Tag: fly fishing lake texoma texas

Monday Morning Sidewalk Mixed Bag of Treats

| September 18, 2017 | 0 Comments

Hurricane Relief North Texas Fly Fishing Trimming Skiff Going Coastal

I found a mixed bag on the sidewalk today, and this is what it had in it …

As you read Friday, the Lydia Ann Fly Masters Tournament is cancelled because the infrastructure in Port Aransas / Rockport is so damaged. Yes, the cameras have moved on, but I will be on the ground in that part of Texas next week.

There’s a new four-legged companion in crime potentially coming my way … I am giving it a lot of thought, and in this world as it now is? I could use a therapy dog for a lot of reasons – we all could! We will see; the timing of that trip south next week is a bit precarious. But, how often is one asked to write for Drake magazine unfettered and open ended?

Not one to make things easy, I imagine that drive from Houston to Rockport to be challenging and worthwhile. On the other hand, it sure would be smarter to keep the story local to Houston (where Clyde is parked now), and get in-and-out clean and simple. This weekend job has my you-know-what in a tiny vise, and the tiny handle continues to turn slowly – with no relief in sight.

READ MORE!! Continue Reading

Texas Fly Fishing Report – Texoma Striper Action Easy to Find NOW

| July 21, 2017 | 0 Comments

Spotlight on Lake Texoma Striper summer action on fly – all you need to know right now!


Lake Texoma Striper on Fly 2017HOT

If you are looking for a break from the heat, don’t head to North Texas! It’s crazy hot here now, and that heat has evacuated the flats where I fish the most – on Lake Ray Roberts.

I just love throwing down definitive words, like “evacuated,” because it triggers a response from lurkers who make it their mission to prove me wrong. They go out, torture themselves, in adverse conditions … and sure enough … they blast the airwaves with their proof of life, and superior abilities. All I can say today; you go boys and girls!

Texoma Striper FishingTexoma striper (August 2013) when guest on board with C.Keating. 


I was off Texoma before the high heat of the North Texas afternoon yesterday. My plans to redeye to the coast were waylaid earlier in the week, when I should have left, for the 800-mile round trip.

There were enough photos of striper on social media outlets, that the seed of chasing the saltwater fish on a North Texas lake seemed the most viable alternative. All I had to do is find these constantly moving fighters. That’s always the rub with Texoma’s striper population.

Dink striper are everywhere – from the release waters below Possum Kingdom lake, the release waters at Texoma’s Denison Dam along the Red River, and by the hundred-thousands on Lake Texoma proper.

Based on my extensive memory banks of fishing history stored here (not in my head), I recalled a time, about this time of year, when the striper “blacked out” the electronics of the boat I was on – along a fairly short area next to, and parallel to the dam.

The great thing about that location, on a lake as huge as Texoma, is that it is close to a boat ramp – right up against the dam at the Lake Texoma Spillway ramp, which costs $5 to use and is operated by the USACE. So bring your fiver and a pen to fill out the envelope!


The first thing you’ll want to know is: If you are hunting striper on Texoma, there are two ways to do it – 1) look for birds (which is inconsistent and seasonal), and, 2) use ELECTRONICS to locate fish. Let’s see … rely on birds or space-age technology? I will take the technology, and watch for birds. Is that the right answer BoB?

If you have never heard the word, “Blackout,” it’s a term for when the imaging on the electronics shows a school of fish so dense that it blacks out the sonar image with a solid mass of fish off the bottom of a lake. I’ve seen a few blackouts, and seeing them on electronics is a lot like when you are playing a video game and you’re headed toward your personal best, or have just beaten your personal best and have one space ship left to blast with. It’s a rush.

I didn’t see any blackouts on my Helix 5DI-SI yesterday, but in talking to guys at the ramp, they were more experienced with the location, and made the call “blackout” within 100-yards of the ramp (location 1 for you!).

What I did see Thursday morning was a slow start that hit speed about 11:30am. At that time I was beginning to see “strands” of fish on the Helix, but the reason I call it a “strand” is because they were (unless I was off to one side or the other) in narrow moving bands along the original river bed in an area from Perot’s to the launch (location 2 for you!). I saw occasional surface push action, given away by the splashing and almost instant appearance of birds.

I moved back along the dam about 10am, and ran electronics in regular sonar, and side-down scan – in multiple lines parallel to the dam. The height of the dam on the lake side gives you an idea that the depth drops off steeply and the fish can be holding up next to the dam to exponentially more depth – just 20-30 yards away from the dam rocks. BEWARE – There are what are called “turnouts” on the dam where piles of rocks were left extended off the dam for the original construction trucks to turn around after dumping their loads (a major structure for smallmouth bass catching by the way).

Since I didn’t see anything on the imaging, I went back to the boat launch area, down-scanned and waited for the fish to come. In a classic whack-a-mole move, as soon as I got to the launch I saw massive topwater action – about 1/2 mile long and 200-yards wide, just off (west) the dam by about 1//4 mile off the dam (location 3 for you!), and that was 11:30am – birds and all. I powered up and chased, but high winds shut down fly casting in the wide open middle lake. In all the action I saw, most of the surface blows looked like dinks. There was one exception and the were closer to the Oklahoma side, and all were big and the size of that school was smaller than the rest (their lip smacks flew a foot in the air). I think that would be what you would want to hit, but I was too far away and the whole thing was happening in seconds.

