Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Alternative Waters...not to be confused with "Muddy"

So lately there hasn't been a whole lot of trout fishing going on. There has been lots of water and funky water because of rain. Thank God there is more than one species of fish to catch in this neck of the woods. Cleburne County and some of the surrounding ones are chock- filled with all sorts of fish. It just so happens, Spring is when the White Bass spawn, so I've have been taking full advantage of the Lake. I've been out there several times, but the past two days have been awesome. Yesterday, I went with Jamie and Chris. We crushed the fish. We didn't catch any monsters, but there were times when all 3 of us had fish on. I think Chris came out with the big fish award. We also did a lot of laughing, the afternoon was filled with jokes and pranks. I think the best was when Jamie swung about a pound Whitie from the front of the boat all the way to the back still connected to his rod and slapped Chris in the Back of the neck/face. Perfect execution. Tears came to both of my eyes. Memories made for sure. Today I went back at them again with my buddy Frank. The wind was brutal and unforgiving. We got into a few pods of smaller fish right off the bat but by this afternoon we had found a few of the big boys. Its been sunny skies both days and loads of fun. I am extremely grateful that I live in such beautiful country and have all this adventure right at my back door. I wouldn't be scared to say that over the past two days, over 100 White Bass where caught and released from my boat! Thank God for good friends, Bluegrass music and Fish....

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Yellow Belly Fever....

Well I've got the Yellow Belly Fever in case you didn't know. This morning as I was loading up the boat and getting ready, it began to sprinkle and after the torrential rains we've been having I certainly wasn't looking forward to it. I tried my luck and did not put my waters on. I figured in the high water there definitely wont be any wading, and its supposed to be clear skies later. My voodoo worked. Crystal clear day and lots of sunshine. I'm not to sure it helped the streamer fishing but, it was still nice. My client was my eye doctor. He's always a blast to take out. After all the rainwater the creeks had emptied, the water was up it seemed, 6 inches from yesterday and still a little green. We set up the first drift and had an absolute toad try to wax the fly as soon as it hit the water. It was a swing and a miss but it got the blood flowing. I knew just then it would be an action packed day. About 30 minutes later we had our second strike, contact was made and we boated a nice 17 inch brownie. The heard rate is jumping now. I had Doc throwing hard. He caught a few pretty rainbows with vibrant red gill plates and stripes. Then it just turned off. no stikes no drive by's. nada. So we switched up the routine and worked some nymphs. several pretty rainbows to be had. After lunch I got him fired back up for a big fish and the chase was on. I hit a few of my favorite holes and didn't produce. Finally I swung the boat in a cut and he hooked a toad. The Zero Gravity salty 6 bowed over and I caught a glimpse of the fish. Yellow Belly. He fought hard. We snapped a pic or two and released the fish. It ended up being a great day. We worked hard for all our fish and they all lived to hopefully be caught again.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

River Jam 2009

Today I took the opportunity to go fish around dripping springs with my buddy Chris, who also guides for Jamie Rouse Fly Fishing Adventures. We didn't get started until after noon, but it was perfect. We saw two other boats as we launched but didn't see any more the rest of the afternoon. We had the water completely to ourselves. The skies were just an aquamarine blue and a nice cool breeze. We also had the Ipod Jam Station out and got down to some Yonder Mountain String Band and Grateful Dead. It was a true River Jam. The water was still a little high for throwing big streamers, but it was nice. It was better than the full unit the Corp has been blasting for the past week, so Chris and I took turns throwing and rowing, which is always nice. I farmed the first nice brown while messing around with my line. It got slow for a minute until the Yonder song "River" came on. It put the voodoo on' em then. We just traded licks all afternoon. No Monsters were caught, but definitely some awesome Arkansas tail water brown trout and some nice bows. We do have the best brown trout fishing in the United States, so it truly was another day in paradise. There was an amazing amount of insect activity going on in the air. May flies the size of a quarter and plenty of Caddis flying around. If we could get some low water the dry fly fishing would be stellar.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Double Trouble...

Again I have to apologize for the lapse in blogging, its been an action packed week. Monday I took out two Men from Oklahoma, a Father and Son. We fished down River and the water was just about right. It was still down from the weekend and the new water never made it to us. They were both novice anglers but we couldnt have caught more fish with a stick of dynamite. They caught on pretty fast and pretty soon where catching multiple fish every drift. They had many doubles and Trent even had a fish on his nymph and his dropper. He successfully caught and released them. As I had said in my last post, maybe Tomorrow I will leave the streamer rods at home, well I did. We fished 4 and 5 weights all day and nothing larger than a piece of # 4 tin. We were able to wade fish and drift and only saw two other boats all day. Trent Hooked this nice 18 inch bow to make the fish of the day. The guys had some great Father Son bonding and some great fish tales. Yesterday I meant to blog, but Jamie and I had a rod party full of jamming pizza and lots of cleaning, stripping, and reloading reels. Yesterday was about the 3rd day the water has been running round the clock. I took an extremely nice family from the big city of Dallas fishing. A full boat in the morning, a 2nd grader, a fourth and their dad. Then in the afternoon I took out the oldest daughter and her Mom. We had a foggy cold morning, but by the afternoon I was sun burned. Despite the high water the girls did great. They all caught Fish and had fun. Denise, the Mom, wore the fish out in the afternoon and is looking forward to her next trip which she said must be a full day... "So come on in boys ( and girls) the water is fine."

