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Okay so the title for this post is from N.W.A. lyrics. It just popped in my mind when looking at my only true catch p20500011from the Guadalupe this week. Halfway through my day weekday off, which means time spent alone on the Guadalupe, i was adjusting the strike indicator on my leader. The dropper fly which i believe was a size 22 Prince Nymph caressed the water for barely a a second before “wham” this tiny fingerling attacked it and took it in regardless of the fact that i, a giant to the fish, was right there. The one fish that i held all day and i didn’t even have to cast my line.

I learned a lot today. At some point later in the day it dawned on me. If the person working the fly shop, who is one of my favorite people by the way, has told everyone that a Chartruse Egg Pattern with a size 22 RS2 is the way to go then—-everyone is hitting the water with the same set up—-then the fish are biting on these—-then they are remembering getting stung the next time they see them—-then i am standing there like an idiot casting to fish that know better. It’s my fault of course for not improvising on the spot. I did improv on the spot today and it should have paid off better than it did. I was basically standing on a gravel bank at the L&L fishing a two foot deep seam when a trout leaped in the air 30 feet to my left in the DEEP pool going after something riding the surface. I had just switched it up and tied a size 8 Wooly Bugger that i tossed quickly to the ripples…one strip, two strip and “BAM” a hog started taking my line with abandon i went to set the hook and unfortunately lost him. As i reeled the fly in, all i could thing was “Damn what i do wrong THIS time.” However he was simly to big. The hook had been snapped clean off in the midst of the fight. Needless to say i’m going back this week with a bigger fly.

PS Here is the perfect one day vacation for anyone living in the Austin/San Antonio area.

1) Wake up early to make it to Sattler and grab a Kolache from Sweetie’s Donuts by 10AM.

2) Hit the trailrace between Canyon Lake Dam for an hour and consider whether or not to img_3319keep the trout you catch, then let them go regardless.

3) Spend the next 5-6 hours fishing ANY PLACE BUT THE LAZY L&L!

4) Head into Gruene by 5:30 so you can hit Gruene Outfitters before they close and ask what you did wrong/right while enjoying a beer they are almost sure to offer you.

5) Mozy across the road, literally, to the Texas Wine Tasting room. Enjoy three FREE tastings then order a glass to take outside.

6) Find a nice picnic table, light up the headlamp (the Princeton Scout is great for this), crack a book and read.

7) Relax, you’re in heaven.

Jeez, us. I’m starting to feel like i may never catch another trout again. I set out for the Guadalupe today. Once again a cold front came in the night before. This morning it was close to 30 degrees as i ventured into the chilly waters intent on catching anything…anything. Of course the water was around 40 degrees and the trout barely move at that point, they’re just trying to not freeze to death. I of course realized this MUCH later.

My day started in a much different place than the fishing did. My day really started at Susie’s Donuts in Sattler. They pretty much have every breakfast option known to man or woman; breakfast tacos, kolaches, donuts and more. If your ever in town i HIGHLY suggest stopping there. By the way, one breakfast taco or kolache there is equivalent to two or three here in the City so place your order accordingly. I ordered far to much and don;t wish for you to do the same, although i did have food to last the whole day for a mere $10.  

I started out directly below the ominous dirt wall that is Canyon Lake Dam. I’ve had the feeling before and it never ceases to freak me out, all that water being held by what seems like a tenuous and nimble thread, p12800012i half expect it to give way the second i set foot on whatever river it might be…guess that’s the pessimist in me. While fishing the waters below the dam i stumbled into a good 18-20 inch-er sitting way down deep in a dark crevice. I was so surprised when i realized that my hook was in a fish instead of a stump that i neglected to set the hook. And that was in the first thirty minutes of what would turn out to be an 8 hour day of fishing. And it all happened in that first 30 minutes. Damn.

At first it stressed me out that i couldn’t seem to catch anything. I had tried various spots along the river and it was always the same thought roaming through my head…where the hell are they?

i eventually ended up at the Lazy L&L pretty much because it’s one of the only spots on this stretch of river that doesn’t have houses lining it’s bank. p12800041It feels distant and removed from the rest of the sleaziness that seems to infect this precious river. While i was there fishing the Devil’s Playground  i started to get that old familiar feeling that brings me to this spot time and time again…i am anywhere…at any time…life and reality just seem to fall away. Texas seems to have a bounty of those spots, places where you are essentially in the middle of it yet somehow so far removed from all of it.

