Thursday, December 18, 2008

Spey Casting Workshop on the Guadalupe River

This is the crew who was found down on the Guadalupe River on the Rio Raft river front flogging the water with spey rods. Under the tutelage of instructor Jay Clark, these spey casting workshop students learned to manage the winds and currents on the river using the Switch Cast, Double Spey, Snap C, Snake Roll and Single Spey. Once these skills were "mastered" on the right river, we waded across to the other side and learned to do them backwards. If that wasn't enough to challenge everyone, the Spey rods were switched for our single-handed rods and we learned that everything we learned could be done with a regular 9' rod. Jay also taught us lots of stuff about rod and line selection.

For those folks who didn't have their own rods, reels and lines, Rajeff Sports provided the class with an assortment of Echo spey rods and Airflo lines.

I hope that we'll see some spey casters on the Texas rivers. I personally can see using mine on the Llano River.

A special thanks to Jay Clark for his excellent instruction and Harry Crofton for the great catering job.

We'll try to do this again next year. If you're interested in learning how to spey cast and would like to get on the list for next year, email me at
To learn more about fly fishing instruction in Texas visit our website:

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Video of fish fight on Pecos

As promised, here's the video of the Jarrett bringing a nice rainbow on his private waters lease on the Pecos River. It's about 26MB so it may take a bit of time to load.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Fly Fishing on the Pecos River in New Mexico

Sandie and I are up in the Pecos River Valley in New Mexico for the month of September. We've been here since fleeing Houston after Hurricane Ike crashed through town. We were fortunate enough to have no damage and only minor branch clean up. We left our son, Jacob behind to mind the house and weather Houston heat without power and a week's supply of nutrition bars. His work got power in about a week and he's at work again.

We've been living in a very nice cabin on the Pecos River about 14 miles north of the village of Pecos balancing our days with hiking and fishing. I've posted a sample of the scenery, the river and the fishermen. We spent a great day with Jarrett Sasser, owner of the High Desert Angler, fishing a mile long private section of the Pecos River. While the river is generally pretty private in the public sections during the week at this time of year, the private waters was a great joy. Not only was the scenery and the river wonderful the fishing was superior to the public waters.

I continue to hone my nymphing skills. Our nymphing is primarily limited to dry/dropper combinations, there were some pretty deep holes that required adding a little tungsten putty to our leaders to get down the big ones.

A view of the Pecos Wilderness, looking up at Round Mountain.

Sandie fishing on the Pecos near the old Pecos Mine reclamation site. This is entering the area know as the Terrero Box from the north side. After we left the parking area and walked in about two hundred yards, we didn't run into another person for about 3 hours.

David catching fish with Jarrett on the private waters on the Pecos about 5 miles north of the village of Pecos.

Sandie with Jarrett, trying to coax another fish to the fly that she was drifting along a seam near the opposite bank.

Some beautiful fall scenery along the river. I caught about half a dozen typical Pecos sized browns (9-12 inches) between the place I took the picture and the bridge.

Jarrett caught the picture fish! He had been standing next to Sandie trying to catch this fish and it wouldn't take her fly. Frustrated, she told Jarrett to catch it. He offered to let her reel it in, but she said "Your fish, reel it in yourself!"

I have a movie of this that I'll try to upload after this postwhen I have more time, it's pretty big.

We caught a few more large ones, but this was the day's whopper.

If you want to find out more about fishing with Jarrett or one of the many excellent guides at High Desert Anglerwhen your in New Mexico, he can be reached at You will not be disappointed.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Casting video with Michael

Michael is casting with a break in the wrist that's common with many new casting students. The first video was recorded to show Michael how much his wrist was actually moving. He's using a Thumb-on-top grip. Unfortunately, I didn't think to record what the loop looked like. For the record, they were big, fat and hitting the ground.

