It wasn’t even midnight on my last day of work at Whole Earth Provision Co., the ink still wet on the day when the text from Winston came late in the evening,
“Want to fish tomorrow on the LCR?”
Winston is one of the most unique people i know, harnessing both a fiery intensity and endless curiosity to everything, seemingly all the time. Being a somewhat more laid back introvert its stimulating just to be in his presence where you can practically hear the hum radiating around him.
When he’s not saving lives as a paramedic north of Austin, he swaps the ambulance for a jet boat and buzzes clients up and down the Lower Colorado via All Water Guides here in Austin. Working along side some of the most knowledgeable guides on the water he’s got this water dialed.
Suffice to say, if you get a text from a friend like this on the first day of your month long vacation, asking if you want to sled up and down the Colorado, you’ll want to say “Yes.”
photo by Winston Cundiff
The only other time i’ve experienced a jet boat was once on the Deschutes while fishing for steelhead with my family, where we flew up some up amazing class three rapids, still one of the most thrilling things i’ve ever done. Here on the Colorado though i constantly found myself shaking my head (and bracing my feet) as we jetted up stretches of shallow waters that were barely two inches deep while traveling at warp speed. Adrenaline hit for sure.
Early in the day we ended up at a weir and cut the engine in order to start floating casually downstream while waiting for the other All Water Guides to show up with their Yeti ambassadors aboard. It didn’t take long to land a handsome white bass and just a few moments later a nice largemouth which immediately set our expectations much to high, as we’d find out later.
Hours of this perspective felt unreal.
To cut to the chase, the rest of the day was fruitless, with hundreds (?) of casts going unnoticed, or at the very least being ignored. Eventually we switched roles and i found myself on the sticks (oars for those not in the know) and constantly being coached on how to position the boat, work the current, and set the boat up moves ahead as though playing a chess game. In all honesty, being given the chance to row a boat that many in the scene refer to “The Most Bitching Boat in Austin” was an honor of far greater reward than any fat ass bass could provide.
Eventually the Yeti crew arrived with David Mangum and his crew in tow, but unfortunately, as mentioned, things had long since shut down. I wish the day had been more amazing, with 5 pound bass constantly being netted for our visiting ambasadors, but that wasn’t the case. Hopefully they each found something amazing about the experience to take home with them despite the difficult day. For me i just enjoyed catching up with a good friend, learning a new skill, and taking in the glory of the day.
Just one day into my time off and here i was lying across the bow of the boat, watching the ospreys circling high in the sky, soaking in the sun and humming a tune we all know…
Row, row, row your boat, gently down the stream.
Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily, life is but a dream…
David Mangum casting like a pro at my camera!
For every single day of the 13 plus years i worked at Whole Earth Provision Co. there was a (usually) nondescript brown paper bag with all the random register paperwork for the day stuffed neatly inside it for the accounting team. Over the years, and the 3,000 plus bags i’ve personally seen there have been some truly amazing works of art courtesy of the many incredibly talented people i’ve had the good fortune to work with.
Yesterday, my final day of work there, this was the bag waiting for me to hand to deliver the accounting team where it would live out its life in a cardboard box, nestled away forgotten high on a particle board shelf. Fortunately, after a bait and switch involving a run of the mill sack with little to no aspirations and a little slight of hand i was able to liberate this art / note, and now it hangs proudly on the we all in my den. Thank you Niall, and thank you friends for 13 wonderful years!
If you live anywhere near central Texas and are even remotely into fly fishing, then the local Guadalupe Trout Unlimited event entitled Troutfest is a must attend event for you. After taking a break last year the event is back and bigger than ever, not taking place at (my personal favorite) the Lazy L and L campgrounds. Both the expo on Saturday and Sunday are free to the public with the Fly Fishing Film Tour playing Saturday night at 7PM. In addition to many vendors and shops sharing their wares, the following speakers will be providing presentations.
The Troutfest 2017 Committee is thrilled to announce our impressive array of fly fishing experts from all over the country already committed to Troutfest 2017. They are:
Kirk Deeter – Editor of Trout Magazine and Vice President of Trout Media for Trout Unlimited
Celebrity Guests / Presenters:
George Daniel – http://www.livinonthefly.com/home.html
Wanda Taylor – TFO – http://www.wandataylorflyfishing.com/
Jen Ripple – Editor-in-Chief of Dun Magazine and the Executive Editor of a Tight Loop Magazine – http://dunthemagazine.com/
Steve Galleta – Co-Owner of the Bighorn Angler, Ft. Smith Montana – http://bighornangler.com/
Duane Redford – Lead Guide at Minturn Anglers, CO and Author – https://flyfishersplaybook.wordpress.com/about/
To keep updated please visit our facebook page HERE!
For information on the Fly Fishing Film Tour happening that Saturday night, please go here!
