how good you are. Just sayin. Well, these guys did great and we once again, had a great time out there doing it. A beautiful afternoon / evening to be fly fishing.



    March 18th - We had about 4" of snow yesterday if you can believe that. It has pretty much ,melted away as we speak on this day that will push 60 and sunny. This is my Mr. Mom day when I home scholl Mckenna and stay at home.

One good thing about home schooling is that our class room is flexible. We wrapped up our day doing a "hands on" experiment demonstrating the relationship between some feathers, a hook, fluorocarbon and a fish. It's a touchy concoction that you have to get just right but when you do....





We just kind of hung out on an island doing a little scouting and top secret undercover stuff. We had our attack wolf to protect us and some walkie talkies.





Yes, that little white thing is a dog! Not a rat, meercat, kitty, flightless albino bat or a plethora of other demeaning names that are frequently repeated. It's Mckenna's best little buddy and I have to admit...I kind of like her too....for a rat!



Every time we come home from doing this kind of thing, Mckenna always says it was "the best day ever!" How cool is that. She's such a sweetheart. All you dad's know what I'm talking about.


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March 17th -
Ken and Mitch were my friends today as we joined Bill Babler on a little afternoon boat trip. While water was scheduled to be off, it shut down to a very mild 1 unit flow which made for fantastic boat fishing. With a Micro Big Hurt above a ginger (head and tail) and olive (body) Soft Shelled Scud #18 it was working well ad working often. Mitch (the rookie) started with that set up and about a half an hour in to the trip, we hooked Ken up with the same set up. Every other color Soft Shelled Scud (#18 to be specific) was OK but the ginger/olive was TEH BOMB!!!

That has been the fly!...water on or off for about 2 weeks for me. I'll trail it behind the Hurt when it runs and below a Micro Baitfish (ginger/olive) when the water is off. Today it was on and we caught 98% of the fish on the trailer.

Here's another fairly impressive stat...Both Mitch and Ken never lost a fly or had a tangle and they probably pushed 80 fish in half a day trip. 17" was probably the best and we had a bunch in the 16" class. A real fun time and these were some great guys to share it with. We drifted out the last time with Bill and his guys and everyone was doing a lot of catching in that lower mile on Taney. Pretty good stuff folks!...water on or off!...there's a lot of fish to be caught.


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March 15th -
My new friends Tim with his sons Davis and Parker joined me today for their first time at fly fishing. Tim's done it a few times before but it was the boys first go at it. We had a 1/2 a day to play with this afternoon (with the water off) so we Island Hopped from the boat and chased these trout around on foot.

We didn't have that crazy good bite we've been having today but it was still very solid and these rookies managed 12 - 15 fish each to the net with hundreds more hooked and lost. Very short little hitters and it was many different bugs that kept them interested.




Micro Baitfish by themselves...trailing Soft Shelled Scuds (ginger/olive Soft Shelled Scud #1 right now) or the little guys (M-Scud and M-Bugs) all caught them equally well.



Wrapping up the day...these guys had a great time. They caught a few fish in the 17" class. One was one of those big Neosho strain female dropping eggs. A gorgeous fish. Real fun guys to fish with and show this sport to. I want to thank my buddy Nathan up in KC for sending them our way. Very appreciative of that. Nathan can catch a big trout with the best of them.


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March 13th -
My old buddy Kevin brought a big group down for a 6 hour lesson on catching a few trout here on Taneycomo. These guy were mainly spin fishermen so we set up our "purgatory" rigs (something between spin fishing and fly fishing) and did the same thing we do when we fly fish...except we spin fished.

We caught dropping water when we started so we Deep Drifted a Big Hurt and trailed Soft Shelled Scuds. When the water came off...we went to Baitfish (ginger/olive) still trailing Soft Shelled Scuds. Hard to beat that meal for a trout and these guys were plucking out fish after fish the whole time out. Real fun guys to fish with on another clear, blue Ozark Day.


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March 12th -
A big group of 4 led by our friend Tim. We had some new fly fishermen today and everyone did great in some tougher than average water conditions. Even at it's worst...Taneycomo is really good by comparison and we all had a fun time today.


