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Free Per View – The Answer Just Blew In

| January 10, 2018

Just when I though I won the lottery!

READING IS FREE – JOIN THE YOUTUBE NATION FOR MEMBERS ONLY CONTENT!

It looks like the Pay-Per-View option no longer works for those of you who show up to this website frothing at the mouth for great new content – think toll booth in Blazing Saddles.

So, there’s my answer in a nutshell. I am going to disable the Pay-Per-View function on this website. For those of you who have had paid memberships, and still do have paid memberships, you will be privy to exclusive members-only YouTube videos for the calendar year 2018.

And if you want to get exclusive limited YouTube Content, that’s what you can do – pay your $!1 usd and I will make a member out of you. Thanks for reading, and now THANKS FOR WATCHING.

Monday Morning Sidewalk New TEMPORARY Lower Rates Pay Per View 2018

| January 8, 2018

Good morning and welcome to the second Monday in 2018!

The Texas weather rollercoaster continues this week, with shallower dives and lower mountains, but check back tomorrow. Anything can change in this country.

I had a meeting with my board of directors this morning, and the blowback, related to subscription reading here, has begun. It is one of those questions without anyone apparently brave enough, or time enough to answer. Continue Reading

Sun Sets on Winter Weather Wednesday

| December 27, 2017

Weather Keeps Fly Fishing Talk Short and Sweet

Whoa. Now this is what we’ve been missing here in North Texas. We have some real, cold, wet and miserable weather upon us, and boy do we need it! This is the kind of weather that makes a fish believe things are nothing other than normal in their world, and it triggers the kinds of instincts that puts them in their proper seasons, thank God.

The idea of catching a temperate January day of fly fishing in Daingerfield, Texas, for chain pickerel, is now completely viable! We are all systems go for January – and watching closely – for a day, I hope two, to head over to Daingerfield and camp, and putz around the lake chasing chains.

WRAPPING UP 2017

Of course, life without some kind of pressure, is something I know almost nothing about. Those days are an ancient memory now, but with some help, I may relearn relaxation in 2018. After all, 2017 was only the second worst year of my adult life … but who’s counting?

The 2017 FLY FISHING certainly wasn’t the worst. It was actually the second best year since[ppw id=”183910405″ description=”Wrapping it up for 2017″ price=”.25″]

I started sliding down this slippery slope. It’s funny how that works; some things can be so bad while at the same time, other things for a person can be so darn good. It is impossible to discount the addition of the skiff to the mix of the last two years being the best, but with these fluctuations in rainfall since October – 2018, I think, will be the truest test yet – for the superiority of fly fishing for carp from skiff. I would actually say 2018 IS THE YEAR that decides this debate (but I know it’s hardly debatable).

Take, for example the newest issue of Drake Magazine. By the grace of God, and with a little bit of biblical knowledge (so little I’m ashamed), I was able to get decent play for the article on Clyde going to the epicenter of landfall for Hurricane Harvey. It is reassuring to note that the vast majority of Texas news outlets (like the Texas Standard radio show) are still focused on Hurricane Harvey’s aftermath, even if the numbers still favor Houston’s lead coverage. I can say, with no hesitation, that this story is the best professional thing to happen for me in 2017. Will it lead to anything? Let us all hope so – because it (that story) really NEEDS TO lead to something more. 

On the flip-side of the fly, two new fly fishing records came my way this year. One is from Lake Bridgeport, and I managed a decent gaspergou to put on the books for Ray Roberts as well. Those drum were certainly something in 2017! They were everywhere, and they chased and ate like a gamefish should. I am happy with both of those records, and will be happier when someone makes the effort to break them! That’s why I do it in the first place!

I always shotgun new ideas and make bold efforts to bring new information (and old information) in new ways — to those of you who are still interested in the relentless pursuit of fish on fly. As they say, I sometimes “get out in front of my skis” with these announced efforts. I am realizing with the deduction of about 40 waking hours a week from my life … it can be hard to cash the checks I am writing to you, the loyal readers and new readers with expectations. What I don’t get done for you, in the way of providing information in creative ways, wakes me up in the middle of the night.

