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Monday Morning in Midst of Harvey

| August 28, 2017 | 0 Comments

Hurricane Harvey Still Dealing Devastation this Monday Morning

Monday Morning With Harvey

I know we are probably heavily dosed with the Hurricane Harvey coverage by now, but damn, this is a bad deal. Some of my family is in the “100-year” flood plane and some in the 500, but how in the heck does a region get away with even calling those areas that – when they are constantly susceptible to hurricanes?

While Houston gets most of the media (good hotels, restaurants and huge population), my favorite fly places and fly people are further south – at the EPICENTER of where Harvey made landfall. You will remember many a word written about Rockport, and Port Aransas, Texas. We’ve spent a lot of time there through the years, and caught plenty of fish there as well. It’s where normal people do normal things and have wonderfully normal and uncomplicated lives – until now.

Now? Who knows what we’re going to get the next trip we take to our favorite places. I clearly remember kayak fishing on the backside of Galveston after Ike, and seeing places – houses, boat houses – still falling into the water many months after that hurricane. And then there’s the flotsam that comes with these hurricanes. It will be all over the bay, the surf, the beaches and it will last for years.


The power of group text messaging in a disaster is real. I am able to keep up with my Houston clan right now, and they keep up with each other as well … very handy during Harvey. Especially since my family is scattered from Houston to Harlingen during this event, and Grandma was hospitalized late last week in Harlingen, Texas. The Valley seems to have gotten off the hook this round, and that means it is about the only place that can take the September-October onslaught of fishing folks that hit the redfish in peak season. You know the Borderland is where my mind is wandering to … but hurricane season “ain’t over until it’s over” as I am fond of quoting.

Reel Recovery Sporting Clay Benefit 2017


I have never been on, or around a shooting range that compares to the Elm Fork kdkdkd that was host to the Reel Recovery fund raiser last Saturday. I have a perfect record when it comes to skeet shooting – I broke them all, every one hit the ground – 0 for 0. I missed every one, and never ever went back for a second helping. I could blame my 20-gauge, but may be a lie. I used to pluck dove, out of the air out my back door as a kid, but I have fallen away from the bird hunting for now.

What a great bunch of people at the Reel Recovery event, all with their hearts and shots in the right place. Most of the participants were thanking me for taking their picture. Little did they know I was grateful for what they were doing for guys like me. The money raised from this event will help fund the future Reel Recovery participants (as I was last year). My appreciation also reaches to the people who took their valuable time to provide support for the event. For me, it was a reunion of sorts, but also gave me a priceless opportunity to meet new people who were cancer beaters and hardcore fly fishers. I am hoping my give-back, my photography from this event, helps spread the good word about Reel Recovery. I certainly enjoyed the challenge!

Prayers and thoughts reach east and south this week, as our fellow Texans deal with all that Harvey has dealt and continues to deal in coming days. If you have any information about recovery efforts, fund raisers, organizations that deal with the aftermath – PLEASE COMMENT OR CONTACT ME with that information now.

Black Hole Sun Shadows The Monday Morning Sidewalk

| August 21, 2017 | 0 Comments

Texas Insider Fishing Report Girl in Texas this week! Get out your long … lenses East Texas!

Texas Insider Girl Brie Gabrielle - photo courtesy pageant

Good morning! In 2024 we will be the focal point for a max coverage lunar eclipse! So at least we have that going for us – Fishpocalyplse 2024! (Should the world still be around, and should we all live that long!) Imagine that …

I will be on the water for our close brush with the eclipse TODAY. I figure the fish will just start coming up all around me, like I’m the Dr. Doolittle of the high lakes. Today is the first day of public school for hundreds of thousands of Texas kids. I know you are wondering just where “The Great State” of Texas ranks in public education this morning. It’s 43rd., so take heart, there are seven states worse than us. I guess that new $70-million dollar football stadium in Katy, Texas, didn’t bump up those rankings very much. What a waste of money.

If you watched the Texas Fly Fishing Report last week, then you know I actually took a piece of information from the “Texas Insider Fishing Report” and went out and executed the advice, translated into fly, and proceeded to get skunked at Grapevine Lake. Hmmmm …

Apparently the main star(let) power of “Texas Insider” is going to be in Texas this week, and fishing with a couple of the guides they have reporting on that show. Don’t be surprised to see a big hullabaloo on Lake Fork – camera boats chasing, cameramen on board, and Miss (soon to be Mrs. you horn dogs) Brie Gabrielle on Fork, or some other East Texas lake. The guide she’s out with has been pushing Lake Athens hard, so you may see them there. (Photo Is Above. Funny, Google automatically fills in the search for “Texas Insider” with “Girl” when you do the search) My guess: don’t blink, or you’ll miss her before she’s on to another bigger show of some kind.

