Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Close but no cigar

On Sunday night I arrived in Corpus Christi to spend a day or two fishing with my cousin before the year ended. The plan was to fish the Laguna Madre Monday from his boat since we would be joined by his wife's cousin from San Antonio.

On Monday we woke up around 5am, had some coffee and loaded up the gear in the boat. The temperature was right at 50F with a 5 to 15mph wind coming from the North. I layered up my clothing though for some folks this in itself is not cold but moving at 40mph across the water with an occasional spray of water on you can give you quite a chill. Frankly, I don't know how folks way up north do it.

Can you see me smiling for the camera?

After picking up the last of the live shrimp from a bait stand and launching the boat, we headed to our first destination where we found a few birds working the area. The first fish was caught by me on the first cast though it ended up being a two foot long ribbon fish. Impressive silvery sides and fangs on this guy but not edible.

Very soon we started catching small speckled trout though most were just shy of the legal minimum length of 15". However, they were fat little guys and some with beautiful spots all along their backs. We released them of course and kept drifting. We tried other spots all the way to Baffin Bay to the south which was about a 45 minute (cold) boat ride from where we launched and it wasn't too productive. We kept catching lots of small trout but nothing we could keep.

At one of the spots we tried, our other fishing partner hooked into and successfully landed a nice slot redfish. He would also catch the only two keeper trout that day before we headed back to the boat ramp at 2pm.

All we needed were just a few more like this one!

Conditions were tough and after cleaning all the gear and the boat, our fishing partner returned to San Antonio and my cousin and I rested up for the next day's outing.

On Tuesday we had a big breakfast and prepared the kayaks to fish around Oso bay which is a shallow, muddy bay. The weather was a bit warmer than the previous day. It was also cloudier and less windy. Much better kayaking weather. Also, the hope was that the dark mud would retain heat thus attracting the fish to the area. That was the hope. We spent about three hours paddling the bay and I hooked into an undersized redfish and my cousin caught a nice keeper flounder. Other than that, fishing was tough so we packed it up and left.

While I didn't come back with a cooler full of fillets, I did have a lot of fun and had new adventures. It's not always about the fish. I consider that a bonus though.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Padawan Fly Fisher

Yesterday, Christmas day, my 11 year old son received his first fly rod. It was a combo I put together from an Albright 5wt rod and reel I purchased back in October when they were on sale. He was very pleased with it. Today we started the first casting lesson.

Of course, as luck would have it, the wind today is gusting to 29 mph so it was an added challenge among all the other challenges of learning to cast with a fly rod. We started with the basics such as starting with the tip low to pickup the line, making a short speedup and a hard stop to load the rod, getting the line moving and making the forward cast then making a hard stop and as the line shoots forward and the loop begins to unroll, dropping the tip a bit. Easier said than done.

I myself am a visual learner. I have to see how it is done to get a good grasp of the concept so I demonstrated the cast to him while highlighting what all is going on. I also held his arm so he could feel what I meant by a short speedup followed by a hard stop. I then placed my hand behind him at the point where his should stop so he hit it and would know not to over travel.

Teaching someone to cast, particularly a child, is not as easy as it seems. We spent maybe 20 or 30 minutes practicing before stopping. I didn't want to overdo it as the lessons will continue over time. I expect he will pick it up soon enough but the lessons are also helping me in concentrating on places where I have gotten lazy in my own casting.

Maybe one day when he is older and masters the fly casting arts, he will take on his own apprentice. In the meantime, I will resist the urge to talk like Yoda as I continue his education.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Might do some tying this weekend

I'm waiting for some of my in-laws to come in town for a family get together. One of my youngest nieces is getting baptized tomorrow. I'll be preparing some of the fish I caught at the coast for dinner tonight. So no fishing this weekend but that's OK since a cold front came through last night and it's pretty windy to be on the lake. Also, tonight we are expected to get our first real taste of winter with temperatures dropping near freezing.

So, I think I may do a little fly tying today. I was looking at a really cool carp fly called Mike's Carp Candy (I linked a photo of it from the web site to the this post) that I think I will try tying for whenever I get a chance to go after carp again. I also picked up some Gamakatsu B10S stinger fly hooks for tying some bass flies with. I haven't quite decide what sort of bass flies but will likely be some sort of top water fly.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Fall fishing on the Texas coast

Last Friday, I filled up my truck with gas at $2.09 a gallon. It has been years since it has been this low. This and other signs said I had to go to the coast to get some fishing in before things changed. And so I did.

My typical drive to the coast takes me through the backroads and small towns like Lockhart, Luling, Nixon, Kenedy, Skidmore, Tynan, and Mathis until I finally get to Corpus. Along the way, I pass over several rivers I wish to one day fish such as the San Marcos river, Guadalupe river, and San Antonio river. But I digress.

I arrived in Corpus late in the afternoon to find my cousin with his truck ready to go to a spot along the Laguna Madre for some night wading.

The area we went to was particularly nice with a drop off located about 100 yards from shore. The sunset was a beautiful one as they typically are this time of year. Up in the sky you could see the crescent moon with a bright star above it. As the moon set, it also turned a blaze orange just like the horizon. It is indescribable how cool the feeling is being outdoors on an evening like that.

We fished for a few hours that evening and only ended up with one keeper trout. I did see a meteorite slowly streak across the starry sky and eventually break apart into four smaller chunks before it disappeared. That was cool!

We headed home to rest and prepare to fish from the boat the next day.

On Saturday, we went out in my cousin's flats boat and fished several spots along the Laguna. I had to cast with my elbow tucked in all day to avoid stressing my bad shoulder. I caught the first keeper trout but my cousin ended with the most trout.

At one point, we had reeled in and weren't paying too much attention while drifting when all of a sudden, I look up and see a large school of black drum right in front of us. My cousin had a popping cork rigged with shrimp that he cast right in front of them and was able to hook up and land a nice drum. I was not prepared and so didn't end up with a black drum. We searched for the school but did not find them again.

Later at a different spot where the water was a beautiful green tea color with darker areas, I was casting a soft plastic minnow and hooked a redfish of around 23" that gave me a good run and then went into the cooler with the rest of the trout and the black drum. All we needed was a flounder and we would have a Texas grand slam. Around 3pm, we decided to return and moor the boat at the dock, rest up at home and go back out before sunset.

