Kingfisher Inn and Guide ServicesThe only dedicated fly fishing lodge on the Texas Coast

The only dedicated fly fishing lodge on the Texas Coast

What you need to know before
you come to Kingfisher Inn


About Equipment, Flies, Clothing, Licenses and Transportation

Kingfisher Questionnaire:

If you have already booked a trip, or if you're considering a trip to Kingfisher, please fill out our
Trip Questionnaire. If you've not made plans yet, we will email you back with recommendations (e.g. best time of year, things to do to get ready, etc.) based on your responses.

Plane Flights:

Southwest and Continental fly into Harlingen (20 miles west of Kingfisher), Continental flies into Brownsville (35 miles south), and American and Delta fly into McAllen (60 miles west). Harlingen usually has the cheapest and most available flights. However, You should know this: If you try to book a Southwest flight to Harlingen, you may be told, "We don't have service from (your city) to Harlingen." If you stop there, you might never find out that Southwest flies into Harlingen. For some reason, you have to book a flight into Houston, and then book a flight from Houston to Harlingen, but you can't book a flight directly to Harlingen. Strange, right? We've tried to get Southwest to change the way they respond to this question, but they're still doing it.

Ground Transportation:

We do not provide transportation to and from the Harlingen or Brownsville airports. Plane schedules are so unpredictable that our day can be tied up waiting for your flight, and we are often on the water anyway. So please arrange to rent a car, or have a taxi bring you to the Inn.

Fishing Licenses:

Don't forget that you will need a fishing license! Either come early enough to pick one up at the Arroyo City Grocery Store, or better yet call the following phone number to order one ahead of time.

Toll-free number is 1-800-TX LIC 4 Y (1-800-895-4248)
Hours of operation are 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., Monday through Friday and 9:00 a.m. to noon, Saturday (Central Standard Time).
MasterCard, VISA and Discover are accepted.
Administration fee is $5.00 for all phone sales.
Licenses can be purchased by phone for immediate use with a confirmation number except where tagging is required (deer,
turkey and oversized Red Drum).

For more information about licenses, go to http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/fish/guide/licen98.htm.


Fly rods and reels:

Regardless of the fly rod and reel that you use, there is something that you need to know: You need to work on distant casting before you come. If you cannot cast 50 feet with ease, then get a book or a good video and lengthen your cast before you come down. That way, you'll have a much better chance at doing well your first trip down here.

We have gear that you can use, free or charge. As Temple Fork distributors, we would love for you to use our Lefty Kreh Signature rods and TFO reels. We have six, seven and eight-weight rods ready for you to use, as part of your stay at the lodge.


If you bring your own rods, here's some tips for you to consider. You need a high-quality seven or eight-weight rod. Some fly fishers use sixes on calm mornings to minimize spooking fish, and to increase the challenge. You don't need a $600 reel, but be sure it's saltwater resistant and has a decent drag system. Usually that means a cost from $150-300. We carry TFO Mark I and II, and TFO wide arbor reels for sale in case you need a reel.
If you purchase a TFO rod and reel, we will include free of charge a Kingfisher Signature Fly Selection and a Teeny Lefty Kreh line.
Go to our store, and order via our secure online ordering process.


If you're coming between April and November, you need a warm water, weight-forward floating line, like the Cortland Lazer Tropic Plus or the Scientific Angler's Bonefish Taper. Cold water lines tend to kink up in the heat, so get one of these stiff lines before you come. We have found that the Teeny Professional Series is a great all around line, and handles well in all seasons.


If you are coming between November and the end of March, you'd be better off with a standard cold water line.


Flies and Terminal Tackle

Although we encourage you to bring your own flies, and try your hand at
tying our favorite patterns, we carry selections that will take care of most of your needs while you are here. You can purchase them ahead of time, or purchase them upon arrival. If you're going to tie your own flies, or purchase them your own at your local fly shop, follow these guidelines: As a rule, go small (size 4 and 6) and weedless. In addition to our three signature flies, which take care of 90% of your fly needs, make sure you have a bunch of size 4-6 chartreuse-and-white and tan-and-white Clousers. We use them on the east side sand, and when the reds are podding on the west side in the spring and fall.


The Kingfisher Spoon is a great all-around pattern for the west side of the Laguna Madre when the water is deeper -- in the spring and fall. Check Capt. Scott's Mother's Day Fly, which is our favorite subsurface fly for low-water, grassy conditions in the summer. Presentation is 90% of the game, so the aerodynamic and aquadynamics of the flies are more important that what they look like.

For topwater applications: Small foam head poppers or deer hair floaters are especially effective in early morning, calm conditions. Our
VIP popper is the best topwater fly that we've found. The extra noise will draw fish from as far as 10 feet away in low-light conditions. Once again, go small!

Leaders: You'll need a standard 9' bonefish or redfish leader with a 12- to 16-lb. tippet. Even experts often break off reds and trout using lighter tippets, so don't go lighter than 12 lb. tippet. If you do, you might not land a fish on your first trip!
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Clothing and Other Gear


Clothing: Spring through fall: Get an up-downer-type hat with a clip in the back for attaching it to your shirt. It is not usually not that hot on the flats, but when the wind dies, it can get pretty steamy, so get long-sleeved Supplex shirts if you can. Cotton tends to be too hot. If you're going to wear shorts, fine, but be sure to bring water-resistant sunscreen, like Bullfrog. Also, bring a raincoat!

Clothing: Winter: You a need fleece pullover, and some fleece pants. You will probably shed them before midday, but they can make that early morning boat ride more comfortable. Normally, it's warmer once we reach the bay. Also, you need some lightweight waders. We use Simms Gore-Tex waders, which are very comfortable. Again, you might elect to wade wet once the sun rises, because the air temperature can easily reach 80 degrees. But the water temperature is usually from 55-65 through the winter, which is a bit cool for wet wading. Also, bring a raincoat!

Eyewear: High-quality polarized glasses, preferably with brown, copper or vermillion-tinted lenses. Avoid gray lenses. The most important variable in your ability to catch fish in the clear waters of the Lower Laguna Madre, other than casting, is your ability to see the fish! Most people cannot see fish very well at first, and so top-quality eye gear is a must. If you wear prescription glasses, consider purchasing prescription polarized sunglasses, or "Fitover" sunglasses that fit completely over your glasses. "Fitovers" or "Cocoons" are at least as effective as regular prescription polarized glasses, because they completely cut the side glare!

Also, it's very hard to see tailing fish early in the morning with your sunglasses on. If you wear prescription glasses, it's important to bring glasses with clear lenses, too. Most people put their polarized glasses on too early, having left their clear glasses at home or back at the Inn. Consequently, they cannot see the subtle signs of tailing and cruising fish in the twilight.

Sting ray protection: Kevlar reinforced wading boots, or sting ray guards that fit over standard neoprene booties. Very few people get stung if they wade carefully, but you may not want to take the risk. We have plenty of them, so there's no need to bring your own.

Bring rain gear! A short jacket, like the Simms Paclite Raincloud jacket is a perfect choice for the Bay.

Other gear: A good wading pouch for your gear is important, as we may find ourselves hundreds of yards from the boat when we wade. A disposable camera, or a water-resistant digital or film camera is great to have along. However, we take photos during your visit, and will burn a CD with all the photos that we've taken during your stay. Bring your FM walkie talkies if you have them.