21 May 2011

2011 World Championship Bass on the Fly Tournament

The 2nd Annual World Championship Bass on the Fly Tournament is in the books, and congratulations go out to our friends Sheryl Farrell and Johnny Walker for taking 1st place.  Benson Fowler and his Dad (who turned 77 today) took 2nd place and Big Fish prize money, and White & Olsen took 3rd place.  31 entrants participated in the tournament vying for Total Weight, Big Fish, Big Bluegill, and two casting games--Accuracy and Distance.

Friday played host to check-in and the casting games.  What a swag bag we received at check-in, especially, if you entered early (before 1 May)!  We received our choice of Buff from Buff, two flies of our choice from Brothers Flies and Lake Fork Marina, a choice of vendor's hat or visor--TFO, Sage, Redington, and a Skeeter t-shirt.  After check-in, Cody Bell had to defend his Distance Casting title from last year, but this year all contestants had to tie on a deer hair Dahlberg Diver.  With a side-wind and a big fly, everyone was having trouble getting the distances to which they were accustomed.  With about 30 feet less than last year, Cody took home top honors again with 82', this time bringing home a TFO 6-8# Mini-Mag, Prism Reel w/line, and a rod case!  I'm proud of my man!  Benson Fowler tied with Diane Blair accumulating 300 points in the Accuracy Contest.  Benson was also defending his title from last year.  Today, after all weigh-ins, they had a cast off that went three-rounds with Diane winning and conceding her TFO 5# to Benson.  Pretty good deal for all, including the joke Brian Nims played on me.

I did not compete in the Distance Casting game, but I enjoyed watching.  Behind where the contestants stood was a pond, and I kept noticing a fish or two hitting the surface pretty hard.  Well, Brian Nims and Diane Blair had decided to use the TFO BVK instructor's rod for their turns, and Cody used his own rod.  Diane decided she wanted to try casting Cody's rod and then Brian wanted to, as well.  So, the BVK was sitting there.  (Now, just as soon as Mr. Pope gets those BVK blanks in at Sovereign Row, I will be building my new 8#.)  I just couldn't stand it any more, so I asked if I could cast the rod to see if I could catch one of those fish.  Brian didn't care and handed me the rod.  We all had the same Dahlberg Diver pattern tied on our rods for the Accuracy and Distance competitions, so I gave not one thought to that fly had tied on the line.  Second cast, nice, mouth-open hard hit, but a miss.  Adrenalin was flowing, casting recommenced, and fifth cast--aggressive, hard hitting action, slight tug with a tight line, boing--slack line, fish off.  (Having a difficult learning curve for three years on Lake Limestone, I am not a topwater fan, and only recently have I begun to care enough to try topwater again.)  I'm thinking what in the world is wrong with me?  I really began casting, working on hitting spots, double-hauling, quick stops, everything, but no fish.  Finally, I just decide this is the trickster pond.  No one can resist the temptations to throw at the fish in this pond, so they are wise fish who just toy with fishermen; they can't be caught.  I reel in all the line and go to stow the rod, just like I do mine, but I can't hook the fly on the guide, because the fly doesn't have a hook!  I give it back to Brian and asked him what the deal was, and he thought I was just wanting to work on my casting in a life-like situation and honestly didn't know why I was casting to fish.  Thanks alot, Brian!

The Dallas Fly Fishers had six members attending the tournament, three teams, two non-boaters (kayakers and bank fishers), and Ted Warren hosting the tournament.  Since they were the only "club" present, we took home this year's team trophy.  The Fort Worth Fly Fishers had one team, Sheryl & Johnny, and Diane is a member of both the DFF and FWFF.  With a little more discussion maybe next year, more area clubs will enter for a little friendly club competition.


When have you ever desired to catch fish under 16"?  When you're targeting fish outside the slot!  The rules for counting fish were different for the Boaters and Non-boaters.  For the Boaters, the slot was 16"-24", and so any fish measured in that category could not count and had to be put back.  All fish turned in had to be under/over the slot.  I found it hard rooting for fish to be under 16" (I am always wanting fish over 24"), but I was at times hoping that the rod's bend meant a keeper.  We only turned in one Largemouth Bass, a 10 ouncer, but Cody caught several fish in the slot, and that was a lot of fun--nice size fish, fighting hard, jumping aerobatically--including the Channel Catfish--with most caught on some type of white popper in shallow, shallow waters, and before 9 a.m.  I even hooked up with my personal best Largemouth Bass on a deer hair frog popper.  Cody's jumping catfish was caught on a CodyBugger, and so were the two Bluegill.   

