TURNING THE CORNER

| November 6, 2015

guadalupe river fly fishng texas fly fishing texoma denison dam #flyfishing #GRTU 

Well, it finally feels like the corner has been turned around here. Even if the words and their assembly is a little rusty, you know there’s at least enough happening in Texas fly fishing to warrant a vicarious post from the folks that are actually out there on the front lines now, casting into the early darkness of the fall, biding their time, staying in shape, heck maybe even hitting the vein of fish they’re seeking. 

DENISON DAM

I am not reading a lot about the striper action below the Denison Dam on the Red River, but from the photos I have seen, you can believe there are some very large striper there, and they are getting bigger. I will repeat that this doesn’t last forever! There are easy ways to target these fish – when the flow is off and you can slip and slide around the rock pools with a floating line, and potentially catch them in triple digits. This cooler weather with overcast makes this type of pursuit more viable, and broadens the window of opportunity.

AND there is another way I began to pursue the larger striper a few years ago, when most of the characteristics were just as they are now. First, know when the generation times are. Second, have your Oklahoma fishing license (you’ll need it for winter trout anyway). Third, park and fish on the Oklahoma side. I used an intermediate sinking line, and huge honking Clousers that I would cast at a 90-degree angle to the flow as generation began. I would let the current carry the fly, and feed out more line at the same time. You can feel the fly rattling and bouncing over the rocks, and it should pull all the way to a dead drift parallel to the river, and between heavy current and the swirl of the pool. LOCATION – the outcropping before the last big pool before the OK side straightens out to a typical river bank. Strip the fly in slowly, and let the current work the action of the fly while pointing the rod tip directly at the line (no arc in the fly line). This insures a direct and solid hookset, and you’ll need it when one of these bruits takes hold. I always likened hooking a striper to hooking a wall – everything stops. And once you’ve taken hold of a striper in the 8-pound range on an eight weight rod, that’s how it’ll feel. Always be aware of the waterline, and keep your eyes on the rising water because it comes up fast. This action runs for a limited time. I rarely caught anything after an hour of the gates being open, which to me means the big fish really do eat when the dinner bell rings, and they eat big and fast and are done.

LAKE RAY ROBERTS

There’s evening opportunities to catch bass, sand bass and crappie right now at the Isle Du Bois Park (IDB) – right near the fishing pier. You may have to adjust your fly fishing strategy for getting to the crappie around the pier, but when I was there a few evenings ago, there where schools of sand bass and bass closer to shore as well. The rains and storm that came through that area last night could have effected things, but the USACE was pre releasing water from the dam leading up to last night’s storm, so the pier could still be above water (barely).

One huge surprise that awaits visitors to IDB Park is the entire thing appears to have been repaved – parking lots, roads … everything. Not that it matters to us fishers, but it certainly makes one of the best looking parks on a North Texas lake look even better. Long time readers may have already known about my soft spot for this lake, but if you have never visited this particular park, make sure you do.

GUADALUPE RIVER GRTU STOCKING

I received an e mail in the last few days which outlines some of the difficulty the folks who control the stocking of the GRTU trout (not the same as TPWD stockings) are having with determining when to have the GRTU areas stocked. Apparently, the water temperatures coming out of the dam are still running 65-70 since the thermocline was decimated by the rains, and that leaves no choice but to hold off on stocking those trophy fish until water temperatures drop significantly.

So we have the Guadalupe hobbled by water temperatures, and we have the Oklahoma trout fisheries – Beaver’s Bend and Blue River – beaten up pretty badly by the floods. Anybody have a recommendation for the next nearest trout fix for this winter?

TEXAS FLY FISHNG CLUB MONTHLY MEETINGS

My scant postings have already skipped over a few of the North Texas meetings for this month, but there are still some remaining meetings throughout the state.

  • November 10 – Central Texas Fly Rodders (Waco) & Central Texas Fly Fishers (San Marcos)
  • November 11 – Brazos Valley Fly Fishers & Laguna Madre Fly Fishers (Corpus Christi)
  • November 16 – East Texas Fly Fishers (Longview)
  • November 17 – Alamo Fly Fishers (San Antonio)
  • November 26 – Rockport Fly Fishers (Rockport)

MAKING THE TURN

A week has now passed since my last radiation treatment, but it only now feels like they switched off the confounded machine. From what I can tell, the turn from treatment to recovery is shaped more like a very wide open letter “U” than what I would prefer to be a sharp letter “V.” Regardless, if you are interested in more about the personal health issues (that are finally subsiding), I invite you to read about that at the Caringbridge journal. Needless to say, I am chomping at the bit to get back in the groove – our groove.

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Category: Adventure, Body-Mind-Soul, Fishing Reports, Guadalupe River, North Texas

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I write. I photograph. I fish, and I live.

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