Copyright 2016 James Marsh
Fly Fishing Lake Taneycomo (Table
Rock Tailwater) Missouri
Lake Taneycomo, located in Branson Missouri, is one of
the most unusual trout fisheries in the United States.
Lake Taneycomo is the oldest lake in Ozark Mountains.
It was built in 1913 by the construction of a dam on the
White River now called Ozark Beach Dam.
In 1958, the construction of Table Rock Dam changed
Lake Taneycomo from a warm water fishery into a cold
water lake and tailwater. Cold water is released from
Table Rock Dam into Lake Taneycomo. The first three
miles of so below Table Rock Dam is now a great fly
fishing destination. The water in the entire lake stays
cold year-round from the discharges from the much
deeper and larger Table Rock Lake.
Although trout reside in the entire twenty-two mile long
lake, only the first three miles of the tailwater section
below Table Rock Dam provides non-lake fly fishing
opportunities. The releases from the dam control how
deep the water is.
When water is low and not being released you can wade
and fish a lot of water below the dam. When turbines
are running wading is out of the question. When the
horn sounds, get out of the water.
We have taken a few trout by sight fishing using small
Blue-winged Olive nymphs. Of course, that is only
possible when the turbines are shut off. There are some
huge brown trout in the river below the dam. We have
only managed to catch a couple of large ones, but I
have seen many that are over 18 or 20 inches. It is also
possible to fish in a few places from the bank when the
water is high and flowing strongly. You can fish
streamers down the banks or use a strike indicator and
nymph fish. A double midge (pupa on top and larva on
the bottom, also works good for this.
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Fly fishing the Lake Taneycomo tailwater is
Winter fishing is can be very good. Even
though few fish during this time, the fishing
can be excellent.
Springtime is a great time if the dam
discharges are not heavy.
Fly Fishing Guide to Lake Taneycomo
(Table Rock Tailwater)
We will focus on the first three miles of water
below the dam. Fishing Lake Taneycomo or the
Table Rock Tailwater, whichever you prefer, is
all based on the discharges of water through
the dam. If no water is being discharge, wading
is excellent. If there is one turbine running,
wading is difficult in most areas. Caution should
be used. If the one turbine is running heavy,
then wading can be very difficult. If more than
one turbine is running, you better stay out of
the water. By the way, you cannot depend on
the schedule for safety reasons. It is subject to
change. Just always be aware the water can
rise drastically within minutes.
If turbines are running, the only way to fish the
tailwater is from a boat. This too can be
dangerous if you are not familiar with the water.
We do suggest going with someone familiar
with it at least one or more times before you try
it on your own. There are several local fly
shops with guide services that will take you if
you choose to do so.
The only hatch that occurs on this tailwater is
midges. They hatch year-round. You can catch
trout on imitations of the larvae, pupae and
adults depending on the stage of the hatch.
The most all around effective way is on
imitations of the midge pupae. Scuds and sow
bugs are also plentiful and imitations of them
work well for most of the year.
Taneycomo Guide, continued:
There are other fly fishing methods that
work. One is to use a dropper rig with a dry
fly on the top as a strike indicator, and a
small midge, scud or sowbug imitation
dropped down from it. This works great most
of the time. This is a good shallow water
technique because the dry fly doesn't spook
the trout when it lands on the water if
Wet flies and streamers also work well. It is
best to imitate leaches, sculpin or baitfish.
Flies like the Wooley Bugger work best when
they are presented during heavy overcast
skies or when the water is slightly off color.
They also work when the wind roughs up the
surface of the water. Don't overlook fishing
the outlets from the fish hatchery.
Lake Taneycomo (Table Rock
Tailwater) Hatches and Trout Flies:
Our information on aquatic insects is based on
our stream samples of larvae and nymphs, not
guess work. We base fly suggestions on
imitating the most plentiful and most available
insects and other foods at the particular time
you are fishing.
