December 5, 2008
By Rozlynn Orr
Check out more photos from this outing in our Photo Gallery!
Eisenhower State Park was the setting for the Texas Women Fly Fishers and the Red River Fly Fishers joint outing, December 5–7, 2008.
As the group rolled in from the great state of Texas, we met up in the recreation center at the park. Mary K. and Jack Janco had readied the rec center and it was fully decorated with lights and a Christmas tree (I don’t know how they had time to do all of that!) Jack also ran a shuttle to the Grayson County Airport to pick up our fearless leader and pilot, Mary Rohrer. Our Mullet Mixer was a feast of winter hearty dishes and the appearance of new members, Karla Grimwood of Ft. Worth and Carolyn Hill of Plano. Both ladies fit in with our group like the missing pieces of a jigsaw puzzle. We are all glad they were able to join us! Red River Fly Fisher members, Janet and Dick Freeman were also on hand to help with the Mullet Mixer.
Paul Kisel, Superintendent of Eisenhower State Park, started our evening presentation with an overview of how TPWD contributes to the park system and the importance of our collective cooperation and ‘paying forward’ into the system to nurture new anglers and programs for our future. This is a lesson we should try and carry forward with us while being a steward of the great outdoors. Paul’s son, Mitch, (record holder of the biggest gar caught by a youth on Lake Texoma), was a great example of a young angler in training and the next keeper of our treasured waters.
Our next special guest was Steve Hollensed, Red River Fly Fisher, Orvis endorsed guide and FFF Master Certified Casting Instructor. Steve’s guide service is Flywater Angling, www.flywaterangling.com or 903.546.6237. Steve’s expertise is on Lake Texoma, the Red River and the Blue River. Steve’s slide show emphasized his Top 10 List of Items That Will Make you a Better Warm Water Fly Fisher. (This list may be viewed in its entirety on our message board). His interactive style of questions and answers evoked participation by our members. And of course, it didn’t hurt that Steve rewarded correct answers with prizes. We learned about the voracious appetites of stripers and how to fish and land these monster bass. Steve whetted our appetites with stories of the ‘blitz’ in July and the true nature of these fish when they herd the hatching shad into bait balls and then decimate them. Makes for some wild top-water fishing! Steve’s wife, Lisa also was in attendance. She claims her ‘best catch’ has been Steve!
Saturday morning, we met again at the rec center for some fly tying lessons by RRFFers, Dan Langford and Jeff Tomlinson. Dan has made a custom fitted fly tying suitcase that accommodates every tool imaginable. He should have those babies on the market! Jeff showed Janice Togal, Gilbert Caceres, Annette Blythe, Debbie Jenkins, Glenna Noret, Karla Grimwood, Debbie Williams and Rozlynn Orr how to tie the epoxy bunker bunny. Jeff shared a lot of his long time tying tips with the group. Debbie Williams surprised us with her first ever fly and it was beautiful. She named it the ‘Chicken’ and the picture of her fly will explain the name.
Mary Rohrer and Frances Estes rigged up rods and Steve Hollensed gave casting instructions for those not tying flies. RRFFer, Rex Walker was also on hand for casting help. Mary brought an 8 wt., Lefty Kreh, TFO rod that had been donated to the club by the FFF at the Gulf Coast Conclave this past May. Stacy Lynn of Sportsman’s Finest, (www.sportsmansfinest.com or 512.263.1888,Bee Cave, TX), donated a Lamson Konic reel with line to match our new rod. We also accepted a rod donation from RRFFer, John Fulton. This rod is a 6-7 wt. and came from the first FFF Conclave in 1984. We will use this rod for training and as a loaner to new members that do not have equipment. We appreciate the generosity of Stacy and John!
Karla Grimwood and Gretchen Neubauer were somewhat tired Saturday morning as they had an intrusive, inebriated man knocking on their door during the evening. I think Gretchen brought her ‘drunk magnet’ with her. (I say that because they were plagued with another midnight knocker Saturday night after being moved to a new room in the hotel).
At noon, we had a hamburger/hotdog lunch benefiting CFR. Mary K. Janco made sure we had enough food for 3 or 4 fly fishing clubs. Steve Hollensed and Dick Freeman got together and planned our fishing strategy. Success at the dam depends on the generation schedule, which brings the stripers up the river to feast on the shad coming through the dam. The last generation had been on Thursday and we were hoping to find holdover stripers in some of the pools. We decided to stay together as a group to fish and we started fishing below the dam on the Oklahoma side. (As a special treat, Kelley Kazura modeled her new waders and she let Debbie Price borrow her hip waders. Glenna modeled her waders too. This was a real treat! see pictures). We methodically spaced out and searched most of the water but came up short. We then moved to the lake and fished a point and cove known for holding striper, and large and small mouth bass. Dick had us huddle in a circle with hands outreached and touching while we repeated after him a little known Indian fishing chant. Unfortunately, the chant did not work but Annette Blythe did hook a fish that tore out and broke her line. Later Sunday, Annette and Mary Kain went in search of the fish again but came up short. Gretchen Neubauer, Jan Bates, Janis Togal, Gilbert Caceres, Frances Estes and Rozlynn Orr also gathered for breakfast and some more fishing but did not meet with fortune. Glenna Noret was busy gathering rocks, er, fossils, for Mike. (I was wondering if this was going to be Mike’s Christmas present). Gretchen and Debbie Jenkins came up with a great hood ornament that we left for Steve. It was a dehydrated catfish carcass. It looked pretty nice on Steve’s Jeep.
At dinner, we finally stumbled upon fish at Windy’s Catfish. Mary Rohrer conducted our business meeting and we held our 2009 elections with the following outcome: Glenna Noret, President – Susan Dymond, Second Vice President of Membership – Mary K. Janco, Secretary – Kelley Kazura and Mary Kain, Trustees (two year term) – Jan Bates, Trustee (one year term). Congratulations ladies and thank you for supporting our club and continuing our mission! We could not have made it to this point without the guidance and leadership of Mary Rohrer. Thank you so much Mary, for your time, patience and love!
We were our typical fun loving, boisterous selves at dinner. New friendships were formed and cement was added to existing friendships. This outing had the added benefit of us using the recreation center as our headquarters as it kept us all together and in a group setting. Everyone seemed to appreciate the central location and time spent together as a group. Again, this outing made me proud to be a part of TWFF and have such a varied group of friends with the common interest of fly fishing! A huge thanks to Mary K. and Jack Janco for their role in bringing the Red River Fly Fishers and us together!