Andy Dear | Sunday, 29 December 2019
2019 was an banner year for angling and exploration here in South Texas. Despite a few minor environmental related anomalies, Jackson and I were able to put checkmarks beside most of the items on our " to do" list. And the ones that are still unchecked have been marked HIGH PRIORITY for 2020
2019 started off with the decision to purchase a whitewater raft to explore the more remote stretches of the Guadalupe River. After struggling with Canoes and Kayaks and their limitations over the years, the raft has proven to be by far the best craft for ferrying multiple anglers down the river. So far we've covered close to 12 miles of the local stretch behind the house, and the plan for the raft next year is to add at least 10 new unexplored miles to the odometer. The beautiful thing about the raft is that it offers the opportunity to fish WITH someone instead of separate but together as with the Kayaks, which is something I've missed over the years.
Speaking of fishing with someone, 2019 also saw my old mentor and fishing buddy Dan Gelo back in my life. Dan and I had many wonderful floats together back in the 1990s, and from the looks of it, history is about to repeat itself. Hopefully, the fishing on the Guad will be better than it was in 2019. In 2018 we had a pretty severe flood that seemed to really affect the fishing this year. Thankfully 2019 saw no flooding and very mild overall weather conditions, so the chances are good the fishing will see renewed life in 2020. During our last float trip, Dan expressed that he has never had the privilege of fly fishing the Upper Laguna Madre. I am super stoked to show him around down there, and hopefully, drive some steel into jaw in the process. After seeing how good that can be down there, he may never want to float the Guadalupe again!
Jackson had several epic trips in the salt this year with Captain Freddy Lynch. Although they haven't yet broken the state record for Redfish, they did come within a pound of it earlier in the summer. And, in what was probably one of the more impressive displays of angling I've witnessed in a while, Jack took 9 Redfish on a fly in one day, with a 29" average. That's some pretty heavy-hitting for anyone, much less an 11 year old kid who has only been fly fishing 2 years. I asked him recently how he felt about not breaking the record this year. His response.... "it's not a matter of IF, but WHEN". I love his confidence, and who knows, 2020 may be the year!
The majority of our time in the salt this past year has been spent in and around Matagorda Bay and Powderhorn Lake. I spent two days over Thanksgiving in Port Lavaca scouting out some new areas to explore by Kayak. I have this gut feeling that a lot of this fish in the more remote areas of Lavaca Bay have never seen a fly before.....time to change that in 2020. I've also got a line on some possible private access to one of the more remote regions of the Baffin Bay complex. Being that Baffin is one of the more legendary locales on the Texas Coast, this could prove to be a game changer for hitting some unpressured trophy Speckled Trout water.
2019 was a fantastic year for us down here, and a lot of that was in no small part to you folks...the readers of Sexyloops. It's been a real honor to share the Front Page with all the other great writers, and of course a real privilege to write for all you readers as well. I'm really looking forward to what 2020 holds. In the meantime I want to wish all of you a safe and happy New Years holiday.
I hope you all have a great week