Tag: fly fishing in port aransas

Back From Rockport

| October 6, 2017 | 0 Comments

Hurricane Harvey Aftermath Rockport Port Aransas Texas

Downtown Rockport after Hurricane Harvey

It certainly was an enlightening week as I found myself trailing Clyde, the car of fame, from the Drake magazine column — all the way down in Port Aransas and Rockport, Texas. I was assigned with writing this installment of Clyde’s journey, and my idea of making that journey to the epicenter took hold with drivers from Houston’s Bayou City Angler and the editor of Drake magazine.

This is one of those stories that lead me to an entire alternate dimension of reality, and I am not talking about substances. As an “old school” journalist, I / we were taught to FOLLOW UP on stories. It is a “policy” that has long been forgotten, as today’s youth lack attention spans, want greatest hits, and budgets of publications dwindle to a standard of one-time-in-and-out coverage. Then, they’re on to the next “big story,” and the simpler it is the better it is for ratings.

This story is so deep and wide … what happened to Rockport / Aransas Pass / Port Aransas; it’s simply impossible for me to file it away neatly, and move on to the next fly fishing story, location, event, hotspot, state, region, lake or whatever it may have been. All plans are changed now. We won’t be leaving the Hurricane Harvey for the archives if I have any control over my professional destiny (totally questionable at this point).

Right now though? I have to balance the Drake magazine story with telling a story on what I saw  – here on the pages of Texas Fly Caster. Not a problem.


One of the old rules of journalism is: “Destruction is complete.” Meaning: If one of the talking heads you see on TV or read in your newspaper says, “… completely destroyed,” they have violated a cardinal rule. Destroyed, or destruction is complete. So, to say “completely destroyed” is redundant.

Many areas of Rockport and Port Aransas, Texas, are destroyed. The piles of gathered debris are two and three stories high, up to two hundred yards wide and by the time I get back there perhaps a quarter mile long — and that is just one location (in a highway median). Giant Mad Max-style dump trucks are running constantly, with giant trailers behind, loaded to the hilt and probably paid by the load. There are fleets of electric company trucks, fleets of DPS, fleets of TXDOT dumptrucks, and a bunch of hooligans who have descended on the area doing petty crime, thievery and up to no good. Hence the DPS constantly run the streets, beach camping area (abandoned but still functioning) and will look at you – no matter how white-bread you think you are – COUNT ON THAT.


The first thing you’ll want to decide? Do you want to help, or can you help make a difference in a war zone? That’s a hard call. The infrastructure that set Rockport and Port Aransas apart from a hardcore fishing village like Port O’Connor? It’s gone. The people who supported that infrastructure; restaurant workers, hotel, fast food, quick stops, condos and all the salt of the earth? Blown away, and gone too. For some of us, those things make little difference. For many of us with families to entertain while we fly fish, with time necessarily dedicated to others during our precious vacation time – there’s now nothing there to offer them.

SO now I am mulling over how I can do the most good for those within my orbit. The idea of a book, a thorough document, is burning my synapses, but how to fund it? And who of you really cares beyond the fly at the end of your leader? Maybe it’s time to find out.

First, let me tell you honestly the fly fishing was off while I was down there. There was a whole lot of water – an extra foot – in the bay, and that shook things up considerably. But things will normalize, the pressure is WAY OFF and getting a guide is easy.

That extra water made the finding of a redfish (requested for the Drake story) an epic ordeal, but we got it done.

AS A FIRST means of supporting our fly community down there, I would book a trip. Rates for the older generation of guides have gone through the roof, and the younger generation is quite capable if less experienced. It seems like it must be pretty typical to split a guide at these rates, and I think the most expensive guides are expecting two to a trip. I recommend both the new and older generatioin, and will drop some links for the folks I have been out with at the end of this.

Unfortunately, because I have to run off to other work, I have to cut this short. There is also no time for a “Texas Fly Fishing Report” video this week. Although I will have something out by Tuesday that will probably be preoccupied with the story I am telling you here. If you have any ideas for funding an epic story, feel free to speak up. And if your fly fishing organization (CLUB) needs a cause, feel free to contact me.

