Wednesday, August 29, 2012

To say our dog Penny loves the water is quite the understatement. Liz and I are pretty sure she would spend every waking moment swimming if we gave her the opportunity. Fishing has been a natural and, for the most part, easy progression for Penny. She is only two years old and still has a lot of puppy in her, so she will still barrel full speed into a good looking fishing hole every now and then. For the most part though, she is very patient and is really becoming quite the little fishing companion.

                                                               Heading out on Lake LBJ

Where the fish at?

I see one!!!

Penny and I got over to the upper Bull Creek area (360 near Spicewood Springs) this past weekend for some hiking and a little fishing. We started down by the falls and made our way back up towards the parking area. We found a few small sunfish (redbreasts and greens) below the falls on size 10 yellow poppers. Penny only tried to eat one of them. 


As we made our way up, the fish got a little bigger. I kept seeing bass in the deeper pools but as soon as the fly layed down, the sunfish would come hammer it. Finally, as we reached the smaller falls up by the car, we found a bass that was faster than the rest. He came up and nailed the little popper and we were hooked up. After landing the fish, Penny and I decided to end on a high note.

               That was fun!

P.S. No fish were harmed by golden retrievers during this fishing trip.

Temple Fork Outfitters

Sunday, August 26, 2012

I love my new 8 wt TFO rod my amazing wife got me for my last birthday. It is a nine foot, four piece that's a part of their BVK series of rods. I have had a chance to use it a couple of times in salt this year and love how light weight it feels while still maintaining power and distance. The price is another big draw, costing a third of some of the other big names out there. Temple Fork Outfitters is a Dallas based company so it's great to be able to support a company that is just up the road. Check out TFO online or at your local fly shop. 

Grateful Fest at The Mish

Thursday, August 23, 2012

It is no secret that Colorado has had a great deal of recent heartbreak. Between the movie theatre tragedy in Aurora and all of the wildfires that have plagued the state, there has been a lot to grieve about. Within all of the darkness though, there have emerged many stories of heroism. The firefighters who have risked everything to protect lives, homes and forests through the devastating fires are a shining example of this heroism. 

To help celebrate some of these heroes and renew some of their resources, The Mishawaka (Mish) Amphitheatre in the Poudre Canyon near Ft. Collins has set up a benefit concert for September 7th. It promises to be a great night featuring bands such as The Motet, Head for the Hills and Juno What?! All proceeds will benefit the Poudre Canyon Volunteer Fire Department who were instrumental in not only battling the blazes but saving the historic amphitheatre/restaurant as well. I was fortunate enough to be able to fish the Poudre River throughout college and also had some good times at the Mish. Both are very special places so I am sure it will be quite a celebration. 

If you are around Ft. Collins in early September and want to help support a great cause, check out the Grateful Fest at the Mishawaka ( 

Bucket List: Cuba

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Experiencing new fishing locations is something I love doing and talking about. Bucket List will be an ongoing section of this blog as writing about new and exotic locations will hopefully be inspiration to visit them one day.

For today's bucket lister, we are heading down to the flats of Cuba. My younger brother Greg and I were down in Argentina a couple of years ago fishing with a group called Fly Fishing Patagonia. Justi Campa, Oscar Dono and the rest of the boys at FFP run a truly world class fishing operation that originally was focused in Argentina and Chile. They have more recently expanded to include other parts of the globe and for the last few years, have been hosting trips to Cuba. Each time I get the FFP newsletter with the report back from Cuba, it makes me want to go that much more.

Co-Owner/ Co-Founder of FFP Oscar Dono

A happy client

Cuba is certainly a salt water paradise. With good chances at trophy bones, permit and tarpon on waters that are relatively untouched, how could you not add this one to the dream list. In contrast to very highly fished areas such as the Keys and the Bahamas, areas of fishing ground in Cuba such as Jardines de la Reina and Isla de la Juventud have not been sport fished in half a century. FFP has teamed up with a respected outfitter in Cuba that offers different lodges and mother ships as home base for the trips. Getting access to hard to reach flats and coming home to a mother ship each night, that sounds like a pretty great trip to me.

Co-Owner/Co-Founder Justi Campa with a nice cuda

Getting to experience different cultures, fish waters with relatively untapped potential and making new friends along the way is what adventure angling is about in my mind. Cuba certainly seems to fit that bill and I really hope to make it down there some day.

Thanks for the pics Justi!


Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Being that it is 102 degrees outside, the only major hatch taking place on the Guadalupe right now is the rubber hatch (tubers). Even though the Guad is a year round fishery, I always look forward to the late fall/early winter when the weather cools down, tubers are gone and the trout fishing heats up. 

