Monday Rains on the Sidewalk

| October 14, 2013

fly fishing in texas

Note – Welcome to wherever you are this rainy morning! I hope you arrived safe, for those of you in the Austin area. Your fly fishing dynamics have certainly changed in the last 36 hours, and it doesn’t appear to be over just yet.

National news is running shots of Austin, Texas, underwater. Cars washing down the gullies, and high water rescues were on the “highlight” reels, and more rain is tracking through Central and North Texas today. It’s almost enough to make us think we are over the drought around here.

No. That’s certainly not the case, and much of the rain is still soaking in instead of running off for the masses to waste on their non-native landscaping. The entire water discussion is soaking in though, as I heard when talking (in person) to a friend and fellow fly fisher last week.

Without reference to “Water Wednesday,” he echoed things I’ve been saying for months now, “It wasn’t like this when we got here!” he said in a hushed loudness. “All the trees, all this grass! None of that was here. None of it’s native. This was prairie grassland. Arid is normal, and we have to get back to that thinking!” He was on a roll. “We could solve all our water problem by conservation!” I didn’t feel the need to tell him he was preaching to the choir.

If the current debacle in Washington, D.C., teaches us ONE THING, it’s that it doesn’t take a majority to effect changes of epic proportions. The Tea Party is not a majority party, but look at what they’ve done (I have no interpretation of “bad” or “good” in regards to the entire situation). Until we have an organized, unified voice of reason, dealing with Texas water problems from a conservation perspective, against any new watersheds, financed, with lobbyists … the wheels of big interests are going to run the table, and the decisions on Texas water will be all done before we get started. This is an instance where, “he who hesitates, is lost.”

Can you tell? Rain has become more of a call to action than a call to fish! It’s because or tendencies are so obvious; we all relax, and think we can get back to our “normal” water ways. Okay, off the soap box, and save some of this for “Water Wednesday.” If you look back in this article, you find a great weakness in this soap box diatribe – I’ve only been “saying for months,”when I should’ve already been on this topic for years.


Bass are coming in for their fall feeding. I have managed a few on my white/white Clouser Minnow pattern with bright solid silver flash. Water is stained, or it’s after sundown, so we’ve turned from from black Clousers (a debatable change) to white. Be sure to use dark eyes and black thread for this pattern. I have been taking them on slow and fast retrieve, and the fight has been surprisingly hard. They seem as surprised as I am when caught!


I am finally hearing more about the drought’s effect on other areas of Texas, and hearing the real versions instead of the “chamber of commerce” versions … about the Brazos River below Possum Kingdom lake, the Brazos below Lake Whitney and the LBJ Grasslands. Essentially, all of those are suffering from the side effects of the drought (until today at least). The algae bloom below Whitney, as far as I have learned, did not reoccur this year, but the effects of the golden bloom still linger, and recovery there will take a long time. In the Brazos below Possum Kingdom, I am hearing that there is possibly an (as yet unreported?) ecological inbalance – possibly because of the fires that dropped ash in Possum Kingdom Lake. Out west, as we have documented, the drought is taking a much heavier toll on the LBJ Grassland ponds. Ashes to ashes, dust to dust.


There’s always water in the Gulf of Mexico. Did you ever notice that? It’s another reason I find myself collecting, and saving my home-work “chips” — to blow them all on trips to the salt. And every report that comes puts a little chink in my armor –

“The LMFFA 2013 beach trip was a great trip this year. We had 18 members and guest fishing on the trip and everyone caught at least several fish. The group caught, Lady Fish, Spanish Mackerel, Bonito, Jack Crevalle, and even jumped several Tarpon. The surf and Port Mansfield Jetties were covered up with bait and the game fish were there too. We will be posting photos of the day and evening events on the Laguna Madre Facebook home page, and on the Rio Grande Fly Fishers Clubs site at,,
It was great to see everyone on the trip yesterday and we missed those who were not able to attend, you missed one of the greatest LMFFA beach trips ever.”

And, I live where?

Some relief is in sight. As I prepare (to assist) two Cimarrona shows that lead closer to the Gulf Coast. Close that is, but not quite. First, I hope everything cooperates to do some fly fishing near Tyler, Texas, later this week and coming weekend – actually near Edom, Texas. Second, two weeks out is the Houston International Quilt Show, where I will be spending some time in support of Cimarrona and the booth there. That should be interesting. As you know, Houston is pretty darn close to the salt, and I will be sampling some early flounder if everything lines up properly for that adventure (again this year). It will be early for the official “flounder run,” but then that’s why we’re here – to push that envelope and see what’s possible.


Still to come this week? I have hours of video to go through, and many still images to edit – from Canada, San Angelo, lost footage from North Carolina, and whatever else that I have forgotten … so, stay tuned!

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Category: Causes, Culture on the Skids, Fishing Reports, Science and Environmental, Texas Water Conservation

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