If you live around these parts, you need no introduction to the oppressive heat that is August in Texas. For the rest of you let me put it as bluntly as i can.
It’s hot as hell in Texas right now.
This heat. This unrelenting, merciless heat. It drips from every outstretched limb, it works it’s way into every shadowed area. As it builds, it permeates every choice, every action, every thought. Eventually it will even cause those that breathe the outdoors to wonder if maybe they should stay indoors and tie flies, repaint the living room, or post on their blog.
In the end though, there is only so much artificially induced comfort that an adventurous soul can take, and eventually loved ones (likely saner than you) will get tired of you twitching in the corner, complaining about household minutia and strongly encourage you to hit the water as they toss your rods in the car and pack a lunch for you.
Such was the case for me this last Thursday. With the temperature quickly approaching 103˚ i wrapped up some house chores before gently being escorted to my car by my wife. Minutes later, sitting at the stop sign i quickly weighed many options (time, temperature and flows) before turning left towards I-35 and making my way to Cypress Bend Park along the Guadalupe in New Braumfels, TX.
With the current drought and heat that we’re experiencing in this part of Texas, the choices are once again becoming very limited. Unless you’re the kind of person that likes to stand in warm, stagnant, algae infested water or brave dodging speedboats on the ever shrinking lakes, the tail-waters are where you will want to be. While the Guadalupe river, a tailwater of Canyon Lake, doesn’t have much of a flow right now (about 50CFS) it’s a heck of a lot better than other waters around that are merely trickling if not off all together (Poor, poor Pedernales…).
Arriving at the park and walking the paddle-board down the bank, i slowly waded into the water and was immediately alarmed by the warmth creeping up around my ankles. With the flows so low, and the dam so far upstream, the water felt more like something one would draw for a warm bath than what one traditionally thinks of as river temperature water. The plan however, was to paddle downstream to the point where the Guadalupe and the Comal river merged, a place that hopefully would be a tiny slice of heaven on a warm day like this.
A blessing in disguise, the Comal river is both one of the best / worst places to be during the summer months around here, depending on what you want to do there. Known as the shortest river in the U.S., it’s also spring fed making it a cool, relaxing place to while the day away floating in an inner tube, which of course means the river is swollen with revelers. Luckily the last take out for tubers is 100 yards upstream from the Guadalupe/Comal junction so there is a buffer between you and the masses.
The water below the confluence is a veritable cornucopia of fresh water fishing. It was here that i lost 20 or so fish in the first hour because i couldn’t seem to make myself stop and swap out the leader that was far to short and thick (0X cut down to 3FT). A few cast after finally pulling over to the bank and swapping leaders i landed this handsome bass (above) that fought and leapt with such intensity i half expected him to be twice the size when i brought him to the net.
After finally hitting the waters with the right set up and attitude, the fish started pouring in. Small bass and sunfish started taking the fly on every other cast along the bank. Such was my elation, that i even glanced around at my (then) current digs (above) and found myself wishing this was my office, a boat, a rod, some flies, flip flops and cool water lapping at my feet. Someday.
In the meantime i’m more than happy to fish these waters for a few hours, land some fish, set up a hammock on an island (i’ll tell you where if you want to know), nap for an hour and then head into Boho Bites (photos of their awesome bathroom signage is below) for a filling meal of sausage and wine before catching up with Jacob and Chris at Gruene Outfitters, and heading home.
Best half day (solo) vacation ever. Get out there and do it.
P.S. Thank you to my wife for knowing when i just need to be sent on my way, even if it’s (seemingly) against my will. That is love.