The idea was to head to a spot with some lights to fish for trout at night. We got there before sunset and hung around until 7:30pm but the lights never turned on and the mosquitoes were out in force.

After we returned to the boat ramp and trailered the boat and left it at home we drove to the nearby naval station. They had one long pier that was ideal for casting with the fly rod. I could see small trout everywhere and tied on a #8 glow Clouser minnow and the trout kept hitting it the whole time we were there which was only a couple of hours. None of the trout were bigger than 12 inches but it was still a lot of fun and they devastated my fly.

I was glad to have had the opportunity to fish the coast with my cousin and also to bring back some fish. I also got to fill up my gas tank for my return trip at $1.99 a gallon. Not bad. Not bad at all.

Monday, October 27, 2008

No fishing last weekend but good one nonetheless

While I had no fishing this weekend, it was still a good one. My daughter's high school band hand a great performance and they were part of the top six bands chosen from the thirty bands that competed in the area marching competition to move on to state competition in San Antonio next week! Way to go Vista Ridge Band!

I also got to talk to my cousin in Corpus Christi and I will be heading to the coast to fish it on Friday and Saturday. I have high hopes of bringing back some trout and maybe some redfish as well. This will likely be my only chance to fish anywhere until possibly Thanksgiving week.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Big Guadalupe bass in Lake Travis

This weekend is sort of a repeat of last weekend in that my daughter's high school band has yet another marching competition. My son has a birthday party to go to in the afternoon so I basically had a couple of hours this morning to fish. And fish I did.

This time, I launched from Jones Brothers Park in Jonestown which is just about 15 minutes from the house. I mostly stuck to a narrow arm of the lake across the park and fished along the shadowy cliff side.

The morning was cool in the mid 50s and the water is still warm in the 70s so there was a light fog on the glassy smooth water. It was beautiful. It was also much different than last weekend in that the skies were clear and blue.

I was tempted to tie on a top water fly but really wanted to try the experimental seaducer along with an all chartreuse cactus minnow I tied last night. The cactus minnow was the first fly tied on.

I love to target the corners of docks or any structure/cover that has a corner as I tend to find bass usually near there. However, I started with the cliff walls throwing the fly as close to them as possible. I was rewarded with a couple of small Guadalupe bass.

I continued working the docks and cliffs picking up a couple of more bass. Some of them gave themselves away as they chased baitfish up to the surface. Once I got into the sunshine away from the cliffs, I didn't get much action so I paddled back to where I started and had caught bass and worked along the other way.

By this time I had switched to an all olive and black seaducer and as I cast it to the back corner of a boat dock I saw a big hit and felt the rod bend as the fish dove deep. This is typically the sign of a good Guadalupe bass as they tend to want to dive while a largemouth surfaces and shakes its head.

The bass circled the front of my kayak and I got to see him and he was impressive so I pulled out the net and hoped it wouldn't come off. Once landed, I measured it and it was just shy of 16 inches. For this species of Texas native bass, this is a trophy size fish as they don't normally get much larger (the water body record for this lake is 18.25 inches at 3.69 pounds). The fish easily went over 2 pounds. I released the fish and packed it up for the day.

I was really pleased with the fish I caught in the two hours on the lake. I got a new personal best for a Guadalupe bass and it was on an experimental fly I tied. Couldn't get any better.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Back in black

My oldest daughter has a marching band competition today and my wife was volunteering so she said if I wanted to go fishing, Saturday morning was my only chance and I HAD to be back by noon. You don't have to tell ME twice!

So, at 7:30am I was on my way to the lake. I watched deer crossing the road on the dark overcast, drizzly morning. I also watched a small armadillo walking along the side of the road and I was hoping the little guy didn't become roadkill that day.

I was in the water by 8am and paddled along to the opposite shoreline for a bit, throwing by experimental seaducer for about 30 minutes with no bites other than the tugs of small brim. Thinking through all the tactics I have read through the years, I recall that black or dark colors were recommended during dark overcast days so I switched to a purple and black cactus minnow I had tied earlier in the week.

The cactus minnow is simply composed of a cactus chenille body with a marabou tail. It also has a cone head bead to allow it to sink nicely. That's it but today this was the ticket.

Within a few casts along the drop-offs near shore, I caught my first bass. I also worked the fly towards the back of some docks and caught a 15" bass that looked somewhat malnourished. Its tail and head looked too large for its body. It also had a few gouges underneath as if it had been foul hooked and the hook ripped out. The bass is the one in the photo above. I released the skinny fellow back in the water.

I picked up another bass and lost a couple before paddling across the lake to a long rip-rap section of the shore near the ramp. My first fish there turned out to be a catfish which surprised me! He twisted around and slimed up my leader before coming off while I was trying to grab the landing net.

I proceeded to catch four more bass from 13" to 15" along the shoreline. Most were caught in two to four feet of water. Two of the bass I caught were really light green in color. One of the best fish I caught had the fly right in its tongue. I was fortunate not to have lost that one.

As I headed back to the ramp to make it back by 11am, I passed over a large, dark shadow in the clear water that I could easily see was a big catfish. That would have been cool to have caught on my 5wt. Maybe next time. Hope it's a dark day, too.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Albright Tackle Oktoberfest Blowout

As I was reading one of the fly fishing forums today, I came across someone mentioning a closeout sale at the Albright web site. The link is and they have several rods and reels for 70% off but selection seems to be diminishing quickly.

Since I have been meaning to get my son his own fly rod for some time, I went ahead and purchased a nice GP 8' 5wt for $37.50 along with a click and pawl reel for $14. Not bad! Once I scour ebay for an appropriate fly line, this will be a great Christmas present for him. Can't wait to see his face!

The closeout tackle doesn't come with the standard warranty but still comes with a product replacement guarantee. I just thought I should mention that.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Having fun at the TPWD Expo 2008

Since I had told my kids we were going to the Expo, they were pretty excited. My youngest one was up promptly at 7am and was ready by 7:30am. My son took a little longer to get up and get ready but we were out the door by 8:30am.

Having experienced the limited parking at the Expo before, we have been taking the shuttle buses for the past couple of years. Once we got to the expo we headed to the required education for shooters, got our hands stamped, and then got in line for the clay shooting. Unfortunately for us this wasn't the youth shotgun queue and so we had to move and go get in another long line.