Unlike the generic fly shop trout flies, we have
specific imitations of all the insects in
the Taneycomo tailwater and in all stages of
life that is applicable to fishing. If you want to
fish better, more realistic trout flies, have a
much higher degree of success, give us a
call. We not only will help you with selections,
you will learn why, after trying Perfect Flies,
92% of the thousands of our custom will use
Theres only one insect that actually hatches
on this tailwater and thats the midge. As
already mentioned, these tiny insects hatch
year-round and trout can be taken on
imitations of them year-round. Don't be
mislead into thinking that because the flies are
tiny, ranging from a hook size 18 down to a
22, that the large trout won't take them
because they certainly will.
The other plentiful foods for the trout are
crustaceans consisting mainly of sowbugs and
scuds, called freshwater shrimp by the locals.
Imitations of these will work year-round.
During the summer, imitations of terrestrial
ants, beetles and grasshoppers also work.
This is one of the few times and ways you can
catch trout on the surface. Fishing is usually
best in the shallow water around the banks
when the turbines are either off, or one is
Minnows, baitfish and sculpin are also
plentiful. These are usually imitated with
streamers. These flies work best under low
light conditions, off colored water, or
choppy, rough water. They are great for
catching larger trout, especially when the
brown trout are spawning during the months
of October and November. Imitations of
leeches also work. A black Wooley Bugger
is a good fly for this.
It is possible you can fish a shad kill in
January, February or early March. When
the water temperature gets into the low
forties, the thread-fin shad in Table Rock
Lake die. The colder the weather, the larger
the fish kill. When the shad get sucked
through the turbines, the trout go on a
feeding rampage. White streamers will
catch a lot of trout in a very short time when
this event occurs..
Please give our "Perfect Flies" a try if you
haven't already done so. We have the most
realistic and effective imitations of scuds
and sowbugs you can purchase. Our
"Perfect Fly" streamers are also among the
best there are. We also have all the
standard streamer flies. Our midge lava,
pupa and adult flies have proven to be
effective throughout the country, including
the famous San Juan River in New Mexico.
We have taken some nice trout from
Taneycomo on them also.
The water being discharged is cold
year-round and the fishing is good during
the hot summer.
Fall may be the best time to fish the tailwater
because of the spawning brown trout.
Taneycomo Tailwater Fishing Report:
12/31/13 Customer ordering flies this past
week reported catching some nice trout on the
Perfect fly Brown Sculpin and White Belly
Sculpin streamers when flows have been
reasonable. Catching the flows low enough to
fish has been the biggest problem.
Thumbnails: Click to enlarge
Thumbnails: Click to enlarge
Fishing Report Updated 12/05/16
(Bottom Of Page)
01/07/13 Extremely cold weather has
prevented anglers from fishing the tailwater,
even though it has little effect on the water
temperature. A slight warming trend in
headed in later this week.
01/14/14 High water levels and cold weather
has continued to be a problem according to
our local contact. Discharges from the dam
have been almost constant.
01/21/14 Discharges have slowed down
some, allowing angles a better chance to
fish the tailwater. Hopefully, this will
continue with dryer weather in the
forecast. Midges are your best bet.
There are light green and red (blood)
midges present in the stream. We
recommend a tandem pupa with a larva
on the bottom
01/28/14 Our local contact reports there
has been some trout caught just below the
dam during the mid afternoon before this
last cold spell. Discharges have been much
better for anglers.
02/04/14 There is lots of snow in the
forecast but maybe the discharges won't
be to high and regular. It will be cold but
trout can be caught.
02/11/14 There is a good weather forecast
for the coming week with highs ranging from
29 to 50 degrees. No rain or snow is
forecast but check the discharges.
02/18/14 Good report from a customer who
caught two nice brown trout on our Brown
Sculpin streamer. Much better weather is in
the forecast but watch the discharge
02/25/14 There is a slight chance of snow
on Tuesday and Friday, otherwise clear.
Water temps will be unaffected by the
colder weather this week.
03/04/14 Better weather and subsequent
stream conditions are coming this week. The
fishing opportunities should soon improve.
