To fish or not to fish. Is that every really a question? Depending on your angling personality and tolerance for the extreme it may not be a question at all. When rains blows out the waters or the temperature isn’t ideal – what do you do?
Me? I fish.
I attribute that quality to my lack of brains opposed to true talent. However, I do like to believe it does make me better. After all, if I wanted to do more ‘catching’ when I fish there are easier means than fly fishing. I’m not one to preach on the superiority of a chosen technique, but I fly fish for the challenges surrounding it.
A recent trip to Oregon over the holidays left me with time on the water. Despite recent rains and turbid water conditions I made my way to the river. I have been determined to catch a trout in Texas. Surely practicing here could not hurt, right? How this was supposed to help I am not sure, but it was all the justification I needed. Eventually, I was able to figure out good nymph rig that worked and pulled out a sucker fish.
Returning to Texas I was reinvigorated and more determined than ever to hit the Guadalupe River for trout season. While I was not having to deal with high water flows – this time I was facing a freeze and forecasted rain. Undeterred I found the river to be beautiful when I arrived. The Guadalupe is often tubber laden during the warmer months, but to have it in solitude is magnificent. I felt lucky.
With a trip to the Action Angler fly shop in New Braunsfels, I loaded up on some tips, extra tippet, and began my trek down the Guadalupe. For five hours I was all smiles in waste to calf deep water. By the sixth hour I was frozen and ready for the house. How could this be? I had the info and everything I needed. Where were the fish? And then I found them.
Literally a little rainbow trout swam up to me and bolted away. But I had seen him and I had seen where he stopped. Then I could see the others swimming about. With frozen hands I began to cast again. When I had last retied my nymph rig my hands were so frozen I could hardly put it together. I began biting at the tag end praying not to hook myself. When the strike indicator dove below I realized I had my first fish of 2013!
Frozen in triumph I trudged off the Guadalupe River not wanting to leave. Frost bite is real and I didn’t want any part of it. Content, I reveled in the fact I had also caught my first Texas trout. It had been until that moment absent from my Texas Hill Country Mixed Bag tournament hit list. No more. No more.
2013 is looking to begin on a good foot for the fishing year. See you on the water!