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Rain on the Sidewalk Plus Lake Texoma Striper Blitz

| June 4, 2018 | 0 Comments

FRESHWATER STRIPER ON FLY LAKE TEXOMA TEXAS

Thunder rolls around North Texas this fine Monday Morning, giving me cover to put out a “Sidewalk Column” that has a little more meat on the bone …

I have multiple confirmations that it is once again one of “those times” on Lake Texoma, Texas. For those of you who fly fish: Just because Texoma has all the character of an ocean, it doesn’t mean you can’t drop a fly line and catch magnificent freshwater striper as long as your arm. And I’m talking about full-length arms when I say that! The word is they are running top-to-bottom, and even in close (see my archives for nearshore kayak spots).

There are tricks to the trade of a fly for the bite of a big striper on Lake Texoma. Sure, topwater is topwater, and if that is on? we have to whack-a-mole on that all day long. If not on top, we have to open the drawstring on the bag of voodoo that catches striper on fly – AT DEPTH.

MULTIPLE RODS

Like it or not, Texoma is a place that calls for multiple fly rods – multiple heavy fly rods. If you want to bring a knife to a gun fight, I can’t help you. We’re talking about getting a full sink line out and away from the boat with a big bait pattern on it. AND we’re talking about having a rod (ready to go) that can launch a topwater fly into the middle of a blitz – WITHOUT blowing the school out. So dust off yer’ 8’s, 9’s and 10’s. This is why you have them, right?

So we have heavy rods for:

  • full sink line
  • topwater
  • pounding the rocks for smallmouth in between

SINKERS

The hardest part of using a sink line (for me) is learning to be patient with the sink. The water is deep, and the sink is slow, slower than you think. I want to feel my fly scratching the bottom before I even think about starting a retrieve. Snags? Oh, hell yes. That just tells me I am in the zone.

Remember YOUR LEADER needs to be solid fluorocarbon and at least a fifteen tip. That is part of the rub – bigger diameter leaders sink slower and ark sooner than small ones. That weight also allows you to pull hooks free from most rocks (check your points after a snag!).

FLOATERS

Presentation? We don’t need no stinkin’ presentation during a striper blitz. We need some distance and very little accuracy. I mean … can you hit a fifty-yard square target at fifty feet? Still, you have to launch a lunch worthy of an eight-pound striper. Saltwater lines with a heavy tip and true float means switching to monofilament leaders. And you might have to dial down to an eight or ten pound tip to keep the floating character of the fly, although does it really matter that much during a blitz? Nope.

SMALLIE STALKING

If you can’t get a grip on the striper action, or it takes a break? Chase those huge smallmouth bass along the rocks of Texoma. You’ll find them just about anywhere there are rocks, and rocky points jutting out (dam turnarounds). I still think you’ll need to be deeper than you want, but dialing down to a six or seven weight can give your arm a break while you watch for the next blitz on the horizon. MAKE THE MOST USE OF YOUR TIME AND EFFORTS ON Lake Texoma, Texas! It takes so very much time and effort to do this lake properly and safely.

FLIES

I knew you’d ask about flies eventually. Meat, bring the meat. These fish are used to big gorging meals of bait. So much so, in fact, I wonder why more people don’t saltwater chum for striper on Texoma. Imagine a frozen chum-ball putting out the dinner bell? If you can call them up by slapping a paddle on the water? Chumming could fill a boat, couldn’t it? Bring the meat, BIG meat.

TIE YOUR OWN flies! My thinking on deep striper fly fishing has evolved when it comes to my hook selection. My first years were marked by expensive saltwater hooks that had devastating penetration – Tiemco 600SP’s. Nowadays, I like the circle hook option. Why? They are still sharp, although they do not penetrate skull bone – THEY DO hang the lip and THEY DON’T let go. It allows for the delayed recognition of a take that we often experience with deep flies and heavy sinking lines. They hit to stun (we miss that feeling), then they bite and are on – and we feel that!