The second video shows how a change in grip helped him improve the wrist action in his cast. When students are having trouble controlling the use of their wrist, I sometimes have them try Jason Borger's Three-Point Grip. Notice the extended index finger on the side of rod grip. This worked for Michael. Notice how his loops have improved. This gives us the opportunity to move on to other things, like power application and timing.

These two videos were taken on two separate occasions, about two weeks apart.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Fishing on the Middle Provo River in Heber City UT

Sandie and I spent a long weekend fishing the middle section of the Provo River in Utah. This stretch of river is located in the Heber Valley between the Jordanelle and Deer Creek Reservoirs, about 50 miles east of Salt Lake City. We spent two days fishing with guide Craig Costas who guides with Four Seasons Fly Shop in Heber City. We spent a day on our own attempting to apply what we'd learned from Craig.

The plan was to learn a new area to fish. As the cliche goes, the fishing was great, but the catching was slow. The guided days were turning into a guide's nightmare until the middle of the second day when we finally started hooking and landing some very nice browns.

Then we were catching something on a pretty regular basis, with a final catch of about 8-10 fish.

Sandie learned lot's of good stuff about casting her nymph rig from Craig. I had a good opportunity to get a
guide's insight into what I need to teach my casting clients to better prepare them for trips to the Provo, or any other western trout stream. Later on in this post, I'll include some of Craig's comments that are insightful.

A special treat surfaced after a little bushwacking to find a new fishing location on the river. We looked down the river and there was a moose that was crossing right where we had been about 10 minutes earlier. I've included a very short video clip of him in the middle of the stream. Very cool!

Our third day was our day by ourselves; armed with the knowledge we got from Craig and Aaron at the Four Seasons Fly Shop. We got up too late and definitely got into the river too late. Getting a good Southwest boarding pass got in the way of an early start. That's the sign of a true Southwest Airlines customer, boarding pass is more important than fishing!!

Temperatures were up in the high 90's and all of the good spots were taken. We went to lunch and decided to fish "Lunker Lane", just below the Jordanelle Dam, later in the afternoon.

We got to the new spot at 3:30 as instucted. The sky started to cloud up and things cooled down. We found a nice spot downstream of Lunker, which we were told was a good place to go if the main section got crowded. At about 4Pm the promised caddis hatch began and the fish were boiling, there were rises about every 15 seconds. Sandie hooked and landed a little on the Elk hair caddis that she was fishing. I didn't have much luck with anything. Lots of great casts, perfect drifts, not fish. I change flies until I'd tried everything the fly shop sold us. In desperation, I pulled out a fly that I have great success with catch browns of the Pecos River in New Mexico - the Little Brown Fly. Within two casts, I was hooking fish. But lost the fly to a big one and I was pretty much done for the day. Rain and lightning sent us home after about two hours fishing.

We'll go back. There's lots of potential and the fish we caught were nice.

Here's some of the comments I got from Craig Costa about what specific flies we fished with and some advice on how to cast and fish the nymphs:

Nymphs used were split case pmd. split case green drake..uncased caddis lite green..stallcup baetis dark brn...bead head pheasant tail..loop wing emerger pmd,..

Drys....harrops black ant with cdc post..elk hair caddis..x caddis

As for the deep water nymph rig.....In high water you need to get deep.. mid day sun force the fish deep so you gotta get there. We seldomly change the distance from the indicator to weights. 6-8' is needed here. Changing the weights used gets you to the depth needed. As for casting ....a tight line means you can get the weights up before casting forward...I always suggest waiting for the flys to swing to shore...then a slow lift before the actual cast forward... bringing the tip of the rod behind the downstream shoulder makes casting across the stream a snap. The motion is one movement not a two part motion.

Mending line directly behind the indicator and not to either side keeps the extra line in the same drift and stream speed as the flys. Swinging does not catch the big fish...just juveniles forced into the shallows.. you should see some bumping on the bottom every cast. If not, your not getting it down..flys should always land up stream from the won't see the hit if your flys get in front of the indicator.... the fish has a chance to spit the fly with out your seeing the take.....