My son waited about 30 minutes and finally got his turn. They get three shots at three slow moving clays that pretty much are launched directly towards them as opposed to the side. He didn't hit any of them but still enjoyed it. He particularly liked how the shells ejected though he wasn't sure he liked the recoil. He still prefers shooting the air rifle for now.

After that, we moved over to the fishing area and took a look at some freshly caught fish that are on ice that kids are encouraged to touch. They had everything from shark to mullet on ice. They also had tanks with live sea creatures that can be touched. My daughter tried to touch a crab and it struck at her though its claws were bound so it couldn't hurt her. As she pulled her hand, she punched her brother in the nose as he stood behind.

I took a photo of my youngest in front of an exhibit sponsored by the Texas ShareLunker program. This is a program where by an angler that catches a bass weighing 13 pounds or greater can donate the fish to TPWD for breeding and study. In return, they are provided with recognition of their catch and I believe they get a replica mount of their catch. There a few replicas of bass over 17 pounds on display. They looked like real pigs!

We then moved on to the fly fishing tent and the kids sat down to tie some flies while I checked out what the various fly fishing clubs from around Central Texas had on display. There are a lot of great fly tyers in the area. When I returned to see what my kids had tied and they gave me their flies, I didn't know that my son's fly had super glue on it and almost got it stuck to my fingers! As I type this, I still have some tiny amount of feather on my thumb and index finger.

The next stop was to visit the Texas Buffalo Soldiers. Their exhibit had a real frontier feeling to it and their uniforms and dress were very authentic. They were all great story tellers as well.

After having some lunch, we visited some tents with some "critters". We saw a peregrine falcon, various amphibians, reptiles and snakes. My daughter startled a diamond back rattlesnake in a plexiglass cage and it took a defensive position and gave us a good warning with his rattle. I told my daughter that if she ever encountered one of these snakes on her own, to back away.

As the kids were getting tired after four straight hours of activities, we went to take a look at some native insects, plants, and walked one small trail before heading back to the shuttle bus. We barely got to scratch the surface of the exhibits, activities and events available. We saw a large tank that provided people with the chance to learn to scuba dive. We saw several folks wearing wet suits about to get in the large tank. That looked kind of cool.

All in all, I had fun, the kids had fun and it was a great learning experience for everyone as well. If anyone ever has a chance to be in Austin next year during this time, I highly recommend going to the Texas Parks & Wildlife Expo. It really is a great event.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Texas Parks & Wildlife Expo 2008

I had to work this past weekend so I didn't get to do any fishing. For this upcoming weekend I may not get to fish either. That's OK because this weekend is the annual Texas Parks & Wildlife Expo at the headquarters here in Austin.

The expo is a great place to take the family to see and learn just about anything about the outdoors whether it is for shooting, archery, paddling, camping, fishing, hunting, hiking and so on. I am not sure other states have similar expos and this just might be unique to Texas. The other part of this is that all the events are absolutely free! So, you can imagine the place can get pretty crowded with tens of thousands of people coming through.

I expect we'll be in the fishing and aquatic zone quite a bit and I might try to convince my son to try the youth shotgun activity. I will also stop by the fly tying tent they usually have and say hello to the good volunteers that will be there. I volunteered a couple of years ago at the Wet Zone which has a 10,000 gallon tank where people can try their hand at paddling a kayak. My kids have done this before so we will try to do other activities we haven't before such as the Map and Compass course is the camping area.

So, I will take my kids and camera and report back later this weekend as to what we did. Should be fun! It always is when we go.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Experimental bass seaducer fly

On my last trip to Lake Travis I took along my 6wt but I really wanted to take along my 5wt or even 4wt as I think it would be more fun to fish. However, I really would like to throw a "big" fly to get the attention of bass. I was thinking I could lighten up one of my current patterns and stay away from a lot of zonker strips. Instead, I thought about and decided on modifying the lightweight Seaducer pattern slightly.

The Seaducer is a great shallow water fly. It is composed of mainly feathers so it is light and is great to present to shallow fish in that it falls on the water softly. It is also buoyant and the hackle sheds water easily on the back cast. Those are great characteristics but I do need it to stay below the water so I decided to make a simple modification and add some medium bead chain eyes which are not too heavy but should be enough to get it below the surface.

In order to give it a little bit more "action", I added a small tip of olive grizzly marabou to either side. The idea behind this also serves to change the profile slightly so they look like fins (I hope).

The collar on the fly is composed of red hackle though I may do another one in black or olive.

The components of the pictured fly are:
  • Gamakatsu size #2 SS15 hook (a light hook)
  • Black medium bead chain eyes
  • Four Olive/Black rooster saddle feathers
  • Two grizzly marabou feathers
  • Peacock flash
  • Hot red saddle hackle
  • Red 6/0 UNI thread
The resulting fly is ample in size to attract a bass but it is also very light and I expect that I will be able to cast it on my 5wt with no problems. We'll have to see how it fishes though. I am kind of eager to go back to the lake this weekend and try some of these experiments. I'll see what other experimental flies I can come up with before then.

EDIT: It has come to my attention that this fly pattern is essentially a cross between a Whistler and a Seaducer fly.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Arkansas Bend at Lake Travis

I think the last time I went fishing around Arkansas Bend at Lake Travis was probably a year ago. I did fish a different part of the lake in February though. Driving down the road as I approached the lake from the top of a hill, I could tell that the water level was low once again. I hoped that the water temperature was the only other thing that fallen in the hopes this would start giving the fish the idea Autumn is approaching and to start feeding aggressively.

According to lake level data, the lake is down by around 22 feet. A couple of years ago we had a really bad drought where the lake dropped by almost 40 feet. Thanks to rains in the spring of 2007, the lake recovered nicely.

I was able to park on the shore which is normally underwater and launch my kayak in calm, clear water. The air temperature was around 70 degrees and water was warmer than that at about 81 degrees. A power boat had started working the point where I was launch and the angler caught a nice bass on what looked to be a spinnerbait as I was paddling to the next point.

The first fly I tied on was a size #2 Gurgler top water fly in yellow and orange. It wasn't long before I had a bite. It was a big brim. As I worked the point I kept catching these big brim and seemed that each was bigger than the rest. I was really hoping for a bass.

I entered a nearby cove and worked my way around it and continued to catch big brim on minnow flies and managed one small bass. I then moved on and started working around the swimming platforms. Same pattern occurred on all of them as I would catch big brim along the shady side of the platform.

