As coordinator of this outing I had two
objectives in mind. First, I wanted to learn about Fly Fish Texas,
see what it offered, and find a way for TWFF to participate more
fully in future Fly Fish Texas programs. Second, I wanted to raise
funds for CFR by selling flies that were tied by or donated to TWFF.
I believe we were successful on both objectives.
I asked each of our members to
contribute a paragraph or two about their experience at Fly Fish
Texas. From my perspective it seemed a bit like EXPO except it is
devoted only to fly fishing. The attendance at this show seemed much
smaller than EXPO; one reason may be the Arlington Fly Fish Show
scheduled for the same weekend. The TPWD fresh water fishery is a
beautiful facility, one I recommend each of you visit in the future.
We had a prime location for our table just inside the main door
where we sold our flies and recruited three new members. We raised a
whopping $438 selling flies for CFR– well above my expectations. The
thoughts of other members follow.
From Annette Blythe:
Fly Fish Texas what an experience! Wish
all of you could have been there. Besides the wonderful
presentations, fly tying and fishing, I was able to participate in
an intermediate fly casting class. The instructors were so
knowledgeable, and what patience.
Al Crise is in charge of Education for
the Federation of Fly Fishers™. I met Al on a TWFF outing a few years
ago. As I was ready to complete my casting lesson and give someone
else the opportunity, Al asked me to cast as far as I could. HMM. I
knew my distance casting needs much improvement. Al proceeded to
work with me and much to my amazement I was double hauling. I
couldn't believe it and he just chuckled and told me to continue
doing it as he observed. I guess that was to reinforce my new skill.
I left Fly Fish Texas with such an awesome feeling and know I want
to make this outing again next year.
From Donna Endsley:
Ed and I spent a very informative time
with the "Fly Fishing from your Kayak" demo.
The emphasis was on:
how to fit your kayak with things like
tubes for holding fly rod tips at the bow of your boat,
set ups for umbrellas to keep a little
sun off your back in the those hotter months,
using a tool like a 5' piece of pipe
with a float attached to place in the scupper hole to hold you in
place and keep you from drifting,
safety tips that some of us might not
be aware of, i.e., when in a kayak on the coastal waters or on
lakes besides a PDF you are required to carry a whistle, and
the pros and cons of fly fishing from
your kayak and how the casting method changes from a sitting
After the information session, he
invited people to sit in the kayak and paddle around in the pond and
cast from it to get a few pointers on how that worked. This was a
very good presentation and we learned several tips that we plan to
implement while using our kayaks to fly fish.
From Frances Hamm:
The trip to Athens was a lot of fun
meeting people from around the state, eating some great fried
catfish, showing off all the flies our club made and watching some
very happy children as they caught fish out of the freshly stocked
I attended two of the presentations
during the Fly Fish Texas. Both centered on fishing the Texas coast
for red drum, known as redfish or the fish with the spotted tail. I
learned a great deal about fishing “skinny” water, in particular.
The Rockport guide, Chuck Scates, told how he had worked his way
down literally to VERY shallow (skinny) water where the whole
fishes’ back sticks out of the water as he feeds. He described
throwing the fly just in front of the fish so he would instinctively
bite at it.
Chuck also defined circumstances when
redfish bite and when they don’t. They like moving water so the tide
must be coming in or going out for them to bite. When there is no
tidal movement and the fish have “lockjaw”, he called the fish in
this situation “non-feeders”. He showed in his slide show how you
can throw the fly anywhere on or around the non-feeding fish and he
will not bite.
Billy Trimble also presented about fly
fishing saltwater for redfish. He was accompanied by his wife and
fellow guide, Stacy. Both Stacy and Billy have moved to Rockport, TX
in the last year to expand their business.
From Sherri Ray:
The Athens Freshwater fishery is bigger
and better than the last time. Remember the first time when people
were actually fishing in the holding tanks? Currently, there is
“river” through the complex that feeds all the ponds and the
wetlands areas. The wetlands area has a 1.2 mile walk so fishers,
walkers or wheelchairs can enjoy this wetland replica. The wetlands
ponds and river were stocked and happy smiling fishers were all
along the way catching fish after fish. As you walk through the
river system you pass a bee hive house where there is a working
beehive to watch and lots of documentation and audio explanations of
the display at the push of a button, there was also a bird house of
indigenous birds of Texas with pictures and the sounds each bird
makes. This ended at the fly-fishing lake that includes a state of
the art duck blind.
The classes this year were wonderful. I
attended several of them. One was Fishing for Redfish by Chuck
Scates. Mr. Scates was unable to attend last year due to health
reasons. He IS back! He gave up guide “secrets” with some of the
most beautiful slides to back up his points. As attendees would ask
questions he would act out his processes and talk us through them.
As he would do this his voice would start to quiver and his
breathing patterns would change. It was so easy to imagine being on
the coast at that moment! His enthusiasm was contagious and you
couldn’t help but get excited and catch some coastal fever! He
admitted that after thirty years he still gets excited from the
thrill of the hunt. It was affirming to know that someone of his
natural ability and experience still feels that level of excitement.
It is nice to know that the rush from chasing and catching redfish
I also attended a class on entomology.
The class did hands on sampling of the river and learned the
importance of the information and the impact in deciding the way to
Al Crise did an excellent job scheduling
and managing casting instructors to achieve maximum impact for
students. There were approximately four instructors for every four
to six students. One instructor was the main instructor and the
other three worked hands on with the students to show them how to
achieve the technique being taught and for help and correction as
they were learning. It was very organized and effective. Ronnie
helped out as an instructor and also taught a class on “What’s in
the tackle bag and what to take for beginners”. About twenty new
fishers attended it who were enthusiastic and receptive to the
information being given them.
The weather was absolutely beautiful,
the food was great and the company of fellow TWFF members was the