The Non-boaters had a different set of rules.  Non-boaters were those bank fishing and kayak fishing, and they didn't have to follow the slot.  Their rules were to catch, photo with documentation of length, and release.  Since they weren't actually in possession of the fish, they could submit every catch they caught.  The winner was from Oklahoma, and his first two fish were 23", but he thought he couldn't count the slot, so Mr. Calley didn't even photograph those catches.  He was fishing from the bank, and someone advised him of the rules, so he was able to count the next three he caught, including a 20 incher!  Nice job, especially from the shore line.

After awarding the prizes and money, and yes, Cody Bell took home a few dollars for 2nd place in the Big Bluegill contest, a 70/30% split of the pot--the 70% went to Diane Blair for her 13oz piggy, the raffle drawings began.  First raffle of the day was for the early entrant participants who were up for the Sage's 290 Grain Bass Rod, which was won by Mr. Richard Blair. Fly lines, shades, Umpqua flies, tippets, shirts, kayaking life vest, the tourney raffled off a nice collection of toys.  I won a nice Rio line, and I am a Rio/Orvis girl, when it comes to lines.  We had a good day and ended it by eating together with great friends, who were already talking about next year's tournament.

15 May 2011

Lake Amistad, Martin Mars Coulson Air Tankers

NOTICE
Aircraft Landing & Taking Off from Lake Amistad

     "The Martin Mars, a water air tanker, will be operating at Lake Amistad in support of wildfire suppression efforts. It will be taking off, landing, and will be moored in the Castle Canyon cove. For your safety, as well as the safety of the air tanker's crew, the cove north of Castle Canyon buoy D is closed to all boaters while the tanker is at Amistad.

      The tanker will be scooping water for firefighting efforts on the Mexican side of Lake Amistad. It is supported by a Sikorsky helicopter. If you see the tanker or helicopter approaching you, move towards the nearest shoreline within a safe distance and stop your vessel. Once the tanker has safely landed or taken-off, you may then resume activity. Stay safe and enjoy seeing this unique piece of firefighting equipment."

"Aircraft Landing & Taking Off from Lake Amistad." Amistad. 28 Apr. 2011. http://www.nps.gov/amis/index.htm 14 May 2011.

So this is what we saw when we were at Amistad.  We regretted not getting a picture as the tanker dropped its water load, but it was really a neat sight to watch, especially since the water looked more like smoke.  This plane dates back to 1938, has a 200 ft. wingspan, can take on 6,485 gallons of water (Phillippine Mars can take on 13,200 gallons), and was originally commissioned for the U.S. Navy.  Originally, there were seven built, but today, only two remain, the Phillippine Mars and the Hawaii Mars, which is the one we saw at Amistad.  We saw the helicopter, but it wasn't in the area of immediate support, and it was long after we saw the air tanker that we saw the helicopter.







For further reading:  Martin Mars Coulson Air Tankers

14 May 2011

For the Birds

We live in the sticks, so we get to see an abundance of birds, especially when we walk over to my parents' home.  Dad has many bird feeders for many species of birds, so it's kind of like O'Hare Airport for aves.  I really like birds and enjoy watching them.  In 2009, I was very fortunate to be present when two U.S. Fish and Wildlife biologists briefly removed Osprey chicks from their nest for their annual study of the Clark Fork River.  They explained how birds and fish go hand-in-hand (for something besides tying flies).  So, I guess that it is quite natural for someone who loves fish, to love live birds, too. 


Killdeer shaking her tail feathers to lure me away from her nest
 Our little house sits on an acre-and-a-half of former pasture land--cotton, corn (feed, not sweet), milo, and wheat have been grown on it throughout the years before the house was built in 2001.  I moved in 14 May 2004, and there used to be an abundance of Killdeer and nests.  Their nest numbers began to dwindle, even though I was careful to walk the areas looking for their nests prior to cutting the weeds.  (Killdeer build their nests on the ground, using small rocks to create a bed or using a small indention in which to lay their eggs).  Even though the Killdeer would return each spring, I stopped seeing pairs and nests in 2009. 