As I was undoing a knot on my fly line I felt a large tug and thought I had finally caught a decent bass. It tuned out to be a really big coppernose which is a hybrid type bluegill found in the lake that can be identified by a copper or golden color near the top of its head.

As I looked up I saw a big roadrunner trying to catch a meal along the grass and I paddled my way back.

Before leaving for the day, I started fishing around the point where my truck was located trying to catch a decent size bass. I was stripping my minnow back to the kayak when I saw not one but a school of four bass following it! They looked to have been about two pounds each! But they continued to follow it to the kayak, saw me and departed. Nuts!

I decided to switch to a black woolly bugger and work it slowly. After a few casts I felt some resistance and was fighting a very nice Guadalupe bass. I netted it, photographed and admired it and then released it. I fished for a little while longer but it was tough with all the ski boats, cigar boats and personal water craft making lots of waves and stirring up the bottom so I got out and headed home.

It was beautiful morning to be fishing on the lake. The water was a pretty green color and fish were caught. I'm not sure I could ask for anything more though I am hoping we get some rain soon so the lakes don't get any lower. I'll try fishing the lake after the next real cold front and hopefully I will catch some more bass.

Sunday, September 14, 2008


I didn't do any fishing on my own this week as I was feeling somewhat under the weather with a chest cold. This afternoon while I was out in the backyard with my son, plinking with the pellet gun, he asked me to take him to the pond. My wife went to a movie and I took all three of my kids with me.

The water at the pond was really clear so I expected the fish to be somewhat spooky. The amount of grass in the shallower sections made for some great ambush points for bass. I explained this to my oldest girl. She tried her best but this was one of those rare days (which I have had in the past) where the turtles are in an aggressive feeding mood.

The pond is loaded with small red-ear turtles. You could see them poking their heads out of the water near where the bait fell. You could also see them making a bee line towards it and eventually picking it up. Sometimes as many as three or more would fight to get to the bait. Needless to say, this made for difficult fishing as the "bites" where mostly the turtles picking up the bait. Thankfully their tough beaks avoided getting hooked though a couple came close.

My son did manage to hook and land one bass which he was really excited about. Those pesky red-ear turtles ruled the day though. Turtling is a rare skill. That is, when they get in these moods it's rare you can catch any fish. We'll catch them next time...the fish I mean.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Living Waters Fly Fishing Blog

Chris Johnson from Living Waters Fly Fishing in Round Rock has started a blog over at to pass on news about special sales, new products, area fishing reports, and other useful information. Should be a good one to follow! Good idea Chris!

That reminds me, I need to stop by the shop and pick up some more of that Opal colored mylar braid to tie up some more Cypert Mylar Minnows! ;-)

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Tying a Texas favorite, the Cypert Mylar Minnow

Those of us in Central Texas that have fly fished for any length of time have heard of the Cypert's Mylar Minnow developed by area fly fishing master tier Charlie Cypert.

The Cypert minnow is probably the #1 fly recommended to folks during the annual white bass spawn. The recommendation is due to its ability to be used down near the bottom where the fish are typically. To help avoid snags while on the bottom, it is tied with bead chain eyes on top of the hook allowing it to ride hook up.

As effective as it is, it is also a simple fly to tie with just five basic materials:
  • 2x to 4x long streamer hook
  • bead chain for the eyes
  • thread
  • woolly bugger chenille
  • Mylar tubing
I wanted to tie some of these flies to send to my friend Rick up near Fort Worth so I picked up some of the materials from Livings Water fly shop and got a quick instruction from Chris on how to go about tying them.

I also found some instructions in this thread at one of my favorite Texas fly fishing web sites at on how to tie them. This is another web page containing some tying information. Here is the excerpt from one of the posts by mickfly that gives the steps:

1. Place a streamer hook in the vise and tie in a pair of bead chain eyes about one hook eye width behind the eye, then spiral wrap the thread back along the shank to the bend.

2. Tie in a piece of medium chenille at the hook bend, then bring the chenille straight forward and wrap around one eye of the beadchain, then back to the bend.

3. Take two or three tight wraps around the chenille (still at the hook bend), then bring the chenille forward around the other eye and back to the bend. Tie it off and snip excess.

4. Take a length of mylar tubing that is four times the shank length, double it, and slowly work the middle over the hook eye.

5. Bring the mylar back to the bend so it sits above and below the chenille, like the back and belly. Take several tight wraps around the mylar to hold it in place, then tie off and whip finish at the bend.

6. Trim the tail (excess mylar) to the desired length, then use the tip of the scissors to comb out the tail.

7. Catch fish.

The only differences I did from the above instructions was that I wrapped the chenille instead of looping it, used red thread for all the wrapping and I added a few drop of glue to the top and bottom of the chenille just before putting down the mylar cord.

The flies in the photo were tied using:
  • Size #6 4x long streamer hooks
  • Medium silver bead chain
  • Wapsi small wooly bugger chenille in light gray color
  • Orange/red 6/0 UNI thread
  • Wapsi small mirage cord in opal color
I had a little bit of cord left so I tied two smaller versions on size 8 streamer hooks (TMC 5262).

I think I need to consider tapering the fly better towards the "tail" area next time but for a first attempt I don't think they turned out too bad. I hope Rick likes them.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Nice day to fish and explore Brushy Creek

It seems like we are almost done with summer. Clear nights and drier air are making for cooler nights. This morning was really nice so I headed out to the same spot at Brushy Creek with the hope of also exploring further upstream this time.

Not long after getting in the water I caught a small green sunfish and while drifting the black foam spider down the center of the creek, I caught a nice little bass that shot straight up out of the water and I had to maintain pressure on so it wouldn't wrap itself around a rock or branch along the shoreline.

Typical of a river bass, it fought hard but eventually gave in and I brought it to hand. It was about 12 inches long and spunky. The fish was cool to the touch as were all the other fish I caught as the water flowing through the shade of the trees was also cool.

Moving upstream, I caught more green sunfish and another small bass. In a new-to-me narrow section that had a pool between two and three feet deep I finally caught another Rio Grande Cichlid. This one seemed a little different than others and I wonder if maybe it had bred with some other fish though I am positive it is a Rio as you can see from the photo.

About this time, a deer bolted from the brush and scared the crap out of me. Of course there are so many deer in the area that I was bound to come across one. I kept on.

