On the South Texas Coast, just north of Corpus Christi, there’s a small town that’s making a big splash when it comes to fly fishing. Rockport, Texas is situated on the edge of one of the biggest flats zones in the country—hundreds of square miles of wadeable water—attracting anglers after Redfish, Black Drum, and a unique fishing culture not seen anywhere else in the US.

Bienvenidos to the home of Tex Mex. 

Just a few hours from the Mexican border, Rockport is a friendly town with big fish and a big heart which welcomes Hispanic fly fishers, tattooed metal heads, and conservationists alike. 

Jay discovered the Rockport scene on a Texas tour with Bajio founder Al Perkinson.

“We heard about a new shop called Fly Trap, owned by Chris Fowler,” explains Jay. “This place gave me the exact opposite feeling of what I experienced when I first visited fly shops—it was super inclusive and approachable for all ages and all walks of life.”

Lifelong gear fisherman and 1st year fly fisherman David Rodriguez always thought fly fishing was for rich, snooty types until a buddy recently directed him to Chris’ shop. 

“I walk in the Fly Trap door and there’s this big, burly, bearded guy listening to punk rock on the radio. I was like, this is it man, this is where I need to be,” reflects Rodriguez. “I’ve never seen Hispanics like me fly fish before, but now that I’ve tried it, I’m hooked and I hope to spread it to my people.”

Local Hispanic fly fishing guides Diego Solis, Victor Olivares, Oscar Gutierrez, and Dylan Mendoza are trying doing the same as the Mexican heritage here is as strong as the love of fishing. 

In Fishing With Jay’s Rockport: Tex Mex episode, Jay chases redfish, black drum, speckled trout and a whole host of other weirdo fish over miles of skinny water on foot, via airboat, and in Texas-built flat hull rigs with Rockport’s most colorful characters.

Viewers get tips on how to fish for the three types of bottom feeding Black Drum (which are also good eating) and favorite flies to use for Redfish (aka Red Drum). But there’s more, including fun facts on catching some of the area’s funkiest fish right from the shoreline in town. 

“I think it’s really cool that there is access for everyone to fish here, you don’t have to have a skiff,” explains Jay. “There’s a ton of knee deep water (and shallower) and anybody can walk along the town’s pier and fish.”

Rockport is special because it’s an aspirational fishery for the state of Texas—both from the perspective as a unique saltwater flats location and as a cultural melting pot for fly anglers.

Trying to hold back his emotions, as Fly Fishing Guide & Legendary Conservationist Chuck Niser put it, “Rockport is a beautiful place, we just have to take care of it. Whether it’s a friendship or a fishery, you don’t appreciate what you have until you lose it.” 

Interested in hitting the Texas Coast? Tune into to get a taste of Tex Mex fly fishing, and consider checking out Rockport for yourself. You’re sure to be welcomed with open arms and sleeve tattoos.

Watch The Episode