The brown trout run on Lake Taneycomo has been, well, suspect the last few years. Seems like conditions have not lined up right each fall season for the big browns to move up. But this year it seems like we are seeing a big push of trophy browns below the dam, and a few of them have been caught.
Our brown fishery took a huge hit in September of 2009, literally, when flood gates were opened and 80+ degree water hit them as they start to run towards the dam. Many didn't make it and died. Since then, MDC has almost doubled the number of brown trout stocked in our lake each year - about 17,000. In 2011, they stocked a good number of triploid browns, browns that are rendered sterile at conception to booster growth rates. These fish are tagged for identification by the clipping of their adipose fin, which isn't needed for swimming.
Here's what we're seeing: good numbers of browns in the 20-24 inch range and several even bigger, much bigger. Here's a few pictures, robbed off Facebook (public page - Fly Fishing Lake Taneycomo).
Brett Rader, a fly fishing guide here on the lake, coasted his client Dave to hook a brown they could see in the current just below Lookout island. It weighed 24.86 pounds, measuring 34 inches. This was a triploid brown, stocked probably in 2011.
Guide Chuck Gries helped client Jim hook and land another big brown this week, wading below the dam. It measured 33 inches but was not weighed. It also was a triploid.
Just a few days later, Dylan Cluver caught the same brown and released it.
Finny Khan has been a busy angler, racking up quite a few trophy browns to his credit. All have been caught wading below the dam, all released and all with the help of guide Chuck Gries.
Duane Doty (works for us) has been boating to the dam when the water is running hard, mainly in the afternoons, and throwing a stick bait called a MegaBass 110 + 1, Ozark Shad style. This is typically a bass bait but both rainbows and browns will hit them. He's caught and released quite a few browns in the 20-25 inch range in the last couple of weeks.
Another of Duane's catches.
This brown was caught several weeks ago in the Short Creek area with the help of guide Buster Loving. It was caught on a night crawler. It was also released.
It is early in the brown trout run season. The peak isn't normally till mid October and continues into November.