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It’s that time again, the Fly Fishing Film Tour is making it’s annual appearance here in Austin! If you’ve been before you already know that it’s a hell of a lot of fun. If for some reason you’ve never been, all you need to know is that it’s the second best thing to actually fishing. The night is basically comprised of vendors and free food, with drinks for purchase as well as raffle tickets for some amazing prizes followed by a diverse and stellar line up of fly fishing films that will most assuredly make you want to call in sick on Friday.

If you need more to get stoked or hold you over until the FFFT click here to check out the previews for the night.

P.S. I’m super excited to mention that longtime die Fische fan and supporter R.C. Cone’s film “Yow: Icelandic for Yes” will be showing and it’s definitely one you don’t want to miss!

 

The original “Go-Pro Gangsta” is back after almost a year away from the limelight. That’s right, Yukon Goes Fishing has returned with his classic beats, fish and shots to show us once again, just how much awesomeness you can create when you got mad skills. Props YGF!

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When people hear “Austin, Texas” they always enjoy running through a list of things they know and love about it: ACL, SXSW, 6th Street, Circuit of Americas, Willie Nelson, BBQ, the Longhorns and Town Lake. Luckily the Lower Colorado below Town Lake almost never comes up unless you’re talking to a fisherman or a meth head (if you’ve ever been there, you know i’m not just being flippant.)

Built in 1960 to help create Town Lake (yes it’s now called Lady Bird Lake, but that’s not the name i was given when introduced to her, so forgive me using its historic name) in downtown Austin, the Longhorn Dam is essentially the end of the Highland Lakes chain that starts far upstream from Austin. After many miles of retention and doubtless confusion on its part this is where the manicured and essentially castrated Colorado gets to get back to doing what it likes to do, flowing wild and free, unimpeded all the way to the coast.

While it’s been a while since i’d visited the area below Longhorn dam, i recently had a couple of free hours and decided to revisit this watershed in hopes of a quick fix before returning to family obligations. Within minutes i was parking, stashing extra gear under the seats and making my way down the rough and raw concrete embankment, dodging poison ivy like it was the plague.

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Not that long ago (a year or two) this area below the dam was known as Secret Beach and housed what can only be described as a “colorful kaleidoscope of unique individuals intent on pushing the boundaries of societal norms.” I’m not sure if it’s just to early in the season for them to hatch, or if i just lucked out, but i suprisingly found myself enjoying the cool waters with nary a soul in site, despite the fact that it was a Sunday afternoon.

As mentioned above, the Colorado runs free and mostly unimpeded from here to the coast. As an ichthyologist friend of mine mentioned years ago, this means there is always the possibility of a myriad of species making their way upstream to spawn before running into this giant obstacle and sulking around the deeper pools wondering why they even bothered in the first place.

The fishing wasn’t phenomenal, but it was late in the day, and honestly just the fact that i was fishing water with some BIG potential after just a ten minute drive was more than enough to keep me grinning like a fool.  That grin got extra wide when the 6WT jostled in my hand and i managed to bring a small white bass into the net (after a myriad of bolting runs.) I seriously probably did five or six takes before believing that i did indeed have a white bass (above) in my net, which seemed not only unlikely but also annoying after driving so many hours the last month or two to find them further up in the Highland Lakes.

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Granted, the drives to those spots further upstream are rewarded with many more naturally scenic wonders, but something about being right on the other side of a thirty foot wall of concrete and metal that’s holding back the development, headaches and problems of a city of close to 1,000,000 walled up on the other side while you’re fishing well below the lakes water line, catching fish you didn’t expect, can have a dizzying effect that’s hard to put in words. (Unless i just did?)

Anyway, it’s there and it’s waiting for you to suck it up and realize that sometimes (most of the time) it’s not about spring creeks, snow capped mountains, clear spring waters, or shifting tides. Sometimes it’s just about you and the fish, regardless of the scenery. Other times? It’s just about the fish…and it’s at times like these you’ll do best by checking your expectations and ego at the door. If i did it you can too.

