Tag: fly fishing

Monday Afternoon Sidewalk Frozen Over

| February 12, 2018 | 0 Comments

Time to Tie and Dye a Fly

Good Monday to you all! I always want to put an “!” in Monday, somewhere somehow, and this Monday, all things considered, needs a few of those exclamation points littered throughout!

The temperature is having a hard time breaking 30-degrees here “North of Normal,” and this weather really is good for one thing (fly fishing related), and that is undertaking a huge fly demand from people having trouble in big water that is clear, aka. “Texas Zebra Mussel Lakes.”

I gleaned the knowledge from watching multiple conventional fishing shows that emphasize natural colors for their hardbalts in clear / clearing lake waters. You are well versed on the successes of my “Black-on-Black” series of Clousers (for mongo bass), but you would be surprised to know that in my assault on other lakes last year? The Black-on-black ruffled a few scales, but very few, and my reaction to the slow bite? I went with brighter and brighter flies in an attempt to generate “attraction” to my fly. That, in retrospect, was probably exactly the wrong thing to do.


Somewhere in this pile of books I overestimate to be a “fly fishing library” there’s a pamphlet-styled-book on “Dyeing Organic Fibers” as I recall it was named … I have no idea where that went. The plan is to tie and dye a fly made from border collie, and do it well – colorfast and realistic. It’s hard to believe I had to get my “own” dog to have free reign over my supply of dog hair, and this dog has a red-brown that lends itself more to shrimp and crayfish patterns … but Finn has enough white that it’s just begging to be “borrowed.” It is certainly time for him to start earning his kibble, and this is how it’s done around here.

What makes the effort different is the idea of cutting harvesting trimming ever so subtly, his hair, tying the fly AND THEN dyeing the fly. It means creating a single-tone fly, but we can certainly provide some contrast with flash. All I know for sure is; a fly tied with border collie is a killer that is supreme to bucktail of any flavor, as durable as synthetics and has an exponentially longer fiber than any upcountry winter bucktail grows.

We are supposed to have a break in the weather this week, but it is also supposed to be tweaked by wind, so we are in a wait-and-see mode for the week. It seems like it is about time to sit down and NOW (after all the early year shite) concentrate on all things fly. I just started on the book, “Bugwater,” and it is an incredible book for anyone who wants to take the journey to the microscopic level of bugs emulated in the fly fishing world. The photography is a showstopper (you remember I’m a “picture guy” right?), and the text is just as abundant as the photography content. I will write a review on this one once I can honestly say I have read (at least some of) the text.

Meanwhile, have a great week, don’t release any memos, don’t beat your spouse, and show up here on Valentine’s day – if not sooner!!!


Sun Sets on Winter Weather Wednesday

| December 27, 2017

Weather Keeps Fly Fishing Talk Short and Sweet

Whoa. Now this is what we’ve been missing here in North Texas. We have some real, cold, wet and miserable weather upon us, and boy do we need it! This is the kind of weather that makes a fish believe things are nothing other than normal in their world, and it triggers the kinds of instincts that puts them in their proper seasons, thank God.

The idea of catching a temperate January day of fly fishing in Daingerfield, Texas, for chain pickerel, is now completely viable! We are all systems go for January – and watching closely – for a day, I hope two, to head over to Daingerfield and camp, and putz around the lake chasing chains.


Of course, life without some kind of pressure, is something I know almost nothing about. Those days are an ancient memory now, but with some help, I may relearn relaxation in 2018. After all, 2017 was only the second worst year of my adult life … but who’s counting?

The 2017 FLY FISHING certainly wasn’t the worst. It was actually the second best year since[ppw id=”183910405″ description=”Wrapping it up for 2017″ price=”.25″]

I started sliding down this slippery slope. It’s funny how that works; some things can be so bad while at the same time, other things for a person can be so darn good. It is impossible to discount the addition of the skiff to the mix of the last two years being the best, but with these fluctuations in rainfall since October – 2018, I think, will be the truest test yet – for the superiority of fly fishing for carp from skiff. I would actually say 2018 IS THE YEAR that decides this debate (but I know it’s hardly debatable).

