When a Texan mentions Fort Worth, we think of the Stockyards host to the world’s largest honky tonk – Billy Bob’s. Joe T. Garcia’s Mexican restaurant, the place in Forth Worth to feast on giant portions of good Tex-Mex chow from an era before Tex-Mex was fashionable. 95.9 fm The Ranch – the sound of Texas, home of Texas Country Music. Not only does Fort Worth have all of that, it also is home to the Fort Worth Fly Fishers , yes a fly club in the land of Cowboy’s , Honky Tonks and world class Mexican food. The Fort Worth Fly Fisher’s is 200 + member’s strong and still growing.
This past weekend I had the opportunity to guide the Fort Worth Fly Fishers on a San Marcos River outing. The intent of my guide services for this outing was to take two wounded warriors (veterans) on a guided trip accompanied by members from the club. However, plans fell through for the vet’s and they had to post pone for another time. I still ran the trip for the club members that came for the outing. I had the opportunity to meet new members and enjoyed visiting with members that I have been friends with for many years.
Not knowing how many fly fishers where going to show up, I got to the launch point early in order to make the raft ready for the day’s outing.
Transportation for the day
I had just finished, when here comes a truck with a trailer of kayaks, and another truck with a couple of kayaks on top. Everyone piled out and down to the river they came, grinning from ear to ear. The anticipation of the day’s float, a river that most of them have not been on, a new adventure, its game time. There was going to be a total of 6 Fort Worth Fly Fishers on the day’s outing. The new faces stepped forward and introduced themselves to me, Mike, Mike and Mandy. It was great to see my friends Mike, James and Rex. It is always hard to remember new names when they all come at you at once, but not today. All I had to do was say Mike and I had the majority of the new faces attention.
We started out with Mandy and James in the raft. After going over the plans with the group, we took off down the river so everyone could spread out with their kayaks. There was going to be a total of four kayaks in the water behind us, while we were leading the way from the raft. We all had radios so we could keep up with one another’s catches or lack of so as to help with fly selections if needed.
One Kayak at a time
Within minutes of being on the water Mandy had a big blow up on her black and white top water popper. The fish missed the fly and it did not come back for more. Fishing started out slow and James kept changing up his flies in hope of getting the fishes interest. I told Mandy to stay with her Texas sized black and white popper.
Within an hour of being on the water, Mandy’s popper was attacked by another hungry bass. She had caught the bass of the day. It is always fun to watch a bass eat a top water popper.
Big Bass of the day
We all met up for a stream side lunch. During lunch we all compared notes on the fly patterns used for the morning and swapped stories of the fish caught.
San Marcos River Redbreast
As we were finishing up lunch an armada of kayaks came down the river. After close inspection this was only a group of recreational paddlers and no fishing rods where present. The group pulled over for a break and I had an opportunity to speak with their tour leader. It was Stacey with Texas Pack & Paddle out of San Antonio, TX. We let the group go on ahead of us before starting our second half of our outing.
James was going to paddle a kayak so his seat in the raft was open for a taker. After everyone flipped coins and drew straws, Rex had the opportunity for the available seat in the raft.
I had plans on hitting up a spot that allows for sight casting to record sized Rio Grande Cichlids. North Texas does not have Rio’s available for the catching so this was going to be a great chance at catching a unique fish that is native to central/south Texas, a Rio Grande Perch.
Rio showing it’s turqoise spots
We pulled into the spot and I showed Mandy and Rex the Rios. Rex was hooked up on his 3rd cast. It was a nice one. Mandy had one on and it got off. So Mandy was more than ever determined to catch a Rio. She hooked up with another Rio and it happened to be a very healthy one with nice colorations. Mandy was telling me that she had never caught a Rio before, so this was a first for her. Rex landed the Rio of the day, a trip maker as he referred to it. Within a short period of time the two fly fishers had boated 5 Rios that all brought smiles to their face.
Mandy’s personal best Rio Grande Cichlid
Rex’s personal best Texas sized Rio Grande Cichlid
The San Marcos River is one of my summer time favorites. When the air temperature is in the 100s, the spring fed river makes for a great place for a swim. Also, the banks are linked with shade providing trees, which does allow for numerous breaks from the sun.
Does Fort Worth Ever Cross Your Mind, well it sure did this past weekend!
Fort Worth Fly Fishers bringing up the rear
Keep Austin Fly Fishing!