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March 11th -
Richard from TX shared a 1/2 a day of catching today. No pictures today but another really nice one for everyone. We're playing around in some new places that has us catching a bunch of fish, all by ourselves. Great stuff and these guys were fun to fish with.


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March 10th -
Our friend Steve had a big group of 4 out with us today.



We boated...we Island Hopped and eventually finished out down by The Stretch. A real nice time out there! Doubles...triples...QUADS!!!... a great bite and great weather all day long. These guys did fantastic and caught a bunch of them.



    March 8th - My new friends Rob and Sean were my buddies today this am in the boat. Rob is the son of Greg (one of my long time customers) here on their yearly boys week of fishing and it was his (and Sean's) first time ever with the fly rod.

This was the first day we've had to work for them in a long time. The bite was tougher I must say. Lots of hits and misses as always but even in the narrowly defined "hot spots"....the takes were fewer than they have been. They probably caught a couple dozen in their half day trip with us but that is FAR below what we've been getting lately. We threw everything at them and tried several different places. We ultimately fished a 100 yd stretch that we've been "wading" a lot lately but... we fished it from the boat today. They were stacked in there tight and fairly active but still...VERY quick on the take.

We had a cold front coming in which I'm sure didn't help matters but in spite of that, the boys did great really picking up the game very well. Their casting was excellent and their reaction to those lightning quick strikes got better and better as the day went on.

Real fun guys and I appreciate the fact they chose to fish with me.

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March 7th -
A big group in the boat this am with Bob, Chad, Eric and Shane all from the environmental group that's in town this weekend. Doing a little "scouting" for their tourney on Saturday but mostly learning how to fly fish was goal #1.

Bob had done this game before but the rest of the boys were brand new to it. These guys did fantastic and our bite was very solid for us.

The am bite continues to be the slowest for me but after the water drops out it gets better and better every drift down. "Slow" is relative as these guys stayed hooked up the whole time but we had many moments of fast and furious action as well.

The Big Hurt with a Soft Shelled Scud (gray or coral) trailer OR...the purple/wine M-Bug is the bomb when it's running and dropping out. After it's off... we transition over to the Baitfish as the lead then Soft Shells or ginger/olive M-Bugs trailers doing best. It's all really good and these guys were really good at picking these fish up.

Crazy subtle are these hits so be ready and then some. These guys were a whole lot of fun to fish with and all really nice folks. 17" was probably our biggest to net with a few legit big boys being hooked and lost., Very fun!

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February 27th and 28th -
My buddy Dave Merrifield and I had a couple of great days out there. A little sunnier on day one but both days were great for fishing and catching and great way to kick February in the ass and out the door. March HAS to be better right?



Dave was loving all kinds of catching these last couple of days but the dry fly action was hard to beat. When we found the fish piled up in the seams and sipping the surface our action was as good as I've ever had it here on Taneycomo.








The new Taneycomo Dry maybe?...location certainly doesn't hurt. Timing and conditions as a couple more factors but we've had these conditions all winter so I like to think it's the bug! We'll be doing more testing with those who would like to give the fish on the surface a try.



Dave is a solid individual to say the least. A regular buddy of mine and someone who just loves this game as much as anyone. I always enjoy my times with Dave.

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February 26th -
My buddy Bobby O on the river and looking for a fishing fix. Another great day out there for me and my good friend. Great weather, great fishing...water off most of our time. GREAT , great stuff and we enjoyed every minute of it.

I've been tweaking and playing with a dry fly for here on Taneycomo for a while now. If anyone fishes this place much they'll soon see a really small midge flying around here. Typically small like a #24 - #26...very light tan to creamy white in color. That bug is a classic example of "matching he hatch" doesn't always mean catching the fish.

I think I'm a pretty decent fly tyer. I can copy a bug pretty close to the real deal in most cases. Having said that, what we see in a vise doesn't always translate in to "takes from a fish". That little midge should be tied in shades of tan, white or cream... and when you tie those and put them on and in the water next to the real thing... they look pretty damn close...BUT... I RARELY catch fish on them.

My best general pattern for those dries has always been a real small Adams and that still is a pretty good option. "So maybe some more gray" ...was my first thought and yes, that was certainly a factor. After playing around with a bunch of different options (and having Bob there as my willing Guinea pig) we were able to fine tune what seems to be THE dry fly and what I'm calling...The Taneycomo Dry.

