Tag: drought

Water Wednesday by the Numbers

| February 8, 2017 | 0 Comments

What has been interesting about North Texas weather this season is the fact that while we were flirting with winter drought, several North Texas lakes are right at 100-percent capacity.

Although our yards (which we should’ve plowed up a long time ago) are taking it on the chin, rest assured – you’ll have plenty of water to waste on that grass this spring and summer.


This map shows fly fishers which areas of Texas are currently suffering from drought. There aren’t that many, and the most prominent area is South Texas Borderland where there are few lakes and reservoirs to begin with.

Texas Drought Map


The map below is a bit more interesting. It shows lake levels with blue being those at 90-percent or greater, and down the color scale from there. As you can see, at a Statewide 85.4% capacity, our lakes are doing quite well overall.

Texas Lake Reservoir levels


North Central Texas Lake Capacities

Now it’s time to see which lakes will size up on the fly fishing scale this spring and summer. These current levels give you the hint – If we get a rainy spring, the dams will open and the hybrids and sand bass will do their thing. After all those years of drought? I don’t take those events for granted anymore. Do you?

Watch the Birds on Water Wednesday

| February 1, 2017 | 0 Comments

Texas fishing weather for the birds!

We have a backyard that birds seem to love. And right now, they are flocking to our bird baths in the morning and evening – by the dozens. It’s not uncommon to count five common species at any given time. Nothing nearly as exotic as the flocks of parrots that used to congregate at a nearby park, but still a good indicator.

It’s not that the lakes are full, which they are, but the puddles and winter cold precipitation are missing from the bird’s natural habitats.

Texas Drought Map

My regular source for Texas drought information is – http://droughtmonitor.unl.edu/Home/StateDroughtMonitor.aspx?TX

As you can see, the map looks great compared to years past, but still shows North Central Texas, and my homeland The Borderlands — dealing with dry conditions right now. I will be running a graph of the watershed’s levels next week. I can imagine there will be some coastal salinity issues if the lakes are full but holding, but no fresh rain is making its way into the river systems.

Why Didn’t You Say So!

| September 16, 2015 | 0 Comments

texas fly fishing for carp #fishing el nino drought carp habitat

NOTE – Among the plethora of doctors, nurses and dietician I saw yesterday (the long day), one of them said, “just go back to the routines you had before all this happened.” I almost slapped my head (like I could’ve had a V8), but thought better of it, and thought again … sounds good to me. My wife, who is my fantastic caregiver and second set of ears on the longer days said, ‘You gotta’ go fishing!” Of course, we are on the front end of the pain curve, so in another couple weeks I may crawl back under the bunker again, but for now I’m giving it a go.


And All  I can say is, IS IT RAINING where you are? It sure isn’t raining in North Texas, and the drought map tells the tale of history repeating itself. You will recall, I made this analogy to the great Texas drought of the 1950’s which was brought to my attention earlier this year because it is the drought that was “interrupted” twice by major rain/flooding events. Well, we may not have a twice yet, but we do have a once now. Regardless of our opinions on the topic, and regardless of Texas Climate History, regardless of El Nino´, the drought is on again here. What does that mean to fly fishing Texas lakes as some of us do, and especially those lakes hit hardest by the floods of 2015?


My experiences this summer on Lake Ray Roberts basically told me a tale of a lake bulging with fish that were … basically … confused. Finding hundreds of bass in the 1-to-2 year-old range was not a problem, and closed parks and ramps brought them out to play HARD. And there are millions of bass fry as well. Even the little six inch bass are taking swings at flies that are bigger than they are! However, we’re a bit more interested in gold than green, and carp are where the confusion starts. I believe these fish are and have been confused by the spring weather, and now they are equally confused as their habitat is so unstable due to the rapid draining of the lake sense the floods. Feel free to think.

Fly fishing is a game of inches in so many ways. And fly fishing for carp in shallow flats is one of those games of inches. Too high, and they may be there, but too deep to get the sink right (and seemingly more spooky). Too low, and they’re off the shallows. Well, what if the habitat is changing by inches over the course of a week? Carp may want to go somewhere, heck they may have been there, but now that flat is high and dry!

