June 15, 2001
By Sherri Ray
Check out more photos from this outing in our Photo Gallery!
The weekend in Barksdale Texas was spent at one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen. Deep in the Texas Hill Country lies some of the most beautifully clear waters. Lost Canyon ecumenical camp was the headquarters of the TWFF fishing in the Bud Priddy One Fly Tournament. Constance, Frances and Joy in one cabin. Betty and Carl were in a cabin beside them. Ann and Joe and our new member Tibby Gold were in the “treetop” house. Becky, Audrey and Sarah in another. Lisa Bellar and I had the most wonderful cabin of all! We opted to stay in the cabin with no air conditioning. If you could sleep on this screened porch over the water where you can see the fish from your bed you would agree that last thing we needed was an air conditioner. At five o’clock in the morning we both were searching for covers from the coolness of the night. Even if the fishing were horrible the promise of “unplugging” from the every day humdrum makes these trips priceless. Like the commercial, “Fly Rod $300.00, Kayak $600.00, time to commune with nature and make great fishing friends—PRICELESS”. Most of us showed up at Lost Canyon on Friday evening and got in some fishing. A couple of others trickled in later on after dark. It was pretty hard to find the road to Lost Canyon in the dark. The road looked a bit like a driveway and the sign “Dry Creek Road” was painted on a board that was hard to find in the light of day. The cabin where Coco, Sheila, Leslie, Carol and Jenny stayed had a large porch with a porch swing, which served as our meeting place. Most people turned in relatively early in anticipation of the 7:00 am sign in of the tournament.
Saturday morning we caravanned to Camp Wood, 4 miles down the road from Barksdale and signed up for the tournament. The gentlemen seemed to be trying to not act surprised at the women showing up for this event. A kind man took our picture as a group and we were off to fish the pristine waters of the Nueces. We had been given a map of the river and access points to fish but I’m not sure anyone was prepared for the treat we were in for. There was an abundance of sunfish and perch. The bass were some of the best fighters I have ever encountered. Sight casting is such a wonderful experience. Besides making fishing easier it is educational in that you can see exactly how a fish or a group of fish react to the fly. One would think that fishing from 7:00 am to 6:00 pm would be an eternity. I couldn’t believe when it was 4:00 pm and we weren’t sure how far we had kayaked upstream. It turned out it took us forty minutes to paddle back down stream and after loading up all our stuff and heading back to base it was 6:00 pm. We had planned on changing clothes and at least being presentable at the dinner. Here is a large hint, if you do not want to sit through a dinner wet and feeling like you smell like fish – quit fishing early.
The winner of the tournament was a male member of the Alamo Fly Fishers. He won with a catch of 156 fish and he also caught the largest bass of 12 inches. There were good stories told by everybody about the events of the day and their catches. It was a great honor to have the Bud Priddy family in attendance at the celebration. After a buffet dinner of enchiladas or hamburger steak or fajitas with a salad bar and scrumptious side veggies, the raffle began. Our own Constance Whiston won the grand prize of a one hundred dollar gift certificate. There were lots of other things raffled such as fishing books, boxes of flies and lots of other handy fishing paraphernalia.
Saturday evening was spent on the big porch telling fish stories and enjoying the wonderful evening and the bright stars above. There seemed to be an air of satisfaction knowing we had made a monumental contribution to the Bud Priddy One Fly. TWFF had produced twenty women to fish in a tournament that very few women had ever fished before. TWFF is really taking us places girls. If you don’t notice, others are. One member of the community at Camp Wood asked if we were some of the women fishing in the tournament. We replied that we were and he said that everybody in town knew about us. It seemed we might have been bordering on celebrity status. We later found out the towns people couldn’t believe the men were letting us fish because we might win! FYI – Constance has won this tournament with a count of 84 previously.
Sunday the officers had a very productive meeting discussing the upcoming events while other members headed for home or went back for more fishing. Some even fished after that four-hour meeting. Everybody’s experiences were different but I will lay a wager everyone wants to return to experience the fishing and the beauty of Lost Canyon again. Everybody get ready to catch 200 next year!