Lake Taneycomo: A Complete Guide
Flowing through the heart of Branson, Lake Taneycomo offers endless ways to create lasting vacation memories for the whole family. Use this guide to prepare for the incredible trout fishing, scenic views, water adventures, lakeside strolls and waterfront shopping and dining that await on Lake Taneycomo.
Choose from a variety of resorts, campgrounds, RV parks, and full-service marinas, as well as outfitters for canoeing, kayaking, fishing boats, motors, guides, tackle, and pontoons for relaxing and fun-filled lake activities. The Taneycomo lakefront in Historic Downtown Branson is also home to Branson Landing, a shopping, dining, attraction and lake excursions paradise complete with a beautiful one-mile lighted boardwalk and a fountain show.
How To Get Here
Lake Taneycomo’s main accessibility points come from Historic Downtown Branson and at multiple points east including the communities of Rockaway Beach, Powersite and Forsyth. You can also gain access to Lake Taneycomo south of Branson in Hollister and Fall Creek.
Lake Taneycomo is stocked annually with approximately 750,000 10-12" rainbow and brown trout, making it a world-class trout fishing destination. Different sections of the lake offer unique fishing experiences. The uppermost portion of the lake is reserved for artificial lures like tiny jigs and crankbaits. These headwaters are also ideal for fly fishing with flies that imitate the freshwater shrimp and other creatures that trout feed on.
Take a tip from the locals: The best way to catch trout is by drifting salmon eggs or angleworms. Affix the eggs or worms to a small hook and cast into holes with an ultra-light rod and reel. This method used from a drifting boat or from a dock will yield a nice stringer of trout. It's important to note that few places in the main channel are shallow enough to fish while wading, so drift boats and docks are typically used.
"Lake Taneycomo is one of the best, if not the very best, of all trout streams in the U.S."
- Harold D. Eastman in "Trout Fishing on Lake Taneycomo," 1987
Lower Lake Taneycomo harbors a well-kept secret: The downstream area closer to Powersite and Forsyth offers considerably warmer water and many different species of fish, making Taneycomo a versatile destination for anglers. Many area resorts and marinas can also connect you with an experienced guide to help make the most of your Lake Taneycomo fishing experience.
Fishing Permits & Regulations
A Missouri fishing license is required to fish any Branson-area lake, river or stream and a trout permit is required for fishing Taneycomo between the Table Rock Dam and the U.S. Highway 65 bridges. Anglers must have a trout permit to possess trout anywhere on the lake. Resident, non-resident and youth licenses are available at most fishing outfitters and supply stores in the area. For details about licenses and regulations, visit the Missouri Department of Conservation's website.
Lodging and Marinas
Experience a variety of scenic and affordable resorts and cabins on the waterfront. Lilley’s Landing Resort & Marina is a year-round favorite nestled on a tranquil section of Taneycomo, just two miles from Branson’s Entertainment District. They offer well-kept accommodations, a variety of boat rentals for half-day and full-day outings, and free fishing from their dock. If you’re looking for your own cabin, Trophy Run offers beautiful lakefront retreats with resort-style amenities. Find more lodging by location here.
Camping and RV Parks
There are many places to park your tent or RV along Taneycomo. The Cooper Creek Resort and Campground offers 14 wooded acres of cabins and campsites with bathhouses and hook-ups, as well as boat rentals and a convenience store. The Branson Lakeside RV Park is located next to Branson Landing and offers the best of both worlds—a camping environment in the heart of the city. Check out many more campgrounds and RV parks here.
Cruise the waters of Lake Taneycomo aboard Main Street Marina’s Landing Princess or Landing Queen. Main Street Marina also offers scenic, self-guided adventures down Lake Taneycomo on Craigcats, Kayaks, Paddleboards and Hydro Bikes. For a thrilling adventure full of twists, turns, sight-seeing and epic surprises, don’t miss Branson Jet Boats. Additionally, fly like never before on Parakeet Pete’s Waterfront Zipline.
Dining Near Lake Taneycomo
After a day on the lake, head over to Branson Landing for a delicious meal at one of Branson’s acclaimed restaurants. Enjoy Mexican cuisine at Cantina Laredo, a great steak at Saltgrass Steakhouse, a classic American cusine at Paula Deen's Family Kitchen or crab buckets and stuffed shrimp at Joe’s Crab Shack. End any Bass Pro Shops shopping spree with the views and tastes offered at White River Fish House. Check out our full list of Branson Landing restaurants here.
History of Lake Taneycomo
Formed with the completion of Powersite Dam in 1913, Lake Taneycomo was originally a section of the White River. Although it is now technically a lake, Taneycomo’s narrow arms and forested shores retain the look and feel of a river. When Table Rock Dam was completed at Taneycomo's headwaters in 1958, the nature of the lake changed as well. Taneycomo's water now comes from the bottom, coldest parts of Table Rock Lake, making it the coldest lake in Missouri.
Quick Facts About Lake Taneycomo
- 2,000+ (approx.) acres of surface area depending on the water level
- 40+ miles of shoreline
- 48 degrees - average water temperature
- 750,000 + rainbow and brown trout stocked annually
Branson is proudly home to three great lakes: Lake Taneycomo, Bull Shoals Lake and Table Rock Lake. Check out our complete guide to Bull Shoals Lake here and Table Rock Lake here.