Outdoor Notebook — Fishing, DU Events scheduled and a Texomaland coach/fly guide passes

Lynn Burkhead
For the Herald Democrat

Don’t look now, but the forecast possibilities of a severe arctic weather outbreak next week  — including some forecast models showing a chance for rare sub-zero temperature readings here in the Red River Valley — could put a lid on local fishing prospects for several days.

Quite literally, I might add. In similar cold waves during the 1980s, ice covered numerous small Texomaland water bodies and even portions of Lake Texoma.

If that kind of weather happens again over the next week or so, it could prove problematic for the Denison Parks and Recreation Department as the finishing touches are put on the city’s 22nd annual Youth Trout Derby at Waterloo Lake Park Pond.

Scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 27 and running from 9 a.m.-noon, the annual event will be the final trout derby of the year in D-Town — ice and water conditions allowing, that is — and will feature more than 1,500 stocked trout waiting to be caught. There will be free hats for the first 50 to sign-up, ample opportunities to claim prizes and awards, and food and drink will be provided.

You can call Denison Parks and Rec at 903-463-1115 or visit the City of Denison’s website at www.cityofdenison.com to register and get additional information.

Texas Fly Fishing Festival

After the 2020 Texas Fly Fishing & Brew Festival was cancelled last spring in the early days of the pandemic, organizers are back for another try and a change of venue.

This year’s Feb. 27-28 event will move the show from its familiar spot in Plano to the Mesquite Convention Center. While state and local COVID-19 protocols will require masks and social distancing, the show does plan to go on.

For those who attend the 2021 event, there’s a chance to attend educational classes and fly fishing seminars, learn how to tie some great fly patterns for Texas waters, visit with fly shops and manufacturers, stop in at one of several dozen exhibitor booths, and even sample some of the Lone Star State’s micro-brewed beer resources.

With classes and seminars centering around a variety of fly fishing, fly tying, fly casting, kayak fishing, and other outdoors topics, this year’s speaker line-up includes industry veterans like Kristian Cole of Tailwater Fly Shop in Dallas, renowned Colorado trout fishing guides Pat Dorsey and Landon Mayer, Chris Johnson of Living Waters Fly Shop in Round Rock, kayak fly fishing expert Jerry Hamon of Van Alstyne, and fly casting expert and instructor Rex Walker of Sherman.

Visit www.txflyfishingfestival.org, e-mail festival director Beau Beasley at Fishutopia@comcast.net or call 703-402-8338 for information.

Texoma DU events

As Ducks Unlimited tries to move back towards some sort of fundraising normalcy nationwide, two Texomaland DU events are coming up quickly over the next several weeks.

The Red River Valley DU Dinner in Gainesville is first up on the calendar as the longtime Cooke County chapter prepares to host its 2021 fundraising event next weekend on Saturday, Feb. 20. The dinner will be held at the Gainesville Civic Center, begins at 6 p.m., and will feature limited seating. Because of pandemic precautions, only table sales are occurring this year and a sellout is anticipated. For information, contact Jared Groce at 940-390-0081 or Phil Bellows at 940-736-3885.

Next up is the Texoma DU Chapter’s annual spring fundraiser, which will move from Sherman to Denison this year. The Friday, March 19 fundraiser will be held at the Mayor Arena at Loy Lake Park and begins at 6 p.m. Tickets are $60 for individuals and $75 for couples. For information, contact Kris Spiegel at 903-820-8882, Eric Kloppers at 903-815-2229 or Jim Lillis at 903-815-8002.

Former coach, fly guide passes on

Eddie Brister, a former Texomaland football coach and current co-owner of the Beavers Bend Fly Shop near Broken Bow, Okla., passed away earlier this week at the age of 70 following a battle with COVID-19 and pneumonia, according to colleagues in the fly fishing industry and reports on social media.

Born in Bonham, Brister was a multi-sport talent at Leonard before getting a bachelor’s degree at Austin College and a master’s degree at East Texas State University.

A longtime high school football coach with stops in Howe, Allen, Fort Bend Willowridge, and Electra among others, Brister was also the offensive coordinator at Sherman High School back in the 1980s. After moving to the collegiate ranks, he served as defensive coordinator at Austin College, offensive coordinator at Stephen F. Austin State University, and head coach at Texas A&M-Commerce.

After retiring from the coaching profession, Brister and his wife purchased the fly shop inside Beavers Bend State Park and he became a popular fly-fishing guide for the trout swimming in the Lower Mountain Fork River tailwater.

Brister is survived by his wife of 48 years, Roberta; their two adult sons and their wives; five grandkids; numerous other family members; and countless friends and colleagues in the coaching and fly fishing professions. No services have been announced yet for Brister, but donations in his memory may be made to the Patriot Anglers in Lake Dallas. For information, visit www.patriot-anglers.com.