A Lake Taneycomo – Branson October weekend

As far as trout fishing goes Kansas is about as bad as it gets. So when I found myself needing a “trout fix” and a little time away from home, Branson Missouri was my best choice. It’s only a 5 and a half hour drive to plenty of fish and entertainment!

The best thing about Branson is I can take the family and they will never complain because there is so much stuff to keep them busy. Lake Taneycomo is a tailwater fishery listed in the 50 Best Tailwaters to Fly Fish book so the fishing has to be good right?

We arrived late friday night and checked into the Taneycomo Lakefront Resort. While not a fancy place, it was clean, inexpensive, and had access to the water. Perfect for someone on a tight budget.

lake taneycomo, Branson hot air balloon, Branson fly fishing

Saturday morning on Lake Taneycomo

Before we left the resort Saturday morning we walked out on the resort docks to check out the water. We were suprised when a hot air balloon came drifting by. There were a few people fishing with bait off the dock and catching some decent rainbow trout. To please the family the rest of the morning was going to be spent doing tourist stuff so we headed into town. I found out from a local that the best breakfast in town is at a small place called Clockers Cafe. He wasn’t wrong either… the food was amazing!

One thing we just had to do was Ride the Ducks. Not only would it show us around town but would also give us a ride on the water. It is something I would recommend to anyone. They give a great tour!

Ride the Ducks Branson

Ride the Ducks!


She got to be a Duck Captain!

She got to be a Duck Captain!


Branson Belle showboat

Showboat Branson Belle as seen from Ride the Ducks!

After the ride we did some exploring around town and decided to have a late lunch (time went by so fast) at Dixie Stampede. While I was against it at first due to the price, I was talked into it by the wife and daughter. It turned out to be great! I chose to be on the South side and we won! They put on a wonderful show and the food is great too. Oh and you don’t get no silverware so I hope you don’t mind eating with your hands.

Dixie Stampede, South wins, Branson MO

The South will rise again!

After all that fun it was finally time for me to go fishing! I decided that since my time was limited I would try fishing the section near the hatchery on Lake Taneycomo. I was expecting it to be busy, but I didn’t expect it to be the zoo it was. I was told they had 25 percent generation and that’s why the water was up so high. I didn’t even bother taking my camera with me as I didn’t expect to catch anything. I fished for about an hour bouncing between open spots. There were quite a few fish being caught in the hatchery outflow. I managed to catch one rainbow about 8″ long and was told by the guy next to me “you caught a keeper because its below the 12″-20″ protected slot”. I did learn that the only thing people were catching them on was a tan scud in 18 or smaller.

Lake Tanycomo

My wife grabbed a pick of me wading out.

Before we ended the night my daughter talked me into a stop at Lost Treasure mini-golf. What set it apart from the other 100 mini-golf locations around is that you ride a train to the top and play your way back down to the bottom of the course.

Lost Treasure mini golf, branson mini golfLost Treasure mini golf, branson mini golf

Lost Treasure mini golf, branson mini golf

My girls golfing into a cave.


It was a great way to finish off a fun day!

Sunday we didn’t have much time to do things as I wanted to get home at a decent time. We decided to check out the Shepherd of the Hills Hatchery and then I could do some more fishing.

Hatchery as we crossed the dam on the Duck the day before!

Hatchery as we crossed the dam on the Duck the day before!


Pellet pigs, Taneycomo Hatchery

Feeding the hatchery trout.


Brown Trout, Taneycomo Hatchery

Big Brown Trout

I left the girls to look at the fish and went down to the water to see if I could catch some. They were not generating and the water was down so there was much more room to wade. It was still more crowded than I like but I didn’t have much time so I found a spot and waded in. Most of the fish (and people)were stacked up near the outlets of the hatchery. I waded in a little below them. I was amazed at the number of fish! There were fish everywhere. It didn’t take long and I was hooked up. A nice 12″ rainbow. I realized that I once again left my phone and camera in the car. A few more fish followed but nothing spectacular, just a fun time catching fish.

