Sabine River Float

Photography = Puck = Trip Leader

Three TFF members pre-fished the river late Friday. Due to the lack of rain the generation canal had very little flow. Most of the rocks in the upper stretch were exposed, leaving pockets of fishable water. There were some small Kentucky bass and bluegill willing to take flies. We fished until dark, and then made our way to the campsite, TBARS. (Toledo Bend Army Recreation Site)

At 6am a total of six Texas FlyFishers showed up at Tak-A-Paw, coffee in hand, at 6am. We quickly transloaded everything onto Danny’s van and headed to the river. Danny is the Owner/operator of Tak-A-Paw Expeditions. We had six anglers and 3 canoes, a perfect fit. Skip and his grandson Tyler paired up in canoe 1 with Greg and Eric teamed up in canoe 2, leaving Renè stuck in Canoe 3 with Puck.

Once we got to the river it was time to unload out gear and get the canoes to the water. Launching the canoes took on a new meaning for us on this adventure. We pull up to what looks like a ladder made out of PVC pipe and wood laid out at a 45 angle from the top of the cliff overlooking the river. As a couple of us made our way down the trial, Danny told us, “One of you stop there, “ as Renè got the bottom of the ladder-looking-thing ”the other go all the way to the river, but stand to the side.” He then pulled a canoe over to the top and gently lowered it down the slide. Since he only had about 10 feet of lead he was soon out of rope. “Here it comes” Danny says, as he lets go of the rope, and the canoe comes barreling down the slide, across the grass, through the mud, only to barely stop as the guy at the bottom makes a made grab at the rope and the canoe gently slides into the river. This proceed is repeated 2 more times.

Finally the canoes are in the water, the Texas FlyFishers had loaded their gear and in less than 5 minutes later calls of “Fish on!” were heard.

The plan was to launch at the generation canal and make our way downstream to the first bridge. That is about ten miles on the water. Ten miles in 12 hours sounded real good in the planning stages. It took 3 hours to get out of the generation canal, which is only ¾ of a mile long. The fish were hitting top water flies regularly.

We were 4 hours into the float trip we made it 2 ½ miles to the rocks. This is the only truly fast water we were to see all day. Rather than take a chance on the unpredictable nature of the river in this low state we walked the canoes down the stretch. This is where Tyler killed one of his sandals, leaving him barefooted for the rest of the trip. 7 ½ miles to go. Plenty of time, we had 8 hours to go before sundown.

Some of the best waters were the shallower stretches that had cover. Stumps in the middle of the river were quickly a favorite, even though some of us kept throwing flies at the shorelines. The fish caught were small, most bass measuring under 14” with a handful of yellow sunfish and bluegill thrown in for variety. One gar was hook, but not for long, as it destroyed the fly, and quickly gained its freedom.

Wade fishing was comfortable with the sandy bottom and moving waters. Many times the lead canoe would stop to fish and the rest of the pack would join in the fishing the area. There was plenty of room, and the fish didn’t seem to care how many flies drifted overhead.

We made it to the bridge about 1830, worn out and already talking about “next time.” Danny arrived shortly after we got the canoes to the top of the hill with the van and trailer. A quick trip back to Tak-A-Paw and we were once again ready to transload our gear.

Everyone caught fish. A variety of flies were successful. No white bass or striped bass were caught this trip, but I have hopes for later in the year.

 

In the generation canal, at the begining of the trip 3

Downstream from the rocks

Do you think there is a fish by that log

Eric and Greg about to run past the rock wall

Eric and Greg fishing the structure

Eric loading up

Eric taking pictures and Greg still trying to fool fish

Greg headed to the fast water

Greg mending line

Greg standing on a rock in the river 4

Greg standing on a rock in the river 5

Greg standing on a rock in the river

Greg upstream of the fast water

Half of the group on the rocks

In the generation canal, at the begining of the trip

Looking upriver to the generators, and the Fly-Anglers 4

Looking upriver to the generators, and the Fly-Anglers

Ready to walk down the fast water

Rene and Eric catching up

Rene fishing from the rock ledge 3

Rene lands another, in less than one foot of water

Skip and Tyler taking a break

Skip, Break's over, get back to fishing

Skip, Bring your own seat to lunch

Skip cooling his toes, and yes, he did catch some fish

Skip educating the grandson

They are way ahead of us, Notice the sandbar

This was the last fishing trip for this pair of boots 2

Walking down the fast water 9

We all got out to wade fish this shallow stretch 2