Saturday, July 16, 2011

Anniversary on the Guad

Today marks the twenty third year of my marriage. My brothers came in to spend the weekend with us and since the women and kids all went window shopping in Gruene for the day we went out on the Guad for a little fishing, swimming, and catching up on old times. My son also came in from college and decided to join in on the trip. We launched around eleven and drifted down to the only little set of falls in this section.The good thing about having four other people with me was that we spent an hour swimming in the pool under the falls looking for the two rods that I had lost in the spring when I flipped going over the falls. Guess someone else has beat me to them because we had no luck. Not many fish caught on the day due to all of the talking and story telling but it sure was a lot of fun. We were off the water and home by four, now it's time to put some food on the grill.

Friday, July 15, 2011

The beginning of a Journey

And this is how it began, you can say that I got the bug back in October of 2010 when on a Pheasant hunting trip in Colorado the weather heated up in the afternoon and the evening hunt was cancelled. To fill the rest of the day they offered a choice of trap shooting, horse back riding, mountain biking, or fly fishing. Being a diehard fisherman you would be correct if you said that I chose the fly fishing for the rest of the day.

We loaded up and drove to one of the streams on the ranch property and since my fly fishing skills consisted of me using a spinning rod with a fly reel when I was younger as the only time to fly fish in my life. That’s not to say that I didn’t catch fish on this setup but it just wasn’t the true nature of fly fishing. After a short lesson on casting I picked out a bend in the creek that had some grass growing along the edge of the bank. Casting a dry fly to the edge of the grass and consistently catching Rainbow, Brown, and Brook trout I began feeling pretty good about my success until asked by the guide if any Cutthroat trout had been caught yet. I was then informed that there were four species of trout resided in this area of the state and I was lacking one from catching a grand slam. Did I mention that I like challenges…… it didn’t take long for me to cancel the next two days of Pheasant hunting in exchange for the pursuit of this Grand Slam of trout fishing. The rules were, you had to catch one of each species all in the same day. Then they informed me that it had only been done eleven times there and that the Cutthroat trout was the hardest species to catch because they did not have that many of them in their area.

The next morning started out with an awesome breakfast then we headed out to the start the quest in the same area that was fished the day before. It wasn’t long before the fly found its way into the mouth of a hungry Rainbow, after a battle a picture was taken and the fish was released back into the stream. One down and three to go. Before lunch I saw a nice Brown roaming the edges of the grass, after many casts with the topwater fly with no success it was decided to give it a try with a nymph that would drift about a foot behind the dry fly and be under the water to offer an option. Soon after a nice Brown trout was being led to the net where a picture was taken then put it back in the water to fight again some day. It was decided that we would start the hunt for the Cutthroat trout which seemed to be few and far between. They are there, I had seen them cruising the shallows for two days and thrown everything that the guide could think of at them, no wonder why this was so hard to accomplish. I spent the next few hours moving all around the property trying to get one to accept my offering then it happened. As I was throwing to an object that I could see hanging out under some matted grass I must have made it mad on cast number twenty that the object moved from the grass and started coming straight at me. With the guide trying not to scream that it was a very big Cutthroat the fish saw me and spooked back towards where it came from, before it could get there I lay a cast right on the lip of the grass and as the fish approached I gently twitched the rod and made the fly fall from the grass into the water just as it got there. With the slightest ripple the fly had vanished as I lifted the rod to set the hook the fight was on. At this time I really couldn’t tell who was more excited, me or the guide as he rushed into the water to net the fish. I found out that this was to be his first slam as a guide but I reminded him that we were not done. You see in all of the excitement he forgot that I still hadn’t caught a Brook trout on the day and with fifteen minutes left the slam was not complete. I hope his boss neve reads this due to the fact of how fast we drove to a different section that has plenty of Brook trout in the area and the obstacles that were driven over to get there in time. I think the cast was made in one motion as I jumped from the truck and the Brook was caught on that cast and the Grand Slam had been completed.

