July has been a good month on the water. I have seen some old friends return to the Laguna Madre after a difficult year of health. Way to go John! Double digit fish landed the last day was a real treat for me too! I have seen several men catch their first redfish on a fly rod. I take more pride in guiding first time angers than just about anything else I do on the water. I have seen my 8 year old come of age as a fly fisherman. And, now that Truett and I both own skiffs, I have had some sweet days on the water with Lydia and the kids. It was a good July. Now, on to fall fishing!
Monday, June 25, 2018
You may have heard that south Texas was inundated with a foot of rain last week. You may also realize that a large portion of that water dumps right into the Lower Laguna Madre. Some have asked me how the introduction of that much fresh water affects fly fishing on the bay. My answer is-it has a different effect each time it happens! I am always amazed at the complexities of the ever changing fishing patterns and how fresh water impacts "catching" in different ways each time.
Capt. Truett Cawlfield and I launched our new Willet on Friday, less than 24 hours after the rain stopped. Our dock was under water, we could barely get the trailer to the ramp, and Truett had to wade through a foot of water to get into the skiff after he parked the truck.
The current in the Arroyo was fierce. I was a bit intimidated at first as we motored down this swift current so early in the morning with barely enough light to make out the floating trees and other large debris floating down the river into the bay.
Capt. Truett Cawlfield was back out on the water the next two days, guiding on Saturday and Sunday. You will be interested to know that the water is dropping back down to normal levels. The salinity is climbing. And the normal summertime fishing patterns are returning.
Give us a call and let's go fishing. The next 8 weeks are the most favorable time of the year for sight fishing down here!
Thursday, May 10, 2018
I have a particular fondness for fishing during the “off hours” and fishing areas “too shallow” to hold redfish. My friend and mentor, Capt. Scott Sparrow, turned me on to both ideas years ago. So, Sunday evening when I left the dock with my 14 year old daughter (Emma) and my oldest son (Capt. Truett Cawlfield) I was hopeful in spite of the wind and lack of sun (which would soon be setting anyway). I already new my destination and was emotionally settled by the fact that landing just one fish in the fading light of the evening would be worth this quick trip.
We made it to our backwater destination and came off plane in water too shallow by most people’s standards. All three of us immediately evacuated the boat with few words exchanged. We new what we had come looking for… We spread out up and down the shoreline. I eventually realized my children needed no help from me so I gave them room and ventured a little further from the boat.
So I have to tell you that there was nothing easy or immediately spectacular about the evening of fishing. We each stood in 5 inches of water and stared, and stared. And, with alot patience, we eventually saw what we expected…large redfish (in water to shallow to cover them entirely) with backs out of the water, chasing bait in the evening glow of the setting sun.
I was carrying a 6 wt. fly rod with a pink VIP (popper created by Sparrow). I spent the next few minutes making mediocre casts at three separate redfish and the only responses I got were blowups and redfish fleeing the scene of the crime. They knew I was there and I had pushed their levels of tolerance too far. These were mature, stealthy fish that would suffer no fool (me).
So, I stopped casting for a few minutes. I gathered my emotions. I thought a little about my casting and my fly placement. I put on a new fly (just to make myself feel better-it’s never the fly), a grizzly Seaducer. And then I waited. As the wind died and the water on the leeward side shoreline became smooth I began to see two redfish backs at a time. I could not really even shuffle my feet without annoying the fish into turning and swimming away so I just stood still. I had about 10 minutes before sunset and I knew I would have to fire up the Honda outboard and point the Stilt toward home shortly. At that moment one fish surfaced and swam down the shoreline at me. I knew this would be the last fish of the day. I centered myself, made one good cast, and the redfish obliged. This was the hardest fighting fish I have landed in some time. Which doesn’t really matter. What does matter is that one fish in the fading light of the evening can make all the difference…
Capt. Randy Cawlfield