They wore me out !

Non-Trout pursuits

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Jimbo Roberts
Posts: 1161
Joined: Fri Nov 08, 2002 8:26 am
Location: San Antonio, TX

They wore me out !

Post by Jimbo Roberts » Sat Oct 18, 2014 3:01 pm

After way too much time working these last few weeks, I was finally out from under the yoke.....

I finished the morning calls, checked my e-mails, and then picked out my gear for the day.
True to it's name, I loaded the Escape and headed west.
Now because of the quality of this water the closest thing I will tell you to where it is located is that it's called ***** ***** ********
Some will know this place from the pictures, others because they have fished there with us, but the rest of you will have to follow the clues to find it.

After driving about 1 1/2 hours you will drive under this well know pedestrian bridge.....
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Then about 15 minutes later you will drive past these cedar post fences on both sides of the road.....
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After another 15 minutes or so a low water crossing and if you found this stretch of clear water......
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You've found this fabulous spot !

The first section doesn't look like much and is way too shallow to hold any good fish. I usually wade about 150 yards downstream to the first good holding water.
The headwaters here are really just like a big spring creek flowing over limestone bedrock. The water is so clear you would never guess it's depth. Many places it looks like it's a foot deep, but really it's 2 1/2-3'. And water that is 5-7' deep looks waist deep.
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I started with a yellow foam hopper popper.....
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The RedBreast ate it, but not the Bass I saw swimming around. They would see it hit the water. Then come over to inspect it and decide it was not their preferred entrée.
When Bass get this way I know what will turn them into feeders...... A Cat's Whisker !
So I tied one on and sent it out into the same water. I let it sink to the bottom. It was easily seen in this bright limestone bedrock.
This time the Bass swam over for a look. I twitched it a few times. I imagine it looked like lobster to them, a puff of silt rose, and it was gone..... Strike !!!
These small stream fish have unexpected strength in them. My Smallmouth rod was sporting a deep bend to it. I'm using 3X and wondering if I am going to break it off if I don't let it have it's head and run around a bit. So I do, I don't break it off, and then it's in my hands.....
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It's about 14"..... Nice for someplace like this. Most of the Bass I would catch today would be 12-16".

The Sage Smallmouth rod is a special one to me. I heard about the Bass series of fly rods Sage was introducing years ago before they came out. As with most specaility rods Sage comes out with, the factory built fly rod is first, and the rod blank follows about 6 months to a year later. I wanted a Smallmouth blank real bad to build one with an oversized grip I like so much, the fly shops told me I would have to wait. Cary who was the Sage rep back then and a good friend, snuck a blank out of the factory side door for me. This blank is so undercover, there is no Sage logo or specifications, and I have not been able to find the ghosted serial number which is on all other sage rods I have seen. This rod is called a Smallmouth rod, but it more like a 9wt rod, albeit just 7'11". The line that comes with the rod is also a special taper. The head is super compact but also super large diameter. Cary said it was designed. "To throw a wet sock under a low hanging branch precisely to targets 40' away or more." And after fishing 4wts to Cutthroats all summer, this rod felt heavy and would wear me out today. But that was OK because I was going to wear out a bunch of Bass too.

Right behind this weed bed the water is about 2 1/2 feet deep.
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This pocket was only about 50' long and 20' wide, but there must have been more than a dozen Bass swimming around among 50 Perch or so.
So the Perch found it sometimes too.....
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But I was Bass fishing today and it was going to work out fine !!!!
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Bass after Bass.....
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A nice sized RedEar.....
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I don't catch many of these in shallow water except right here.....
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They put a smile on my face every time.

Well Back to landing Bass.....
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Here is the second Bass caught on back to back casts.....
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Here is the third Bass caught on back to back to back casts.....
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I haven't done that in awhile. I would land 9 Bass and several more Perch before I had notified every fish in this hole of my presence and what I was using.

Time to move on downstream to the next pool.
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Beautiful country here... high limestone bluffs, cypress, pecan, and oak trees along the banks, black eyed susans, and a few lupins still blooming on the low benches.....
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At this next pool there is water to 8 feet in spots.
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There are also trailer sized boulders that fell off those bluffs and into the pool. There is one that is completely submerged in the very deepest part of the pool. I sure wouldn't have wanted to be on that side when those came crashing down. This pool used to be some of the best water in this stretch. Then they built a Christian Retreat here and this pool hasn't been the same. We used to catch the 4-5lb Bass here, but lately the largest are about 2 1/2-3lbs.

The tailout of this 400 yard long pool is now the best part. I guess the people who come here just don't wade down here to fish.
I caught a nice Guadalupe Bass here.....
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Down here there is a ledge that drops from about 3' down to 5-6' with piles of rocks here and there......
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Around those rock piles Big Perch.....
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A bunch of 8-12" RedBreast Sunfish.....
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I didn't catch any small fish here.....
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From here the river necks down to what looks like a little creek. The USGS gage has the flows at 6cfs.
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Here all that flow passes between these rocks.....
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Barring heavy rains these flows are about normal for this time of year.

The water opens back up again below.....
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Here, another pool that sees even fewer fishermen.....
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Plenty of Bass fell for the Cat's Whisker. I caught the biggest Bass I've ever landed on this river right here. It was about 6lbs, and on a popper. That was about 8 years ago. Nothing approaching that size today, but plenty of 13-16" Bass made it well worth the trip.

I fished for about 5 hours, caught well over 50 fish and more than 20 were healthy Bass.
You know you're having a good day when your thumb looks something like this.....
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I tried the popper again as the sun when down, but these Bass were just not coming up to that invisible boundary separating water and air on this Blue Bird Day.

