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After all the “No-Bite” days spent on the Guadalupe i decided to head to an old standby today after work for a couple hours of fishing. Barton Creek is an extremely popular Greenbeltbarton-creek4 that runs from the Hill Country out west right down to it’s confluence with the Colorado river in the heart of downtown Austin. Before moving here i’d never seen anything like it. The creek can flow right from a spring in the ground for a few hundred yards before disappearing all together below ground into it’s seemingly endless underground tunnels. It’s a creek that disappears and reappears according to it’s own whims. Most people visit the areas closer in, where it’s been dry for the last two years. As you go further up though there are pools that expand and contract drastically with the seasons. 

I’m kind of hesitant to even mention this area to the couple that read this site, but so far they all seem to live out of town so what the heck. I’ve been fishing what are essentially p22500081four pools for the last few years and in all that time i have only seen one person fishing, and that just so happened to be the first time i was there 2 1/2-3 years ago. The pools are crystal clear and the fish are probably the smartest i’ve encountered so far, i imagine that comes from living in pools that shrink from 50′ wide down to 5′ through the summer as well as all the herons, raccoons, and humans that are stalking these small and fragile pools. In my time fishing here i’ve caught Sunfish, Guadalupe Bass, Large-mouth Bass, catfish as well as my favorite, the beautiful Rio Grand. 

I headed out there today for the first time in about a month and was shocked to find pools 6-8 feet deep that only months ago had been MAYBE a foot deep. Back at the end of last year when it was at it’s worse i watched isolated pools quickly have their fish, large bass and Rio Garand’s, depleted due to shallow waters and lack of coverage. One year ago there were more sunfish than you could count, as well as quite a few bass larger than a foot cruising back and forth. I’m sad to say that there not there for the most part, but if you look hard you’ll find the occasional 12″ bass. Luckily today i did see large fresh school of Large-mouth fingerlings that hopefully will make it to the end of the summer if we’re all lucky and get some rain.

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This is a great book that i take with me when scouting new fishing areas. While the book is great in it’s own right, the website is spectacular as it allows you to break down the fish selection by drainage. It’s amazing the amount of fish located in a state with such fluctuating water levels. Lampeys, paddlefish, gar, Rio Grand’s, and even the Rainbow Trout…booooo.

Knowing someone that works on collecting this information for a living, it’s quite astounding that it can all be captured in such a notable book.

An incredible resource for any Texas angler. Check out the website here.

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.