History tells me I have caught my last carp of the season, those last remaining individual sloven slackers who just want one more bite from my table, as late as the first week in November, and consistently into October – tailing off to November. The lake is stabilizing its level now, and others down the chain are opening up. Will we have a wet El Nino’, or will it be a dry one? We won’t know until all the shouting is done, but I am putting all my money on red, as in drought red, for this El Nino’ season and I so very much want to be wrong.

Thanks for reading! Thanks for all your personal messages of encouragement. I am sorry that I cannot keep with the YouTube Channel updates, but I may find some way to do YouTube content that really doesn’t include yours truly, therefore making it a bit more … pleasant.

Next time – rejuvenating my saltwater fly tying energy with new materials and a new (to me) book I am finally getting around to reading …

Water Wednesday – Who’s Right Who’s Wrong?

| June 10, 2015 | 0 Comments

texas water floods flooding north texas spring weather trinity river dallas zebra mussels

June Texas Drought Map

june 2 drought map

The first question you should ask today is, “Who’s right?” I have heard, with my own two hairy ears, the talking weather-heads on TV saying, “Lakes will be curtailing their releases until the flood stage on the Trinity in Dallas goes from …” +37 above to +30 above (or down seven feet). 

Yesterday, at the Lake Ray Roberts, Texas, Dam, it was running wide open for several hours, and filling the Elm Fork to the brim at the Dam riprap – to  the  brim. So, whether or not the talking weather-heads, are right, or the USACE is doing something wrong; it’s clear the water from Lake Ray Roberts is dropping like a rock, and going on down to Lewisville. Now, the only thing I can think of is that Lake Lewisville is “curtailing” their releases to take some height out of the flood plane in Dallas, but there’s no way for a civilian to visually check from the ground easily, as the LLELA Park is closed all but Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Perhaps someone can step out of their office in Lewisville, and let us know what they see?

It should come as no surprise the USACE isn’t forthcoming in what their plan is (if you’ve seen it, send it), and they don’t look like they are going to be held accountable (since when have we been able to hold government agencies accountable, you might ask?) for being slow to start releasing in the early days of May, we can’t expect them to suddenly start sharing their classified plan. My theory runs along the same lines as what later turned out to be fact in dealing with the spread of zebra mussels from Texoma. There are three governmental agencies that have a keen interest in North Texas and Texas water. One is the USACE. Two is municipal water districts. And three is the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department. And it’s not like the TPWD gets to cast a tie breaking vote … the USACE is big government, the water districts are red state growth-dedicated-non-conservationists, and TPWD? Yeah, right. The guys in the white hats don’t stand a chance.

Meanwhile, Texas is off the drought map for now. Of course when June came it just stopped raining which should come as no surprise.


And what of the zebra mussel? I wonder why we haven’t heard anything on water testing anywhere below Lewisville Lake already?

Water Wednesday – The Haves Have and The Have-nots …

| March 18, 2015 | 0 Comments

texas drought fishing effects #flyfishing weather

conservation awareness for fly fishers

North Texas, at the bullseye of a prolonged drought in its fifth year, looks like it may be getting a drop on the tongue today.

While local Central North Texas lakes are gleefully reported to be going up a foot at a time this year, many are still deep in the negative, and Western Texas is drying up and blowing away. I wouldn’t be surprised to see dust storms whipped up from out west and delivered here next fall, on the edge of cool fronts, or in any direction anytime the wind chooses to blow. And the wind does blow out west, doesn’t it?

One talking weatherhead had a simply profound statement that stuck with me, “It hasn’t rained when it’s supposed to rain,” so that bodes ill for the dry season.

Based on where it has been raining, I think the trip south to Honey Creek, Northwest of San Antonio and near the Guadalupe, may be an eye-opener … to see green plants on moist soil and waters at capacity, actually flowing rivers and creeks? The wonder of it all. It certainly has the potential to be the right place at the right time.


If you do take the time to enlarge the maps below (click), they’ll reveal some interesting FACTS. The amount of area that was NOT suffering from the Texas drought has actually increased in the last year, while the amount of area that HAS BEEN suffering from the worst level of drought (I call it Epic) has increased too – in fact doubled. So we can deduce that the lines that separate Texas into extreme and no drought are getting a lot closer together. A few miles in one direction, or the other, can mean drastic differences in fishable waters.

And if you’re planning a summertime trip to fly fish in the USA, the National map tells the story for you – head east.

USA drought map improvements

New Texas drought map