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Messages - GDSutherland

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Outing Chat / Fishing the legendary Mardi Gras Minnow
« on: February 15, 2014, 07:33:52 PM »
By now many TFF'ers have heard about Puck's Mardi Gras Minnow; I talked him into showing me the recipe in prearation for an upcoming trip to the Devils River, an adventure in search of large bass in crystal clear waters. After some practice they started looking pretty good...

So here's the rest of the story... it seems they work, too! Been speaking with new member Jason Pool about getting together for some casting practice and a shot at some bass in the neighborhood landscape lake. He and his friend Thomas arrive Saturday afternoon, well ahead of me. Stiff wind from the South made casting kind of a challenge, but we were at it anyway. Gotta get warmed up for the Prison Permit Invitational, after all. We're casting in a lake when a fellow angler stops by and says "never seen anyone catch a fish in this lake. They're all in the lake across the street." Really, I'm thinking, that makes no sense. The two lakes are connected by culverts under the street, fish should swim freely between the two. Not to refuse any free advice from the locals, we walked across the street and started casting into the solid breeze. I'm casting the Mardi Gras minnow above, which looks just like a wounded perch or even a shad when stripped. The craft fur and fox head on this thing, along with the eyes and flash, really make this fly come alive. We hadn't been at it long, when I'm stripping the MGM and it suddenly comes to an abrupt halt. Then it starts to shake. A quick strip set and on! A nice fight with a couple of runs and this chunky girl is on the bank. About 15" in length, nice and healthy, and full of eggs. They will be spawning soon! Another hookup a few minutes later ...

Turns out that Puck's Mardi Gras Minnow, so named because he uses mardi gras beads for the eyes, are a great baitfish imitation, and a fly that bass seem to love. You gotta getcha some...tie up a bunch of them and head to the bass pond soon!

Thanks Puck for a sharing a great pattern, and looking forward to trying them on the Devils River!

Outing Information Only / Re: Prison Permit Invitational - March 1
« on: February 11, 2014, 06:00:26 AM »
Me too!


Outing Chat / Re: A Mayfly hatch
« on: February 07, 2014, 09:11:16 AM »
I think I need a cigarette!

Spoke at length with Steve about his spoonfly yesterday at the 2014 Fly Tying Festival. Ron Mayfiled and I decided it needed a proper name. Give Steve's Irish heritage we dubbed the fly the "Flanagan's Pot O' Gold Spoonfly." And thus it shall always be known....

Pretty cool gold spoonfly!


Outing Information Only / Re: Prison Permit Invitational - March 1
« on: February 01, 2014, 06:25:16 AM »
Okay... I've been able to shift some calandar and am signing up for the event. I'll be there with a skiff. Sign me up with someone who knows East Matty!

Sign me up for Friday night lodging if there's an open bunk.


Regreattably I cannot make the reshedule date. Too many irons in too many fires...

General Discussion / Re: Straightening 80 lb test mono?
« on: January 30, 2014, 01:07:12 PM »
Do you really think Puck owns a hair dryer?  ;D

Tying Chat / Re: MGM made with EP Foxy brush
« on: January 30, 2014, 07:36:34 AM »
Looks good Puck! Glad to see that the EP brush is promising. Ready to give them a try...

Outing Information Only / Re: Sabine Lake - January 25th, 2014
« on: January 24, 2014, 09:46:36 AM »
A quick reconnoiter of the Seabrook shoreline and back lagoons says that this norther has blown the water out of the bay to about redfish island. I'm guessing the same at Bridge City. I think our probability of having fishable conditions in 18 hours is pretty low.

I'm thinking we push to next week in hope of better conditions, or call the day. Winter fishing can be great, but timing between fronts is the key. It will probably be great fishing next Tuesday!

Just my $.02.

Any other thougths?

