Spring is coming, and that means it’s nearly time for our annual outing to Bill Ward’s ranch and its wonderful quarry lakes and largemouth bass. As always, there is bank fishing, but a kayak really comes in handy. Also note that printed in the newsletter is a Covid liability waiver form. We need all participants to sign one. We encourage mask use and social distancing when appropriate.

Here are the details:

Host: Bill Hodges, FWFF past-president
When: Friday, April 23, through Sunday, April 25 (you can, of course, depart Saturday as well)
Where: West of Mexia (muh-HAY-uh), The Bill Ward Ranch
How to get there: (This location is not GPS-friendly, so pay attention!) From Fort Worth, take Interstate 35W south to Hillsboro, then Texas 171 east to Coolidge; go west from Coolidge on Texas 73 about a FM 2310, and turn left (south). Go about six miles to US 84, then left (east) on US 84 towards Mexia. Cross over Lake Mexia and continue about a mile to the intersection of County Road 2681 and 199/198. Turn left (north) on 199/198 and then left again in a block. Follow it around the curve and go less than a mile to the top of a hill. Look for the maroon gate on the right. It should be open Follow the road past Bill Ward’s house and down to the lake on a grass road.

Accommodations: This is tent camping primarily. There are electrical hook-ups for RVs, CPAPs and electric knives. Mexia is to the east on US 84, where there are nice motels available.
• What to Bring: Watercraft to get around on this quarry and other small lakes. If you don’t have one, maybe borrow one that’s not in use by an attendee. Bring 3- to 6-weight rods for bass and sunfish. Good flies are Wooly Buggers and other streamers, poppers, terrestrials, etc. FWFF member James Parker, who sadly passed away this year, was a champion bass fisherman. He favored conventional fishing gear here, so feel free to do the same. It will not bring insults from the rest of us. A memorial plaque for James will be posted at the quarry.

Food: Plan on bringing your own food. We have done group dinners in the past, but this year will not, given the pandemic.

Why attend: The Ward Ranch outing is always one of the most popular for our club, going back about six years and often held twice a year. Bill and his friend, Kent Yelverton, offer their many lakes for our fishing pleasure. New members should come and enjoy the friendship of other members, learn from our mentors, sit around and lie about your catch, etc.

RSVP: Let us know if you plan to come for one, two, or all three days. Please text me at bcolhodges@aol.com. I will be happy to answer any questions and text you back. You will never regret coming to this fun outing.

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