Moving to Texas as a Fly-Fisher

by Chris Cohen

Within a few years of moving to Seattle from West Texas, my wife and I knew we liked Texas more then Washington and wanted to move back. I was putting up an opposition to the move because I had learned to fly fish while in Seattle. I thought there was no way I could give up fly-fishing. I thought all fishing done in Texas was for bass and catfish.

Living in the Northwest, I had a lot of opportunities to fly-fish. I fished all around Washington, into Idaho and even over to Yellowstone. I was in heaven, so I thought.
All I fished for was trout and salmon. I was learning and was able to catch a lot. Most were between 8 and 12 inches. The occasional trip to try my luck at some larger ones would certainly mean standing shoulder-to-shoulder trying to cast to fish that have seen so many flies that they even know the patterns name. But, I did not know any better and thought this is how things were.

We decided to make the move in April of 2005. After making this decision, I got on the web and started to investigate things and learned that there indeed was fly fishing in Texas. I came across a site that has completely changed my whole outlook on fishing. It was www.ctff.org. When I got to Texas I posted a message on the board that I was new to the area and wanted to meet some like-minded people. I had tried posting on similar boards in Seattle and was met with responses like "you should move" or "there are already too many people on the rivers." Needless to say, I was a bit skeptical. I posted on a Monday. Much to my surprise, there were at least 5 responses that evening all welcoming me and inviting me to fly tying night on Tuesday.

The Author with a Trout on the Upper Guadalupe

I went to fly tying night and met the best group of guys I have ever met in my life. Not only did not treat me like an outsider, they were willing to help me in anyway that they could. I was invited to the club meeting in two weeks. Even though they were wonderful, I still had some doubts. My experiences with clubs in Seattle were not very pleasant. They wanted you to go to 3 meetings (each costing $25 for dinner), and then if they like you, they will allow you to join.

The meeting came and I went. Much to my relief, I was met with the same welcoming feeling that I had encountered at fly-tying. The meeting was fun and informative; I was even invited out fishing and to help teach city employees about fly-fishing. This is exactly what I was looking for. I joined immediately.

The Author with a Nice Smallmouth Bass from the Blanco River

Having lived in Texas for a year, I can tell you I was completely wrong about the fishing opportunities that I thought I have been missing. I have caught more quality trout in the last year, than I did in 7 years in the Northwest, without having to go combat fishing. I have become addicted to warm water fishing as well -- Nothing gets my blood going more then hooking a large smallmouth. The rivers are amazingly crystal clear and you can fish all day and not run into another fisherman. And there are endless places to go, even more so then the Northwest where there is a lot of closed water. And I get to do this with the best group of guys that one could hope for.

Thank you for making my family and me welcome.

Chris Cohen

Note: Chris Cohen, an avid fly-fisher and fly-tyer is the 2006 CTFF Vice President. He resides in Lockhart, TX.

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