Tag: Sage XI2

Excalibur Returned

| February 8, 2011 | 1 Comment

Coastal Weather Update from TPWD Aerial Overflight

The overflight was conducted yesterday, and here is this afternoon’s information from Steve Lightfoot at TPWD –

“The aerial overflight showed some mortality along the coast, with most fish observed in the Matagorda, San Antonio and Aransas Bay systems. Another aerial flight is scheduled tomorrow for the ULM and LLM. With angler reports of fish in the landcut and field teams on the water, we do expect to see larger fish numbers (including spotted seatrout, red drum, black drum) in higher densities than previously reported. Even as these increase, the numbers should be less than the ~100,000 spotted seatrout reported in the 1997 freeze (that occurred in the ULM and LLM) and much less than the freeze of 1983 (11 million fish) and the 2 freezes in 1989 (14 million fish).”

Excalibur Back in Safe Hands
Regular readers have been following the journey of the Sage XI2, seven weight, for weeks now, and I am happy to inform you that the magical rod’s journey ended at my doorstep last night, or is it beginning again?
I have yet to open the tube containing the tube containing the rod. For some strange reason I guess something wrong could be hiding, but here it is.
Sage XI2 7 Weight
If you missed the saga that lead to this ending, check these posts:
I Stepped on a Rock and it Rolled
Excalibur Meets Its Maker

– After four straight days of subfreezing temperatures last week, and all the problems that go with it here in North Texas, we are again preparing for another bout of cold – starting as early as tonight, and no later than early tomorrow morning. If roads were passable, or you are a stone’s throw from Blue River, this is the time. As long as we get some overcast, and some messy weather, you have to get some if you can.

Fly Fishing Reporting
– I am not hearing much from the Guadalupe, and I fear the repairs to the Canyon Dam are ongoing. All will be answered for those attending the Trout Fest in about one-and-a-half weeks.
– Some of you may know I will be part of an “expedition” (for lack of a better term) to the Guadalupe Mountains next week. I will be the photographer for the group that is going to McKittick canyon to look at the viability of reintroducing Rio Grande Cutthroat to a small stream there. It’s a joint effort that includes National Park Service, Texas Parks & Wildlife and Trout Unlimited national and Guadalupe River Trout Unlimited. I will try and get a preliminary story ready on this for your weekend reading pleasure – or sooner if the weather goes bad.
– Multitasking in the background are preparations for a trip to the White River region of Arkansas in March. This will be a gathering of like minded individuals near the banks of the famous White River around the time of spring breakers exoduses. I have tasked myself with creating a good supply of midges which are a welcome departure from Clousers and saltwater patterns. Tying 14’s, 16’s and 18’s has exposed my weakness in lighting, coordination and tying supplies.
The information we are tying from comes from a very good web site – Complete White River Fly Fishing Website. If you are unfamiliar with the area, the fish or the flies, this is one site you definitely want to set some time aside for – and read it thoroughly.

Fly Tying for White River Arkansas
Virtually all of the (well written and photographed) fly tying recipes on www.tanneycomotrout.com call for Tiemco hooks, and I find them to be priced at a premium for a hook. So when you are ready to tie up some V-Rib Midges or Disco Midges, head over to The Fly Shop and order your hooks there. They have proprietary hooks that appear to be copies of the most popular Tiemco styles – even using the same Tiemco numbering in their own hook style numbers. You will always find a link to The Fly Shop in the links on the left column of Texas Fly Caster. I also checked in with Stephen Woodcock at Backwoods Fort Worth, Texas, and he has a few supplies worth the drive – d-ribbing in the midge size, and I bet I can find something else those Arkansas hogs will eat while I am there.

Excalibur Meets Its Maker

| January 5, 2011 | 1 Comment

I waited until the holiday rush was officially over to ship off my Sage fly rod today. The rush is over isn’t it? Anyway, the form is an easy .pdf download from Sage’s site, and the only thing I saw that could trip a fellow is the fact they want the pieces of breakage, and the entire fly rod when it comes to rod repairs. If you haven’t read the story of how my rod arrived at this pitiful juncture, please feel free to read “I Stepped on a Rock and it Rolled.”

Of course I couldn’t resist enclosing a letter with my Sage XI2 seven weight when I dropped it off at the nearby Pack-and-Mail. It does make me nervous just dropping something like that off, and I guess the letter will serve to entertain the “lucky” Sage employee on the other end. It did help to put the rod in proper perspective as you will read.


To: Sage Rod Repair
re. Sage XI2 7904

Dear Repairs,

It is with extreme sadness that I return my newly purchased, barely used Sage XI2 rod to your repair department. You see, I already consider it my daily driver, and drive it does! This is my favorite rod, and does everything I want it to do in warm water.

