17 April 2010

Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center

The DFF volunteers with many organizations with members donating their time.  Of course, I don't see it as donating my time; I see it as another opportunity to play.  The second week in March finds five fishing clubs helping out at the TFFC for the annual Fly Fish Texas event.  Cody and I volunteer to fish the ponds, so guests can see that fish are indeed caught on a fly rod and anyone can do it. 

This year, I was targeting this three pound bass that kept skirting along the reeds and brush of the catfish aquarium.  I didn't get what I wanted.  Instead, I hooked up with five catfish, all weighing 20 lbs or more.  Of the five, I only landed one, but with a minimum of 25 minutes to fight each fish, it was a blast.  Break off #3 (after viewing the video, click the browser back button to return to the blog) was truly the one that got away.  I was getting ready to lip it, so Cody could help me pick it, when it finned the leader and swam away with my fly!

I thought the craziest experience of all was that the fish were taking a size 10, Skip Morris pattern, black SMP and a size 8 Kevin Hutchison, Swamp Monster, both of which I tied.  Cody hooked up with five as well using a size 14 flashback pheasant tail!  Unbelievable if I had not seen it myself. 

However, ultimately, I landed the largest fish of my career--a 20lb. Channel Catfish.  While holding that bad boy, I could not decide which of us was more tired.  With the exuberance he used to swim away, I think I ended up the worse for wear, but not too tired to grin!

Photo and video by Cody Bell

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