Monday Morning Sidewalk – Watching the Spring Signs for Fly Fishing Green Lights

| March 19, 2018 | 0 Comments

Fly Fishing’s Spring Signs Everywhere

Crane Fly

Read about the Tipulidae.

Good Monday morning! What strange days we are living through, as a Nation, these days. Bombs going off in Austin, bridges falling in Miami, a President protesting too much … it seems the only thing we can count on is the seasons changing and the fish coming back to hand and reassuring us that no matter what else happens – we can take a very few things – things that matter – for granted.

So as we battle the relentless wind that takes us off the water for weeks at a time, we have to be observant, and measured and patient.

Denton Redbud Tree Flowers

Redbuds in the Redbud Capital of Texas – Denton, Texas 2018.

In North Texas, we observe the crane fly coming around now – around our outdoor porches and lights. And we observe the tame and wild redbud trees flowering their pink hues that earned Denton, Texas, the title, “Redbud Capital of Texas.” I guess Texas towns have always had this thing about being the capital of something, or being attached to the biggest of something.

As we measure, we look at air temperatures, wind speeds and water temperatures. On the occasion of floods and full lakes, we also look at flow rates out of the lake dams – those flows that give us reason to chase sand bass and hybrids (and the occasional five-pound bass) that respond to those flows.

  • An app that like for a snapshot of weather is called, Wunderground, and is available in your app store.
  • The weather radar I use all the time, and have had for years, is called Hi-Def Radar, and is very accurate.
  • Here is a link to your USGS Hydrological Data for Texas – USGS Texas Water on the Go.

I hope you got a feel for the esteem I hold Lefty Kreh in from this article last week – Lefty Kreh Leaves Us With a Vast Inheritence – We Stand on His Shoulders. I am still thinking about what made him special as a personality, and one more thing that comes to mind is that when he talked to us individually, I felt like he would always remember each conversation because I always will. In truth, his connections to fly fishers were singular, but in the multiple thousands and thousands. There’s no real way to say he connected to us individually, but IT FELT LIKE HE DID. And that is what someone who has “it” can do – connect in a way that makes each of us feel connected to him. It is a priceless skill. I imagine I will have more to say about him in coming days and weeks.

Well, this is a week that would be absolutely perfect – if not for the wind. I will have to seek shelter in order to fish at all, but we gotta’ do what we gotta’ do to get our shots in. There’s more information in coming days, as I wrap up some things, and open a few new cans of worms … so stay tuned, and feel free to help out the fly fishing community by SAYING SOMETHING about your spring fly fishing adventures in 2018. After ten years of doing this, it should be obvious to you that your SILENCE IS NOT GOLDEN – it’s LEADEN.

Lefty Kreh Leaves Us With a Vast Inheritance – We Stand on His Shoulders

| March 15, 2018 | 1 Comment

We Stand on Lefty Kreh’s Shoulders.

The news trickled in to me as I was working on some springtime fly projects. Bernard Victor Kreh, our hero, our Ted Williams, our Michael Jordan … gone from us at 93-years-old.

At first I thought I would not have anything to say, and in fact, I had to put this machine away and sleep on the news.

Every time I was around Lefty I could count on at least two things, 1) he was an old-school nice guy, always a gentleman and aware of the value and power of his words (and jokes), and, 2) he was going to flirt with my wife, and everyone else’s wife or girlfriend. I am old enough now to say confidently – he just had a way about him.

I’ve lost count of the number of books he has authored, or coauthored – enough to fill one of our shelves in our fly tying nooks. And then there are the videos and TV appearances, the latter of which showed just how many famous people believed Lefty was THE MAN when it came to someone to be seen fly fishing with anywhere in the world. The videos were capped off, at the right time and the right way with “The Complete Cast,” a coda on the revolutionary casting techniques he developed, and I call the “Kreh Cast.” That video — similar in presentation in part, to a suggestion I made to a friend at the company that produced that video — relied heavily on the participation of Lefty’s from his friend Ed Jaworowski. Thank God everyone involved with that project saw it thought to the finish.

