RSSOklahoma Report

Friday Fly Fishing Report Texas Oklahoma

| November 3, 2017 | 0 Comments

Texas Fly Fishing Report GRTU Oklahoma TPWD Stocked Rainbow Trout

Good Friday, a First Friday in fact, to all of you. It’s a strange day. I was at a nearby boat ramp waiting for the sun to come up, but it never did … well, it did, but the talking weather heads had it all wrong once again – overcast, north wind at ten and fog. The prop never got wet. I was prepared for the predicted sunny 90-degree day, south wind at zero – what was supposed to be another record heat day for North Texas November. It didn’t help to get a text while sitting there waiting for the sun, telling me of the passing of a new and near friend overnight – from cancer. It just seemed to get colder and darker sitting there at the boat ramp. The weather reflects the mood today. READ MORE FREE — Continue Reading

Texas Fly Fishing Report Going Around The Bend and Back Again

| October 27, 2017 | 0 Comments

Waltz Across Texas

Twelve-hundred miles down this week, and I never left Texas. The drive started here in Denton, made the long run to the Rio Grande Valley, and hit the second stop two days ago in Houston before closing the triangle this morning upon return to Denton, Tejas. Heck of a deal … retirement homes, heart hospitals and the like. An old artist friend in the Valley asked where I wanted my angel wings painted. I suggested he paint them on the car.

As we are here to talk fly fishing, fly fishing reports and the like … I best not deviate from the menu you have come to have a taste for over these many years. The last I will say about that journey may sound hokey, and you young bucks I saw at 8th Wonder last night may think I am an old hoot, but I’ll tell you – life goes by in the blink of an eye – just like that birthday I passed on the road this week.

I am not doing a video this week, as the weather is a blustery, misty fifty-degrees out on the Fly Bar, and the morning’s commute from Houston has me bleary-eyed. But we certainly can reprint the parts of the Texas Fly Fishing Report that matter and YOU CERTAINLY can read! I must throw in some conversations from last night at 8th Wonder as well — as those conversations are what really makes this site and the reporting here – REAL and ACCURATE.

STARTING WITH THE SCUTTLEBUTT 

GALVESTON BAY

There’s absolutely nothing wrong with the Galveston Bay System, and it is fishing just like it would without fifty-five inches of rain drained into it. That is good to hear, although we did hear, early-on, about lost grass carp being caught in the bay. With this cold snap, we are setting up nicely for the November flounder run (says I).

GUADALUPE RIVER STRIPER

The most amazing news I had was from the Guadalupe River actually. Huge, and I want to emphasize HUGE striper are being caught along the Guadalupe River. One striper, found dead, came in at 47-pounds. That is no typo – forty-seven Texas, USA, pounds. Teens and twenties are sighted regularly, and being caught on occasion (yes there is photographic evidence on one particular phone). Break out your ten weight, and contact me for the details on the guide doing this with some consistency. These striper have been witnessed eating a c-and-r 20-inch largemouth bass in two bites tail first, so take your woolly buggers with you – and go home.

Although the flows were curtailed over the summer, there are holdover trout in abundance – both brown and rainbow. I saw phone fish porn that would make YOUR heart skip a beat – healthy and colorful trout being caught on the Guadalupe, and some significant stocking of the waters coming VERY SOON this season. This promises to be an epic year on the Guadalupe, and with the continuing “situational” fly fishing in Oklahoma? This should be your year to cash in your boxtops for a Guadalupe River float trip. You’ll be able to go for quantity (if that’s your thing), and in this rare instance, you will have an opportunity for quality as well. I can hook you up with a few guides who are onto these holdovers as well – CONTACT ME.


Last night’s event was a fly tying event put on by Bayou City Angler, and hosted by the 8th Wonder. Thanks once again for the kind and warm reception I once again received from the Houston Bayou City Angler patrons and employees who took the time to talk to me, tell stories and listen to my stories about stories – which I seem to be doing a lot more than casting a fly lately! You guys make me feel welcome and an outing with the Houston crew, Stacy Lynn et. al., is as much of a family feel as I have ever gotten in the fly world. It always seems to lead to some fantastic fly fishing as well!