Skiff flying through Texas Marsh 2017 Rockport

KENJO Guide Service

Chuck Naiser Fly Fishing Waterfowl Hunts

Light & Fly

Swan Point Landing

Austin Orr

Flats Worthy

This story is done in a rush, and I will add photography to it when I get the chance! PLEASE at least visit the website links above (Be Brave Facebookers!), and check those folks out. Sorry to cut this short!

Lydia Ann FlyMasters 8th. Annual Tournament Announced

| August 1, 2017 | 0 Comments

Start preparing for this year’s Lydia Ann Fly Masters Tournament.

Lydia Ann Fly Masters TournamentWe have the date set, venue secured and web site up to date and ready for registrations. This year marks our 8th annual tournament and we are excited to kick things off for another fabulous year!

Due to some scheduling conflicts, we have decided to move this year’s event a little later in the year, on October 28th.  This edges up to one of my favorite times of year to fish the Texas coast and should provide cooler weather and excellent fishing.  After experiencing the upgrades that Redfish Willie’s made at last year’s tournament, we are pleased once again to have secured their private pavilion for this year’s dinner and awards ceremony.  If you haven’t been by there lately and didn’t make last year’s tournament, be sure to stop in and check out their new set up!

Below are a few things I wanted to share on how each of you can help make this tournament even better than year’s past:

  • Volunteer opportunities: This tournament belongs to each and every one of us that has participated over the past seven years.  We want to get more people involved in the tournament to help spread the workload and to give everyone an opportunity to support CfR even further.  The biggest area of support we need is to help solicit donations from fly shops, venders and corporate sponsors.  We can also always use a hand on site for Late Check-In and on tournament day.  If you are interested in helping out, please send me an email  at [email protected] or call/text me at (210) 885-3730 and we can find the best spot for you to help.
  • Spread the Word: I know many of you are on different blogs, work for different companies, are members of different clubs, visit many local fly shops and run in circles of other fly fishing addicts.  Please help spread the word about the tournament to anyone you can think of that might be interested.
  • Save the Date: Of course, the tournament wouldn’t be what it is without all of your support over the past seven years.  Be sure to put this year’s event on your calendar!  We look forward to seeing each and every one of you again this year.


REDFISH WILLIE’S – Here is your link to: Redfish Willie’s website.

PAST STORIES – Here is your link to: Past Stories on Port Aransas and Lydia Ann Tournament.

TPWD – Here is your link to: the TPWD website / Port Aransas

CITY OF PORT ARANSAS – Here are your links to: More Port Aransas and Tourism Port Aransas.

This tournament is in Port Aransas / Aransas Pass Texas. October 28 is actually a pretty fantastic time of year for Texas redfish! I will be checking the tide charts and report those here later — CHECK THE COMMENTS for that follow up!

Looking Forward To Upcoming Posts

| January 4, 2017 | 0 Comments

New Old 97’s video – CD out in 2017. Yes, they may deny, but this IS a Denton band.

“Nobody Tells Me I Can’t. Nobody Tells Me I Shan’t.” – Pretenders

There’s a lot of catching up to do Texas fly casters. I can safely say I am not addicted to this inter web blogosphere of legend, myth, fiction and fact. I actually enjoyed the little break while the demons did their damnedest to wrestle control from my feeble grasp on the Texas Fly Caster website. For what reason (other than the profit of my previous #hostgator host) I will never know. So here’s the catchup …

There’s a fly fishing story! Imagine that, a story about fly fishing on this venue that wanders far and wide. It’s about a trip to the Blue River (again), and some technical stuff on catching those fat slabby rainbows up in the C-n-R hinterlands. Stocking continues, and the fish are showing  signs of being “educated” now.

There’s another fly fishing story on the Guadalupe River mix of rainbow trout and striper. I’ll have to pull that one out of Danny Scarborough somehow, but you’ll love this one!

