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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!

Fly Fishing Across The Tracks and Down South of Cowtown With Some Soggy Bottom Boys

| November 16, 2017

Pitbull Along the Tracks

Anybody looking for their lost pitbull? A source told me that it used to have a pink collar around the head that was detached and thrown over to the side of the tracks (a clean cut).

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Monday Morning Sidewalk Looking Back at Sunday and Beyond

| June 12, 2017 | 1 Comment

This YouTube fly fishing video reminded me of the second video I ever uploaded to YouTube way back in 2008.



Good morning! It’s another Monday morning sidewalk, and I am dragging! I forgot just what a workout it was to walk-and-wade the flats, but was reminded – by the windy walk we took yesterday on Lake Ray Roberts. The skiff would’ve been futile on a day with winds that strong, so the only way for my guru to get a much needed carp fix was to go for a fish walk.

It was windy, about 20-miles-per-hour sustained, and the south wind was pushing clouds overhead, which “turned the lights on-and-off” in a matter of seconds as we sight casted for carp.

There were carp aplenty, but they were well protected by the stirred waters, the intermittent clouds and heightened senses. We had plenty of opportunities, and finally (I think as the water hit the right temp) scored a few fish.


The big question of course; is this the weather we will have tomorrow, or Friday? The patterns seem to be less drastic, but it also seems like the talking weatherheads are still hedging their bets a bit. If this wind drops, conditions improve drastically. It may be time to seek a creek, or river!

Thanks for reading! Let me know what you know, and what you want to know. No matter what, travel safely to-and-from wherever you go in the Messtroplex these days. It’s getting a lot better on the North Texas highways, but distracted drivers can still write your name in stone … you’ll never see it coming.

Friday Fly Fishing Report Plus New Subscriber Information!

| March 16, 2017 | 0 Comments

March 16 Texas Fly Fishing Report and weekly Statewide fishing report by TPWD.


This is the first Texas Fly Fishing Report in a long while! I hope you enjoy it and find it useful. I constantly try and tweak the format for your benefit, and this time that includes the weekly TPWD fishing reports at the end credits. They roll like old school end credits, so you fan fast-forward and pause when you see a water body you are interested in fishing this weekend! REMEMBER – standard fishing reports translate easily into your fly fishing plans. And if you don’t know how, just read more articles in Texas Fly Caster.


For Texas Fly Caster subscribers; there are a bunch of new benefits that far, far outweigh the $30-dollar yearly subscription. Now, you get private YouTube videos sent to you, and viewable only by subscribers. You also get a 10-percent discount on my guided trips, and 10-percent discount on all purchases at Not enough, you say? How about invitations to private Texas Fly Caster subscriber parties at the FLY BAR during the season, with me at the grill and a Denton Micro at the tap? It’ll be anything but a “club” type of gathering, that much is for sure!
+Shannon Drawe
+Texas Fly Caster

Water Wednesday Daylight Saving Soggy Bottom Boys

| March 15, 2017 | 0 Comments

Are you still adjusting to the time change?

There are actually several very interesting motivations behind DST. You can read more about how it came into existence here – Time and Date

Texas rainfall drought map

Click on map for more details!

As we look at the drought map, we can see “abnormally dry” conditions sneaking back into Texas this Spring Break week. I am hearing that although the water flows are cut from lake-to-lake, the flows earlier in the month have finally brought crappie and lingering hybrids up into the creeks.

My plan for a day of “Soggy Bottom Boys” fly fishing will wait until tomorrow, as I go far to hit creeks that feed Ray Roberts. It’s just too crowded (in the creeks) the closer we get to Denton-DFW, and “non-locals” have officially invaded the Ray Roberts watershed (and it is probably permanent – the new normal).

Fly Fishing Soggy Bottom Boys

SOGGY BOTTOM BOY – Courtesy Photo (3/14/17)

Notice, I just slid a new name for the creek fly fishers – “Soggy Bottom Boys” – into the mix? “Soggy Bottom Boys” are the vibrant segment of the fly fishing scene in Texas who I have wondered aloud about – earlier this year. In the movie business, they call it “foreshadowing,” and what we are foreshadowing here is a long look at the Texas Soggy Bottom Boys of fly fishing.

I’ve given my own Soggy Bottom experience a lot of thought recently, and I did come up with my original Soggy Bottom experience from fifth grade. Add a friend’s experience with his young son only yesterday, and you can see there is no chance of the Texas Soggy Bottom Boys ever facing extinction.

It’s off to work on the Airstream today, but the weather the rest of this week means one thing – chase fish! And you won’t see me, because I will most likely be going Soggy Bottom fly fishing in search of these mega crappie I have heard about recently. For annual subscribers, you will get a text from the Soggy any time I find something worth a bother, and there are two YouTube videos coming this week – one privately distributed to the subscribers, and one public report. 

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