Outing Information Only / Re: Guadalupe One Fly - January 18th, 2014
« on: January 22, 2014, 04:42:13 PM »
Well, it seems that on Saturday, January 18th, there were two kinds of fly anglers. Those who participated in the Guadalupe one-fly event, and then, well, the rest of you. The former group was the fortunate few who had a great day of fishing, great food, meeting new friends, and an outstanding time on the river. And what a great event it was. A combined event with the Texas FlyFishers and the Alamo Fly Fishers from San Antonio, with a total of about twenty anglers equally split between the two clubs. From the TFF'ers we had John P, Scott B, Mike Q, Denis A, Michael M, Barry S, Jim R, Travis R, and George S...did I miss anyone? From the Alamo Fly Fishers we hadWalter R, David G, Steve F, Paul C, David R, Santiago S, Kurt M, Bret R, and probably some others whose signatures on waiver forms I could not decipher. Big group, great participation!

Action started on Friday, where a couple of TFF anglers decided to “pre-fish” the river in hopes of gaining a competitive advantage. Scott B. and Denis A. hit the river early Friday morning, but reported no catch. Skunked. Yeah, right, that is what they “said.” But who knows, maybe it was true, and the only competitive advantage they gained was knowledge of what flies were not working, and where the trout were not. As people started arriving Friday afternoon the coolers opened and several TFF’ers made the traditional trip to Lucky’s Sports Bar on Canyon Lake, home of the chicken fried ribeye steak. That’s right, a ribeye. Wow. Then back to the cabin at Rio Raft for more laughs, stories, and elbow-deep plunges into the cooler and a pull from a brown bottle.

Saturday dawned clear, bright, and cold. Thermometer had plunged to 30 degrees – brrr.  Fleece under your waders and hot coffee being the order of the morning. The guys from the Alamo Fly Fishers, led by club president Walter R., began arriving about 7:30 as planned for the start. Really nice guys, and lots of introductions were made. There were several kayakers in that bunch.  A quick orientation on the official “rules,” er, guidelines (there seemed to be some disagreement regarding whether a sabiki rig could be considered a “one-fly”), and all were off in different directions. Many wading, several kayaking, and John P. and George S. declared a pro-am division and fished with guide and friend Capt. Brent Hodges.

Here’s the morning gathering; you can just feel the focused intensity in this group!

Then off to the fishing! The river was running rather low and slow, and not quite as clear as we’d seen it, but conditions were good for fishing and it was a gorgeous day. Many quality trout caught over the course of the day. Great thing was that they were big – 16” to 18” pretty common, with perhaps a few above that. Some as small as four inches (mine), and many in the 12” to 14” range.  All the trout were plump and healthy. Females were really thick, and despite all care taken at the release many were releasing eggs. This is consistent with the egg pattern being a very productive fly. The luck of individual anglers varied considerably. Some caught many, some just a few, and some… well, turned in a zero score. Fishing was best with a nymph rig, with eggs and midges receiving the most hits. Our most productive flies were a rainbow warrior or an orange egg.

Here's John with a nice bow!

Hey look! George caught one too!

So who won the event? Michael Midyett turned in the top score for the event, with five trout totaling 77 inches of fish. That’s pretty impressive – a 15.4” average, and a testament to the quality of the fish in the Guadalupe. Michael is quite a fisherman. A recent transplant to Houston from Colorado, it is pretty clear that he was born with a five weight in his hand. As anglers returned in the late afternoon, there was a fully stocked cooler handy, and lots of stories from the day’s adventures. Prizes awarded, and everybody present received a small token. I’m still envious of Mike Q., who walked away with a very nice hat courtesy of the Alamo Fly Fishers.  Then it was off to a great team dinner with both clubs at Gennaro’s Trattoria, in nearby Startzville. A really good Italian restaurant; they graciously reserved a table of fifteen on a very busy Saturday night. Complimentary champagne was served, toasting new friends, and more stories. High marks for Genarro’s; you must give them a try when you are in the area.

Big group and a big dinner:

Sunday morning dawned cool with a light fog rising from the river. Great thing about staying at Rio Raft is you walk down a gentle slope to excellent fishing right out your back door.

