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Archive for September 22nd, 2014


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Then

Well, now that the report on the three week Colorado trip has come to an end i can finally report on what i’ve been doing since then, unfortunately it’s not pretty.  Well Colorado was an endless menagerie of water and fish (even if only trout species) my return to fishing in Texas has been marred by incredibly uncooperative conditions.  With temperatures soaring into the 100+ degrees and creeks and rivers drying up, i’ve regrettably spent more time holed up in my air-conditioned den banging away on the computer reliving heavenly days of wanderlust and trout than i have on local waters.  Fortunately, despite the setbacks, the little amount of time i’ve spent on the water has provided me with some unique experiences that while sporadic and barren, have still continued to motivate me to get out and about.

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The first experience i had after returning from Colorado state, was heading out to The Narrows on the Colorado river where i spent more time dragging my paddle board through the shallow sand and gravel bars than i did fishing.  It was while fishing there with a sinking line in a deeper than average pool that i hooked into a fish that started to tear my line up and down the pool causing me to think i had hooked into a three pound bass.  Shockingly it turned out to be a small white bass, a real brute for sure, but a fish that i only would expect to find in this stretch of the Colorado river during spawning season (March).  It was an amazing find, but after weeks of multi-fish days in Colorado state, i paddled away feeling depressed that one fish, ONE FISH, was all that i had managed after hours of work.

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A few weeks later my family and i headed to a local sunday hotspot to grab some breakfast tacos and made our way down to the Barton Creek greenbelt to wander around and get some exercise.  Lazily exploring the dry as a bone stream bed we crested a berm and were immediately thrust into an amazing display of artistic fortitude.  Ahead of us were hundreds of cairns blanketing the creek bed, causing it to look like some Frankenstein cross between a natural phenomenon and an art gallery. Rock upon rock, upon rock…the only word i could utter over and over was “magical”.

Over the next couple of weeks i managed to explore varied waters, but due to high heat and low flows the nibbles and bites were so few and far between that the three fish in this post were the only fish that i caught in a month of sporadic fishing (although each one of them was truly a pleasure to catch and land.)  And still the thoughts of all those high water trout lingered.

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The carp (below) was by far the most rewarding fish of the last month if only because it was the most difficult.  With flows at Pedernales registering at .5 CFS it’s been incredibly difficult to sneak up on fish submerged in water not much deeper than their shoulders.  After a couple of hours of casting and spooking some fish i managed to spot a carp trying improbably to work his way up the weak flows into a pocket of deeper water just a few feet upstream of him.

Casting a brown Wooly Bugger upstream to meander down through the meager flows i was shocked to see the carp go for the fly with a brash confidence as i gawked and set the hook quickly.  What followed was an incredible fight on a 3WT that repeatedly had me feeling like i might loose the carp before remembering that thanks to my last few days in Colorado i was sporting 2X tippet that could easily handle a 10 pound fish.

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Now

Many days later, after all these fish were caught, the water started to fall from the sky in an unnerving way.  On what should have been a day off for fishing i was bummed to find that not only did the store where i manage flood, but muddy and murky waters in all the local creeks and rivers meant that fishing would be out of the question for the foreseeable future.

Three days after the torrent of rain, i returned to the special spot on the Greenbelt that had housed the aforementioned Hall of Cairn.  Standing on the bank gawking at the still flowing torrent (photo below) i observed that the garden at the peak of the flash flood would have been below ten feet of water, without a doubt it was no more.  At first it seemed sad to lose something so creative and wonderful, but then it dawned on me that this was a white sheet of paper, a clean slate for all those rock art pioneers that took part to start anew, including me.  This was the in your face opportunity i needed to close a chapter on Colorado and stop comparing that adventure with the one that laid at my doorstep.

Sometimes we’re capable of hitting the “reset” button ourselves, other times we need the universe to strike us so violently and suddenly that we end up standing on muddy banks staring at muddy whitewater and suddenly thinking “Aha…”

As for now?  I’m done chasing the demons of the past.  Now I’m focused on the ghost fish of the future tense.

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