Heads-up to those of you who fish below Denison dam: the Corp and game wardens are actively enforcing the no-wading area up by the dam.
On Monday of last week, I was fishing the river and ran into a guy I know who catfishes, practically every day, below the dam. He advised me he has seen stepped up enforcement of the no-wading area. He then went on to tell me that on the previous day he witnessed two fly fishermen wading in the pool just upstream from the cable. He said a Texas game warden stopped his truck on the road between the parking lot and the dam and, using a bullhorn, called to the fly fishermen telling them to get out of the water and come to him. The encounter between the game warden and the fly fishermen lasted around 20 minutes. The catfish fisherman said it appeared to him the game warden issued the fly fishermen citations. I don’t wade upstream from the cable and I encourage all fly fishers to respect the posted restrictions and not wade in the restricted area. You can hit a lot of that water from the banks and from the rocks in the center of the river that are just under the cable.
Now a little about the fishing. Since mid-November I’ve been fishing the river a couple of times per week. The fishing has ranged from fair, 3-4 striper/outing, to very good, 15-25 fish/outing. Most of my outings have been fair but 2 or 3 were very good. The majority of the fish were 15”-18”, with an occasional 20”er. During this time frame, I didn’t catch any big fish. The only time I got skunked was on Monday of this week, but I still managed to land the nice Sandie in the pic below.
Over the past 2.5 weeks, with the cold air and water temps, my numbers have decreased. On my last 4 outings, my numbers were 3, 2, 2 and zero. In order to get strikes I’ve had to slow my presentation. I’m talking really slow. I’m putting the fly on the bottom, then making 2-3” strips and waiting a couple of seconds between strips. The fish are literally picking the fly up off the bottom. The eat registers as a very light tap and, to hook up, requires a quick strip-set to stick ‘em.
During the cold months of winter, I find fishing below Denison dam to be difficult and generally unproductive. I’m thrilled with the success I’ve had the past couple of weeks (which I consider to be unexpected and unusual). I hope it continues. But, for those of you who might read this post and decide to head up, be advised to temper your expectations. Don’t be surprised if you fish hard and still get skunked. It’s tough this time of year. If you do catch a fish or two………..you’ve done good!
And………please don’t wade in the restricted area upstream from the cable.
Here’s the sandie I caught on Monday