Well, this evening (on my 7th anniversary of home ownership, by the way), as I was mowing, I noticed a Killdeer pair in quite a dither.  Each adult was fanning their tail feathers at me, false brooding, and cackling up a racket.  I searched for rock clumps and couldn't find any, but the pair was going nuts.  So I watched them, and frantically began searching the area where they hovered in the unmown section, but I still couldn't find anything.  Then, briefly, the momma gave away her nest, and I was crushed, because I had already mown over her nest.  In 2005, I found a nest I had mown over cracking both the eggs in the nest; I felt horrible!)  When I got to the nest, which was built in a little indention in the ground--no rocks, I was thrilled to find three beautifully speckled, unharmed eggs in the "nest."  Whew, what a relief!  Now, we'll monitor and observe from afar and work hard to keep the chicken snakes away.

07 May 2011

2011 Gulf Coast Council Conclave

San Antonio, Texas hosted this year's Gulf Coast Council Conclave, and since Thursday was windier than Wednesday, we didn't go fishing but headed to San Antonio, instead.  While traveling, we passed a beautiful sunflower field just east of Castroville.  When we arrived in San Antonio, we drove around downtown pulling the Mitzi behind us, receiving lots of stares along the way.  With the best boat parking, we lodged at the Holiday Day Inn just down from the Crowne Plaza where the Conclave was being held.  The Internet connection was non-existent, so I could only write and save in Word.

Cody took tying lessons from Bob Popovics, learning how to tie the Surf Candy Minnow, and I learned to spin deer hair from Bill Sargent.  We, along with Jason, learned how to tie the Blind Chicken and Foxy Chicken from Billy Trimble.  We loved the class sizes, frequently 2 students to 1 teacher--talk about quality time.  Gary Davison taught us Spey Casting, and after finishing my 9# rod, I will build a Spey Rod for the pancake flats, Mongolia, southern Chile, or just for fun. It was my first time to pick up a Spey Rod, and I loved it!  We enjoyed watching Bud Rowland tie some of his top go-to flies, flies that set IGFA records, and talk about fishing the Lower Laguna Madre for Speckled Trout.  Cody attended Bob Popovics' False Albacore, Striped Bass, and Bluefish lecture and bought the Pop Fleyes book afterwards, where Bob signed it.  I listened to Bob Pool teach how to read waters and tie flies to catch big--7-10lb. big--bass.  Dawn worked on casting, receiving 1-on-1 instruction, and Jason attended the Bud Rowland and Bob Pool lectures, too.  Diane Blair won the Ross Momentum Reel and TFO Rod combination.  Cody and I won the live auction's Kevin Hutchison guided trip, so now we have a trip with A. Ray Sims and one with Kevin Hutchison; my freshwater fishing life in Texas is pretty set.

Of course, being San Antonio, we could not leave the beautifully historic city without a tour.  We visited the Alamo and the River Walk, taking the boat ride, too, Saturday after we finished with the Conclave.  The Conclave was great with excellent presenters, tiers--some of the DFF's finest tied:  Diane & Richard Blair; Fred DuPre'; Mary & Jack Janco; Bill Sargent, vendors, and lecturers.  I guess the price of gas kept folks away, which made it all the better for those of us who attended.  I hope Texas is the host site for the 2012 GCCC, too!

04 May 2011

Rough Canyon & Devils River at Lake Amistad

Weather creates all kinds of emotions, and today, it was consternation. Where Tuesday was idyllic, today was torturous. Winds were up to about 17 mph, out of the ENE, and the temperature was 68°F. Overall, this year has produced the oddest weather patterns I have seen in Texas ever, and it has been more frustrating than fun, especially since the wind has been a big factor. Warm winds, cold winds, regardless, I don’t like the wind, and while I try to keep in mind The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, because conditions at and near the equator can be quite calm, which exacerbates the humidity and heat, I just wish the winds would die down.