(pictures coming soon)

#24's are usually god enough but sometimes #26's are better. If you think an Adams color scheme in a midge profile and you'll be on the right track.

We had a great time out there today. Played around with our Go Pro a little bit and maybe we can show you some videos real soon too.


    February 24th - My new buddy Bill is a seasoned Taneycomo bait fisherman and spin fisherman...a regular follower of our fishing report and a man with an urge to learn fly fishing. You're never too young or old to learn this game (not that Bill is old of course) and we had a perfect storm of conditions to learn about everything you can in a 6 hr trip.

Bill saw our special and thought this would be a good time to learn the game. Indeed it was on a day that hit 50's and stayed sunny for us all day long. The bite continues to stay great for us with a variety of bugs doing damage. All the little Bit, M and Soft Shelled Scuds...M and G-Bugs...KrystalBacks, Hammerheads, Stick Buggers and the venerable Micro Baitfish is probably the best by boat or by wade. There were spots when it was a fish (or 2 - 3 hits) per drift every time. Great stuff and Bill brought one in just over 17" as his biggest.



I've been exploring the boundaries of wading lately and have "found" myself a few new places where nary a fisherman has tread. Nothing is really "new" on a public fishing tract but if you have the means and the desire you will fish in areas as good (lately better) than ANYTHING Taneycomo has to offer and you will not see another wade fisherman all day long. I've been fishing the "Dunbar" area recently (circa Tim and Rick) and there are only two people that I know of who are even familiar with the area. One of those "flyover" places and one of a handful of stops were hitting lately... and there's a few more I haven't even played with yet. I'm loving it and my guests are more than loving it catching a ton of fish with nary a wader in sight.

Bill picked up this game in extraordinary fashion. For someone who NEVER tried it before he was a great student and quickly picked up everything, A real nice time out there for us.


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February 22nd -
My new friends Russell and Ed joined me for a day of a little of everything. They kept water on for us all day long. Weird for a weekend when weekdays have been off pretty much all the time. Either way..no worries. Boating was outstanding with eventually just 1 unit and a mild flow.

Mornings have been the slowest bite (though still pretty good) but as soon as the water starts slowing or shutting off, things get crazy. Our wading spots were all or nothing today. Certain areas was a fish a drift (at least a bite a drift) where others that were normally very strong were very not. We just didn't hang around the slow spots too long hoping for better things. "Hope" just kind of sits on its ass waiting for things to happen. I like to make it happen.





We hopped out and waded some edges and shoals along the way. A lot of fun doing that too. The Big Hurt above a gray Soft Shelled Scud or slightly smaller M-Scud was a great combo. If you get in tight to the edges then the little M-Scuds and M-Bugs are reigning king. These guys caught a LOT of fish!

A couple of great guys to hang out with today. Good fishermen who got to see a lot of different Taneycomo than they're used to.


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February 21st -
My buddy Bob from October (and of 30" rainbow fame) joined me again today to experience fantastic Taneycomo winter fishing. Today he brought his buddy Jeff along to experience this fun.



That was Bob last October when he stuck this little 30" female on the black Soft Shelled Scud. We caught a lot of fish today on the black Soft Shelled Scud too...not quite as big as that one though.

It's been great folks, what can I say. I'm staying downstream more these days opting to get out of the boat and wade in some unique places because for the most part...that's where the fish are. The upper section has a few spots where it's good but, overall ...the fish numbers are lower in the upper mile than they are in the lower mile. It was fish on pretty much our whole time out there.




Little M-Scuds and G-Bugs and M-Bugs and Bit Scuds are as good as it gets. There's really not much drop off going all the way "up" to a #18 Soft Shelled Scud in gray, black or coral and the old Micro Baitfish about 2' below a float and trailing any of the aforementioned is catching them as well as anything.

Bob and Jeff are great guys and we had another wonderful time out there.


.......................................................................................................................

Thanks again,

Brett, for showing me and Jeff a good
time! Jeff talked at length on the way home about
fishing for a "big one"; I think we'll be back!!!

Could you put together one of your February "Hot 100"
specials for us to share? I will get a check in the
mail tomorrow; we want to try some of your flies on
the trout park stockers, and the trout we fish for
in Northeast Iowa as well!