RETRIEVE

Another complication of the sinking line stalk of striper on Texoma is that these fish are rapacious. If they see a fly lallygagging by them? Nope. They want the chase and a head-on stun kill and then eat. Fast retrieve – as in two-handed-rod butt-tucked-under-your-arm retrieve. This is a “complication” because it quickly takes a fly out of the striking depth (check your electronics often).


Thanks for reading today. The rain kicked on during this writing this morning – pretty sorry weather-heads we have on TV in North Texas! So my morning photo shoot is cancelled, and I guess I have to actually extinguish one end of my candle for the day. Have a fantastic week!

texoma striper

Conventional caught striper – Lake Texoma Texas – thanks to CS Keating! Who’s that fat boy in the picture?

A special thanks to Mr. Keating for being the boots-on-the-ground for that Texoma inspiration. I am going to have to get me some of that this week (if nothing else gets in my way!).


DESTINATION SOUTH PADRE ISLAND TEXAS OCTOBER 2018

I am zeroing in on dates for a South Padre Island, Texas, week(s) in the fall, and there are spaces for other fly fishers who want to hit the best saltwater habitat and action in Texas – on a budget! I am not guiding on this trip, but simply hosting a home base for DIY’ers to come-and-go fish as they please and pay for lodging by the day. Yes, I will gladly show-and-tell you what the action is and where it is – a boat is not absolutely necessary!!!

Look for this to develop on a new page of this site called, “DESTINATIONS” – coming this week.

DESTINATION PILOT POINT TEXAS

Pilot Point, Texas, is another Texas destination that is going to be featured on this new page as well. Here’s a link to the Western Son Distillery story that ran recently in the Denton Record Chronicle – Western Son courtesy DRC. Unfortunately, for my tastebuds, Whistle Post Brewery has brewed it’s last beer.

Texas Weather Beating Us Down

| May 4, 2018 | 0 Comments

Here’s the deal. Timing is everything when it comes to fly fishing.

Well, you’ve heard it before, if you are a TFC old-timer, but the vast majority of you are (statistically) fresh meat for the Texas Fly Fishing follies. Timing is everything. And, across the board, the weather continues to create bad times in Spring 2018 Texas fly fishing. April was nearly a total loss, and May came in like a lion this week.

 

What does this weather mean, and what does it do to our fly fishing intentions for 2018?

I was not too surprised to view last week’s valuable Texas Insider Fishing Report, and hear guides across Texas phone in their reports on the “tough conditions” presented by our weather in April (now into May). And these sad spring conditions reach all the way to the Texas Gulf Coast fishing and down from there. It may not be as intense there, but it still puts a damper on things.

For the unique fly fishing waters of Lake Ray Roberts, this weather means a bumper crop of carp again this year. Two words to you blood sport carp bow killers, and I’ll use the initials if you’re reading this; F. Y. and get a life. Seriously though, the rain right now does two things — protects the fish from predation, and second, it keeps spawning habitat hydrated. And that’s what I saw when I was …

SNEAKING BETWEEN RAINDROPS YESTERDAY

The wind was howling as the skies cleared about 1:30 on Thursday, and that’s all the window I needed to go walk, wade and search for some sanity. The carp are there, and in pretty good numbers. The stage is something of a pre-spawn, with females lethargic to the point, well watch the video … and the males? They are daisy chaining, grab-tailing and looking for action of the S E X kind – more than eating. You remember how it was when you were that age, right? For me to get an eat was quite a feat. It took several fly changes, and subscribers to the YouTube Channel’s Private Channel will get that fly name and a photograph of the fly that did the trick. I didn’t miss being on the skiff at all – because I would have blown right by the fish in those winds!

Today, Friday, May 4, may the force be with you – because the rains came back, and they’ve been going for about 8 hours now. Tomorrow promises to break good, and so do the next 5-7 days. Of course the wind will crush a few of those, but this is the longest straight run so far this season.

