Recently, Tailwaters hosted its first Bass Fishing School at Rough Creek Lodge in Glen Rose, Texas. The all day event covered a wide variety of topics and skill sets, and was designed to accommodate anglers of all skill levels. The school was attended by 13 eager students whose ability ranged from having never touched a fly rod to a few who had fished all over the globe. The youngest participant was 8 years old and our oldest was – well I won’t go there…

We kicked off the day’s festivities in one of the state-of-the-art conference rooms that overlook Mallard Lake, the largest of the 4 bodies of water on the Rough Creek Property. We began with a multimedia presentation that covered the basics of fly fishing and fundamentals of casting. After getting everyone up to speed on some core principals, we went down to the lake for some hands on casting work. Travis took the group of beginners, Jeff Jackson from TFO, took the intermediate casters, and Ron Foster, another Tailwaters’ instructor, watched over the seasoned veterans. A stiff breeze kicked up and presented a challenge for all of the casters, but everyone seemed to rise to the occasion.

After braving the wind, we went back into the conference room and began an in-depth look at Largemouth Bass. We explored bass anatomy, habitat, spawning behavior, feeding strategies and environmental factors like seasonal changes and lunar phases. Basically, everything you would ever want to know about a fish without having to get a degree in ichthyology.

We were treated to a mouthwatering spread in the Rough Creek Dining Hall for lunch. The class enjoyed getting to know each other and swapping fishing stories over a chef-prepared meal.


Once everyone had finished lunch, we headed back to the conference room for our last classroom session. The goal of the final presentation was to get everyone ready for the challenges that they would face on the water. We covered knots and rigging, different types of bass flies, and of course, how to fish those big, nasty flies. Then, the instructors opened up their tackle bags and strung up their bass rods while they fielded questions about their favorite gear.

At this point we could tell the students were ready to try their luck on the water. So we ventured down to lake and put their knowledge to the test. Despite the challenging wind, the gang spent the rest of the afternoon casting to the trophy fish living in Mallard Lake. Everyone did well putting their new knowledge into action. We caught tons of fish including a few monster bass!
All in all, the Rough Creek Bass School was a big success. If you were unable to get in on the class – don’t worry, we will be doing it again in the near future. In fact, due to the high demand of the school, we will most likely be expanding our dates and diversifying our education programs. We look forward to adding new destination schools that will be geared toward various salt and freshwater species. Stay tuned as we open up dates for another Rough Creek Bass School, a Louisiana Redfish School, Rocky Mountain Trout School, Bahamas Bonefish School, and the Palometa Club Permit School.