Texas Redfish, Redfish Flies, TFO Day, TFO Rods, Tenkarafest II Report

The Fly Fishing Shop HOME. * Search Catalog Trips & Schools Bargains Sale Ended
Our Waters Order Info Newsletter Events


Texas Redfish
Redfish Flies
Rod Reps Rant
TFO Rods
Tenkarafest II Report

Don't Forget Your Father On Father's Day

Texas Redfish Getaway
By: Travis Johnson

Stepping into a flats boat is like getting into a race car. The low to the water view, compounded by any ocean breeze amplifies the experience. 30 MPH feels like 50MPH. The first mornings drive was awesome, and the bird life was out and amazing. From the channel in the bay we turned out into what seemed like open Ocean along a barrier of mangroves. The shipping traffic in the area is huge and the flats boat seemed like a mosquito compared to the massive ships. I spotted just a small niche in the mangroves and we ripped across the water. A wide left turn we swept in to a channel in the mangroves 15 feet wide, all kinds of birds busting out of the water and bushes. I felt the oncoming deceleration of the engine. The small channel opened up into a massive flat lined with Black Mangroves. The wife and I battled for first up …she won as she insisted that I was first up. After listening to Billy's guide words of wisdom, we started poling.  My eyes not ready for this but trying to spot whatever I could.   

Billy’s voice sounded from the back…”We got tailing reds at 10 O’clock, 80 feet”. My eye started to move to find the fish. "70 feet, do you see them Travis??" 
"Not yet", I replied.
"60 feet, point your rod out…more right stop."
"I see them", I got these boys, I thought to myself.
“Ok get ready” Billy said. "Cast, cast, put it right on them….
I cast, but short …picked it back up boom!! Right on them, one strip and the line tight….Billy’s voice muttered from the rear of the boat.
“No good”
"What I said?"
“You foul hooked him”
"What??? How often does that happen", I asked?
"Never, been guiding out here since 1992 and you’re the first.
Odd, I thought to myself.

The next opportunity was just around the corner, a large group of Tailing Reds was heading right at the boat.
"75 feet and closing…Cast”, Billy Said, “Don’t be short.,”
I was short, "Damn it"…
”Pick it back up”, he insisted.
I picked the fly up for another cast, this time long.
"Strip quickly", Billy tells me.
I hit the gas… The second strip and the line started coming tight. I started to strip and out of habit I lifted the rod tip. There was a moment of silence and then I felt the boat list. Billy was coming down from the poling platform. He walked along the edge of the gunnel until he stood in front of me…”don’t do that again”. His words were soft and to the point.
“Ok, no problem” I replied.

We rounded the next set of Mangroves. My eye went back to pursuing the water. In the back of my mind I was telling myself not to mess up again. We maybe poled another 100 yards and there they were…
“Tailing Reds at 250 feet” Billy announced. My eyes drift out and started to try to focus...”200 feet…175 feet”
 I see them and I am ready. Once the fish hit 70 feet and closing I let it rip. The fly touched down, strip, strip …the line was missing!!!! I found it pulled the line tight and the butt of the rod to my chest. The line ripped out and was straight to the backing. Red fish don’t jump but they do skim across the water so fast they leave a streak of broken water behind!!! After a couple long runs and bit of tug-a-war, we corralled the fish next to the boat. My first Redfish it was awesome!!!!

The rest of the day we took turns at pods of Reds. Sometimes it was fast pace and others it was slow, but what type of fishing doesn't have its peaks and valleys?  As the day pushed on we got to know our guide better, he is a great guy and AWESOME guide.

The next 2 days were slower by comparison, mainly because of the weather. We had clouds, thick ones. These types of conditions on the flats take away any visibility at distance. Instead of spotting them at 70 feet it was all you could do to see them at 25 feet. With so little time to think casting had to be quick accurate. Shots were very fast and many chances were blown...by me and my fishing companions as well. Not to make excuses but it was tough and the guides knew it too. We managed to catch some Reds and find a few Ladyfish as well.

We had great day comparisons each night and the food of the area was super!! Unreal Italian food...the local flavors were wonderful and the amount or choices in the eateries was another great surprise. My favorite meal was the 16 oz. pork chop covered in demi glaze and portabella mushrooms, damn just thinking about it makes me want it again.

