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Category Archive:   Trout


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It’s that time of year again. The cold weather has returned, although in fits and starts, to tease us and remind us that the holidays are closer than we think. For many, this means making plans, booking flights, writing cards, or heading out with everyone else to the malls to knock out that holiday shopping that we told ourselves a year ago we would do back in September.

Being a manager of a retail store, i’m torn around this time EVERY year. One half of me is focused on my store and all it’s needs (although at this point in the season, the real work is done and the nervous waiting begins) while the other part of me realizes that like clockwork the trout season has snuck up on me once again.

So it is that midges are quickly tied en masse at the last minute and spools of 5X tippet are dug out from beneath car seats in an effort to prepare for the stocking of the alien rainbow trout that will soon work their way to the front of the stage, screaming for attention like the prima donnas they are.

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Thanks to annual winter stockings by the local Trout Unlimited chapter the Guadalupe River Trout Unlimited (which i highly recommend becoming a part of if you are even remotely into trout fishing) as well as corresponding stockings by Texas Parks and Wildlife there are not only holdover trout in the waters close to Canyon Lake Dam, but also freshly stocked trout that usually start showing up somewhere around this time at various locations in the upper reaches of the Guadalupe.

For reasons that are still unclear to me, i somehow managed to hit these waters four times in the last week or so, and can attest that at 300CFS (the first time i was there, and when these trout were landed) these waters are ideal for trout fishing, but at the current 500+ CFS, as they’ve been the last three times i’ve been there, it’s quite simply to much water. To much for the fisherman and to much for the fish. It’s a sad state of affairs that around here we seem to have no water, or to much water, but apparently, like the fish, the angler must learn to adapt.

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For now though i advise waiting it out, (as opposed to wading it out), tying flies, and saving your fishing days for lower flows, colder weather, and more stocked possibilities. Then again, even knowing what i know, i still hit the water when all the odds are stocked against me, so use that advice however you see fit

As a top notch fly fishing guide said the other day while floating past, me on the bank and he in his raft with a client.

“You sure are a glutton for punishment.”

“Yes,” i agreed “there’s something wrong with me for sure.” i yelled knowingly over the hum of the whitewater.

Thinking about this over the next few fish-less hours i realized i really am a glutton for punishment. Here i was, with the sun beating on my face, the wind not only drying out my skin but also tying my tippet into endlessly intricate knots, branches alternating between scratching my skin and eating my flies, and shifty rocks sending me head over heels into cold flows that quickly filled my waders with not just coldness, but incredible weight and not a fish to show for it.

Then again, i wasn’t sitting in the parking lot at the mall, jockeying for position in the parking lot only to delve into the insanity in effort to grab a gift that would likely be re-gifted or donated next year to Goodwill. That in itself was a huge plus.

So the trout days are among us. Even if you do head down during the heavy flows, receive a bump or bruise from shifting rocks, a minor cut from branches, or an unfortunate fish-less day, just remember, you could be working retail!

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If you (like me) had no idea that Georgia was home to some handsome trout, check out this beautiful work of equal parts art and stoke from Livit Films.

IMG_1201photo by David Feldkamp

I know this might sound absurd, but at one time fly fishing seemed to me to be one of the most rebellious activities one could participate in. Heading off alone with a “stick and string” to wander aquatic avenues felt like the ultimate way to raise the middle finger to this cultures growing desire to experience everything together, all the time.

In addition, fly-fishing had much of the attraction that drew me intensely to surfing and skateboarding years before, the chance for an individual to learn and refine a skill to a point that one’s personality bleeds into the technique and suddenly an individual style blossoms and grows. There’s probably an art in everything, but for me it’s most obvious at those moments when i find the perfect trim on a wave, grind the edge of a ditch, or unroll  30 yards of line right onto the nose of an startled gar.

For years my  younger brother David (below) and i were the only two in our family that shared this fly fishing passion despite the fact that our fisheries are wildly different, his being explosive, torpedo like steelhead in Oregon and mine being the mixed bag of warm water species found in central Texas. Despite these incongruities, upon seeing each other we quickly wade through the pleasantries before rapidly having our conversations to the common bond, the love of water, and the love of fish.

IMG_1189photo by Alex Freddi

Fast forward a few years (2009) and suddenly our dad, who was starting to wind down a long and honored career in the Air Force and post-military work, was throwing around terms like “mend”, “riffle” and “LDR”, a shock to the system and a pleasant surprise. Not long after catching the bug he began taking guided trips that David and i were lucky enough to be invited to on occasion. One of these much appreciated adventures happened to be a steelhead trip a few years ago where everybody on the trip landed a steelhead except for our dad which was especially unfortunate since nobody wants to see the person who picks up the tab get skunked. Fortunately that was corrected a few weeks ago when David, his friend Alex and our dad hit the Deschutes and more or less put our dad on to steelhead immediately, a rare and fortunate closure for all of us.

Along the way our youngest brother Andrew took up the sport, although i have a feeling there’s a little pressure to do so when all the other males in the family plan time spent together around fishing seasons more than holidays. He’s an incredibly smart and intelligent person which is likely why he has the sense to take a job and a career more seriously than i can possibly muster. Likely this means he’ll be rewarded for his drive by retiring early and fishing the world while i’m still working and fishing local creeks. If so he deserves it.

IMG_1191photo by David Feldkamp

I never could have imagined a decade ago that anyone else in the family other than David and i would be as passionate and over the top about something that in some ways is so incredibly rewarding, but in others so poignantly pointless. It seemed to good to be true, and surely (or so i thought) there was no way the universe could top itself.

Then my mom took up fly-fishing.

Since taking up fly-fishing she’s managed to land more fish (including this beautiful Greenback Cutthroat below) than i did in my first few years combined. Her and my father have spent the year hitting up some of their local watering holes in Colorado and she’s probably quickly outpaced not only her husband, but all her children in figuring out the technique while also finding her own style. I guess it makes sense, if you can figure out how to raise three usually decent, thoughtful and responsible (if sometimes distracted) human beings, you can probably figure out what it takes to get a fish to bite.

Strange.

It started as an act of rebellion, an attempt to keep everyone at arm’s length, and a way to escape from everyone including myself. Ultimately however, fly-fishing has caused me to do a complete 180˚ bringing me closer to myself and loved ones than i ever would have thought possible.

Thank you fly-fishing.

IMG_1195photo by Alan Feldkamp

 

I was trying to figure out how to introduce the passion behind this video from four young lads in Austria, and then i realized they already explained it quite well on their Vimeo page. Read, watch, enjoy!

Hello there!

Thank you for stopping by our profile.
We are four young men who enriches our everyday high-school life by fly fishing, exploring the nature with soft tunes and just relaxing and enjoying the vast wilderness that is just a few steps outside your door. We may not have the best gear or be the best fly fishermen but we have the ambition to make fishing videos for everybody. We have always wanted since this project started to encourage and inspire people to go fishing and discover the lifestyle around it. With our videos we want to show that money nor equipment should stop you from adventures.

Go check us out on

Facebook: facebook.com/fleyepro
Website: fleyepro.com