19 April 2024

Spring Rains

I happened to be at a Sisters on the Fly Outing this weekend, and though it was one dedicated to playing games, I headed to the river after getting booted from L-R-C quickly.  The rains have filled the area's rivers, which is great to see, but I did not recognize many spots, due to a full flow.  There was much Carp Love going on, but none liked what I was offering.  I did manage to hook some Sunfish and Catfish, so it was a good day.  I hiked about 1 river mile and had to work hard for each catch.

Channel Catfish

14 March 2024

Passing on the Love

 When Fabs #4 and #5 were young, we gave each one of those Sage rods (I do not nor will I ever again fish Sage) for kids; one was bubblegum pink and the other was bright blue.  They would fish with us, but finding areas to fish where they could safely backcast was not an easy endeavor.  Fab #5 liked fishing but just decided he wanted to do conventional tackle.  We've taken him many places to fish, but we were so surprised a few weeks before Thanksgiving when Fab #5 texted and asked for a fly rod.  We actually thought he was joking and called his sister to ask if this was something he really wanted, or it was just a funny, Ha Ha text.  Evidently, he really wanted it, because Sister begged us to get it for him, so he would stop talking about wanting one.

When you gift someone a fly set-up, we think you need to take them fishing, so we booked a guide trip with KC Williams out of Living Waters Fly Shop and headed to the Texas Hill Country.  We told KC to focus on Fab #5, and that for the most part, Cody and I could fend for ourselves; this trip was all about teaching him to catch fish today, but to also transfer what he learned so he could fish wherever he could find places near college and fish on his own successfully.

KC was great; the Hill Country was great; the weather was great; and Cody and I were outfished by the lad!  Couldn't ask for a better day topped off with a BBQ dinner at Cooper's.  When we got back to the ranch, he headed off to fish the Catfish Pond and caught three catfish on his own.  We didn't even know he had gone.

The other item to note, is that I fished a new-to-me rod that I won at the Dallas Fly Fishers' 2024 Auction.  Due to the generous Legacy gifting, I got to bid on and win a rod from Tom Klaasen, a beloved member who passed away in 2023.  I had sat with Tom at the 2022 Holiday Party and heard Tom talk of this particular 3# rod, so my bidding was one of sentimentality, as well as needing to add a 3# rod to my arsenal.  As with all my rods, it needed its new name, and thus, I named Tom's Orvis rod "TKO" which stands for Tom Klaasen's Ovation.  I loved this 2 piece little jewel that was a definite knock-out with the fish.

UPDATE:  It absolutely makes my heart happy when we receive texts letting us know he's been out casting and fishing and catching, and we are going on a saltwater Redfish outing before he begins his summer internship!

One of many species for the day--White Bass, Guadalupe Bass,
Channel Catfish, and Sunfish

Guadalupe Bass

Using the new-to-me TKO rod

Cooper's BBQ

24 April text

11 May Text

24 February 2024

Winter's Late Rains

 Winter and Spring are colliding with one another in February and March, but the rains, Oh! how fortunate we have been.  Our water tables are full; our streams and creeks and rivers flow once again after a tough summer.  Right now, it is good to be a Texas fly fisher!  The days I have set aside to fish are turning out to be less fortuitous, so I'm glad I'm not an even bigger gambler.  We had several warm days, but the day I had to go fishing, a cold front had blown across the prairie, not as bad as the one when we fished the Lampasas the week previously, but enough of a front to make the fishing once again a challenge.  No matter, to see the Limestone Chalk Bluffs, the riverbed completely full from bank-to-bank, and the restorative peace of a moving river all filled my soul with great joy.  

I hit a few spots where other anglers were but had no luck, so I quickly moved downstream for more solitude.  Get to my favorite spot and WHOA! what a difference nice rainfall makes.  I did not recognize the water, as the area was so different.  No fish holding here, today, so I moved on downstream and found a nice, calm and deep pool.  First cast, FishOn!, but I didn't know it, and the take was so subtle that I was stunned to see a Bluegill at the end of my line.  Definitely the softest Sunfish take I've ever experienced.  This was about the tenth cast of the day, so I thought I'd be hammering the Sunfish; well, I thought wrong!  The day's fishing was slow, but I did end up with several Sunfish and Spotted Bass to hand in a beautiful and healthy and flowing river (the secret was a fly with legs regardless the color).  My cup runneth over!

Pre-spawn Bluegill

Spotted Bass

Spotted Bass

18 February 2024

Lampasas River Outing

 Oh how finnicky Mother Nature can be.  All this week, the northern Hill Country enjoyed warm weather, so much so that the Redbuds have really been blooming, which means...Those Fat Girls are uh runnin!  That's probably my favorite springtime saying, "When the Redbuds are blooming, the White Bass are running."  Stocker trout season with TPWD is coming to an end, fish on beds, fish running upstream, serious Carp Love with aerial cavorting, and Big Fish, it's all happening in the spring.

Much to my chagrin, Old Man Winter and Mother Nature must have had a serious disagreement, because the temperatures dropped 30 degrees on Saturday, and while they warmed on Sunday, it was still 20 degrees colder than what the previous week experienced.

Using the Parrie Haynes Equestrian Center private access, we put in just upstream of the Old Maxdale Bridge.  First, Kudos to the Bell County Commissioners.  I have not seen this area looking so clean and litter-free, but closing the Old Maxdale Bridge from public access gave the area a tremendous upgrade.  Next, we received a report while donning our waders that four miles downstream, White Bass were being caught.  With spirits high, I set off on a two mile hike downstream to see if I could locate any of those White Bass.  I saw bed activity but no fish.  I targeted the east bank as the sun was shining on this bright, clear afternoon.  I eventually caught a small Largemouth Bass, but that had to have been the slowest take I ever experienced.  I casted upstream and just the nicely flowing Lampasas carry my fly downstream.  I was as tight the bank as I could be while still being in the water.  Hit, wait, wait, wait; softer hit, wait, wait, wait; twitched the rod, and FishOn!  Phew and finally and thank you, Largemouth Bass.  I did not want to be skunked on my first fishing outing of 2024.  Same scenario about 100 yards downstream, and this time, I landed a Spotted Bass.  By this time, the sun casted some long shadows, and the trek against the current required a little more energy, so I headed back upstream, happy I caught fish but disappointed that I had not yet found the White Bass.

Rainfall made for a nice flow

Bedding activity

Largemouth Bass--first fish of 2024!

Spotted Bass

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