Monday Morning Chain Chain Chain

| December 16, 2019

Aretha, we miss you! What a song, “Chain of Fools,” 1967. Nope, we are talking, showing and telling about chain pickerel in Daingerfield, Texas, LAKE DAINGERFIELD to be exact.

Fly Fishing For Chain Pickerel

There is something about a fish that bites, runs off, and then TAKES your fly. That is my best description of how chain pickerels bite. It took me a couple of hundred miles to break it down to that simple line, but it is actually accurate. How can I say that? Because I’ve seen it.

Fly fishing for chain pickerel is a photographer’s visual feast. From the first time I fly fished for chains in Daingerfield, it was the visual of it that kept this little East Texas lake on my mind each winter when the weather finally turned.

However, at 140 miles one-way? Making it to Daingerfield didn’t happen again for a few years – until last Friday (12/6).

The weather was a mix of cool front – and tepid – and heavy clouds, and wind, and calm bright sun. In short, it was probably the most “variable” weather I have fly fished in in quite some time.

The fact the chains were still rattling the fly like the always had? That WAS reassuring in every way. In fact, I would call that kind of weather almost perfect for chain pickerel in East Texas. Shade and clouds are good stuff, and one or the other are almost a requirement for success at Daingerfield.

What is required is some kind of floatation to fly fish for chains at Daingerfield. You will want a 5-7 weight rod, and a good 8-pound leader to pull free from all the snags you are bound to get. Snags include lily pads and submerged trees. I didn’t lose a single of my Seaducers (watch the video!) because I could get up on a snag, draw down the leader until the fly was at the tip and rattle it loose. Otherwise, you will leave a half-dozen flies behind on a typical full day there. You will want to vary the weighted eyes on your Seaducers as well. Down, down down is the rule. They will come up, but if you can keep your fly at 3-4 feet? You are good as gold.


For those of you who missed the biggest Christmas Holiday Gift Show Denton has seen in years, it was pretty darn fantastic! We occupied Armadillo Ale Works Saturday, December 14, and had many hundreds of fine art patrons pass through and purchase so much merchandise that some vendors went home with no measurable inventory remaining!

You can still buy from our long list of friendly vendors! Just contact me, and I will send you a list of vendors and where and how to purchase. Could it be any easier?


Don’t forget the flies I mention in the video are available for purchase from yours truly. It is an easy fly to tie, but my ingredients are a bit different.

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Category: Adventure, East Texas, Fishing Reports

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.

Comments (1)

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  1. shannon says:

    CONSUMPTION ADVISORY for this lake. There is a consumption advisory for Daingerfield due to Mercury levels.

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