Fly Fishing the Texas Coast
Bolivar Pocket and Bolivar Flats
The Bolivar Pocket, a protected estuary with a mix of hard sandbars and soft mud guts and a bountiful supply of gamefish, is located at the base of the north jetty on the Bolivar Peninsula. Water clarity usually is good over this protected flat even when westerly winds create sandy conditions on other Galveston area shorelines, though some anglers say the area is not as productive on days with prevailing southeast winds. Waders can blindcast the sandbars and guts for the reds, trout, and jackfish that chase baitfish over the flat on incoming tides. When wading the pocket, the closer you work toward the north jetty, the calmer and greener the water will be, says upper coast angler Layton Hobbs. He says flyfishers can wade, depending on how calm the water is in the pocket, to within 300 to 400 yards of the small boat cut, a channel opening in the north jetty that provides a shortcut for boaters traveling up the Bolivar beachfront.
Hobbs says flyfishers should cast around potholes and other depressions. He says that although these bottom features will change from year to year with wind and currents, typically bars and dips alternate with troughs."Try to cast along those troughs, keeping the fly about a foot below the surface," he says. Often there are swarms of baitfish in the pocket. Watch for birds diving on feeding fish and work streamers around the edges or behind the baitfish schools for trout.
Seatrout are the most numerous species in the Pocket, with the occasional redfish showing up. Waders will hook sharks on occasion, and porpoises (Atlantic bottle-nose dolphin) also have been known to pay a visit. Jack crevalle make their presence known by blowing up on baitfish, sometimes running school trout out of the area for a period.
An ideal time to fish the Pocket is in the heart of summer, Hobbs says. Chartreuse Deceivers or Whistler patterns with small black specks that match a productive Mirr-O-Lure plug are a good choice for blindcasting here. Joe Deforke, another veteran upper coast flyfisher, recommends Clouser Deep Minnow, Seaducer, and shrimp and crab patterns as well as spoon flies and popping bugs.
To access the pocket, travel 4 miles from the ferry landing on Texas 87, then take the road on the right and proceed toward the beach. At the beach, take another right and park by the barricades near the south end of the peninsula.
The Bolivar Flats also offer excellent drive-up, walk-in wadefishing prospects when incoming tides push in clear, green water. The Bolivar Flats are located along Texas 87 about 0.5 mile from the ferry landing. Waders may park on the roadside across from the Bolivar lighthouse.
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication