FLY FISHING NEWS & ADVENTURES
texas fly fishing report #flyfishing
NOTE – I decided it was pointless to repeat the same information that is in last weeks video, so I did it the old fashion way – W O R D S.
Finally time to sit down and write the Texas Fly Fishing Report for this Memorial Day weekend. First, we know we roll the dice on every weekend outing, but roll a weekend and a holiday … and we have recipe for slow motion disaster.
Not this weekend though! If fly fishing Texas lakes and Texas rivers are your thing, well you’re just about SOL. All the parks around lakes here in North Central Texas are closed, and it’s still raining as I write. Mostly, we look forward to the aftermath now. On a scale of 1-to-5, we are pulling up zeroes right now. I will get out next week and do the tourist document of all the odds-and-ends underwater, if they aren’t completely disappeared by then. Make sure you take a look at this past Wednesday’s “Water Wednesday” report for lake levels – using the Trinity River Basin lakes as an example.
I had a guy pull up and ask me where he could go when I was out on Lake Ray Roberts earlier this week, and my reply was simple, “Go west.” And now that’s what I say to you, with the additional admonition to KNOW BEFORE YOU GO. The further west you go in Texas, in general, the drier it is going to be. You can tell me from there.
As for the Texas Gulf Coast, it looks like patterns are a little flat, and some of this rain has also made an appearance on the coast. If all goes according to planned, I will be sending you information from Corpus Christi, Texas, next weekend, or just after that weekend. Obviously, I need to get my eyes on the coast, because I don’t see anything one way or another, on coastal guide’s Facebook feeds.
Now that I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, and it’s definitely not a train, things should regain their consistency soon – and quickly, and for a good long run.
Thanks for those of you subscribing to the YouTube Channel for Texas Fly Caster, and be sure to check out the Texas Fly Caster twitter feed and the instagram feed. It appears we are also about to launch the Periscope application just to keep things overwhelmingly challenging on this end.
Have a great weekend, and get ready for some new fly fishing fodder here next week! The summer is in sight, and just like the old guys say, “It always rains,” I say, “IT ALWAYS STOPS RAINING.”
Our phones went off in the middle of the night last night. Some tornado watch, or warning blaring that loud siren, and then the rain comes yet again.
We’ve dodged all bullets here in Denton proper, and the Airstream over in a much more exposed Cottondale, Texas, has somehow made it this far without a single new hail ding. How much luck does one person deserve, I wonder? And I lose plenty of sleep these nights.
Needless to say, enough rain already. Attached is a snapshot of the Trinity River basin’s lakes. They stop counting at 100-percent, which is just so … Texas Governmental.
I was talking to a friend this morning here in Denton, and he put it best, “We’ve gone from a cleansing rain,” to mold, mildew and rot. He won’t even stay at his Texoma lakehouse. “Imagine all those septic tanks! They’ve got problems big time, and the fire ants? They’re insane.”
Yup, I think we’ve gone beyond the pale now. There is no silver lining right now, but I expect one, gold, to appear later this summer. That is then though, and this is now. Debris, and even trees and logs from the five years of drought? It’s all over the lakes here. And even if you can’t see it, it’s moving in solid layers just below the surface (I do love new electronics). We’re talking acres, and acres of debris. There are openings, but can you see the debris? No? Then we certainly cannot see the openings in those islands of despair.
WHAT’S A POOR BOY TO DO? — DAM IT
What to do? Well, I toyed with (or she toyed with me), a short-nose gar that went about 40-inches – below the Ray Roberts Dam yesterday afternoon. And there are plenty of them around. The trick is how to actually get a line on one. I find gar to be about as frustrating as any fish we have around here. They’ll nip and jab at flies as if to tease me, and say, “Get that thing out of here!” If those parks along the Greenbelt reopen in a week, it will be one of the best floats, on kayak at the current CFS, in many years. Be sure to take advantage of that. I run a shuttle service that takes ALL THE WORK out of doing the Greenbelt float – www.kayakshuttleservice.com Continue Reading
2015 World Championship Bass on The Fly Fishing Tournament
– by Ted Warren Lake Fork, Texas –
The weather was great but the fishing was really tough! High muddy water, clear sunny skies and a nearly full moon made for a lot of casting and not much catching at the 6th Annual World Championship Bass on The Fly Fishing Tournament held Saturday, May 2nd, at Lake Fork Marina.
A record 54 anglers from Texas, Louisiana, and Colorado registered for this exclusively fly fishing event. Thirty-four folks entered the boater division and there was a record 20 kayakers in the non-boater division. The difficult conditions resulted in only 18 of the 41 teams having fish photos to submit at check in. (This is a catch-photo-release tournament so even the “slot fish” can be utilized.) The winning stringer consisted of 3 fish with a total length of 49” and the big bass was 21”. By contrast, last year the winners had 5 fish with a total length of 90.5”.
