Lake Taneycomo

Fly fishing still, dead water

Posted by Phil Lilley on July 20th, 2012
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Drove to the dam on Lake Taneycomo this morning to meet a friend for some visiting and fishing, two things that always go together.  Craig and I have been purposely meeting since our common, very good friend, Vince Elfrink passed away last fall.  Vince and Craig spent a lot of time fly fishing below Table Rock Dam.  He was a good fishing buddy to both of us.

The parking lots at outlets #1 and #2 were full and I could tell the waters above Big Hole were covered up with anglers so we ventured down to the MDC boat ramp and to my surprised there wasn’t any cars parked there!

We hiked down the trail and dropped in at the tower, walked up lake a ways and started looking around for feeding trout.

It was still, very still.  The water wasn’t moving at all, no current.  We could see almost every fish, suckers and trout, appeared to be suspended in air instead of water, the water was that clear.  And nothing was moving around.

I started with what has been working for me this past week — 7x tippet to a #18 Trout Crack and 8x to a #24 red or black thread midge.  Tippet – fluorocarbon.  I asked Craig if he had 7x and 8 x and he said he did.  We fished, walked up lake and fished again.  Not much.  I broke off a rainbow, not on the hookset but on the strike!  Enough of 8x!!  At least for this morning.

I ended to across from the entrance to Rocking Chair where I found some movement.  The water was moving down lake out towards the middle so that’s where I casted.  I’d set the first fly about 24 inches below a half palsa, no weight.  The flies were sinking just fine by themselves.  I could see small schools of rainbows moving and cruising and that’s what I targeted.  They picked up the thread midge real well, even using the 7x instead of the 8x.  Nice!

I landed a dozen rainbows, mostly small ones around 12 inches with one pushing 14 inches.  Had other strikes and even more long distance releases.

Craig didn’t fair so well.  If was only after we were done that he revealed he was using mono for tippet.  I gave him a spool of 7x fluorocarbon and told him to be sure to use it next time.

Catching for everyone else up there was very tough.  Just saying… go small, be patient and use fluorocarbon!

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