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!

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