The joy of fishing Chartered Waters for trout on Branson’s Lake Taneycomo

On August 2, 2004 I had the pleasure of fishing with Brett Rader of Chartered Waters (CW)Fly Shop and Guide Service conveniently located on the east bank of upper Lake Taneycomo about 4 1/2 miles from the dam and 1 ½ miles from the “Trophy Trout” area. The CW operation is very efficiently integrated into a “complex” that provides their home, an attached fly shop, and a dock right on Lake Taneycomo.

CW is a mutual effort between Brett and his bride, of over 12 years, Shelley. Someone has to “run the shop” while Brett is out on the Lake having fun all day and trust me, if you have “fun” fishing” it will be a “fun” experience and you will catch fish as you exerience the breath taking beauty of upper Lake Taneycomo . Brett offers a guarantee that if you do not catch fish your trip is free but I find it hard to believe that anyone listening to Brett and following his advice will ever get a chance to collect on it.

About 100 feet from the door of the shop we walked on the dock, where his 18′ wide decked Lowe Bass Boat was moored. Brett carefully checked the equipment we would be using and explained the methodology we would be using. Although he fishes a lot with fly rods I was interested in the “long spinning rod” method he described in the fishing report on his site because it offers a little more flexibility, in my opinion, when they are running water. Although the boat could take four, plus Brett, I would suggest that the best fishing experience would be obtained if no more than two fishermen plus Brett went. This is particularly so with the bigger rods or if fly rods are going to be used.

After carefully motoring up to just above the public boat ramp near the hatchery to the falls, under water off conditions, we arrived just as they blew the horn and started generating with one of the four generators. We started below the falls with the long (10 foot) spinning rod that was used all day. Although spooled with four pound test what is important is the business end of the rig which was Rio 6x fluorocarbon tippet. We started off with a #20 Bit Scud below a GLB olive Zebra #18. The Scud was dropped from the Zebra about two feet.The main objective is to get a natural drift with the Scud as close to the bottom as possible.

Depth is adjusted as the bottom topography changed but the general orientation of the “rig stayed the same whether or not we were fishing in three feet of water or six feet of water.All that changed was the depth of the float, the bottom fly, and the addtion of weight. As we drifted into a little deeper water and the current from the generation caught up with us Brett changed the bottom fly to a #16 coral Soft Shelled Scud and added two BB split shot about 6 inches above the scud to keep it near the bottom. This is the rig we used for the rest of the day.It is a heck of a rig and worked very well.

Brett does not fish while on a trip as it distracts from giving his clients the experience he wants them to have. On this day the fish were active and Brett was constantly spotting them and getting me ready.Even at that, the take was different than I was used to, and with the wind I missed close to 100 hits.That’s the bad news, the good news is that in about two hours I, conservatively, caught 25 fish and had a beauty on that broke off. Brett estimates that you will get about one hook up per five hits so I guess that makes me a good solid average.

Brett and Shelley have a great operation designed to insure that the fisherman has a great fishing experience. Brett is an excellent teacher and communicator. Anyone who is planning on fishing Lake Taneycomo and has not fished it before would find the money and time invested in a guide trip with Brett well spent. Expert or beginner; spin or fly fishing; wading, boat, or both; generating water or not Brett has the equipment, methodology, experience, and personality to insure that your fishing experience on Lake Taneycomo will be all that it should and then some. For further information on Chartered Waters call 1-866-362-1928 or 417-334-1005 or visit their web site at and for a current Lake Taneycomo fishing report click here.

About Gary Groman aka The Ole Seagull

Editor of The Branson Courier
This entry was posted in Entertainment News. Bookmark the permalink.