Lake Taneycomo

Night Fly Fishing

Posted by Michael Kyle on October 15th, 2010
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I have been night fishing down at Taneycomo for well over 15 years maybe longer. And have seen people come and go, and people who go always will find there way back to the night time is the right time.

One thing that I have noticed over the years is that the fishing is always about the same it is ether on or off. On the night that it is on you will catch 40-60 fish depending on how long your down there. On the nights that it is off you will catch maybe half that amount and have to work at getting them. My dad and I have night fished back in the day when night fishing Taney wasn’t cool where we would catch 120 -150 fish between the two of us. With the night fishing growing in popularity it is though to have those night because some of the prime spots are taken. That is why I have done the home work and know spots and fish spots that no one will even consider to fish at night. Now I’m not trying to be big headed but the night fishing takes a little time and a little work to master. I usually will avg about 150 nights a year on Taney, with everything that happen this year I will not make the avg. There was one year that my dad and I were down there over 250 nights and what a year.

I am pretty sure that I have cast everything including the kitchen sink at them to try and see if it would catch a fish. I used to try and keep mental notes and that got too hard for me to remember everything. So now I keep a journal and keep everything from the weather to moon phase wind direction, who was with me, to how many fish we caught and what we caught them on. I have been going over all of this and it seems that the conclusion that I have come up is just about everything that I have tryed has caught a least one fish on. OK maybe the kitchen sink didn’t catch any fish but it was fun trying to cast that thing on my 3’2wt(LOL).

We all have our favorite spots and will seldom move but in my own experience I will start at one end and work down to the spot that I want to end at and by doing this I have found some awesome spots between point A & B. I have had people watch us get ready in the parking lot and actually have people ask me where are going with all that gear. I try to always keep a sinking line like a type 2 or 3 on hand just because they are not running water does not mean you can use one. I have been known to cast a floating line in the shallows then put a sinking line in the deeper water , and when I say deeper water any water thats is over 4 ft in depth. And then there are all my boxes way too many flies to go over right now.

When you see my fly box you might think that I’m crazy OK I’m sure that some of you already think that. Back to the main point I have top water flies all the way to the huge sculpins. Now the time of year will dictate what size flies that I will have on hand. For the general purpose of this summer time will yield the size to be 10-6 and the fall will yield the size of the fly to be 6-1/0. Two reasons for the dramatic size change, for the most part in the summer time there are a lot of fish in the area that are 15-18 inches there are a few over 18-24 about but they are few and far between. I will use the month of July as a feeler to see how I think the fall will be. In my years of fishing down there if you start catching a lot of Browns at night in July the fall we be good as in lat year I had 8 fish that were over 10lbs and one that pushed the 15lb mark. So to sum up summer time fishing and you want numbers fish small flies if you want to go after some bigger fish fish some bigger flies and you might need to move down stream. A lot of people do not know this but Taney is stocked the heaviest during the summer because of the all the added people down there.

Now to the fall and the big stick time, I will have big flies and a big stick to be able to cast the flies. I will generally have in hand a 9’8wt. For two reasons the ease of casting bigger flies not to say you cant cast them on a 6wt. And for the ease of getting big fish in. When you catch these big fish as in 24-28 inch fish you want to get them as quickly as you can so that you do not harm them. Remember the reason that the big fish are coming up is to spawn. Now the MDC says that the fish do not spawn in Taney, that can be a whole other topic. However the MDC does come down a get the big fish and milk them so that they can continue to produce the fish in the hatchery. I will use a lot of articulated pattern’s with stinger hooks in them. Two reasons for the articulated patterns is I can get a larger fly and not have to have a huge hook in the fly.; I will tie a bunch of articulated leech’s that will have a number 4 octopus hook in it and the fly is 4″ long the hook is only about 1″ long.

I only through streamers and only fish when the water is off. That is how I have done it for years I have had some people try and get me into nymphing at night no offense it’s not me. I like the action of streamer fishing. I also believe that it is the most productive way to fish because you can cover more water at night whipping and stripping streamers. Starting to get busy must get to work now. See you all down ther tonight. I hope that this what not to long.

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