Take, for example the newest issue of Drake Magazine. By the grace of God, and with a little bit of biblical knowledge (so little I’m ashamed), I was able to get decent play for the article on Clyde going to the epicenter of landfall for Hurricane Harvey. It is reassuring to note that the vast majority of Texas news outlets (like the Texas Standard radio show) are still focused on Hurricane Harvey’s aftermath, even if the numbers still favor Houston’s lead coverage. I can say, with no hesitation, that this story is the best professional thing to happen for me in 2017. Will it lead to anything? Let us all hope so – because it (that story) really NEEDS TO lead to something more. 

On the flip-side of the fly, two new fly fishing records came my way this year. One is from Lake Bridgeport, and I managed a decent gaspergou to put on the books for Ray Roberts as well. Those drum were certainly something in 2017! They were everywhere, and they chased and ate like a gamefish should. I am happy with both of those records, and will be happier when someone makes the effort to break them! That’s why I do it in the first place!

I always shotgun new ideas and make bold efforts to bring new information (and old information) in new ways — to those of you who are still interested in the relentless pursuit of fish on fly. As they say, I sometimes “get out in front of my skis” with these announced efforts. I am realizing with the deduction of about 40 waking hours a week from my life … it can be hard to cash the checks I am writing to you, the loyal readers and new readers with expectations. What I don’t get done for you, in the way of providing information in creative ways, wakes me up in the middle of the night.

For example, the assembly of “podcast style” audio interviews is proving to be a bigger time burner than the videos you find me doing for the Texas Fly Caster YouTube Channel – much bigger. I have a lot more faith in the popularity of the YouTube content, but I also realize a challenge when it comes to painting pictures with only voices and words. The intensity level of writing for that format is incredible. Anyone can create a Podcast, but hardly anyone can do a good job of it. I am not willing to lower my standards just to be in the format.


When it comes to formats sweeping through fly fishing, have you seen the corruption of Instagram? Mark 2017 as the year fly folks finally flocked to Instagram, and then essentially destroyed it as an honest purveyor of information. As a professional photographer and someone who has been on that social media since its beginning, it is sad to see. I feel confident in saying YouTube will NEVER suffer the same fate from the fly fishing community.

So where do we go from here in 2018. After ten years, I wonder the same thing. The interest in written word seems to be at the lowest point ever, and my desire to deliver in writing is at its apex. This is a year to take the measure, and see if words are for profit, and videos and podcasts are for fun. Or, is there another combination? That’s what we’re about to find out going into 2018. I think we can safely call it a “make-or-break” year for the Texas Fly Caster website. No matter what, the archives are pretty fantastic, aren’t they???


I had thought I would throw out a Top 10 Fly Fishing Music Countdown for 2017 via podcast, but I realized later that a lot of my music I am rating is music I have downloaded via my Itunes account, and is not playable for podcast purposes. You will also see that I no longer have any ads for Amazon purchases on the site – they discontinued the commission program (so what’s the point?). I still accept ads though! So I will be contacting you, if you have fly related products, about my ad rates, and why you’d be smart to get on board (if you’re interested in hitting your target market between the eyes!).


When it comes to posting for profit, aka Pay-Per-View reading, this site will make a dramatic, inelegant shift to all Pay-Per-View reading in January — assuming I can get this terrible software to work properly. It will retroact all the way back to 2008. The rest of the good news? You can still watch YouTube videos for free, and all the social media is still free as well. This may sound strange, “free,” but with the net neutrality laws overturned / unenforced? You want to get ready to pay for a lot of things you though should / would always be free.


Friday Fly Fishing Report – Oklahoma and Texas

| December 1, 2017

New to the Texas fly fishing scene?

