New feature: For days of adventure that don’t quite end in a story but deserve to be shared to help our fellow anglers we now present Field Notes.

02/28/19  Llano River – Kingsland, TX:  Upon parking and exiting my vehicle recently at “The Slab” near the junction of the Colorado and Llano rivers in search of white bass, I had the strange feeling that a spot I’d fished for many years suddenly looked completely foreign. It took a good thirty seconds or so until it dawned on me that I was witness to the result of 300,000CFS of flood waters that inundated the area in October 2018. Other than “The Slab” itself nothing I was taking in looked familiar. One time rolling sand dunes have been flattened and now stretch on for many hundreds of yards and now are entirely devoid of the trees, shrubs and plant life that used to call the riverbed home.

Most shocking (for fisherman anyway) is the fact that the course of the river that once followed a pretty well-defined course and had obvious runs and pools for white bass is now completely altered. There are now many shallow braids of the river that split off only to coalesce into deep pools so immensely long and wide that not only is finding an obvious course for the white bass difficult, wading the pools themselves is incredibly tricky if not outright dangerous as there are an insane amount of spots along the bottom of the riverbed that for all practical purposes are quicksand (not ideal when the water is already chest high).

On this day I made the unwise decision to wet-wade the river in my Chacos since the temperature was supposed to climb close to 60˚.  Two hours later, two miles from the car it topped out at 46˚ and things went south real quick. One mile from the car I lost all feeling from my waist down and an uncontrollable shivering set in as the simple act of wading and walking became incredibly difficult, the lack of feeling causing me to tumble forward into water that soaked every ounce of clothing I wore and thereby magnifying the problem. I mention this not because I want anyone to know how stubborn and stupid I can be, but because it’s real easy to forget when you live in Texas that it’s a fine line between safe and dangerous conditions when it comes to the elements. It’s easy to remember when you’re in the Rockies or some such place that a minute change in weather / altitude can kill you, but around here in our relatively flat land we’re so accustomed to thinking about the heat that it’s easy to forget what a few degrees of cooler weather can do. Be smart y’all.

Oh yeah, kept my toes but didn’t catch a white bass. I call that a wash.