The 2015 winners are:
1. Robert & Jason Gilbert, $510
2. Johnny Martinez & Jay Garrett, $340
3. B.C. & Benson Fowler, $170
4. Mark Ledyard & Ben Reed, $100
5. Joe Heluvanic & Danny Sullivan $70
Big Bass – Jason Gilbert, $170
Big Bluegill – Mark Ledyard, $80
Non-Boater (Kayak) Division
1. Tray Collins, $330
2. Greg Stine, $200
3. Burton Fowler, $170
Big Bass – Greg Stine, $95
Big Bluegill – Burton Fowler, $60
(Cash payouts are determined by the number of entries in each division.)
The winners consistently reported they caught the few gullible fish they could find on poppers. While most fish were caught by 8:00am, the Kayak winner caught his fish after Noon.
The accuracy casting contest was won by Mark Thomas and the distance contest was won by Russell Husted. They each received the TFO NXT Combo that was used for the respective contest.
lake ray roberts guide fly fishing texas #flyfishing F3T Fort Worth Tailwaters Fly Shop
When does 138 equal 365? When it comes to North Texas rainfall, that equation matched last week, where for the first 138 days of rainfall equals the entire 365 of 2014.
After five years of drought, it’s hard to say stop, but there’s a time, and this is it. It’s time to stop awhile because more North Texas rain does no more good, it just goes down the rivers and out to the Gulf.
WEEKEND SOCIAL EVENTS
Last weekend was jam packed with social events for North Texas fly fishers, as Tailwaters Fly Fishing Co., had their annual birthday bash, and coincidentally the Fly Fishing Film Tour made their stop in the beautiful museum district of Fort Worth, Texas.
Tailwaters Owner David Leake knows how to throw a party, and Saturday’s bash was no exception. Great deals on merchandise, and most important to me – great conversations with friends, and strangers who have recently discovered the Texas Fly Caster website, discussions about fly fishing and the conditions we are dealing with here in North Texas this spring. More on those conditions later.
It’s difficult to imagine a more beautiful venue, with a great ability to host the social and casting needs of fly fishers from around the area. A special thanks goes out to avid TFC reader, and MC Stephen Woodcock of the Backwoods Fort Worth, Texas, fly fishing department. There were some fantastic door prizes that saw a TFO Fly Rod as the number one drawing item, and that was nothing compared to the good year of film shorts we saw over the span of about 2-1/2 hours last night. There were roughly a dozen features, and I can’t think of a single one that I would have left out of the collection.
I still wonder exactly what the USACE is thinking. Look at those May flows. Why? I have unverified, but believable, information that the problem lies AT the Lewisville Lake Dam.
A FEW ANSWERS
Certainly, plenty of friends were asking about conditions on local lakes and those zones between lake chains, like the Elm Fork of the Trinity River between Lake Ray Roberts and Lake Lewisville – a specific area I call the “taint.”
There was a lot of water coming out of the dam earlier last week (see above graphic), but by the time I took Salsa to have a look, the USACE had (for some strange reason) cut the flow once again. What a difference a day made – from an epic flow of 5187cfs to a more civilized 982cfs. That river, at that flow, would be an epic float on kayaks, but for those of you contacting me about the Kayak Shuttle Service, you have to realize that all the parks in the Greenbelt Corridor are closed, and have additional signs on gates saying, “NO ENTRY.” I think they’re serious. As soon as the parks open, feel free to contact me about a shuttle for your trip down the Trinity at the Greenbelt Corridor.
And when it comes to Lake Ray Roberts? There were and are plenty of questions about that as well. Most of them quite honestly involved fortunetelling – predicting what’s going to happen after the rains. My answer: It’s really up to what the folks at USACE do next, isn’t it? All the vegetation we would have been doomed to hack through to get to fish … well that annoyance is several feet underwater. And it’s not going to grow underwater, or survive. So, on the one hand the water is a blessing – smothering out these five years of thick vegetation on the edges of the lake. On the other hand: If the lake drops suddenly, due to the USACE, that mass will have a chance to dry out, some of it survive, and the necessary decomposition will be delayed.
Every park and boat ramp on Lake Ray Roberts is currently closed as of this writing, and they will not be open before the Memorial Day weekend is over.
THE GOLDEN LINING
I have to believe this spring’s rains will leave us with a golden lining – carp opportunities that are as good as any we’ve had on this lake (and others) in this Century. Will we have to adapt? Yes. And that adaptation has already begun in earnest – see Lagoon Skiff Build in Cocoa, FL.
Of course there are the variables that we’ve come to know on North Texas Lakes over the years – a) zebra mussels that clear water extremely quickly, b) extreme weather including more drought, c) a lack of administrative attention / concern / pro-active planning from TPWD biologists, d) wild swings in O2 and particulate matter fish depend on, and finally e) the unknown factors yet ahead. We are dealing with Mother Nature after-all, and she’s obviously extremely pissed.
For those many of you who are waiting for me to tell you, “The switch has flipped, and it’s on,” you better believe I will let you know here (website / twitter / instagram) first. Each of those resources provide different timeliness in their information. I would suggest subscribing to the instagram feed today, because that is the fastest way I distribute information. And if you want those valuable details that go with a FISH FLASH, you’re going to want to pull the trigger on a paid subscription now.
Thanks for reading from wherever you are today. I hope you arrive safely to all your destinations wherever you go this week, and coming holiday weekend. As you know, I don’t do any fishing on public waters during holiday weekends, and this weekend will not be an exception.