Bayou City: An Angler’s Paradise
The fourth-largest city in the U.S. has a secret hiding in plain sight: All that water means it’s a fabulous place for fly fishing. Travel no further than to the city’s “concrete flats” to stalk carp with Houston’s iconic skyline as a backdrop. Just outside the metro area, wade in the secluded spring-fed waters of the Pineywoods to find spotted bass, largemouth bass, and a variety of panfish. Launch a canoe or kayak in nearby lakes and backwaters to search for gar and bowfin. Add some adventure with a trip to Village Creek, a fascinating biozone where bass and catfish thrive along with four varieties of carnivorous plants and 35 species of orchids. With Fly Fishing Houston & Southeastern Texas as your guide, discover the rewards for anglers this unique region offers, from inside the city limits to the countryside beyond.
A look inside
* 38 detailed on-the-water descriptions of “wades” located on 12 unique streams and waterways
* Descriptions of access points for paddles in local lakes
* Suggestions for creating personalized fly boxes for southeastern Texas.
* More than 300 color photographs, including close-ups of the key sport fish available
* QR codes supplying GPS coordinates for all of the wade locations
* Suggestions for the best gear to get started fly fishing
* Local angler-friendly breweries and fly shops
* Background about local historical events
* Insider tips for sneaking up on fish
Fly Fishing Houston & Southeastern Texas was published on February 7, 2023 and is now available wherever fine books are sold!
Purchase Fly Fishing Houston & Southeastern Texas
Robert H. McConnell was born and raised in Western Pennsylvania. It was in the shadow of the Allegheny Mountains where he developed an affinity for fishing and the outdoors. At college, Robert pursued a degree in geology, which was one of the only classes that offered frequent field trips to the great outdoors. After graduating, Robert began a career in the oil and gas industry, which brought him to the wilds of northern Pennsylvania. He began fly fishing in earnest after discovering the joys of hiking into remote freestone streams in pursuit of native brook trout. Spring and summer weekends were spent exploring the vast network of streams and rivers along the Northern Tier of Pennsylvania. In 2014, Robert and his wife, Ellen, moved from their home in rural Pennsylvania to the bustling city of Houston, Texas, the “Energy Capital of the World,” where they reside today. Robert continues his passion for fly fishing, but instead of chasing native brook trout, he now pursues the multitude of warmwater fish species that live in the surrounding waterways of Houston, Texas. Robert especially enjoys exploring the more remote waterways, including those found in the Pineywoods of East Texas. Fly Fishing Houston & Southeastern Texas was published on February 7, 2023 and is in fly shops and wherever fine books are sold.
“This fine guide includes everything you need to find these forgotten streams: maps and descriptions, helpful information on fly patterns, behavior characteristics of the fish, QR codes showing the best place to park, and GPS coordinates for legal access points. Everything you’ll need for an hour, an afternoon—or a full day of fly fishing fun.”—Ron Watters, National Outdoor Books Award (NOBA).
A podcast, discussed urban fly fishing in Houston with Robert on The Feather Mechanic, hosted by South African fly fisherman and host Gordon Van Der Spuy interviews Robert in February 2023.
“If you fish in Houston, you definitely need this guidebook. It’s the essential source on freshwater angling in Southeastern Texas, complete with handy maps, captivating photographs, and enough savvy insider tips to ensure a place in your dry bag for years to come.”–Wes Ferguson, former Senior Editor for Texas Monthly (06/09/2022)
“Houston, Texas is most likely not the first destination that comes to mind when one thinks about fly fishing. However, Houston and the surrounding area boasts a diverse array of fisheries and fish species that are worthy of every fly angler’s time. Fly Fishing Houston and Southeastern Texas is an essential resource to anyone who intends to fly fish the greater Houston area. From local, urban fisheries to remote destinations buried in nearby National Forest, this book covers it all in surprising detail! You will most likely add a few destinations to your “bucket list” after exploring the pages of this book – I know I did!”–Chris Johnson, Owner Living Waters Fly Fishing, Round Rock Texas (07/11/2022)
“Fly Fishing Houston takes an extremely thorough and detailed look at the diverse fishing opportunities available in Houston’s myriad bayous, creeks, and lakes and highlights the incredible array of species available to the intrepid angler. With detailed descriptions of access points, wading trips, ideal flow and discharge rates for each creek, and fascinating notes about the biology and ecology Houston’s local species, Fly Fishing Houston is an invaluable resource to anglers of any skill level looking to explore Houston.”–Travis Richards, Fisheries Biologist, Texas A&M University at Galveston (07/06/2022)