For part of the day, Jason and Dawn were boating with us, so it was to Rough Canyon. I enjoy Rough Canyon. It was the first place I fished my first time at Amistad, and it was genuinely good to me. We boated north to check out Indian Springs, and it is still underwater by about 14 feet. The waters around it, though, look like tropical waters. My first visit to Rough Canyon was soon after our trip to the Seychelles, and the Devils River feeding in to the lake produces water clarity and color just like the tropics, regardless the depth. Deep greens, pale greens, rich blues, it’s all there, along with tall canyon walls. Overall, the lake is still up, but I think from last year to this year, it is down about six to seven feet. We ventured farther up the river (it is no longer Lake Amistad) to Oak Tree Camp, where the waters become shallow, about four feet. It’s odd; in my memory and my Texas Rivers & Rapids book 1972 & 2000 editions, the river was not accessible by boat at this point. This is a treasured camping spot for river rafters along the Devil’s River, where land access is sacrosanct and heavily guarded. Its beauty is unsurpassed, but the fishing here is almost non-existent.

Jason & Dawn at Satan Canyon's mouth
Enough site-seeing and tour-guiding, we headed back down to Four Poles to fish. I love this canyon-walled, tree and shrub-lined spot, because the varied and abundance of fish species is unsurpassed—true Basses, Sunfish, and Carp abound. The wind, however, would not allow us to fish. Even with the drift sock and trolling motor, the wind crashed us directly into the trees. At first gusting and then sustained at 25 mph, we just couldn’t fight the wind and whitecapping waves, so on to Satan Canyon we went; what a nice respite. We caught Sunfish from the shallow side and nothing along the deep, canyon wall side. Back in the farthest section of the canyon, we discovered a spring that we had never seen before today. We push-poled the skiff in to about 10 inches of water and watched the spring. The waters around this area circulated oddly, but due to the spring, they did move. Near the spring, we also found about 20 abandoned Sunfish beds. For us, it was quite fun. Having played this canyon out, regrettably, it was time to move back out in to the winds and fish our way back to Rough Canyon Marina.

I love skiff boats; for fly fishing, they are the best, but seeing as how the Mitzi is only 15 feet long and equipped with just a 25 hp Mercury engine, the pounding the winds gave us was unpleasant. Coming out of Satan Canyon and rounding Slaughter Bend was both beautiful and daunting. White caps were everywhere, and we faced a direct headwind. We sought refuge in Slaughter Bend Cove, which was a honey hole three years ago. It’s supposed to be good for Smallmouth Bass, but we have yet to catch any there. What we did catch were Largemouths and piggy Redbreasted Sunfish. This arm typically doesn’t sport Carp like Box Canyon coves, so I switched out my Bonefish Bitter for a beadchain eye Swamp Monster. (I like Kevin Hutchison, and I really like tying his flies because they work well!) I love my 4# rod—TFO Finesse, 150 grain sinking line can not be beat for fishing the 6-15 feet water column. All fished, time to move.

With calmer winds and fewer white caps, we boated down to Lowrey Springs Canyon. What a great decision on Cody Bell’s part. We headed as far back into the canyon as possible and found Sunfish Heaven, particularly, Redbreast Sunfish. The canyon walls blocked the wind, huge—1 pounders—Sunfish thrived and greedily ate our flies, and three Painted Buntings flew from side to side just above us. The Turkey Vultures circled high overhead causing us to ponder our own demise, but ignoring them, we made many runs through the cove's end, even anchoring to fish, relax, and photograph the birds. We caught 18 Sunfish and two Largemouth Bass, but as soon as we rounded the bend in to deeper waters, the fishing slowed greatly. Light hours would wane soon, so we bid goodbye to a wonderful spot and headed back onto the lake’s main body.

At approximately 29.36600 and -100.57500 GPS is an island that guards a deep-to-shallow water cove. We call this Bonsai Island Cove and enjoy fishing the deeper ends. White Bass are supposed to thrive here, but we only caught Largemouths, aggressive ones that swam hard from the deep to attack our flies. A 1½ pounder fights like a 5 pounder, here, and water clarity allowed us to see this action 10 feet below us. Each using our 7# rods, Cody caught a nice 1¾ pound Bass, and I caught a 1¼ pound one. Both fish bent our rods well, and we thought the fish would be bigger than they were actually. Being about 7 p.m., we fished and boated quickly.

We relocated farther south, hitting a western cove that was deep, clear, and held some fish. We named it Bad Karma Cove because, in spite of our excellent casting, excellent fly selection, and great boating skills, despite the winds, we saw very few fish. Many showed up on the fish finder off the underground hill off a point, but that was it. The boat ate Cody’s sacred 7# line, too, and so we will be on the lookout for its replacement.

