Holy smokes. I need some cooler weather, some rain, and a substantial more amount of time on the water. While i can’t do anything about the first two, i’m hoping that the third might actually happen now that my wife is done creating costumes for Present Company Theater’s production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream now playing at Rain Lily Farm here in Austin. Besides, truth be told, i’m glad that i’m short on fishing time when it’s 100˚ outside. Hopefully it just means there’ll be more time to fish when the weather isn’t quite as disagreeable. We’ll see how that goes.
With these low flows, and low water we’re experiencing in central Texas, it probably comes as no surprise that the remaining fish hole up in what little cool and flowing water there is. After a few brief visits to some local fishing holes that meet those criteria, i’ve realized that anglers behave exactly the same.
Recently while heading down to the Colorado River below Lake Travis, i pulled in to the “parking lot” to find longtime reader (and die Fische special ops photographer) Daniel, his brother Ed, Ed’s son Jack and their friend Delfo all unloading boats and rods, with the same intent i had, firstly to stay cool in the dam released water, and secondly to land some fish. After catching up we all parted ways but kept occasionally paddling up to each other to see what was working, what wasn’t, and theorize about why the fish were or weren’t partaking of our enticing offerings. Despite the fact that i only caught one fish, the red ear (above), it still was a good time because i was hanging with friends and making new ones. (All while getting majorly out-fished by Jack who is the most intense angler i’ve ever met, despite being five (?) or something close to that.)
A few days later i finally helped one of my longtime (and i mean longtime) plans come to fruition when i lugged my bicycle on my car with me to Pedernales Falls. As i was exiting the ranger station after check in i had a stranger come up and ask if i happened to write a fly fishing blog. I confirmed that i did at which point his friend, also a reader, got out of the car, we grabbed a map of the Falls, and i gave them the lowdown on the best spots as best i could and sent them on their way, warning of the low flows and slim chances in the shallow waters. Hopefully they had a good day, one way or the other (comment and let us know guys).
Parking and unloading the bike, still stunned by the fact that after years of fly fishing Pedernales i finally ran into fellow fly fisherman, and that they just happened to be readers, i threw the rod into the pannier, strapped on the backpack, and set off to make short time getting to the most remote spot Pedernales has to offer. I’ve hiked to this spot a few times in the past, but as it lies directly between two access points, it’s always been at least a solid thirty minute hike one way (if you can keep from trying to fish your way along the hike, if not it’s an easy hour or two both ways). With the bike it took two and a half minutes to go from point A to point B, trust me, i timed it.
Due to unseen circumstances (actually, i forgot about a very important family obligation) i ended up fishing for about 30 minutes before biking back, but not before landing a small bass. Considering the limited amount of time, the zero flows, the murkiness of the water and the fact that i really shouldn’t have been out fishing in the first place, i was happy to land anything.
Cruising quickly back to the car, it occurred to me that even though i had less time on the water lately, i was discovering all kinds of ways to make the most of them. Whether it was adding fishing time by shaving off travel time via the bike, or embracing the social aspect that a common bond can provide, it might have been less time on the water, but it sure as hell felt like more.
Bicicletas y amigos. Pura vida.
P.S. I just want to once again thank all of you for reading this blog and for swinging by to say “hi” when we cross paths. I am constantly shocked / awed / and humbled that there are folks out there that are such avid readers that they can spot me on the water, on the trail, or at the entrance to my favorite park. Please don’t mistake my stage fright for cockiness or condescension, i truly enjoy meeting each and every one of you. Oh yeah, i’m also terrible with names, i apologize.
Thanks again, eric