Man, it’s been a while. Not that i haven’t been fishing, it’s just that my non-fishing life has seemed to once again take over most aspects of my life. What time i have spent on the water has mostly been spent on the lower Colorado, trying desperately to figure out how to achieve one of those “epic days” that seem to come true for so many people on this unique stretch of water.
After three outings in a row, the only common factors i could seem to find were;
1) The wind will ALWAYS be blowing the opposite direction of that i’m trying to paddle, even if i switch directions. I’m not sure if this is some universal law about paddling, or just some sort of karmic payback for all the shenanigans i performed during my teen years, but either way it takes annoying to a whole new level.
2) The lack of epic bass. I caught the occasional one pound bass, but only after three trips and (seemingly) hundreds of casts. I know the guides whose blogs i drool over are spending hundreds of hours on the water to put their clients on the occasional giant bucket mouth, but is two pounds really to much to ask? The only good size bass (relative) i’ve caught in recent months was actually on my lunch break near Red Bud here in town (below), which causes me to wonder if it’s me, the location, my fly, or any random combination of the three that’s keeping me off the big boys.
3) The area around the lower Colorado has a “Mad Max” / “Waterworld” vibe. This could just be me, but the area east of Austin seems to have a sort of wild frontier / “don’t give a shit” vibe that seems to slowly be disappearing in the Hill Country. It’s not worse of better neccessarily, it’s just a different vibe, one that i’m slowly starting to appreciate. (note: This is probably because the Hill Country is quickly being suffocated by multi-million dollar subdivisions that will never have half the odd charm that a place like Cook’s Canoes has. Photo below.)
4) Gar are the most underrated fish i know of. They can cut tippet and flesh with nary a headshake. They fight like stubborn bastards until the very end, and even when you have them close at hand, it’s hard to know what do to with all that prehistoric energy (lined with hundreds of needle sharp teeth) so uncomfortably close.
On a recent trip I noticed what i thought were ten or so spawning in some shallow riffles. Pulling up on the bank and sneaking downstream to observe, i was awed to find what was easily a hundred gar moving in and and of formation in the waters around me with the sole intent of facilitating the future if their species. They were so focused on each other i stood (nervously at first) for a good twenty minutes in their midst, just taking in the sight. I through together this quick video that unfortunately is less than stellar quality (weird lighting from the overcast sky and a lack of polarization on my point and shoot) but wanted to share it as a simple reminder of all the amazing things going on in the world, we just have to get out there to experience it.
Even if it is against the wind.