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#11933864 - 11/14/16 02:28 PM elm fork 380 optimal release?
kdub#1 Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 02/09/07
Posts: 1098
Loc: Dfdub
I cannot remember the optimal fps release from Raybob that allows for a good float. I've been down a dozen times but cannot remember at that rate the creek is moving enough to paddle without dragging etc.

Anybody know? The gates are open a little bit right now.

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#11934115 - 11/14/16 04:16 PM Re: elm fork 380 optimal release? [Re: kdub#1]
JJ4MEL Offline
Pro Angler

Registered: 01/21/09
Posts: 963
Loc: McKinney, TX
Actually, no matter the release, the float is difficult right now with log jams. I know I have been able to float/paddle easily from 428 and go North. Anything South had been difficult in the past to get through. It may have changed. I haven't been since the Spring.

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#11935412 - 11/15/16 12:17 PM Re: elm fork 380 optimal release? [Re: kdub#1]
kdub#1 Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 02/09/07
Posts: 1098
Loc: Dfdub
true on the log jams S of 380. I should have specified "dam to 380"
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#11935585 - 11/15/16 02:39 PM Re: elm fork 380 optimal release? [Re: kdub#1]
JJ4MEL Offline
Pro Angler

Registered: 01/21/09
Posts: 963
Loc: McKinney, TX
Unless something has changed more recently, you may still encounter a few North of 380. I believe the best paddle is going to be from the dam to 428. However last Spring I had 2 areas I had to try and portage and one other I probably should have. We have had a LOT more rain since then so they could be worse or cleared out.

Have you ever considered launching at Shady Shores boat ramp and paddling North to the mouth of the river? Easy paddle in the early morning and you can get in to some deep holes for catfish, hybrids, white bass and crappie.

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#11936703 - 11/16/16 08:00 AM Re: elm fork 380 optimal release? [Re: kdub#1]
kdub#1 Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 02/09/07
Posts: 1098
Loc: Dfdub
Not a bad idea if the water is high enough to get into the cut north of the mouth.
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#11936801 - 11/16/16 08:54 AM Re: elm fork 380 optimal release? [Re: kdub#1]
JJ4MEL Offline
Pro Angler

Registered: 01/21/09
Posts: 963
Loc: McKinney, TX
Lake should be plenty high to allow you back in there. I paddled this one Summer when the water was at it's lowest and could see plenty of deep holes that will hold fish. Just an idea.

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#11938335 - 11/17/16 09:01 AM Re: elm fork 380 optimal release? [Re: kdub#1]
fishin'aholic2 Offline
TFF Guru

Registered: 11/08/07
Posts: 12795
Loc: Irving, Texas
The log jams are correct. I have never seen the amount of log jams around 380 that I did when I was there on Tuesday. I could literally walk across the creek in several spots down the creek.
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#11942639 - 11/20/16 07:50 AM Re: elm fork 380 optimal release? [Re: kdub#1]
JCG57 Offline
Pro Angler

Registered: 05/08/02
Posts: 849
Loc: DFW
Is the park at 380 open yet?

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#11944112 - 11/21/16 01:11 AM Re: elm fork 380 optimal release? [Re: kdub#1]
Tony from Oak Point Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 01/23/05
Posts: 2121
Loc: DFW, Texas
It's closed at 380.

As far as the flow I've never made that float from the dam to 428 as I always circle around from the canoe launch at the dam or at 428. However, I've witnessed a lot of people doing it between 600 and 3000 or so. My guess is that at 600cfs you are in for a lazy ride (good for fishing) and for 3000 you really need to be on your toes and anything below or above that is getting outside of optimal if floating is your goal.

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#11944836 - 11/21/16 01:52 PM Re: elm fork 380 optimal release? [Re: JCG57]
JJ4MEL Offline
Pro Angler

Registered: 01/21/09
Posts: 963
Loc: McKinney, TX
Originally Posted By: JCG57
Is the park at 380 open yet?


Will not re-open until they can get funds approved by the powers that be in Austin. Therefore, it could be another year or more.

As Tony mentioned, you would prefer the lazy river over swift water right now. With as many log jams, the float could go from sketchy to dangerous really quick.

This Spring I plan to make the paddle up from Shady Shores to the mouth and paddle as far as I can. I mostly want to get to the first big bend south of 380 to fish. Those of you familiar with this area know it holds some really good fish.