With dusk dawning, we had to be selective as to what we did next. Not quite late enough in the day to visit our Smallmouth Bass spot, we hit a cove near it, but lost a lot of flies due to submerged trees, more like a submerged forest. Retrieving and breaking off the flies bought us the time we needed, and we headed for what we named Smallmouth Bass Shore. Fine fishing, I must say. I hung a fly up on a tree, retrieved it, positioned the boat back off shore, Cody cast, and SmallmouthOn, oh yeah. We continued fishing this area, and SmallmouthOn, again. I watched a Largemouth inhale my Bass Brunch just below the surface, and it was about 24” long and fought hard. Just below the nailknot, I had a wind knot, but was too lazy earlier in the day to tie on another leader section. I paid the price for it, too. After about a minute’s fight, I lost that fish when it dove for deeper water. Crushed and really wanting a Smallmouth, too, because that’s the way I’ve always ended our Rough Canyon trips, we fished until there was just a slight orange in the sky. The stars twinkled, the moon’s waxing crescent shone, and we left with Cody landing the only Smallmouths.

We caught lots of fish, but the winds really made the day rough, and we had a difficult time enjoying our day. We already decided if Thursday’s conditions were like today’s, we would forego the fishing.

Totals: Cody—8 Sunfish, 6 Largemouths, and 2 Smallmouths; Julia—10 Sunfish and 8 Largemouths.


03 May 2011

Box Canyon & Cow Creek at Lake Amistad

Monday--too windy and too cold to fish.

Tuesday--What a difference a day makes. Calm winds—3mph, calm seas—smooth as glass, made for an enjoyable day. Wondering what fishing the day after a storm would produce, we waited before hitting the water. The morning was still cool, 58°F, but the sun shone without a cloud in the sky to block it. We started differently beginning our trip at Box Canyon. With maybe a dozen trailers in the lot, we knew we would not spot many people, so we headed up river to buoy 21, near to a cove we coined last year as “Anchor Cove” because of its appearance as one on a map. While on our way there, on the Mexican side we saw an airplane land on the water, collect water, and take off. It was all done in such slow motion, that at first, we thought it was a kite. We saw no smoke, so we thought there was a pilot-in-training. It always turned at the buoy, never venturing into American airspace, and was not very loud, either.


Cody forgot his hand-held GPS, which has waypoints from previous trips marked, so we navigated by map, and his new Hummingbird GPS/Fish Finder. Lowrance GPS is better, but the clarity of the images produced from the fish finder was stellar. Between buoy 21 and buoy 22 are coves that have islands at their mouths, so we decided to fish them. We saw many bass coming from the deep chasing our flies, but then, they turned off. For almost an hour, we watched this action, unable to figure out what was happening, but it was good to see fish and have good water clarity. The depth was 22 feet and we could watch our flies with ease. On the fourth cast, using my 4# sinking line, I caught a nice little Longear, but that was it for a while. Finally, on the windward side near some cane, using Duane Hada’s Creek Crawler, Cody hooked up with two nice bass--1½ lbs. and 1¼ lbs., and it was FishOn from there.

We fished the coves set just behind these islands using the trolling motor. The winds picked up, but with the bends and turns, we received cover, as well. We named one cove that was new to us, “Carp Cove,” because there must have been at least 50 Carp, and wherever the Carp were, so were the Gar, with fingerling Largemouth Bass following them. Cody hooked up with some more Largemouths with his biggest being one weighing in at 2¼lbs. Back in the shallows of this cove, there must have been 20 carp tailing; it was like looking at tailing Bonefish. Cody cast to them, but they spooked easily and ignored the CodyBugger. I was having a terrible time with my hook set and had lost four fish, with one being a White Crappie. Having fished out this cove, we moved to the next one.

Being deeper, we switched to heavier rods with sinking lines. Cody hooked up with three more bass, and I lost three more, but we were really interested in the Carp behavior. With these Carp less skittish, Cody had a theory that if we tossed behind them and pulled the fly beside them, that attracted their attention without making them jittery. Using a lighter rod, Cody tested it out and had CarpOn, until it broke off in a tree. Three more turned and gave chase to the fly after that, but we didn’t hook up with any more.

