Monday, December 22, 2014

Wrapping up 2014

2014 is getting wrapped up and what a year it was. Caught some great fish including my personal best striper, brought some new species like muskie, pike and amberjack to hand. Got to travel to Costa Rica and Alaska. And lastly got to fish with a lot of great people. Not to mention I got to share all this with the readers of this blog.

2015 I'm gunna stay close to home and decided I am going to feature Texas and the great fishing opportunities this state has. Its going to be the "Tour of Texas" and the plan will be to fish/feature 2-3 fisheries per month. I have one trip already planned to Louisiana but other than that I am going to try to keep all the other trips in Texas. Probably wont have time for much else looking at the schedule.

Plans already in the making will be:
-Chain pickerel
-Winter time bass fishing on East Texas power plant lakes
-Texas trout stocking program
-The spring white bass run
-Lake Dunlap (a sleeper bass lake)
-Baffin Bay trophy speckled trout
-Kayak fly fishing BTB and surf fishing PINS(Padre Island Natural Seashore)
-Port O'Conner Offshore
-Brazos River
-Colorado River
-Guadalupe River
- Llano River
-Comal River (Texas' shortest river)
-Port Isabel snook and tarpon (yes Texas has snook)
-Lake Texoma stripers and smallmouth bass
-Red River Gar
-Caddo Lake (Texas' only natural lake)
-Lake Fork
-Possibly a long range tuna trip to Boomvang and Nansen

I need to try to find a place I can target gator gar..... Anyone have any suggestions?

Really just scratching the surface for what Texas has to offer regarding some of its great fisheries. I probably wont have time to hit the Devils River or the Pecos River but hopefully I will be able to highlight some of the better waters and guides/outfitters across the Lone Star State.

I hope everyone has a Merry Christmas and Happy New Years. I will be posting shortly after the first of the year.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

My Life in Fishing

If your looking for a last minute Christmas gift, or for a good read to past the time this winter check out this new book; Stu Apte My Life in Fishing. Lots of great stories and pictures of big permit and tarpon with plenty of other salt and freshwater fishing stories in the mix. 

At a quick glimpse

Stu Apte is one of the most recognized and storied figures in saltwater fishing – in all of fishing – and a larger-than-life legend in the sport. He has held, or still holds, over six dozen IGFA world records for various species, gear, line, and tippet. In My Life in Fishing, as only the most accomplished captain and guide can, he shares his tips and insights gleaned from this lifelong pursuit for any and every species, including especially giant tarpon. These are his favorite personal stories, about world records, and winds, and tides, and patterns, and flies, but also about the remarkable people who have fished their way through his life. There are stories and glimpses that you won't find in other history books – an amusing episode with Harry and Bess Truman on board Stu's skiff, an impromptu side-of-the-road meeting with baseball hall-of-famer Ted Williams that led to a forty-year friendship, and an afternoon of drinking Cuban mojitos aboard Pilar with Earnest Hemingway that includes Hemingway's own mojito recipe. My Life in Fishing is more than a collection of engaging stories and fly fishing pointers; it is a glimpse of the development and evolution of the sport, and of saltwater fly fishing at its highest level, through the eyes and anecdotes of the only man who can tell the stories. My Life in Fishing is a seminal work to be treasured by everyone who shares his passion for the sport and the stories that surround it.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Sexy Baitfish

This pattern is tied on a 5/0 Gammy EWG (extra wide gap) worm hook. I wanted something that rode hook point up and was weightless. This pattern nearly suspends since it is made of ostrich, marabou, a little bucktail and some Senyos laser dub. It has great action and with quick strips will dance side to side. Its a fairly quick pattern to tie and hopefully will be an addition to your fly box. You can contact me by email and I'd be more than happy to tie you up some. 

Start off with about 2 inches of 40lb hard mono and by using a lighter you can melt a ball at the end. This is the same technique one would use to make mono eyes for crab and shrimp patterns. You'll want to keep the mono pointing up while using a lighter to melt the mono. The flame will burn and melt the mono creating a small ball. It helps to spin/twist the mono as it is melting to create an even more circular ball. The main purpose of melting the ball on the end of the mono is to keep the materials from sliding off the first time this fly gets hit. Put the mono in your vice. You just need roughly a quarter of an inch to tie your materials in. You'll want the mono ball pointing to the tail of your fly. Make sure to glue your threads to maximize the life of the fly. 

Grab an ostrich plume and pull some herls of. 10-12-15 or so will be plenty. Before you tie them in remember the fly is only going to be about a quarter inch longer; so the length you tie in these herls is pretty much going to the the length of this fly. After you tie the ostrich in tie in some flash. In this case I am using yellow flashabou. Next just take a pinch of buck tail to tie in. Make sure the buck tail is evenly distributed around the mono/ostrich herl. I do this to add some rigidity to the fly. I want the fly to have a lot of movement that is why I chose ostrich and marabou but I also want it to hold some some shape. I then take a good marabou plume, you may want to use 2 if you cant find a good one. The extra select are the best for this fly. Take the plume and palmer it in, making sure to sweep the feathers back to minimize trapping. A good tip is to use a spray bottle to moisten the feathers to keep them under control and swept back and out of the way. You can now whip finish and remove the first part of this fly.

