Beginning our day a little earlier, we met up with the Fords on their pontoon boat, picked up Bradley, and headed upstream to the Trophy Area. Bradley talked about a gravel island he'd fished before with another Texas buddy, so we set off in that direction. However, the abundance of fish along the way hearkened our names, so we fished. Bradley and Cody nymphed and I fished the CodyBugger, and not long after wetting our lines, Bradley and I hooked up for a double. Ahh, those Rainbow Trout sure are pretty, spots and blended colors of teal, turquoise, pink, and white.
A water body paints many colors. Catching fish is the only way to see her canvas. We slowly worked our way up to Bradley's island, hooking up with fish along the way. Unfortunately, when we reached the island, a family with a pontoon loaded with little kids beached before us, and with all the splashing they made, there was no hope of even casting to these easily spooked creatures, so we continued to drift back down the river.
Last night, Bradley and Cody had tied CodyBuggers, and Bradley wanted to learn to fish streams on a sinking leader, so we gave just a few pointers, and tight-looped casting commenced. A fish nipped Bradley's fly on one cast, while, after a perfect cast to a gravel bed, Bradley's CodyBugger had a chaser. Even though the dam gates opened at noon, today, fishing was fine business.
Just about the time we began our float down river, Stephanie phoned to tell about the unique Rainbow she landed. The Missouri Department of Conservation heavily stocks Lake Taneycomo, because they swear the fish are not reproducing. I say some Mizzou grad student needs to come confirm that, because with the weird in-breds we are seeing and catching, MDoC is wrong! Steph caught a Rainbow, brilliantly colored, but all of its fins were rimmed white--exactly like a Brook Trout. Another one of the "non-breeding" crazier in-breds we have seen, is this albino carp. Unable to catch, I'll just describe it. Looking at it from above, the fish's right side is completely white. On its left side beginning at its pectoral fin and going back to its tail fin, the fish is completely white. On its left side from its mouth to its pectoral fin and from its spine to its belly, the fish is purplish-gray! Weird and ugly; we saw two of them. MDoC needs to do more than just stock!
Boys being boys, Bradley and Cody were hungry, so with fast-moving waters, we docked the boat, came off the lake, drove to Branson's Landing, and ate at Bass Pro Shops' White River Fish House. Everyone's meal was delicious and the sweet tea was outstanding. This town has excellent sweet tea! We visited BPS's fly shop, helped Bradley purchase some fly-tying materials, then headed off to two other fly shops to round out his material list. Buying fly material is always good; yes, it is a little pricey up front, but tying flies for personal use saves $$$ when compared to having to buy the fly time and again.
We all chose to drift with the current this evening before the foggy fog misted upon us, and the Fords netted two and Cody netted two.
Cody and I pack up camp and head to Mountain Home for some White River fishing in Arkansas. The single best day of fishing I ever had was on Arkansas' section of the White, so I am hoping for a repeat performance. I do have my pink rod, pink reel, pink & purple line, and pink San Juan Worm, so Fly Fshr Grl is r-e-a-d-y! Learning the multi-personalities of Lake Taneycomo has been a great vacation; one Cody and I would do again!
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