For all you guys and gals who have been thinking about fishing below Denison dam, quit thinking about it and head on up. For the past several weeks I've been having a blast fishing during, and immediately after, generation and catching some really good fish.
Other fly fishers are catching good fish as well, including Vance with the Red River Fly Fishers who in one afternoon last week landed three 10+ pounders......way to go Vance! that's one heck of an afternoon! And, I've heard tale of several other quality fish being taken on the fly within the last couple of weeks.
Many of you who are reading this are excellent fishermen, know the Red very well and don't need me to tell you how to catch 'em.....at this point you might want to just scroll down and look at the pretty pictures. For those of you who aren't familiar with the Red, some of the following might be helpful.
I'm fishing a stiff 6wt, SA GPX line (which is a floating line), and for a leader I'm using 9' of 30lb mono straight off a 200 yard spool. I'm not saying that you should use this setup.......I just wanted to report what I use. Don't hesitate to take an 8wt......you will NOT be over-gunned.
My fly is a clouser. I call my version of the clouser a 'Purdy'........'cause I think it's purdy! I use a #2 Gamakatsu B10S hook, Wapsi FL Chart medium eyes, UTC ultra thread 210 olive green, crystal flash, Supreme Hair for the body and lock it all down with Loon Hard Head. The finished fly is 3" in length. I'm using the Supreme Hair because the synthetic fibers make a far more durable fly than bucktail. I love bucktail too, I've just opted for the synthetics for the durability. For the Supreme Hair fibers tied over the eyes, I'm using red, blue and yellow mixed together. Under the eyes I'm using olive. There is nothing special about this fly. I use it 'cause it's purdy and I like it. As long as the fly is the right size and fished appropriately, the fish don't care. They'll eat anything.
A little more about choice of fly: for lake Texoma or red river stripers I use a purdy. That's it. But anything size 6 to size 2 will work. Any color(s)....make yourself happy because the fish don't care. You can also use large streamers, like flies tied with Puglisi fibers. Large streamers will definitely catch fish but I seem to catch more fish using clousers. As to how to fish the fly, you just have to experiment because the fish don't always want it the same way. Recently, I've been using a quick, short, sporadic strip with intermittent pauses that allows the fly to fall. This makes the fly move like a nervous or wounded bait fish. Drives 'em crazy! They can't help themselves.....they gotta eat it.
As I stated above, I'm fishing both during and after generation. When I say after, I mean immediately after they shut down the generators and for the next half hour thereafter. Fishing before generation can be terrific but in the last several weeks I've caught all of my bigger fish during and after. I'm fishing the Texas side and everywhere from the bottom of 'the wall' at the dam to just below the last set of stairs downstream from the dam. It's always crowded so you just have to find room and wiggle in. Smile and speak to the other fishermen and you will find most are quite friendly. I try to smile and speak to everyone. This way, on those rare occasions when I hook somebody's line, they usually don't get p'd off.
The time to go is now. These fish are being harvested from the river at a staggering rate. So, if you want to catch a big 'un, go sooner than later........before they make that final run to a waste water treatment plant in north Texas or Oklahoma.
A 12.5 pounder
About 6 lbs.....there are lots of these in the river
This one was a little over 11#s
Compared to the others, this 8#er looks like a baby
A 10+ #er
2-3 oz shy of 11#s
Go get ya some!