If you are lucky enough to live near Houston, be sure to visit the fantastic brewery 8th Wonder east of Downtown Houston, Texas. I was able to sample their compliment of beers last night, staying away from those IPA’s so popular with the hipsters, and really enjoyed their “regular” beer offerings. Of course, tonight is game three of the World Series, so I wouldn’t even go close to Minute Maid during the three game close-out of the Dodgers. So, do any of you know what the 8th. Wonder of the world actually is?

ON TO THE REGULAR REPORTING

TEXAS

North Sabine

Trout are fair to good under birds and pods of shad on soft plastics. Redfish and flounder are good in the marsh on shrimp. Flounder are good on shrimp, shad and Gulps at the mouths of bayous.

South Sabine

Trout are fair to good under birds and pods of shad. Redfish are good at the jetty on live bait and cracked crabs. Flounder are good on Gulps around marsh drains.

Bolivar

Trout, black drum, sand trout and redfish are good at Rollover Pass. Trout are fair to good while drifting shell on plastics. Bull redfish are good on the beachfront.

Trinity Bay

Trout are good for drifters working pods of shad and mullet on soft plastics and Gulps. Redfish are fair to good on the east and north shorelines on shrimp and Gulps.

East Galveston Bay

Trout and large Gulf trout are good for drifters working deep shell on plastics and fresh shrimp. Redfish and flounder are fair to good in the marsh around drains on shrimp. Trout are good on topwaters for waders working mud and shell.

West Galveston Bay

Bull redfish and flounder are good at San Luis Pass on shrimp and shad. Sheepshead, redfish and black drum are good at the jetty on shrimp and crabs. Trout are good on topwaters for waders working the shorelines.

Texas City

Gulf trout are good in the channel on fresh shrimp. Redfish are good in Moses Lake on shrimp.

Freeport

Trout and redfish are fair to good on the reefs in Christmas Bay and Bastrop Bay. Bull redfish are good around Surfside and at the Quintana jetty on crabs, shrimp and mullet.

East Matagorda Bay

Trout are good for drifters on live shrimp over humps and scattered shell. Trout and flounder are fair to good on muddy shorelines on soft plastics.

West Matagorda Bay

Trout are good on sand and grass humps on soft plastics and topwaters. Redfish are good on live shrimp at Shell Island, Oyster Lake, Crab Lake and Mad Island on the incoming tide.

Port O’connor

Bull redfish are good at the jetty on crabs, mullet and shad. Trout are good on the reefs in San Antonio Bay on live shrimp.

Rockport

Trout are fair in the channel on free–lined shrimp. Redfish are good in Redfish Bay on mullet and crabs. Bull redfish are good in the Lydia Ann Channel and around Mud Island on shrimp and crabs.

Port Aransas

Redfish are fair at Shamrock Cove and Pelican Island on topwaters and Gulps. Bull redfish are good at the jetty and on the beachfront on natural baits.

Corpus Christi

Bull redfish are good in the surf on mullet and shrimp. Trout are fair for waders working mud and grass on Super Spook Jrs and Gulps.

Baffin Bay

Trout are good on topwaters and plum plastics around rocks and grass. Trout are good while drifting deep rocks on plum plastics. Flounder are good in the Land Cut on Gulps and jigs tipped with shrimp.

Port Mansfield

Redfish are good while drifting pot holes on topwaters and soft plastics under a popping cork. Trout and redfish are fair to good on the spoils on small topwaters and gold spoons. Flounder are fair to good at East Cut on Gulps and shrimp.

South Padre

Redfish are good in Airport Cove and on the Gas Well Flats on DOA Shrimp and Gulps. Trout are good on the flats on topwaters with high tides.

