Sand Bass while Fly Fishing the Brazos River
This Spring has been fast and furious starting in March through April. Both the Fishing and the Weather. This spring we had just a little bit of rain out “West of the Plex” (Dallas & Fort Worth). Not enough rain, however this kept the mighty Brazos River running clear. Great for the Fly Fisherman here in North Texas! Short term that is, we do need the rain for long term conditions. The air temps bounced around, with jackets still in order into the early April afternoons. Somehow in the month of May the Spring air temperatures came to an end abruptly and we are pushing the century mark. Yes near record 100 degree days in May! Spring has gone and Summer arrived? Well it’s Texas, so just about anything is possible when it comes to our weather. What about the April showers? We will see if a few late spring rains make it “West of the Plex” before Summer really sets in. Oh forgot to mention the wind. We had one of the windiest Aprils on record. I read where the average wind speed was 15 mph, sustained that is. Gusts were all the way up to 30-40 mph on given days. And there were allot of those high wind days. Although Fly Fishing the Brazos River does provide some shelter from the wind. Another reason why I have stayed off of the area lakes was due to the extremely windy spring. I do have plans to start spending more time on the lakes, especially since the winds are hopefully getting back to normal.
Enough about the weather, there were plenty of Sand Bass available to us Fly Fisherman this year. Having a Jet Engine propelled Hog Island Skiff opens up more river miles then time. A box of Clouser Minnows representing Threadfin Shad, a Sink Tip Fly Line and a trusty 5wt Fly Rod were the tools needed to turn Fishing into Catching! And don’t forget that leaders on a sinking line needs to be short. Three foot max in length. I normally tie my own with 10-12 # Frog Hair Fluorocarbon tippet! Tie a perfection loop in the end and you are good to go. For those not familiar with the term Sand Bass, up in North Texas that is the name given to the White Bass. Another tip for when looking for Sand Bass on the Brazos River, go find their spawning grounds. Not all of the river is created equal when looking for the prolific Sand Bass. However, they do swim through most of the river system on their way upstream!
Largemouth Bass and Crappie while Fly Fishing the Brazos River
As the temperatures warmed up in the afternoons, there were other species eating the Threadfin Shad imitations. Largemouth Bass and Crappie on the Brazos River just might be the next tug on your fly line. As with any Crappie, you find one and there might just be more to follow. Fly Fishing the Brazos River can produce a variety of species. There were even Fresh Water Drum brought into the net. The Gaspergou as we down here in the south normally refer to this fun fish to catch on the fly. I will have more information on future blog post in regards to Largemouth Bass. Both on the Texas Rivers and Texas Lakes.
Striped Bass while Fly Fishing the Brazos River
I had the opportunity to take Shannon Drawe out on the water. We finally stopped talking about needing to go fishing and just did. Shannon is the Texas Fly Caster. He has been social on the world wide web, blogging longer before being social with apps was a thing. Check out his You Tube channel which has been around since 2007. I have known Shannon for well over 10 years.
There were not as many Sand Bass left in the river on this last week of April that we went catching. Keep an eye out for Shad jumping out of the water. This will alert you of a school of hungry post spawn Sand Bass. At least that was how it went for us on this late April trip. Although there were plenty of Sandies to keep us occupied for a while, we started talking about the Striped Bass on the Brazos River. On this overcast day we ended up putting down the lighter rods and pulled out the 7 & 8 weight fly rods. With no sun and heavy clouds, the Black Clouser Minnows tied on a #2 or #4 hook came out for a swim. Just the ticket to interest a few nice sized Striped Bass as we continued on the hunt for Striped Bass on the Brazos River. When hooking up with a river Striped Bass, you can expect a solid drag ripping pull. These were not small fish. According to the Boga Grip, they were solid 5 ½ + pound fish. Although not as big as our Texas Striped Bass can get. There belly’s looked plump and full. All those Threadfin Shad they were eating defiantly was showing on the Striped Bass on the Brazos River that day. So those Shad eating Stripers were well on their way to getting bigger for years to come.
If you want to see some footage of Fly Fishing the Brazos, then check out a video Shannon made of our recent trip.
Video: Brazos River Fly Fishing
See you on the water and Keep North Texas Fly Fishing!