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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.

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

| March 9, 2018 | 0 Comments

TEXAS FLY FISHING REPORT 030918

 

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?

DETAILS

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!

No Fake Fly News Here – It’s Just Monday Morning After All

| March 5, 2018 | 0 Comments

NO FAKE FLY NEWS

Dropping this little post on my way out the door to see if the H-Bombs have arrived at the Dam yet. I should be able to tell from a long way off – by the crowds lined up elbow-to-elbow. Those same crowds have really, I MEAN REALLY trashed the place over the last few runs. Fishing line, hooks, sinkers, and an assortment of trash has followed these new guys to the old location I’ve been hitting for about ten years now, and the “get off my lawn” attitude is right on my surface. Can you see it? You’d be hacked too – if you were getting tripped by braid fishing line running all over the riprap, and snagging your fly out where it used to be “clean.”

Just in case you don’t know where the title “Monday Morning Sidewalk” comes from, it’s from the classic “Sunday Morning Sidewalk” as sung by Kris Kristofferson. Take a listen sometime, and you will GET what Monday is really all about.

TEETERING ON SPRING

The weekend brought some weather that can only be described as “early spring,” and early spring means one thing – IT’S TIME TO GET READY – if you are a fly fishing Texan. I have been hunkering down, tying flies, and trying to find those little windows in the weather that promise a day’s sanity in an otherwise insane world and life. So far, the days have not cooperated with me, and the time to tie flies seems to intrude on what little time I have.

When it comes to sampling the action at the Dam (hybrids and sand bass), remember our selection of Clousers leans toward three weights and red-over-white as a primary color choice. I am loading up, so make sure you keep your eyes on the Instagram feed – no fake liking please!

Have a great week ahead. I will be going into depth on North Texas fly fishing conditions this week – regardless of weather. So stay tuned.

Fall Weather Patterns Bring Sketchy Fly Fishing

| October 12, 2017 | 0 Comments

North Texas Temperatures Swing Fly Fishing Action Sand Bass Hotspot

I had to get out of the house, and take a break from the Finn yesterday. Somebody forgot to tell me what a full-time job it is to raise a cow dog indoors and train him to be at least a little bit civilized. We have a long way to go.

Medical problems with family in Houston and Weslaco, Texas, don’t make the static any less in my attic either. The Clyde story for Drake magazine is in the can, editor approved and endorsed — and that helps clear the charged air. The burden of what I saw in Rockport and Port A did lead me to “put my money where my mouth is” so to speak. I applied for two FEMA photography job openings, one in Houston and the other in Corpus Christi, Texas. Does a 56-year-old white male stand a chance? Hell no, but I just keep trying for some strange reason (you photographer-readers hurry to the .GOV site now and apply!). If you are FEMA connected, how about a little real help here?

I ran a post on the Texas Fishing Forum – Hurricane Harvey on TFF – discussion boards, and guess what? There’s no discussion on the disaster, and as of this writing, not a single comment. I now pause to scratch my head and wonder … Is there something wrong with these folks, or is it me?


It is pretty obvious I am still jazzed by the adrenalin of photojournalism. Heck, I chased a house fire the other day on instinct. And I felt the adrenalin kick in just a little … actually, it felt good to roll back to my professional zero, where my photographic journey began. Why not start over? We do it almost every time we fly fish – on a small and large scale, don’t we? Every cast is a new beginning. Every change of fly starts us casting in the same spot we last casted. One day there are fish, the next they are gone.

FISH FLASH

For example, yesterday I had to run the boat, and went with a map that had popped up on the website Texas Fishing Forum over the last couple of days. It had pins for sand bass (deep) on Lake Ray Roberts. I went for one pin, and criss-crossed it using my electronics during what should have been sand bass primetime. Winds were near zero, so navigation was incredibly simple just south of a Wolf Island point. Nada.

So to beat the dark I made the run back to the Sanger Boat Ramp to work the submerged road. Low-and-behold, about ten minutes before dark the sand bass appeared in two feet of water and deep in a nearby cove – by the hundreds. Large sand bass every cast. So today, I will be doing a sundowner there (kayakers come join the armada!), and boxing a few of these tasty tacos to feed the family. Text me if you need directions. It is a very short paddle. I have room on board for one.


Reel Recovery TexasCome Saturday? I will be giving back some time to Reel Recovery. I will attend the Glen Rose event to photograph attendees and facilitators all day long Saturday, and if you are involved in any way with Texas Reel Recovery (the National organization expressed disinterest in my photography – to help them with their identity Nationally), I was the receiver of that much-needed service last year, and I appreciate all you facilitators do, your own personal sacrifices to make these events possible. Regardless of the National organization’s response to my photography (I carried the camera last year as a participant and did write a story as well), on the Texas level I did receive many compliments on my work from the Texas folks. See you there.

 


 

Texas Fly Fishing Report Summer Winds Down Doldrums Around

| August 18, 2017 | 0 Comments

Fly Fishing in Texas this week

Thanks again for watching the Texas Fly Fishing Report! Please suggest changes where needed – I won’t complain. I think the audio intro is a bit long-ish.

A hard week on the fly for me – skunked twice. Watch for the details in the video. I was advised to be wary of what I heard (and have been told that many times in the past), and it proved out when it came to Lake Grapevine two days ago.

If you can get to the BP and Rollover Pass, it sounds interesting. But then, I am relying – not on all you readers across the state – but relying on televised reporting and the TPWD fishing reports. I have always had a soft spot for Rollover Pass because there is an incredible amount of movement there. I heard a long time ago they were going to fill that in, but I never heard any more about it? I sure would like to hear from readers, rather than trying to discern second-hand information from the sources I am using. Accuracy is very important to me, so my sources need to be honed and more accountable.

If YOU ARE A GUIDE, feel free to call in your report from wherever you are, and we can record and publish it – as is, unedited and heavily (at my cost) promoted.

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