Monday Morning Sidewalk

| June 22, 2015

lagoon skiff fly fishing texas #flyfishing freshwater crappie saltwater redfish texas gulf coast galveston

Good morning and welcome to wherever you arrived this fine day! For those of you who haven’t already binged on Bloodline, a new Netflix series, be sure to check it out ASAP. Set in Islamorada, a place you will remember me driving through (because I just had to see Isla) on a fateful waste of time to pick up a Mitzi (and leave behind a “friend”) awhile back, this is one of the more sophisticated series I have ever seen. Intertwined stories, plot twists and fully developed characters set against one of the most beautiful places (hedging a bit) in the United States of America. Watch it, and see if you can keep yourself from bingeing.

Meanwhile back here in North Texas, what a rough segue, the fly fishing is improving now that we’re zeroing in on what works in these conditions. Make no mistake, these are unique times that call for unique thinking outside the box. For example, I am headed back to a recent HOT SPOT at lunch today, to see about adding a few more of those two-pound crappie to the menu this week. The sentiments on crappie are unanimous; it is the best tasting warm freshwater fish in the south, with a texture and flavor that demands more fly fishing for them!

LAGOON SKIFF

If you are wondering about the Lagoon Skiff being built in Florida? well it is done, custom from scratch, on schedule, in six weeks, and waiting for me to pick it up in Cocoa, Florida. My plans have gotten a bit warped this month, for reasons beyond my control, and when I heard from the builder – Oscar Weaver – he knew I was to be in Biloxi on a family “vaca” in July. So he recommended waiting until then to be “in the area” and to have a “2016” year model on the title. Sounded like a good plan to me. He builds a boat I consider to be highly practical, and yet easy on they eyes – not exactly a Carolina Skiff if you know what I mean – and not exactly an East Cape either. 

I have already spent a great deal of brain energy on this boat, and ways to utilize what I’ve learned from kayaking, to make it highly functional and efficient. It’s pretty easy to tell, when looking at a google image search for flats skiff, who has had kayak experience when rigging and who has not. To my way of thinking, having that kayak knowledge is a huge benefit.

ON KAYAKS

Digging through the past on this site, or perhaps landing here from a google search for “kayak fly fishing,” you may realize that I have two kayaks that are very different from each-other, but both are highly functional for the fly fishing pursuit. Those two kayaks are now for sale, along with very high quality paddles, PFD’s and all the accessories that go with them. They are priced to sell, and I will post some kind of photographs or video on them later this week. One is a 2007 (bought 2008) Wilderness Systems Tarpon 140, and it has been garage kept, and is in “great shape” according to the guys at ACK. The other is a 2008 Native Ultimate 12, and although the original seat configuration and original hull material, it is probably my favorite. You can stand and cast on this one right away, and with the seat riser, and fantastic seat, it’s a dream to go all day on the water.

ON SALT

If you are wondering about the Texas Salt, I was there on Saturday, on the Galveston Ship Channel, and I can tell you a few things for sure. First, it’s summer and the traffic is a nightmare. Get past the traffic, and the second thing is it stinks. Third, I saw all manner of flotsam and jetsam onshore and in the water – huge alligator carcasses, boards, logs, trash … the rivers are washing themselves and everything else in their paths clean … clean … clean. You need to see the photograph of the flood plane in Downtown Dallas, and imagine that scenario going into the Trinity Bay. Then, repeat that for every river hitting every bay in Texas. Obviously, we have a problem. HOWEVER, that problem didn’t stop me from seeing a young man catch (on bait and heavy lead in a fast outgoing tide Saturday) a 20-pound bull red.

I applauded when he landed it and showed it to his excited family. He was so proud, and the entire family stood in the photo with him. He could barely hold it off the ground with both arms bent, the tail dragged. I knew they would dine that night, and didn’t say a word.

RIGHT NOW

There are a lot of moving parts behind the scenes right now, and some of them are grinding my gears. I am building a bit of “fudge time” into July to deal with these grinding gears (for lack of a better term right now), but once we get the gear oil changed, I am betting on a July to remember – one way, or another.

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Category: Adventure, Backcasting, Culture on the Skids, Equipment, Fishing Reports, Flats Boats, North Texas, Texas Gulf Coast

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I write. I photograph. I fish, and I live.

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