One of nation’s top cold-water fisheries lies in center of U.S.

Dena Vick (left) and Karen Lutto, both AGLOW board members, took advantage of the incredible trout fishing on Lake Tanneycomo while attending the mid-year meeting there recently.

The Association of Great Lakes Outdoor Writers scheduled their mid-year board meeting in Branson, Mo., this year in mid-March. I’m the chairman of the board so I was fortunate to attend, and while I’ve been there in the past, on this trip I rediscovered why this area is so incredible.

One of my passions is trout fishing. I’m in Alaska a couple of times a year to chase trophy rainbows on the Kenai Peninsula. I rate the Kenai as my No. 1 destination for trout angling. I will rate Branson as my No. 1 as well after visiting there recently. It’s because of Lake Taneycomo.

How can one rate two places as their No. 1 destinations for trout angling? It’s based on time of year. I’m not going to Alaska in March or April, so Branson rates as my No. 1 destination when the weather is wicked in the north and heading south is the prescription to cure the winter blues.

Lake Taneycomo originated when the White River was confined by the completion of the Powersite Dam, near Forsyth, Mo., 1913. From 1913 until 1958 it was a warm-water lake. The completion of Table Rock Dam in 1958 changed the source of water to Taneycomo from that of the White River’s flowing waters to the bottom tailwater of Table Rock Lakefrom the dam spillway and made it into a cold-water lake. The clear cold waters from the deep tailwaters of Table Rock Lake pour out of the dam into Lake Taneycomo.

Anglers quickly discovered that the chilly water of Lake Taneycomo made it one of the top trout fishing lakes in the country.

Bass fishing is also a great option out of Branson for a March/April getaway. The prespawn provides an excellent bite for largemouth, smallmouth and spotted bass and they are plentiful in Table Rock Lake. It’s a big body of water so if an angler is not familiar with all Table Rock has to offer in angling opportunities don’t worry, guides abound.

While in Branson for the board meeting it was imperative that we take advantage of some of the entertainment the town has to offer. For many years Branson has been a Mecca for country music acts and theater productions. The Silver Dollar amusement park has over 60 acres of shops and rides and there is even a huge cave that can be explored there.

We toured the Branson aquarium and found it well stocked with saltwater species and well maintained fish tanks. Dolly Parton’s Stampede was an incredible equestrian display with some great acts for the kids as well. Our favorite was Dick Clark’s theater where singers/actors recreated some of the most popular acts of our time. The Temptations, Blues Brothers and Elvis, of course, staged prefect presentations of the greatest hits of all times.

I’ve been to Branson and have always been impressed with the outstanding fishing the area has to offer. Now after taking this deep dive into the entertainment I will readily admit it is without a doubt the best place to be during March and April if you are looking for a place that has it all.

Categories: Blog Content, Tim Lesmeister

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