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Category Archive:   Trout


Wow…it feels like forever since i’ve sat down to do this. But thankfully the holidays have come and gone in the retail world (where i work) and now i can find time to recharge the batteries along the creeks and rivers.

Over the last few days i was fortunate enough to get out to Garner State Park with my family for a few days of cold weather camping. The trip was great for many reasons, time with family, my wife learning how to operate some of the camping gear she was unfamiliar with, and just the stillness that the cold (28 degrees) weather brought. I have to say that catching Rainbow after Rainbow was pretty nice too.

I think by now most people know that the Guadalupe near Gruene is stocked to the gills (no pun intended) with large beautiful trout, but it seems to be a little known fact that Texas Parks stocks many other bodies of water throughout Texas. Although the scale of the trout stocking is nothing like that of the Guadalupe it was still nice try something different. What the Frio may lack in quantity and size of fish, it more than makes up for in aesthetics. The undulating hills provide a backdrop for the majestic Cypress that line the banks, enough to capture the hearts of most people. But then there is the centerpiece, at least to a fisher, the tranquil but swift, clear as gin and cold as ice Frio River.

The last time i came to Garner was such a disaster, never go in the summer, that i never even saw the river. But this time…my god…it was beautiful. The water is so crystal clear that it messes with your mind. Standing on the banks in my waders i looked out and thought that there was no way fish would be in what looked like six inches, possibly a foot of water. Imagine my surprise when after taking just a few steps i was submerged up to my chest in it’s icy embrace. The photo in the title was taken in a section where the water was four feet deep, it’s that clear.

The fish that i caught were all in the 10-12″ range, but they loved to jump, providing some wonderful mental images. I saw some 20″ plus size fish hanging out just outside of my casting range but they were on to me. I figure that if i can see them 70 feet away through the clear water, they can easily see me. But just the fact that i could see them that far away was almost as pleasurable as catching them…almost.

Standing in the liquid ice at Garner State Park.

Holy cow. One more day to go. One more day until sweet freedom.

You see, i love my job, but i work retail. I actually manage a good size local business and this time of the year i willingly work/sleep/work pretty much every day. I enjoy it, i really do, but i miss strolling the waters and plying them for my kindred spirits.

I want to say thank you to everyone that his read this blog over the last year, and wish you all a happy holidays. Enjoy your time with friends and family, sorry for the lack of posts this time of year, and i’ll see you all again soon.

P.S. On one of the few days i had off this month,  i made it down to the Guadalupe where i fished a solid seven hours before hooking into this beautiful site.

OOOOOOHHHHH BABY! It’s really here, at least in my book, winter has arrived. The trout are in the river, the sky is ominous, and the air is COLD!

Yesterday i spent the morning dropping off posters i made for the benefit/fly fishing film showing at the Dobie on Tuesday (info here) before heading to the L and L. As i  pulled in i couldn’t believe my eyes, not a single vehicle was parked at what i was sure would turn out to be an amazing spot for the day. After getting skunked here last Sunday i had sworn to myself that i would somehow get it dialed by utilizing all the information that Judge had given me a couple of trips back. As i walked down the steps i felt a tingle of cold mixing with just a bit of isolation. For those that haven’t been to the L and L it’s important to mention that the Devil’s Playground can either have a lot of people there, making it feel like your crashing someones party, or feel so desolate that you’d swear you were in the wilderness in Alaska. On this day i was feeling like at any moment a bear might come strolling down the bank, likely the combination of cold, grayness, and the lack of a nutritious breakfast.

After a while i ended up on a particular bank that i’d seen many trout (or possibly the same one) jumping around sporadically throughout the day. It was still water, for the most part, but i tossed my rig in any ways and used a SSSLLLLLOOOOOWWWW retreive hoping to lure one of the lurking leviathans. Suddenly my indicator dove, i set the hook, and waited for the 5 yard run…

ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ….

Was the sound of my reel. My line ran 20, 30, 40 yards out into the deep pool. I tried to palm the reel but the sound of it humming was so cathartic that i didn’t want it to stop. But stop it did. Then, ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ 30 yards to the left, suddenly a trout was jumping clear out of the water…but wait…my line is still in the water…one fish escaping the other. Another mad dash, and suddenly, there it is, an easily 24 incher at my feet…so big i had trouble getting it in what is a rather large net.

HEAVEN.

It was so great that i immediately left the spot for fear of jinxing it.  I had got what i needed and so it was time to move to another spot. Once there i caught two more  that were at least 18″. I played them lightly and ran up and down the rapids following their crazy dance. The trout went right and i dove gently giving them just the slack they needed. They went right and i pirouetted with them in the sinking rays of the sun.

It was an amazing day.

I suggest you get out if you haven’t.

I can’t believe it’s here already. Another year has gone by, Christmas is around the corner, and stocking has already begun on the Guadalupe. I didn’t think i was excited to fish for trout this year, but as soon as i realized there were trout an hour away, flows were good, it was nice outside AND i had the day off, i was speeding to the river practically giddy with excitement. So giddy in fact, that i managed to forget socks and one of my boots…not both mind you, just one. Thank goodness i always have the Chacos (sandals) in the car, they were WAY to tight, and awkward as hell to wade with, but it didn’t matter, i was going to be on the water soaking the day in.

The first couple of hours were fruitless, mostly me getting used to swinging an Judge, instantly on a 15 incher.entire nymph rig with my 3WT. I did pretty well getting used to the awkward casting until “WHAMO”, first wind knot of the season. About 10 minutes and an ungodly number of curse words later, i heard some heckling and looked up to realize that i had an audience. Judge and Jacob from Gruene Outfitters were getting a kick out of watching me try to solve the wind knot puzzle. I normally enjoy fishing because of the solitude it brings, but both Judge and Jacob are such nice guys that i actually was happy to see them on the water. Judge was giving Jacob some pointers on nymphing and was kind enough to share a lot of tips with me as well, going so far as to put me in the right spot and point out exactly where to toss my fly. I’d been out there for three hours without catching anything, after just a few casts with Judge’s help,  i had a fish on my line. The indicator dunked ever so briefly beneath the surface, the line went taught, and the Rainbow leapt from the water…MY GOD, LOOK AT THE SIZE OF!….

*SNAP*

And like that it was gone.

Bummed but not beaten, i went back out with the adrenaline still coursing through my veins. A few casts later and i had my first Rainbow of the year, somewhere in the 14-16″ range. It was such a rush that my hands shook nervously with excitement, the fish saw his chance, made a break for it, and was back in the river before any celebratory picture could be taken, camera shy i guess. Minutes later i caught the one seen in the above photo, and a soon after, another. It was awesome. I can’t even remember the last time i caught three fish in one day (not including Sunfish). It’s also been a while since i’ve been on the water, had other people around, and actually enjoyed it. Thanks guys.