Denison Dam Damn – What Was Old Is New Again

| December 15, 2016

There are a lot of ways you can get your posterior handed to you in fly fishing. It reminds me of a question that was thrown at me down in Port Aransas earlier this year, “Why do you want to take something as hard as fishing, and make it harder?” My answer that day, would be the same today, “Yeah, I am questioning my own existence today.”


I took an early run to Denison Dam, headed down the newly rocked path to my favorite spot on the Oklahoma side, a walk that was once between boulders, and down rocky paths. Now, it has been smoothed off, [ppw id=”150871475″ description=”Hard Dam Morning in Denison” price=”.10″]

and a turnaround? parking spot? sits right atop where I used to sun and eat lunches after a good striper bite, or before the feeding horn rang.

Today, dark and freezing, I could barely see whether the shore below the waterline was still in tact, but judging by the current pushing off the point and back beside the pool, it looked at least a bit familiar.

This was/is a verygood spot on OK side.

In the “old days” I stuck lots of very nice striper when the horn sounded, the dam opened and the current started washing down. The schedule today had that bass acwards. Apparently, with the weather around the Country, they are feeding the grid at night, and about an hour after I arrived, with light finally coming on, they shut OFF the food chain. The Red River began to drop, and the rock gardens began to rise.

It probably didn’t matter though. These fish eat at the beginning and rarely at the end of a generation. However, I have always gotten ticked, tapped and sometimes bit – even as the flow was turning off. Not today. Once that flow ended, it was so quiet I could hear folks breathing on the Texas side – a lot of hot air.

All I got was frozen fingers, lost some flies with that intermediate line, and walked away early with more questions than answers. Not a tick, tap or bite. These are the days that have me rushing to judgement about prospects … because we all know if they’re there, we’re going to catch them right?


Not necessarily. I simply think my timing was a bit off, and at 32-degrees, an 8mph wind and 100-percent humidity? I am so glad to be back in my warm house before my lunch bell rings here in Denton. I believe I need to do some glove shopping, and leave the intermediate line off next time. Whatever the case, these tropical lines are curled up as stiff as a slinky – but it’s cheaper to wait for the weather to warm, than to try and find cold saltwater lines.

I would love to have demonstrated this technique for catching these “bigguns” during a release, but today wasn’t the day. Am I giving up on Denison Dam? No way, it’s always the opposite for me. Denison Dam will have to prove to me that the striper action is gone (more than once for sure!).

If I can’t hit the generation, I’ll have to stumble through the rock gardens and hit those holes as we did in in the old days. So what I had hoped was a “crack-o-dawn” phenomenon, now becomes a late afternoon thing — as best as I can figure. They should start getting hungry before dark in those holes around the rock gardens, and when the horn blows? (First, the the heck out of the water!) There’s (or there used to be) about an hour of real feeding in the current lanes, and on the edges of those lanes. BUT, there’s only one way to find out.


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Category: Culture on the Skids

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