There’s a story or two on last year’s music roundup of fly fishing music. Nobody stepped up and recommended music for the countdown. So that’s all on me. I am turning the Pretenders “Alone” a lot right now. There’s also a few more that could make a TOP 5 — and I may even drop down from ten to five again this year.

There’s always stories on current conditions. A trip out on Lewisville Lake on New Year’s Day 2017, just to putz and keep the skiff in line – it was a bit more complicated than that of course.

There’s a membership giveaway coming this week: Purchase an annual pass for paid content and get a choice of goodies sent to you from me! Cool, right?

There’s a look forward to another winter trip to the Texas Gulf Coast, this time in February, TO, drumroll please, Port Aransas, TX! There’s no telling what kind of trouble I will get into on this one! The anticipation on this one is killing me though. Someone ask me someday: What is one of your greatest disappointments in your life – related to Port Aransas, Texas?

Running in the background? There’s also a powwow of folks who are looking to create a new event in relation to the hugely successful and well organized Bass World Championship tournament on Lake Fork. If we can do what we are talking about doing? It’ll be REAL news.

Of course there’s a lot of things getting in the way of all this, kind of like a fat guy in front of you at the all-you-can-eat buffet. But, God willing and the creek don’t rise, we will all get through this year together, healthy, happily, in one piece and most crassly for my own existence – profitably. Profit (in any venture) is very important this year – very, very important. It may sting a little, but after ten years, what else is new?

Port Aransas Texas on Fly in July 2016

| July 28, 2016 | 0 Comments

fly fishing port aransas texas #flyfishing saltwater



The long and short of fly fishing in Port Aransas, Texas, is that if you are there for a limited time … your time on the water could be long, or it could be short. Why is that? The elements, of wind, water and fire (that fireball in the sky) can do you in for days at a time. And if those “days at a time” overlap your days? well you’re pretty much done.

Tarpon Inn Port Aransas Texas

Tarpon scales line the wall of the Tarpon Inn, Port Aransas, Texas. – story on the Tarpon Inn coming soon! –

[ppw id=”138846401″ description=”Fly Fishing Port Aransas Texas Details” price=”.10″]

As I predicted, and maybe you watched the YouTube video where I groused about it recently, the slack tide did a huge disservice to the time I was in Port Aransas in July. It wasn’t that difficult to predict, and it certainly didn’t take a scientist to see the water barely moved in either direction. It left baitfish well oriented (not swished into a ball of confusion), and didn’t reach into the grass where shrimp would go … if it weren’t high-and-dry. The winds started off absolutely brutal – 30 sustained when I was driving over the causeway, and pushing 40 sustained a day later. That rendered huge areas of the bay as clear as a chocolate malt from Whataburger. The slack tides didn’t move it out any too soon either.

Even though the tides were against me, I did manage to hit on a few rat reds, just to say I caught a red, and just to feel that drug – the tug. I did see some bigger fish, but since their entire eating pattern was frazzled, so were they. It was pretty darn hard to keep from spooking them, and there just were not enough of them to shake a stick at. Those that did eat, ate a fly I made from what I (think I) know about tying the famous “redfish crack fly.” I took the original pattern from what I know of how to tie the popular Texas Gulf Coast fly, and added an articulated tail section to give it more action (and make it just a little more difficult to tie!).

The reality of flies for redfish on the Texas Coast is that redfish will eat just about anything you throw at them. Hence the huge popularity of redfish! The only catch is; with expanding areas of grass along the inland waterways, fly selection is often based on the ability to keep the fly from snagging grass. I am not a fan of weed guards at all, so casting needs to be deadly accurate. Two three full strips of the line, and the fly is ready to pull, de-weed and cast again. Depending on the sensitivity of the redfish, you could go right back at the same fish with your next cast!

I’ve been all over the Port Aransas area in past years. Links to stories from past years are here – PORT ARANSAS FLY FISHING. Those areas included catching fish on Brown & Root, the guts a short paddle across the intracoastal waterway from Aransas Pass and with Billy Trimble on a blustery day in the corner of Redfish Bay.

