July 2024

Local fishing newsletter

Author: Sean Polk


Welcome to the Tailwaters local fishing newsletter! We’ve teamed up with our local guides to bring you the latest news on fishing around Dallas and North Texas. Here is where you can find recent fishing reports, info on new gear, hot flies, and more! Make sure you sign up to receive our monthly emails so you won’t miss out on the action!

What’s hot

Summer has officially arrived in Texas and while many people are heading to the mountains or the beach, the local fishing is still going strong. The area lakes and rivers are full after the spring rains and should stay at normal levels the rest of the year.

The bass lakes are still fishing well, just expect to be on the water at sunrise to find the best action. Working topwater baits as the sun rises and switching to sub subsurface is your best bet. The heavy spring rains have lake levels up and most lakes have flooded grass that is holding baitfish and keeping bass shallow. The lakes of Private Water Fishing are still in great shape and fishing well despite the rising temps. Recent outings have seen good numbers and size, especially on lakes east of Dallas. www.privatewaterfishing.com

Striper and sand bass fishing is starting to heat up as the temps rise. Schooling action is starting on area lakes, especially after sunrise and just before sunset. Pencil Poppers, Gurglers, and Clousers are perfect choices for catching stripers and sand bass. Some of our favorite places are Lake Whitney, Texoma, and Ray Roberts.

The Brazos and Paluxy rivers are looking good after the spring rains. As the flows stabilize and return to normal levels, expect the fishing to improve. The bass fishing should be good all summer and into fall. If you’re looking for a place to keep cool and fish, wading these rivers are your best bet.

What our guides say

Best place to go: Lake Whitney, morning stripers and mid day flats for carp

Best time to fish: Sunrise to 10 AM for stripers, 10 am - noon for the flats

Best Flies: Gurglers, Clousers

Lake and river reports

Lake Fork

Water temp 82, Lake is at normal pool

Early morning and late evening topwater bites are good. Look for lilly pads and grass lines to find shallow bass. Sinking lines and baitfish patterns are good for fish in staging in 15-25 feet. 

Best flies: Whitlock’s Diving Frog, Dahlberg Diver, Rainys Potbelly Frog, Bennet’s Lunch Money in shad, Belly Scratcher in bluegill, Meat Whistle in olive

Lake Texoma

Water temp 80, 3 feet above normal

Schools of smaller stripers are surfacing along the main river channel. Best action is early mornings. Larger fish should begin showing up this month. Bass fishing is still good along the cliffs and rocky shorelines. 

Best Flies: Clouser in Chartreuse and Sexy Shad, Robertson’s Good Friday Shad, Saltwater Popper in blue and red/white, Rainys Bubble Head popper, Snack Attack in gray

Lake Whitney

Water temp 82, 3 feet above normal

Lake is returning to normal levels and clearing after spring floods. Striper fishing is getting better with schooling action improving. Carp fishing is still good, just be prepared to deal with heavy vegetation.

Best flies: Clouser in chartreuse, Gurglers in white with chartreuse belly, Carp-tease, Hybrid Squirmy

Cedar Creek

Water temp 82, Normal water level

Night fishing is a great option to avoid the crowds and the heat. Hybrids, sandies, bass, catfish, and gar are all good on lighted docks and green lights. The best action is usually an hour after daylight.

Best flies: Clousers in chartreuse and sexy shad, Flash Drive, Gurgler

Brazos River

Flows continue to drop and water is clear. The springs are dumping lots of cool water, so temps should remain good for fishing. We’re getting good reports of aggressive fish on the sections below Possum Kingdom and Whitney

Best flies: Rainys CB Popper, Whitlock’s Diving Frog, Stealth Bomber

Paluxy River

Spring rains have the river full of water and the spotted bass are aggressive. This is your best bet for finding cool water for wet wading. 

Best flies: Hoppers, CB Poppers, Double Barrel Poppers, Olive Wooly Buggers

Fly of the Month

Gatorade Gurgler

Summer time means schooling action on area lakes. Stripers, sandies, and hybrids will blitz shad on the surface and can create some of the best fishing of the summer. This fly is designed to be easy to cast and imitate a shad on the surface. Originally designed by Jack Gartside for saltwater stripers, this version uses chartreuse to get a fish’s attention when the water is full of bait.


Hook: Gamakatsu B10S #1

Tail: White craft fur

Body: Chocklett’s Body Filler

Foam: Sight Cast Topwater Foam Fly Strips

Gear spotlight

RIO Tropical Outbound Short   (click HERE to shop)

RIO’s Outbound lines are designed to make casting large flies a breeze. Built on a shooting head platform, the Outbound line is built two line weights heavy to help load rods quickly and minimize false casting. This is a must have line when Bass and Striper fishing the lakes and river around Dallas. 

The lines are built with two distinct cores, Tropic and Coldwater. The Tropic core is built for fishing in warmer waters and the best choice for summer fishing in Texas. The lines are available in floating, intermediate, and sinking versions. We recommend a floating version for casting topwater flies and the S5/S7 sinking getting flies to fish at depths down to 20 feet.

Scott Sector 9’ 6 weight (click HERE to shop)

Living in north Texas presents lots of opportunities to fish small ponds and creeks. Sometimes an 8 weight rod is too much for smaller fish, while a 4 or 5 might not be enough rod in case you get bit by a big bass or carp. Our favorite rod for these scenarios is a saltwater six. One of our favorite sixes is the Scott Sector. 

Handmade in Montrose, CO and built using ReAct Technology, the Sector Six is a great rod for casting to bass, carp, stripers, and sandies. The easy loading rod works well for short shots at carp, but also has some back bone for fighting bass in small creeks. This rod makes a great sandbass rod, whether you’re fishing the spawning run in the spring or casting at schoolers in the summer. We love to pair this rod with a Scientific Angler Infinity line and a Ross Cimmaron Reel.

Tips and tricks

If you’re looking to eliminate line twist and prolong the life of your leaders, swivels might be the next piece of gear you purchase. Swivels have long been a staple of the conventional world and more fly anglers are recognizing their benefit in leader setups. Fly fishing companies now offer micro swivels designed for fly fishing and work well with floating and sinking leader setups. 

If you’re fishing a floating line and casting bass flies with rubber legs try using a swivel in between the leader and the tippet. We recommend a Rio Big Nasty leader, a 30# micro swivel, and 12-16 lbs tippet. 

If you’re fishing a sinking line, try using 2-3 feet of 20 lbs fluorocarbon, a 30# swivel, and 20 - 16 lbs tippet.

Click HERE to shop Swivels