You’ve come to the right place. Just about every week, I compile information sent to me by e mail subscription from taxpayer supported organizations, like the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department, and during winter coldwater season, from the Oklahoma Wildlife Department. The information comes in bulk form, and I whittle it down to what is the essence of what I would want to know if I were you. I am not a newbie, so take that last sentence with a grain of rock salt, and a heaping helping of optimism. Why? Because you have still landed on the most in depth and interactive fly fishing website based in Texas (and just about anywhere else for that matter). I’ve been called arrogant (by the guy who’s photo is in the dictionary under the word). There are so many synonyms for arrogant, feel free to fill in your blank with whatever works for you. And when you’re done, be sure to simply count up ten years of information, and count up the number of words in almost 2-thousand individual posts while you’re at it.

Sure, Google doesn’t rank this site where it should be. The only time they did was back in the days when their spiders were accurate. Nowadays? Search is covered up by Google ads, geek fly fishers who’ve stuffed the internet with worthless incoming links, and even dead sites that never move or change. Page rank has become a worthless measure. They (Google) are even doing their best to destroy YouTube these days – making imbedding more difficult (so you have to go to YouTube), and with declining ranking standards. Regardless, Youtube is still showing the greatest future potential of the internet, bar none.

Is it any wonder so many have retreated to the fake news of Facebook. We may as well call it “Fakebook.” Of course they can’t be held responsible …

Coming in for a Hard Landing – JUMPING OFF THAT SOAP BOX NOW!


I just felt like writing that out long board style, so maybe the end of this year will come even sooner than I want. This was one of those years. It had good, it had bad, and it still has downright ugly going on.

The good was a carp season, a season to end all carp seasons, and just maybe it has? The only season that compares to 2017 was the 2016 season, and that’s in the last ten years. The trends are pretty well documented here – for the last ten years. I would be looking the fish gods in the eye if I said I think the 2018 season will compare to the last two.

We are dry as a bone after two good water years. I don’t hear anyone talking the dreaded “d” word yet, but if December is like November? that’s what we will have – another good old drought. File drought under ugly.

The bad was, and continues to be, the ongoing beat-down of my photography business. While there have been the best bright spots (articles in Lone Star Outdoor News and Drake Magazine), the dark days dominate the year (magazine closures). Most of my “old” friends still marvel that I have been a photographer for so long now (30 years). It certainly helped to create this site ten years ago, and hone my writing to create complete packages for publications. Still, if things were as in the past, I would be spending all my free time in Port Aransas and Rockport documenting that disaster … it seems like it’s already forgotten, and if money didn’t matter? It would be an epic photographic story. I am sure some trust-funder will get that done in my stead.

I’m no hipster-trust-funder-fly-fan in case you haven’t noticed, so the long exhausting manual labor weekends are filed under bad, but also under good. They’re good because I am much stronger than before the bout with HPV throat cancer two years ago, much much stronger. Of course with this particular manual labor comes the threat of serious injury, and I teeter on that edge every single weekend. The beat goes on.



Blue River

November 28. Elevation normal, water 53 and clear. Trout good on caddis flies, in-line spinnerbaits, midges, nymphs, PowerBait, gold spoons and San Juan worms around points, rocks, below rifles and obstructions in current in deeper water. Stocked approximately 4,800 rainbow trout on November 22. Report submitted by Matt Gamble, biologist at the Blue River Public Fishing and Hunting Area.

Lower Mountain Fork

November 26. Elevation normal, water clear. Trout good on PowerBait along rocks. Report submitted by Mark Hannah, game warden stationed in McCurtain County.

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Fly Fishing Across The Tracks and Down South of Cowtown With Some Soggy Bottom Boys

| November 16, 2017

Pitbull Along the Tracks

Anybody looking for their lost pitbull? A source told me that it used to have a pink collar around the head that was detached and thrown over to the side of the tracks (a clean cut).

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Texas Fly Fishing Report

| September 8, 2017 | 0 Comments

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