This week looks a lot different from last week. We have a cool front predicted (climate change anybody? any deniers?) for midweek, and it’s supposed to drop highs into, get this, upper 80’s for ONE day this week – plus rain chances. Go ahead, tell me this happens all the time.

There’s already not enough time to make the long run this week, so I will try another lake, and see what happens. I am up to five different lakes in the last five weeks, and there’s a good reason you’re not reading about them. I got nothing to say. Ok, I do have something to say – here fishy fishy! That’s my secret fish call, but don’t go crazy using it everywhere you go! It could stir up the aquarium at your local  Long John Silver’s …

Thanks for reading today. You’ll be selling your addiction short if you aren’t showing up here other days of the week to check out the stories other than the Monday Morning Sidewalk. And the news just keeps on coming into the fall this year – guaranteed.

And if you see Miss Brie, tell her I said, YOU GO GIRL!

Wildcard Wednesday – A Little Taste of Everything

| June 28, 2017 | 0 Comments

I couldn’t wait to hit the keys this morning!

News flowed in last night, and I also burned some old fashion fossil fuel to find out whether one of my stories had finally hit the newsstand – and it did in the last 48-hours.


Lake Travis is now on the list of Texas lakes infested with the zebra mussel. This means the Colorado system is now infected with the zeebs, and that news comes just days after the lake that feeds the famous Guadalupe River – Canyon Lake – was put on the zebra mussel list. My prediction, many years ago, was that now that the zebra mussel has hit near the State Government’s home, we will see more media attention than ever before – paid to the zebra mussel and more money than ever before – spent to study this problem (in perpetuity). Watch the budget-bean-counters try to figure out how to get us to pay for their new millions in expenses — to clean the pipes and dams.

After I heard about the recent find at Canyon Lake, I contacted a scientist quoted in one of the articles about that lake’s situation. My primary question was related to a piece of incidental research I had done at a Denton dive shop last week.

At the dive shop, I had asked the gentlemen working at the dive shop whether zebra mussels were still present at Lake Ray Roberts. (I don’t see them shallow anymore.) They stated definitively that they are deep, and everywhere. So we can deduce the zebra mussel likes cooler water temperatures. REMEMBER, the zebra mussel invaded the north first … call them a re-gift from the yankees.

With that amateur information, I contacted Natalie Goldstrohm, Natural Resources Specialist Inland Fisheries Division – Abilene, and asked about the temperature observation.

“Zebra mussels do have water quality thresholds that are optimal for survival and these would include temperature, but would also include water hardness, pH etc. that could impact where zebra mussels can grow.  I can’t speak to the likelihood of zebra mussel spreading into the Guadalupe River or how a bottom release dam may influence the spread of zebra mussels. However, since zebra mussels are present in Canyon Lake it could be a possibility that the veligers could be moved to down stream locations during flood events if the water level of goes over conservation pool and over the spillway.” Continue Reading

Water Wednesday Records Were Set

| April 5, 2017 | 0 Comments

Rain finally fell in North Texas in the last week. So much rain that it actually set new daily (same day) records that had been standing for years.

For we fly fishers, the rain injects some unpredictability into our outings, whether it’s the Nolan River, or your local dam release. Lake Ray Roberts had the valve opened earlier this week, and the fishing was starting to pick up there again. Of course that little jewel – below Ray Roberts – has been discovered by the crews from Frisco and Plano. So to get your favorite spot? You better be the early bird.

I have been hearing a lot of good things about the water south of Fort Worth, but time is not free right now to go find those spots, and overnight last night, a cool front kicked in and the wind is roaring today – shutting things down locally.

Apparently the site that provides the drought monitor maps is down, so you will just have to imagine an improving map!

Thanks for reading as always, and if you have any flooding pictures, SEND THEM IN!


Water and Weather Wednesday

| March 29, 2017 | 0 Comments

Welcome to the Texas Fly Caster Water Wednesday!

There’s big and small topics related to the weather, from the pointless deregulation of coal to micro storm events passing through North Central Texas.

Around here, the spring storm cycle has started and sometimes residents can miss the insurance agent by a matter of blocks – that’s how concentrated these storms are as the broad sweep comes by from west to east. Last night, for example, we had 60-mile-per-hour winds but no apparent damage or hail.

Further east and south, Rockwall, Texas, got a dose of everything and they are digging out and there are about 200-thousand thousand homes without electricity this morning. Several schools are closed for the day.

I took a look at northern creeks yesterday, and they were Nestlee Quick color and up to the top. And that is one of the effects this weather has; sudden creek flooding that throws everything off for a few days.

Stability, right now that’s what we need stability. This is the time of year when the whippersnappers jump the gun, and it’s just not time yet, so keep your powder dry. And keep reading of course! This last rain event will most likely top off area lakes again, and that means releases in April. Those releases will generate some of that increasingly famous action below dams. North Texas water is in good supply, even though drought colors are seeping into the map. Below the current map, the map from one year ago.