03/11/14 Two customers ordered flies for
Taneycomo with one of them reporting he
has been catching a few trout every time the
discharges were suitable. Better weather is
forecast but be sure to check the
03/18/14 Flows have been high at times but
less rain is forecast and the lakes should be
filling back up, meaning there should begin
to be less discharges.
03/25/14 Two customers reporting catching
some nice trout including one 22 inch brown
trout. Both have been swinging our Matuka
Sculpin steamers. BWO nymph produced
some of them when the flows were down.
04/01/14 Water levels and weather has
been not so good this past week. No
reports from anyone fishing. Conditions
should improve this week with better
weather in the forecast.
04/08/14 One customer reported catching
a large brown on our Brown Sculpin
streamer but high water discharges have
hampered the fishing opportunities.
|Options For Selecting Flies:
1. Email us (email@example.com)
with the dates you will be fishing this
stream and we will send you a list of our
fly suggestions. Please allow up to 24
hours for a response.
2. Call us 800-594-4726 and we will help
you decide which flies you need.
3. Email us (firstname.lastname@example.org)
with a budget for flies and we will select
them to match the budget and get them to
you in time for your fly fishing trip.
All orders are shipped free in the
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04/15/14 The weather is excellent with highs
in the sixties and little rain in the forecast.
Check the discharges from the dam but for
the most part, this coming week should be a
good time to fish.
04/22/14 Two customers reporting catching
trout using our BWO nymphs, size 20.
Fishing together, they managed on 18"
brown and several smaller ones. These
should hatch on cloudy, overcast days.
04/29/14 No reports from anyone fishing. If
discharges are suitable, you should be able
to catch plenty of trout. Good weather is
forecast for the next few days.
05/06/14 Three customers ordering flies
this past week. One of them has caught
some nice trout a couple of days this past
week. Our Sculpin streamers have been
the best producers so far.
05/13/14 Rain is in the forecast everyday
through Saturday, so be sure to check the
discharges before traveling very far to fish.
This doesn't mean they will be high but they
are likely to be running plenty of water.
05/20/14 We didn't receive any fishing
reports from last week and that's because of
the high discharges of water from the dam.
There is little rain in the forecast and
conditions should improve this week.
05/27/14 There were a few opportunities
for wading anglers this past week. One
reporting catching four browns and one a
very large brown under high water
conditions from the bank on a streamer.
06/03/14 Our customers are catching trout
every time the dam isn't generating water. It
has been up and down and when up, it is
dirty. Midges and scuds, along with our
sculpin streamers are working best.
07/08/14 We get some great reports
everytime the dam is not releasing lots of
water but that hasn't been happening very
often. Some large browns were caught this
past week on our brown sculpin streamers.
07/22/14 We are getting mixed reports
from customers. Streams levels have
varied a lot and in general. trout are being
caught when discharges are low.
07/29/14 There has been some wading
opportunities and a few trout are being
caught. Some anglers are doing well fishing
very late and very early. Some are even
fishing at night.
08/12/14 No reports from anglers came in
this past week. Everything is related to the
dam discharges, so make sure you keep
a close check on them prior to traveling to
fish this river.
09/02/14 One of our customers caught a
big brown (approx. 26 inches) on our
hook size 4 Black Matuka Sculpin fishing
right at dark.
09/16/14 Two more good reports from
anglers catching trout below the dam on
streamers and our BWO nymphs. If
discharges are suitable, you should be
able to catch plenty of trout.
09/23/14 Another good report of a large
brown (22 inch) being caught. This
customer was using our Natural and Pearl
Zonker streamer. Good conditions
continue on Taneycomo.
10/07/14 Two customers reporting
catching some very nice brown trout on
our Brown sculpin streamers. Browns are
in the pre-spawn mode.
10/14/14 More good reports have come
in but there's been a lot of rain and
discharges may be high for a while.
10/21/14 We received two good reports
from customers even though discharges
have been high. Both were using
10/28/14 No reports from last week but
condtions have been fairly good.
Discharges have been high at times and
that's probably why.
11/11/14 There have been some decent
conditions during the past two weeks. Two
reports of large browns being caught.
12/04/14 It is all about the discharges.