If you want to chat, grab a sticker or sweet trucker lid, just swing by the Gruene Outfitters booth where i’ll be more than happy to fill you in on my new role at Gruene Outfitters as well as introducing you to the wonderful folks (Chris 1 and 2) that run guided trips for trout on the Guadalupe!
A few months back i was at Sportsmans Finest looking to replace a five weight line i had that was many years past its prime, due to a wide collection of cracks that looked like it had spent to much time sunbathing on some distant, forgotten beach. As a long time fan and user of the Rio Grand i was a little hesitant when Casey suggested re-lining my spool with the Short Bellied Taper line from Scientific Angler. As a creature of habit, i tend to find something i like and stick with it ad-nauseum, whether it be a fly line or an entree at a local restaurant. Like a true professional though he explained the differences, laid out the information and related his own experience with what he considered to be the best line for trout fishing on the Guadalupe River.
Over the course of a few weeks i tried out the 5WT line on my 10′ 3WT and found that much like Casey had said, it was the perfect line for nymphing in tight with a double fly rig and a strike indicator since the bulk of the line lies in the front 25′ of the tip making it easy to load a rod at very close quarters. Due to the extra mass i found this line excelled especially when “flipping” the rig back upstream after nymphing through a pocket.
With a camo tip to keep the curious fish at ease, as well as a strikingly orange belly to cue you in to where the bulk of your line is residing, this is a must have line for nymphing on any smaller waters such as our local Guadalupe River.
Available in 2-6 WT options, this is the line you need if your tossing heavy streamers or throwing heavily weighted rigs. The SBT lines are available locally at Sportsmans Finest and Gruene Outfitters.
Good news for the family angler or anyone looking for a change of pace! As mentioned in their press release below, Guadalupe River State Park has stocked the park with trout for the first time ever! It’s a little confusing since TPWD has stocked the Guadalupe River below Canyon Lake (along with the GRTU) for years, but this stretch is in the Guadalupe River State Park proper, which is quite a few miles upstream from Canyon Lake. Sure the trout might be smaller than their friends further downstream, but the setting alone more than makes up for it. Check out the press release below from the Guadalupe River State Park Facebook page.
Attention Everyone! For the first time in the Park’s history, the river in the Park will be stocked with Rainbow Trout! Approximately 1,250 trout will be stocked and ready to be fished this Saturday, February 4th.
We will be at the river with a limited number of rods and reels for loan beginning at 8:30 a.m. Saturday morning — you need to bring the bait which can range from trout dough (get the kind that smells) and worms to corn. Small spinners can also work. If you bring your own tackle, make sure the hooks and weights are lightweight.
Please note that when fishing in the park, no fishing licenses or stamps are required. The daily bag limit is five trout.
For more information on trout fishing in Texas, either click on the link below or copy and paste it to the search bar on your browser:
With more curves than a bad cast, this beauty would look right at home hitched to an Airstream and parked next to some world class trout waters.
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.
If you’ve been wanting to get yourself (or possibly a friend or significant other) into fly fishing, here is your chance. The folks at www.livingwatersflyfishing.com are putting on their legendary class covering casting, fly selection, local waters and even basic fly tying this Saturday.
Sure you could spend years figuring it out yourself (i did), but why torture yourself when there is a FREE and informative class like this happening?
Saturday Feb. 4th – Intro to Fly Fishing
FREE OF CHARGE AND NO REGISTRATION REQUIRED
9:00 AM — Doors Open/Round Rock Donuts/Coffee
9:30 AM — Introduction to Fly Casting
(Traditional and Tenkara)
We’ll be kicking things off with a casting class catered towards beginners. Join us for a clinic on the basic principles of fly casting. Casting traditional and tenkara fly rods will be demonstrated and discussed, with plenty of interactive learning opportunities!
11:00 AM — Basic Rigging for the Hill Country
(Traditional and Tenkara)
This presentation will explain the how’s and why’s behind rod, reel, and line selection for fly fishing our local waters. We’ll also discuss the advantages and disadvantages of different fly line tapers, and show you the knots you need to get rigged up and ready to fish!
2:00 PM — Local Hot Spots – Llano River, San Gabriel River, Brushy Creek, and more!
Come find out where, how, and when to fish our local fishing hot spots. We will be giving a presentation on multiple hill country rivers and will discuss fishing techniques and flies according to each river. After this presentation you can consider yourself to be armed and dangerous from a local fly fishing standpoint! If you’re new to the area, this is a presentation you won’t want to miss!
4:00 PM — Fly Tying for Beginners
This class is designed to walk people through the essential basics of fly tying. We will walk each attendee through tying a couple basic fly patterns that fish well on our local water, as well as discussing the uses of the many fly tying tools out there! This is a great class for beginners as well that those who want to brush up on their fly tying and tool knowledge. If you already have a vise and tools, feel free to bring them! We do have a limited amount of loaner vises and tools as well.
6:00 PM — Doors Close