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Category Archive:   Texas Rivers

I’ve been slowly saving over the winter and finally purchased my 2WT outfit today. I ended up buying a Temple Fork Professional that stokes3is an 8′ three piece. I’ve spent WAY to much time researching all the possible rod and reel combos and finally went with the Temple Fork Pro because i have a 5WT model that while not “Super Special” at least is trusty and reliable. Thirty minutes after getting my outfit from a local chain, hint…it has lots of dead animals in it, i was on the water at John Stokes Park on the east side of San Marcos. 

I was worried that the 2WT wouldn’t be able to toss poppers, but boy was i wrong. Size 10-12 poppers were a perfect match and 6-8 just took a little practice. Within three casts i had a beautiful Red Breast on the line that put the rod to the test right away. It was exactly what i hoped it would be, an incredible fight with an 8″ sunfish that made the 4WT seem like a stiff, pretentious bore in comparison.  

Just like at Barton Creek yesterday there were young fish in schools all over the place striking this fly that was as big as they were. Get a school of fish together and they seem to think they’re indestructible. The most amazing part of the day was seeing the incredible spawning colors that the fish were exhibiting.

A couple years ago while snorkeling this river it decided to take my brand new $100 goggles p22600012as some sort of payment for revealing to me the secrets of it’s depths. Today it took my freshly stocked fly box of warm water flies. After retracing my steps three times i finally just through my hands in the air and decided that the river was in control of the situation.  I love this river so much but it’s turning into an expensive love. Anyway enjoy the flies if you find them…i recommend the “Sneaky Pete’s” in black, size 10.

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.

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.