This morning when I exited the house to walk over to the rod building shop, I was struck with some unseasonably, but very welcomed COLD WEATHER! It's not all that unusual for South Texas to see an early cold front blow in, but this one caught me by surprise. So much so that I actually had to fire up the space heater in the shop for an hour or two, to bring the temp back up to normal.
Like most folks, I love this time of year. But unlike most folks, it isn't because of pumpkin spice lattes. I have nothing against Pumpkin Spice lattes, they just seem a little too refined of a drink to show up in a duck blind with several burly hunters with camo face paint who havent bathed in 3 days. I fall much more into the same camp as my late Uncle Bill Chapman Jr, who preferred a columbian roast with a splash of Kaluha. My Uncle Bill was not only a helluva hunter, he was also an expert pool player, and lived for the nightlife associated with the game he loved. So much so, that he was well known for leaving the local pub at 3am after fleecing several of the locals of their hard earned cash, and heading straight into the deer blind with coffee and kaluha in hand....NO SLEEP REQUIRED. I sure do miss him.
Not only does this time of year mark the beginning of my favorite time of year to fly fish for Redfish, it also marks the beginning of hunting season as well. These next few weeks will be spent chasing Doves, followed by Whitetail Deer, then capped off with Waterfowl season in December and January.
Now that we have the MonArk, were also pre-planning some late winter/early spring trips down to Laguna Salada to pursue the holy grail Speckled Trout that lurk in that area. Unfortunately the deadly freeze last febuary had a devastating effect on fish populations in South Texas, but the Texas Parks & Wildlife Dept. took drastic measures early on to mitigate any futher damage to the fishery, by institiuting some very strict length and bag limits on Speckled Trout. Hell, if it were up to me, I say lets give this fishery the space it needs to recover, and institute catch and release on EVERYTHING for the next 2 years. But there are multiple reasons that go far beyond what some would call my unrealistic priorities and apparent lack of diplomacy...just two of the reasons I have ended up with a career as a rod builder and not a law maker or politician.
Anyhow, these next few months are by far my favorite. I get to share the Deer blind with my son, the Duck blind with my son and my Dad, and the MonArk with anyone who cares to have an old redneck rodbuilder pole them around the flats.
Hope you all are having a great week,