May 18, 2007
By Sheila Anderson
Check out more photos from this outing in our Photo Gallery!
The Nueces River this year was more beautiful than ever. The river was full, having benefited from some badly needed recent rains. The waters were crystal clear, as usual, and the fish were abundant. The outing was attended by few TWFF members, and the same can be said for the Alamo Fly Fishers. Our groups were split between the Bud Priddy contest and the first conclave of the Gulf Coast Council of the FFF in Lake Charles, Louisiana.
Our base was at Big Oak River Camp, in very nice cabins right on the Nueces River. We planned to provide casting lessons to the children of Camp Wood during our Mullet Mixer on Friday evening, and afterwards partake in the BBQ dinner provided by Bubba Hickman, former president of the Camp Wood Chamber of Commerce. We were ready to teach, however no Camp Wood youths came for lessons. So we taught ourselves a few new techniques, then proceeded to dinner. There were eighteen folks at the outing this year. We all participated in a raffle to benefit Casting for Recovery®, and we collected some very nice door prizes.
Saturday morning started out a little overcast and cloudy, and the river was at a more chilly temperature than usual. Several of us put out on a float trip from Big Oak; we planned to kayak and fish for about five hours or so and return to camp in plenty of time to meet at Casa Falcon for dinner at 6:00 P.M. Sarah Valentine, Audrey Ambrose, and Sheila Hood took off early, while the next group awaited the arrival of the rented kayaks for their trip. Linda Love, Mary Cole, Robert and Sheila Anderson, and Greg Setter were the next group to head down river. This was Greg’s first kayak float trip, so we all hung together, spreading out far enough to fish while keeping in visual contact with at least one other member of the group.
Fishing from a kayak can be challenging. You want to cast toward the vegetation growth over the bank, but the wind and current do not help to keep your kayak pointed in the right direction, and it becomes very difficult at times to maneuver. So the best way to fish sometimes is to park the kayak, and get out and wade fish. There are plenty of opportunities to do this along the four to five mile stretch of river we chose to paddle. We caught a lot of little sun fish, and one or two large bass. Linda Love caught a 14½ inch bass with an 8 inch girth! Unfortunately, it was not on her “one fly,” so it didn’t count for the contest. Nevertheless, it is still thrilling to haul in a big one like that. Robert and Sheila did very well fishing the Anderson Slayer, an olive colored wooly bugger-like beadhead fly. The caught over two dozen fish combined.
After spending the better part of the day on the river, we finally took out and headed to camp to clean up and go to dinner. The Alamo Fly Fishers provided a prize for the most fish caught, and the prize went to one of our members—Cindy Sudds! We seem to have a fair amount of luck capturing at least one of the major prizes offered each year. After dinner, we met at Big Oak to discuss business from an agenda provided by Mary Rohrer, finishing off one of the best trips to the Nueces in recent years.
I must mention the folks that stayed in the cabin between the Booths and the Setters. This family fosters tiny animals from the shelter where they live. They brought sister and brother 4-week old German Shepherd puppies with them for the weekend. Those puppies were the most loved creatures at the camp, often getting picked up and held by whoever passed by. They were so cute!!!