Trout Bum Tournament Check-In # 2
Summer is in full effect in Branson, Missouri – completed with sun, humidity, and 90+ degree temperatures. Nothing better to sweat out hangovers than waders, sun, and hot temperatures. The alarm went off at 4:50am and it was time to get up and get ready for another day on the water. Matt went to bed about 11:30, but Brent the glutton for punishment didn’t go to bed till at least 2:30. A quick call to the water generation hotline, confirmed that there was no water generating through the dam, unlike yesterday when they were running all 4 generators and the water was really moving. Welcome to tailwater fishing. One minute it can be calm and in a few minutes it can be a roaring torrent. How did one local put it???….. “Boys. When you hear the horn blow. That means the generators are starting up and if you don’t get out of the water pretty quickly, you’ll be bobin’ like a turd in a churn!”
We stopped off at a local Branson gas station, and successfully bummed two bags of ice (to keep the beer and Gatorade cool) and some cups of coffee. The only thing that the attendant that the station asked in return was for us to sign a copy of FR&R for a coworker. Obviously, we obliged them and then thanked them and were off to meet our guide for the day, Jeremiah Wade of CastAway Guide Service.
We met up with Jeremiah and his friend Ryan at the boat ramp access near the dam on Lake Taneycomo at 6:00am. After brief introductions and loading up on bottled water, we were on our way down to the fog covered stream. We started out fishing some slower water with a midge pattern called “Dave’s Emerger,” and Brent was quickly in to 5 rainbows in less than 30 minutes. I was struggling however. I desperately wanted to break the skunk out of my new Temple Fork Fly Rod (9’-0” 4wt), but I obviously had some bad karma and couldn’t make it happen this morning. Fishing slowed once the fog burned off, and then the heat came, and it made a warm day on the water even hotter. Everyone on the river was struggling with fish, but there were fish everywhere. At one time, I had at least 50 fish holding within 10ft behind me and under my feet. You honestly accidentally kick them while walking as they snatch the dislodged insects kicked up by wading. It was a very humbling experience. Fishing was slow for the rest of the day, but Jeremiah worked hard to try and put us on fish. About 5:00pm, we decided to seek the shelter of some shade and hydrate ourselves. But the shade won out, and we decided to retire to the air-conditioned confines of our “bummed” TreeHouse Condo (www.treehousecondos.com) on the Indian Point of Table Rock Lake. In the end, we brought to hand a total of 15 for the day and worked hard for those fish.
Here I sit, typing this report and smelling the sweet smells of boneless chicken stuffed with crawfish meat, Bewley’s Baked Beans, pasta salad, and peanut butter pie to finish it off. We cannot thank David Bewley enough for all he has done for a couple of trout bums. The food has been 5-Star caliber (we would like to thank Mrs. Bewley as well, as we still aren’t sure who made the peanut butter pie) for a guy that neither of us had met prior to trout bum; David has gone above and beyond anything we could have ever imagined. He even has offered to let us stay at the plush confines of the condo for an additional night. It seems that the water we are to fish on Sunday is no more than an hour drive from Branson. So we have a decision to make, nice air conditioned condo or sleeping in the back of the truck in 80 degree temps………….
Decision made, “Thanks David”, we will take you up on this issue (just means we will need to bum some more gas). Sunday, July 11, will find us on the Beaver Tailwater of the White River fly fishing with guide Ken Richards of Just Fishin’ Guides (www.justfishinguides.com). The Beaver Tailwater is the dirty stepchild of the Arkansas tailwaters, but it can fish well at times.
Our trip to Lake Taneycomo has concluded. Although we didn’t catch any monster fish, we did have some great times on the water with some great fly fishermen. We will definitely be back to Lake Taneycomo this fall to try and hook in to some monsters during the fall runs. We want to thank all those that we met and helped us in Branson. Dinner is done, and the beer is cold. Time to retire to an evening of cleaning fly boxes, tying flies, and getting some sleep for the rest of the trout bum experience. A rested trout bum is a happy trout bum.
Matt & Brent (written by Matt)