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With this book, we invite readers on a Texas coastal fly-fishing adventure. Travel with us from the bayou country near the Louisiana border to the mangrove-lined estuaries and grass flats of the Lower Laguna Madre near the Mexican border. From the experiences of veteran flyfishers, guides, and outfitters, we have selected the best ways to fly fish the surf along the longest barrier island in the world, and together we will try them out: We will wade the warm waters of the Laguna Madre, along the shoreline of the storied King Ranch, and cast our lines in Baffin Bay, Texas's big trout haven. We will seek adventure, too, around the arroyos and estuaries near the Rio Grande, where flyfishers are challenged to land snook, speckled trout, redfish, and tarpon--the Texas angler's grand slam.
Our goal is to help anglers have a memorable experience in fly fishing the Texas coast. We have made an effort to provide the practical information in a format that is accessible to all fly fishers--beginners and veterans alike--who are eager to string up their rods and begin fishing. We address the technical requirements of saltwater fly fishing within each chapter and make suggestions on suitable tackle and techniques in the context of each destination and fishing situation.
Although the three of us are committed saltwater flyfishers with decades of experience fishing Texas's coastal waters, we cannot claim to know every flat, backcountry lake, channel, beachfront, jetty rock, or blue water platform where fish will take a well- presented fly. We are constantly discovering new fly-fishing opportunities every time we leave a launch ramp or travel along the coast. Therefore, we have called on and received the gracious assistance of some of Texas's most experienced flyfishers, including veteran guides, the International Game Fish Association (IGFA) world record holders, outfitters, bluewater captains, shrimp boat operators, marine weather forecasters, fisheries, biologists, fly shop proprietors, and longtime anglers.
Like most Texas anglers, we started out fishing from piers and wharfs with cane poles and dead bait. We've fished with live shrimp under popping corks, thrown surf rods, used spinning tackle, and pitched Mirr-O-Lures and gold spoons. Along the way, with the development and refinement of specialized fly lines, composite graphite rods, and high- capacity, disc-drag saltwater reels, we discovered coastal fly fishing and rediscovered fishing. We found that it was a natural for our saltwater flats as well as our freshwater lakes and ponds. In the process, we learned how effective the fly rod can be and how this form of angling is so naturally suited to our magnificent coastal environment. For us, fly fishing has brought new levels of adventure to saltwater angling and helped us rediscover our shorts. We hope this guide helps others to discover the adventure of flyfishing the Texas coast. David J. Sams, Chuck Scates, Phil H. Shook