April 23, 2010
By Karla Grimwood
Check out more photos from this outing in our Photo Gallery!
For those of you who couldn’t make this trip, you missed quite an adventure! Such an adventure, that those who attended are now members of the “Tenacious Ten” and a chosen few are also members of the “Fearless Five”. Read on for why…
Ten of us (Jan Bates, Dawn & Jessica Dorsett, Frances Estes, Dan Fox, Karla Grimwood, Debbie Jenkins, Diana Kunde, Rozlynn Orr, and Debbie Price) gathered for the Mullet Mixer at the Comfort Suites on Friday evening. We enjoyed fried chicken, okra, pot roast, shrimp pasta, and a scrumptious berry cobbler along with beverages of our choice from the bar. The Assistant Manager of Comfort Suites, Jason, was our own personal bartender.
“One should never underestimate the tenacity
of the Texas Women Fly Fishers!”
Collins Illich, from Temple Fork Outfitters (TFO), was our speaker for the evening. He moved from co-speaker to main speaker when Brian Hughes realized that he had booked us on his wife’s 50th birthday. Since Brian is fond of his wife and not eager to get a divorce, he asked if Collins could take the show over on his own. Of course, that was understandable, and Collins did an excellent job of providing all the information we needed and answered every question we threw at him. Since he’s “easy on the eyes”, we kept him in front of us for as long as possible!
The adventure began, as the Mullet Mixer was ending, when a transformer blew outside the window and shot flames into the sky. This shut down most of the power in the meeting room and the elevators. Diana was temporarily trapped in the elevator, but was rescued quickly. It was only a warning of things to come…
As the “Fearless Five” (Jan Bates, Dawn & Jessica Dorsett, Frances Estes, and Rozlynn Orr) went back to the campground, there was lightning on the horizon. We offered to share our rooms, but they were determined not to be dissuaded by a little rainstorm.
At approximately 1am, the Gates of Hades opened. Winds up to 80mph blew rain with such force that it was shaking the windows in the hotel and then hail crashed against the glass. Trees broke and fell all over town. All of the power was out and emergency vehicles swarmed the small town of Mabank. At the campground, more trees broke and blocked roadways. One tree fell across a vehicle near Jan’s camp, denting the roof, hood, and breaking the windshield. Roz and Frances had their kayaks tied together, but they were toppled and pushed at least 10 feet by the wind. Many campers evacuated their tents for the bathrooms seeking safer shelter.
The next morning, everyone at the campground was soaked as steam rose from the roads in the bright sunshine. The power was out and the park closed the bathrooms until further notice. The power was still out at the hotel too, along with the phones. We gathered and shared stories of the eventful night. Unfortunately, a second wind storm came in early and only became stronger as the day moved on. We tried to fish, but it was a struggle and we finally abandon it temporarily to go eat at El Patron earlier than planned.
We had a good lunch, a short business meeting, and decided to try fishing a cove around the corner from the campsites where the wind might be lighter. This worked very well and we had a nice couple of hours before sunset when the wind finally died completely leaving us with water as smooth as glass. The weather seemed to have been too much for the fish though and the water was murky. Jan Bates, Frances Estes, and Debbie Price all caught a single fish, but that was all.
Returning to Jan’s camp, we enjoyed each other’s company over wine and random picnic tidbits and a lovely pinion-wood fire courtesy of Jan. Interesting how the weather brought us closer together in spite of trying to blow us apart. Guess it underestimated the tenacity of the Texas Women Fly Fishers!