FLY GUIDE SERVICE/PRICE CHANGES

Pilot Point Fishing Guide Ray Roberts TXMake sure you contact me for the newest pricing for my guide services for 2018. This one supersedes all others, and breaks some new ground as far as scheduling and time on the water. Be sure to check out the brand new page FLY FISHING TRAVEL which gives you the most complete picture of where you can stay, and what you can do if you want to spend an entire weekend near Lake Ray Roberts, Texas. I will have information provided by the businesses there – in hand – next week, and can mail you a set of these brochures and business cards about Pilot Point and Lake Ray Roberts – ON REQUEST. Carp on the fly, on Ray Roberts, no longer should be considered an in-and-out thing. It may be hard to believe, but it really is true!

Thanks for watching and reading! Go. Go. Go.

Monday Morning Sidewalk – Big Changes in the Local Fly Force

| April 30, 2018 | 2 Comments

Woodruffs Blue Damsel Lodge Hollensed All Over the Globe

We have ourselves a THREE F day to start the week that leads us from April into the promised land of May this year. Fly Fishing Frustration rules the day, and according to the weatherman – most of the week ahead in North Texas. What else is new? If you watched last Friday’s Texas Fly Fishing Report, then you know I told it like it is when it comes to April 2018. It wasn’t pretty, and it wasn’t chamber of commerce either. I can’t wait for April to be OVER! PS – I will leave the simulcast on FakeBook the rest of today at Facebook Texas Fly Caster.

Rob & Jenny Woodruff Missoula Montana Bound

Speaking of chamber of commerce … I guess the power fly duo – Mr. & Mrs. Woodruff – are headed toward greener pastures than those of Beaver’s Bend, Oklahoma! Reports from BendBow, would have you would think they were catching big honey browns two at a time all winter long, but word is they are officially timesharing between BendBow and running a fly fishing lodge in Montana. The move makes perfect sense on every level.

They’ll be the new lodge managers at Blue Damsel on Rock Creek, not far from Missoula. There won’t be any more guiding for bass in East Texas according to Woodruff, BUT they will be in Oklahoma from November to February, then hitching up the wagons and heading for Missoula for March – October season. If you are a trout lover, this sounds like a dream come true. Rob’s experience with trout, some very difficult trout and conditions, instantly make him (and her of course) into a real force where fish and water flow freely – in my humble opinion. Add his entomological knowledge? I can’t wait to see the reports!

Flywater Angling Steve Hollensed

So, I would guess that the water that the Woodruffs leave behind is water that our other regional Orvis Guide Workforce – Steve Hollensed – picks up full-time. Steve, as you will recall, also has the fly striper business on Texoma. However, if you take a look at his website; it looks a lot like he’s heading for fishier pastures as well — fly fishing in Argentina, fly fishing in British Columbia and the well worn fly fishing from El Pescador Lodge in Belize. Somebody’s got to pick up that East Texas bass slack, don’t you think?

I will have another of the subscriber only video insiders coming out this week. I don’t even know what it will contain, but I know you are itching for some GOOD information, and I’m here to scratch.

END NOTE – If you know any of these three guides, Steve / Jenny / Rob, we would love to hear more about your experiences with them over the years. Feel free to COMMENT, if you, ANY OF you, would like to do so. Don’t worry, this isn’t Facebook, and this site does not harbor any of your information for simply commenting on a story – NOTHING – ZIP – ZILCH – NADA.

GOT NEWS? If you have any news, feel free to send it along. You know we’re more news than fluff, or chamber of commerce around here, right? I am also running still photographs you send in – on the Texas Fly Fishing Report whenever those hit the airwaves, so text me your photographs with – date / general location / names / descriptions.

Friday Fly Fishing Report and Events You Should Experience in North Texas This Weekend

| April 27, 2018 | 0 Comments

Fish Aren’t Biting? Time To Grab a Bite and hit a real FESTIVAL!

