Tag: fly fishing for carp

Monday Morning Sidewalk

| April 17, 2017 | 1 Comment

Monday Morning Roundup

Texas Guadalupe River Fly Fishing

The Guadalupe River outside Seguin, Texas. 2017

Back in the saddle again this Monday morning! I’ve been out of North Texas, and can tell you there has been plenty of rain down in Central Texas that was beginning to settle and clear by the time I left the Seguin area last Saturday.

The San Marcos, the Guadalupe, and other rivers in the middle of Texas, had the bulge of water from locally concentrated, intense rains (water rescues and all), and the locations where the rain fell with intensity – cleared quickly but sent that bulge downstream.

Last night we had a rare dead calm evening, almost too calm, like those times before the hammer drops. I guess we’ll find out when the day gets heated up. It’s hard to believe it’s April and feels like May, but that’s the world nowadays.

There’s plenty of searching going on behind the curtain here – looking to find topics as popular as this well-worn Monday Morning Sidewalk column. And I’m open to suggestion! It looks like the “Water Wednesday” report is changing from a weekly to a less regular slot, and I am looking to fill it with a new HOT topic that’ll drag your eyes back here Wednesdays.


The conditions are so good I have to believe fish are going off all over North Texas, and we’re going to see if that is true starting this week. The research leads a lot of directions, and most of them involve dealing with insane traffic conditions that engulf the DFW Region every single day, and almost every hour of the day. It is such a negative prospect that I’ll probably head any direction that doesn’t begin with the letter “S” – just as so many  of you don’t want to head “N” either.

Of course I have information on good action south of DFW, and hope to work my way down – as far as possible – in the next few weeks. You know how it is though; there are a still a lot of other getting in the way.

Two places, one south and one southeast, are Lake Belton and Ray Hubbard have quite different things going on; Belton is on the hot bass list, and Hubbard has some carp habitat that looks immense from satellite level, and based on a local (local to Hubbard) subscriber’s detail.


Remember that annual subscribers to this site get discounts on guided trips, at Pops Fly Shop and you also get personal FISH FLASH notices that contain detailed information and locations for places to catch fish, or special deals on HOT local guided trips.  Monday is subscribe day, when I open the gates to this site for all the world’s hackers to access – just so you can access and complete that subscription with the greatest of ease. What more do you want?


The new information sheet for guided carp adventures 2017 is done, and I will be glad to send that to you upon your request. It’s not too soon to book (that is certain), and it really isn’t too soon to set a date for this month! And for those who missed it, I am giving a deal specifically to public school teachers: PLAY HOOKY WITH A HOOK! weekday teacher discounts that are enormous.


Monday Morning Before Valentine’s Day

| February 13, 2017 | 0 Comments

Valentine Day Sale on fishing guide services

The Monday before VDay, and the pressure’s on! Isn’t it funny how guys feel pressure to perform, while women seem to feel everything but pressure to go out and get cards, gifts etc…

Here’s a deal! How about a guided fly trip at a Valentine Day special price? Makes sense to me. Feel free to hit the PayPal button on the right and lock in a $100 savings for a spring carp adventure on skiff this Spring 2017. Just book it for $100, and I will take that much off the final price! We will clear that amount off the typical booking fee. Since it is a Valentine’s Day gift, it expires midnight February 14, so no hurry … but hurry. Heck, just give yourself a Valentine if you’re flying solo!

The Monday Morning Sidewalk for February 13 delivers us another week of Yo-Yo weather that could be good if it weren’t for the insane winds that are filling in the good days with bad conditions. The next two days do seem more like February though – finally a bit of rain for the parched landscape. And these overcast days? They are the best thing for the trout bite on the Blue River (now quickly approaching its last gasp), and the Lower Mountain Fork in Oklahoma. My best days at both have always been on the worst weather days.

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Backcasting 2016 – A Look Back at The Year of “Recovery”

| November 23, 2016 | 0 Comments

For those who are a captive audience wherever you are this Thanksgiving weekend, please enjoy a look back at what turned out to be an epic year of chasing carp on Lake Ray Roberts, Texas. A look back at a year of recovery for me. A look back at how rough things were, and appreciation of all things, a Thanksgiving for how good my health now is. To say I don’t recognize myself from this March to this November is a bit of an understatement. But then, I certainly don’t recognize myself from, say summer 2015 to now either!

