It could’ve been worse, considering…

Fishing was a four-letter word Saturday at Lake Ray Roberts.

My brother, Nic, and I woke at the crack of dawn to venture to a marshy cove on the east side of the lake, ready to cast some flies for carp that were “definitely” going to be feeding on things that resembled the flies I had purchased. The same flies I realized were sitting on the passenger’s side of my Ford Explorer, 30 minutes away at the house, when we drove up to the lake.

It set the tone for the entire day.

Sometimes the fishing gods aren’t smiling on you, and things weren’t looking any brighter. I thought, “at least we have my brother’s flies,” as I was putting my 5-weight rod together. Except we didn’t. When I reached into his pack, he closed his eyes and said, “They’re on my kitchen table,” with a deep sigh.

But, not all was lost!

As I scavenged through his pack I found two flies — a Clouser minnow and an old, ratty popper — definitely better than trying to whip a fish to death with an empty fly line. Nic happened to have his baitcaster loaded in the car, so he was set, and we were off to the lake for some wade fishing. The water was cooler than expected as the sun began to peek over the trees to the east. I tried the popper first, casting near the banks and stripping it quickly away to no avail.

“It’s ok,” I thought. “I still have the ‘ol trusty — the Clouser minnow.”

The same fly Lefty Kreh claimed to have caught hundreds of species on would DEFINITELY get me some sort of action in the shallow beds. I hooked the fly to my hat and clipped the popper off and put it in my pack. Just then, I heard a splash that sounded like someone dropped a bowling ball in the lake. Nick yelled an expletive and said he’d just missed a large (he, like any good angler, estimated it in the “huge” weight category) bass that went after his buzzbait.

I leaned down to retrieve my fly line from the water, and “plop,” the Clouser minnow fell from my hat and into the water. “Don’t move,” I thought, “I can still find it.”

I ran my hand along the sandy bottom for a moment, but found nothing — stuck with the popper after all.

Long story short — I didn’t catch anything. I spent my morning casting into the weed beds, getting my line caught occasionally. Nic managed to bring in a 1-pounder, but that was about it. At that point we decided to admit defeat and retreat back home. As I was driving back down to Dallas in a surprisingly good mood considering the success of the morning, I got a text message from my brother. There were photos of two different long-nose gar he caught on the Trinity River.

It was good to know he was having some luck on his own, and I was just happy I didn’t lose anything besides a Clouser minnow — they don’t take too long to tie, anyway. The morning was a good reminder that fishing isn’t always as glamorous as the YouTube videos and magazine articles make it out to be — especially fly fishing — but for some reason it keeps bringing me back.

Like I said, fishing Saturday was a four-letter word, but most of the time it’s worth it.