I have been formally involved with Texas FlyFishers since 2005, when I moved to Texas from South Carolina. I was a member of the Palmetto Fly Fishers there and the transition to the Texas FlyFishers was extremely easy since I had made a few meetings, and attended some of the same events that some of the Texas FlyFishers also attended.
In 1992, I met with my fly fishing mentor, Tony Marasco. He still owns and operates “The Fly Tyers Vice” in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania. It was from him I learned the basics of fly tying and casting. He also taught me how to stalk trout and target bluegill.
When I left that area of the United States to go to Europe, his advice was “Leave all your other rods behind, and take only your fly rod.” Since my only fly rod at the time was an 8’6″, eight weight, Shakespeare “Ugly Stick” I was hesitant to follow his advice. I did, and for my last three years as a soldier I fished the waters in Germany, and France. I started by taking the courses required to apply for a fishing license. Once I took the fishing test, I was eligible to apply for a fishing license. The instructors in my class were bilingual US citizens, and were very familiar with the local waters. For the first 2 years I stalked trout and grayling.
For my last year in Europe, I hunted northern pike out of canoes and kickboats.
When I retired from the US Army, I found myself living within 6 miles of the Toledo Bend reservoir. For 4 years, Toledo Bend and the Sabine River were my home waters. I fished for largemouth bass, sunfish, crappie, catfish, white bass, stripers, hybrid S-W, and gar, all with the fly rod.
I moved to South Carolina in 2004, and added fishing for shad, and red drum to my list of targeted species. I also had the opportunity to stalk trout again.
In 2005 I had an opportunity to get reacquainted with my old home river, the South River, in Jackson Georgia.
If you’ve been to the meetings, you’ve seen that I am known for SCE flies. I’ll sit there before the club meetings and tie, while steadily carrying on multiple conversations.
I will fish for any species that the club chases, and plan to lead multiple Texas FlyFishers outings during the years I am in Texas.
As the Texas FlyFishers Freshwater Outings Chairman, I hope to expose our members and guests to the joy of being on the water, catching fish, learning new things, and enjoying the camaraderie of like-minded people.
Don C. Puckett
SFC, US Army (retired)