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Archive for March, 2009

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Tailwaters Tweets! Sign up to follow us on Twitter – our user name is Tailwaters.  We are going to start “tweeting” to keep everyone up to speed on in-store events, specials, fly fishing tips and trips. For those of you unfamiliar with Twitter, check out the website for an explanation since, as we discovered, it is much easier done than described!

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Well, word has finally trickled in from the far side of the globe, and David and Brent have successfully made it to the Seychelles for the start of our hosted trip. We will hopefully have a few updates as the trip progresses, with a full report to follow once they return!

Where is that place again?

Where is that place again?

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How nice would it be to be here right now:

The Green River in Utah

The Green River in Utah

Although the weather is currently fantastic in DFW, I came across this picture from a JANUARY day in Utah a couple years  back, and it made me yearn for the west. It was 50 degrees in Jackson Hole, so Josh Graffam and I thought (correctly) it would be 70 in Dutch John – looking down from 200 ft above the ‘Aquarium’ is one of my favorite memories of living out there. We caught a few small rainbows (on top no less!) but the weather, scenery, and comraderie made it awesome. I hope everyone gets out and wets a line today! Cheers!

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Rods….check.  More rods…..check.   Reels…..check.   Ridiculous amount of flies…..check.    Boots….check.   Passport….check.   Camera stuff….check.  All the fishing crap the guides on the island requested from the shop….check.  Etc.  Etc.  Etc. 

I am packing for my fourth trip to Alphonse Island in the Seychelles.   Pretty Sic, huh? 

Fishin' Stuff.  Photo by: David Leake

Fishin' Stuff. Photo by: David Leake

 

Every time I visit a fishing lodge I always offer up the following to the head guide or manager:  “Make sure to let me know if there is anything you need from the States.  I’d be happy to bring some tackle, smokes, whatever”.   Half the time the response usually involves a request for a couple dozen flies or something simple like some sun gloves or some Copenhagen.  The other half of the time the requested items require a slow boat shipping container.    Aside from the cumbersome rods, reels, waders, fly lines, rain jackets etc…..  Some of the weirder stuff includes:  Boat parts and electronics to the Seychelles, a Starbucks thermos to Argentina, a salad spinner to Venezuela, smuggled camera to Kamchatka, as well as Christmas decorations and children’s school books to Belize.  I am of course happy to do it, but I often feel like Tenzing Norgay, the famous Sherpa who carried Edmund Hillary (and subsequently a bunch of other rich white British guys) up Everest along with all their gear not using compressed oxygen.    Being in the travel business requires my brain to always be sorting through the details.  As 95% of the travel I organize for our clients does not include planning details for myself, I always seem to forget that I too need to prepare for a trip.  I am super concerned about everyone else’s details…not my own.  As is usually the case in the past, I am running around the office tying up the loose ends on the day of departure without even knowing where my fishing stuff is or what time my flight departs…  Somewhere between failing on my promise to my wife to be home on time and forgetting to return two phone calls, I make it to the house and throw together my gear (at least everything I don’t forget).  

 

Now that I have a 1 year old daughter on the ground, my disorganized pre-trip mayhem must change.  (My daughter, Lynsie, actually turns one year old the day before departure – more on that later.)  When you have a kid you must plan four days in advance just to use the bathroom.  You can imagine the anxiety preceding a 10 day trip to the Indian Ocean.  For that, I must raise my glass to my bride, Melissa, for taking care of Lynsie and my old geriatric Labrador while I am away. 

So, I am a week and a half out and the process has begun.  I have all my fishin’ stuff laid out in the guest bedroom and have a very official to-do list organized.   Stay tuned for more pre-trip mumbo jumbo.

 

Standard Pre-Trip List.  Photo by:  David Leake

Standard Pre-Trip List. Photo by: David Leake

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About a week ago, two of our favorite fishing buddies went to Louisiana to chase Bull Reds, and had quite a time. Dr. (he didn’t go to 6 years of evil medical school to be called “Mr.” thank you) Dennis Burns and Bill Seals. Here is the report from Dennis, and a few mind-blowing pictures to boot:

Sometimes it’s tempting to grumble about fly fishing options in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, particularly during the ’80 degree-one-day-freezing-your-butt-off-the-next-day’ fluctuations that we usually see around here this time of year. It turns out that great fishing isn’t as far off as I thought. A few months ago, my fishing buddy and spiritual advisor (OK, I’m kidding about the spiritual advisor part) Bill Seals contacted David Leake about whether there were any saltwater options within easy striking distance of Dallas that offered (a) good fishing, (b) reasonable accommodations and (c) good food. Without missing a beat, David said, ‘Sure! I’ll set it up.’ Thus began our first trip to the Louisiana coast to visit the Woodland Plantation and to fish with Capt. Bryan Carter. An 80-minute flight from Dallas to New Orleans, followed by an easy 45-minute drive south (punctuated by a fuel stop at Cafe du Monde and a neat visit to the National World War II Museum) took us to the Woodland Plantation, a mid 1800s inn outside of Port Sulphur that offers guests comfortable rooms, and superb food and drink at very reasonable prices. Many of you have probably seen the Woodland Plantation without knowing it – it’s pictured in a line drawing on the label of every bottle of Southern Comfort! After fortifying ourselves with such spirits, a great evening meal and a restful night, Bill and I hooked up with Bryan early the next morning for an introduction to south Louisiana Redfish on the fly. To experience Bryan in a guide situation is memorable – he’s got the sharp eyes and instincts for finding fish that you would expect from a veteran saltwater guide, coupled with a deep knowledge and appreciation of the beautiful – and fragile – ecosystem represented by the coastal Louisiana saltwater flats. He shares his knowledge freely and well. He’s also enough of a smart-aleck to keep you humble – and in stitches – through the whole fishing experience. Man, can he put you on to fish!

