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Archive for April 2014


042914

I’m starting to get the feeling that i must have a special affinity for old school Land Cruisers. Every time i see one i feel like a kid again, full of unbridled optimism and enthusiasm, only now i have a driver’s license and credit. Hmmm…

FYI: Want to see more vehicles that might cause you to consider throwing your fly rods in and driving off into the horizon? Maybe you have a photo you want  to share? Then visit us on Instagram at www.instagram.com/diefische to see more photos, or add the tag #fishridedaydream to one of your photos to share it.

It’s been a while, but well worth the wait. Once again YGF throws down the gauntlet and challenges “sucker MC amateurs” to step up to the plate. Enjoy!

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The plan was simple, three days of responsibility and catching up, followed by two full days of time behind the wheel and rod. Day 1 was spent preparing for and absorbing the amazing night that was the Fly Fishing Film Tour here in Austin (more on that soon). That was followed by days 2 and 3 spending some wonderful quality time with my son, going for bike rides, wandering trails, and a spending a lot of time just chatting about the intracacies of life.

The last two days were the down time, the chance to escape the crowded circus (ATX) and spend some time re-connecting with the bass, the cacti, the cedar and my hammock.

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It hadn’t directly crossed my mind, but i’m sure somewhere in my subconscious i knew that this was a search for water as well as fish. It wasn’t even until i was sitting at the “T” intersection with my engine idling in the road west of Austin that i had any idea of where i would be heading to spend the night. Eventually it came down to deciding whether to bet on a low flowing river or a steady level lake in the Hill Country chain. With images of huge bass dancing in my head, i ended up heading north, and making my way to Inks Lake, one of the few constant level lakes in the Highland Lakes chain.

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Showing up right as the Easter weekend crowds were leaving, i set up the campsite, strung up the hammock and immediately proceeded to relax with my new John Gierach book and a few glasses of wine while the crowds hauled coolers and kids out of the campsites. Later in the evening i was able to work my way around the rocks and ultimately land a couple of decent bass (above and below) that were able to be coaxed into biting a small chartreuse Shallow Water Clouser Minnow, a pleasant surprise after so many people had been enjoying the waters of the cove.

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The next day i woke to the sound of intense water activity and quickly made work of the 30 yards between my campsite and the lakes shore where i saw some of the most unbelievable fish activity i’ve ever seen. While i was mystified (and skunked) at the time, i later came to realize that white bass were chasing bait fish into the sand bars and smashing them on the surface with all the grace of a starving cannibal.

Cast after cast i couldn’t seem to get anything to work that day, even though i could see the fish (likely shy as hell from a lifetime of being under the eyes of fishers and campers) sitting there, directly in front of me. After two hours of casting to a catfish larger than my leg, i broke camp, checked out the map, and on a complete whim headed for a “remote” LCRA park north on Lake Buchanan.

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Knowing we are in the midst of a drought that has dragged on for years, i wasn’t expecting a whole lot from the northern most body of water in the Highland Lakes. Never the less, my preconceived notion of what this drought meant was blown wide open when i pulled up and found no standing water where a lake should be. Instead there was a meek rivulet flowing through a pasture of overgrown weeds (above photo), obviously (i thought) i had made a wrong turn? Unfortunately this was the “mighty” Colorado river, so narrow that one could clear it with a running start, and so shallow that if you could avoid sinking in the muddy murk you would’t dirty much more than your calves. This muddy creek, this weakened watershed, was what millions of people were banking on to keep their yards green and their cars shiny and spotless. The immediate hopelessness of the situation would have been bad enough based on the water alone, but the gar carcasses floating in the shallow water, riddled with bullet holes, drove the whole thing home.

“We’re all up shit creek creek without a paddle, and that creek is un-navigable and full of corpses thanks to our greed and fears.”

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In an effort to escape having the entire trip form turning into a depress-a-fest, i retraced my way down to the lower pools of the lake where i stalked the sand bars briefly, locating carp, before the storm (above and below) that seemed to be chasing me out of the region flashed it’s toothy grin, full of lightning and thunder, forcing me onto the road in hopes of outrunning it further south towards Austin.

Pulling into Pace Bend with only minutes to spare before the night choked all light out of the sky, i saw the water once again break out into a rash of unbridaled  aggression before i realized what was going on. I suddenly realized that the white bass, lacking any escape hatch up the creeks, were going bonkers slapping the crap out of baitfish in the shallows. Within five minutes i had a Clouser tied on and a white bass snapping it up like a six year old pouncing on  cotton candy for the first time.

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I’m not going to lie, it was nice to catch this fish, i just wish it would have been caught somewhere up a creek or river where it would be trying to fulfill it’s natural instinct. However, times are tough, and i’ll take what i can get. With conditions being what they are, i’m happy just to catch a small bass or a confused white bass, and if all else fails, just stare at the water (from my hammock) and wonder how we all ended up here in the first place. After all, it’s a crazy universe, and sometimes all we can do is dance to the beat of the war drums…and hopefully land a bass or two.

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While racing to another adventure the other day (post coming soon), i spotted this Cheverolet Corvair on the side of the road and immediately slammed on the brakes to stop and drool. It’s almost to bad i didn’t total the Element in my effort to snap this photo, it would have made it easy to justify maxing out my credit cards and driving away in the Corvair’s timeless beauty.

FYI: Want to see more vehicles that might cause you to consider throwing your fly rods in and driving off into the horizon? Maybe you have a photo you want  to share? Visit us at www.instagram.com/diefische to see more photos, or add the tag #fishridedaydream to one of your photos to share it.