Capt Andy Pfannkuche has flyfished the waters of the lower Gulf Coast for 25+ years.
He began fly fishing in the 80’s when he was the director of Camp Cheley in Estes Park, Colorado. When he returned to his native Texas in 1997, he immediately took to the saltwater in and around the Land Cut/Port Masfield north to Corpus Christi, where he was based as a caddy on the PGA and LPGA golf tours. Between tour stops, he fished incessantly. When he became a full time club pro at Kingwood Country Club in Houston in XXXX, he moved his fishing focus south to Arroyo City, where he has been ever since.
Andy’s career as a camp director, caddy, teaching pro and fishing guide give him a unique perspective on guiding. He has a lifelong passion for teaching at all levels, has worked with everyone from kids to prima donna pro golfers to country club hacks. He brings a lifetime of teaching experience combined with a deep, intimate knowledge of the ecology of the Laguna Madre to bare on his boat.
While his passion is fly fishing and fly casting, Andy also enjoys sight fishing spin trips. In effect, he fishes the same ultra shallow, gin-clear flats he would normally pole, sight fishing with a spinning rod instead of a fly rod. For someone looking for a much different and more intimate spin casting experience, this is the perfect venue.
When Andy is not fishing, he is a commercial fly tier and avid bird hunter.
About Arroyo City
Over the years, there are two things in particular that resonate with me that I have read about Arroyo City. The first described the person that named Arroyo City as having ambitions for it that it never achieved – urban it is not, so “City” is really a misnomer. A one street, no stop-sign, single restaurant burg nestled between the Atascosa Wildlife Refuge to the South, the King Ranch shoreline to the North and the Padre Island National Seashore to the East, Arroyo City is surrounded by largely untouched, pristine wilderness. That said, it is 30 minutes west of the Harlingen Airport, so access is easy and convenient. It lies approximately mid-way between Port Mansfield and South Padre Island, providing endless flats, backwater lakes and easy access to the gulf for tarpon. We generally fish out of South Padre, Port Mansfield or Arroyo City, but will also make trips to the Nine Mile Hole/Land Cut and the Brownsville Ship channel.
The second thing I read about Arroyo City that has always stuck with me was that if you like to fish, you will like Arroyo City. But if you like to fly fish, you will LOVE Arroyo City. It perfectly captures the essence of this tiny village. First, it lies in the mid-point of the Lower Laguna Madre, with hundreds of miles of undeveloped, ultra shallow shoreline, accessible only by shallow water poling skiff. With endless hard sand and grass flats, the setup is tailor made for sight casting, with a fly or spinning rod to trout redfish along with the occasional snook or flounder. Finally, we have two outlets to the Gulf at the East Cut and Brazos Santiago Pass. We use these regularly in-season to chase
About Our Fishing
Our primary target is redfish, which we pursue in the shin deep, clear waters that surround Arroyo City. We also regularly catch speckled trout, black drum, sheepshead and the occasional snook in the same areas. Weather and season permitting, we also regularly pursue tarpon.
90 percent of what I do is on fly. I have guided people at all levels of the sport from rank beginners to lifelong fishermen who fish 100+ days a year. No matter the experience level, I always tell people that there is simply no substitute for practice. Getting out a fly rod and a target – whether on a local lake of just in a park – and practicing making casts in a variety of conditions will pay huge dividends when you are on the front of the boat. For redfish, we typically use 6, 7 and 8 weight fast action rods and floating tropical lines. For tarpon we typically use 11 and 12 weight rods with floating lines. We use a variety of flies – all of which I tie myself. You might as well not have a rod if you do not have polarized sunglasses. If you are interested in gear, please email me and I am happy to discuss it in detail with you.
I am also happy to guide spin trips, generally with a twist. Conditions permitting, we spin fish in the exact same way we fly fish. We pole clear water flats and sight cast to feeding fish. But instead of a fly, we are casting soft plastics. For many of my clients, this has become the gateway drug to the fly rod and for others, they love the intimacy of the sight fishing coupled with the familiarity of the spinning rod.
I fish out of a Hells Bay Guide 18 with a Yamaha 70 four stroke, which I believe is perfectly tailored to the environment. As fly fishing skiffs go, it is comfortable and dry, has great range and runs and floats super shallow.