For example, the assembly of “podcast style” audio interviews is proving to be a bigger time burner than the videos you find me doing for the Texas Fly Caster YouTube Channel – much bigger. I have a lot more faith in the popularity of the YouTube content, but I also realize a challenge when it comes to painting pictures with only voices and words. The intensity level of writing for that format is incredible. Anyone can create a Podcast, but hardly anyone can do a good job of it. I am not willing to lower my standards just to be in the format.

WHEN IT COMES TO FORMATS

When it comes to formats sweeping through fly fishing, have you seen the corruption of Instagram? Mark 2017 as the year fly folks finally flocked to Instagram, and then essentially destroyed it as an honest purveyor of information. As a professional photographer and someone who has been on that social media since its beginning, it is sad to see. I feel confident in saying YouTube will NEVER suffer the same fate from the fly fishing community.

So where do we go from here in 2018. After ten years, I wonder the same thing. The interest in written word seems to be at the lowest point ever, and my desire to deliver in writing is at its apex. This is a year to take the measure, and see if words are for profit, and videos and podcasts are for fun. Or, is there another combination? That’s what we’re about to find out going into 2018. I think we can safely call it a “make-or-break” year for the Texas Fly Caster website. No matter what, the archives are pretty fantastic, aren’t they???

ENDING WITH A BANG NOT A WIMPER

I had thought I would throw out a Top 10 Fly Fishing Music Countdown for 2017 via podcast, but I realized later that a lot of my music I am rating is music I have downloaded via my Itunes account, and is not playable for podcast purposes. You will also see that I no longer have any ads for Amazon purchases on the site – they discontinued the commission program (so what’s the point?). I still accept ads though! So I will be contacting you, if you have fly related products, about my ad rates, and why you’d be smart to get on board (if you’re interested in hitting your target market between the eyes!).

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When it comes to posting for profit, aka Pay-Per-View reading, this site will make a dramatic, inelegant shift to all Pay-Per-View reading in January — assuming I can get this terrible software to work properly. It will retroact all the way back to 2008. The rest of the good news? You can still watch YouTube videos for free, and all the social media is still free as well. This may sound strange, “free,” but with the net neutrality laws overturned / unenforced? You want to get ready to pay for a lot of things you though should / would always be free.

 

Monday Evening Sidewalk

| December 18, 2017

Rio Grande Valley and Back

Welcome to a late afternoon Monday Morning Sidewalk. That’s the rub, nailing a regular column down to Monday morning sometimes, just sometimes, goes over deadline. You’re probably out of your cubicles, cars, offices, and limos and home by now, but I wanted to take a second to bring those of you  who read – up to speed.

It has been a whirlwind week out of town, starting with the loss, and Heaven’s gain of my 98-year-old Grandmother in the Rio Grande Valley. At 98, you can guess that she was ready and willing to go on home, [ppw id=”183910689″ description=”Holiday Update” price=”.25″]

and there was no pain or suffering. It was one of those kinds of dying, the kind we would be more than willing to receive on a dark night with clouds and stars above.

Of course, that breaks my last human bond to the Borderland where I grew up, and that is the strange bitterness that goes with the sweetness. There’s no grand reason to go home anymore, and that is strange to me.

So with a little more than a thousand miles under my feet since last Tuesday, I am back where I began – in a cold, wet and foggy North Texas. If there’s anything going on besides dinky TPWD stocker trout around here? I don’t know about it.

The Pop Up Shop here in Denton is going great guns, and merchandise is running very low. This is the last week of course, so be sure and visit the shop at 301 South Locust St. in Denton – if you are looking to support local artists, and provide a boost to the local economy (instead of the invisible stockholders of Amazon). For a look at merchandise, go to the Texas Fly Caster Instagram feed!

I am going to be manning the Pop Up Shop for the next few days, so I will bring the Texas fly fishing community up to speed, or MORE LIKELY, catch up with the Texas fly fishing community in coming days. I certainly need to close out the year with one final Texas Fly Fishing Report (yes, the original on YouTube), and a Christmas list for fly fishers, and BEFORE YEAR’S END, another Top Ten Fly Fishing Music Countdown (probably an audio broadcast).