Port Isabel

Trout and redfish are good over potholes and grass flats on scented baits and topwaters. Redfish and flounder are fair to good in Cullen Bay on Gulps.

OKLAHOMA

LOWER MOUNTAN FORK
Submitted by:

Mark Hannah

Date:

10/22/2017

Lake Elevation:

Normal

Water Temp and Clarity:

Clear
 
Action: Good
Baits:  Powerbait, Worms
Locations: Shallows
TEXOMA

Submitted by:

Cody Jones

Date:

10/24/2017

Lake Elevation:

Above Average

Water Temp and Clarity:

Murky
 
Action: Good
Baits:  Flukes, Hair Jigs, Shad, Top Water
Locations: Below the dam, Flats, Main lake, Points
 
Action: Good
Baits:  Cut Bait, Dough bait, Punch bait, Shad, Worms
Locations: Main lake, Points, Riprap, River Mouth
 
Action: Fair
Baits:  Jigs, Minnows
Locations: Brush structure, Docks, Main lake, Standing timber
LOWER ILLINOIS

Submitted by:

Warden Jeremy Bersche

Date:

10/22/2017

Lake Elevation:

Normal

Water Temp and Clarity:

65, clear to murky
 
Action: Slow
Baits:  Nymphs, Powerbait
Locations: Below the dam, Spillway, and Watts WMU
 
 

Lower Illinois Additional Information:

Water releases related to generation 1500 to 3000 cfs occur regularly. Since the water runs then is shut off on a regular basis, sometimes daily, this is considered normal elevation. When the main gates are open along with the generators the elevation is considered high. No releases for a long period of time and low water in the Arkansas River, means low water levels in the Lower Illinois. After a water release, the water becomes dingy then settles out and clears. Stocking is still suspended due to water quality conditions.
Be sure to purchase your OKLAHOMA NON-RESIDENT Fishing License before you go!

Fly Fishing the Blue – Redux

| January 5, 2017 | 0 Comments

fly fishing blue river oklahoma #flyfishing

Blue River Oklahoma trout

File Under “Catching Up to Do”

I broke away from another fitful slumber, as they all are these hard days, and tried to remember the checklist in my head from the night before. It’s easy to forget what you don’t remember, and therein lies the rub.

Going to the Blue River in South Central Oklahoma, and narrowing yourself down to the catch-and-release area of the Blue River, is something of Mother Nature’s “Let’s Make a Deal.” Last time the deal was that I forgot my gloves. “Too bad,” says Mother Nature, “I’m going to freeze your skinny little digits into a useless crimp.” And she did. So I triple-checked for gloves this time. Good. Everything else seemed to be in place, or within a range of places that were all thrown in the back of the Yota. I threw in a few extras for any other deals Mother Nature deal – a slip fall and wet clothes, so plenty of dry clothes. All those mid-layers in double supply.

I knew the wind was going to kick at some point, so I went from the TFO 8’ BVK 3wt to the TFO 7’9” Lefty Kreh Finesse 4wt for this outing. I threw in the three piece TFO FSG 3/4 fiberglass rod for backup, or maybe some extra fun if the wind died. That meant not having my favorite trout line (the Rio MTX GPX on the 3wt).

It was dark outside, but not so cold. The preload of the bike the night before helped my attitude greatly. Note to self: Wife wants her bike back now. All the various weights and functions of clothes were thrown in on top just because I did not know for sure if Mother Nature was going to play her games.

I burned my way up from Denton to Tish doing speed limits all the way, which is unusual for an old-man-driver like myself. All speed forward in order to arrive and meet friends there at same time. Along the way, probably just over Lake Texoma, the texts started coming in, and I remembered; I told the two separate groups I would be at the parking lot at seven, they never said they would be.

There was no waiting around when I hit the parking lot. It was a hitch it up, hitch it on and ride. The Blue River catch-and-release area looked to be all to myself with only one other car in the lot – and they were probably hunting. Gloves on and gone.

