Fly Fishing the Texas Flats
A pair of high-quality polarized sunglasses is probably the single most essential piece of equipment for any angler setting out for a day on the water. Polarized lenses, preferably with side shields to keep reflected light from entering the eye, are essential for spotting game fish moving across the flats.
There is much discussion among anglers about the best shade of polarized sunglasses to choose for the Texas flats. Many experienced fly fishers give the edge to amber lenses for the high contrast they can provide against the dark backgrounds frequently encountered on the grass flats. Others say a brown tint offers a better balance between bright and dark days. Wearing a hat with a dark brim will enhance the effect of polarized glasses on bright days.
Another essential tool for a day on the flats is a line clipper. A fingernail clipper purchased from a drugstore works fine, or you can opt for a stainless-steel version from a tackle store or catalog that comes with a retractable needle for clearing hook eyes. To avoid losing their clipper in the water, some anglers string it on a section of discarded flyline and wear it around the neck.
Fast-drying, loose-fitting, long-sleeved shirts and pants made from a combination of cotton and nylon are the best choice for flats fishing.
Excellent fishing maps, which include coast-wide, high-altitude photography of bays, walk-in wade-fishing areas, boating destinations, launch ramps, and marinas are available at most tackle stores.
The maps, published by Shoreline Publishing (93337-B Katy Frwy., No. 176, Houston, TX 77024, phone 713-973-1627) and Top Spot (Pasadena Hot Spot, Inc., Pasadena, TX 77504) are available at most tackle stores in Texas.
Nautical charts of the Texas coast can be obtained from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), U.S. Department of Commerce. Gaylord Stickle Co. & Assoc., Inc. (2715 Bissonnet, Houston, TX 77005, phone 713-529-8471) is an authorized agent for NOAA maps.
A Mariner's Atlas of the Texas Gulf Coast, by A. P. Balder, contains a complete set of charts for the waters from Sabine Pass to Brownsville. It is available in book stores and from the publisher, Lone Star Books (P.O. Box 2608, Houston, TX 77252).
The Roads of Texas (Shearer Publishing, 406 Post Oak Rd., Fredericksburg, TX 78624, phone 1-800-458-3808) and the Texas Atlas & Gazetteer (DeLorme Mapping, P.O. Box 298, Freeport, ME 04032) provide detailed maps of the entire state.
The Texas State Travel Guide is available free from the Texas Department of Transportation (P.O. Box 5064, Austin, TX 78763, phone 1-800-452-9292).
© Article copyright Pruett Publishing.
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication