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Okay…I’m officially done with the Trout on the Guadalupe. The last 3 times i’ve been there i have gotten skunked. So that’s it. No mas.

Of course i will go again, it’s just that by saying i am officially done with that stretch of river and it’s inhabitants, i am telling all that i don’t need to catch anything there. And i’m cool with that.

The water is WAY to low, 44CFS, the water is to clean, the ospreys have eaten their share, to much sun, p2190001to much angling pressure, poachers are ruining it all. There are a lot of valid reasons i could use to explain why i didn’t catch ANYTHING, but the following is my hypothesis that i worked on all day while casting to wet water. I CAN’T catch hatchery fish, they are born and raised body to body in chutes with their food flowing to them on the artificial current. Couch potatoes watching television while snacking on junk food comes to mind. 

No. The fish i catch are born and raised in a difficult world that rewards that are cunning, resourceful and let’s face it, lucky. They might be the native trout of New Mexico, Colorado, or Oregon. img_33353The SeaTrout and Red Fish of the Gulf Coast. The sunfish and bass, gars and cichlid that call Texas home year after year. I’d prefer to catch them, the wild fish that have existed for generations in the creeks and pools that abound around here, before stalking some pellet raised snob that doesn’t even know how good that Trico imitation might be. Spoiled Trout.

To this affect i finally received B.L. Priddy’s “Fly Fishing the Texas Hill Counrty” in the mail today. I decided to go with the old school original instead of the new version with all the GPS sites and up to date information because, well, it’s the old school version. Coordinates and all would be nice, don’t et me wrong, but i hope with the older version to spend many hours circling around trying to find that elusive spot that coordinates with my written directions. It will make finding that spot just that much more special.

Speaking of special, i finally found GRTU site 6b. If you’ve ever looked for it you know how special that is.

The last couple days i’ve been heading to my local watering hole which just so happens to be a state park. McKinney Falls State Park is a mere eight minutedrive from my house. The parks is located just a few miles east of me on Onion Creek. p21100022The creek running through my neighborhood, Williamson Creek junctures with Onion Creek within the park at the Lower Falls. Suffice to say it’s home for me. The last few days i’ve been catching a good number of Sunfish on poppers, a few in the 8-10″ range. Occasionally while fishing these guys i we see the ominous ripple coming for me, it looks like a torpedo just inches below the surface being fired straight at you. These were without a doubt the large 20+ inch bass that you see occasionally if you sit still on the cliffs long enough. My hope today was to worm around under the cliff area that is pretty much off limits without a deep wade. Since today was a 75 degree day it actually felt good to wade around in sandals so that i could set myself up for one of the big guys. Long story short, one took one of the large bass poppers my brother gave me for the holidays but in my anxiousness i think i pulled it right out of his mouth. A little later with the daylight fading quickly i made a desperate cast with a smaller p2110004popper to a productive section of the large pool. At first i thought a large sunfish had taken my fly, but as the fight dragged on i noticed that i didn’t feel that familiar sideways fight that sunfish are known for. It of course turned about to be what i believe was a 11″ Guadalupe Bass…or maybe a Spotted Bass. If anyone can tell from the photo let me know. It was quite a beauty regardless. The first beautiful bass of the season.

Man these guys crank out some great stuff. I just recently watched three of their other shorts that i purchased and think they pretty much are alone in the fly fishing video realm. Not quite what Mooshine Conpiracy  is for surf films, but getting there quickly…REALLY quickly.

Eastern Rises | teaser from felt soul on Vimeo.

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.