I eventually got to a fork and stayed to the left until I got to a wide and slower section of the creek and could see small catfish but was not able to entice one. I caught some more green sunfish that were big enough that I could stick my thumb in the their mouths to lip them. I headed back downstream and caught a few more sunfish before leaving.

It was a lovely time on the water. I saw blooming red salvia plants along the shore and big red crayfish in the clear water. Vultures were perched high up in one of the trees. Some golden and red leaves occasionally dropped to the water so I expect Autumn is not to far off.

As soon as Fall weather starts to come, I really need to revisit my old fishing spots on Lake Travis. I look forward to it.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Rio Fest on Brushy Creek

Having grown up in deep south Texas, a.k.a. the Rio Grande Valley, I am aware that the city of Harlingen has an annual festival called RioFest that occurs in the spring. Today I had a rio fest of my own but it was in no way related to the one just mentioned.

This afternoon, I decided to beat the close to 100 degree heat by wet wading the cool tree lined waters of Brushy Creek. I had gotten a tip from Chris at the Living Waters fly shop on Saturday of new spot to try.

This new spot was nice. There was plenty of room to cast the 8'6" 4wt I brought with me. I was in the water around 5pm and proceeded to wade and fish upstream. After a few casts drifting a black foam spider, I caught a tiny bass. I then caught a green sunfish.

Not long after having caught a few more green sunfish, I caught a nice Rio Grande Cichlid. This made the fourth one this year. Two of the other three had been caught in this same creek though further downstream and the other on the San Gabriel river.

The Rios can be pretty fish and kind of ugly at other times. They have brilliant turqoise spots all over and black bars or large dots closer to their tails. They have bright yellow eyes as well. I have seen some that have had what look like red bumps or sores along both sides of their bodies. Some look half black and half ash white while in the water but look a bit different once removed from the water. It is an interesting species to run across.

About 100 yards downstream I saw a man and little girl walking in the water so I started moving upstream. I continued catching green sunfish, small bass, and an occasional redbreast sunfish. However, I also caught two more Rios which sort of surprised me.

I headed upstream about another 200 yards and caught two more Rio Grande Cichlids. This made a total of five Rio Grande Cichlids which is the most I have ever caught at any one time and this was only in two hours of fishing. By contrast, last year I think I only caught two.

I recorded the spots where I caught the Rios to memory in case a fishing buddy ever wants to record a new unique species to try and catch on the fly.

The Rio Grande is a rare prize for some fly fishers. It is also selective on the flies it takes. I was able to catch them mostly on a #10 olive bead head nymph and on a #10 orange and pearl Cypert's mylar minnow.

It was refreshing to be in cool running water again and I am very thankful to have caught some fish that I don't get to catch that often. I'll be back some other day for sure. Maybe I will have my own annual Rio Fest, too.

Hurricane Gustav

My cousin sent me some video he took earlier today that includes some incredible footage of an unexpected surge that came into the beach and reached all the way to the dunes. He was recording the huge waves pounding Bob Hall pier on the gulf side of North Padre Island when the big wave came on in (most likely thanks to Hurricane Gustav). He also mentioned there were dozens of dead stingrays along the beach.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Some cool fly fishing lanyards made here in Texas!

My good friend Rick over at Water Walker Lanyards and Lures sent me a set of the lanyards he makes. He sent me three of his Southwestern model, one of his Dry Fly model, and one of his Gulf Coast model lanyards. Two of the Southwestern lanyards are for my son and I and the rest are for donation to the local fly fishing club courtesy of Rick. In short, these are the nicest looking fly fishing lanyards I have come across!

To begin with, I already had a lanyard made by Morning Star Lanyards. It has been a good lanyard that came with a retractor and fly patch but Rick's beats it in quality for a lower price! Same can be said for the similar fly fishing lanyards made by Orvis and MayFly™ which are more expensive.

What do I like about this new lanyard? Well, to begin with, I know that great care and skill went into it. I like the small touches such as the swivel in the shirt clip, the rubber shrink tubing that finishes off the cord ends, the beautiful beads, inline fly foam holders, and symmetrical location of the swivel connections. The inline fly foam holders are genius! I also like the light weight, that along with thick foam for the back of the neck, make for a very comfortable lanyard. The cord colors and patterns are pretty nice, too. Lastly, you have to love those beads!

I modded my lanyard as soon as I got it and added two retractors; one for my line clipper and one for my clamps. I also added a square foam fly patch for bigger flies that I would not want to stick in the built-in fly foam holders. I still have room for my tippet holder. Rick can add a fifth swivel connection in the center next to the shirt clip if you need one for a small fly box for example.

So, in closing, if you are looking for a quality made fly fishing lanyard for under $20 from a Texas craftsman, check out Rick's site. You'll be glad you did!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Exploring Brushy Creek

About a 15 minute drive from the house runs a creek through some scenic views that I have been meaning to explore. So, I took my 4wt and decided to fish it for a bit for about an hour or two before lunch.

We had some rain a few days ago that were remnants of Hurricane Dolly yet the creek was running clear. The area I tried had had trees surrounding each bank and above it. In some spots the creek was somewhat narrow but casting was not hindered too much.

Wading downstream I was surprised with the depth of the water. I had figured it was going to be really shallow but there were some areas where the water went above my knees. This is of course more than adequate for a largemouth bass to lie in ambush for a woolly bugger.

I caught a couple of really bright orange spotted fish which I think were Pumpkinseeds, and some green sunfish along with a Rio Grande Cichlid. I could see beds in lots of places plus bass patrolling around these beds.

Farther downstream I found a hole that contained a school of dozens of baby catfish. In this hole were a couple of good size bass over one pound that were mingling among the catfish school. I wasn't able to catch either after switching out flies several times.

It was getting to be noon and I was really hungry so I went back upstream and left. I expect to be back to this creek and next time explore the upstream section.

One reason I had come to this creek was because of what I had heard about carp being in there though I did not find any in the small section I explored.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Catfish hole redux

One of my nephews is visiting us for a couple of weeks this summer. One of the things my son wanted to do while he was here was to take my nephew and he to the place my son and I went a couple of weekends ago to the spot he caught a few catfish. So, I made preparations this week and rented a small sit-on-top kayak from a local kayak shop.

Yesterday, we went to the YMCA in town that has a small, shallow lake and I had my nephew practice his paddling skills since he was fairly new to it. After an hour, he got pretty good at moving forward, turning, stopping and paddling in reverse. I then got all the fishing gear together that night.

