We arrived at Taneycomo around 6 AM, just as the sun was starting to rise. We started downstream, just above the Big Hole and slowly worked our way up to just above the Rebar Hole. I was working a sculpin pattern along the bottom, but decided to switch it up after getting no strikes. We soon spotting some larger fish working their way upstream towards the deeper hole and I was soon hooked up. It was a darker colored male close to 21 inches. The larger fish continued to work their way upstream throughout the morning and we would work the fish as they came through. It wasn’t long before I hooked into and landed another large male brown close to 20 incher. With a well placed cast and good drift, the fish were willing at times to move 2-3 feet to take the fly.

After catching a couple of smaller rainbows, Rob also hooked into a larger fish. After a short fight downstream, we netted the fish. It was a brightly colored male close to 24 inches. The fish had a huge head and had its full orange spawning colors. We spotted one or two fish in the 24-26 inch range, but no really large fish came through. As the sun came out, the larger fish all retreated to deeper water. We decided we were done around noon, as the fishing was starting to get tough and the crowds were getting pretty bad. We returned later that evening around 8 PM and tried casting streamers in the dark. There was no moon and the sky was partly cloudy. They had run one generator in the afternoon and the water was retreating when we arrived. I fish near the Rebar Hole, while Rob concentrated on Outlet #2. Neither of us had hooked up after an hour, so I decided to move up to Outlet #1. I soon hooked up with a small fish on a white wooly bugger, but I lost it after a short fight. A couple of casts later I hooked a huge fish. It took line like crazy, but a couple of seconds later it was off. I lost a couple of flies on a snag in the river and decided to call it a night without landing any fish.

We again arrived just before sunrise and took up our spot below the Rebar Hole. There weren’t as many large fish moving up, so it took a while to find some of the larger fish. Rob was hammering the rainbows when I finally found a pod of larger fish. A couple of drifts later and I was hooked up with the larger fish in the group. It was another nice hook-jaw male close to 22 inches. I continued working to remaining fish in the pod and soon hooked into another fish, a 19+ inch male brown. Rob took off downstream to do some exploring, while I continued to watch for larger fish. I finally spotted one of the largest fish I’d seen moving up river. It paused near a group of smaller fish and I was able to get a couple of casts on her. I watched my indicator go over the top of her and she slid over to take my fly. Fish on! She put up a strong fight and Rob ran up river to get her in the net. As I was fighting the fish, a huge rainbow close to 25 inches swam right past us. Rob finally got her in the net and she was a pig. It was a huge female in the 26 inch range, with a girth close to 21 inches. She was full of eggs and would probably go around 9 or 10 pounds. After a quick photo, I put her back in the water and she took off right away. We decided to end on that fish, as a storm was coming and we wanted to get out before the rain.

We fished the river the entire time on 0 generation, with the early morning being the best time for the larger fish. The sun seemed to chase them into the deeper holes. We fished 5x and 6x tippet, with no noticable difference between the two. The best fly by far was trout crack, but black beauties worked well for Rob. The fish seemed to be afraid of any flies with bright colors. The fish were mostly concentrated below and above the Rebar Hole.