Lake Fork Largemouth Bass

April 26, 2008

On our last full day in Texas, we joined guides Steve and Rob and ESPN journalist Lynn Burkhead in a pair of bass boats on Lake Fork. At an impressive 27,264 acres, Lake Fork is in three counties. An incredibly successful bass fishery, it was flooded in 1979 over existing forest. The clear boating channels are the former streambeds. Thirty-six of the fish on the Texas Top 50 Largemouth Bass list were caught in Lake Fork, including the top six. The Texas record stands at 18.18 lbs. Lake Fork is also home to a large population of coots and cormorants.
Flyfishing for bass is hardly flicking the fluff: casting 3 inch flies in a wind requires 8 weight tackle and some serious elbow grease. Using the new Orvis Helios rods made it easier…and sold me on their virtues, although explaining to my wife why I need ANOTHER rod will require all my creativity. The volume of water in Lake Fork warms slowly in the spring, so early in the season the bass are less active. Where we were fishing with surface flies on the cabin’s lake, here we fished with sinking flies in the shallows where the sun warmed the water enough to get the bass moving. As with everything in Texas, the boat engines were BIG (at least by British standards) – 200hp to propell an 18ft bass boat. All that power came in handy when we had to rush Lynn back to the marina: he had a heart attack just as we had started to contemplate lunch. After a rough journey across the lake at speeds topping 60mph, we were met by the paramedics who rushed Lynn off to hospital. We are pleased to say that he has recovered completely. Having had our fishing curtailed, we retreated once more to the hallowed halls of Cabelas and Bass Pro to fill the afternoon and the remaining space in our bags.