Cross Trails Outfitters 2022 Report from TFF member JMS

TFF Port Mansfield report

Club member, Matt Sherwood, recently traveled to Port Mansfield to lead fly tying and casting instruction for a Cross Trails Outfitters ( youth saltwater camp. CTO is a well established ministry with multiple opportunities for mostly teen boy and girls to be able to participate in a variety of hunting and fishing activities. Currently, CTO Buffalo River Chapter in Arkansas is operated by a local guide and artist, Duane Hada with a heavy emphasis on fly fishing and of course, ministry. The CTO chapter out of San Antonio organized this event with an offshore fishing charter boat, 3 bay boats and Matt’s poling skiff. Thus, each day the 12 young men were able to rotate among different boats and experience a variety of fishing.

Fly tying was taught by Matt Sherwood and a local guide who generously donated his time, Captain Ryan Sparrow. Captain Sparrow drove over from Harlingen to his Father’s (Captain Scott Sparrow) VIP popper. The following day,  Captain Sparrow also volunteered to team guide 4 boys out our our two skiffs.

None of the young men really had much fly casting experience but between the two of us, we were able to get them casting and numerous fish were landed. One young man even managed to land 4 redfish sight fishing on foot in ankle deep water and is forever changed!  We had a rich time of ministry, small group discipleship, great food, fun, conservation discussions and we were really able to bond with this young men, and fellow volunteers over this 5 day trip. 

Gordy & Sons and Marcos Enriquez provided 12 loaner fly tying vices complete with tools and Texas Parks and Wildlife provided loaner rods and reels for instruction.  At the end of the trip, the young men were asking for more fly tying and even sending me pics of the flies they have created now that they are home.   An outside individual donated several boxes of well-organized fly tying equipment and materials to the CTO San Antonio chapter so hopefully, they can tie many more flies!

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