Exhausting this cove, we moved on out to the main body and began heading down river. We were looking for last year’s Anchor Cove without our GPS. We thought we found it, but its appearance was really different from last year’s. Again, I had two nice Largemouths on that threw my fly topwater. While frustrated from the all the lost fish, eight total for the day, since they were doing it topwater, I could really see some interesting feeding habits. The bottom and water clarity changed from hard limestone, crystal clear waters, to silt and cloudiness. We explored the rest of this area, but it was getting on 4 p.m., and we were wasting time here.

We headed back down river, and now the plane was dropping its water loads over land, which was really pretty cool to see. With the fires raging in the Davis Mountains four days previously, we believed this was a training mission for Mexico’s pilots, just in case the fires spread southward along the mountain range.

We motored up Cow Creek past the cliffs to one of Cody’s fishing spots, where we saw Bass tailing. I had not seen Bass tailing, but due to the water clarity, we could definitely tell it was a Bass. Cody landed a rather piggy Redbreast Sunfish, and I finally landed a small Largemouth. I had been pleased that I was having many hook-ups with the Bass Brunch Threadfin Shad pattern, because I had not fished it before, but it was finally nice to have a fish in the boat.

Seeing that light was beginning to wane, we moved back down the creek to fish some of the eastern coves near its mouth. We chose one, and then chose the left arm of the cove. I like the coves that have many bends to it, and this one also had nice walls buffering it. In testing my theory that one of our green Bonefish Bitters would mimic grass and attract the Carp found earlier in the day, I still had it tied on my 4#. We were tired; it was near the end of the day, so we stowed the heavy rods. I ended up wrapping my fly around the only protruding branch, so I trolled the boat to the cliff, and Cody told me to hold the boat, because he saw raccoons. They were big, nesting in a hole, and a little shy. Cody took their photos and off we went. The day’s mild winds were dying, the light casted long shadows, and the fish began to roll. We watched a couple of spots where Bass continued to roll and hit the water where the cove became very shallow. Cody cast to them and BassOn in two different areas. Now, I had called one of the spots, but seeing as how I wrapped my fly around the end of my line, I gave the spot up to Cody. We both believe in creating good karma, and even though we don’t want to do something, because we do, we believe good karma comes back to us. Cody said I would have good karma, because I gave him my spot.

It’s important to note, that while I was interested in the Carp’s behavior earlier in the day, I do not like Carp. To test out my Bonefish Bitter theory, earlier in the day we had returned to Carp Cove only to find that less than a dozen remained. I did wonder what caused this change and to where they had gone, but I really could care less about catching Carp. I think they are slimy and ugly and do not seek them out, “Golden Bonefish” or not. It’s also important to note, that one can not break the law or the rules, because they are set. What one can do is break one’s will about the rule or the law.

I cast to the same spot I gave to Cody just before, and Holy Cow, FishOn! I had seen that silver flash and the tugging commenced. I thought I had a 4 lb. Bass on my line, but this fish wasn’t tiring, and the bow in my 4# was a true arc. I reeled in line; he took out line; he went under the boat twice, and we still couldn’t tell what kind of fish was creating this commotion. Cody couldn’t decide whether to get the net ready or the camera ready, and all the while, I hear, “Just keep him out of the brush, good woman, keep him out of the brush.” Then, Cody jokingly says, “What if this is a Carp?” I am pretty excited, and suddenly, he quit fighting, side rolled to the surface, and it was a Carp. Cody started laughing; I really wanted to land this fish, and whiz, he took off straight for the bottom. I put a hard bend in the rod, because the tip was actually lower than the butt, and the Carp came back up to the side, where Cody netted him. I apologized to Norm, who was rolling in his grave, but the TX Fishes contest broke my will against catching Carp. It was fun, a lot of fun, but after this multispecies contest is over, I will not seek out this ugly fish. Call me a snob, but I do not like Carp.

Dusk. Carp commotion over, and top water action turned on. The Bass were crashing the surface—hard and often, so much so, that it looked like people were standing on the cliff walls chunking rocks down on the water. We stow all our rods and drag out the poppers on our 6#s. Ugh, at the end of the day, where a lot of casting has occurred, our arms, hands, and bodies were sore, but the adrenalin rush from the splashes everywhere kept us going. Cody landed another large Redbreasted Sunfish. We each had BassOn, but neither of us landed them. With just a little sunlight left, we headed back to Box Canyon vowing next year to land more fish on topwaters.

Totals:  Cody Bell, most fish with 13 for the day; Julia, big fish with 3½-pounder for the day.

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