It was a good stretch of the legs back to the crossing and time to get going.
The lower big pool.....
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The lower part of the retreat pool.....
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The upper part of the retreat pool.....
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I wouldn't mind living in that house up there..... Not one bit !......
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Back at the truck I open the rear hatch and pull out my garden stool. I slide off my vest and throw it inside. It felt good to sit down again. I was dogged tired. My legs rejoiced no longer having to support my weight. I should loose a few pounds. My right forearm was sore. There as I was pulling off my boots and socks in what seemed like slow motion. I was just worn out and yet I thought about the wonderful day it had been. How even in this miserable drought there are still places like this to get away from the maddening crowd. To have a little peace and quiet, no cell phones ringing, no details of contracts to work out, just Bass putting a big bend in the rod and me wearing a big grin on my face.

Jimbo
Last edited by Jimbo Roberts on Sun Oct 19, 2014 2:54 pm, edited 5 times in total.

Alex Argyros
Posts: 369
Joined: Mon Apr 23, 2007 12:52 pm
Location: Austin

Re: They wore me out !

Post by Alex Argyros » Sat Oct 18, 2014 9:30 pm

I haven't been there in quite some time. Thanks for bringing back some nice memories, Jimbo.

Texjbq
Posts: 73
Joined: Tue Sep 23, 2014 3:42 pm
Location: San Marcos, TX

Re: They wore me out !

Post by Texjbq » Tue Oct 21, 2014 10:41 am

Great trip report. I know exactly where that is, as a Boy Scout my troop used to canoe in that area. Is it easy to wade without having to step on private property?

Jimbo Roberts
Posts: 1161
Joined: Fri Nov 08, 2002 8:26 am
Location: San Antonio, TX

Re: They wore me out !

Post by Jimbo Roberts » Tue Oct 21, 2014 10:49 am

You can generally wade this area down to the weir which is about halfway to the next crossing. From there the water gets real deep for a good stretch and pretty much need to float that area. You can park at the low water crossings and my understanding of stream access laws and bank access you can legally wade and use the bank (below the mean of the high water mark) when necessary to move around and fish.

Jimbo

weightforward
Posts: 57
Joined: Sat Dec 03, 2011 6:00 am

Re: They wore me out !

Post by weightforward » Tue Oct 21, 2014 3:51 pm

Are there still boots on that long wood fence?

Up a little further is where I learned to flyfish with my best buddy when we were kids. Our families would rent out a house on the upper stretches at the end of every summer. Classic times, and splendid memories. Need to get back out there with the next generation.

Jimbo Roberts
Posts: 1161
Joined: Fri Nov 08, 2002 8:26 am
Location: San Antonio, TX

Re: They wore me out !

Post by Jimbo Roberts » Tue Oct 21, 2014 4:56 pm

There are many good spots along that road. Almost every low water crossing has some good fishable water on both Forks.
I started at Camp Flaming Arrow, a Boy Scout camp, myself. Now the Boy Scout Camp is Bear Creek at a different location.
I think just about everyone from my generation went to camp somewhere around there or at least spent some time on the water.

Jimbo

erhd55
Posts: 30
Joined: Fri Nov 21, 2008 3:07 pm
Location: Austin, TX

Re: They wore me out !

Post by erhd55 » Wed Oct 22, 2014 1:38 pm

Jimbo,

It's been a long, long time time since the last time I fished that stretch of the river.

I'm happy to see that the river is in decent fishing condition.

EDward

Jimbo Roberts
Posts: 1161
Joined: Fri Nov 08, 2002 8:26 am
Location: San Antonio, TX

Re: They wore me out !

Post by Jimbo Roberts » Wed Oct 22, 2014 4:35 pm

Yeap it's still in good shape. I wish I had found more of the Large Bass of years past, but it may have been just that day, I'm not positive one way or the other. Someday I am going to take a kayak and fish some of the deeper pools downstream. I am almost sure there are big ones still living down there.

Jimbo

barrsurf
Posts: 19
Joined: Tue Oct 28, 2014 8:49 am

Re: They wore me out !

Post by barrsurf » Tue Oct 28, 2014 9:22 am

Hey Jimbo,

Is that a brown or olive cat's whisker?

Thanks,
Barry

Jimbo Roberts
Posts: 1161
Joined: Fri Nov 08, 2002 8:26 am
Location: San Antonio, TX

Re: They wore me out !

Post by Jimbo Roberts » Tue Oct 28, 2014 9:42 am

Started with an olive and switched to a brown one for most of the day.

Jimbo

RayB
Posts: 19
Joined: Sat Dec 01, 2012 2:59 pm

Re: They wore me out !

Post by RayB » Thu Oct 30, 2014 9:15 am

Being new to F.F. would someone show a picture of the fly?

Jimbo Roberts
Posts: 1161
Joined: Fri Nov 08, 2002 8:26 am
Location: San Antonio, TX

Re: They wore me out !

Post by Jimbo Roberts » Thu Oct 30, 2014 10:31 am

There's a whole thread about this in the fly tying forum.....
viewtopic.php?f=11&t=1689

Jimb

RayB
Posts: 19
Joined: Sat Dec 01, 2012 2:59 pm

Re: They wore me out !

Post by RayB » Thu Oct 30, 2014 3:42 pm

Jimbo Roberts wrote:There's a whole thread about this in the fly tying forum.....
viewtopic.php?f=11&t=1689

Jimb
Thanks
With my fat fingers I have trouble tying my shoes :lol:
I bought the materials but the one thing Ron didn't mention was thread size

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