Friday Fly Fishing Report – Oklahoma and Texas

| December 1, 2017

New to the Texas fly fishing scene?

You’ve come to the right place. Just about every week, I compile information sent to me by e mail subscription from taxpayer supported organizations, like the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department, and during winter coldwater season, from the Oklahoma Wildlife Department. The information comes in bulk form, and I whittle it down to what is the essence of what I would want to know if I were you. I am not a newbie, so take that last sentence with a grain of rock salt, and a heaping helping of optimism. Why? Because you have still landed on the most in depth and interactive fly fishing website based in Texas (and just about anywhere else for that matter). I’ve been called arrogant (by the guy who’s photo is in the dictionary under the word). There are so many synonyms for arrogant, feel free to fill in your blank with whatever works for you. And when you’re done, be sure to simply count up ten years of information, and count up the number of words in almost 2-thousand individual posts while you’re at it.

Sure, Google doesn’t rank this site where it should be. The only time they did was back in the days when their spiders were accurate. Nowadays? Search is covered up by Google ads, geek fly fishers who’ve stuffed the internet with worthless incoming links, and even dead sites that never move or change. Page rank has become a worthless measure. They (Google) are even doing their best to destroy YouTube these days – making imbedding more difficult (so you have to go to YouTube), and with declining ranking standards. Regardless, Youtube is still showing the greatest future potential of the internet, bar none.

Is it any wonder so many have retreated to the fake news of Facebook. We may as well call it “Fakebook.” Of course they can’t be held responsible …

Coming in for a Hard Landing – JUMPING OFF THAT SOAP BOX NOW!


I just felt like writing that out long board style, so maybe the end of this year will come even sooner than I want. This was one of those years. It had good, it had bad, and it still has downright ugly going on.

The good was a carp season, a season to end all carp seasons, and just maybe it has? The only season that compares to 2017 was the 2016 season, and that’s in the last ten years. The trends are pretty well documented here – for the last ten years. I would be looking the fish gods in the eye if I said I think the 2018 season will compare to the last two.

We are dry as a bone after two good water years. I don’t hear anyone talking the dreaded “d” word yet, but if December is like November? that’s what we will have – another good old drought. File drought under ugly.

The bad was, and continues to be, the ongoing beat-down of my photography business. While there have been the best bright spots (articles in Lone Star Outdoor News and Drake Magazine), the dark days dominate the year (magazine closures). Most of my “old” friends still marvel that I have been a photographer for so long now (30 years). It certainly helped to create this site ten years ago, and hone my writing to create complete packages for publications. Still, if things were as in the past, I would be spending all my free time in Port Aransas and Rockport documenting that disaster … it seems like it’s already forgotten, and if money didn’t matter? It would be an epic photographic story. I am sure some trust-funder will get that done in my stead.

I’m no hipster-trust-funder-fly-fan in case you haven’t noticed, so the long exhausting manual labor weekends are filed under bad, but also under good. They’re good because I am much stronger than before the bout with HPV throat cancer two years ago, much much stronger. Of course with this particular manual labor comes the threat of serious injury, and I teeter on that edge every single weekend. The beat goes on.



Blue River

November 28. Elevation normal, water 53 and clear. Trout good on caddis flies, in-line spinnerbaits, midges, nymphs, PowerBait, gold spoons and San Juan worms around points, rocks, below rifles and obstructions in current in deeper water. Stocked approximately 4,800 rainbow trout on November 22. Report submitted by Matt Gamble, biologist at the Blue River Public Fishing and Hunting Area.

Lower Mountain Fork

November 26. Elevation normal, water clear. Trout good on PowerBait along rocks. Report submitted by Mark Hannah, game warden stationed in McCurtain County.


November 26. Elevation normal, water clearing. Striped and white bass good on flukes, hair jigs, shad and topwater lures below the dam, along flats, in the main lake and riprap. Blue catfish good on cut bait and shad below the dam, in the main lake, around points, riprap and river mouth. Crappie good on minnows and jigs around brush structure, docks, main lake and standing timber. Report submitted by Cody Jones, game warden stationed in Bryan County.

Lower Illinois

November 26. Elevation normal, water 55 and murky. Trout fair on midges, nymphs, PowerBait and small lures below the dam, inlet, river channel, rocks, spillway and tailwater. Report submitted Jeremy Bersche, game warden stationed in Sequoyah County.

I can tell you first hand; if current elevation at the Blue River is “normal,” then I never want to see “low.” I dug up these graphs that show the difference year-over-year. Pay close attention to the left hand side of the graph, and less attention to the overall curves.


