Brazos River Outing – Come Rain or Come Shine

Jerry Hamon landed this largemouth at the outing.

By Kay Jackson

Springtime in Texas always brings interesting and unpredictable weather. As the saying goes, “If you don’t like the weather in Texas, give it an hour, and it will change.”

The North Texas weather forecasters predicted rain all day on Saturday, April 26, including thunderstorms and some hail. The weather was supposed to blanket North and Central Texas. That was also the day the FFI Texas Council held a joint outing on the Brazos River, near Aquilla.

Les and I woke up that morning, and it appeared gloomy but no rain. So we decided to take a chance and make the drive to Aquilla. It’s only about an hour and 10 minutes from Arlington, and if we didn’t get on the river, I thought I might convince Les to head further south to Waco so we could channel our inner Jo and Chip Gaines and hit the Magnolia Silos.

Fortunately for Les (and our pocketbook), he wasn’t subjected to a day of shopping with me. The weather turned out pretty good. The river was low in spots making it easy wading. And the water was VERY clear, even better for sight fishing.

We saw a lot of carp, buffalo and bass swimming around. Lots of beds were around as well as male bass either guarding the nest or still trying to convince a willing female to swim by. Dutch Baughman was already in a good spot, so we stopped to fish with him. He caught a very nice white bass.

Les and I weren’t having luck with the carp, so we kept heading downstream to find more bass. The clouds were dark in the south, and we heard a faint rumble of thunder. We kept fishing. Then more thunder that was closer and a few raindrops fell. Jerry Hamon, president of the IFF Texas Council, paddled up to us from downstream and suggested it was time to get off the water as the storm clouds were moving quickly.

Les and I made it up the bank to overhanging trees as the skies opened up. We stayed on the shoreline making our way back to where we put in. But just as fast as the storm clouds came — they were gone. By now, we were on the other side of the slot we fished with Dutch. Les immediately tagged a nice spotted bass (above). I had lots of lookers, but no takers. By now, it was getting close to lunch, so we headed back.

Dutch, and another fellow FWFF member Miguel, had left. Jerry, Craig (from Dallas Fly Fishers), Les and I headed into town for a lunch. Les and I decided to head back to Fort Worth because I discovered I hadn’t fixed my leaky waders, and I had wet clothes. Too bad, because Jerry went back and landed a MONSTER bass, measuring at 24 inches and weighing more than 10 pounds! A contender for a Lunker Class Sharelunker. He also snagged a 32-inch gar.

So, the lessons of this day: 1) don’t listen to the weather forecasters — take a chance; 2) take an extra set of clothes in case of leaky waders; and 3) don’t take your husband shopping.

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