Off Season Projects for the Fishing Guide

Well, winter finally hit in Texas, the cold fronts are driving through our area and bringing not only falling temperatures but lots of wind. Our fly-fishing season is grinding to a halt so it’s time for reflecting on the past season and starting preparations for the upcoming spring season which is only 14 weeks away. 

Our off-season projects will include servicing our fishing equipment, boat, tying new flies, and leaders. I’ll reflect and study successes and failures from this past season, and research new areas for future trips. 

My 1st project is cleaning and servicing the rods, reels, and fishing line.

Unlike monofilament line, fly line is not simply removed and replaced every few weeks, at up to $100.00 + a roll fortunately it’s not necessary either. Fly line can and should be cleaned and treated a couple of times a season depending on how much and where it’s used. If properly cared for you’ll get many years of use out of your line. Floating fly line needs to have grime and pollutants cleaned from it and flotant applied regularly. 

Fishing still waters, as I do, introduces lots of opportunities for anything that’s floating in the water to attack my line, it just takes one look at the scum line on my boat after a few trips on Lake Fork, red, brown, and slimy. 

 Here’s how I clean my line. I put 2 clean 5-gallon buckets side by side, 1 with a couple of inches of warm soapy water (I use mild dish soap) and the other with the same amount of warm clear water. I strip the fly line (to the backing) so it falls loosely into the soapy water and let it soak for 20 minutes. Next, I pull the line through a soft kitchen cloth, stripping it into the clean water and let soak 5 minutes. For step 3, I refold my cloth and strip the clean line back into the emptied and bucket that held the soap. Step 4, I empty the rinse bucket and dry it before refolding my cloth and applying line treatment/flotant by pulling the line through the cloth back into the clean bucket. Finally, I allow the treated line to cure for several hours (1 Dallas Cowboy football game) or longer. 

It's a good idea to store your reels and rods indoors through the winter and during the heat of the summer to protect the coating on the fly line. Excessive unprotected exposure to the sun will cause the line to crack and dry out. I keep my rods in my boat parked under a cover because I use them almost daily, I will cover them with a towel if I leave the boat on the water for lunch or bathroom breaks.

Next week’s project is to clean and service all 8 or 10 of my fly reels and rods. 

Please send comments to [email protected]. 

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Wednesday Night


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Lake Fork

Fishing Report from TPWD (Jun. 5)

GOOD. Water Stained; 76 degrees; 0.86 feet above pool. Lake Fork is high with all the recent rains and gates are open. Bass are good on top waters frogs early in the morning over grass, and Yellow Magics along the edge of the grass Texas rigs and Carolina rigs good around bream beds 3-7 feet. Squarebill crankbaits are good around bream beds 2.5 model bream patterns. Flukes are good on the edge of grass in watermelon candy . Report by Marc Mitchell, Lake Fork Guide Service. Black bass are challenging with constant weather extremes, look for the clearest water you can find. Fish points and main lake cuts. Top waters are working in the shallow grass, streamers are working in the shallow banks 0fished slow. Bream are excellent in the shallows, wooly buggers and small poppers should bring a strike. Report by Guide Alex Guthrie, Fly Fish Fork Guide Service. The crappie fishing on Lake Fork was definitely moving into the steady summer pattern this week. We are still seeing great numbers of black crappie on lay downs and certain trees in 14-28 feet. You can also find black crappie on certain docks and bridges over the next few months. We have been seeing lots of small white crappie on brush piles but some bigger keepers showed up the last few days. These will continue to get better and better over the next few weeks. Focus on brush piles in 14-22 feet for the best fish. Some summer time trees are also holding white crappie and that will also get better over the next few weeks. Minnows are working well and small hand tied jigs in neutral colors are working just as well when you pitch and swim them over fish. Soft plastics will also get you a bite. The channel catfishing is excellent as it always is on Lake Fork. Bait you a hole near timber in 18-25 feet close to a creek channel. Use cattle cubes or sour grain to attract and hold those fish. Trees that have overnight roosting birds are a great place to make your hole. Use any prepared catfish bait of choice to load the boat o

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