There’s probably another trip to Houston to see family for ACTUAL Christmas in a few days, so you have to believe I will be almost as busy as you this holiday season. The schedule is about to clear though, and that starts in the week between Christmas and New Year’s. I am looking for someone who wants to hit Dangerfield for chain pickerel during the holiday break, and if anyone in the Galveston area wants to show me to their fish? All you have to do is give me a text or call at the number you know, and I will give you the potential dates. Our cold North Central and Northeast Texas weather has probably given us the break that we need for both flounder in Galveston and those chain pickerel in Daingerfield. 


There’s going to be a very rough cut to free/paid reading in January, and that is because the part of this site that separates paid/free content is a POS that is more expensive than you can probably believe – you’d laugh at me if you knew. I will try and bring you up-to-speed before end of year, but essentially everything that is “Paid Content” will be rough cut as far as the “teaser” opening content.c

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Happy Monday Birthday Thomas McGuane

| December 11, 2017

Good Monday Morning to you all! To say the world is frazzled just doesn’t do the frenetic pace justice these days … but today is Thomas McGuane’s birthday, and at the ripe young age of 78-years, I do hold out hope that I will find myself alive and well at his age.

For those unacquainted with McGuane, he is very nearly the antithesis of diarist John Gierach in his writing style. [ppw id=”183910827″ description=”Reading and Writing” price=”.25″]

Yeah, I read both, but I guess I am old enough to have my preferences — and crazy enough to express them in a public forum. Heck, PC’s done nothing for me, that much is certain.

If you are seeing holes in the timeframe of posts, fly outings and such; that is because we just finished our largest and most successful ever “Leslie’s Backyard Holiday Art Show” last Saturday (no fly guys showed up with the secret password by the way), and today begins a short run “Pop-Up Shop” in Downtown Denton, Texas. Throw that together with a 32-hour-three-day work weekend for yours truly, and now you’re getting it? … the big picture.

Texas turned downright cold last week and the folks along the coast were freaked by the snow show from Corpus Christi, all the way up to Houston, Texas. I am still shaking my head because we had no snow here in North Texas – simply amazing. AND we are in a full-on burn ban here in Denton County, and yes, a full on drought once again. I, for one, am very happy for the salt to have a winter cold snap. THAT IS normal, and I believe the fish need NORMAL.

I’ll say it once again: The only place that does not get drought? Saltwater. They can suffer in other ways from the lack of freshwater intake, but there’s always water on the salt. Are you getting the picture of the future yet?

I had enough time to talk with people I trust about the state of the Art State over the weekend, and specifically how the internet has changed flavors so clearly this year. Folks have gone from the ease (sickness) of Facebook (and its fake news), to even shorter formats – Instagram. Now, you know I never miss the opportunity to drop my year of membership to social media, but I am pretty much moved on past Instagram as a venue – especially since it has been corrupted this year by the “likers” who don’t look at actual images, but try and entice a “like-for-like” response from other “Instagrammers.” Instagram is corrupted, and therefore pretty much an illegitimate format. I only “like” things I look at, and that hurts my standings of course.

No, we’re headed into long form in 2018 – the Loooooong Form. From the continuing challenges of YouTube, and over to a new-again interest in Podcasting that I am taking on as the ultimate challenge: painting a story in the mind’s eye, but keeping it technically easy and easy access and easy listening. Those are huge challenges, by the way. AND we will move into live broadcasting in 2018, simulcasting actually, any fixed reporting from the Fly Bar as well as any other opportunity that lends itself to the Periscope or Snapchat world (once again out in front of the fly fishing powers that be).

Have a great week, and feel free to call me if you are interested in truly unique gift shopping here in Denton, Texas! I will be working at the Pop-Up Shop several hours on weekdays, so come on by. Our hours are such that you can get off work in DFW, and come up here for shopping and a meal out in Downtown Denton, Texas. This shop will close just after Christmas, and the hours will get shorter right at Christmas, so make your plans and call me if you need more information!

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