TANEYCOMO’S WINTER TROUT FISHING ACTION   Leave a comment

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The overcast skies begin to clear. There is little wind as we put the boat in the water but that changes an hour or so later.  Temperatures are around freezing but they seem colder once the wind picks up.

Our quest today is for rainbow and brown trout in Lake Taneycomo near Branson, MO. The winter spawn for browns is just over last month.  But the rainbows are just entering theirs.  We actually catch fish full of eggs and sperm in the pre-spawn.

Trout have a lateral line like all fish. They respond to movement, vibration and sound.  The lateral line allows them to pinpoint a direction from which those things emanate.  They move toward that sound and then use their sight to zero in on it.

Trout have tiny scales because they live often times in a moving water environment. This coupled with their slime coat allows them to go nose into the current with less energy.  They are also very slippery to handle while landing.

Lake Taneycomo contains both rainbow trout and brown trout.  Rainbow is the prominent stocking fish.  That is because they are the easiest trout to grow.  They take to the food, they take to the overcrowding and they take the polluted water a little bit better than a brown trout.  The water here is quite clear.

Just because anglers prefer to use dry flys because it is more fun it is not the only way. We are using artificial lures cast from spinning gear.  The jigs suspend about 4 feet below a small float.  Their eyes are mid-range.  That means they are comfortable looking up for food as well as down.  They are multi-directional feeders.

Trout in the wild like cold moving water with a rocky bottom. This describes much of the lake bottom here.  Out best success comes in water flowing over gravel.  Trout prefer water in the 40- to 55-degree range.  This can vary by sub-species.

On rivers where water levels change during the day, they will survive through adaptation. When the current is fast, they will be near the edges of the river system.  As water levels lower and current decreases they will go more toward the middle or anywhere in the river system.

They relate to structure only to conserve energy and preserve calories.

Today we hook into several brown trout but only land one. The rainbows are numerous and we catch a number of them.

Toward the end of our 4 hour trip fingers get numb but it is a trip well worth the effort. To paraphrase a famous World War II general, I shall return.

 

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