This morning we set off to the same put-in as before and headed upriver. My nephew found it a little more difficult paddling against a current (light as it was) but he did just fine.

Eventually, we got to our destination which was the pool where we had caught catfish two weeks ago and rigged up. My son was the first to catch a catfish though my nephew followed soon after with one on his first cast.

Both boys concentrated on their fishing and in the hour and 45 minutes, my nephew caught and released six fish with a couple around two pounds. My son caught and released five on his own.

We paddled back to the put-in so we could get home early to clean up to have lunch with the rest of the family. Both boys enjoyed fishing and paddling together and seeing cranes, herons, a raccoon and finding a sun bleached deer antler. I had fun taking them out as well.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Going back to basics - the woolly bugger

For a while now I have been experimenting with various new patterns for carp, bass, etc. but I came to a realization that I should return to a pattern, a simple as it is, that worked. Therefore, on my recent trip to a new fly shop I picked up materials for tying up the woolly bugger.

In the past I have caught the following species on this fly:

  • Catfish
  • Largemouth Bass
  • Guadalupe Bass
  • Red breast sunfish
  • Bluegill
  • Rio Grande Cichlid
  • Common Carp
  • Spotted gar
  • Speckled Trout (yes, the saltwater kind)
There are probably a couple of other species that I have caught on the bugger (I don't remember if I caught a rainbow trout on one).

Olive green is my most successful color followed by black so I tied a dozen of these. On recommendation from the fly shop owner, I bought some variegated/grizzly olive (with black bars) Wapsi hackle and maribou. He also recommended black coneheads instead of the gold beads I usually use (even though the package says black, the conheads look like a lead gray to me). I did tie a few with gold coneheads though. I expect these flies will catch fish just fine.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Living Waters Fly Fishing Shop

This morning I drove about 15 minutes from my house to a new fly shop in neighboring Round Rock to check out a new fly shop that opened up about three weeks ago. It is called Living Waters Fly Fishing and is located in a shopping center just past the intersection of Sam Bass Rd. and Hairy Man Rd. very close to Brushy Creek. I was eager to check it out since the next nearest fly shop is about an hour away and the next one (in Cabelas) even further than that.

It was fairly easy to find. There was a small sign outside that said the shop was now open. When I walked in, someone was just leaving and I was greeted by the owner, a young man by the name of
Chris Johnson, and we began to talk.

I knew Chris had worked at a chain sports store that had a "fly shop" in it. While that store originally had an OK supply of fly stuff, they never seemed to restock it well enough or stock it with items pertinent to our Texas location which should have included more items for the target species such as bass and redfish rather than the more traditional cold water trout. I was glad looking around that I did see photos of different species of fish other than just trout.

I asked Chris about the best spots to wade in the nearby creek for bass and carp and he was quite helpful. Before he opened the shop, he used to guide on the nearby creek as well as other rivers in the area. I was mainly interested in carp from the last encounter I had a few weeks back with a fly fisher I met on the San Gabriel. It turns out that Chris new the gentleman that I was speaking of and that man had come by the shop just the day before! Small world!

I picked up some materials for tying some olive and some black woolly buggers since it been a long time since I had any of these successful flies in my fly box and I need to get back to some basics. Chris suggested some slight variations from what I normally tie and after getting home and tying a dozen flies, I think I like the results.

We continued with our conversation and another gentlemen entered the store and we had a conversation with him about carp, gar, Rio Grandes, and other topics as well. My wife was waiting for me at home for us to go to an outlet store so I couldn't stay too long.

I got a good impression of the shop, small as it currently is, that it will likely be around for a while. While he does't carry a lot of items at the moment, Chris said he can place special orders for the brands he carries if what I am looking for isn't there. He also plans to at some point carry Winston and Sage rods to supplement the TFO and Ross rods he is carrying now. I really don't need any rods myself but that should round out the selection.

Chris also plans to have fly tying stations in the back of the store for customers and for hopefully monthly tying seminars.

All I can say is that I hope that this store is around for a long time. We've needed another fly shop for a long while in this part of Austin and there are plenty of fly fishers around that should be supporting the store. I'll be one them for sure.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Fishing, four wheeling, UFOs and fireworks

Last week, I spent Thursday and Friday fishing in Corpus Christi. I actually got there on Wednesday evening so we went out in the kayaks to do some fishing in the Laguna Madre underneath some lights.

Of course it was windy so it was a bit difficult to cast with my 6 weight and so I spent most of the time with my casting rod. We were catching trout on almost every cast though most of the fish were undersized "schoolie" trout. We did manage a limit but we also had to fight a strong current, sea foam, lots of grass and wind. Not to mention, I got two really nice birds nests on my casting reel and I dunked my fly rod in the water but recovered it before it sank. All in all, it was worth it.

The next afternoon we went to clean the fish at the boat launch and just as we finished up one of the area's best guides came in with four clients.

As it turns out, my cousin knows this guide fairly well and stayed to chat with him. The guide is named Captain Bill Sheka and he is truly a living legend among the guides on the Texas coast. He's been showcased on a few TV fishing shows and guided TV personalities and other celebrities. He's a real nice guy to boot.

Anyways, after a photo of the catch with his clients, he and my cousin were talking and one of the clients asked if the truck parked nearby belonged to my cousin. It was and he asked us to pop the hood open so he could show us how we could get three, four or more miles-per-gallon better mileage out it. Bill introduced his client as Steve Gehrlein. Apparently, Steve is a mechanic's mechanic and owns a very successful auto shop in San Antonio, hosts a radio show on identifying and solving car problems, and also wrote a book on tips to avoid getting ripped off by bad mechanics called Save $$$ on Auto Repairs. So, of course we listened and let him show us how!

Steve proceeded to tell and show us a few modifications to allow additional airflow into the engine via the air filter housing that would do the trick along with cleaning the throttle body. In the process of showing us, he cut his finger pretty badly on the sheet metal though it didn't stop him. He was pretty enthusiastic about showing us how to get that extra gas mileage out of the vehicle.

My cousin asked me to take a photo of him with the celebrities. Since I didn't have my digital camera with me I used my camera phone and the photo didn't come up too bad. Left to right in the photo are my cousin Captain George Garza, Captain Bill Sheka and Steve Gehrlein.

