Fish Olympics

| May 16, 2008

Fly Fishing For Texas Largemouth Bass

The Meat Whistle hit square on the thickest part of a large partially submerged shrub with an audible knock, like I was knocking on wood for luck. As soon as it hit the water a largemouth bass roiled it in like a Dyson Vacuum – all sucking action and no bag. It didn’t take long to realize this, oh say fourteener, was as wild as a March hare. Left, right and at a distance of no more than 12 feet, a complete endo after clearing the water by a good, oh say fourteen, and goodbye. Sometimes you just know when you’ve stepped into a real natural fish, and this was one of those. The judges give that fish a 9.7 because everyone knows there are no 10’s in the Fish Olympics.

I am guessing there are plenty of purists out there who cringe at the words “meat whistle”. The fly is after all, a true abomination. When Bart handed me one at Tailwaters last week, he said, “Don’t ask questions. Just take it.” And I did. They’re huge, tied on a 90-degree jig hook, and as gaudy as … a Sunday morning in the French Quarter, near cousins to many of the monstrosities thrown in the name of money at big bass tournaments. In fact they may be overdressed, or under sharpened – because the next, much smaller, largemouth shook it off after its own version of synchronized convulsions – score 8.0.

I spent the earlier hours of the day stalking the ultimate spook, Carp, in the flats on Lake Ray Roberts. Talk about an exercise in frustration; I saw as many mushroom clouds of mud as they darted for parts unknown, as I saw Carp. No that’s a fish tale. I saw many more clouds than carp, because if I had seen the Carp there would have been fewer clouds. I trudged along in the flats of North Texas loam that was probably some farmer’s garden, or field, now submerged and evolved into a vast plateau of algae, grass, weeds, sticks and roamed by aquatic rodents like Carp and Alligator Gar. About a half mile into my shoreline stroll, I rounded a corner and I stumbled onto the actual homestead; there was the old tornado shelter, completely above ground and in tact (Made In USA), fences and gates like the ones that would have been close to the farmhouse. The shelter was in such good shape it appeared something was living in it, but there’s no way I was looking inside to see what was there (yes I scare easily). This part of the shoreline was also home to a herd of Carp. I scared off a bunch of them, like I was cutting the one I wanted from the herd, and finally coaxed a three pounder onto my freaky “breminatorish” fly. We had a few good runs and standoffs, but after a few minutes we came to an agreement and I released the sucker unharmed.

What is it about these Carp? The challenge they offer is daunting, and at the same time they are there for the taking. They seem to be so smart. They just belly up to the banks, chew their cud, and roll their eyes at me. Heck, maybe these guys, the ones that stampede the herd, have all been caught before. They were so much work, that one was enough. I declared my Mission Accomplished, and then worked my way back to the submerged road where I thought the Bass must be suspended.

And they were. The abominable Meat Whistle performed as billed, as did some more subtle flies – flies that were eventually surrendered to the weeds, branches and underwater traps. It was a hard day on the fly count, but I was out there at a time when everyone was calling and saying “You gotta’ be fishing. This weather is too perfect!” It was, and I was. You can bet I will be out there again tomorrow as well.

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Category: Fishing Reports, North Texas, Paid Reading Content, TECHNICAL, Technique

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Comments (4)

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  1. Dusty says:

    Thanks for the info. I guess I need to get a boga as I must be bad at sight judging. I do not think I have seen any 8-9 pounders, but it could just be me. We should all do a float from Hwy 16 to Hwy 4 on the Brazos and some of those huge guys. Or, if y’all head to the Trinity in Ft.W, let me know. The Elm Fork of the Trinity runs right behind my house and is about 6-8 kilometers down from the Lewisville dam. We could all put in at the LLELA and pull out behind my place. I have seen some good sized ones in there as well.

  2. jhays says:

    Dusty –

    Honestly, a BIG carp for us on the flats of Ray Roberts is 8-9 pounds – I’ve only seen a few +10 in the skinny water (it’s definately a QUANTITY vs. size fishery). Larger ones will tail in 2-3 feet of water and can be stalked with a boat but it’s tough.

    Lake Kiowa (if you have access) has some of the biggest carp I’ve seen/caught – 15 to 20 pounds. The trinity in FW holds some true monsters as well, in fairly shallow water – just west of Hulen/Bellaire intersection – park in the back of the strip mall and walk down the jogging trail to spot fish.

  3. Dusty says:

    Greetings TFC!
    Joel, if I wanted to get into some truly magnanimous carp, where in N. Texas should I be fishing? Shannon and I found some nice ones this past weekend, but I doubt they would stress a Boga more than 5+/- lbs. I have seen some huge ones while floating the Brazos, but I am looking for something a little more local. Can they be found where Shannon and I fished this past weekend?

    Did Shannon share with you le mouche du jour?

    Shannon-How about a carp-tie some time?


  4. Joel Hays says:

    We will catch more carp than you can imagine NEXT Saturday! (and yes, there are THINGS living in that shelter!)

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