The required equipment was simple. A good 8wt. outfit, a fresh leader for each day, floro tippet around 18#, and a good selection of flies. What fly patterns is usually the big question, right? White and or chartreuse were the best and easiest to see. I always try to see things from a guide perspective…white flies could be seen from a distance by both angler and guide. You knew instantly where your fly was and and how far you needed to move it. I hope this information helps. Our accommodations were easy to find and close to everything. All and all the trip was awesome and I am counting the days until I can go back.
What worked for me? I am going to give you a list of things I had that I felt were worth bringing.
RODS: I used a few rods while fishing for Reds. My two favorites were the G. Loomis 1088-4 NRX, and the New Beulah Opal 890. Both rods made life easy. Both exceled at short casts and picking up lots of line for long casts, everything that all-around flats rods should be. Both of these rods would make great bonefish rods as well.
LINES: This was the easiest choice. WE all had and used RIO’s Red fish line. This is the best all-around general flats line on the market.
REELS: The most popular reels were Hatch and Nautilus. The Hatch 5+ or the Nautilus FWX were both perfect for the job!
FLIES: Trimble’s Blind Chicken Black/White, and Chart/Pink, Trimble’s Foxy Chicken Yellow/Red and Chartreuse. Borski’s Bonefish Slider, Rattle Fish (Chartreuse), Kwan’s Chartreuse, Trilobal Crabs, Clousers(Chartreuse/White), Colby’s Corona Toads both Copper and Gold, Redfish Rations.
OTHER STUFF THAT WAS HELPFUL: Good Sun Glasses (Costa, or Smith). A Buff of some kind, you need it to keep for sun and wind burns. Simms Stone Cold Shirt was Awesome, guys from the Northwest over heat easy, this made it better. Mono Leaders with Fluorocarbon tippet, RIO leaders, Frog Hair tippet, Pliers, Nippers, Hook Sharpener, and Chap Stick. Not to forget, this stuff is what makes or breaks a trip.
CONTACT INFO: Billy Trimble Kick Ass Texas Flats Guide. 361-205-1266 and at http://trimbleflyfishing.com/

Redfish Fly Directory
Mini Corona Toad, Copper
Mini Corona Toad, Copper
Mini Corona Toad, Gold
Mini Corona Toad, Gold
Foxy Chicken, Chartreuse
Foxy Chicken, Chartreuse
Foxy Chicken, Yellow
Foxy Chicken, Yellow
Blind Chicken
Blind Chicken
Trilobal Crab, Root Beer
Trilobal Crab, Root Beer
Super Spoon, Copper
Super Spoon, Copper

Redfish Ration, Amber
Redfish Ration, Amber

Redfish Ration, Bronze
Redfish Ration, Bronze
Crafty Shrimp
Crafty Shrimp
Flip Flop
Flip Flop
Redfish are one of the favorite inshore targets from the Carolinas to the Florida Gulf Coast,  Louisiana, and to the Rio Grand at South Padre Island, Texas.  Reds like very shallow water until they reach about ten pounds, then they migrate to close-in offshore areas.  It is while they are in their shallow water phase that they are most attractive to fly fishers.  Sight fishing is the rule. Redfish like to muck around for prey, often with their backs sticking out of the water.  The flies below take Redfish.

Mini Corona Toad, Copper
Item Description Size Price To Top
iCB008n-04 Mini Corona Toad, Copper 4 3 for $17.85 Sale Ended

Mini Corona Toad, Gold  
Item Description Size Price To Top
iCB008g-04 Mini Corona Toad, Gold 4 3 for $17.85 Sale Ended

Foxy Chicken, Chartreuse/Olive
Item Description Size Price To Top
iBT002v-04 Foxy Chicken, Chart/Olive 4 3 for $11.85 Sale Ended

Foxy Chicken, Yellow
Item Description Size Price To Top
iBT002y-04 Foxy Chicken, Yellow 4 3 for $11.85 Sale Ended

Blind Chicken, Black/White
This is what Captain Billy Trimle says about his Blind Chicken flies:
I know, it's a terrible name for a fly but I feel like it is one of the most important flies in my box. I have taken this fly out of about 1000 redfish mouths a year for the past 10 years. It is my go to fly any time I am fishing over grass flats.  It is weedless without a weed-gaurd, sinks just to the point of suspending over the grass bed, yet still works well on sand or mud flats. In the world of fly fishing for red fish there are a few flies you just don't leave the dock without: seaducers, clouser minnows, sliders and small poppers. I place the "Blind Chicken" at the front of that list, which is pretty good company!
Item Description Size Price To Top
iBT001k-04 Trimble's Blind Chicken, Black/White 4 3 for $11.85 Sale Ended

Trimble's Root Beer Trilobal Crab
Item Description Size Price To Top
iBT003b-04 Trimble's Root Beer Trilobal Crab 4 3 for $17.85 Sale Ended