That night we went looking for a way to get to a remote location on North Padre Island that my cousin wanted to fish and we followed a trail that had been created by some four wheelers. It really required a four wheel drive vehicle to get back in there since it was mostly fine sand trails with deep ruts. We almost got stuck twice. It was worth it though as the area we fished was beautiful though we only caught one keeper 20 inch trout. We promised to come back the next night to do some gigging for flounder since there were several small areas in the back that looked promising.

One thing that did occur that night while we there looking up at the starry night was my cousin caught a glimpse of a small white flash high up in the sky and then I saw it too. It blinked a couple of times and then showed up east of where it was again. It flashed a couple of times then showed up farther east almost above us. It flashed a couple of times again then showed up east behind us. Amazing! We knew it was not a jet since nothing travels that fast! It also made no sound. It wasn't a satellite either since you can typically see the object constantly as it travels. It also wasn't a meteor since they stream across the sky and disappear in a flash. It had to be a UFO. I've seen some odd things out there before but that was a first for something like that. I am totally serious when I say that was really freaky seeing that.

The next day, July 4, we came back to do some flounder gigging. After watching a beautiful sunset and it got pretty dark, we walked maybe three miles through the water and only came across two small flounder. All the time there were fireworks exploding all along the beach and across the bay. It was really cool! We packed it up around midnight and headed out. A friend of my cousin's had come along in his four wheel truck and got stuck in the sand just as we were exiting the area. My cousin towed him out and we had a lot of laughs at his friend's expense since that was the second time my cousin has towed him after getting stuck.

This was a most memorable trip and I did bring back some trout as well. I'm going to do some freshwater fishing for a while but will try to get back out for a salt fix in the fall.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Here kitty kitty!

Today I took my 10 year old son on a guided fishing trip on the San Gabriel river. I was the guide of course. This meant I brought no tackle along for myself. My son brought along his spinning combo, worm hooks, bobbers and, of course, some big fat nightcrawlers.

We paddled to a pool where I was sure we could catch some bass as that is what he wanted to catch. The first fish to strike was indeed a bass but came off. We then went to the end of point of a gravel bar that was adjacent to deep water and tried our luck there. He caught a catfish! A good one to. He then caught another one. And then another. On the third one, I got jabbed by the spine in the pectoral fin as I was taking out the hook and the kitty twisted about. It wasn't a bad jab but enough to hurt and draw blood. This was a good time to teach my son about being careful of those catfish spines and to always carry a small first aid kit which I had in my bag. A little alcohol swab and a bandage and I was fine.

Now, at this point, I was sort of stunned as I have never caught a catfish from this pool. I have caught some nice cats upstream from here. He continued trying to catch a bass (or a carp which he saw splashing about) but kept catching catfish or got hits but no hookups with whatever it was. In less than 2 hours he caught 7 catfish with the largest going over 4 pounds. The largest one gave him a good fight and we took a photo of it and released it. Actually, in the photo it looks as if he is holding the catfish up but just out of camera range above his hand I am holding the line since the catfish was a little heavy for him to hold up that high.

We had a good time on the river and while he didn't land any bass, he did enjoy catching those catfish. We also saw several herons and a large hawk fly over the pool. I am thinking I need to get him his own kayak because the both of just barely fit in my kayak. He knows how to paddle but I may need to tether his kayak to mine when paddling upriver as it hard work sometimes. We'll be back for those bass some other day.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Back from Walt Disney World

I didn't get any fishing in last weekend or this one since I spent a wonderful week with the family in Buena Vista, Florida visiting each of the Walt Disney World parks. It was a memorable time and I probably took at least a couple of hundred photos that I won't post here except for this one of the iconic Cinderella's castle.

It rained just about every day and the humidity made it feel somewhat uncomfortable at times. Of all the parks, I think my youngest kids like Magic Kingdom the best while my wife and I really liked Hollywood Studios. The world showcase section of Epcot is pretty cool and Animal Kingdom is a very neat park but you are outdoors far more than in the other parks.

This was our second trip to Disneyworld Florida in four years. Next time, we may stay at the Port Orleans Disney resort since it has a fishing pier with a lake stocked with brim and catfish for catch and release fishing. They actually have guided bass fishing trips and bass fishing tournaments at the lake at Magic Kingdom. So, I may take my 5 weight with me next time and maybe I will be able to post a fishing related report then.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Rivers of Texas Rally

This weekend brings probably over 50,000 motorcycle enthusiasts to the Republic of Texas (ROT) Rally here in Austin. While all those bikers were heading into town, I headed to the San Gabriel river instead with my kayak and 6wt and it turned into a rally of sorts there as well.

I got to the low water crossing at Highway 29 and CR100 around 8am and found three fisherman there. Two were loading up kayaks and the third was wading and casting with a fly rod. I went up to the first two to say good morning and then put together my stuff and started paddling towards the third angler.

I greeted him and started talking with him for a bit. As it turned out he belonged to the Austin Fly Fishers club. It turns out we both knew some of the same folks. One name I mentioned was a fishing pal of one of the guys that had launched their kayak before me. It also turned out that they all worked for IBM. Wow, small world since so do I. I wished him well and paddled upriver.

I came upon the second fly fisher in the kayak and told him I knew, actually worked in the same department with, his best pal. Apparently the guy we mutually knew moved to Boston not long ago but he still keeps in touch. After chatting for a while I headed upstream passing a couple of guys fishing from shore.

At the pool above the rapids I encountered a man and his son bowfishing for carp. For those not familiar with this sport, one uses a regular bow but with an arrow with a special tip that folds back when it penetrates the fish and opens back up after it goes through. The arrow has a line attached that is wound on a spool with a reel that is attached to the bow. The carp is reeled in sort of like when using a rod and reel. The only obvious difference is there is never such a thing as "catch and release" with this method. Although you can eat carp, typically they are ground up for fertilizer.

I continued paddling upstream avoiding to get near the bow fishing duo. After reaching my destination a half mile upstream, I cast a sort of wooly bugger looking fly that is really meant for redfish and caught the bass pictured above on that first cast. I caught several more small bass and lost one that was really nice and was putting a nice bend in my 6wt. After a while I noticed a couple of kayaks downstream so I put my gear up and started paddling back downstream.