I could feel that old leg burn as I put the power stroke to the pedals, and wondered aloud, “How did I get this weak?” Sure the pack weighed about 25-pounds, but I used to weigh 25-pounds more myself. Skinny is, as skinny does … I guess.

Sure enough I had the uppermost fall all to myself. I broke out the 4wt, and lined it up. I only thought about using my glass fly rod – the 3/4 TFO – for about a second. The wind was already topping the trees, and a few leaves fluttered. Funny thing about this little river, it really does funnel the wind right down the gut so many of those windy days past. Heck, one time it ended my day early. Mother Nature won the deal that day.

Fly Fishing Blue River Ok

It took no more than three casts, and a newly arrived synthetic took a hold. I could tell by looking this fish wasn’t going to make the wall of fame, and went slack to save the stress. The little rainbow shook loose in an instant (barbless of course), and I dropped back into the bottom of a fall’s dead zone where two currents canceled each other out.
Yet another take, and I was beginning to see what the story was. There was a crop of newbies scattered in with the previous crops, and the newbies wanted to, needed to, be schooled. The fishing went on awhile, and my Fort Worth friends showed up, let me clue them in, and started fishing. The fish in the pool are still slabby but not near the length I’ve seen in past years (and remember it has been years for me). Nevertheless, the newbies flew like kites on strings, and the experienced fish looked for a way to give my fluorocarbon leader a wrap and a shake. Four pound fluorocarbon is amazingly strong!

I had pretty much nailed down where the fish were in this stretch, and like it or not, they were seriously concentrated in the same area as last time – once again. That was certainly disappointing, as a synthetic easter egg hunt needs more geographic dispersion – to hold one’s interest, and spread the growing number of fly fishers around a bit more. I found singles in other spots, but my two-cents worth is; these fish need to be spread out a lot more than they are.

TIP: These fish turned almost completely off once the sun was exposing the pool most directly revealing every rock, and many fish. I would take a break for a couple of hours when the hole you are on reaches max sun exposure because those synthetics are smart enough to know they’re vulnerable.

Blue River fly fishing father and son

JH and his entire family passed my friends on the trail and JH arrived as the shade had again started to cover the main hole. Fish were rising everywhere and sipping (emergers). JH and his son were too far away to ask what fly he was using below the indicator, bur I think it was black and probably a zebra midge. We are still in the simple phase with these fish folks. And a lot of times it stays simple for the whole season. JH and GH immediately began to educate the trout rising for their evening shade feed. It’s a fine thing to watch: Father teaches son, and they both teach fish a thing or two.

I had been done for awhile, but was still interested enough (and wanting to store energy for the pedals), so I sat and watched, did some rude whooping and cheerleading – to see if I could break their concentration. After about six trout, it was time for me to go. I pedaled back to the lot, like the wicked witch of the west in the Wizard of Oz, all to beat the cold and dark that were coming on winter fast.

All-in-all not a bad day, and if I had left out the hours of direct sun, and taken a nap instead? a great day. The wind did come along early midday, and was part of a minor cool front that did smash a few of my casts, but settled back down quickly. Most of the leaves are gone, and less of a problem than when they first started falling. Water clarity was very good, and I read the temperature was at 45-degrees, although I think it was warmer.

There’s not much else you need to know really, but below is some of that confidential information that might make a little difference in your Blue River Oklahoma fly fishing experience. And yes, some of it is probably repeated from the last Blue River story.

BLUE RIVER SUMMARY:

FLIES
Start off BOLD – Woolly Bugger, Mop fly, San Juan Worm, and I am wondering a lot about some REAL bait simulations like – small bass-like Clousers and even a sculpin.