Keep a close check and when they are low,
you can catch plenty of trout. Our Brown
Sculpin still remain the best fly for the large
12/16/14 Discharges have been on and off
and the water up and down with fish being
caught every time anglers have been able
to wade. Most are being caught on Cream
and Red midge larva and pupa.
12/29/14 Three great reports from the
past two weeks. Plenty of trout are caught
when the discharges are low. Midges are
still the insect to imitate.
01/05/15 No reports from the past week.
01/19/15 Bitter cold spells and high
discharges, anglers have only had a few
chances to fish. We did receive two good
reports within the past week where
customers were using our cream midge
larva and pupa imitations.
01/26/15 No reports from the past week
but conditions are good weather wise. If
the discharges are low, you can catch
plenty of trout.
02/02/15 Two good reports from
customers catching trout at the public
access near the dam. They were using
our Cream midge larva/pupa in tandem.
02/16/15 This is one of the few places in
Missouri you can fish this coming week.
Very cold weather ahead.
03/02/15 Two good reports this past week.
The only problem catching trout here is the
discharges have to be reasonable.
03/16/15 We didn't receive any reports
from anyone fishing and we assume it was
because of high discharges from the dam.
There has been a lot of rain.
03/23/15 Although there have been a couple
of breaks in the discharges, no reports came
in this past week.
04/06/15 One good report lately. Levels
should be better this next week and the
weather much better.
04/20/15 We were getting good regular
reports of catches but look for high
discharges due to lake levels.
04/27/15 Only one or two times the river
could be fished due to discharges and no
reports came in.
05/04/15 Customer caught three large
browns on our White Belly Sculpin last week.
05/18/15 Lots of high water has slowed
things down but conditions are good now.
Midges and Sculpin streamers are still key.
05/25/15 There has been some good
wading opportunities but no reports from
anyone fishing this past week.
06/15/15 Little rain forecast this coming week
so discharges may be good for wading. High
water has been a problem recently.
06/29/15 Expect heavy discharges for a while
due to a lot of recent rain.
07/13/15 There have been only a very few
chances to wade fish for the past two weeks.
Less rain is forecast and maybe the
discharges will be reduced.
07/20/15 High discharges are still a problem
but we did get one good report from a
customer streamer fishing.
08/03/15 Heavy rain the past couple of weeks
and the need for electricity due to the hot
weather has kept the turbines churning. When
they are idle, you can catch good number of
trout. You have to keep a close check on them.
08/10/15 No reports from anyone fishing this
past week. Some wading opportunities existed.
08/17/15 Still no reports from anyone fishing.
09/07/15 Unless you have your own drift boat
or hire a local guide, you couldn't have fished
much this past month. Discharges were often
high. You just have to keep a close check.
09/21/15 One good report from last week but
few opportunities were available to the wading
angler. It should be much better this week.
Great weather, just watch the discharge
09/28/15 There is no rain in the forecast for
the next few days but I expect there to be
some high discharges. It is probably going to
be a drift boat week.
10/12/15 No reports from the past week. You
can catch some nice size brown trout IF the
generation schedule lets you wade. Use the
Brown Sculpin streamer.
Map of Tanneycomo
10/19/15 There is no rain in the forecast for
the coming week and the discharges should
allow some wading opportunity. Brown trout
are in the pre-spawn stage and aggressive.
10/26/15 We had a report of two big browns
being caught this past weekend, wading just
below the dam. There is some rain and you
will have to watch the discharges carefully.
11/07/15 Notice we added a USGS lake link on
your upper left. You still need to check the
discharge schedule but this tells you what the
current level of Tablerock lake is.
Fishing has been excellent when anglers are
able to wade below the dam or use a drift boat.
11/30/15 The levels have been high with high
discharges due to the recent rain. The rain
should end tonight but it will be a while before
they run all the water through the system.
12/14/15 There were a couple or three days
during the past two weeks with wadable
conditions but there has been a lot of rain and
it is sure to have heavy discharges. You will
just have to keep a close check on them.