It turns out that in one of those kayaks was an angler that frequents the forums at so I stopped by and said hello and chatted with him and his wife for a short while. We talked about how nice and peaceful it was fishing in that section of the river. I mentioned to his wife that I had seen a large raccoon on the paddle upstream before it retreated into the woods. After a while I bid them good luck and kept going back downstream.

I fished the next pool for a while catching yet more bass and other sunfish and then I saw one of the fly fishers approaching. I went over and he was stalking carp. He had caught one below the rapids and was looking for another in the pool. We tied on a damselfly nymph and while I was making my way through the rapids he caught another carp! I need to tie up some of those flies!

On the way out at the low water crossing, I found the first fly fisher that had been wading earlier in the morning and he was waiting for his buddies. They weren't all that far behind me and while I was loading up my gear in the truck we talked for a bit and he invited me for a cold beer after they loaded up. I told him I had to pass. Can you imagine if I get home and my wife smells beer on my breath? Oh no boy!

I haven't had so much social interaction on the river like this in a long while. It was kind of nice. However, I am glad that I didn't find 50,000 anglers in the river this morning. I would still be there saying hello to everyone.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Another Bass Sunday

I set off once again this morning to my favorite hole on the San Gabriel river. The target species would be bass so I took along my trusty 6wt and some bass flies I have tied.

I got there around 8 a.m. and started paddling upstream to find a fly fisherman wading in the river. We talked a bit and he said he had caught a couple of bass on poppers earlier. I told him I was heading upstream and wished him luck.

About 400 yards upstream, I ran into a kayak angler and he hadn't had much luck yet. I told him a few spots to try and wished him luck as I continued paddling upstream.

I finally reached the rapids and proceeded to catch small largemouth and Guadalupe bass. I saw plenty of carp and tried several times for some of those but was rejected. Besides bass, I did manage several red breasted sunfish.

I also lost a lot of flies today; mostly to overhanging trees. I may have to start tying some of the last of the ones I lost, such as the black Zonker Bonker I broke off.

On my way back out, I met up with the other kayak angler who had done well catching bass on one particular timber laydown.

It was another good dayto be out on the river. One good thing about fishing in a river like this when the sun is hot is you can fish in the shade of the large trees growing along the shore. Getting in the water to wade is also refreshing. It's much nicer than fishing on a large lake and I'll be back again though I will likely try one of my other spots along the river next time.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Cool river bass on a hot day

In the last few days the temperatures have been getting up into the high 90s. Today seemed like a good morning to wet wade the San Gabriel for bass and so I headed to one of my favorite spots along the river and paddled upstream.

I noticed that the algae has started to build up in some spots along the river making it tough using some flies. However, I had success with most of the flies I tried today picking up almost a dozen largemouth and Guadalupe bass. Most of the bass preferred any fly with zonker strips and black seemed popular as well.

I didn't go too far upriver given there were bass everywhere. Most all of them fought great for their size. There is something about river bass. Maybe it's the current that makes them hit hard and fight hard compared to their lake and pond brethren.

I enjoyed being out in the kayak and getting to wet wade in the cool river on a hot day for the first time this year. Hopefully, I will be able to get back there next time and try for some carp.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

When size counts

I spent a few days in Corpus Christi fishing with my cousin, Captain Garza. We went all over the place from Port Aransas to Yarborough Pass and we barely caught a limit of redfish and half a limit of trout in those two days. However, though we fell short in quantity we made up in spades with quality.

On Wednesday evening we made our way to Yarborough Pass which is located about 15 miles south of the entrance to Padre Island National Seashore. Once through the pass to the Laguna Madre side located just south of Baffin Bay, we set camp and fished until 1:30am. During that time we caught only a handful of fish though they were quite good fish.

The first one I caught was a 28 3/4" speckled trout! This was followed by a slot sized redfish and then an 18" trout. My cousin picked up another large trout at 26 1/2" and then a 20" trout followed to our surprise by an 18" flounder. The last fish to be caught was a 28 1/2" redfish that I tagged since it was just over the slot size.

At about 4am, I woke up to the sound of a dog barking. Now, we were pretty much in the middle of nowhere. Apparently someone had driven up during the night to fish but nobody approached the camp. I went back to sleep and my cousin didn't.

The next day was really hot and my cousin caught a nice redfish and trout while I caught nothing.

To make a long story short, the rest of the time we simply shot the breeze and reminisced about our youth, music, and the pursuit of more fish in the future. I am very glad I got the opportunity to bring some fish home to cook for Mother's Day tomorrow. While there weren't that many fish caught, they were some big fish supplying plenty of bags of fillets to enjoy. Yep, sometimes size does matter.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Alligator gar washes up on beach

My cousin and his better half went driving down to Padre Island National Seashore near Corpus Christi to do some beach combing and they spotted a four foot alligator on the shore. Interesting since alligator gar normally reside in freshwater lakes, bayous, canals and rivers.

I have heard of folks running into some in brackish or salt water. It is possible that when there is a good amount of rain (as was had recently in the area) that they may move out into the ocean and bays when the salinity levels drop. However, they can't survive there very long.

My cousin indicated the gar was freshly dead. On a side note, for those that haven't eaten gar before, the flesh is white and firm and when fried tastes a lot like chicken breast. The hard part is cutting through the armor plating hide. By the way, my cousin left the fish on the beach.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

I think I need to get my son a fly rod

This afternoon I took my son to the pond for an hour of fishing before dinner. I took my 4wt and he took his spinning rod and worms.

We both started catching brim soon after getting there though I caught a few more while he re-baited his hooks with worms. After a while, he asked me for a fly. At first, I told him to stick to the worms. He asked me again so I took out my fly box and let him choose a fly. He chose a white #8 Cypert's mylar minnow. I tied it on and adjusted his float a bit higher. I figured in a few minutes we would be back to the worm hook and worms.

To my surprise, a short time later he hooked a sunfish! This went on several times and some of the brim he caught were pretty good sized! I kept wondering just how he did this. It seemed that his casts were near the fountain in the center of the pond that circulates the water. Near it you get some wave action so apparently the minnow under the float would jig up and down and possibly looked like an injured or dying fish and the big brim couldn't stand it!

Well, after a while we had to leave but I am now seriously considering a fly rod for this boy. If he's willing to try a fly on a spinning rod, I might as well replace the spinning rod with a fly rod and complete the package. I may have to research some fly rods for him and possibly take a trip to Cabela's and see what fly rod combo kits they have in a 5wt.