FLY WEIGHT IS CRITICAL – Losing flies in these underwater conditions is easy. There is a lot of submerged lumber, and if you get past that, there are rocks that grab flies too. REMEMBER – The weight of the fly has to be enough to get down to the fish, get a realistic drift, and resist current’s attempt to raise the fly out of the feeding column.*

LEADER
Fluorocarbon is absolutely your best choice, and take as far down as you can. I run a 4# Seaguar Invis-X, and if they made a 3# or #2? I would run that instead. (9-feet) REMEMBER – It is harder to get a heavier leader down, and to stay down in current!**

ROD – REEL
You are running flies that (for your sake) should be barbless. I find an extremely light rod, like those mentioned in the article, give these fish enough shock absorption through the rod … to keep them buttoned. A short 3-weight or 4-weight will do the trick, and keep you out of the trees a lot better.

METHODS
Like the last article said; basically up, down and all around. Although I am having a lot less success when casting up pond than when casting down, or on a dead drift swing. My first choice now is a dead drift swing that finds the slower (NOT THE SLOWEST) water next to the food conveyor belts.

CONDITIONS
It’ll be colder than it registers there, and the wind will find you no matter what! Be aware and KNOW BEFORE YOU GO. You best days, will often be the worst weather days (how many times have I TOLD YOU!).

The two highlights with asterisks * and ** go together for the main lesson. These two things dictate whether your fly is in the strike zone, or not. Be attentive to both, and make adjustments. Early in the day I was catching well on a weightless SJJ, but then as the sun came on the water, I had to get deeper. I switched to a weighted SJJ, and was right back in the zone. If you get out there and you are not feeling the love, and you know your other variables are good, try moving your fly up and down in the zone.

Blue River on Black Friday Video and the Monday Morning Cyber Sidewalk

| November 28, 2016 | 0 Comments

Good cyber Monday morning! Was your e mail inbox as full of sh … tuff as mine this morning? I guess that’s the new way of doing things. One thing for sure; Black Fridays aren’t what they used to be. However, a little fly fishing BOB (Blue on Black) trip did me a lot of good.

The video shows – you that have experience (on the Oklahoma Blue River’s catch-and-release) – everything you probably already knew about how to get there, and how to get to the upper reaches of the c-n-r area. But since I hadn’t been there in a couple of years, I took the time to really think about that fishery as not just (what I call) a waterpark for fly fishers. I really considered how difficult the Blue River can be for a novice fly fisher, and with that I began mentally assembling a list of “Techniques For Success on the Blue River,” and a detailed list of reasons why “Better Casting Makes for Better Blue Days” as well. Finally, I also included a list of flies that can work on any given trip to the Blue River. One technical tip I forgot to mention in all the ways to fly fish the Blue River (at the end of the video) is DRY FLY. So add that to the ways you can approach (the Blue) and hone your skills for other waters in other places.

READ MORE ABOUT BLUE RIVER FLY FISHING (FLIES / TECHNIQUES / TIPS / CASTING)—

 

TECHNIQUES FOR SUCCESS ON THE BLUE RIVER

1 – Carry a good variety of flies. These fish can bite anything at any given time. Freshly stocked fish are spooked, and spooky and they are not sure what to eat.
2 – Practice courtesy on the water. Be nice to others. Say hello. Ask before you cross behind them, and try not to stir up the mud – that will cloud their water for minutes. Don’t crowd anyone.
3 – The better the caster you are, the better your fly fishing and catching experience will be. If you are a beginner, the Blue can make for a hard day.*
4 – Try not to splash, stumble and splash or present yourself as a large shadow on the water. The more fresh the fish are, the more easily they seem to be spooked.
5 – Change flies often if your fly is not working. I have had great luck with big flies equalling big fish, but downsize if you aren’t having luck (maybe the “bigguns” aren’t in your pool).
6 – Use the Blue River as an opportunity to see just how small a rod works, and enjoy the fight a bit more. It also increases sensitivity and ability to land Blue River stocker trout.
7 – The Blue River catch-and-release is a barbless hook zone.
8 – There are hazards. Rocks can be slippery. There are deep holes in the falls (you walk across the top of) that can be covered with leaves – I’ve dropped as much as two feet into these small holes, and it is a back jarring experience. I recommend spikes, and spiked rubber (or felt). I highly recommend a wading stick to pre sample your steps and add stability.
9 – Ride a bike. It will add two hours to your fishing time, and lessen your fatigue. Beware of hunters, and make sure you are lit up if it’s dark.
10 – Prepare for weather changes throughout the day, and take extra layers – either wear them and peal them off as your warm, or add them on as a front comes along. Take food and water with you. Partner up whenever possible.
11 – A freshly stocked fish behaves differently from a fish that has settled in.
12 – Fresh stockers (never caught) fight harder. They may be concentrated and swimming around a pool like they are still in the tanks. The bite comes, goes, and comes around again – in intervals you can almost time!
13 – They can turn off a fly. Change flies again!