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#11946102 - 11/22/16 08:30 AM Re: elm fork 380 optimal release? [Re: JJ4MEL]
fishin'aholic2 Offline
TFF Guru

Registered: 11/08/07
Posts: 12795
Loc: Irving, Texas
Originally Posted By: JJ4MEL
Originally Posted By: JCG57
Is the park at 380 open yet?


This Spring I plan to make the paddle up from Shady Shores to the mouth and paddle as far as I can. I mostly want to get to the first big bend south of 380 to fish. Those of you familiar with this area know it holds some really good fish.


That bend is complete choked up with log jams right now. Unless we get some major floods, I don't foresee those logs going anywhere anytime soon. It's very possible that there are similar jams south of that bend but that was as far as I made it.
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#11954357 - 11/27/16 11:07 PM Re: elm fork 380 optimal release? [Re: kdub#1]
Tony from Oak Point Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 01/23/05
Posts: 2121
Loc: DFW, Texas
Today was my first time yakking the Elm Fork below 380 since the flooding. Over the course of 13 years or so it is interesting to see the shape of the river changes. Will share some observations below.

With 30cfs from Clear Creek and about the same from the RR dam, the water is very low and the flow is very slight when I checked it out today. There is a log jam completely blocking just north of the 380 bridge. Kayaking south, the major jog jam is about .5 miles below 380 is about 100 yards long. Ported around it with ropes and some difficulty and then proceeded a mile or so further so to the "big bend". Not sure how blocked the entrance is from the lake? I saw a boat make it as far as the log jam 6 months ago but the lake was much higher then. You may have to port the boat over land to get into the river at all? That was the case about 2 years ago.

Fishing was very tough and crappie were no where to be found. Schools of what I'm guessing are gizzards where present to fake us out (or the crappie were lock jaw for 5 hours?) The flow has reshaped the river quite a bit. It's wider in a lot of places in addition to the major log jams. The fallen timber is so numerous only the best cover held bass. With good electronics it seems like the population of fish differed below and above the major log jam south of 380 with massive schools of shad below the jam but not so much above the jam. The major bend that normally holds crappie was crappie free and had quite a bit less timber. It was shallower too and now it is not the deepest hole in the river anymore (today it was at 15' or so max depth with the lake at pool). Water temp was 56-57 which should be cold enough to draw crappie in but none were found? There were a few sandbass willing to bite on the bottom and massive schools of shad above them but with no biting game fish. This was an ultra-finesse sort of deadstick bite. Once the lake drops another foot or two it seems like the river will become more like a series of long oxbow lakes and long nose gar will be the best maybe only good fishing. At the peak of the drought in 2014 or so was the last time I kayaked there and I caught more gar off of jigs in that one day than 35 years of fishing previously but not much else.


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#11954593 - 11/28/16 08:09 AM Re: elm fork 380 optimal release? [Re: kdub#1]
Dan90210 Offline
Woman of the year 2015

Registered: 11/18/09
Posts: 23314
Loc: Denton County
Wow thanks for sharing! Great info.
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Originally Posted By: junbengreat
Pulled a gun on his dryer and they caught a bunch of fish.

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#11957313 - 11/29/16 05:31 PM Re: elm fork 380 optimal release? [Re: kdub#1]
fishin'aholic2 Offline
TFF Guru

Registered: 11/08/07
Posts: 12795
Loc: Irving, Texas
Tony, that is exactly what I came across when I was down there a couple of weeks ago. The crappie are there but the issue is finding them. With all of those trees in the water they have plenty of places to hide. You would have to get pretty lucky to find more than 1 or 2 in all those trees. Going to be tough fishing in the river this year I think.
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Text Joey at 817-897-1384 for great rod and rod repair rates!

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#11957362 - 11/29/16 06:03 PM Re: elm fork 380 optimal release? [Re: kdub#1]
JJ4MEL Offline
Pro Angler

Registered: 01/21/09
Posts: 963
Loc: McKinney, TX
Tony, great post. Thank you for sharing. That is a bummer for sure. I have had so much luck in years past fishing that bend. I even remember back in the day hiking to the bend just to find 3 bass boats anchored and catching crappie.

Ugh, oh well. Maybe next year.

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