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Texas Fly Fishing Report 061518

| June 15, 2018 | 0 Comments

Here’s the Deal! Texas Fly Fishing Report

Hello, and thanks again for tuning in to the Texas Fly Caster YouTube Channel, and checking out this new video report on fly fishing opportunities in Texas. Make sure you contact me if you are in Houston the week of June 25! I’ll be there too, and spending time with a friend as he goes through a round of chemo at MD Anderson, but there’s always some time to sneak off and go to Bayou City Angler or maybe a long delayed trip to Fishing Tackle Unlimited.

All I know for sure is – the wind and heat are draining the lake pretty quickly now, and the fish are dazed and confused by the rapid decline. Saltwater fly fishing is also subject to heat now – your best shallow bet is early and late on moving tides (always on moving tides!).

Friday Texas Fly Fishing Report

| June 8, 2018 | 0 Comments

Weather a Big Variable This Week

Folks in Dallas are still picking up the pieces after a severe storm pelted the area with huge hail and damaging winds early Wednesday morning. I believe they estimated the damage at $400-million, with 25-thousand cars and 40-thousand homes taking the brunt of golf ball to baseball sized hail.

The strangeness doesn’t end there. Following my own advice, I skipped past the edge of that Wednesday storm that rained on Lake Ray Roberts, and went on to Texoma to try and find the striper action. All I found was an armada of boats, tightly packed, and from what I could tell – a lot of straight rods. And all my electronics showed was a vast underwater nothingness, from the dam outward. I was doing a submarine dodging zig-zag to try and locate fish wherever they were, but their hide-and-seek was better than me. Water temperatures were hovering around 80-degrees, so there wasn’t much that I could find along the rocky shores either. It was just plain slow. I did find a huge school of buffalo grazing on the Oklahoma side in a strange mode I have never seen before – shallow on the shore much like common carp do during spawn. In fact, they had every characteristic of spawning carp – especially the NOT EATING characteristic.

Thursday on Lake Ray Roberts, I wasn’t even allowed to take out my frustration on carp. All my searching on the west side only showed me that the lake has been dropping like a rock. And that is the only explanation I can come up with for the lack of carp – at least on the west side. The wind kicked up huge, so we were not even able to run to the east side, and by the end of Thursday? Another damaging storm cell made its way right down the middle of Denton, Texas, and on south to Dallas once again. Strange days indeed. Fortunately we had given up the ghost around 1-pm, so that serious weather was never a factor on the water. Otherwise, there would be a much different story to tell …

There’s no time for a YouTube video report today, and with all the construction noise around the house, it would be next to impossible to create the show – without major interruptions. So we will come back at you next week, with a full report, and maybe finally a chance to get the TFO Axiom II on the water and onto fish. That is a taller order than I ever expected!

FLY FISHING ACROSS TEXAS

From what I can glean, the saltwater picture is becoming more dispersed, and difficult since the heat kicked in with force along the coast. The main idea is now to know your tides and tidal movements. Fish the usual areas on the incoming, and hit the constrictions (guts and drainages) on the outgoing. Tides are running at night, so that’s your main problem now.

It seems like Falcon Lake is right on track with plenty of big fish being caught, and tons of sand bass as well. The other highlight is over in Southeast Texas (near Houston), and that is a lake I have heard a lot about for awhile – Somerville near Brenham, Texas. I have not heard anyone stop talking about that lake for several months now. It MUST BE on. Generally, you are looking at a summer pattern locking in on Texas lakes.

Have another great weekend! And we will see you bright and early Monday Morning on the Sidewalk of Fly Life.

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.

Monday Morning Sidewalk – April’s Fool

| April 2, 2018 | 0 Comments

Yes, I am an April fool when it comes to expecting different weather from the same month of April in North Texas.

GONE FISHING

Good Monday Morning along the Sidewalk. I hope your Sunday Morning Sidewalk took you through a field of easter eggs yesterday morning … and maybe some of those eggs were filled with your favorite fishing fly! If not, I hope none of you were made April Fools by this freaky weather we are having.

It’s a gloomy morning here in North Texas, and everyone I talk to says they’ve had just about enough of this taint weather for this, our winter-spring taint. We tilted to winter yesterday afternoon as the winds did a 180 turn and came barreling out of the north with a blast of cool air.