If you have read through all of this you will now understand why I have this new obsession with attacking the areas that I fish with a fly rod. So, if you have advice for me on everything from what kind of flies to use on everything from bass fishing to inshore saltwater fishing I welcome them. I will also need advice on the proper line and leaders as well as what type of knots to use to put it all together.

Thanks for going along on the journey,

Thursday, July 14, 2011

A day on the Guad

Went out today in the kayak after lunch to go sling the stick. Started out tossing a small popper and it seemed to be doing the trick as numerous fish were taken on it. There was a little flow today which caused some weeds and trash to gather up next to the bank where it was more productive. After tossing the popper I decided to tie on a Wooly Bugger and try and learn how to fish it. Kept casting it in the same places that I was throwing the popper with the only difference was letting it sink for a couple of seconds then strip it in slowly. Actually started catching fish more frequently with this set up and in no time I got accustomed to watching the line as it was falling to notice the strike. This lure helped out since there were a lot of small cruising bass that would not hit the popper but would attack the Wooly. I'm beginning to get a feel for the rod and have even been doing some roll casts with efficiency, still need to fish more to get better at it. Atleast that's my excuse and i'm sticking to it.

FINZOMINE Extreme Sportsfishing Apparel (Gear Review)

I don’t know how many of you are like me when it comes to wearing sun protection.From my years of working outside, to all of the time that is spent on the water I basically refused to wear it because of my sensitive skin and the fact that it would transfer to my lures and affect the fishing.As we get older solutions seem to come along more frequently and since the kayak that I fish out of is at the waters edge, it’s even more important to protect yourself from the harmful rays that are being put out by the sun. What I have found is the Extreme Sportsfishing Apparel being produced by FINZOMINE, a local company in Texas that not only protects you from the sun but the shirts are breathable to keep you cooler and they dry out extremely fast when you get it wet. Their designs are catered around fishermen and the product line keeps growing. Soon to have Buff’s and hopefully they will add protective gloves as well. Take a look at their website and give them a try.
Before finding the FINZOMINE brand I had been wearing shirts from Under Armour and Columbia. The Under Armour was always tight and uncomfortable to me.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Temple Fork Outfitters BVK Fly Rod ( Gear Review)

This is the first fly rod that i've ever owned. It is the 9' BVK 7wt due to the fact that the river and lakes that I fish in hold some decent sized bass and for the occasional trip to the coast.The fit and finish on the rod is nice and clean and I also like the fact that the stripper guides are Recoil guides, they are more forgiving than traditional guides as well as being coated to help when you go saltwater fishing. What i've learned so far is that the rod performs great,comfortable and light, and the casting accuracy and power are as described. The other thing learned is that it's time to purchase a 3wt finesse series TFO rod to use in the smaller rivers and creeks that I have been fishing lately, it would make the smaller fish seem like giants. So far i've taken two trips with the new rod and am very pleased and would also reccomend it to anyone that asked.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Fly fishing from the kayak

Loaded up the Coosa friday night for a trip to the lower Guadalupe river to try my hand at fly fishing from a kayak for the first time. Picked up a few new flies to try out since there are a lot of sunfish in this section of the river. There are a lot of bass here but the fishing is usually better in the fall, winter, and spring when the water is cooler. Started out throwing a Fur Ant and began to catch small sunfish almost immediately then ended up hooking the biggest catch of the day, a cypress limb, which claimed my Ant and taught me to purchase more than one of each fly that I find to be productive.Finished the day alternating between a Hopper and a Muddler Minnow that resulted in more fish being caught and a great time being had. I do need to learn how to fish a Wooly Bugger to be able to offer the fish an option for when they are not hitting the flies on top. Passed over many bass during the day as well as seeing bass cruise around and probably could have caught a few of these on the Wooly or other fly worked under the water. It was hot out but this section of the river offered a lot of shade which along with a few wades in the water kept me cool and fishing.The Coosa proved to be great to fly fish from with the ability to fish with the seat in the upper position and the ability to stand and fish. Still need to either purchase a 4wt rod or build a 4wt rod to fish these areas with, seems like it would make the fight a bit more fun.
Thanks for following along as I learn this sport......