Fly Fishing Port O’Connor Texas – More Choices to Make

| August 19, 2014 | 0 Comments

In the Monday Morning Sidewalk, we touched on flies for fly fishing the jetties at Port O’Connor, Texas. Today, we work our way up the line.

If you’re like me, then you may not have had many opportunities, or any opportunities, for casting at tarpon, jack crevalle and a myriad of other species found somewhere like the jetties near Port O’Connor (casting off a boat in this instance).

In the dogged search for the truth, with unending help from googlefish, it remains obvious that fluorocarbon rules. But we do have the issue of bite, toothy bites. So what is simple elsewhere, becomes a science here. Wire bite tippet, or heavy 40-80 fluorocarbon? A lot of these decisions come on the water because if we find the fluoro too easy to cut – wire is the ultimate next step.

If you are a regular reader, you know I am a bit partial to Seaguar. With no time to spare (ordering from the company), and nowhere near here having any on the shelf, the Cabela’s house brand caught my eye a few days ago when I spied the “Seaguar” name on the spools. It may not be their best (heck maybe it is), but it’s solid fluro in a 60#.

Formula? There as many opinions on leader formulas for big fish (say tarpon) leaders as there are fly fishers with big saltwater experience. From all I can gather, these leaders are where you want to a) tie in failure, or b) tie in a weight class if you’re chasing records. As much as I don’t want to lose any fish to breakage, something’s got to give. I certainly want to hear from you on this, but here’s how I am starting out:

Nine feet at 25#
Three feet at 60# (bite)

I don’t see any reason for complicating things unless or until they require it. With a knot from 25 to 60, that should be the break point. Wouldn’t it be fun to actually have to think about these things on the water! Again, even every knot on a tarpon leader has a cult-like fan club. It’ll be loop-to-loop to the fly line, and either a surgeon’s or another loop connection at the bite. I do want to take a look at Steve Huff’s Double Figure 8 Loop Knot mentioned at this website –, and see what that’s all about.

Because of what we are hearing about the coast (the usual smacks tearing everything up), and we’re hearing that the coast is “on fire” with fishing, we decided to heavily stock up on wire leader material and just about every spool of fluorocarbon is duplicated.

I can never recall anything like what I am hearing about the fishing on the Texas Gulf Coast right now, and all I can do is stop talking about it before I jinx it for us!

So going deep, and offshore? What kind of fly line stands a chance in those conditions? What kind of fly line do I need for dropping bombs on these fish? Well, I picked one up today at Tailwaters, and I will tell you about that one as well as other options and how to attach your fly line to your reel for this particular setup.

Missing You on the Monday Morning Sidewalk

| August 18, 2014 | 0 Comments

This week will look a little thin – if you are looking for it to unfold from this keyboard to your eyes. I’ll be stocking up the words on the road; we’re headed for Port O’Connor, Texas, midweek, and as you know it’s not a hop-skip-or-jump from here to there.

We’re in amazing times on Lake Ray Roberts. The carp have gone into hiding, and the habitat, as you can see in photographs taken Sunday, is inhospitable for anglers. I mentioned many months ago that we would have an “interesting” situation if the water came up into all this vegetation all at once, and that’s exactly what we have.
#flyfishing texas fly fishing lake ray roberts texas
This is what the current “habitat” at Lake Ray Roberts looks like – hard to wade and no tails, just an occasional slurp.

Bushwhacking through this growth is a daunting and exhausting prospect. Standing in a foot-and-a-half of water and pounding down brush two to four feet high, so thick in places that it lays down into a soft porous matt, can take the wind right out of you. And don’t forget the heat and humidity … talk about a workout.

Listen between the cracks in the bush, and you may hear a slurp or two from a carp or two. Right now those carp that are around are slurping seeds off the top of the water in the safe cover – virtually uncastable, and almost completely impervious to peril. It’s an unusual cocktail indeed.

It’s all so unusual that two guided carp trips this week actually have to be moved.