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Don’t be scared, it’s the new issue of This is Fly!

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Gar. I first caught one by accident many years ago on the Pedernales (story here). At the time i was new to fly fishing, and therefore didn’t know to be in awe or appreciate the random fish luck that the Fates were throwing my way. Despite the acrobatic fight and near puncture wounds inflicted by a surprising snap on the beach it all seemed relatively easy, i was sure i could do it again whenever i felt like it.

Right.

Years would go by before i ever brought another one of these creatures to hand. Countless flies, leaders and hours were gone through with wild abandon before it all clicked and i could hook one of these elongated dinosaurs with any sort of regularity. A majority of those empty hours were spent at Pedernales State Park stalking the sandy shallows and bathing in the shade of the abundant bald cypress that border the river. I found the shadows of their needle like leaves and the rawness of their bark so alluring that eventually i planted a cypress in my back yard years ago in effort to bring some of that serenity home, but also because it makes an excellent barometer for what’s going on around the Pedernales.

When that cypress shoots out its first buds i start tying up the gar flies, shaking in anticipation. A few weeks later when its chopstick like branches start to become bathed in green it’s the sign that it’s time, they’re back. The gar have returned.

Checking in on my cypress, i knew it was time. After a brief drive and hike and i was suddenly soaking in the green-ness that the shores of the Pedernales provided. Not only were the trees active and energetic, much like the one at home, but the gar were here as well, albeit slightly lethargic, but present none the less. The gar seemed to be in the same boat as i, trying to remember our dance steps without stepping on each others feet. Eventually, after a few hours of half hearted strikes and bumbled hook sets, we both remembered the dance and glided around the floor.

Walking back to the car i initially felt annoyed that it took twenty or so gar to finally land one of them, even though it was my first day of the year fishing for them. Then i recalled the YEARS of trial and tribulation it took to land a second gar, the scowl quickly turned into a smile, and my low groans into a whistle as i made my way up the trail with nobody but the cypress to hear.

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The folks at Living Waters obviously have the same kind of affection for Brushy Creek that we have for our local Barton Creek. They’re throwing a cleanup and crawfish boil this weekend that will surely be a good chance to obtain lots of information about this fishery while cleaning it sense-less. Visit www.livingwatersflyfishing.com for more information.

Saturday, April 18th – BRUSHY CREEK CLEAN UP AND CRAWFISH BOIL

This is our annual Brushy Creek clean up. There will be representation from the Austin Fly Fishers and possibly even more local clubs! This is going to be a HUGE EVENT! Nothing is as close to our heart as our home water – Brushy Creek. We are going to clean up the creek and then come back to the shop and chow down on some crawfish! Bring work gloves, trash grabbers, and wearing jeans/long pants is recommended. We will have food (crawfish) and drinks at the shop following the clean up! See event schedule below:

EVENT SCHEDULE
8:30 A.M. – Doors Open/Round Rock Donuts present
9:00 A.M. – Clean Up Briefing
9:30 A.M. – Brushy Creek Clean Up BEGINS!
1:00 P.M. – Eat Crawfish!
2:00 P.M. – Eat MORE CRAWFISH!
6:00 P.M. – Everyone leaves…except the people who need to eat more crawfish.

Information from www.livingwatersflyfishing.com

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Under bridges on the shoulders of urban creeks. In the nooks and crannies of every spillway. On the furthest stretches of local park waterways. Always on the water later than the rest, headlamp burning bright with shadows dancing in the periphery.

Returning home sunburned, wind burned, sore and exhausted this is the soundtrack that pumps from the headphones directly into his subconscious. The beats swelling and subsiding in the skull as it all slowly comes together.

Don’t like hip-hop or feel offended by the occasional profanity? Then this one isn’t for you. If on the other hand you’re curious what’s being listened to as the midnight oil is burning and all of these words and images are all coming together, then here it is. Enjoy dF#004.