Freshwater. That’s been my bag since the beginning. There’s something about the diverse, yet limited amount of options that somehow matches not only my personality but my fishing style as well. Put me in a 20 foot wide, 60 foot high canyon in the Rockies and I’ll barely blink. Drop me anywhere on the coast though and you’ll instantly see the panic set in, there is just SO MUCH!

Still, after working the last few months in the fly shop at Gruene Outfitters I’d heard so many seductive stories of salt water adventure that I eventually loaded the Honda Element down with rods, reels, and the paddle board in hopes of heading south and tapping into this lifestyle that has ignited passion in so many of the people I’ve met over the last few months.

Though I’d visited the coast twice with a rod, both times were 12 years or so ago when I was about as new to fly fishing as you could possibly be. I still was confounded by how finding a fish in this seemingly endless expanse could happen, but felt much more confident this time, armed as I was with the choicest of saltwater flies and tips and tricks picked up through hours of conversation with salty folks at the shop.

It was a quick 30 hour trip that in every way a micro adventure. Although I was only there and awake for 22 hours (8 hours of driving) I managed to take part in the following:

  • hooked a sea turtle by accident and landed it (released safely)
  • landed a crab on a clouser
  • paddled along the cuts with pods of dolphins
  • car camped on the beach
  • studied the stars until I fell asleep with the after image of them shining behind my eyelids
  • learned two new constellations
  • witnessed a menagerie of different crabs
  • waded carefully through softball sized jellyfish
  • caught my first redfish

It was an incredible experience, a relatively short drive yet still an otherworldly adventure. I may not have caught any one of the sizable fish that my ears have been peppered with over the last few months, but there was a definite allure that I can only imagine will magnify and grow in my head, heart, and tales until I return again.

P.S. I also endured constant 30MPH winds that at the time seriously shook me and my patience to my core, blowing me every which way on the paddle board despite the anchor that simply surrendered to the gusts and dragged limply along the waters bed. In light of the weather of the last two days and those still to come for the Texas coast I’ve turned my disdain for those gusts into a bitter sweet memory of calmer days. On behalf of the blog i’d like to wish everyone on the gulf coast and along Texas waterways a safe next few days, minimal loss and a quick recovery. -eric