It’s hard to know what kind of information I can get out on Thursday and Friday from Port O’Connor, perhaps check the Instagram feed for photographs, or the twitter feed @texasflycaster for both words and images.

Part of a fly fishing trip, to somewhere extraordinary to us, is the accumulation of information. (Heck, that may be how you got here – looking for unique information!) In true fly fishing (casting) tradition, a successful trip begins at … the fly. Flies for saltwater are easy enough to compile, but it becomes a little more specific when you are trying to find flies for a specific fish, in a specific place at a specific time of year.

We’re after fish that feed along the Port O’Connor jetties, sizable fish that have a reputation of eating almost anything that looks like baitfish. Simple enough. That means Clousers, bigger than average and heavier than average – to get down and handle the current. Fly color – saltwater. Hooks in stainless steel or duratin coated so they don’t rust before they hit the water. And my preference for eyes and flash always leans to gold for the salt.

But as the research into flies continues, we run into nuances like, “What about tarpon?” That leads to more research, and investing some (of my “semi-precious”) Tiemco 600-SP hooks in 1 and 1/0 – gripped by Enrico Puglisi fibers and tailed by rabbit (standard width). And what colors do tarpon like? The colors I don’t have (in Puglisi) of course! Chartreuse, yellow, purple, black and blue can all be viably woven into the deadly Tarpon Toad. If you need to see a video of how to tie the tarpon toad, why not go to the source?

How to tie the tarpon toad by Gary Merriman –

As simple as the fly is, it actually requires dexterity and accuracy in cutting down the Puglisi at the finish. The dexterity (for me) comes in when lining up / turning the clots of Puglisi fiber, and then cinching them down effectively. I feel like I need to abandon the tension of the bobbin, and actually hold the thread and do my figure-eights with extreme hand tension. Even after doing that, you can still stack the fibre like Gary Merriman shows in the video. I have yet to do a satisfactory (to me) final cut of the fibers into the proper shape, but there’s time to tie another dozen in the wee hours.

Then there are always distractions, like the beautiful flies tied and photographed by Port O. guide Captain Scott Sommerlatte. Unfortunately, you can’t see those unless you are one of those “Facebookers” – but it was a public enough forum that I think sharing it with you here will do for you what it did for me – create a huge distraction! These flies of his may catch fish, but they certainly caught this fly fisherman’s eye!


Although it’s a rapid countdown to Thursday and Friday at Port O., I am going to try and run a story tomorrow on rod, reel and line selection for this specific fly fishing trip. And If

Tenkara Class With Rob Woodruff in Broken Bow October 4

| August 17, 2014 | 0 Comments

tenkara fishing #tenkara broken bow oklahoma fishing

Tenkara Class
October 4, 2014
Broken Bow, OK

Tenkara, the traditional Japanese form of fly fishing, continues to rapidly grow in popularity in the US, Japan and Europe. It is a fun, simple and effective means of catching Trout and other species. I began fishing Tenkara style in 2010 and began to offer guided trips on the Lower Mountain Fork River in 2011. I became a member of the Tenkara USA Guide Network that same year.

tenkara class broken bow - courtesy Rob Woodruff

I will be offering an in-depth Tenkara Class on Saturday, October 4 on the Mountain Fork River. The class will consist of a 4 hour on the water session and two hours of fly tying instruction at The Forest Heritage Center covering traditional and modern Tenkara flies.

Topics include line and rod choices, rigging, fly selection, casting, presentations, strategies and playing & landing Trout.

Tenkara rods, lines, flies and fly tying materials will be provided. Students are responsible for waders, wading shoes (rentals are available), Oklahoma Fishing License and fly tying tools. Everyone is welcome to bring their own Tenkara rod if they prefer.

The class will be limited to 8 students. In order to maximize the time and attention I can give students while on the water, the class will be divided into two groups. The Morning Group will be on the river from 7:00-11:00AM, the Afternoon Group will fish from 2:00-6:00PM. Everyone will participate together in the fly tying session from 12:00-2:00PM.

Tuition is $125.00

- Rob Woodruff

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