Dennis Burns with a nice Red early on. Photo by: Bill Seals

Dennis Burns with a nice Red early on. Photo by: Bill Seals

Bill Seals with another nice Redfish. Photo by: Dennis Burns

Bill Seals with another nice Redfish. Photo by: Dennis Burns

My most memorable Red came on the first day…..something about beginner’s luck, I think. My story, of course, is that I had to cast 800 feet into a 30 MPH headwind to hook the fish, while my buddy Bill’s story has the fish ramming into the boat, knocking itself out, and me reaching over the side and inserting a hook into its mouth. The truth is somewhere between – perhaps a bit closer to Bill’s version than mine. I hooked the fish at a fairly modest distance on an EP (Enrico Puglisi) crab pattern that Bryan favors this time of year, and after a bit of a fight (during which I wondered if my 8-weight Scott S4 was going to survive), managed to bring him to the boat – a beautiful 34-pound fish that was, for me at least, the fish of a lifetime!

The monster being brought in. Photo by: Capt. Bryan Carter

The monster being brought in. Photo by: Capt. Bryan Carter

Dennis Burns with his Redfish of a lifetime. Photo by: Bill Seals

Dennis Burns with his Redfish of a lifetime. Photo by: Bill Seals

Captain Bryan Carter holds Dennis' big fish on the boga. Photo by: Bill Seals

Captain Bryan Carter holds Dennis' big fish on the boga. Photo by: Bill Seals

Over the next couple of days, Bill and I had the privilege of landing many more beautiful reds in shallow water, as well as the occasional Black Drum and Sheepshead. Had our Redfishing skills been a bit more “honed” (as opposed to non-existent!) we would have more than doubled our numbers. Bryan – and the fishery – are just that good. The days on the flats ended at about 3:30 each day, once the angle of the light on the water made spotting fish a difficult proposition. Not a problem though – the days on the water were full of wonderful fishing and experiencing the special environment of the coastal Louisiana saltwater flats, and the hospitality of the Woodland Plantation was there for us at the end of each day. We’ll be back! – Dennis

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Thank you to everyone who was able to make it to our Kamchatka event held this past Wednesday at Tailwaters – it was a great success! About 50 people filled the store to watch not only a slide show by the Fly Shop’s Ryan Peterson, but the HD trailer for “Eastern Rises,” the new film by Felt Soul Media.

A Cherry Salmon (indeginous only to Kamchatka) on the Screen

Ryan shows a Cherry Salmon (indeginous only to Kamchatka) on the Screen. Photo by: Matt Jones

Just over 50 souls braved the weather to come to Tailwaters Wednesday. Photo by: Matt Jones

Just over 50 souls braved the weather to come to Tailwaters Wednesday. Photo by: Matt Jones

With plenty of beer and cheer, everyone had a fantastic time! Spaces are still available for the 2009 season in Kamchatka – call the shop (214-219-2500) for booking info!

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Lets rewind to February 3rd.  Boone and I have picked our day.  March 10th, 2009 is going to be the day of legendary proportion.  We will be traveling to the epic body of water known only to some as Fork.  The fabled waters’ of Lake Fork located in the epicenter of Texas bass fishing is where we are headed.  Our adrenaline will be pumping, our minds will be pale and weary from the grey winter of Dallas, and the little voice in the back of our heads will be saying “today is the day, be ready.” Spring will be in full stride and the bass will be shifting from their pre-spawn game of grab ass to the hard-core, sure thing, these eggs are mine spawn mode.  The males will be done big pimpin’ on their beads and the biotches will be locked down and pissed off at the underwater world in which they call home.  10 pounds is what we are chasing.  The program involves ripping 3-4 inch weed less bream and sunfish patterns past the ladies’ front doors, teasing them off of their cushy king sizes, then BAM!  Hold on to your 8 weights boys because she is playing for keeps.

Barometric Pressure as defined by Webster:  While on the rise, though harmless, beautiful, and comfy, will absolutely F*CK your fishing.

March 11th,  2009:

It is 38 degrees outside and the rain is coming down.  Needless to say, Fork won yesterday.  It was 80 degrees when Boone and I started yesterday morning.  We were chasing 10 and one fiver is what we got.  I feel as though I have said enough.

5lb 10oz Largemouth caught on Lake Fork

5lb 10oz Largemouth caught on Lake Fork

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