General Fly Fishing Report for April and May

| April 25, 2012

Work Gets In The Way … Thank Goodness

The month is crawling to a close, and it has been an interesting month from the confines of working out on the Shale, all night just about every night, and then hauling it back into town to work intensely for my photography clientele days. Sleep gets sandwiched in here and there – in four to six hour slices. The thing about working out on the Shale is that it’s the kind of work “you gotta’ get while the gettin’ is good,” and I am squeezing all the hours out of it to have a cushion for heading to the salt in May, and other climes the rest of the prime season.

April flowers from the shores of Lake Nocona Texas
From the shoreline of Lake Nocona, Texas, in April.

April Showers Bring May Flowers

As April winds down, it seems to have been one of the best spring weather months in memory. Rain, cool temperatures and patterns reminiscent of long ago, seem to give hope that the drought of 2010-2011 is ancient history for North Texas. There are pockets of severe damage and loss, and that’s a big deal, but an April without tornado outbreaks would be virtually unprecedented. IF there are any readers who suffered damage, comment, and we will see what we can do to help rebuilding (I do know people who can help as well). Now, if the rest of Texas finally gets a taste of our good rain fortunes …

Reading about Fishing and Fly Fishing

In order to bring readers of Texas Fly Caster a well rounded variety of informative articles, I do read plenty of supplemental publications on fly fishing and fishing in Texas. Of course there’s also the Texas Fly Reports website as a source of information as well as a behemoth of a busy site Texas Fishing Forum (TFF) that boasts traffic that reaches the level of profitable (a very hard thing to do). When it comes to the TFF, you will find more helpful people with better participation and better attitudes – OUTSIDE the fly fishing board categories.

One magazine that I have read for a very long time is “Texas Saltwater Fishing Magazine,” and in the last six months, that publication has gone through an amazing redesign – nearly from the ground up. Other fly fishers I have turned onto this magazine do regularly complain about vague content and amateur writing, but at least now it doesn’t look like a series of self serving fishing reports from guides up and down the Texas Gulf Coast. The further we get away from the Texas Gulf Coast, the more difficult this one is to find.

Another magazine that I recently swapped from paper to iPad versions is Fly Fishing in Salt Waters” – a magazine that is mostly Florida and east coast oriented and absolutely beautiful to read digitally. The great thing is that as long as I have my reader, I have all copies of the magazine with me. It sure beats the heck out of figuring out where to store old issues. The latest issue details megalops atlanticus, a fish that haunts and taunts every saltwater fly fisher who hasn’t had a shot at one, as well as those that have.

Lastly, just as a rule you’ll want to look at “Saltwater Sportsman” magazine, another I have converted to digital subscription. This one is predominately conventional tackle and also has offshore action, but just like reading the non-fly fishing discussion boards, it provides just as much (sometimes more) information as a fly oriented saltwater magazine.


The weather has taken another unexpected turn in Texas, with record high temperatures out west – in the triple digits – and warm weather spreading very early to the rest of the State. Exceptionally strong south winds are feeding moisture from the coast all the way into the interior of the US, making for another volatile mix, and pushing fly fishing lakes to the limits. If int’s not windy, the water stays cloudy for days after (between blows), and even serves to push more water over the edges of the lake flats shorelines and into thick vegetation. Look for some amazing carp spawning action in the next few days. They may not eat, but I have caught them by hand this time of year – just to introduce myself.

I am hearing reports of healthy post-spawn largemouth bass action inland, and still some volatile weather along the coast. Looking ahead to next month in the Texas salt, we have a very good outlook for fishing just past the middle of the month – May 18-21.

North Central Texas lakes and reservoirs are still full and letting off some surplus here and there. The last I heard Denison Dam is still bringing down Lake Texoma, Ray Roberts has toned down their release and Lewisville Lake is still filled to the brim.

The Central Texas lakes that lead to the rivers that lead to the Texas Gulf Coast bay system may not be faring as well, but I haven’t checked the data on that. Fresh water in the bays would probably be a good (normal) thing this time of year – under normal conditions.

The Texas Gulf Coast continues to generate glowing “chamber of commerce” reports on quality and quantity of redfish and speckled trout being caught there. Plans are to report directly from the coast once a month for the next few months, yes, even with gas prices where they are nowadays. We have another episode of Kayak Fishing Journal scheduled for the coast in May, and this will bring the total episode count to two in the past thirteen months (not exactly blazing trails, but fun nonetheless). God willing, I will live long enough to see the Kayak Fishing Journal succeed. That clock is ticking.

In South Texas, I guess the late nights watching bass pros run around Amistad and Falcon have warped my brain into thinking I need to fly fish those legendary lakes. Every time I mention doing the Devil’s River and put the feelers out – I get more negative than positive information coming back in. That trip, like most, goes better with an open wallet.

If the opportunity arises I will also be headed to the Houston area during this prime time of year – to take a look at Conroe again, and see if I can get into some ponds, or some trouble in Galveston.


This weekend is the Denton Arts & Jazz festival in Denton, Texas. There will be lots of art vendors, food, dance troops and music, lots and lots of music. If you haven’t heard of Los Lonely Boys (what’s wrong with you), they are the headline act Saturday night on the main stage. The event is jazz oriented, so Lee Rittenour headlines Friday night, and traditional closer Brave Combo closes things out Sunday night. The entire venue has been upgraded, expanded and rearranged. Get there early so you can reorient yourself to the new layout.

This weekend is the Muenster Fest in Muenster, Texas, and it’s an event I have heard a lot about but never attended. Suffice it to say, there will be German food, beer and vendors of all kinds there as well. It’s a small town along highway 82 west of Gainesville, and is very conducive to motorcycle riding attendees. Don’t drink and drive.

I am sure that there are many more festivals all over Texas at this time of year, but my horrible internet connection does not allow me to do much searching these nights. If you subscribe to my twitter feed @texasflycaster, I will tweet other opportunities and always fishing hotspots of course – via twitter.


I will be having a fly tying party at the Fly Bar on May 5, so put that one on your calendar. These events are notoriously unsuccessful for some unknown reason (must be my sweet disposition), so if anyone is interested in current information on this event, check out the thread on BYOB and BYOFTM (bring your own fly tying materials).

TPWD is having a fishing booth at the Mayfest event in Fort Worth’s Trinity River Park (I believe that’s correct), and TPWD Master Angler volunteers are needed for that event. It runs the 5th. and 6th. of May, and I have already volunteered for that Sunday slot. They may already have all the volunteers they need, but I won’t know before this goes into digital print. I visited this event last year, and it’s very small and definitely not a place to find a wide assortment of original art booths.

No matter what, you can find something to do if the wind or weather does not allow for the usual fly fishing adventures. With the great number of readers, I would hope a few nearby fly tiers can make the Cinco de Fly-O, but understand the economy and gas costs these days make peripheral fun an extreme luxury.

NOTE – Time is getting away this week, so look for a report on Lake Nocona fly fishing, and Spanish Fort, Texas, this weekend or the beginning of next week as internet connections allow.

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Category: Events, Fishing Reports, Fly Tying

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