As usual for this time of year, we are going to include the Saltwater Report from TPWD only. Feel free to ad your 2-cents worth if you have any truthful, consistent and repeatable freshwater fly fishing reports to grace your Texas Fly Caster readers.

You can see the saltwater reports have become much shorter now, but that doesn’t mean much of anything. I see a lot of images – through the Texas Fly Caster Instagram feed – from other guides and fly fishers around the State.

This November didn’t seem to have quite the zing November of 2016 had, but you will remember that we were talking about the long term effects of not having winters; nature must have her seasons! It is an opportunity to procreate, rest and feast. Without winters? You tell me.

North Sabine

Trout are fair to good under the birds when the wind allows. Redfish are good in the marsh on plastics tipped with shrimp.

South Sabine

Sheepshead and black drum are good at the jetty on live shrimp. Trout are good for waders working slow–sinkers on the Louisiana shoreline. Trout are good on the south end of the lake under birds.


Trout are fair to good on the south shoreline on soft plastics and plugs. Black drum and redfish are good at Rollover Pass.

Trinity Bay

Trout are good for drifters working birds and shrimp. Redfish are good at the spillway on crabs and mullet. Trout are good over deep shell and shad.

East Galveston Bay

Trout are fair to good on the south shoreline on topwaters and soft plastics. Whiting and sand trout are good on the edge of the Intracoastal on fresh shrimp.

West Galveston Bay

Trout are fair to good in the mud and shell on MirrOlures and Corkies for waders. Sheepshead, redfish and black drum are good at the jetty on shrimp and crabs.

Texas City

Sand trout and croakers are good from the piers on fresh shrimp. Redfish are good in the holes in Moses Lake. Flounder are fair on shrimp and mullet along the edge of the channel.


Sand trout and sheepshead are good on live shrimp on the reefs. Redfish and black drum are fair to good in Cold Pass and San Luis pass on cracked blue crabs.

East Matagorda Bay

Trout are fair for drifters on Bass Assassins, Down South Lures and Gamblers over humps and scattered shell. Redfish are good on the edge of the Intracoastal on crabs and mullet. Flounder are fair on Brown Cedar Flats on jigs tipped with shrimp.

West Matagorda Bay

Redfish are good in the holes on the north shoreline. Trout are fair on shell on soft plastics. Flounder are fair to good on soft plastics over muddy bottoms near the Intracoastal.

Port O’connor

Trout and redfish are fair to good on Corkies over soft mud in waist–deep water in San Antonio Bay. Trout are good over reefs on live shrimp. Trout and redfish are fair for drifters working the back lakes and the mouths of drains with live shrimp.


Trout are fair on the edge of the channel on glow DOA Shrimp and Gulps. Redfish are fair to good in the holes along the Estes Flats on mullet and shrimp.

Port Aransas

Redfish are fair to good on the East Flats on Gulps and mullet. Sand trout are good on shrimp in the channel. Flounder are fair on Gulps on the edge of the Intracoastal.

Corpus Christi

Redfish are good in the Humble Channel on crabs and table shrimp. Trout are fair on the edge of the flats on live shrimp and DOA Shrimp.

Baffin Bay

Trout are fair to good in mud and grass on Corkies and MirrOlures. Redfish are good in the Land Cut and on the edge of the channel on shrimp and Gulps.

Port Mansfield

Trout are fair to good on DOA Shrimp under a popping cork around grass holes. Redfish are fair to good while drifting pot holes on topwaters and plastics under rattling corks.

South Padre

Trout and redfish are fair to good on the edge of the Intracoastal on DOA Shrimp and Gulps. Redfish, black drum and mangrove snapper are fair to good in the channel on shrimp.

Port Isabel

Trout are good over mud bottoms along channel drop–offs on Gulps and shrimp. Redfish are fair to good in the guts on the flats on Gulps and live shrimp.


As we close out this year, I want to make sure to let you know there will be one more Youtube Texas Fly Fishing Report Video before the year closes. We’ll be turning down the volume a bit on video until spring rolls around, but I still have a few informational videos in the vault waiting to be released. It will have what you have come to expect from my video reports (is anyone else doing this kind of reporting in Texas or elsewhere?), and it will have a look at Finn – for good measure of time going by, and it will have a look forward to what is to come in 2018. I also hope to have a list compiled of all the things that didn’t happen in 2017, because I am the kind of person who takes others at their word when they say they’re going to do something and then don’t. I can actually think of a few things instantly.

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Category: Body-Mind-Soul, Culture on the Skids, Fishing Reports, Oklahoma Report, Paid Reading Content, Texas Gulf Coast

About the Author () is where to find my other day job. I write and photograph fish stories professionally, and for free here! Journalist by training. This site is for telling true fishing news stories, unless otherwise noted.

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