Being a trout fisherman in Central Texas generally means you are familiar with this Hill Country gem. It is the southernmost freshwater trout fishery in the United States and became that way when Lone Star Brewery began stocking trout in the mid 60's. Today, the Guadalupe River Chapter of Trout Unlimited along with Texas Parks and Wildlife has its annual stocking program which stocks multiple times each winter. Even with the un-relenting heat of the summer and the human pressure the river receives, many trout still survive year round. This is certainly due in big part to GRTU's long battles to create regulations that protect over 10 miles of trout flows on the river.

The Guad is also where I really learned how to fly fish growing up so it will always be a special river to me. I have many great memories with friends and family on the river and I hope to teach my daughter how to use a fly rod there some day.

Until late fall….

Pagosa Springs

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

My wife's family has a good friend (Frank) who owns some cabins just outside of the Pagosa Springs area in southwest Colorado. Going to school in the northern part of the state, I rarely had the chance to make it this far south. I wish I did though as it is truly beautiful country. His cabins sit in the heart of the San Juan Mountains and are a sportsman's paradise. The trout rich waters of the Rio Blanco are just down the hill from each of the cabins. Sitting on the deck each night, you can see elk and mule deer grazing through the valley below and turkey wandering through the trees.

Liz wading her way up the Rio Blanco
You will never get bored visiting Frank's. He has horses you can ride in open pastures, four-wheelers for exploring the countryside and accessing different sections of the river, and endless hiking trails. As far as the fishing, it is top notch. The Rio Blanco is a picturesque freestone river that winds its way through the San Juan's. You are also about an hour drive from the Navajo Dam Reservoir in northern New Mexico which is where the famed tailwater section of the San Juan River begins. I have not fished this section yet but it is definitely on the list.

Jerry getting in on the action
My Mother and Father in Law (Jerry and Hollis) call Frank's cabins in Pagosa their happy place, and I can understand why. When you combine the sheer beauty of the landscape, the ample outdoor activities and Frank and his wife's incredible hospitality, it makes for a pretty great set up.

Thanks Frank!

Town Lake (Lady Bird Lake)

Friday, August 10, 2012

My buddy Nate and I got out on the water for a couple hours yesterday after work. We unloaded the kayaks at the Festival Beach area of Town Lake (east of 35) and paddled our way back towards downtown. 


We both had the 5 wts and started out fishing deeper to target some of the bigger fish. We tried quite a few different patterns including wooly buggers of different sizes and colors and clouser minnows. After an hour and a half or so with no strikes, we changed up tactics. 


We put on top water poppers and started going after little sunfish in the shadier areas. First cast with the top water, fish on. We got quite a few of the little guys to the boat, none were bigger than my hand, but all were fun to catch. 

  Big fish of the day, even bigger than the building behind it

Always nice to get on the water on the water.

Bones in Provo

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

My family and I recently returned from a trip down to the Turks and Caicos Islands. Turks and Caicos is a group of about 40 different islands a few hundred miles southeast of Florida. One of the many great things about Turks is its accessibility. We left Austin early on a Saturday morning and were sitting on the beach just after lunch. We stayed on the island of Providenciales (Provo) on the southwest side. Sapodilla Bay was our home for a week which was an ideal set up as it is not very touristy and had great fishing access. 

                Sapodilla Bay

One thing we learned about Provo is that it is not an inexpensive island. Price of food, drinks and fishing charters were quite costly so most of our fishing was self-guided. My Dad, younger brother and I did fish a half day with a guide early in the week though which was well worth it. Our guide, Hue Evans, had great knowledge of the area and really knew where the fish were. As an added bonus, he kept us laughing the entire trip which made it that much more enjoyable. We met Hue on the north east side of the island and after about a 20 minute boat ride, we pulled up to our first flat. I knew it was going to be a good day when we saw about ten tailing bones as we were pulling up. 

Poling our first flat of the day

The day was an absolute blast, we traded off on the rod and caught fish after fish. We moved from open flats where fish would peel most of the backing off of your reel, to narrow mangrove inlets where hook ups were an adventure. My brother must have hooked into six or seven fish within a 45 minute stretch, that all came unglued as they hit the mangroves. It was pretty entertaining watching his reaction each time. We only used one pattern the entire day, a # 4 tan Gotcha. There wasn't a need to try other flies as the fish pounded this one. Rod of choice was my 8 weight TFO which my wife Liz had recently gotten me as a birthday present. 

                      Greg with his first fish of the day

     Me and Hue behind a nice bone


After a great day on the boat, the rest of week was spent trying out different spots near our house. Sapodilla Bay, Taylor Bay and Silly Creek were all pretty good access points and luckily we were within walking distance to all of them. Of the three, I liked Taylor Bay the best due to its easy access, long stretches of flats and good numbers of fish. If you get their early enough, you can have the entire beach to yourself. We spotted bones directly from the shore each day which made for easy casting. The water was no more than waist deep fifty yards out so wading was another great option. 

All in all, we had a really good time down on Provo. The fishing was great and the people were friendly. If you make it down there, give Hue Evans of Da Reel Deal Fishing a call. He will put you on the fish.