Spring in Full Swing Despite the Wind and Early Heat

| June 1, 2012

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I can smell it now. I’ve been giving fly fishers, who’ve contacted me about guided fly fishing for carp, regular updates on conditions on the flats at Lake Ray Roberts for about a month now, and things are shaping up to be a very good year for stalking carp on Ray Roberts. (In fact, if you are on the alerts to read new posts, this one comes out Friday while I am guiding on Lake Ray Roberts.)

This will be my first year to guide for carp after the truly legendary Joel Hays hung up his flats boots in favor of a much more rewarding job – taking his two boys fishing whenever they want to go. By the good fortunes of the fish gods, Joel passed that business along to me, and I imagine I will have to shed a few skins to grow into a carp guide that is worthy of his endoresement.

Before the latest developments (taking on Joel’s business), I had been focusing on largemouth bass on the fly as well as guerrilla guiding – ready to go on spontaneous trips for phenomenon fishing like the spring hybrid runs, the sand bass runs, crappie and carp on other lakes like Lewisville, Canyon and other glamorous locations.

You can find carp a lot of places, but not many have the characteristics found on Lake Ray Roberts, Texas. A big part of my time this spring has been spent scouting for larger carp, new flats and just confirming that those unique characteristics aren’t hiding on any other lakes within range. That’s part of the big picture I will be bringing you this spring and summer; reasonable travels to waters in Texas that may be a mystery to me, or may show the potential as a fishery comparable to Ray Roberts. Drought is still a large part of this wide angle picture, and more than a few spots continue to be a victim of this historic dry spell.

Traditional guided trips targeting carp are a walk-and-wade affair along beautiful shorelines of Ray Roberts. It always amazes me to see clear waters that have beautiful gradient changes that look almost like saltwater flats, clean shorelines, and a lively population of fish swimming nearby, seen and unseen. And it really amazes many of the guests I’ve taken to these remote locations.


Another ingredient I’ve been looking to integrate into guiding is using kayaks to take clients out on for targeting carp and bass. It seems like a natural add-on service for North Texas fly fish guiding, and with the advent of user friendly standup paddling kayaks, the learning curve is virtually flat. The Diablo is such a dream kayak platform for fly fishers, and the rigors of fly rod casting – I have to warn you, you’ll want one after a one time out on them.

If you’ve followed the Texas Fly Caster site for awhile, you know how the benefits of kayaks for successful fishing are preached here. A kayak gives you access to a lot more good fishing habitat, allows for more sophisticated strategies like – fishing from the inside out, and chasing schools of fish on open water. It also allows you to paddle to remote shores and islands, get out and stalk shores that could never be reached on foot.

I don’t consider myself to be too much more coordinated than the typical person my age, but I do have a history of surfing in Texas and California and played a few other sports along the way that may have helped my coordination. However, I have taken guys out on the Diablo who’ve never even been on a kayak, and while I am shamelessly selling their wives on shore (no gas bills after all), I look out on the water and these guys are already standing up and dancing a jig on the deck! Seriously.

I am always up to do a Diablo demo ride and I can certainly include kayaks as part of my guided fly fishing trips. Be sure to take the time to contact me through the “Contact” page, and I will send you rates for guided trips, lessons, and I also have kayak shuttle services for nearby Lake Ray Roberts and the Denton Trinity Greenebelt Corridor.

If fly fishing were easy to figure out, then we probably wouldn’t be coming back for more, and if I told you I knew something in particular without actually doing it, or vetting it, you probably wouldn’t be coming back to Texas Fly Caster for more either. I would like to think we are engaged in a mutual learning experience on the subject of fly fishing, and I just happen to be a bit more obsessed with showing than simply telling about these adventures in gaining knowledge.

To that end, I am still dying to find a place, a “GO TO” place for catching smallmouth bass. I am also looking for bigger carp in more predictable places, and am spending significant time triangulating for places that produce crappie, sand bass, hybrid palmetto bass and vivid, pure strains of sunfish – like redear, pumpkinseed and redbreast. These are all pursuits you can come along for, or let me bring it to you – either by reading about it here, or booking a trip later on.

Keep your eyes on the Instagram photos at the bottom right hand column for photos from the water. Also, consider following my twitter feed @texasflycaster and you will get the most current information, hotspots and more.

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Category: Culture on the Skids, Fishing Reports, Fly Fishing For Carp, Fly Fishing for Largemouth Bass, Guides, kayaking, North Texas, TECHNICAL, Technique

About the Author ()

https://www.shannondrawe.com 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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