Monday, July 31, 2006

Lake Travis is hot...literally!

I went yesterday morning for a few hours to fish Lake Travis around Arkansas Bend park in Lago Vista. With the level 25 feet below normal, the ramp there was finally closed. I drove around the point of the park in what is normally underwater and launched the kayak around 6:30am.

The water temperature is around 85 degrees which is probably still comfortable for some bass at night but they likely are suspending in 15 feet or deeper during the rest of the time. Too deep for my fly line.

Still, today was mostly to get a feel for the new XP. The XP cast very similar to the SLT but with a shorter stroke which was good in the kayak. I also got a good 5 to 10 feet more than the SLT on each cast. I had to get used to not overshooting a cast at targets. The XP cast a very bulky #2 Dave's Swimming Frog deer hair diver fairly well but it cast a #6 clouser minnow really well.

I caught one bluegill on the clouser all morning which was no match for the 8wt. :(

Around 9am, I decided to head back in but stopped at one point to test cast a saltwater fly I had tied with heavy chrome barbell eyes in a Chernobyl Shrimp pattern. It was tan with orange and brown. I cast it, but not very efficiently, to shore and as I was stripping it back, something hit it!

I was able to finally feel the backbone in the rod as I continued stripping and the fish seemed to dive. I got it about 10 feet from the kayak when the fish came unbuttoned. Since the fish never surfaced, I can't really say what it was. It could've been a freshwater drum, a carp or nice size bass. I was hoping it was a bass but I guess I won't ever know. One thing for sure, regardless that the fly was meant for saltwater, I surely will give it another try though I will likely tie another with slightly smaller eyes such as one with a 5/32 size hourglass brass eyes instead.

After blindcasting and paddling for about 4 hours, my arm didn't feel bad at all. I did order a Lamson Velocity 3.5 reel just for the XP. This will allow me to carry the 6wt with the current Lamson V3 when I want to cast different size flies without constantly re-tying. It should also give me some extra room on the spool for the WF8F line without removing backing.

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