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Mystery River.....???

Today I took a trip over to Mystery River. Fishing was great. My Client, John, stripped streamers all day almost. In the first 20 minutes of fishing he had caught 3 sassy little rainbows and by 9:30 am we caught and released two nice browns. One over 18 inches and another over 20 inches. Late in the afternoon we broke out a nymph rig and fished some small soft hackles which also produced several nice rainbows. We had Mystery almost all to ourselves, extremely serene. The fish were not just jumping in the boat. We definitely had to work for them,but the ones we caught where very rewarding. One normally doesn't catch and release 4 fish between 18- 23 inches in one day, especially mid March. I loved today. I loved every second of it. God certainly showed out when he made the brown trout. The sun really wasn't out today except for a few minutes, but when it came out, so did the bugs. Maybe tomorrow I'll leave the 6 weights at home and the sun will come out and we'll have tales of some surface action....

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Gotta Love It

Well I apologize for the lapse in blogging, I have had a computer crash, but give thanks I am back in action. I have had several good days on the water. I took a good friend of mine Eric Stenberg down river toward Pangburn. We both caught some nice fish, despite the cold, sleet, and winter mix. Then Wednesday, I guided Hank, a gentleman from Ft. Worth. Hank had never caught one of the illusive and solitary brown trout, so that became my goal. Not only did Hank catch a nice 17 in brown, he caught two. We also dealt with some winter mix issues. Now Friday was a different story. I had a 7 1/2 year old and her mother. We knew the conditions where tough since there was probably 21,000 cfs flowing from Greer's Ferry Dam. Not to mention the water was blown out brown and green due to the rains. We played and had fun. I let the young Towns drive the boat and I think that was more fun for her then fishing anyhow. After we took refuge at Lobo Landing for lunch, they called it a day. I guess that's why its called fishing not catching. Today I fished with my dad. We took out his boat and I let him run the show. The water was finally turned off last night at midnight, so we got a break there. It was still kind of off color but we can't get everything we want. It was a nice day for tossing some big double bunnies and circus peanuts, two of my favorite flies I might add. We had several nice fish and some awesome follows all the way up to the boat. Sometimes for me the follow is just as exciting as the take. Despite the wind, rain, high water, winter mixes, and all the rest of the challenges the week brought on, fishing was great as it always is. My serenity level remained high. There just isn't anything else I'd rather be doing ,whether it be teach people to the joys and wonders of trout fishing, letting a young kid drive my boat, or stripping a big ugly double bunny with my pops. I've got another action packed week ahead and am looking forward to it. Do what you love and love what you do! Life is Good.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Life is good...

It was another epic day on the Little Red River. The fishing, the weather, and the camaraderie. A good friend of my J.T. came up from Memphis to visit and fish. It was the first time since J.T. was just a kid that he had a fly rod in his hand. We had a blast. As you can see in the photo he landed a toad of a brownie, 23 inches. The wind was persistent almost all morning but by late in the afternoon it was still as could be with the occasional Cadis fly coming off. We ate PB&J and drank tea for lunch. J.T. and I have been friends since we were in 7th grade. It always nice to share the place I call home with good friends. As we got near the ramp we could start to smell smoke, a guy on the ramp told us there was a huge forest fire. On the way home we pulled over at the Big Creek overlook to watch the blaze. The picture does it no justice but the whole valley had blazes criss-crossing all over it, it was a magnificent site. 

Friday, March 6, 2009

Much needed Aqua Therapy

Today the temperature got up to 72 degrees. The sun shown high . The wind was a little of a bear, especially being on the oars alone. I spent some great Matthew time today. There is nothing better than being on the river. I needed some good aqua therapy today and I sure got it. I threw some buggers and streamers but I seemed only to find some moderate size rainbows. Despite the wind I decided to get out my Sage Light line, my dad built for me when I was just a kid. At one time it was a 9 foot 4 weight. Today I think it is about 8 foot 6 inches due to a few broken tips. I probably caught and released an easy 40 fish with it today. For a while it was almost every cast, at one point I even had a fish on both flies. There is something about that rod I love. The cork is worn, the once beautiful burgundy coat is dull and scratched and the epoxy over the thread around the guides is cracking but the rod will always remind me of my Dad and just how grateful I am that he instilled a passion for the river and God's country at such a young age. So today, even though it was windy as hell and the big fish just didn't seem to dig my chili, it was a fantastic day on the river. I've come to realize life just doesn't get much better then when its just you and the river...

Monday, March 2, 2009

Stripping around lobo. Today the water was calling my name. I went out with my dad and Stinky. we put in at Lobo and ended up at mossy shoal. Stinky and I Took turns fighting the wind from behind the oars while dad just played. he missed his first two fish on nymph rig. I landed the 1st two fish about a 17 inch brown and a sassy little rainbow. I was breaking in a new zero g salty 6, throwing buggers and big streamers. As we fished down river eventually dad started stripping buggers too. As the afternoon grew on We were having hits and landing fish almost every few casts. In the few hours of fishing everyone caught Fish and and they all lived to see another day.