This time around on the Weekly Press: Carp on the Bayou
I’ve discussed carp before. On more than one occasion, my proud fly-fishing self has set out in search of these monsters with high hopes of temping a golden bone to slurp up a fly. On more than one occasion, I’ve failed.
My current work schedule allows me to get out on mid-week afternoons and explore Houston’s finest fishing holes…bayous. If you think Houston has Louisiana’s gator-filled swamp highways, then you’re wrong. These are concrete canals that run throughout the city. Don’t worry, before I saw them, I was wrong too.
What they lack in beauty, they make up for in…damn, hot-as-hell, heat. Houston has been unseasonably, and almost unbearably hot for the month of May. However, the carp are there. I’ve seen them. They’re big. They spook easy. So, here are some tips if you’re ever in the Bayou City and accept the challenge of simultaneously battling it out with a sewer bass and the heat.
- Cover up and wear sunscreen: As you might have gathered already, summertime in Houston equals sun-filled, hell-like heat. Some prefer the shorts with a tee-shirt and hat. That’s fine, if you don’t mind skin cancer. Personally, I’d rather be fully covered and still load up on sunscreen. Just make sure you don’t get it on your line or flies. It isn’t great for the line, and the scent isn’t exactly natural.
- Shadows mean shade: Shade is good for you, but your shadow sure as shit will spook the fish. Just like fishing any other time in any other place, be aware of your shadow. Keep it off the water.
- Shadows mean shade: Yes, this is redundant, but hear me out. Take a break and get in the shade. I fished for about three hours and if I hadn’t found shade under a bridge or three, I wouldn’t have lasted that long.
- Water is good for you and the fish: No shit, right? So, drink plenty of it. The last thing you want to do is waste away dehydrated and delirious on the banks of a Houston Bayou, just because you couldn’t plan ahead. If you’re going to be out there, you’re going to sweat. Hydrate the night before, the morning of, and the hours prior to your outing. I follow the old, start hydrating 24 hours in advance trick. If you’re worried about waking five times in the middle of the night just to empty the tank, then maybe modify. It’s not a hard and fast rule. Also, re-hydrate. Yes, with beer, but also with water. Beer is good, I mean great, but it alone won’t keep you alive.
- Be sneaky sneaky: Without much shade, tree cover, or downed structures in the bayous, the carp spook easier than most fishies. Approach slow, try to stay out of their visual field. Cast to fish on the far bank…if you can cast that far. If you can’t, practice till you can.
- Have fun: Fishing in the heat and not catching a damn thing sucks. It sucks a whole lot more if you’re in a bad mood. Any time on the water should be enjoyed. So, put a smile on and learn from your mistakes, or at least try to. Keep a cold beer in the car, or a candy bar, or hell, a ring pop if it makes you happy, and savor the experience.
I finished up the Spring semester down in Norfolk, then dedicated a few great days to camping/hiking with my girlfriend. The last stop before making my journey down south to Houston, TX? The Rappahannock River in Fredericksburg, VA.
Day three of Oregon steelhead fishing was upon us. Day one and day two came and went without a single fish. If someone were to describe us, they could do so with the following, Bram and JB, Those Poor Fishless Bastards. Yes, we were starting to get antsy.
Now, its fine and dandy to spend a day or two on the water without a fish. However, empty-handed days were starting to become the norm. That norm sucks. Fish are fun. They’re pretty to look at. They make me smile, and laugh, and feel good about myself. Yes, sometimes fish even make me feel good about the world. Hell, I’m not afraid to say it; I love fish. Love ’em! Therefore, missing out on them every fucking time is a total bummer. Continue reading
Disclaimer: This post is a lot of random thoughts. With a stretch, some relate to fly fishing. Others, certainly do not. Read on with fair warning.
Some things are either black or white. You either catch fish or you don’t. In honor of this rare simplicity, all the photos in this post are black and white.
Chronological thoughts from the morning of December 19, 2017:
3:30 AM – Waking up 3+ hours ahead of the norm sucks. Sleeping in sounds great. Have to get up. Must be on time. 3 hour car rides suck. Thank god I packed last night.
5:00 AM – 711 breakfast food = just take my money, give me the doughnuts, and no one gets hurt. Man, it’s toasty warm in here.
5:30 AM – Dark carpool lots are a little sketchy. There’s my bro. Glad he arrived before the killer.
5:32 AM – How in the hell does he blast Bad Religion, NoFX, and Cher Lloyd this early in the morning? Where did I put those doughnuts?
6:00 AM – Shit, I think I left my gloves at the gas station. Hopefully, they’re still around when I swing back through… 15 hours from now.
6:45 AM – What time is it? Time to fish!
Spring’s right around the corner…kind of. Here’s something to get you excited. A photo dump from the OBX a couple years back.
This time around on the Weekly Press: Oregon Steelhead
Currently writing this post from a very soft, and not in a good way hotel bed in Eugene, Oregon. It feels as if my sacrum may actually be rubbing against the bed springs. But, hey man, it’s warm in here. There’s running, hot water. And, I’m one night’s sleep away from the hitting the water. Life’s great.
By the time anyone reads this in the morning, I’ll but up tying some last-minute leaders and then it’s off in search of Winter steelhead on some river southeast of here.
One drawback of an evening flight – in addition to being pretty tired – is you don’t get any of the landscape scenes on either the plane or while driving. Oregon is beautiful… I think. I’ll find out soon enough.
This should be an epic time.
PS: The background photo above is from earlier today at the airport bar. Airport bars are a nice place when you get to your gate with an hour or two to kill. Sometimes, it’s nice to relax and be lazy.
The Florida Keys: Wild and Wonderful!
@cormander with a sweet speck
The morning started similar to most when you’re with a good group of friends who, without question, drink their socks off the night before – half awake, with a headache, and forgetting one or two essential items. I managed to forget all three pairs of sunglasses I packed. Stevie left his water bottle by the car. Off to a good start… Continue reading
The Outer Banks (OBX) of North Carolina. Before last week, I would have thought someone crazy for evening associating the OBX and “nice fly fishing destination”. And I kind of still do. However, just because a place isn’t the best, or even better than most, doesn’t mean it ain’t good. My recent adventure to this Eastern Shore family vacation hub provided plenty of good fly fishing.