Thanks!

Bob Steingreaber

Keosauqua, IA



    February 19th - My buddy Larry brought his fishing buddy Jeff along for a full day of a little bit of everything here on Taneycomo. What a fabulous day! They say we hit mid 60's! We had partial sun and a light "fish" breeze all day long. We've been hitting the boat in the am right when they turn the water off. While it drops out we'll put Big Hurt's above #18 Soft Shelled Scuds in coral, gray or black. Didn't seem to matter which color too much but when the water slowed down it was the Micro Baitfish trailing a # 22 - #24 M-Scud or M-Bug. Our biggest fish came in the boat and the biggest of them came on the #22 gray M-Scud. CRAZY, subtle takes from even the small fish. Watch em close because they aren't showing you much.


We spent a lot of time fishing our little scuds and bugs on the edges fishing a weightless set up. We had some red hot moments in there. I've been exploring more downstream wading areas to beat the crowds and stay up with (in this case downstream of) ...the fish.

The upper mile plus has less fish right now than downstream. It's not bad..but not the best in my opinion. We're finding some fun "new" places to wade in solitude and on top of a whole bunch of naive fish. That's a good combination for us dumb fishermen.

We finished up top to wrap up the day and stayed hooked up again pretty much the whole time. This day had more doubles than singles I think. The same little bugs set up with just a pinch of weight added was tops but KrystalBacks and a little HammerHead Sculpin action caught a lot. A great time with these two guys. Very nice folks. I think we all enjoyed the day quite a bit.

....................................................................................................................


My fly line is hardly dry and I am ready to book
another trip. My buddy Mel called today and asked
about Friday April 11th. Do you have that date
available?

We had a great time on Weds! Can't wait for the next
trip!

Larry



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February 18th -
My friend Ed came back with his buddy to hang out for a 3/4 day trip. We started late am to catch the best water and the CORPS deserves a little shout for sticking to their "water off" schedule. It's been really good folks. Boating water on... boating water off...Island Hop Wading, wading below the dam...EVERYTHING is working and working very well. Our heroes made some tracks today trying to get it all in and we pretty much closed the place late in the evening.



A lot of stuff is catching a lot of fish. In the right water (slow and deep) that Micro Baitfish (ginger/olive) is it!....consistently though...I'd have to say it's M-Scuds (gray #1) followed by an M-Bug (ginger/olive and purple/wine) trailing behind. That set up rocks it in the shallow stuff and is pretty good about everywhere.



Ed proving to his wife that... "YES..I CAN walk on water!". A real fun day with these guys. Great attitudes and just a ton of caching going on. Crazy good fishing right now.


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February 17th -
Michael, David and Chuck...there's a reality show waiting to happen. The trio made the short trek from KC to join in on the February Fishing Fun! While the am was a little cool in the boat, the bite was ridiculous and Chuck took a moment to capture one of his better, early fish.



The action got fast enough that they really didn't want to pose for pics after that. It's hard what to say the BEST way to catch them as there are MANY good ways to do it now. These guys pretty much did everything today and it was all very solid.




Stripping a sculpin NO4 Minnow? I didn't even know I had those things in the box. I was looking for something that wouldn't catch a fish today. I failed.

These are some solid individuals and we had a great time today. When your wrists are cramped and you forgot how many triple hookups you had it was probably a pretty good day.

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Hey Brett,

We are all back in KC safely. Thanks for another great day together. What a beautiful day and it was also great to get into that little used wading zone.

We all pray your ribs heal quickly and perfectly.

Take care until next time,

Chartered Waters boys, Chartered Waters.

Yatahey,

Michael Wishy,


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February 16th -
Pat and his son Luke were my buddies today. A 6 hour jaunt that had us hooked up pretty much our whole time out there. A few briefs lapse's but a change in local would usually ramp it up again. Sounds like a broken record but the bite remains really good. We do some boating early then step out for some wading after the water falls out. The little M-Bugs and M-Scuds are hard to beat wading the edges. The big Hurt above Soft Shelled Scuds in gray, coral and black is king. Very nice folks who joined us for a second time. Great weather on top of that. FINALLY, out of the winter woods at least for a week or so.