Here’s the mystery angler who caught the fish featured on the home page – John P. landed this beauty on Sunday morning right outside the back door of the cabin. Nice fish John!

And that fish made a bit of a splash before it came to hand...

Here’s Michael M. showing off his Nymphing form.  I’m waiting for him to teach a Nymphing class for the Texas FlyFishers! You can see his loop forming in the photo if you look closely...

We couldn’t have asked for better event. A great group of guys from the Texas FlyFishers and the Alamo Fly Fishers coming together for fishing, food, and fun. Thanks to Walter R., president of the Alamo Fly Fishers, for bringing a great group of anglers to join the event and make some new friends. We’ll need to collaborate on future events, and I think we’re all looking forward to next year’s one-fly event on the Guadalupe.
Thanks to all who made the trip such an outstanding success! And please – post up your stories and photos boys!

Looking forward to the next one!


Outing Information Only / Re: Guadalupe One Fly - January 18th, 2014
« on: January 17, 2014, 08:14:57 AM »
Okay - here are the official "rules", or perhaps more correctly guidelines for the event. Sent out in an email yesterday to all who are on the sign-up list, but for general communique' here they are:

Pasted in from an email, so please overlook formatting errors...

•   Start – meet at Rio 7:30 to 8:00.  Might want to hit the river early, since it is a prime Saturday with good weather. I hear there is another group event (PACK) fishing as well, so there might be a crowd.
•   Liability waivers – we should have a stack of them, and we often simply have many people sign one form.
•   Fish till 4:30 or 5:00, whenever people want to get off the river.  Sunset is 5:56 pm, but if you fish that late the cooler will very likely be empty. Your call.
•   Meet back at Rio to compare catches and results. There might be an opportunity to reward your efforts with an adult beverage along the river.
•   What constitutes a “one-fly?” Here are the rules:
o   If you are Nymphing a two-fly rig is considered a “one-fly.” No more than that.
o   Anything else (streamers, dry fly) should be a single.
o   If you lose your fly, or any part of your nymph rig, you are out of the competition at that point and your score is complete.
o   Total score is cumulative inches of fish caught on your one-fly.
o   Sucker fish are not fish.
o   Winner is the angler who catches the highest number of cumulative inches of fish.
•   Also – Bring a duplicate of your one-fly to be contributed to a pot, and the winning angler will take home a nice set of flies.

Be ready for a great time on and off the river! We'll post results and editorial commentary when the event concludes.


Outing Information Only / Re: Guadalupe One Fly - January 18th, 2014
« on: January 15, 2014, 09:53:10 AM »
Hey Bear - could you make the reservation for 8? I think John Purcell want to join us as well.

Eh, Pavon?


Outing Information Only / Re: Guadalupe One Fly - January 18th, 2014
« on: January 12, 2014, 05:28:59 PM »
Great idea Denis...count me in. Molto benne!



Rod Building / Re: Rod Building class by Mudhole - 26 April
« on: January 10, 2014, 10:04:53 AM »
Yeah - Mudhole is a major supplier for rod builders. Great inventory, good service, ridiculously high freight charges. I would assume their classes are good too.

There are other ways to get started in rod building as well ... Joe's classes are great, and around the April timeframe FTU usually sponsors a rod builders day. It's a great chance to meet people, see techniques, and observe how it all fits together. Armed with that, some youtube videos, and a starter kit you have plenty to get you started. If you need help along the way there are forums on 2cool, and the rod builders department at either FTU are full of expertise and help.

The main thing is... figure out a way to start and jump in! Remember, as Joe Nicklo says - catching on fish on a fly you've tied, and on a rod you've built yourself, is a spiritual experience!


Outing Information Only / Re: Guadalupe One Fly - January 18th, 2014
« on: January 10, 2014, 06:42:34 AM »
Great John! Glad you're coming. I'm thinking you'll need an air mattress/ sleeping bag.

Matt - is the cabing now full?

By the way - weather forecasts, which are always correct, say that Saturday will be a great day on the river!


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