We’re left with seriously gloomy skies and a nip in the air – as I rush through this to get out and GO SEE what’s happening on the fringes of a local lake and maybe even tackle a pond in town on the return leg of today’s outing.

Of course, there’s photography clients to satisfy first, a fritzing internet connection and a plethora of other problems that wait impatiently for resolution – just the everyday run of the mill Monday. You know what I’m talking about.

Days and days are passing away without a wetted line – just because of this weather, and it’s to the point where we just have to buck-up against the elements and give it our best shot. Today is one of those days.

CCA Fort Worth Chapter Crawfish 2018

Last week wasn’t a total washout though. The CCA Fort Worth Chapter hosted a crawfish boil that was something to behold. We all know Fort Worth has a strict male dress code of high waisted nut-busting Wrangler jeans and huge earth-shadowing 100-X brimmed felts, but the combination of that and a fishing shirt? It was something to behold, but unfortunately is hard to clear from my mind.

PoPs Fly Shop Fly Success

It wasn’t a total washout in the fly selling business either. PoP sold a dozen of the Clousers he’s so popular for – jig-hooked in colors that excite – to a couple of guys headed to the 16 Bridge below Possum Kingdom Lake, and the brothers were apparently happy with their results, as another order for flies will probably be taken this week. We’re getting short on all supplies now, and for you who tie flies: Remember to shop Barlow’s Tackle on I75 in Dallas, and buy local with eyes from Allen Fly Fishing at their warehouse in Southlake, TX.

For subscribers to the YouTube Channel’s Private Video Network – I am going to break down two local spots with GPS numbers and I will also take a Google Earth satellite image of a local public pond and break it down with an overlay that shows where the fish are on that pond, and how to get to them. This is the good stuff backed by years of research, and presented in a short personal video to you who subscribe ONLY. You won’t be elbow-to-elbow with anyone because of these private subscriber videos, and nobody’s spots will be overrun.

IF YOU ARE NEW

If you are new to the fly fishing scene in Texas, you’re hardly alone! The beginning of every month, all across Texas, there’s a flurry of fly fishing club meetings. And they actually start tonight in Dallas with the Dallas Fly Fishers, and there are tons more – something within your range no matter (well almost no matter) where you are in this huge State. I will be tweeting out those meetings (as I can and remember to do so).

If you’re strictly a watcher? There is always the Texas Fly Caster YouTube Channel which is still the most consistent and longest running Channel about fly fishing in Texas.

Thanks for tuning in this dreary morning! This week holds little hope of good weather, so it’ll just have to be good enough, and that’s it.

Monday Morning Sidewalk – Back To The Path

| October 9, 2017 | 0 Comments

Monday Morning Fly Fishing Sidewalk Harvey Talk

What a Monday! I know you’ll be happier wherever you are than meeting with accountants and lawyers, right? Monday, it seems, can be a day for medicine of all kinds. Nevertheless, I hope you all had a great weekend, and don’t pin your happiness on the Dallas Cowboys who you should expect to disappoint you by now (unlike fly fishing in every way).

Last week was nearly a thousand-miler, and I touched on the scene at Rockport – Port Aransas, but then got pulled away for the weekend job. The burden of the scene down there on the Texas Gulf Coast weighs heavy, and I am still trying to figure out what to do, more specifically WHAT I CAN DO about it. I am pretty sure my greatest skills for contributing to their recovery are not a chainsaw (have one), or a hammer (have many) and shovel (have too many).

I am looking to employ what I call the “skills” I have here – story-telling through photography and writing – on a larger scale, to a broader audience … somehow. I want to make a public appeal to you club members who are reading this: I would like to ask for a few minutes of your next meetings to show some photographs from Rockport, tell their story as it begins, and present you with a snapshot of the problems, and inspire you to respond to the Hurricane Harvey disaster in your own unique ways that go beyond the usual giving you do to broader fundraisers for cancer and national efforts. This is a Texas disaster that needs Texans to respond with pinpoint efforts.

Cutting this morning short, and off to those meetings. I will dribble out some more about last week soon – and go big on the discussion boards to focus more eyes on the Hurricane Harvey effort — within the next day or two.