Breathing Room For All

| July 11, 2024 | 0 Comments

There’s so much room on Lake Ray Roberts right now, even the afternoon crowd that rages onto the two open ramps – Isle DuBois and Jordan – hardly make waves on Ray Roberts.


For the second time I can remember, a huge migration of grasshoppers has ditched on Lake Ray Roberts, Texas. I am confident plenty of others have seen this in the past, perhaps even some people I know, and kept tight lipped about it. Why?

Truth be told, these grasshoppers are tasty. I saw last time, and this time, catfish as long as your arm, coming to the surface and sucking them down with their pouty lips. The little cats are all over the place, like strays on Cannery Row.

And if it turns dead calm? Mega carp, pushing 20-pounds in some cases, follow their cat friends to the top – SPOT WITH THEIR EYES – and eat grasshoppers too! I have seen this, and caught carp, beautiful specimens on a grasshopper in THIRTY FEET or deeper Lake Ray Roberts, Texas. Will that happen again?

While it was raining kamikaze grasshoppers Tuesday, the wind did not subside, and all I saw were those catfish and some sand bass. That is a variable that is different from the first time I experienced this – the wind and being on a skiff and not a kayak (so it was more than nine years ago).


The cause of this mass grasshopper suicide attack? Rain. My thinking is the rain caused a massive grasshopper outbreak, in this case EAST of Lake Ray Roberts. Whether they are looking for more grass, and house siding to eat, or just thinning their own population: These extremely healthy and full-grown adult grasshoppers fly west. Maybe, their energy gives out over water, or maybe they just need a drink. They did cling to life on my skiff, and they do spazz for quite a long time on the water. That movement on the water? There’s a KEY for fly fishers.

The next KEY is to be patient, be patient if you get a chance to present to carp or cats with your magnificent grasshopper pattern. These fish are shy, and exposed. They take a good hard look and sometimes a sniff before they eat. My last experience of this phenomenon gave such an adrenalin rush … I still remember it.


Remember, at this time both Sanger Boat Ramp and the parks of Isle DuBois are still devastated – frozen in time, quiet, like the aftermath of a nuclear event. Heck this may be where the zombies come from. It is eerily silent fishing around the park waters, and you can still see overturned trailers, abandoned tents and all the blowing trash of a rapid evacuation event where fallout remains. But … there are no campers, no people.

HOWEVER, with a watercraft, you can still get in the gates of Isle DuBois Park, go to the ramps and launch — and you should! This happens to be one of THOSE opportunities that does not come along without a tornado or massive flooding on Lake Ray Roberts. We can’t predict when this will happen again. It may be next year, or it may be ten years – and that’s a long time now.

Ray Roberts Grasshoppers
  • FLY: Bright Yellow Gold Grasshopper | Size 6-8 (Big) | Good jiggly legs | Dark Brown Eyes
  • Eight Weight at least!
  • Floating Line
  • Long Leader MONO (8-12 Pound tip)
  • Good water CLARITY – CALM is best
  • Find Hoppers and WAIT

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Category: Adventure, Backcasting, Fishing Reports, Fly Fishing For Carp, North Texas

About the Author () is where to find my other day job. I write and photograph fish stories professionally, and for free here! Journalist by training. This site is for telling true fishing news stories, unless otherwise noted.

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