Orvis-Endorsed Fly-Fishing Guide in Denison, Texas

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Steve Hollensed

Orvis-Endorsed Fly-Fishing Guide


Phone icon903-546-6237 Email iconstevehollensed@verizon.net Link iconflywaterangling.com
Eisenhower Yacht Club
Park Road 20
Denison, TX 75020

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The Story

Soak up the wisdom of Orvis-endorsed guide Steve Hollensed on your fly-fishing trip in Texas. Lake Texoma is a real fly fishing gem, though virtually unknown among fly anglers. Like many large lakes across the US, Texoma was stocked in the '60s with brood stock from the East Coast striped bass population. By the early '70s, natural fecundity levels were very high, thus negating the need for additional stockings. In fact, Texoma has not received any substantial stocking of striped bass since 1974 and the population has continued to thrive. And unlike migratory striped bass populations, Texoma striped bass are of course limited in movement and therefore it is a year-round fishery in one location. All of this results in one of the best places in the world to land a striped bass on the fly.

With an abundance of striped bass and baitfish, exciting topwater action characterizes much of the fly fishing from early summer into fall. Striper blitzes occur frequently enough to pattern and target. The blitzes are often described in acres and can last for hours during the peak of the season. Stripers "blowing up" on topwater poppers is not for the faint-of-heart. Summer is not the only time to fly fish for stripers on Texoma. During the spring, the stripers can be found on the bank, marauding spawning shad in very shallow water. In the fall, migratory gulls and other birds are present and they help in locating the active schools on the flats. Fall is one of the most intense feeding times and one of the most enjoyable times on the lake. Winter is a great time to target truly big stripers.

Your adventure can be customized with an emphasis on fishing, instruction, or both. As a Fly Fishers International MCI (Master Certified Instructor), Steve can provide high-level casting instruction upon request, in addition to all other aspects of fly fishing. Many find this a fun and effective way to become a better caster or prepare for another destination.

Sample of Typical Itinerary

As stripers are early risers for the most part, your trip starts early. Usually 5:30am to 6am in the summer and later starts for the spring and fall. Winter trips often start around 10am or noon, based upon fishing conditions. For most trips, we meet and launch from Eisenhower Yacht Club located in beautiful Eisenhower State Park.

Half-day trips consist of 4 hours of fishing.This is an excellent choice in the summer during the striper blitz. We are on the water for the peak of the fishing and off before the temps start climbing.

Full-day trips involve a full morning of fishing and then docking at a lakeside restaurant for a hot lunch. You can order from a full menu with a wide selection of menu items. After lunch, we return to the fishing for the balance of the trip. Full-day trips consist of at least 8 hours of fishing. Although starting early in the morning is, in most cases, the most productive in terms of fishing, schedules are flexible. And for the vast majority of the trips, we are within a comfortable reach of a full-service marina with restrooms and stores.

Frequently booked options are:
• One full day and one half day.
• Two full days and one half day.

Season:

Year-round. December-February is contingent upon weather and conditions.

Species:

Striped bass, smallmouth bass, largemouth bass (striped bass being the predominate target).

Region/Terrain:

Lake Texoma is an 89,000-acre lake with over 500 miles of shoreline. It is not remote, as it lies about halfway between the Dallas/Ft. Worth and Oklahoma City areas. However, lakeshore development is very limited and it has retained its natural setting and its “off the beaten path” experience. Although there is a lot of variation, the average length of the boat ride to the fish is about 15 minutes.

Typical Weather:

Variation in weather can be extreme between seasons. Spring can be cool to warm. Summers are almost always warm to hot. Fall is variable but generally very nice. Winters here are usually mild but we can experience periods of weather too cold to be on the lake.

Rates:

Rates start from: $375.

What is Provided:

All fly-fishing gear is provided, if needed. This includes, rods, reels, leaders, tippet, and flies. Clients are welcome to bring their gear if they prefer. Snacks and drinks will always be onboard. Lunch at a lakeside restaurant will be provided on full-day trips (unavailable on very limited occasions, when a lunch will be packed).

Gear Recommendations:

During most fishing, 8 to 9 wt. rods are recommended. At times, 6 or 7 wt. rods are a good match for schoolies on top. Lines are important. Floating bass taper lines or any floating line that turns over big flies will work well for topwater presentations. Sink-tip lines such as the Orvis Class V Sink Tip is perfect for fishing along rocky banks and points. For deeper presentations, a 300-grain Orvis Depth Charge matched to an 8 wt. rod or a 350 grain Orvis Depth Charge matched to a 9 wt. is perfect. 15 to 20 lb. leaders are needed but they do not need to be fluorocarbon.

What to Bring (Additional):

Sunglasses and other personal gear. During summer, sun protection and warm weather clothing. For fall and spring, be prepared for a variety of conditions by dressing in layers with outer shells. Winter requires heavy clothing in layers.

Additional Activities:

Golfing year-round. Wingshooting, fall and winter.

Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great time on the water with Steve Steve was able to accommodate two of us for a day fly fishing for striped bass on Lake Texoma. We had an awesome time catching fish both on top water and under the surface gear. He was happy to give us tips and answer any questions that we had. All in all, a great time on the water with a knowledgeable guide. Would highly recommend!
Date published: 2021-05-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Striper Fishing on Lake Texoma is a blast! Steve is an awesome guide and a pure gentleman. Even if he wasn’t a master of putting you on the fish, just hanging out with him for a day is worth it. I had the opportunity to meet Steve a few years ago as he tightened up my casting for a trip to Belize. I always said I would go fishing with him one day and so glad I did. Did a full day with a buddy and Steve put us on the fish and taught us a ton. You’ll be the only boat on Texoma fly fishing and that makes it even more fun. Well into the double digits for both of us and many doubles.
Date published: 2020-05-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great Guy Great Guide Steve is a hard working guide with a great attitude, an easy going manner and a fish finding gift. I’ve fished with him twice now and both trips were outstanding and he worked hard to make sure he put me on fish. He has a great way about him and is patient and really easy to spend a day on the water with.
Date published: 2019-11-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Catch Fish, Get Better & Eat Delicious Brownies There's a reason all of Steves reviews are 5 stars. I hesitated to even write one, because I felt like everything had been said, but I had such a good experience I felt obligated to share it with everyone. I fished with Steve in early May, before the season was prime. We fished two days and I personally caught 50+ fish. I've fished with guides all over the country and I consider myself of an advanced skill level (I think Steve would agree). Yet Steve improved my casting significantly. He took his time with me to really help me take it to the next level and in a way that didn't make me feel like I had been doing it wrong my whole life. He's an exceptional teacher. Someone who knows exactly how to teach the person he's working with, not just using the same style with everyone. He like a good golf instructor in the way he can improve your stroke without rebuilding it from scratch. A few hours into day one I was consistently casting longer and more accurately. Back to the fishing... When we arrived to the dock on day one, Steve had everything ready to go. We enjoyed a casual chat as we left the dock, watching the sunrise (the Texoma sunrises were one of the highlights of this trip), and eating some of his wife's delicious brownies. Steve mentioned that the wind wasn't ideal. It was blowing from the opposite direction than what he would have liked, but assured us that we'd get on the fish any way... he was right. Day one was a bit of a grind, only catching 10 fish. One of which was my PR Smallmouth, approximately 2 feet... sadly it jumped the net before we could snap a pic. Ask Steve, I'm sure he'll remember it. All and all day one was good, a mix of stripers, largemouth, and the most epic smallie of my life. Day 2 was even better. Steve had mentioned that he thought the wind would be right for ideal conditions on day 2. When we arrived to the dock he was excited to share it was blowing in the exact way he wanted. The difference was very noticeable. We didn't hit a single spot we'd hit the day before. He knew exactly where to go and the fish were biting the entire day we were on the water. There was one point during the day I got takes on 15 straight casts, losing a few of course. I told Steve that I wanted to get into some bigger fish and was okay slowing down to target some giants. Of course he knew exactly what to do. We moved to a new spot and he instructed me to let my fly sink... waiting up to a minute at one point after the cast. 3 casts in a row I hooked into fish that fought harder than anything I'd hooked into the entire trip. Sadly all 3 fish bested me. All and all an amazing experience. I usually don't like to return to the same destination twice, as I want to experience new places and diversify my fishing adventures, but I will absolutely be returning to Lake Texoma.
Date published: 2019-01-31
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great guide and great fishing! Got to spend a terrific day on the water with Steve. Caught a ton of fish and learned a lot about the fishery, Lake Texoma, casting, etc. Would highly recommend Steve! He is a pleasure to spend the day on the water with and I look forward to doing it again.
Date published: 2018-06-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Productive Every Time I've been out with Steve multiple times. Each time I'm amazed at his knowledge of water, weather, and overall fishing conditions. He'll put you in position to be on the fish, whether along the rocks or in open water. I've already got my next trip booked.
Date published: 2018-05-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Wonderful Experience First ever time to fish for striped bass. Steve came highly recommended and the day did not disappoint. Lots of healthy stripers! Steve is knowledgeable, patient, kind. He is a great casting instructor and I became a much better caster from his guidance. What a thrill! Can’t wait to go again!
Date published: 2018-04-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Great Fly Fishing Trip My father-in-law and myself visited a fly casting demo at our local Orvis store and Steve was one of the presenters. After talking with Steve after the event we both came away impressed with him, so much that we decided to book a trip. What a great trip we had. Before we started fishing, Steve spent an hour or so with us and gave us some tips and had us practicing our casting, as we are both new to fly fishing. He is the nicest person and patient with his instruction. We both now have a solid foundation to expand upon. Steve also put us in some nice pools of fish. We caught quite a few stripers and sand bass. We will definitely be booking another trip in the near future.
Date published: 2017-11-17
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