“Robert McConnell may be a Pennsylvania mountain trout angler at heart, but when his career brought him to the wooded lowlands, creeks and swamps of southeast Texas, he made due. Rob is innately curious, and his new book, Fly Fishing Houston and Southeast Texas, is a marvelous product of that curiosity. It’s also the next best thing any fly fisher living in, or visiting, the region can acquire, save for a day on the water with Rob himself. With this book and a sense of adventure, any “creek freak” fly fisher willing to step over copperheads and wade mysterious waters can tie into some of the most exciting freshwater fly fishing Texas has to offer — it’s a challenge to anglers who claim they’ll go anywhere to fish. The best part? Anglers who live in southeast Texas don’t have far to go at all. This guidebook should find its way into the glove compartment of every fly fisher who wanders the woods and waters of southeast Texas. With it, they’re almost certainly within reach of fishable water in some of the most surprising places.”–Chris Hunt, journalist and author of Catching Yellowstone’s Wild Trout: A Fly Fishing History and Guide. (05/18/2022)
“Robert has taken the guesswork out of fishing our local waters, telling you how to prepare, where to go, and what to bring. School is out, homework is done (by Robert), time to go fishing!”–Don C. Puckett, President, Texas FlyFishers.org (06/17/2022)
“Fly fishing is sustenance for many of us, and Rob McConnell has prepared a sumptuous feast of angling opportunities featuring an incredible diversity of waterways and species for our consumption. Exhaustively researched, Fly Fishing Houston and Southeastern Texas reveals where and how to pursue “lunker” largemouth bass in sprawling lakes, massive carp from urban concrete canyons, and gorgeously-colored longear sunfish from remote Pineywoods streams. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. This is a fun, informative read and an invaluable resource.”–Terry & Roxanne Wilson, authors of The Bluegill Diaries: A Fly Fishing Chronicle, Largemouth Bass Fishing, Smallmouth Bass Fly Fishing, Crappie Fly-Fishing and Bluegill Fly Fishing & Flies (05/31/2022)
“What a wonderful resource! Robert has described, mapped and critiqued so many accessible areas in and around Houston that have been overlooked in the past. Getting to know him while we worked together was a real pleasure. Anyone who wants to learn about this area, must have this book! I’m proud and flattered that I was able to fish with him and look forward to new adventures in the future.”–Mark Marmon, professional guide at MetroAnglers.com and the original pioneer for fishing Houston’s urban waterways. (05/19/2022)
Paperback: $27.95 US / ISBN: 9781945501609– First Edition: February 2023 376 pages
E-book: $17.99 US / ISBN: 9781945501616
38 wades and paddles, 94 access points. 3 orientation maps, 1 area map; more than 300 Color photos. On-Sale: February 7, 2023
“This book is the Bible of Central Texas Fly Fishing"―Jim Gebhart,On the Fly Magazine, (05/12/20)
"I found it to be a mesmerizing manifesto on sampling all the good things in life in the heart of the Lone Star State - yes fishing, but also local cuisine, backcountry hiking, communing with comrades, canoeing/kayaking, bird-watching, and conservationist riverkeeping. "―Chad McPhail, author of 49 Trout Streams of Southern Colorado, Between Fact and Fishin',
"Everything from general fly fishing information like lingo, gear, and ethics, to fish identification and tips for getting children out on the water. There is also an abundance of high-quality photos. He ranks the best ways to access the water, includes info on the best local brewery to hit after fishing, suggests a good song for that particular stretch, and other fun tidbits. This is a great read to have on your shelf."―Katie Burgert, Fish Untamed
"Aaron Reed is a darn fine writer with a great eye for detail. It is one of the best region-focused resources on fly fishing I've seen in a long time"—Kirk Deeter, Trout Unlimited Magazine, (July 2020)
"Austin TX is a gateway to a magical world of fly fishing. Aaron Reed brings a jeweler's eye for detail, a keen sense of place and the meditative skills of a tug boat captain. Anglers will be rewarded not only with access to new waters but the proper playlist and bank-side restaurant to seal the deal"—Phil Shook, author of Flyfisher's Guide to Texas and Flyfishers Guide to the Northeast Coast.
“It is basically a treasure map that gives you the tools and knowledge you need to fish on your own in Central Texas. I really enjoyed Part 5 of Aaron’s book called 'Ankle Bitters and Other Wildlife.' Also, his recommendations on music and nearby watering holes gives you a glimpse into Aaron’s mind and is a fun way to walk in his soggy river shoes."―Davin Topel, Whiskey River Chronicles (05/01/20)
"The book is extremely rich in photography, creatively designed and organized, and keyed nicely with design elements (icons) to call attention to details about waters, and just as important - your musical soundtrack. This book will change your plans for 2020 and beyond."—Shannon Drawe, Texas Fly Caster, (04/26/20)
"I think every reader will connect with different chapters based on their individuality, but no doubt there are remarkable fisheries in the book for everyone - from expert to newbie, from children to the elderly, from guys to gals - the fish are here for all of us to enjoy." texansonthefly.com (01/23/20)Read more...