Tag: daingerfield pickerel

Rain Mostly Kept at Bay on Water Wednesday in North Texas

| February 15, 2017 | 0 Comments

fly fishing in daingerfield lake chain pickerel texas weather van vleck tornadoes texas rain map

Texas Fly Fishing Dangerfield State Park

3Ms Courtesy Photo 2017 Daingerfield State Park Texas.

We had a close brush with much needed (on a yard level) rain over the past two days, but today is a bright sunny day with no rain on the radar for about another week. All we recorded here amounted to barely an inch of precipitation. Just in case you think rain is all about water, it’s not! These cloudy rainy days also trigger fish bites in lesser known places – like Daingerfield Lake in East Texas.


Daingerfield is a lake known for its abundant, perhaps overabundant, supply of chain pickerel. These East Texas chain pickerel have proven to be extremely susceptible to the fly year after year. But they really come out to play on overcast days more than any other time. So I was not too surprised to hear that this past weekend was not so productive for the 3M’s at Daingerfield.

Daingerfield is a fantastic place to pursue an unusual fish, in a very beautiful setting; surrounded by pine trees, a smallish lake that is completely fishable by kayak. It is perfect for family overnights. It also has crappie, largemouth and sand bass in fair numbers. The lake is a no wake lake, meaning you can bring a boat in, but you can’t go fast enough to make a wake. Why would you want to anyway? This lake is tiny by boating standards, and the quietness is one of the first things that will strike you Metroplexians – right between the ears. This lake is close, and is truly an ESCAPE from what ails you.


We did have a sweep of rain across North Texas earlier this week, which is great news; it keeps the lakes topped off, and puts pressure on the USACE to release water leading into Spring 2017. Those water releases are key to: 1) the sand bass bite in creeks, 2) big releases in rivers that trigger hybrid bites, and 3) enhances our carp habitat everywhere. Right now, we are looking at consecutive year setting itself up to be off the charts for fly fishing inland Texas waters.

What is not included is a run of very bad weather that hit the Texas Gulf Coast yesterday. Van Vleck apparently suffered the brunt of these unusual February storms. This is dangerous stuff for those of you fly fishing the Texas Gulf Coast.

The map still tells the tale for Texas, plain and simple.

Texas Drought Map 22017

See more details here TEXAS DROUGHT MAP

Special thanks to the 3M’s for sending in their photos from Daingerfield this past weekend!

In the Bayou City Super Bowl Weekend 2017

| February 6, 2017 | 0 Comments

Houston Super Bowl weekend and some fly fishing to boot

Well, our most popular day of the week – MONDAY – has been preempted by the need for me to tend to family in Houston, Texas. I sure can think of a lot of worse places to be in Texas! Some of you may have read between the lines before now, and know what I have come to know; Houston has it going on in a great way.

Thanks for stopping by anyway, and these next few days are touch-and-go, not an emergency, not about me, but very much unexpected. And for those following along, all along, at home; salt plans for February, due to events here, have been cancelled. The “plans” have been cancelled, but this month feels somewhat unpredictable in every imaginable way.

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Magnificent Monday Morning

| February 17, 2014 | 0 Comments

texas fly fishing chain pickerel daingerfield #flyfishing #fishing

A week ago here in North Texas … schools were canceling their days, frozen mist was in the air, and cars were flying off the road by the time I headed back to Denton Monday night – mayhem. By Wednesday, the weather broke, headed east, and made history.

What a difference! Today, on President’s Day, we’re looking at 75-degrees, and while the water is still hypothermic, unique fly fishing opportunities are there for the taking, and the driving.

fly fishing for chain pickerel
Typical chain pickerel caught on fly at Daingerfield State Park in East Texas.


It’s a safe bet that after the weather breaks, the State parks will be crowded with people gone stir crazy. But when the weekend is what you’re dealt, then you load up at the crack of dawn, and take the chance to see how the chain pickerel are doing at Daingerfield.

The weather and calendar had certainly aligned; warm air, cold water and clear skies make for some of the best days of fly fishing for the strange looking chain on the fringes of the small spring fed lake surrounded by beautiful pines.

It has been awhile since I fished Daingerfield, long enough that I had obviously forgotten that there was a major forest fire that swept through the park in October of 2011. In fact, the last time we fly fished Daingerfield State Park was in 2012 to take Immanuel Salas out on the Diablo, when he caught the lake record largemouth bass on fly. (Gosh, two years ago seems like yesterday.)

When the rain is in short supply, recovery from fires takes that much longer, and the damage looks as fresh as if it had happened six months ago.

Chain pickerel look a lot like miniature muskie; duck billed fish with teeth that belong in a horror film, attached to a long camo green body that is very muskie-like. They seem to be just slightly more evolved than a gar, which makes them catchable on fly, and an exciting pursuit on Daingerfield. Don’t let me forget to mention how much they stink as well. The clear water of that lake often gives you the opportunity to see them come out and take your fly – especially if you are able to stand on your kayak.

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Fly Fishing For Chain Pickerel at Daingerfield State Park

| January 30, 2012 | 2 Comments


Daingerfield is a lake I visited about four years ago, and was one of the first places I attempted to do a video “podcast” of fly fishing adventures. For those of you who have seen the original, you may want to take one last look because it’s so bad, I am seriously thinking about deleting it. Chalk it up to on the fly learning, or whatever you want … the free information certainly has gotten better, more honed, over the years don’t you think?

Anyway, if you are unable to view the video (and there’s no reason that should be a problem), feel free to ask questions – login and comment – and I will do my best to answer them. Suffice it to say, things are not the way they were three years ago at Daingerfield. Even with the park closed for a year (it reopened last July), something seems to be slightly off on the lake.

Daingerfield waterbody record for largemouth bass caught by guest Immanuel Salas
Largemouth bass record on fly rod for Daingerfield State Park outside Daingerfield, Texas.

We have had a mild winter, and spring will be coming soon(er), so perhaps that has something to do with the complete lack of bait fish right now. The water looks like it has been low for awhile, and the grass that used to be submerged around the edges is high and dry – dried to a crisp. That is the grass that chain pickerel used to use for their cover and ambush tactics. There’s hardly any of that left at all. Although the largemouth bass that Immanuel Salas caught is a lake record on fly rod, and a real pig, the pickerel caught were emaciated. I have a couple of theories on that, but to give you an idea; Mr.Salas caught one chain pickerel that was about two inches greater than the current fly rod record (stands at 14″), but the fish actually weighed substantially less than the current record (less than a pound).

The most effective fly we used was, again, the Seaducer in white and red – the typical Seaducer. I tried several flies, and that is the one that generated the most action.

Enjoy the video, and ask questions – if you have any. I will only reply to questions posted in the comments. No personal e mails, or questions via the “Contact” form will be answered.

Clear Water at Daingerfield State Park