The text came in late, but it was clear and direct, there was a spot on a raft that just happened to be floating down the Guadalupe tomorrow, and it begged to know if i was interested?

Coming on the heels of a string of good adventures already happening a few days into the new year, i was starting to feel like i was caught in a pleasant and sleepy mid-afternoon dream. Any float trip would be fun, but this was Winston and Alvin from All Water Guides that would be ferrying me down the lazy river, and it was hard to imagine a better group of people to be stuck in a boat with for a few hours.

Due to financial means, i don’t often fish with guides (usually it’s only on their days off when they want to fish themselves, which is more than fine by me) but i’ve been fortunate enough to take a guided trip with Alvin and a good friend Linda many years ago and am happy to report that he hasn’t changed a bit. Alvin is about laid back as you can get when it comes to problems like missed hook sets and wind knots, but he’s also a professional, so he’ll be sure to help you get the strikes, although it’s ultimately up to you to coax them in to his net. Fortunately though for those of us that are sometimes lost in our thoughts and missing the subtle nuances of the fish, he’s usually content to signal a missed strike with a bit of his infectious laugh that let’s you know “It’s all good, they’ll be back”, zero stress.

The days intention was for Alvin to train Winston (a fellow All Water Guide) on the Guadalupe and it’s many secrets. Unfortunately, what had been intended as a hurried fishing trip quickly turned into a quick boating trip as 30MPH winds and plummeting temperatures started to trace their way up and down the river. The leisurely float quickly turned into a shivering inducing voyage that was only buoyed by the overwhelming amount of relaxed attitude on our boat. After all, none of were technically “working” so it was easy to chalk up discomfort to the wiles of Texas weather. Despite the cold and wind though, it was refreshing to hang out with others that had tips and tricks up their sleeves to share. I probably learned more about the Guadalupe by not fishing it that day than i would of had i landed a dozen fish.

Parting ways at the boat ramp and giving many thanks for being invited on the cold but fun excursion i drove back down to a hole i new well in hopes of staving off a “Skunk day”. It only took a couple of casts to land the handsome model below, take a photo, release the trout and break down my rod and reel as i practically skipped back up the river, the gentle laugh of Alvin’s echoing in my head as my smile carried me back to the car.

Information: All Water Guides is the “Justice League” and the “X-Men” of central fishing combined. They are the super group, the “Cream” the “Emerson, Lake and Palmer”. Contact them via email and prepare to suck the marrow out of the day! (Plus, you’ll probably catch amazing fish.)