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Ryan Miloshewski

Taneycomo 2/22-2/23

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My how things have changed! Fishing was flat out TOUGH in the trophy area the past few times I have fished, but Saturday it seemed to be its normal self. Fishing the Elfrink Tournament my partner and I boated close to 80 fish. And all were healthy, fat beauties. I always fish up in the tournaments because of the crowds. I don't care about winning, really, and just use it as an excuse to fish and hone my skills. Driving back to Lilley's dock very much solidified that sentiment as I had to navigate through armada after armada of boats. No thanks!

We started off throwing jerkbaits (McStick in Ghost Norman Flake and a 6th Sense Provoke in Pearl White) from Lookout through the Narrows. First cast I landed a 17-inch rainbow. We picked up quite a few great slot fish on the drift. It seems the jerkbait bite has slowed considerably over the past couple of years (unless you're Duane), and I think it has to do with a lot. Pressure, lake conditions, etc. But it was very good Saturday. I lost a very large rainbow at the cable that hit with roughly 10-feet of line out. I set the hook, line snapped, and the fish came to the surface to shake the bait. It would have definitely won big fish and put us in the money, but oh well. 

Once the sun got high we started dragging Duane's small jerkbaits on a drift rig and we absolutely CRUSHED fish. First one was a fat 18.5-inch brown, which was sad. Partner had one on by Point Royale that came to the surface immediately. Never saw the whole fish but it slashed around and its tail came out of the water and it was another 5-6-lb rainbow I'd guess. Threw the bait. We could not go 25-yards without getting a fish from Trophy Run to the Narrows dragging the baits. It was incredible!

I tied up a 1/16-ounce olive/light olive jig and they hammered that everywhere, too. Sometimes the fish would be on already as I reeled down to start jigging after my cast. Dragging a tan size 14 scud was also on fire. I would pitch it into a riffle on a flat and before I could reel down there was a fish on. 

I went up below the dam to wade the banks on Sunday afternoon and it was incredible up there, too. I caught numerous 18-20-inch fish between outlet two and three. I ended up catching my PB Taneycomo rainbow on my hand-tied size 20 soft hackle, too! I measured it at 24-inches, but because it was pouring rain, I was in the water, and all alone...no pic. It was a beautifully colored male. 

As I walked down to outlet two to survey the situation, I saw a gentleman had on what looked like a good fish. He was alone as well. I walked down and helped him net it and take pics. It was a 23-inch rainbow, also his personal best!

IMG_E6315.JPG

It was nice to have a weekend where the fish were cooperating like you want on Taneycomo! 

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Forgot to mention, as the rain was coming down Sunday while wading I noticed fish starting to midge, as well as midges flying around me. Put on a tandem of a #16 Primrose and pearl and a #18 Ruby midge and had a take on every single drift. It was nuts.

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I need to start bringing my fly rod and putting in some time with it down there. It's just hard for me to put the jig rod down. The last time I used the fly rod was a few years ago in the summer. The water was off and fish were midging everywhere just below the narrows. I hammered them on an olive micro about 2' under an indicator.

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5 hours ago, Seth said:

I need to start bringing my fly rod and putting in some time with it down there. It's just hard for me to put the jig rod down. The last time I used the fly rod was a few years ago in the summer. The water was off and fish were midging everywhere just below the narrows. I hammered them on an olive micro about 2' under an indicator.

I was just telling Chuck how I secretly love fly fishing. I have been tying a ton this winter. I just cant help but throw a jerk in a tourney. But fly fishing by myself up there was something I needed. It really is humbling and as Chuck said "ain't no 10-lb test on a fly rod, let 'em tire!"

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10 hours ago, Ryan Miloshewski said:

I was just telling Chuck how I secretly love fly fishing. I have been tying a ton this winter. I just cant help but throw a jerk in a tourney. But fly fishing by myself up there was something I needed. It really is humbling and as Chuck said "ain't no 10-lb test on a fly rod, let 'em tire!"

I was ate up with it when I was younger. I'd built a really nice 5/6wt Sage rod in a rod building class when I was in my early teens and then added a 4wt St Croix for roll casting in close quarters. They burned up in my parents pantry fire several years ago and I just never really got back in to it. I've got little cheap beater setup that I planned on using at the trout parks, but haven't used it much.

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23 minutes ago, Seth said:

I was ate up with it when I was younger. I'd built a really nice 5/6wt Sage rod in a rod building class when I was in my early teens and then added a 4wt St Croix for roll casting in close quarters. They burned up in my parents pantry fire several years ago and I just never really got back in to it. I've got little cheap beater setup that I planned on using at the trout parks, but haven't used it much.

Man that stinks. As long as you have good fly line, the rest really doesn't matter in my opinion. Splurge on line and you can cast fine and handle fish with your beater set up. You don't need a $1200 Winston. 

It's hard to put down a jig rod when you have confidence and are adept at it. Once you set some time aside to catch them on a fly rod, you'll start making time in the future.

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Sounds like a good numbers trip Ryan with some nice kicker fish too!  I find myself only getting the long rod out under the right conditions.  I do love fishing fly rods in the dark, but I'm usually jerk bait slinging for the big bite... I know it can come on the fly rod too, but I fall into that comfort zone.  Ironically my PB rainbows have all come on the fly rod though.  First one was at night followed by the second one which is my PB during the day...

Fishing a big foam beetle on top with the water off was one of my favorite nights down there... They were busting top water all night and forced me to join the fun...

 

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4 hours ago, JestersHK said:

Sounds like a good numbers trip Ryan with some nice kicker fish too!  I find myself only getting the long rod out under the right conditions.  I do love fishing fly rods in the dark, but I'm usually jerk bait slinging for the big bite... I know it can come on the fly rod too, but I fall into that comfort zone.  Ironically my PB rainbows have all come on the fly rod though.  First one was at night followed by the second one which is my PB during the day...

Fishing a big foam beetle on top with the water off was one of my favorite nights down there... They were busting top water all night and forced me to join the fun...

 

I talked to a guy recently at K&K who says he uses a big mouse fly in July/August when the water is off. Wades out 50 feet or so and casts towards the bank and crushes nice browns. Honestly for me I started tying a year and a half or so ago and really got into it last year. Now I just want to see if my stuff will catch fish lol! So far, so good.

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Yi ou caht beat taney when it's on. And for sure fly fishing is the best way to do it! Night fly fishing down there haunts my dreams. Every time I go I break off a giant due to ineptitude 🤪. But this last year put on a clinic and it just reaffirms how much you love the long rod. Excellent report as always!

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