Sunday, September 21, 2008

Arkansas Bend at Lake Travis

I think the last time I went fishing around Arkansas Bend at Lake Travis was probably a year ago. I did fish a different part of the lake in February though. Driving down the road as I approached the lake from the top of a hill, I could tell that the water level was low once again. I hoped that the water temperature was the only other thing that fallen in the hopes this would start giving the fish the idea Autumn is approaching and to start feeding aggressively.

According to lake level data, the lake is down by around 22 feet. A couple of years ago we had a really bad drought where the lake dropped by almost 40 feet. Thanks to rains in the spring of 2007, the lake recovered nicely.

I was able to park on the shore which is normally underwater and launch my kayak in calm, clear water. The air temperature was around 70 degrees and water was warmer than that at about 81 degrees. A power boat had started working the point where I was launch and the angler caught a nice bass on what looked to be a spinnerbait as I was paddling to the next point.

The first fly I tied on was a size #2 Gurgler top water fly in yellow and orange. It wasn't long before I had a bite. It was a big brim. As I worked the point I kept catching these big brim and seemed that each was bigger than the rest. I was really hoping for a bass.

I entered a nearby cove and worked my way around it and continued to catch big brim on minnow flies and managed one small bass. I then moved on and started working around the swimming platforms. Same pattern occurred on all of them as I would catch big brim along the shady side of the platform.

As I was undoing a knot on my fly line I felt a large tug and thought I had finally caught a decent bass. It tuned out to be a really big coppernose which is a hybrid type bluegill found in the lake that can be identified by a copper or golden color near the top of its head.

As I looked up I saw a big roadrunner trying to catch a meal along the grass and I paddled my way back.

Before leaving for the day, I started fishing around the point where my truck was located trying to catch a decent size bass. I was stripping my minnow back to the kayak when I saw not one but a school of four bass following it! They looked to have been about two pounds each! But they continued to follow it to the kayak, saw me and departed. Nuts!

I decided to switch to a black woolly bugger and work it slowly. After a few casts I felt some resistance and was fighting a very nice Guadalupe bass. I netted it, photographed and admired it and then released it. I fished for a little while longer but it was tough with all the ski boats, cigar boats and personal water craft making lots of waves and stirring up the bottom so I got out and headed home.

It was beautiful morning to be fishing on the lake. The water was a pretty green color and fish were caught. I'm not sure I could ask for anything more though I am hoping we get some rain soon so the lakes don't get any lower. I'll try fishing the lake after the next real cold front and hopefully I will catch some more bass.

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