Super Spoon, Copper
Item Description Size Price To Top
077A-02 Super Spoon, Copper 2 3 for $14.85 Sale Ended

Razzmatazz, Bead Chain Eyes
Designed specifically for Redfish by Raz Reid.  It's kind of a brown banded shrimp pattern. The red head is for contrast so the angler can track the fly while it is submerged. Good from Carolina through Florida and the Gulf States.
Item Description Size Price To Top
15478 Razzmatazz, Bead Chain Eyes 2 3 for $9.49 Sale Ended

Flip Flop, Craven's

My Flip Flop is sort of my lighter, less burly version of a Ragin’ Craven, tied decidedly more shrimpy.  The spun craft body and bead chain eyes land softly yet still present that big fly silhouette that I like.  I leave the legs and antennae long to dance around as well as slow the descent of the fly.  These long legs never stop moving even when the fly is just sitting on the bottom and the fish seem to come and find it on their own often enough to make me seem real smart about things like this.  I put the big orange eyes on it half because I just like them and half because the real thing has some pretty prominent peepers.  You can tie yours without eyes, but you won’t be nearly as cool as me.  Your call.  I developed this fly for the Bahamas where the bones seem to like a bigger fly and the Flip Flop sure does its job well there. 

Item Description Size Price To Top
70051 Craven's Flip Flop 4 3 for $11.85 Sale Ended

Rod Rep's Rant

My Mother Had a Great Deal of Trouble with Me but I Think She Enjoyed It - Mark Twain
Yeah, I'll admit that more than occasionally I like to create a little mischief. It's a trait that has followed me my whole life.
So here goes:
My newest fly rod is so much better than ____. (fill in the blank). 
The new material X is so much better than material Y. 
Those rods are made off-shore in sweat shops, and I buy only U.S. made products. 
TFO stands for Too ____ing Old . 
Don't they carry that brand at the box stores? It must not be very good.

As the Temple Fork Outfitters sales rep. for the Pacific NW for 14 years, I've probably heard it all. And this bad mouthing of products goes on and on. It sort of reminds me of how the U.S. Congress behaves. To me, the truth is that there are hardly any rods in the market that won't cast better than the creature holding the handle of the rod.

I realize that what you decide to buy and use is a very personal decision. I respect that. And I want you to feel GOOD about your purchase, whatever brand of equipment your decide to buy.
Our goal at TFO is very simple, to create Affordable High Performance fishing equipment. We have rods and equipment for all species and conditions - from trout to bass to tarpon to steelhead and every creature that swims.
Since it's been some time that we've hosted a TFO day at the Fly Fishing Shop, I thought it would be lots of fun to just kick back, bring out the equipment, see the new stuff such as the Mangrove Series, new BVK & Professional Series models, new Fiberglass Series, new Muskie ESOX Series, Tenkara Series, Kid's Bug Launcher Rods, etc.), and enjoy the first day of summer and each other. 
Who knows, the casting Mouse Trap contest might re-appear??? We'll also raffle off a rod of the winner's choice.
Come join us in creating your own brand of angling mischief.
TFO Day: First day of summer - Saturday, June 21st, 10- 4
Fly Fishing Shop, 67296 E. Hwy. 26 in Welches, OR. (503) 622-4607. Free. All ages welcome.

