Here Comes The Sun!

| January 29, 2024

The sun cracked the code this morning.  The rays cut through the blinds for the first time in days in wide gold bands no brighter than ever, but brighter than anything seen in a week. Two mornings in a row? It was a good sign of the week ahead.

While we approach the time of year when the south wind battles back against the north, I am struggling to recall that battle taking place at the end of any January. But that is the case on the last Monday of January 2024, and I am all the better for it. 

After running a constant old-man-temperature of 73-degrees (indoors) on South Padre Island, the concept of an outdoor 73-degrees is something I would spend a tank of gas to get to … and this has been a MILD North Texas winter! Mild means cold enough to kill the bad bugs in the yard mostly, but not entirely, and it means some of the tender yard will survive to another winter challenge whenever that does come.


In the winter of 2023-24, I have never seen the end of beautiful, healthy speckled trout being caught on the Lower Laguna Madre of Texas. Size and quality abounds, and the winds I went through last winter appear not to be as much of a factor this winter. Tides are in their winter swings, so make sure you aren’t too far back in when they head out. 

“Sore as hell today; I tested a pair of snow shoes for wading yesterday.  Afterward, I had poled in to a back bay and the tide dropped out on me.  I got to push the boat several hundred yards in snow shoes.  Needless to say, I went to bed early last night.” – a friend who has a Chittum Challenger that will get anyone way too far into what can turn out to be trouble.


Here in North Central Texas, friends sent text and calls about the ice on lakes here. It didn’t take long with cold days and nights – for the lakes to chill, and I did see icy shorelines on Lake Dallas. The constant driving winds made waves and mist freeze along the shoreline several feet away from the water’s edge, and the sight of it along with crazy wind gusts on the Lake Dallas toll bridge left no doubt it really is winter here. Back lakes and ponds had the haze of ice on them, and my hopes are the aquatic plant life takes a hard hit this year. 

In the last few years, on Lake Ray Roberts the aquatic plants that choke off some fantastic coves DIE OFF LESS and less. The choke becomes wider and thicker yearly. And it allows fish, like carp, an open highway free from being seen. It also takes some unique skills when it comes to catching a fish in the salad.


I am waiting to hear from friends on the opening* of Los Pescadores on South Padre Island. Let me hear how that went – if you read this! With Steve Huff as the speaker for that event, it could have been (I haven’t heard) the biggest event the Lower Laguna Madre has seen in a long time.

DFW fly tying

The focus though, is right past my nose this week. There’s another fly tying event in Plano, thanks to Dirty Water Fly Co. Make no mistake, these (free to attend) events are drawing big crowds every time – that foster the sense of community and friendship so many of us seek these days.

*Opening – Apparently, the “Official” Opening could be February 1? No further official information or press releases have been received as this post hits the digital realm this morning. If the newsroom receives some official communication, that is true and accurate, I will be sure and publish that great news – for the benefit of the Great State of Texas’ fly fishing community.

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Category: Adventure

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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