Monday Morning Sand Walk

| February 27, 2023

Honestly, there have been no two days exactly the same – since my arrival back on South Padre Island in October. While there are common “threads” to the days making weeks, generally, I open my door every morning and step out on the long landing, lean over on the railing never exactly knowing what the weather gods have served up – until I see it.

Winds at thirty yesterday, they’re going to forty today. Maybe this is why we winterized our boats here – when I was a kid. Days gather themselves into weeks of u-turns back into my tiny toehold, back out of the wind and on to pressing things. 

Things like how to move forward with the Los Pescadores Coffee & Outfitters location on the Island – with a speed that leaves no room for anyone, anywhere to be waiting for my work to be complete. Now that I am coming up on a year of participation and creation of the two Coffee & Caddis and Los Pescadores Coffee & Outfitters, I can honestly say it has been a very interesting ride. And it’s a ride that will end when it ends, with me being completely content that I have done everything I was capable of doing – given the hand I was dealt. 


If you are a North Texas fly fisher? Check out Denton Creek. I hear that it is on fire already, with the soggy bottom boys of North Texas in full-fly swing along the slippery banks – those banks that are not anything like the banks of what used to be a fantastic running river – The Trinity River from Ray Roberts to Lewisville. Those fine days are mostly gone along the Trinity, for reasons readers here are well aware of. So hit the Denton Creek sand bass run, and let me know how that goes! That is your HOT SPOT from me to you.


Obviously, there’s weather here at the southern Tip of Texas. And contrary to some whispered opinions, Elon Musk does not control the weather here in the SpaceX dome. No, Mother Nature is still in control and she’s blowing hard. How hard? Imagine your internet going out – because of the wind. Imagine the water in your toilet bowl swashing around because the vent is taking on that much inbound wind. Imagine a wind so hard and consistent that it actually alters the sewer venting where you live – to your bathroom sink. Let that stink sink in a minute.

There are signs though, just like the natural signs I saw along the way from Denton to South Padre Island during last Saturday’s 543-mile commute. Actually, thanks to my old guru, I still recall Mother Nature’s signs that matter most to fly fishers – and they’re starting to show. Thanks for that knowledge JH.

Interestingly, the signs of the Lower Laguna Madre are not as obvious to the home-town boy. There are no bugs or buds to signal this or that is on now. No leaves popping out, and no grass growing into mowing. No, my only available instinct is to go try, and consider bay temperatures and the simplicity of what the calendar offers from the past.

ONE THING I did not know was a “thing,” is the celebration of “Charro Days.” Apparently, that celebration has expanded from Brownsville to the Island, and Saturday, February 25th. was it. The Queen Isabella Causeway is still down to one-lane – now both directions – and the traffic and sirens ran solid – from the bridge back more than a mile onto the Island. Guess what? There’s no light for my turn across traffic to get to the fish camp. Thanks for letting me cross, whoever you were!


The South Texas exodus of the Winter Texans begins with March, as the interesting and extraordinarily diverse population makes their way back to the Northern USA. This year my radar showed a bias toward Wisconsin license plates on the Island, with Canada and Michigan making a strong showing. Nothing came close to the number of Wisconsin visitors though. 


Now, the Island braces itself for Texas Spring Breakers. This is actually an interesting topic on South Padre Island. Gone are the M-TV days of weeks-long coverage of the hedonistic Reagan Era student parties, but now I get to see what replaces that! How exciting is that? The truth of the South Padre Island Spring Break era? It is privately unanimous: It isn’t what it used to be. And the local economy hates that, and loves that at the same time. Off the record, you won’t find many old hands wishing for the good old days. It was an all-around beatdown. On the record, it’s “What can we do to bring them back?” The fabric of the Island used to get stretched as thin as today’s thong bikinis during those halcyon days. Those days funded the explosion of police and emergency infrastructure – now permanently entrenched on the Island, and that is a good thing, but not nearly as thinly stretched.

These days? I won’t be here for the thrust of spring break, but I will definitely get a taste of it. My recollections are that Spring Break on South Padre Island is less than a month, but certainly more than a week of March. Will I venture out of the fish camp? Do fish swim?

I would anticipate the Queen Isabella Causeway to be two-lanes both ways – JIT, Just in Time for Spring Break. If it’s not, those businessess who seek more Spring Break windfall? Look no further than to that infrastructure leading to the Island. There were plans for a second bridge to the Island, but the great wisdom of Austin put a stop to that pressure-release valve. 


If you are keeping up with this retail adventure, be sure to visit and – this week. More posts and announcements are to come from those two sites I am loosely managing with the help of Texas Fly Fishing and Media (me, myself and I). Anyone in range of South Padre Island can take advantage of the Los Pescadores store, order there and arrange for delivery of most items. NOTE: I have moved a significant amount of fly rod inventory, and Los Pescadores label clothing North for the upcoming show March 11 at the TRWD FlyFest. Plans, as of today, are for me to be at that event. I will be loaded with information about South Padre Island’s fishery, Laguna Madre flies and family activities. You’ll recall; in 2023, there is no coastal area more family-friendly than South Padre Island, Texas. There’s no real debate there. But, but … anything can happen!

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Category: Body-Mind-Soul, Culture on the Skids, Denton Trinity River Greenbelt Corridor, Fishing Reports, Life Observed, North Texas, Saltwater Fly Fishing Texas, Soggy Bottom Boys, South Texas, Store Merchandise, 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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