Tag Archives: Guadalupe Bass

Fatties

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.

alt = "Flood Damage"

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!

Plan “A”

This past week I headed west into the Texas Hill Country to get wet on the Llano River.  My friend Andy and I were meeting up with another fly fishing friend, Rob.  We all meet up at Cooper’s BBQ in the town of Llano.  We had gotten a late start but it was still a bit early for lunch, although Cooper’s was already getting busy.  We had fish to catch and lunches were already packed, but the aroma that encircles Cooper’s sure was enticing.

alt = "Coopers in Llano, TX"

Coopers in Llano, TX

We arrived at our destination which was a private ranch out in Mason County, TX.  The water looked great and we found the fish happy.   Rob has really taken to the sport of Fly Fishing as well as Fly Tying.

alt = "Rob and Andy"

Rob and Andy

When a fly tier goes fishing with another tier, there is a good chance that flies will be swapped.  And of course fly boxes will be opened and everyone will stand and stare in to them pulling out flies that looked like the secret weapon for the day.  Rob had a couple flies that he wanted me to fish that day, one being the Pan Fish Pole Cat  and the other called Plan “B” .  Yes, Plan “B” is a name of a fly.  I guess it doesn’t hurt to have a Plan “B”, especially when fishing.

alt = "Rob's Fly Box"

Rob’s Fly Box

The fish where hungry and very willing to take the fly, not just any fly, but the Pan Fish Pole Cat.  When I first looked at the Pan Fish Pole Cat I thought to myself, a yellow tail.  I was a bit hesitant about a fly with a yellow tail.  But, Plan “B” was actually looking ok.

alt = "Plan A"

Plan B & Panfish Pole Cat

I asked Rob how the Pan Fish Pole Cat fished, he said that it has a slow sink and when twitched it would rise towards the surface of the water.  However, if you let it be, then it would descend to the river bottom.  Back to the yellow tail, the yellow tail just was not grabbing me like it had with Rob.  But, after watching Rob pull fish after fish out of the river, I said, ok time to put that Pan Fish Pole Cat on and give it a try.

alt = "Rob doing his thing with the Panfish Pole Cat"

Rob doing his thing with the Panfish Pole Cat

As I was slowly walking upstream I started to see Grasshoppers in the grasses that lined the bank of the Llano River.  They were all bright yellow, yes I said yellow!  Maybe this yellow tail, rubber legged fly might be what is on the menu for today.  Mason County had a decent amount of rain this past spring and early summer causing the vegetation to be almost too thick along the shore.

alt = "Llano River is flowing"

Llano RIver is flowing

I was surprised, but this Pole Cat sure did not go unnoticed while in the water.  Redbreast Sunfish, Largemouth Bass and Guadalupe Bass found this one very hard to resist.

alt = "Plan A"

Redbreast with Panfish Pole Cat

We had ventured a couple miles upstream and it was starting to get late into the afternoon.  We still had to turn around and head back.  Plan “B”, what about Plan “B”, I sure could not go home without trying Plan “B”.  So I snipped off a fly that was catching fish at a decent rate to give Plan “B” a try.

Plan “B” is basically a Wooly Bugger variant that was all black, with lead wraps, bead chain eyes and white rubber legs.   Rob, had told me this was the fly if you wanted to fish deep.  I was standing looking into a hole in the river that was well over my head.

I casted Plan “B” across the hole and let it slowly fall to the bottom.  Nothing, not even a look, that was hard to believe.  Surely there is a big ole’ Bass in the depths just waiting for Plan “B”.  I hear Andy yell over that we better start heading back to the truck.  I said, just one more cast.  We all know that one more cast really means ten more casts.  Not even a bump, nibble, nothing for Plan “B”.  I clipped it off and put the Pan Fish Pole Cat back on.  Yes, you guessed it, fish on once again.

So, there are times that it doesn’t hurt to have a Plan “B”, but when Plan “A” is working, you better not change up.

alt = "Plan A"

Even the Bass like the Panfish Pole Cat

Keep Austin Fly Fishing!

The Llano is Wet

I am frequently asked “Have you been out on the water?”.   Typically the answer is “Yes, I have…”.  This past week I was out on the Llano.  This response will cause a deer in the head lights glare and a very common question, “Is there water in the Llano?”.  Sure, the Llano does have water.  We are still in a drought, but the spring rains have given the Llano a shot in the arm with much needed water.  My good friend and fish’n buddy Andy and I headed west into the Texas Hill Country the first week in May.

alt = "The Llano is Wet"

Llano River is Wet

The fish where not responding on top, however streamers where the answer for the day.  We have had a cool spring this year which I contribute to a slower than normal start with top water action on the Llano.  One of my favorites streamers is the “Matt’s Bug”.  This is a wooly bugger variant that was originally tied from a past member of the Central Texas Fly Fishers  – yep you guessed it, his name is Matt.  What makes the Matt’s Bug so special is the lead tape that is used to both weight and shape the fly.

alt = "Llano River Redbreast"

Llano River Redbreast

We had a variety of species take the fly that day including the Redbreast Sunfish, Largemouth Bass, Guadalupe Bass and the first Rio Grande  of the year.

alt = "Llano River Guadalupe Bass"

Llano River Guadalupe Bass

alt = "Llano River Rio Grande

Llano River Rio Grande

Not only was the fishing good, you sure can’t beat the springtime Texas Wildflowers in bloom.

alt = "Llano River Indian Blankets"

Llano River Indian Blankets

So just in case you are wondering, yes the Llano is wet and is worth a drive west into the Texas Hill Country.

alt = "Llano River Largemouth Bass"

Llano River Largemouth Bass

Keep Austin Fly Fishing!