As I’m standing there I noticed something slip into the low spot in front of me. It was a very large brown trout with a beautiful red and yellow belly. He had a large kype jaw and I would guess to be every bit of 30″. It looked very similar to the one in the picture above. I heard that some big fish were moving up to spawn already, but I wasn’t expecting to have one 3 feet in front of me. I drifted my fly right in front of him a few times but he wasn’t interested and finally swam away.

On the drive home all I could think of was that next time I am going to have to try throwing some big streamers after dark to see what happens. Maybe I can get hooked up to one of those giant browns?

Overall we had a great weekend and I finally caught some trout! The Branson area is a great family destination with something for everyone. I’m looking forward to going back again soon!

Nemo Tent Big 10 Year Sale!

That’s right Nemo Outdoor Equipment is having a big sale to celebrate 10 years of selling tents!

nemo tent sale

I have personally owned a Nemo Asashi 4p tent for a few years and it is by far the best tent I have ever used. It has plenty of room for my family (wife, kid, dogs and gear) camping.

At 25% off and free shipping you can’t go wrong!

The #BirthdayGiveaway is here #Donfishin2014

It’s that time of year again! That’s right I’m a year older and that means your chance to get lucky and win a rod built by me. This years rod is a 9ft. 5wt fly rod. It is a moderate action fly rod that is build on a matte black blank with gloss black wraps. You just can’t go wrong with black on black!

Twitter giveaway, #birthdaygiveaway

Twitter giveaway, #birthdaygiveaway

For a chance to win all you have to do it go on Twitter follow @donfishin and ReTweet my giveaway Tweet found by clicking here!

Winner will be chosen around 9pm September 11 2014! Good luck!

Fly tying – Steelhead flies

It’s almost that time of year again… The winter Steelhead run is coming! This year I am going to try and make it up to Michigan to chase some of these great fish. In preparation I have started tying some flies to fish on the swing.

These are a couple of spey style flies that I tied up. I’m working on honing the skill set required to tie these.

steelhead flies, chasing steelhead, steelhead fly fishingsteelhead fly, steelhead flies, spey fly, spey flies, wet fly, steelhead fly fishing

More flies coming soon.

Wilson Lake August 2014

This summer has been the busiest summer for me in a long time which has led to not much fishing. I usually try to make a couple of trips a year to Wilson Lake in western Kansas to do some fishing. Occasionally I get lucky and find some stripers busting bait in a cove.

I only had an afternoon to fish on this trip. The wind was blowing harder than I like for fly fishing so I loaded some conventional gear and made it to the lake around 3:00pm. I don’t have much to say about the rest of the day because I never found the fish. I did get to try out a very cool swimbait from Kanan Lures. The swimming motion is great and I’m excited to use it more!

Check out WetFlyFish.com

If you haven’t done so yet, you need to check out some of the cool stuff at Wetflyfish.com! While your there pick up one of their awesome Farmer John hats. You won’t regret it!
WetFlyFish hat, farmer john hat, fly fishing hat

ENO Hammock Review

Shortly after moving into our current home I noticed that two of the trees in the back yard looked perfect for hanging a hammock. I have never been a big fan of hammocks, due to the fact that I have never found one I felt comfortable (ie. safe to hold my large frame) in. After seeing some great reviews on Twitter and some blogs I decided I would try one of the ENO hammocks.

ENO hammock, backyard, family fun

We purchased the DoubleNest hammock and the Atlas straps from Dicks Sporting goods. With its 400lb rating and plenty of room I feel safe and it’s really comfortable!

ENO hammock, ENO DoubleNest

It fits a fat guy with room to spare!

It’s light weight, compresses down small into the built-in carrying pouch. The material seems very sturdy for as light as it is. Overall it seems to be a great addition to our outdoor gear. I can’t wait to relax in it next to the lake! Anyone in the market to buy a hammock should definitely check out ENO hammocks. My family is happy I did!

She loves it!

She loves it!