I'm using a 5/0 gammy worm hook. I have also down sized this fly a little and used a 2/0 hook. The total length of this fly is roughly 4 1/2 to 5 inches with a 5/0 hook. With the 2/0 it is 3 1/2 to 4 inches. Put the hook of your choice into the vice and tie in the mono on top of the hook shank as shown. Make sure the materials butt up against the neck of the hook shank also shown below and cut off the excess. Make sure to use some glue to double secure the mono to the hook shank. I like the brush applicator super glue bottles. Grab ya some Senyos laser dub, put a pinch of dub on each side of the hook shank and one pinch of contrasting color on the top of the hook shank. Advance you thread forward and fold the laser dub back over its self. Next tie another pinch on top of the hook shank and one on the bottom of the shank. Advance your thread and whip finish right behind the eye of the hook.The color choices are yours. In this case I am using some chartreuse, olive and brown/orange to mimic a longear sunfish. But white grey for shad and white chartreuse will catch just about anything.

Take a old tooth brush or dubbing brush and brush the dubbing out and into shape. Add some eyes and your ready to go. I like to use goop to attach my eyes. The stuff is cheap and can be picked up at pretty much any hardware or general store.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Foggy Texoma Morning

Spent the morning fishing Lake Texoma with my buddy Scott. It felt more like a spring day than a December morning. The fishing was kinda slow but it was a fun day watching the gulls chase a few shad and being on the lake. Not much more to report from today other than Lake Texoma is fairly low so hopefully we get some good rain storms in the next few months to bring the lake levels up.

The sun burning through the fog.

Heading to some birds

One and only fish of the day. 
Birds working in the background. 

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Colton Fly

Just picked me up a 11 wt Leviathan and Torrent 1315 from Colton Fly. They are having their Christmas Sale and have some incredible deals on rods and reels. I used their Torrent 1113 last year to land some nice amberjacks off the Texas Coast. If your in the market for a new rod or reel, check Colton Fly out. They have some great products right now at killer prices.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Bass Shad

Here is a very simple pattern to tie and only takes a few minutes from start to finish. By using a worm hook. I like the Mustad 38105 Ultra-Lock™ Soft-Plastic Hooks because of the longer than normal beak on the hook. It makes tying in materials very easy. Any hook that you can get two wraps of material on will work. This fly is super light weight and is about as weedless as you can get without adding a weed guard. The hook keels itself and rides hook point up. Sorry for the gray over white, defiantly not the best for pictures. The material is SF flashblend, however EP fibers and other synthetic materials will work great.

Start with a worm hook.

Pick your bottom color and split it around the 
hook shank.

Take your top color and tie it in. Also splitting 
it so it folds back evenly.

Your going to end up trimming the fly, but as 
your tying in your material you will 
want to taper the fly in the 
general spade shape.

Next tie in one more set of materials on the top 
and bottom. 

Fold back and build a mound of thread to make 
the material hold back. Don't wrap on 
to of the material because it will 
make the fly have a flat profile.

Whip finish and remove from the vise.

Use some long blade scissors and
start trimming the fly 
to profile.  

Add some eyes.

A black dot for a threadfin shad. 

Chartreuse over white.

Ostrich, Marabou, Bucktail, and Ice Dub. 
SBS coming soon. 

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Beavers Bend Trout Fixing

Just north of Broken Bow Oklahoma lies Beavers Bend state park. Its a beautiful little tailwater that holds good trout fishing throughout the entire year. Being within 3 hrs of Dallas it is a great place to get your trout fix when long vacations aren't able to be planned. The crowds can be a little over bearing at times but if you are willing to walk there is plenty of fishable water. In the fall it is one of the prettiest places to be. They have great camp grounds from RV spots, state park cabins to tent spots all along the river. Being so close to the metroplex its makes quick trips convenient and just what one needs before they start the weekly grind again. The river gets stocked every few weeks with rainbow trout. There are a few brown trout mixed in the river also. 

I took a vacation day and made a run up there Thursday night and fished all day Friday before returning home Friday evening. With this polar vortex the morning started off pretty brisk with the rod guides freezing up. I was landing fish after just a few drifts. most the fish were taking an olive WD40. I caught several typical stocker rainbows and one smaller brown. I found one good rainbow of roughly 20" in a pool but never could get hook in her. Over all it was a decent day of fishing and a good day on the water with great fall foliage. 

Average fish today.

The cold weather had them pretty feisty.

 Lots of cypress sporting their fall colors. 

The old park dam.

Lots of these little spunks around.

Watch that lead fly when a fish is still attached
to the trailing fly. 

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Half and Half; Not what you think

So everyone is familiar with the Half and Half fly; part clouser/part deceiver. This is a little different based on Jonny Kings Kinky Muddler and his Hoo fly. I think he already kinda makes a fly like this or very similar. The cigar body of this fly is perfect for mullet imitations and it has great darting action when stripped in. The rattle adds some fish attracting noise that can be very beneficial at night and in low light conditions.

Like most my flies I'm gunna add a rattle. 

Attach the rattle using some EZ Body. This material 
has a good combination of flex and stiffness to 
allow the rattle to shake.

Use some Marks A Lot markers to 
color the EZ Body to the color 
of choice,  

 Tie in a little bit of SF Flash Blend.

Then cover it with 4-6 hackles.

Then using Jonny's V-Tying technique work
your way up the shank of the hook.
Less is more is the best advice
I can give you when tying
this fly.

When you are roughly an 1/8 of an inch
from the eye tie in some 
Senyos Lazer Dub.  

Put your eyes on. 

You can pick this stuff up at most craft
stores for less then half the cost
of liquid fusion and its
the same thing.

Casey Smart did a good write up on this stuff.

You can add a few drops of water to thin it.

Using a small paint brush to paint the Fabric Fusion
onto the head of the fly. Let the fly 
sit aside and dry.