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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