I dedicated all my time on this trip to the protection (from howling winds) of Mud Island, and by the last time I pulled the boat, my GPS on the underwater TV (Humminbird Helix 5DI/SI), there were lines over lines – all leading up the Lydia Ann Channel to Mud Island. The safety of the run, for those who don’t know the dangers, is pretty darn reassuring. That’s another good reason to choose Mud Island. I assume the winds will be from the north by the time I am there in February, so switching to the other side of Mud Island could well answer the question once again. Poling was completely out of the question, winds and tide took care of that option. So I anchored and walked beautiful, lush habitat until I was exhausted – with still miles to go. BEWARE – Mud Island really does protect you from the winds! It can cut 15-miles-per-hour, or more, off the real wind speeds. By the time I cranked up to go back to port, I was caught in swells between 2 and 3 feet in the wide open areas of the bay, and open channels. (The Lydia Ann Channel does also help tamp down wind driven swells assuming winds aren’t running straight up the channel.)

And the honest truth is, I can hardly wait to get back down to Port Aransas, Texas.


You might ask why I would be so hot for Port Aransas after gushing for years about Port O’Connor, Texas, and the awesome fly fishing that area has offered me over the years. Well, I see Port Aransas as another area that needs a lot of exploration, has a lot of stories to tell (many of them historic, many never told), and as a place that really can be all things to all people – fun for family, eating, drinking, kiting, birders, historians, conventional fishers, jetty fly fishers, surf fly fishers, kayakers, wade fishers … you get the picture. This is a place with multiple dimensions, and great stories really are everywhere!


Google maps with the satellite overlay will tell you a lot about what you will see between Aransas Pass and Port Aransas. If you are boating, it’s imperative to have electronics to keep you out of trouble though. And what I am finding is that electronics allow me to duplicate my routes (assuming they were without “events”), and get right back to the “marks” I put down in previous trips to the area. It’s really the best of all worlds with good GPS and maps.

Feel free to request a link to the map I created of Port Aransas, and I will give you access to a Google Map with multiple points of interest for you and your family.

There’s so much more to know before you go! In coming days, I will share more of what I came to know about Port Aransas, Texas. The fly fishing is just the tip of the iceberg. Stay tuned, and if you have a trip to Port A coming before I post the rest of these stories, feel free to contact me and I can get you some detailed answers.


  • RODS – 7 to 9 weight fast saltwater rods capable of short shots — TFO Mangrove was spot on
  • REELS – Hard to get away from Lamson and the GURU – anything less is a risk
  • LEADERS – fluorocarbon with 10-pound tip
  • FLIES – the usual suspects
  • METHOD – Skiff to shoreline grass/sand combo flats, walk wade and take shots at will
  • DANGERS – Running aground without boating knowledge. Tons of stingrays. Falling on shells.
  • REWARDS – Redfish / speckled trout / ladyfish / occasional flounder (watch for puffs of sand)


Monday Afternoon Texas Fly Fishing Report 071816

| July 18, 2016 | 0 Comments

texas fly fishing saltwater fly fishing carp on fly


Hey even I make mistakes! I blatantly relocated the saltwater fly fishing portion of my recent trip from Port Aransas (I love you too), to the place I love the most – Port O’Connor, Texas, in this report. So it must be MONDAY! And it was Port A, not Port O. Watch the video for more fly fishing, or read my digression and decent into world “civilization” below.

Anyway, the world seems to have gone straight off a cliff doesn’t it? I can’t tell you how good it is to be far removed from civilization at a place like Port Aransas, even though there’s more to that story, more good and a little bit of bad in that story.

About the best thing you could do today is to cooperate with any police officer you see, or have an encounter with anywhere anytime. And to that end, I am taking time from a very, very slow schedule, to create a video that demonstrates how to cooperate with an officer should you be pulled over for a routine traffic ticket. This is common sense stuff that is obviously not being taught by parents, family or (I doubt your state requires it) driver’s education classes. I can’t believe we live in a world where common sense has apparently left the planet. Of course the video will not be posted here, but you can see and SHARE it from the YouTube channel for TexasFlyCaster.

Thanks for watching, and have a fantastic week.