Enough about “myself” though! This long video (which you can FF at any time) is a way for me to close it out, create a document, and keep on moving; new chapters are already in the works. You may experience problems with video length / quality / streaming speeds — and there will be a lot of bandwidth chewed along with that dressing over the holidays!

If you do watch – THANKS! And if you don’t? Thanks anyway! I would rather not see myself on screen anymore, so you can keep me off screen by sending me “newstips,” and story ideas, and inviting me along on your trips — to DOCUMENT YOUR FLY FISHING (and other) STORIES for consumption by hungry fly fishers here at Texas Fly Caster. Operators are standing by!

Have a fantastic Thanksgiving tomorrow, and we’ll see you out there somewhere on Black Friday!


Monday Morning Put Out The Lights

| October 31, 2016 | 0 Comments

Welcome to the Monday Morning Sidewalk at the Texas fly fisher’s number one source for current information on fly fishing in Texas! I hope you had a fun, safe weekend, and arrived without delays (yeah, right) to wherever you find yourself this morning. Today closes the hottest October on record for North Texas, which should be no surprise. It’s the new normal, and now the stress on water supplies begins to rise in awareness again. Famine follows our feast. (Warning: Many more cliche’s follow)

I sincerely love the reaction when I say, “Put out the lights. The party’s over,” to another carp season. It means a bunch of readers take it upon themselves to prove, “It ain’t over, until it’s over,” and they get out and stick more carp, reeling them like frozen logs, posting it on forums and starting threads about  “Carp in Snow,” and other nonsensical one-upmanships . Sure, anything can happen, and anything can be done when it comes to carp, anytime anywhere. My little secret is, part of saying “Put out the lights,” is the reaction is exactly what I want and expect – been there, done that.

So officially: Put out the lights, the party’s over. I am sure I could take myself out on the skiff, and stick a carp today, but why? It’s like the difference between finishing on a cast, or finishing on a catch. Sometimes it’s a cast.

I took a guest out Sunday, and although we saw and blew some carp out yesterday, very few … it was more like sleepwalking through the Ray Roberts flats, than being on a hot summer stalk when the fish are climbing down your leader to get to the fly. Conditions were nothing but favorable, with winds about 8-10 out of the south, and temperatures pushing 80, but none of it was enough for an old time revival. The tent was down, and the poles laid straight.


Waldron Vise at Fly Bar

Lawrence Waldron vise manned by Zach at the Fly Bar Sunday afternoon.

But before we headed for the border, we had a brief fly tie at the Fly Bar yesterday afternoon. It was Kevin and Zach bellying up to the bar to tie a few on, a few flies on that is. Kevin was breaking in his new Regal Rotary Vise, and Zach had his Lawrence Waldron … yes, that Lawrence Wadron vise. Close-up experience with other brands of vises is pretty valuable in knowing what I’m talking about when it comes to vise recommendations for complete strangers with wide ranging levels of interest and skills. Of course I’ll probably never see another Waldron in person, but with the power of CNC machining and CAD design? Someone somewhere (maybe in the basement) is already working on a more evolved, more perfect version of the Waldron. Coming across a Waldron reminded me of that last elite encounter, seeing a $230-thousand dollar Mercedes in in the flesh, in the parking lot of the Federal Reserve a couple of weeks ago – two more unicorns in my journey. Aging allows, even encourages me, to more gracefully add these two things to the growing list of things I will never own. It was certainly interesting to have three different vises, the Dyna-King Barracuda Deluxe (mine), the Regal and the Waldron all turning in one place, fur and feathers flying. It’s about time to host another fly tie to offset the effects of carp withdrawal.

Regal Vise Fly Bar

New fly tier, new Regal vise manned by Kevin at the Fly Bar Sunday afternoon.