Thanks for backing your viewing – of the Texas Fly Fishing Report – with some more information on what is going on in the North Texas area IN WRITING.

This comes out in advance of the video report which will be added to this post later today. Along with the video on the Texas Fly Caster YouTube Channel, that report will be simulcast live on the Russian Channel called Facebook. So welcome to all of our Communist friends via Facebook! Once that simulcast is recorded to (I call it) FaKebook, it will be deleted from their record. One cannot be too safe when it comes to FaKebook sharing these days!

 

STARDATE SUPPLEMENTAL

There may have been a worse fly fishing April in the last ten years, but I can’t remember a single one. This April (2018) has been marred by the strange weather patterns that allow for, at best, two days of fly fishing a week, and even then the damage from the prior days has carried over into the good days. For example, yesterday could have been fairly good, and I was out early with Finn, but no. Expectations and a decade of log books suggested it is time to look for carp on the warmer rocky points, as they begin to congregate and point in to the coves. If only the temperature were above 50-degrees when we started, and if only the water temperature were on the rise, and if only the wind were dialed down to (the predicted) five from the howling fifteen. Not only were the fish not there, they WERE NOT THERE.

So you and I are left to wait and rely on the internal clocks of our quarry – that is the final trigger that always gets pulled, regardless of conditions. I would suggest you bide your time at your neighborhood or pasture ponds, wait for your rivers to settle, head for the salt, or enjoy this weekend’s festivities …

DISSONANT CONVERGENCES

Just like there are harmonic (some would say dissonant) convergences of fly fishing events here in Texas, North Texas in particular, this weekend offers another convergence of events that our highly evolved audience may enjoy and bring family along with no hesitation.

While Denton continues to evolve at a pace I have never seen in my 36 years here, it still offers some down-home grass root fun. For example the Denton Arts & Jazz event, a true “FESTIVAL,” is going on this weekend in Denton. If you are a walk winer, and want a parking place up against the door everywhere you go? Too bad. You’ll have to walk a little – very little – to get to this event. Keep in mind, it is a Denton walk — meaning it is safer and distances are much closer than in the Messtroplex. And this event is bordered by some fantastic beer and food opportunities.

There are also events surrounding the FESTIVAL that glom on to the hundreds of thousands of people that attend each year. One such is the Grand Opening at Cave Handcrafted Home Furnishings put on by owner and artist Mark Holderbaum. Full disclosure – I built Cave’s website. The list of different related events are too long to print here, but are what makes the Arts & Jazz qualify as a TRUE FESTIVAL.

AUBREY & PILOT POINT

Downtown Pilot Point Texas Destination

There’s a lot of flesh being put on the bones of these two small North Texas towns these days. And I don’t just mean the chicken-fried-stakes at Buff’s in Pilot Point, Texas.

SATURDAYS in Pilot Point mean the Whistle Post Brewery and Western Son Distillery are open for business! Located near the tracks, and about a block as the crow flies, from the increasingly famous Lowbrows, these three places are arguably becoming the center of gravity for new life in Pilot Point. Restaurants are popping up there now, and this is all framed by the fact that barely three miles away lies the most popular walk-wade carp flat in Texas.

SATURDAY is also the culmination of the Aubrey Pasture Pickins event. I’ve already gone over the history of the event, and this is most likely the LAST TIME THIS EVENT will be held here. No holds are barred, and deals are to be made for antiques, rustic pieces for your outdoor bar, fence posts, horse trailers, boots, faded jeans and old western memorabilia. When it’s gone, IT’S GONE. Nearby the Pasture Pickins is a little row of businesses that include the “World Famous MOMS,” and, “The Upper Park Cafe” on South Main in historic buildings still standing there. Here is your map hint — https://goo.gl/maps/8iKweoNZdET2 Be sure to watch the Instagram feed or the Twitter feed for photos from the Pasture today. Here is their FaKebook page – Aubrey Pasture Pickins.

