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karstopo

Endless Summer

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It kind of seems that way. Here at 29 degrees north lat.on the Texas coast, October is the time when chilled air from the arctic arrives. By the time these first fronts get here, there is no chill really, just a switch in the wind from south to north and a drop in the humidity.

Some years, these first fronts arrive in September. September has come and gone and good riddance, as this yearís version vied for one of the worst ever. I had at least 25Ē of rain at my house, over 6 months worth of rain, compressed into about 3 weeks. Last yearís version was massively horrible with the almost state wide and unprecedented flooding from Hurricane Harvey. We received more rain at my house this year in September than we did last year in Harvey.

The ceaseless heavy rains destroyed what was left of my garden. The purple hull peas drying out in the garden in their pods began to sprout in the pod, the eggplant molded and turned to mush, even the indestructible okra cratered and tumbled over. Only the mosquitoes seemed to thrive.

Some folks claim to like rain. That would not describe me. Normal gentle rain is okay in moderation. Tropical downpours day after day after day, not so much. The last four days of this September, I escaped to Santa Fe, NM. How nice and necessary was that trip. Warm, dry days, cool, comfortable evenings. Sitting outside in delightful weather and looking a flawless blue sky is about all I want or need sometimes.

October as it has progressed has dried out the yard some. Iíve caught up some on the yard work. 6.5 acres of heavily wooded Columbia bottomland and manicured shrubbery means thereís always yard work. Rain seems to dissolve whatever holds tree limbs onto trunks and trunks to the earth. Chain saws and hedge trimmers have been in my hands far more than fly rods recently.

I made my first fishing trip of October yesterday, the 7th. I was really going to Fish a bunch this fall, so far, thatís not working out. Yesterday, I did a midday trip. Nowadays, I think I like a morning cup of cappuccino with my wife more than chasing fish. Midday trips are fine after the first front or two, but yesterdayís trip was more of a survival of the heat type. No shade, Temperatures in the mid 80ís, dewpoints in the mid 70ís, did I mention there was no shade? I like midday trips, but have to learn that those really arenít prudent until the first fall fronts arrive. The wind kept blowing off my hat that was the only shade I had. WTH, Did my head shrink?

Plus, then these fly lines get impossibly slippery in these hot conditions. I thought it was just SA line. Nope, my Airflo Tropical sniper was just as bad. How do you fight a fish if you canít hold onto the line?

I did get to fight a few. Almost every fish yesterday seemed stronger than its size. I think the excessive heat zapped my strength. The big redfish of the day might have gone 4 pounds, but felt like 6. I put the fish on the reel or it sort of did on itís own, thatís unusual for that class of Fish. The big trout of the day, not big at all at a pound and a half, felt like 2.5. Water was everywhere, way up into the grass, up on roads. The places a fish can be, especially redfish, grows exponentially. I felt lucky to find the ones I did. I found some croaker too. I caught another state record beating fly rod croaker, which is laughable with the record being a half a pound. To me, separate records for fly rod caught fish are a joke, but I digress.

Those fronts that are coming will push out the water from the marshes and bays and along with it bait like billions of small shrimp bound for the Gulf of Mexico. Itís just physics with north and west winds pushing water away from the Texas coast. Yesterday, I saw small shrimp, about the size and color of the borski slider I was using, jump and hop and they pointed to predators, but soon, once the fall weather truly does arrive, the shrimp are going to be herded by schools of hungry redfish in the shrinking volume of water. Thatís when the fishing gets easier and much more comfortable.

The forecast is for a front to arrive this week and a better one later in the week or the first part of the next. Iím ready for the first fronts to put an end to this endless summer.
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Comments

  1. Monello's Avatar
    I'm spending my winter in Texas this year. The 2 previous winter I spent in Florida. December we'll be in Corpus Christi then off to SPI for January. I'm hoping I can get on the water a few days.
  2. karstopo's Avatar
    I haven't been down to the Corpus area really at all. I hear good things. I'm sort of a homebody when it comes to fishing and seldom stray beyond Brazoria county 150 miles or so Northeast of Corpus. The fish are pretty much the same, redfish, speckled trout. I think that area down there has more black drum and SPI has some snook, although, I've started seeing snook up here as well and friends have caught a couple. In the winter, I see redfish here in some of the marshes and have had some great days, the fish aren't as spread out in the winter so if you find some it's usually a bunch. Lighthouse lakes is an area I hear about a lot for fly fishing that's close to Corpus. Estes is another near Rockport that garners attention. Of course, the laguna madre is supposed to be a great place to fly fish. South Bay at the extreme southern tip of Texas is a known Snook haunt.