*Better Casters Have Better Blue Days

The better casters have better days at a place like the Blue River.
1 – Smaller weight and shorter rods are exponentially more enjoyable in a Blue River experience. And you will not fatigue as fast with smaller rod choices!
2 – My leader of choice is a solid fluorocarbon two-piece loop-to-loop-to-loop. A butt section with a loop on it at both ends. Then just tie a loop into your leader and loop-to-loop it on. At a ratio of about 6’ butt, and 3’ tippet —- as you lose flies and / or retie new flies, it makes putting on a new tippet a breeze! Try it!
3 — This is a setting where if all you can do is a classical trout cast, you will be in the trees A LOT. With the Kreh cast, you can drop, raise and even thread your backcast between trees to make a cast.
4 — No matter your cast, watch your backcast! More flies hang in trees on a backcast than a forward cast, right? Why is that? Because people forget to watch their backcast!
5 — You can fish up pool. You can fish a drift swing. You can high stick. You can dead drift. All are effective and viable here. You can throw a dry fly. What you don’t want to do is strip your line up off a pool, or slap the pools with your line! You have a captive audience of trout, and they are pretty easily disturbed.
6 — Be prepared to keep a low, stealthy profile. Try and keep out of fresh trout’s vision range. As they become “less fresh,” they go deeper and see less of us.

FLIES THAT BRING THE PRIZE

As I said, give your fly box a workout! I prefer fewer, larger fish. That means I like to throw the meat – big woolly buggers and I did catch a few on the mop fly. BE PREPARED to lose a few flies, and if your techniques are rusty or at a beginner level, be prepared to lose a lot of flies. There is new deadwood underwater where once there was none, and if your fly is too heavy, or the hook is running wrong? You will lose flies.

  • woolly bugger
  • black zebra midge
  • black emergers
  • mop fly
  • the fly I caught most with Black Friday 2016 was – a small San Juan Worm
  • Watch for hatches and match them! That day they took a 18 & 20 Griffith’s Gnat

Thanks for reading this Monday in the cyber realm! Have a great week and don’t miss the North Texas winter rollout of new fashionable hats from www.cimarrona.com at the Randy Brodnax Christmas Bash this coming weekend in Deep Ellum at the Sons of Hermann Hall. It is a great opportunity to find unique (one of a kind) gifts for yourself and others this giving season.

Monday’s Return From Cyber Hades – Fair Warning

| October 24, 2016 | 0 Comments

MAID SERVICE! Cleaning Up Behind the Magic Curtain

Whoa. This past weekend I glimpsed the future, and saw that it was good (for all you survivalists). I don’t know about you, but two full days with no internet and no TV gave me time to collect all the technical mumbo jumbo about this website, talk to technicians (mostly waiting on hold), and realize just how thin the eggshell we call the internet really is. Thanks anonymous!