Thanks for reading, and being able to read! THANK A TEACHER YOU KNOW! I hope you take the time later today to tune into the Commie-Cast or watch the YouTube report for information about fly fishing in your neck of the Texas woods.

Putting Pilot Point on the Map – Friday The 13th. Fly Fishing and More

| April 13, 2018 | 0 Comments

Putting Pilot Point Texas on the map as a Fly Fishing Family Destination

Texas Fly Fishing Report

Got your black cat bone, and your salt over the shoulder while walking under a ladder? It’s pushing 9am CST, and still dark here in North Texas. Yes, the weather is beating us down once again as she has pretty much all week.

The wind we’ve been having this week isn’t a novelty, charming or wild-west romantic. It’s a physical beating that even went on through last night. Our lakes and ponds have been churned like the entire contents have been run through a ronco bass-o-matic. Even if the wind stops this very minute, it will be a couple of days before the color is back to normal (used to take a lot longer before the zeebs).

I did get on the water this week for just a little time before the wind kicked on, and I can say the water temperatures are still cold enough to be slowing the spring bite. Of course, you who fly fish further south are probably having a better time of it already – at least as far as temperatures go.

This spring is unique, and I don’t remember one to compare this to. It may not have been cold enough this winter to kill our yard bugs, but it was intensely cold enough to cool the water down. I measured it  at 58-degrees on Tuesday on Lake Ray Roberts. And the wind …

CAN’T FISH? CAN PLAY!

For those readers who can’t fish due to the weather, but are looking to get out and play? I have been assembling a promotional on things to do, see and experience in Pilot Point, Texas, as well as all around Lake Ray Roberts, Texas. I ran into five – THAT’S FIVE – University of North Texas students fishing out on a neighborhood pond earlier this week, and NONE, ZERO had ever heard of Lake Ray Roberts. Talk about PISS POOR TPWD PROMOTION? This is it. I am betting the number of students that don’t know about Ray Roberts is in the 95-percent range, and when they heard it is $7-dollars a head to get in? a complete shutdown. There’s something wrong with that picture.

Lone Star Lodge Pilot Point Texas

This new thinking came about after Conway Bowman and friends stayed at the (relatively) newly named Lone Star Lodge and Marina last September. (Okay, the “Marina” is more like a dock actually.) I was so impressed with the improvements at the Lone Star Lodge – that it seemed like the most lively and viable it has been in many years. That’s not easy for a motel – lodge inside a State park! The restaurant business will always be hobbled by the fact that alcohol is outlawed, and public consumption is also an offense.

Pilot Point Texas Downtown

However, there have been improvements, and Pilot Point has made great progress in general. Maybe it’s a good thing the tollway was rerouted through Prosper and Celina instead of Pilot Point. You won’t hear any complaints from the locals – THAT MUCH IS FOR SURE.

WWI Dog Tags on the Square Gazebo

The “TO DO” list for Pilot Point has actually gotten so good, I am assembling a family package of information so anyone who wants to drive barely an hour to escape the Dallas Messtroplex, can book themselves into the Lodge, and hit the deck of the skiff, and not worry about their family having their own time away from the hustle-bustle. Nowadays, staying in Pilot Point, and booking a skiff outing with me for one of your weekend days? It really is a win-win proposition. Sometimes the best of things are right under your nose, you just have to get it out of the air.

Downtown Pilot Point Texas Destination

Fly Fishing: DESTINATION PILOT POINT TEXAS

The new list of activities and events to be found in Pilot Point is actually so long, that it is going to take a couple of weeks to get it done! Let me leave you with a preliminary list of TO DO links for Pilot Point though:

Thanks for reading this Friday, and we will be ready to crank out another of those Texas Fly Fishing Reports on the YouTube Channel next week – if the weather allows (it’s an outdoor recording in case you’ve never seen it).