June 27, 2008

Pair Finds Missouri’s Taneycomo a Hot Spot for Trout

By Scott Richardson

By Scott [email protected]

J. Balmer of the Twin Cities and his friend Mike Mockler of rural Congerville go trout fishing every spring while their ladies attend a basket-weaving convention in Branson, Mo.

Their target is usually Lake Taneycomo, a waterway that connects Table Rock to Bull Shoals in the Branson area. Taneycomo resembles a river more than a lake due to current, according to Balmer.

Their most recent trip was hampered by high water, that is, if 50- fish days can truly be called "hampered." Rains were partly to blame. But fishing also turns off when the power generators are turned on and the water level and current rises, said Balmer.

Balmer, an information technology and video consultant, said he and Mockler used flies to nail rainbows and browns in the trophy section of Taneycomo in the tailwaters of Table Rock. Special limits apply there to enhance average sizes.

The Missouri Department of Natural Resources operates a hatchery nearby where trout are released into the cold water. Waders get used to seeing dozens of trout hide behind their legs to escape current waiting for them and to stir insects from the bottom as they walk. Stand in one place too long and a big fish is likely to bump your leg to get you to move to free more bugs.

"It's tremendous, it's a phenomenal fishery. We fish the tail waters because, one, you can wade it, and, two, the amounts of fish, generally trout," he said.

Good walleye and smallmouth bass lurk farther downstream, he added.

Balmer uses a five-weight fly outfit, but he sees many anglers with spinning gear and flashy, vibrating lures.

If guides are what you need, Balmer recommends www.riverrunoutfitters.com. The Web site also has information on the power generation schedule and a fishing report.

Powerton reopens

Powerton Lake reopens to boat fishing at 6 a.m. Saturday after levee repairs. No docks are available as they still are out of the water undergoing repairs.

What's biting

Crappie - Slow to fair at Shelbyville, Dawson, Evergreen, Banner Marsh, Clinton; fair at Shabbona, fair at Lake Bloomington;

Saugeye - Good at Evergreen;

Sauger - Slow on the Illinois River;

Walleye - Good at Lake Bloomington, Shabbona (7-pound fish reported) and in the spillway at Shelbyville and Clinton. Fair at Dawson;

Largemouth bass - Excellent at Sangchris; good at Shabbona, Jacksonville; fair at Dawson, Bloomington, Evergreen, Spring Lake, Weldon Springs;

Smallmouth bass - Fair to good at Powerton; fair LaSalle Lake;

Striped bass - Slow at Clinton; good at Sangchris; fair at Lake Bloomington;

White bass - Excellent at Sangchris. Fair at Clinton, Shelbyville.

Catfish - Very good at Clinton Lake, Shabbona, Powerton, Sangchris, Dawson, Shelbyville, Illinois River, Spring Lake; good at Weldon Springs;

Muskies - Fair at Shabbona; slow at Evergreen, Shelbyville;

Bluegills - Excellent at Sangchris, good elsewhere.

Got a fish story, a hot spot, big fish or lots of them? Something funny happen? Phone Pantagraph outdoor editor Scott Richardson at (309) 820-3227 or e-mail [email protected]

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