It is still amazing that in this very century we have gone from the zeet-zeet-bleep-buzz-scratch of a dialup modem to ultra high speed wireless internet service, but with speed comes the need – for more speed. If you think about it (like I do), it’s kind of like the need for faster and faster fly rods. These wondrous things, fast fly rods and faster website speeds, we all take for granted don’t we? The whiz-bang of this site is something I rarely think about anymore really. I just keep pushing the boundaries.

My first “aha moment” came a week ago when I was talking to an ad guru about advertising for this site, where all he could do is fill out adwords for Facebook – to try and raise the ratings on this site above (what I call) mummy sites, like www.texasflyfishing.com and www.flyfishingtexas.com. They have been a thorn in Google search’s side for years now, and the fine folks at Google will do absolutely nothing to review the inaccurate results and knock these two sites off of page one (to the bottom as far as I am concerned). So this guy is asking me questions, “so what is your site about?” Holy sh&* I thought. It’s about eight years, and a novel’s worth of words about everything. Of course I didn’t say that; “It’s about fly fishing,” was my canned and completely insufficient response. He ran with that, spouting off key phrases and key words, none of which came close to what this site is really about. “Fly fishing, fishing, Texas, techniques …”  on and on; we never finished talking about adwords because I already knew the value of paid ads on Facebook and Google for that matter. It’s zero.

So I settled on jacking up the site with a new pair of fat tires, and a fresh four-barrel carburetor. We’re going to be going faster, not a lot faster, but twice as fast as we did a week ago (hard to believe that’s all we can get out of this old beater). And with this new cloud distribution of the site’s pages, we have redundancy that should save us when the next, likely worse, internet armageddon happens. It is only a matter of time. Let me know if you notice the blazing new speed starting now.

Continuing on the theme of talking about the coming end of the world as we know it, if you want a real eye-opener have a read of Ted Koppel’s book, “Lights Out. A Cyber Attack, A Nation Unprepared, Surviving The Aftermath.” I haven’t finished this one yet, but it will be interesting when half the USA loses electricity for a week or so. Do we wonder when would be the best time for the invisible enemy to attack our soft underside (the electric grid)? How about the day before election day?

Meanwhile, back on this little piece of planet earth, the days are painfully short now, and some concentration goes to a growing amount of photography work and pedaling for Cimarrona and welding when the weather is good. JB took his East Cape Fury out Saturday and saw carp on Ray Roberts but said they, “were deeper, skittish, and slower than usual.” Well usual is just about used up now, with the short days, low sun and cooling temperatures. I can’t resist the chance to head out this evening and hit that spot we caught two smallmouth bass on Ray Roberts – a couple of weeks ago. Nothing excites me more than seeing a viable new (to the lake) species like the smallmouth, spawning and growing on a lake the TPWD biologists said was not even a viable smallmouth habitat. I guess that’s the same logic they use for stocking triple the number of bass in Lake Fork over Ray Roberts?

What I remember of last winter, which really isn’t much at all, was that it was a winter that wasn’t. And now we are apparently headed for the same type of winter according to NOAA. They have predicted (which they can always change) a No Nina’ No Nino winter. Neutral is what they are saying, with drier than normal amounts of precipitation and warmer than average temperatures. I get the feeling this is setting us up for a repeat of this spring-summer – for 2017 season, which was absolutely one of the greatest I have ever fly fished through – even at less than full speed. Maybe I was just happy to be out and about, but I think the fish and the videos tell the truth – 2016 was a fantastic year. But, it a’int even over yet! We now prepare for the winter season, one that I completely missed last year. So it will be at least two years since we’ve done the Blue River, and perhaps more years since we traveled to Beaver’s Bend (BendBow). We’re way past due, and two years is a long time when you factor in flood events that have completely remodeled Beaver’s Bend, Oklahoma. I have heard enough about the changes that I will admit some excitement about returning and relearning the BendBow. The main goal is to provide readers with an ACCURATE report on BendBow, and see if anyone else is as interested as I am in that old reliable. It will be a start from scratch type of chase, now that the floods have left an historic mark on the area, and we’ll just see where the new roads take us …