12/21/15 It look great from a weather standpoint
but you will probably need a drift boat. There
could be a day or two you could wade.
12/28/15 There has been lots of heavy rain and
more will come the first of this week. The lake
has to be dropped down to winter levels and
that mean more high discharges. You can keep
a check on them but the odds are not good.
01/11/16 They are still running a lot of water and
the lake isn't back down to normal winter levels,
so you will just have to wait a while longer.
01/25/16 Right now the flows and stream
levels are good for wading. Midges, both red
and cream, larva and pupa fished in tandem,
and little Winter stoneflies are the insects you
need to be imitating.
02/01/16 Levels have been up and down, so
you just have to watch them to know when to
wade or you must have a drift boat.
02/08/16 Don't forget the basics. It has
everything to do with the discharges and you
must check with the power company to know if
you can wade or must use a boat.
02/22/16 Anglers have had to deal with high
discharges for the past two week but were
able to catch some nice trout each time they
subsided. Midges and Winter stoneflies
03/07/16 Fish were caught on midges the
very few times the discharges were low, but
with the heavy rain forecast for this coming
week, you can just about count on high
discharges at least in the near future. You
just have to check with the power company.
03/28/16 Sorry for the lack of reports but
there has been almost zero chances of low
enough discharges to fish. The lake level is
getting into better shape and hopefully, the
heavy discharges will soon subside.
04/11/16 The rain has ended at least for a
while and the lake at a good level. The
chances of low discharges look good for the
next few days but you have to call to get
04/25/16 There have been some good
opportunity this past week, with low discharges
and plenty of trout being caught. It is raining
now, and there will be more discharges. The
key to this tailwater is knowing when they are
not running much water.
05/09/16 When the discharges are low our
customers are catching some nice trout
including some large browns. Sculpin
streamers and crayfish patterns are working.
05/16/16 The discharges were a little higher
than the previous week but constantly
change. The schedule looks good for the
coming week. The slim that bothers anglers
is getting better. Sculpin streamers will ge the
larger trout when the levels are up.
05/30/16 You MUST get the discharge
schedule. Too many anglers are complaining
about high discharges. When the stream
level is down, streamers and nymphs are
catching some big brown trout.
06/06/16 We think there may be some good
opportunity later this week with low
discharges. No reports from the past week.
06/20/16 Two good reports of big browns
caught. YOU MUST get the discharge
schedule. Fish below the dam when the
water is idle to off. Sculpin streamers are key.
07/04/16 There have been a lot of heavy
discharges lately, but each time anglers
have been able to wade, they have caught
some nice trout. It is all to do with the levels.
07/25/16 Two good reports from the past
week. The discharges have allowed some
wading opportunity. Little Sister and
Cinnamon caddis are hatching good.
08/08/16 There have been a few chances for
wading and anglers have done well. Drift
boats are doing okay most days.
08/22/16 More chances to wade with lower
discharges. Matuka Sculpin, size 18 BWO
nymphs, cream and blood red midges.
08/29/16 The lake level is up upstream, so
you can expect higher discharges. Sculpin
streamers will be the best fly option.
09/26/16 Some big browns are being caught
below the dam wading, when possible and
via drift boats when flowing good. Streamers
like Matuka Sculpin and Brown sculpin are
10/10/16 More big browns are being caught.
Sculpin streamers, the Matuka and Browns,
will work great. You have to catch the
discharges low enough to fish but that is the
10/31/16 The discharges and stream levels are
settling down some and there are more
opportunities to fish. Wading anglers below the
dam and drift boat anglers are catching some
big brown trout when the flows are decent.
11/07/16 Two good reports of large browns
came in this past week. They were taken right
below the dam on our Perfect fly Crayfish.
11/14/16 More good reports on big browns. Use
the dumbell eye crayfish. Cream midges are
hatching good as well.
11/28/16 We are still getting some good
reports of big fish caught, mostly on streamers
near the dam. MIdges are also working.
12/05/16 We received another good report
from a customer fishing below the dam. He
used Cream midges, with the larva and pupa
fished in tandem. Sculpin streamers also work.