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February 15th -
Earlene brought hubby out so both could try fly fishing for the first (and second) time. GREAT students as they both picked it up very quickly and were hooked up with fish all day long. They ran a little water for us all day long but mostly mild so we had some nice Island hoping experiences.







Really nice folks and we had a great time out there today. They definitely had fun playing with the long sticks and became very good at it.

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February 14th -
My buddy Rudy and I spent the better part of the day doing a repeat of yesterday's routine. Great boat fishing while the water drops out...we get out and wade some edges as the water drops out...then we drove up to the dam to finish out wading up there.





That fish above was a stunning 20" sample that took the coral Soft Shelled scud. Just a real nice bite out there for us all day long. Very different stuff depending on where we were playing around and fishing with Rudy is ALWAYS a fun time. Mckenna got to see his two labs he brought along with him. I've made fun of Belle in the past (she was a little wild as a pup) but she has matured quite nicely and both of them are as sweet as can be.

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February 13th -
My friends Duane and Greg stopped by to hang out with me for the day. A little water early then shutting off and dropping out quickly. We were motoring up in 4 units and we found all 4 off when we got to the dam. We floated out that odd, BIG drop and found better fishing by a lot down stream.







The boat was really hot for size and numbers. We made several drifts down the last mile of the Trophy Area and it was non stop fish especially when the water dropped a bit. That bite NEVER slowed up but we were ready to do some wading so we Island Hopped some new places and just smoked em out there too.

A couple of characters and very nice folks. We always hook up with these guys at least for a few fly orders every year.


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February 12th -
Bobby O in the house. Good water off for us for the better part of our day. We've been starting our trips around 9:00 - 10:00am catching water off or maybe the last hour of running water then fishing the drop out until it's at normal level. Along the way we're jumping out on a few good islands and shoals and finding great action in those areas.

For all you folks who feel a little foolish when you fall down in the river when you're out there....guide boy here took an all timer today. Stepping off the boat to what was normally a sandy bank...that had become a muddy bank.... I'm holding my "regular" branch for support...that goes the exact same time my foot slips on the mud and the first thing that hits the ground was my back (ribcage) on big log submerged in the mud. I broke a rib.

I didn't know that at the time so after the stars cleared and I caught my breath (and with Bobs support) I crawled back in the boat and we finished out our day up by the dam. There's a great bite going on just about everywhere we're fishing right now. Boating, wading, island hopping...it's all very good. Just watch your step out there. This is the 3rd time I've broken ribs (two racing MX when I was younger) and they all sucked. Try not to sneeze is all I can say.

Meanwhile back at the ranch....Bob is gearing up for Musky on the fly rod and with that in mind...my little, highly prolific fly tyer is going crazy getting Bob geared up for the big ones. She cranked out about 20 one day recently. Gave them names and packaged them up for the big guy. Some tied with hearts. bendable shapes...gummi worms...pretty good looking stuff. She is 100% independent when tying a fly. LOVES the whip finisher! Ties a Big Hurt better than most adults I know but her favorite is anything big, bright and beautiful...just like her (exceptthe big). You got to love a kid who would rather tie flies than watch TV or play videos games.

Here are a few of her offerings. Pretty solid stuff don't you think?














    February 9th - We've had a tremendous response to our February Fishing Special and we want to thank our good friends and customers for participating. In fact, we only have 4 dates left in February. With great weather forecast ahead, we hope you can join us for this great deal in our remaining days this month.

February 15th, 20th, 25th and 26th are the available dates as of this morning.

The river is still largely void of people and loaded with rising fish everywhere. A good combination to have on your friendly, neighborhood trout stream. This weeks coming forecast is the best I've seen in over two months (and by a long shot) so we're very anxious to get back after it. Mid to upper 40's is forecast ( even scratching out 50's perhaps) and mostly sunny...and that is OUTSTANDING to see! We'll keep you posted in the coming days. Lots of fun folks coming up to fish with us too.

Don't despair my fellow fishermen and fisherwomen suffering from cabin fever. Pretty soon we'll be seeing some of these kind of things popping up and' we'll forget all about these last three months.





I've always been a glass half full kind of guy. I'm married!....I have to be right?


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