I was lucky enough to be on the set and do a tiny bit of that recording, and during a break in the processes, I took the stage to show Lefty how bad I was, and find the problem I was having. He immediately saw the problem (causing severe elbow pain) and fixed me – permanently. That was a great visit. He also shared information with me about a camera I had that he also used – and we both had the same problems with – which he had found a work-around that solved the problem. We talked cameras, photography techniques (ask me about his flash technique for photographing fish), his time at KODAK … it was just a rolling conversation.


Some things stick in my mind when it comes to the rich, vast history of Lefty Kreh, and they’re not fly fishing related. Lefty was nineteen when he fought at the Battle of the Bulge in December 1944 – January 1945, and still had the sting of frostbite on occasion. Try and imagine your nineteen-year-old in that battle. Lefty’s blood (blood-DNA) is stored by the US Government because he was exposed to anthrax, and as we see, it had no lasting effects on him.

His ultimate gift to fly fishing – his casting techniques – is a scientific breakdown and rebuilding of the old tenants of fly rod casting. It caused a huge amount of controversy, and it created divisions in the tweed-wearing community. The new techniques were the breaking down of the wall of exclusivity and elitist secrecy that had gripped the fly fishing community forever. Lefty did nothing less than bring fly fishing to the masses by simplifying, refining and methodically breaking down the new cast into more attainable techniques based on an individual’s abilities. I think Lefty saw that the old-school-clock casting methods were not matched to the modern fly rod. His techniques were matched to modern fly rod building, like the company Temple Fork Outfitters was building and bringing to the masses – creating a whole new market and attitude toward lower-end fly rod manufacturing. It was a match made in heaven – a cast for the masses and a rod for the masses. It worked.

Lefty Kreh on Set The Complete Cast

That’s where I crossed through Lefty’s orbit – learning his cast about ten years ago, and turning a small flame of obsessive-frustration into a raging fire. Once I figured out what he was selling, I bought in and the “Kreh Cast” rescued my attitude. The “Kreh Cast” allowed me to get good enough that I no longer had to spend an inordinate amount of time thinking about casting: A gift that keeps on giving.

The very next cast you make, say out loud, “This one’s for you Lefty Kreh.” I find that fitting, don’t you?

Years ago, when my working situation was much different, I made a pact with a ( no longer) friend to attend Lefty’s funereal. I figured I’d just be one among thousands, jets overhead, lying in state at the US Capital … you know, a funereal recognized by the entire country. But, I don’t know what the family’s reality will be, and I am pretty sure the government won’t be doing any fly-overs. That’s too bad, and the fact I find myself unable to attend (if allowed) is a pretty painful ding in my cork.

Now, we say farewell to another of the Greatest Generation. His contributions to our sport – the greatest, sacrifices for our Country, his living and thriving through the most fantastic era in the US economy — never to be duplicated or repeated. Thank you Bernard Victor Kreh. (02/26/1925 – 03/14/2018).


| March 12, 2018 | 0 Comments

Fly Fishing Not Impacted by Time Change

You guessed it! I am running behind, on the face of the clock at least, because of that wonderful time change – and it is truly WONDERFUL!

Not only does it smell, feel and taste like spring … it’s beginning to look like spring. I walked through a flock of crane flies Saturday morning, on my way to where no one would want to go, but there they were the cranes are here! Then Saturday night brought the time change, Sunday brought some dastardly winds – clocked at up to 45-miles-per-hour around here, and a sharp cool down last night and this morning. Thankfully, the cool is getting burned away by the giant star we revolve around, and our excitement builds.

Texas Fly Fishing YouTube


For those of you who have either used my fly fishing guide service, or to the paid content on this site (now defunct), you are automatically privy to the MICRO DETAILS on HOTSPOTS I find while doing my story research. Be sure to contact me if you want to subscribe to the Texas Fly Caster YouTube Insider Report, and we can make that happen. I estimate there to be about thirty of these supplemental subscriber videos a year, and they will certainly save you a dollar’s-worth of time and effort. These reports contain the information NOBODY wants anyone to share.