I caught one dink there with a silver spoon before they went down (and I thought) to hole-up at the dam. I ran the dam again, but still no blackout. It was starting to get hot, and I was running low on fuel, so I decided to get close to the ramp and scan there, but one boat (the one that made that “blackout” call) was on the only school around. So you can ASSUME that the schools are small and tight. And you’ll have to follow them as they move, and they can move FAST.

Here’s my list of tips for striper on fly on Texoma right now:

  • A kayak will do the job
  • Location – Perot’s to the spillway ramp
  • Time – be there at sunup and don’t plan to be there after 3 (unless they are biting of course!)
  • ELECTRONICS – See the Fish
  • Full sinking fly lines
  • Big bait patterns weed out the dinks (flies 5-inches or longer!)
  • Sharp hooks
  • Heavy rods
  • Fluorocarbon leaders – less than 10#? – take you take your chances (straight 15-20)
  • Super fast retrieve
  • Visual – birds and blowups are your only option without electronics
  • Visual – Birds will land and stop onshore BEFORE the fish blow up nearby!
  • Set yourself up ahead of the action – think about waiting (on the spot) for that 11:30am mass off the center of the dam
  • SAFETY FIRST – This is a huge lake that can turn on a dime. Take all precautions and a marine radio
  • Take your kid or a youth who needs to see and catch fish – THIS IS the action they will remember

This pattern includes a water temperature of 84-degrees at the surface (July 20, 2017). I think that as the water heats up further down, that previous pattern – fish below the thermocline, holed-up at the dam – will kick in. You won’t see much, if any, surface action in those temperatures – dinks perhaps.

Good luck! A full day is probably a waste of time, but the evening bite can be good without warning. This is what WAS happening. You tell me what IS happening now!

Monday Mornings Flying By This Summer!

| July 25, 2016 | 0 Comments

Good morning and I hope you are having a great summer! Blink, and it’s almost over isn’t it? We finally turned the corner here in Texas, with temperatures breaking through the 100-degree mark last week. I was surprised to find out that this heat takes a bit more out of me than it used to, and the recovery time (a frustrating waste of time!) now takes about a day – for a day on the water.

smallmouth bass texoma texas


That realization came when I spent the early part of Friday on Lake Texoma with a friend and his son. They were prefishing for a tournament there Saturday, and the Dad is a competitive bass fisher who has one of those glitter boats that goes fast, real fast. We went from one end of the lake to the other, with the last run to home being about 20-miles! I was on board to learn about where fish are, specifically smallmouth bass, and help them with their prefish.

I did manage to catch a smallmouth and a few largemouth to help their cause on what was a very calm day for Lake Texoma. That calmness allowed the heat to concentrate hard on us – like a deep basting. The next day? I was pretty worthless. However, the learning will translate well – into how and where to fly fish for smallmouth bass on Texoma. One other observation: We only saw one guide boat on Texoma, and no striper action at all. I’m being told that a huge number of the striper population on Texoma is gone — washed through the dam and now in the Red River below Denison Dam. And we all know what happens once they’re in that area below Denison Dam don’t we? 

READ MORE – Continue Reading

Smells Like Spring along the Sidewalk

| April 21, 2014 | 0 Comments

striper fishing on fly texas fishing lake texoma

I had dropped out of college in the 1980’s, and was mowing lawns for extra money to supplement a heavy tennis habit. Garlic grows wildly all over Denton, and we had this one yard where the back was gnarled with garlic and grass, and we followed the General’s orders and mowed like good conscripts – with no discretion. At the end of that yard job, my clothes, shoes and socks green, had the smell of garlic deeply embeded.

Driving home from an Easter Day photo shoot Sunday, I had the windows down, and was cranking up the Muse on the radio … when in came that smell … fresh mowed garlic. I don’t know the research, but smell is the trigger to the wasteland of forgotten things in my particular brain. I wish some of that wasteland could be plowed under and reseeded, but that one is a good memory made green almost every spring here in Denton, Texas.

michelle with texoma hybrid
Michelle HOLDING a hybrid she caught near the shoreline on the OK side of Texoma on Good Friday.


I hit Texoma very hard Good Friday with CK, spending sunup to sundown finding stripers and beating on them until, they finally gave up just before dark. What we do is “prospect” for stripers Continue Reading

Early Morning Load Up

| April 18, 2014 | 0 Comments

texoma fly fishing texas stripers carp
The coffee maker just made its final gurgle, like a dead man’s lung full of pneumonia. The giant opossums in our neighborhood are probably headed home after a night of feasting on dog food all over, fat as ticks.

The peanut butter sandwichers are slathered, and packed, as well as water, striper Clousers, an eight weight with sinking line, a couple layers of clothes and more flies for whatever we may see on Lake Texoma today, what I’m hoping to see on Texoma today.

When you’re fishing with a GIS expert, not only does he have classified lake maps, he’s always got something to show you on his phone. Me? I was looking at the numbers on the topo lines and drooling over the one possibility I don’t hear much about at Texoma – massive shallows near ancient creeks and the Red River bed. Carp next to open water? “I gotta get me some of that,” as Lefty would say.

If we get into it today, I will try and throw out some good old fish porn here – posting by phone. Keep your eyes on the Instagram block on the left, if nothing else works.

banner ad