I had been thinking about the way the Blanco River flows. Its riverbed is fairly porous and so the water tends to recede underground when there is no (or little) drop in elevation over any sustained length. Conversely, when there is a significant drop in elevation there are an abundance of springs welling up. In this drought the effect is far more pronounced than normal and so there are clearly “dry” sections and “wet” sections.
For example, the 12+ mile section between the Chimney Valley Rd and Valley View crossings looks to be completely dry. I haven’t actually walked it so there might be a little water at the Narrows drop but I doubt it. But just after the Valley View crossing, the water comes back up nice, cool and clear through an abundance of springs.
That’s an extreme example, most of the river varies its flow however and learning where the “strong” sections of the river are is good information, especially in times of drought.
So while looking for a good place to shoot a new video, I not only went over my Blanco River survey notes, I also did an elevation trace across a digital map. I discovered that the 12+ mile dry section mentioned above only drops an average of 7’ per mile while the 4 miles just below it, from Valley View to Hwy 181, drop an average of 17.5’ per mile.
A reconnaissance/fly fishing trip confirmed my theory, the flows were still low but these days seeing 10cfs is a wonderful thing. More importantly, the water was very cool when I stepped into it.
Cool, clear, water.
I don’t want to give away too much about the place I finally found until I finish the video, but the fishing was great. The biggest fish of the day was a 20” Channel Catfish that fought like he was much, much larger. Granted, this was on my 000wt fly rod but he made long unstoppable runs, rubbed my leader and line across everything in the river and even tried made frequent charges back at me. It was easily the best fight of my life that ended with me bringing a fish to hand. Unfortunately, I did not get it on video.
I did however get footage of an earlier catch, an 18″ catfish and put that in this little teaser video above.
The best fish of the day was this 12” Redear Sunfish. Although not the beautiful pig Redear that Jaz landed last month, it’s the still largest sunfish I have ever caught and confirmation that the Blanco River has trophy sized Redear Sunfish.