Needless to say, it is time to book your trip with me, and contact me for lessons if you are new to the fly fishing world. I have already had a number of contacts, and I appreciate that! You are the motivation for all these reports and show-and-tell videos.

We have to leave this Monday Morning Sidewalk at that, as I have an epic anniversary today, and attention must be undivided.


Texas Fly Fishing Report 030918 – Spring Has Sprung as Dams Draw Down

| March 9, 2018 | 0 Comments



The Texas Fly Fishing Report is back from the winter break, rightfully so and ready to go! We have plenty of fishing, fly fishing action, to report today. The report’s home base is in North Texas, so in such a large state conditions will vary wildly.

What we are experiencing in this part of Texas is a fantastic pattern for fly fishers that starts below a lot of the lake dams. Numerous lakes are beyond conservation pool as this report goes out, and authorities are releasing water to bring those lake levels down. I have documented those releases, and the fish caught during those releases, over several years (beginning in 2010).

This phenomenon never happened during the drought years (about 4 years) as you may recall, and I expected us to continue along the downward drought spiral going into the Texas fishing season in 2018. But we have had surprisingly good slow rains that have saturated the ground, pushed back the drought map (away from North Texas), filled the lakes and now come the lake releases in advance of the real rain during the “rainy months.”

Right now, the fly fishing is absolutely fantastic on these releases – for the most part. All we have to do is find a releases, like the one at Ray Roberts Dam, and go throw a few good tight loops. Sure, these places (especially the Ray Roberts Dam) are overrun with conventional fishermen who finally found their pot of gold, and you will see them there day-after-day, in the same spot, slaughtering fish day-after-day. And they leave behind a mountain of trash and submerged lines in the water to tangle and lose flies on, but if you can handle the crowds and the carnage? Well, like you see in the video; these releases can be one big box of chocolates. The big bass are coming in, the sand bass are up and full-on running, and if you sprinkle in some hybrid action … what’s so hard about that?


You will want a 7 or 8 weight rod to be able to fight these fish in huge current, and be able to turn them toward you.

I like a reel I can count on – with good drag and a big enough spool to manage line to ALWAYS go to reel. Going to the reel is very important in these situations, and that is because line gets caught on everything in riprap fly fishing – rocks, fences, bushes and everything else we find in these dirty situations.

I am using a fluorocarbon leader with either an 8 or 10 pound tip – remember you can control depth by what your tip is – bigger is shallower.

Year after year, the red over white Clouser catches these fish. But your hook needs to be something extreme, like a Tiemco 600SP, or a circle hook, which I have gone to to allow fish to hook themselves on a slack drift. The circle hooks are great, and do exactly what they are designed to do – and cost a fraction of what super-sharp normal hooks cost.

Where I am fishing, the fish are in very tight bunches, so you will have to search and fan cast until you find them. Once you find them, don’t go looking elsewhere – keep going back to the spot you found. The spot you see in the video, for example, was about 10 feet across!

Spring Fly Fishing Sounds Abound – All Aboard the Sound Train

| March 6, 2018 | 0 Comments

What is Fly Fishing Music?

It’s way past time for one of those famous Texas Fly Caster Musical Interludes! Just like the buzz I get from spring fly fishing, music seems to piggyback the excitement – like a freshman on South Padre spring break. This spring (GOD let it be spring NOW please) I am more loaded for musical bear than ever in the past.


Okay, that was a sensational headline, but I finally got everything lined up on the skiff at the END of last season – for music on-board. There’s video of the cutting of holes into a perfectly good boat, and there’s the running of the marine grade speaker wire (correct gauge for Ohm needs), and now all that is left is to mount the head unit and wire it up.

I really don’t know why any technical poling skiff owner would roll silent. I mean, just being on the skiff and moving is beyond joyous and a custom sound track to go with? Icing on the proverbial cake, in my book. Of course, the most difficult part of the install is what’s left to go, and that’s why it seemed like a good stopping point when the season closed me out last year. Continue Reading

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