WATER STILL RUNS DOWNHILL
Immediately after catching the largest trout I had caught on Sabine in
the past two years, Mother Nature buried us in a two day downpour that
left bottom land inundated all over east Texas.Once again, those
suffering the most damage were those residing in close proximity to the
I mention that fish only because I thought at the time that we may have
finally turned the corner on the horrendous trout fishing we experienced
most of 2018.The water clarity that day was more akin to wet dirt, but
there was still enough salinity to hold the trout.
The fact that we have since had two pretty good outings with the redfish
was encouraging, but we haven’t caught the first trout.We had been
wading to catch our specks, but just couldn’t find a good reason to
climb out of the boat following the flooding.
We have been blessed with dry skies the past two days, but we are far
from purging just the water still exiting both Sam Rayburn and Toledo
Bend.Rayburn is approximately seven feet high and Toledo Bend is a foot
above full pool level with all of the gates open three feet.Amazingly
enough we can handle that much discharge without any additional
flooding, but it remains the pits for those that have done little more
than rebuild over the past four years!
Convinced that it was going to rain forever, I accepted an unexpected
invitation to duck hunt in a stretch of flooded river bottom north of
Rayburn last week.“All you have to do is drive up here,” said Gary
English.“The ducks are all over us and I’ve got you a gun, shells and a
pair of hip boots.”
We eventually ate a great lunch, but never saw the first duck.Meanwhile
his son and a friend limited less than a mile away…..so what’s new!
Half way through too much chicken fried chicken, a friend of Gary’s
joined us long enough to ask him about some land clearing work.“I have
time right now,” replied Gary.His friend encouraged him to start that
afternoon.“I haven’t fished since they shut down two ramps we normally
use due to the flooding and now a bunch of them are shut down because of
the government.The president ain’t no bass fisherman or he’d take care
of that problem.”
The only two parks I checked on the way home were indeed closed, but
there was a soggy handwritten note at the entrance of one of them with
the name of the nearest ramp you could still use.Bass fishermen are
tight lipped as a rule, but they will take care of each other.
I also made a quick trip over to T-Bend and I am always amazed at the
power of water exploding through the gates.It is incredibly loud and it
is devastating for anything in its path.As I drove south the visible
flow of standing water weakened, but neither road I briefly looked at
granted access all the way into Cow Creek.
Owning a camp on the creek over the past few years has generated far
more work than fun.How many times can you rebuild before you just say,
“To heck with it!” I guess lots of people are asking the same thing
about folks that continue to rebuild on the coast.
In the meantime, the river will hopefully have crested by the time you
read this and we can start ridding ourselves of this excess of fresh
water.Thus far, the redfish bite has held up, but I haven’t personally
spoken with anyone catching trout.
I don’t believe the fresh water will wash out the trout that have once
again moved back into the lake, but good luck trying to catch them
drifting in your boat.Easily the most consistent bite involved wading a
relatively small area and being patient.Pay attention to tide changes
and major feeding periods.
If you elect to simply ride it out a little longer you can scratch your
fishing itch by driving over to Houston for the Boat Show at the Reliant
Center.Every year I am semi-shocked by the price tag attached to a new
bass boat or center console bay boat.I bought my first house on the same
There will be some vendors there, especially rod builders, but as a rule
not many guides.The majority of them have already reserved booths at the
Fishing Show in Houston in early March.