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Monday Morning Sidewalk – Sick as a Dog

| February 19, 2018 | 0 Comments

Sick Puppy

I would say I am sick as a dog, but our dog is getting, shall we say, neutralized this week. He will be feeling a much worse pang than myself. He wasn’t humping legs yet, but he is starting to respond to instincts that only boys know about – learned to lift his leg a couple weeks ago, then proceeded to put a nice mark on a pile of sweaters a couple of days ago … leading to the vet this week. At first I thought I could handle one of his descendants, but I won’t be raising any more puppies for myself. He’s probably the last one. Like I always say: IF there are no dogs in heaven, I’m not going.

No, my sickness is of the cold-sore-throat variety. I can accurately say that since having cancer, this is the first time (2-1/2 years) that I have been sick. Cancer may have been a health hiccup, but damn, what a hiccup. This thing I have, not the flu, is hitting me with left-right uppercuts, but I have already turned the corner. It does tell me more about what I can take physically (less than before), but it also tells me my health is not still compromised – which is very good news indeed!

I am cutting this short so that I can get back to being pampered (somewhat), and save up some energy for the dog days ahead. Thanks for reading! Did you buy your YETI bucket yet???

 

Monday Morning Memo – Take No Memos!

| February 5, 2018 | 0 Comments

Monday is Memo-Free

Good Monday morning to those of us who still read! This is the year that we remind everyone that #readingisfun – as if we needed reminding!

Funny thing, the word “memos” isn’t it? I am hardly a political beast, but the beasts are certainly on the loose, and marauding through such banal ditches as the “comments” on an Instagram photograph, and much, much further. I would call it a “stumble” on my part; posting a politically charged photograph of a bumper sticker that read, “DOES YOUR TRUMP STICKER MAKE YOU FEEL STUPID YET?” – which I posted with the comment “no comment.” Well … yes, there were comments, a record number of comments for one of my images. Let’s just say I’ll never do that again! 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.

 

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.

ADD TRAVIS TO THE ZEEBS LIST

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

Weekend Of Thought Gathering Perhaps

| June 3, 2017 | 0 Comments

Which is Worse

I am still deciding which is worse; blunt force trauma to the head, or 35 rounds of radiation to the head-and-neck. But since I never suffered blunt force head trauma, that I remember, I guess I will have to go with radiation.

Needless to say, the weather has smashed an otherwise fabulous weekend to smithereens – not good enough, not bad enough to make me challenge or retreat … just enough to stop outdoor life, and send me to the sound room where I am spinning the new Roger Waters while contemplating.


Speaking of guides, and stories, photography and such …

What do we say of the new cover of local magazine “D” (as in Dallas)? Rob Woodruff, Orvis Endorsed Guide (lest we forget to mention) graces the cover this month! Is that amazing, or what? Rob has obviously worked very hard to get where he is, and this is about as close* to the pinnacle of free advertising that any Texas (spelled Oklahoma) guide could ever hope for – in an entire career. Since Rob has apparently made lemonade out of the lemon that became of Beaver’s Bend after the floods, this marketing feat is even more impressive to little old me. I’d sure like someone to tell me my name rolled off his lips – even oncemuch less the 231 times he’s been mentioned here over the years.

For those readers (and haters at the extreme fringe of readers) who think this writer is about his own journey? I only wish you were right. Because if you were right, I would have written about myself in the Summer edition of Drake Magazine. Instead, you will find an article on Danny Scarborough** in the magazines “urban fly fishing” department for the, yet to be released, Summer of 2017. I certainly enjoy working with Danny to expose what he’s doing in Houston to a larger audience, a MUCH larger audience. What will it do for me?

I am hopeful that with a little luck and divine intervention, the new article will finally attest to the fact I am about writing about and photographing OTHER fly fishers and guides for publications – more than myself. And perhaps, just perhaps a few guides and readers (anywhere and everywhere) will get the idea (finally) that maybe what they do is worthy of print and photography. Stories need to come to me now, and in volume …

And believe it or not, my writing is not limited to knowledge of the subjects you find here! Test me if you like, about anything but math of course. For example, if you pick up the latest issue of Lone Star Outdoor News, you will find a story on artist Mike Quinn out of Santa Fe, Texas. So besides all the other subjects I write about, add art and history to the list (yeah, the art minor and the economic history minor may help a little bit).

***So who really hits the pinnacle of free press for Texas fly fishing guides this month / this first half of the Texas year? You tell me. I would love to hear from you. And if you know of other publications I should be begging at the door of, let me know about that too – for goodness sake!

Thanks for reading. Stay dry. Have a great first weekend in June, and maybe I will have something interesting to say by Monday Morning! Shine on you crazy diamonds!

 

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