Too Many Variables (Or) Welcome to the Salt – Now Go Home

| July 11, 2008

long drive to South Padre Island South Padre Island Port Isabel Larry Haines fly shop

OK, it is now painfully obvious that combining a family “vacation”, fly fishing and automotive mayhem do not go well together.

One of each at a time is fine and expected. Two in any combination combines like … like the time I was fiberglassing a water scooter and mixed the resin in the wrong proportions – hot, hotter and finally ignition.

In my elementary opinion, one needs time to get the feel for the fish to get the feel for the terrain and finally with luck, get into the fishes head. There’s no time for that here and now. We did get some time out on the flats along Laguna Heights on Wednesday at flat low tide. The water was great – clear and winds were unbelievably low. We did see some fish signs, but very few and far between in my approximate 1.5 mile cruise of the flats. I knew then that there was much I did not know, and that with those conditions, something was missing.

Day Four – We basically used a whole day to go to San Antonio to get the Land Cruiser from its resting place and drive back down with new transmission pulling like a mule. All good there. Kayaks were still fine, although mine suffered a partial taco on the bottom from being cinched down too tight on the foam blocked roof rack. It just keeps coming.

We stopped at The Fly Shop so that I could show Leslie the combination fly shop art gallery and framing store just a few yards before the bridge on the Port Isabel side. Of course I had to tell Larry what I didn’t know and see what I could find out. The guy ties some really nice flies in patterns unlike anything you would find in your generic Big Box. After I told Larry about the conditions and skunking on the Heights Flats, he whipped out the recent issue of a local weekly rag, and went to the tide charts
and showed us the graphs. Larry is a professed Moon Phase and tide watcher – I never doubted or questioned either. The graphs are showing lulls when the tide is completely out – all day long. Fishing with tides in mind should be on the rise and fall of the tides, drink and eat when all in or all out, and get ready for the curves.

I quizzed Larry on locations based on the tide times we were looking at, and began to see a strategic approach to this “fishing trip”. There was this one spot he talked about with a glow and a twinkle – on the Bay Side and north of civilization. With the help of the new Land Cruiser, we will give that a look at high noon today. He described it as a Caribbean experience – long, expansive shallow sand flats (barefoot wadable) loaded with shadows of fish passing by no matter the time, tide or moon. Location S. It’s time to get cranked up for that, so maybe this will yield some fish or other unmitigated adventure. Tonight it’s onto the jetties, and maybe I can learn some more from local David McDonald and the experience of doing.

I guess the failures go with the successes, and this one is teetering on the edge of the abyss. At least we gave it a go, and now it’s about time to pack it up and walk home – tail firmly tucked. The only skids here will be tire marks left behind headed for home.

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Category: Life Observed, TECHNICAL, Texas Gulf Coast

About the Author () is where to find my other day job. I write and photograph fish stories professionally, and for free here! Journalist by training. This site is for telling true fishing news stories, unless otherwise noted.

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