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 
Sabine River.

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 
payment terms.

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.