Category Archives: Lower Colorado River


You might be wondering what the title “Fatties” has to do with fly fishing.  Healthy fish, over weight fish, fish that are getting ready for winter.  Yes, “Fatties” refers to fish that fly fishers are excited to catch.

alt = "Fatties - Lower Colorado River Bass"

Fatties – Lower Colorado River Bass

Fall fishing this year on the Lower Colorado River has been frustrating.  Austin, TX has received large amounts of rain this fall which translates to muddy waters for the Lower Colorado River.  Then the rains of Halloween came.  Onion Creek rose 11 feet in 15 minutes and crested at a record 41 feet, sending walls of water into surrounding neighborhoods.  By the way the previous  record for Onion Creek, set in 1869 and again in 1921, was 38 feet.  The rains had Onion Creek at a flow rate of 120,000 cubic feet per second – nearly twice the force of Niagara Falls.  Why all the talk about Onion Creek?  Onion Creek flows into the Lower Colorado River.

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Flood Damage

It was 5 weeks since the flood, Josh and Casey met up with me in the town of Webberville, TX just east of Austin for a day on the water.  It was December 2 and finally some fall fishing .  The prior weekend Austin had several days with the highs in the low 40’s.  However, the 3 days prior to December 2, Austin had a string of warm days.  As I sit here writing this report Austin has been on a record with days not making it out of the 30’s.  Although the calendar still say’s fall, winter has arrived in Austin. Winter weather in south central Texas can mean highs from the 30’s to the 70’s, with even an 80 degree day thrown in.  That is what happened on December 2nd, highs in the 80’and we went fishing.

alt = "Upstream On The Fly - Outcast Raft"

Upstream On The Fly – Outcast Raft

Josh and Casey are passionate not only about fly fishing, but also tying up flies.  Josh provided an articulated swim bait fly while Casey tied up a Crawdad pattern.  Everything is bigger in Texas and that was the fly selection for the day.

alt = "Articulated Streamer"

Articulated Streamer

Josh had several “Personal Best’s” for the day.  Starting out with his very first White Bass on the fly.  Josh is originally from Montana and this was the first time he has caught a White Bass.  Lucky for him, there were many more to follow his first.  Casey had caught the trip’s biggest White Bass “aka Fatties”.

alt = "Josh's First White Bass Ever"

Josh’s First White Bass Ever


alt = "Casey's White Bass"

Casey’s White Bass

Casey on the other hand grew up in East Texas, which is famous for trophy sized Largemouth Bass.  Casey is all about catching “Fatties” and today was no different.  He also had a “Personal Best” from the trip, a Lower Colorado Guadalupe Bass.  We thought he had a new state record with the way his 8 weight fly rod was doubled over.  “Get the scale everyone yelled” the anticipation was so thick you could almost cut it with a knife, until it came in at 2lb on the scale.  Nothing wrong with wishful thinking.  But, someday this river will produce the new state record Guadalupe Bass.


alt = "Casey's Personal Best Guadalupe Bass"

Casey’s Personal Best Guadalupe Bass

alt = "Josh's Personal Best Guadalupe Bass"

Josh’s Personal Best Guadalupe Bass

Our trip produced over 45 fish for the day including White Bass, Guadalupe Bass and Largemouth Bass.  Not a bad day on the water when considering it was 40 degrees the weekend prior to our trip.  When an extended warming trend hits us here in Austin, even if the calendar says winter, it will once again be time to go fishing – Upstream On The Fly.

So if “Fatties” are what you are after, then the Lower Colorado River is sure not to disappoint.


alt = "Josh's Personal Best Largemouth Bass"

Josh’s Personal Best Largemouth Bass

alt = "Casey's Largemouth Bass"

Casey’s Largemouth Bass


Keep Austin Fly Fishing!

5 Pound Bass

“Up this morning
Before the sun
Fixed me some coffee and a honey bun
Jumped in my pickup
gave her the gas
I’m goin’ out to catch a 5 pound bass”

That is how the song by Robert Earl Keen starts out.  I can’t think of a better way to kick off “Upstream Reports”.

I offered to take Dac fishing for his last day at Sportsman’s Finest, Dac has his sights set on Alaska, where he will spend the summer working as a fly fishing guide.

My 14 foot Aire raft is equipped with an Outcast fishing frame which allows for 2 anglers and one rower.  I needed to fill the other seat.

alt = "14 foot Aire Raft with Outcast Fishing Frame"

14 foot Aire Raft with Outcast Fishing Frame

Winston was in the store that week prior to our trip and he was elected to join us for fishing, rowing and fun on the water.

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Winston Getting After It

Every hour we rotated through the 3 seats so we all had the opportunity to fish and power the raft down the Lower Colorado.

The month of April started off strong, but then the rains came.  Not a lot, but enough to put that brown stain in the river.  With frequent late arriving cold fronts throughout mid month, April became a month of timing.  It had been 2 weeks since the rain and it was time to hit the water.  The river had been fishing slow, and we knew the fish where going to have to start eating some time.

Second cast of the trip Dac hooked up with a White Bass.  Winston landed a small Largemouth.  For the next 4-5 hours small bass kept sucking down the top water flies.  Not big numbers, but enough to keep us interested.

alt = "Dac's White Bass"

Dac’s White Bass

I stayed with the meaty flies in hopes of landing the fish of the day.  There are times that you can go for quantity or quality.  I chose quality for the day.

One hour from take out, the bottom fell out around my top water fly, “Umpqua’s Pucker Lips”.   After 3 jumps, and several strong runs, the Sage Bass series had her in the net.

alt = "5 Pound Bass"

5 Pound Bass

“I see a ripple
I hear a splash
Lord have mercy, It’s a 5 pound bass”

Keep Austin Fly Fishing!