TFO's Design Team !!!
TFO Fly Fishing Rods   
Tenkara $225 NEW!  The Japanese Sensation that's sweeping the nation, Tenkara is a simplified method for fishing small streams for trout!
Axiom  $275-$300 Designed for generating line speed and for distance casting. Generally speaking if you are an experienced caster who likes to cast off the tip of a rod, you will like Axiom Rods
Bluewater $275 Designed for lifting and fighting heavy fish. Presentation and distance casting aren't usually big factors, as most bluewater fish are teased or chummed close to the boat.
BVK  $240-$325 Designed to be easy to cast and present flies delicately under normal conditions to normal size fish. Not a lot of emphasis has been put on lifting heavy fish. Smooth presentation is the prime design factor.
Clouser  $240-$275 Designed for casting weighted flies, at normal fishing ranges, with moderate line speed, for maximum control.
CFR $150-$160 Designed for generating line speed and for casting accuracy. A $25 contribution will be made to Casting For recovery for every CFR rod that is purchased through The Fly Fishing Shop.
Finesse $190 These are the ideal rods for meadow streams, limestone creeks, and springcreeks.
Mangrove $260-$280 "Grab hold of a Mangrove Stick by TFO and see just how much trouble you can get into…"
Flip Pallot
NXT $200-$210 Designed to be easy to learn with. Emphasis is on presentation and distance.
Pro $150-$200 Designed for presenting flies at normal fishing ranges. The action is moderately fast for easy distance casting.
Spey $380-$400 Progressive-regressive traditional action making them ideal for executing all types of Spey and Skagit cast
Switch $350-$375 These are extremely light weight, durable, thoughtfully designed fly rods with superb performance!
TiCrX  $240-$275 Designed for generating line speed and for distance casting. Generally speaking if you are an experienced caster who likes to cast off the tip of a rod, you will like TiCrX Rods
Kids  $90-$160 Bug Launcher Rods are designed for easy casting at moderate distance.
Mini Mag  $225-$325 Designed for casting accuracy and hauling heavy fish away from obstacles.
TFO Rod Blanks & Components TFO Rod Cases TFO Reels RPM
The five gentlemen pictured above have impeccable credentials as experts in the sport of fly fishing. If the sport of fly fishing has an elite status, these astute anglers would all qualify. Interestingly, each of these guys would be welcomed on any fly fishing design team in this country, but have chosen to give their alliance to Temple Fork Outfitters, a company that produces fly rods for the masses. No doubt that TFO builds cutting edge rods, but at greatly reduced prices. I guess the philosophy is that a fly rod will do little good if you can't afford to own it...and that everyone should be able to enjoy fly fishing. That works for us!
TFO's "Legendary Design Team!"
Temple Fork Outfitters BVK Series Fly Fishing Rods,TFO Fly Rods
BVK, Lefty's newest rod series will amaze you !!!  Click for more info...
Check out Bachmann's video commentary on this new rod series.
TFO RODS have RPM !!!
TFO Blanks and Components 
Like to roll your own?    TFO offers great blanks & components!
Temple Fork Outfitters Rods cases,TFO Fly Rods
Rod cases for $19.95 to $49.95  They will protect your rods.   Click for more info...
Should sell for $200 dollars more...
Deer Creek Series Spey & Switch Rods  Designed by: Mike Kinney.
TFO Casting For Recovery Rods   TFO Casting For Recovery Rods
Cancer patients get help from Temple Fork Outfitters
when you buy one of these glamorous new rods!
Casting For Recovery, is a national non-profit support and educational program for women who have or have had breast cancer.
TFO donates $25 from every sale of a CFR rod to Casting For Recovery.
NO-FAULT WARRANTY on all Temple Fork Outfitters rods is for the life of the original registered owner. Send your registration card with each purchase to activate your warranty. Simply return a damaged rod with $25 for shipping & handling, and Temple Fork Outfitters will repair or replace your rod.

Tenkarafest II Report

Tenkara is an ancient Japanese style of fly fishing, which is similar to European fishing methods which were recorded in the English language in the late 1400’s to 1600's. These methods involve rods with fixed lengths of line tied to the tip of the rod, and no reel.
Because of Tenkara, the interest in these primitive fly fishing methods is growing, with a segment of anglers who look for temporary relief from the complexity of the technological world.
As with Spey and all other fishing sports that have become popular in North America, Tenkara tackle and fishing methodology are evolving.
Tenkarafest is a community project sponsored by The Fly Fishing Shop in Welches, Oregon, Mt. Hood Village, and Temple Fork Outfitters.
Tenkarafest is a volunteer program designed to keep the angling public informed about the history, as well as the latest innovations in Tenkara techniques and tackle.
Joining our team this year were Dave Hughes, Jeff Gottfried, Sam Vanderbeek, and Dick Sagara who shared their knowledge through projected presentations, on the water demonstrations, and hands on education.
Our class room for Tenkarafest II was beautiful pool on Salmon River located in Mt. Hood Village. Here everyone got to try a wide selection of Tenkara tackle.
It was a beautiful sunny day and everyone had fun.
Tenkara fishing technique often involves imparting action to the fly, while much of the line is being held above the water.
It has been described as the angler being the puppeteer and the fly being the puppet.

Tenkara is simple, unencumbered and pure. Anyone can do it.
Get your Tenkara supplies from www.flyfishusa.com the official web site for The Fly Fishing Shop in Welches, Oregon.
You know they have the experience to serve you.

The Fly Fishing Shop HOME. The Fly Fishing Shop, Welches, OR

1(800) 266-3971

P.O. Box 368 - 67296 East Hwy 26
Welches, Oregon 97067, USA
Voice: (503) 622-4607 or 1(800) 266-3971 FAX: (503) 622-5490

© 1981-2014 The Fly Fishing Shop
We have been in business since April 21, 1981.

To Top