Recently I was lucky enough to hook up once again with my good friend Nathan for a reenactment of the float from Little Webberville to Big Webberville on the Colorado River that we had done just a couple of weeks ago. Things were much different on this float though, where our previous trip had been at a much more agreeable 500 CFS, this trip found us barely scratching 300 CFS, making this usually mammoth body of water feel like something more akin to a hill country stream. If one was so inclined, one could probably wade a good 80% of this stretch as it was all a good 3-6 feet below normal flows.

The day started off almost too good to be true with Nathan and i both quickly hooking into a few male Guadalupe that all managed to free themselves of their barbed albatross within a few feet of being netted. It was hard to tell where the lack of commitment laid, i assume it was them but it could have just as easily been us. Even though it took quite a few fights before one of us properly landed one it was quite the endorphin rush calling a fishy spot, casting into it and watching your rod tip bend in acknowledgment that you occasionally you do get things right.

photo by @theurbanfly on instagram

A short while later after rounding the bend we came to the first long pool, a bitch of a slog in even the most exemplary of conditions, just as the previously mellow winds whipped themselves up into a frenzy that one usually finds on the coast. We are talking straight upstream, northern bound, blow you backwards, cresting wind waves force winds. They certainly aren’t fun at normal flows and even less so when the river barley has a pulse to move you down stream.

Eventually we made it to a fork in the river where there’s the option to take a smaller channel and use the trees along the shoreline as a welcome respite from the relentless gale force winds. I’ve fished a lot of waters in Texas and this small side alley is one of my favorite, feeling more like a float through a tropical rainforest than a tail water just a stones throw from a major metropolitan area (Austin). Still, at least for me, it’s one of those places that invokes the feeling that if should be absolutely teeming with fish while simultaneously dashing those expectations repeated visits.

Eventually joining back up with the other channel we once again were back in the river proper as the wind died down, apparently losing much of its bluster. It was good timing too as we were approaching the first of two large cliffs on this dugout, carved out over the years by this temperamental river. They generally have deep waters at the base, with currents pushing everything in the water up against them meaning that if you want to find a fish, they’ll be there.

photo by @theurbanfly on instagram

Upon approaching the cliff i spotted a downed tree extending from the bank, surmised it to be holding a bass, cast next to it and watched as a healthy sized Guadalupe Bass darted from the shadows and pounced on my streamer before it had barely touched the water. It might not have been the biggest Guadalupe i’ve caught, but it provided an absolute thrill on te 4WT, pulling me in several directions before coming to hand. Releasing this beautiful specimen extra carefully I looked up to see Nathan (who just seconds ago had snapped the photo above of me and my catch) struggling with his own ordeal on the end of his line.

As his line ran circles around his paddleboard he kept yelling at me to “Get the net!” in a voice that might have as well been screaming “OH SHIT!”

I assumed it was a largemouth or Guadalupe and paddled at the appropriate speed towards him getting the net ready. Then the fish broke the surface and i caught site of the flank, resplendent in its alternating silver and black lines. Around that time I freaked out, knowing that white bass are usually found above lakes of which there are none down on this stretch of the Lower Colorado. Nate, not knowing what he had, saw me freak out, and then commenced to freak out as well sending us both into a spiral of joy and confusion that can only be described as transcendent. Eventually for him it meant a new species on the fly, and in the most unlikely of places.

It was a fitting way to end the day and quite honestly, a great way to wrap up life. Sometimes you choose the outcome and sometimes the outcome chooses you. If nothing else, life is an interesting ride.

Note: The day we we floated it (10/24) it was barely 300CFS. That night it stormed with a vengance and 24 hours later it spiked at 4,500CFS. Interesting indeed.