The tailwaters of Table Rock Dam run gin clear and cold year round. It’s the perfect place to stock trout and let them grow to trophy size. Located within shouting distance from Branson, Missouri, an angler can go fishing for trophy sized trout in the morning then catch a show in Branson in the evening. Although the trout are always biting it pays off to get a trout fishing guide to really get dialed in on catching the trophy sized trout that live in Lake Taneycomo. One guide that knows how to catch these trophy sized brown and rainbow trout is John Sappington.
Sappington, a licensed charter captain (www.fishingguidebranson.com), has guided on Lake Taneycomo for over 16 years. It’s this experience on Lake Taneycomo that makes the difference on the water when fishing for big trout. “I take out serious fly fishermen in search of that big brown or rainbow trout. Their goal is to catch, photo, and release the biggest trout of their lives and Lake Taneycomo offers them that opportunity. Like any tailwater, Lake Taneycomo has its own distinct flow and areas where trophy trout can be caught,” said Sappington. Sappington is fortunate to be guiding on Lake Taneycomo that has been referred to as the official Trout Capital of the U.S. because of its over abundant supply of rainbow and brown trout. Its stocking of trout comes from the local Shepherd of the Hills Hatchery located on the shallow side below the Table Rock Dam. Every year more than 750,000 trout are released in to Lake Taneycomo. Brown trout grow big below Table Rock Dam with a 20-inch length limit that protects the smaller browns until they reach trophy size. Even then most anglers practice catch and release allowing them to continue to grow even larger. Lake Taneycomo also has a designated trophy area that extends from Table Rock Dam down to the mouth of Fall Creek. In this 3.5 mile section anglers are required to release all trout within the 12- to 20-inch slot limit and only flies and lures can be fished with.
Sappington guides for trout on Lake Taneycomo year round. “The trout are always biting no matter what time of year it is. The prime time for big trophy sized brown trout is in October and big rainbows are always swimming around,” said Sappington. Not all of his clientele are serious fly fishermen. “In the summer months families, father and sons, and groups of fishing buddies will go out with me. It’s easier than renting a boat and I supply all of the tackle and lures they need for the day,” explained Sappington. Sappington guides out of a 21-foot center console Ranger Boat with a 150-hp Yamaha jet engine that can hold up to six people plus the guide. Sappington offers both a ½ day and full day trips.(Note: Sappington also offers guided fishing trips on Table Rock Lake for both crappie and bass; in addition to individual fishing lessons. His bass fishing resume includes 2002 FLW Tour Cup Champion, five times FLW tour cup qualifier, Bassmaster Classic championship qualifier, and All-American qualifier).
Anglers wanting to catch big brown or rainbow trout will not be disappointed on Lake Taneycomo. The lake is well stocked and its trophy area allows trout to grow big. Anglers can pick from either fly fishing gear or spinning tackle to fish with and have a rewarding day out fishing.
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