After hours spent relaxing and getting back in touch with my love for the simple act of p1280014_22fly fishing, as opposed to the act of catching fish while fly fishing, i moved on to Hueco Camp. I was hoping to catch a trout or two to bring home and grill, my way of justifying the fly fishing bug to my wife. Although she appreciates the joy it brings me, it brings her a lot more when it pays off in free fish. I loose that expression loosely by the way, obviously the fish aren’t free when you’ve invested hundreds of dollars into you “hobby”. But i figure that for me at least the rewards have already come back in the form of piece of mind. Unfortunately while i was at the Hueco Camp all i caught was some beautiful photos of the cliffs on the opposite side of the river.  The thing that really got me was that i was wading out up to my chest in freezing cold water and tossing perfect casts out to spots that should have had trout lined up to take my fly. Instead the bait caster to my right managed to pull a huge 20″ rainbow from the river without setting a precious toe into the icy depths. It made me realize once again what i already know, fly fishing is an art…if you REALLY want to catch fish you would do it with bait. JE SUIS UN ARTISTE!

As i side note i swung by Cabela’s to try and figure some stuff out and ended up strollingthrough p12800223their aquarium checking out all the fish that i didn’t catch. It’s pretty damn humbling to knock your brains out all day with such a simple set up hoping to trick some fish into taking your fly, or at the very least showing itself in such icy climes, and then you walk into this “aquarium” and there they all are layed out in front of you like some sick dance club revue.

redgold_case_wrap-12Man.

It’s been months that i’ve been waiting to see the film “Red. Gold” and the credits just rolled minutes ago. It’s close to 1AM which is the latest i’ve been up in a long time, but i simply could not stop watching the movie that finally showed up in my mailbox just today.

I’m feeling so restless and aggravated right now that i don’t even know what to do with myself. It will never cease to amaze me how some, myself included, can look at a mountain, river, forest, wave, etc. and see it for the beauty that it holds within, while others simply see profit margins, gross returns and such. I wish they weren’t apart of my world, greedy motherfuckers, but we have to find some way to get along i guess.

The following quote is taken from the Feltsoul Media Blog,  home to the creators of this amzing movie.

 “On November 14, 2008, Ben and I stood before 500 people at the National Geographic Headquarters in Washington, D.C. to show Red Gold [what an honor].  On the very same day, just a block away from the theater in the Bureau of Land Management building, President’s Bush’s staff put out a Record of Decision for the Bristol Bay Area Management Plan.  It opened nearly 2 million acres of federal land surrounding the Pebble Site to mining exploration.  2 million acres.  So while citizens continue to battle development of the Pebble mine on Alaskan State land, we now face the worst – Pebble amidst a mining district in the heart of the world’s largest remaining sockeye salmon fishery.  When the Obama administration comes into office, our leaders of change will have 30 days to reverse this decision”

Check out the sight, ask for a change to this horrendous decision, order wild fish and think about what you can do to reverse this giant selfish wheel of “progress”.

I for one promise to start tomorrow on creating a poster to plaster around town bringing attention to this ticking time bomb. Let me know what you think and what you will do.

 


Where do they all go when it gets cold? Do they make their way up and down the creeks to hide in the deep pools? How did they make it out of the shallow pools that have nary a trickle running in or out of them. Are they really hanging out in those deep pools where they seem like endless meals for the larger fish already lurking there? 

Fish in Texas, in the winter, in a drought…or rather the lack thereof, confound me.

This was part of the reason that i decided to take the family to McKinney State Park to camp for a few days. If we had gone down to the Guadalupe River i would know that  a) there are active fish (trout) in the water, and b) they are right p1230016there. Anywhere else around here and it’s impossible to know where they are because unlike the trout in the shallows, supposedly they are down huddled together in the inky void that is deeper than it is wide. It was this unknown. The fact that i couldn’t see them, didn’t know if they’d bight, and frankly didn’t even know if they were there at all that made it so interesting to me. 

On Friday i headed out early to check out the park and see what might be found in the water. After s short walk across the pitted and carved limestone that looks like the surface of the moon, i found my gravel bank empty and alone, perfect. Usually people are relaxing here and skipping rocks across the waters surface. Today i was lucky, no people (then at least) and some of the glassiest water that i’ve seen there yet. It took a while but persistence paid off after half an hour when i landed a five inch Blue Gill on a small popper. Not great, but better than not nothing. I figured i should go up a size so i through on a larger black popper and cast it against a floating log, nothing. Next cast and the loud pop of the fish inhaling the popper echoed against the limestone cliffs. After putting up a great fight i got to hand the wiry nine inch Red Breast Sunfish seen here.p1230015

So they’re there, making it by somehow, thanks for asking.