Unfortunately, I was scatting along some riprap rocks recently and took a nasty spill. At first I was extremely upset about the rod, but then I realized I should be glad to escape with as little injury as occurred. Still, my heart aches for my once tall and beautiful Sage Fly Rod.

When you hold it in your hands, see if you don’t feel the power of “Excalibur” coursing through its cork grips. There’s something there, perhaps faint, but I do feel it. Although rocks were involved in its breakage, rest assured I did not try to stab a boulder to see if the tip would somehow penetrate and hold the rod for the next young fly fishing knight to come along and try to pull from the rock. Alas, it was only a simple slip that lead it into your trusted hands.

Now, as you inspect this superior technological wonder, you should know that before it stopped at the end of a long fall, it was pristine – spotless. You will now observe it to have deep wounds on the butt section and what I fear to be a contagious rash on the cork handle. The breaking of the tip is painfully obvious.

I must assume you test a rod before returning it to it’s humble owner; for fractures perhaps unseen, but also just as deadly. If not, I would implore you to do so, as the fall was so consequential that I fear for hidden fissures or fractures.

Once my sharpest rod rejoins the quiver, you can expect it to make short work of common carp, largemouth bass, stripers, sand bass, gar, redfish, speckled trout, ladyfish, palmetto bass and even flounder.

Please, for all that is the love of fly fishing, return my rod to me at your earliest convenience. I feel luckless without it, and outmatched by the aforementioned fish in every way. The puppies of our winter will soon grow to the dogs of summer, and I need my rod to do battle with the greatest of fish, and wash away the tragedy of its absence.


And so it goes on this fine day in January’s cool grip, that a superior fly rod begins another journey, home, and back home again. My luck has been so dastardly that I am tempted to hang this rod on the wall when it comes home so that I may admire it through the cold months and save its magic for springtime harvesting.

Perhaps you are battling your own weather – feeling under the weather, as you read this. There aren’t too many healthy people in my sphere right now. Vicious colds have gripped the household, and spread throughout the area without contact. Dallas-Fort Worth is under a “Flu Advisory” and apparently the weather is turning bitter Saturday.

In the interest of the ever growing geographic regions reading Texas Fly Caster, I have begun to move the weather information (located in the right hand column) around the State of Texas. We are now looking at South Padre Island – read it and weep.

I Stepped on a Rock and it Rolled – Goodbye XI2 For Now

| December 23, 2010 | 0 Comments

Needless to say, if you fish a lot, you’ve done some damage at one time or another. I have carefully been waiting for the day that lightning strikes, and something breaks. Today was the day.

To make my painfully, literally, long story short, I decided to make another quick run out to Ray Roberts Dam to see if the weather, or time, or the fish gods, had increased the quality of the sand bass that were obviously there two days ago. I was scatting along the water’s edge, stepped on a rock that seemed good enough, and it rolled like a ball bearing in grease. Face first non-stop with my hands pinned under me and my rod held with the involuntary kung-fu-death-grip.

It took about fifteen seconds just to realize what happened, as the cold water soaked through. I managed to roll off, unfold my backward taco-ed self, groan get up and strip in what line was left out to sink. Sure, there was an audience. There was also something caught in my fly – my rod tip. I’m pretty sure it whipped the surface of the water so hard, that’s what broke it off. Instant replay, still going on, is inconclusive, so the call stands.

Of course I was carrying my newest favorite Sage XI2-7, yes, glad you asked. Two days before Christmas, and the big lady named luck deals me one more hand to remember 2010 for. So this year’s luck will end (now, right now, please) with a bang and a whimper.

We have all heard about the fantastic guarantees by TFO, Sage and others. TFO really is fantastic because I could go in on Monday and get a new tip. So, there’s work to do, and I figured this lemon stinging my scrapes, has to be turned into lemonade somehow. The only thing I can figure to do is take readers along on the Sage Warranty ride, and see how smooth it goes.

All told, there’s a pretty good set of gouge marks that have lifted some of the cork on the grip, dings on the first section – paint missing, and of course the four made into five piece with a removable tip. My first question is, do I even bother to send in the butt section to see if it’s worth replacing the grip, and do the cosmetic changes deserve any attention to find out of they are more than cosmetic? It seems pointless to deal with any of this until after New Year’s since shipping, holidays and vacations basically gum up any company’s works. I would expect things to go wrong until after the folks at Sage have slept off the New Year festivities.

I am still wondering … if I would have had the time, would I have taken a bolder to the face over injury to my XI2? I don’t want to have to make that choice – ever.

Heck, maybe I am lucky. Except for bloodied clothes, and a broken rod, I still have all my bones and teeth unbroken. Luck is such a fickle mistress.