I posted this tidbit on a Facebook group but wanted to post it here. This is one of the essential ways I learned to fly fish on Taneycomo.
I have been fishing Taneycomo since I was able to walk. Videos of me on the banks of The Mistress, as I call her, moving around in a walker are out there somewhere. I caught my first fish on the lake (a sucker) and have been fishing it ever since. It holds a special place in my heart.
A moment that truly sticks out from the rest is from June 2002. I was a young, 11-year-old kid cutting my teeth on fly fishing by outlet two. I tried to imitate everybody I saw. How they casts their flies, how they stood, and how they carried themselves. Gramps always liked to get away from the crowds and wade out into deeper water. Me being short and young--I stayed near the outlets. I caught a lot of fish, don't get me wrong, but I was young. One day while wading near the outflow of outlet two, a white-haired man came over and said, "Son, do you mind if I give you a few pointers?" I said of course. I was, and still am, always eager to learn. He told me to back up from where the fish were, get rid of my indicator and use a tiny split shot on my scud to get it on the bottom. I caught fish after fish while he stood there and coached me, netted fish for me, and told me how good of a job I was doing. He helped me for hours, all while never wetting his line. It was amazing. I thanked him profusely, as did my grandpa when he came to pry my wader boots off the rocks for dinner that night. The lessons I have learned from that day in June 2002 still resonate with me and I always think "what would he do?" when fishing Taney. If you have fished Taney for a while, you probably already know who I am talking about.
I learned, years later, the nice man that helped me was a legend named Duffy.