Fly fishing Texas & Beyond

Fly fishing Texas & Beyond

It’s extremely addictive and once figured out you can fly fish your way around the world.

Story and photography by Robert Sloan

Big Jim Copeland was in the back of the old and battered aluminum boat with paddle in hand and slowly easing us down the shoreline of an East Texas lake.

“Just slowly pick up the fly, hesitate on the back cast and bring it forward,” he said. “Let that little bug sit still a few seconds, then slightly twitch it.”

I did and before that morning of fishing was done I had caught a few bluegills, one goggle eye perch and a largemouth bass. I was hooked – on flyfishing – forever. Since that day I’ve traveled all over the world with a fly rod in hand, along with a box of my hand tied flies. It’s been quite an adventure, and during that time I’ve racked up fantastic catches of brown trout in Wyoming, tarpon at various angling lodges in Mexico, bonefish in Belize, snapper off the coast of East Africa and a Texas state record ling in the Gulf of Mexico. And you know what? I’m ready for more.

The crazy thing about flyfishing is that it’s extremely addictive for anybody at any age. And once you figure out how it all works you can fly fish your way around the world. But, even better, flyfishing here in the Lone Star State is about as good as it gets. Last summer Austin Dishman and I hooked up with fly fishing guide Eric Glass, on the lower Laguna Madre. In two days we had caught upwards of 30 reds and trout to seven pounds – all while sight casting in gin clear water that was about a foot deep. That’s about as good as fly fishing gets anywhere along the Texas Gulf coast.

Anybody can learn to fly fish. Lessons for beginners to experts are all over You Tube. Or you can go to just about any fly shop to get geared up, plus get a few free basic lessons. Unlike other types of fishing where BIG is the only thing that matters, fly fishing is all about catching just about anything on any given day. On that day with Jim I watched wide eyed as he put the boat paddle down and ever so quietly lifted up his fly rod.

To read more, click here to SUBSCRIBE