This will be an interesting week. It’s time to again go west, to San Angelo, and see if I can EVER catch a fish there. So far, I have come up as dry as the landscape on my limited searches in that part of West Texas. Honestly, my art family there gets a whole lot more attention these days, but I can always sneak out for a fix. Reading the book, “Empire of the Summer Moon … ,” by S.C. Gwynn, gave me a deeper appreciation for the San Angelo area’s historic value, and I would love to dig deeper into that as well.Empire of the Summer Moon: Quanah Parker and the Rise and Fall of the Comanches, the Most Powerful Indian Tribe in American History

Thanks for reading! Have a fantastic week, and get  out there and prove me wrong carp killers!

Monday Morning Sidewalk – The Dogs Are Still Hunting in North Texas

| October 10, 2016 | 0 Comments

carp on fly texas fly fishing ray roberts smallmouth

Good morning! If only for a moment, welcome to our escape from the US political reality show unfolding in front of us whether we like it or not. In North Texas, it has been a tall dose of reality, as we also saw our Texas Ranger baseball team bowed down to the Toronto Bluejays in resounding fashion as well. As for the first, it was Yogi Berra who said, “It ain’t over until it’s over,” and as to the Rangers, I heard the saying, “Pitching beats hitting” somewhere, and obviously pitching loses to hitting – if it’s inferior. Now that we have survived the long Ranger baseball season, and are surviving the political season … let’s get into the fly fishing season changes.


Would you believe our carp season keeps on giving? I think there are plenty of folks who hang up ALL seasons on fly prematurely – no matter where they are, or what the fish is. Here, a burst of excitement comes with the heating of our little piece of planet that starts in April and goes into the summer. The excitement is all about carp, essentially a husky saltwater-like fish that comes along for all to see as the water warms for summer. It also helps that so many followers of the carp are working their way through a school year as teachers, administrators and parents. And they see the coming of the carp as the coming of summer, and a break from all the work, and a break from all the anemic synthetic stocker rainbow trout of the (nowadays) anemic North Texas winters. (anemic is apparently my word of the day)

If you simply read the discussion boards (anemic nowadays as well) at places like Texas Fishing Forum, you would believe that when it’s time to go back to school, the carp season is to be put away, over and done just like the summer. Well, I am here to tell you that is simply not true. Sure, there is an arc to the season, just like any freshwater season of fly fishing, and we are definitely on the downside of the carp arc by the time October rolls around North Texas. If you think it’s over, well you could dismiss what I say as “carp-chamber-of-commerce-speak,” but it ain’t over!

texasflyfishing carp on fly ray roberts

As I was searching a particular area of Lake Ray Roberts for smallmouth bass Saturday, I couldn’t help but take the trolling motor ride over to a “carpy” looking area just to see if there was anybody home. I was quickly distracted from the memory of catching a yearling smallmouth on Ray Roberts a few days earlier, as the carp showed themselves to be up, tail down and feeding.

Now, I quickly realized that, just like Donald Trump now realizes, a video with audio is actually proof of character. And without video, you might have reason to question the character of reporting on carp in October as “chamber of commerce speak.” As luck would have it, I was able to get a couple of phone photos, and later I wired myself up and had a GoPro running during another carp catch. Three carp landed in the space of less than an hour. Does that tell you something? Nothing but the truth.

Sure, we are all readying for big redfish on salt in Louisiana, or Texas, and sure we are all readying for those sweet rainbows in Oklahoma, but in my neck-of-the-woods we’re also still hunting carp until the last dog dies. And I think we have about two dogs left. The end may be in sight, my latest carp so far was caught years ago on a mild November 1 day, but then maybe that last dog has a huge heart. That’s what we’re here to see this year, so stay tuned!

Please have a fantastic week as you go about your business. Perhaps you can sense a new energy level flying from these fingers these days? I guess for us “survivors*,” we never know for sure just when, if, or how we will recover. I am at the year road signs now, and finally feeling like my new reality is a whole lot better than I was beginning to think it would be; strength is catching up with energy, overeating is the norm and outlasting anyone I fish with is again my standard. Certainly, my work needs to be a more pressing obstacle to fly fishing than it currently is, but even that has been on the upswing lately. (See Texas Parks & Wildlife Cover Photograph)

*I hate the term “survivor(s)” when it comes to cancer. As for myself, I am a “cancer beater” just to be perfectly clear.

+Shannon Drawe
+Texas Fly Caster