Monday, September 01, 2008
Rio Fest on Brushy Creek
Having grown up in deep south Texas, a.k.a. the Rio Grande Valley, I am aware that the city of Harlingen has an annual festival called RioFest that occurs in the spring. Today I had a rio fest of my own but it was in no way related to the one just mentioned.
This afternoon, I decided to beat the close to 100 degree heat by wet wading the cool tree lined waters of Brushy Creek. I had gotten a tip from Chris at the Living Waters fly shop on Saturday of new spot to try.
This new spot was nice. There was plenty of room to cast the 8'6" 4wt I brought with me. I was in the water around 5pm and proceeded to wade and fish upstream. After a few casts drifting a black foam spider, I caught a tiny bass. I then caught a green sunfish.
Not long after having caught a few more green sunfish, I caught a nice Rio Grande Cichlid. This made the fourth one this year. Two of the other three had been caught in this same creek though further downstream and the other on the San Gabriel river.
The Rios can be pretty fish and kind of ugly at other times. They have brilliant turqoise spots all over and black bars or large dots closer to their tails. They have bright yellow eyes as well. I have seen some that have had what look like red bumps or sores along both sides of their bodies. Some look half black and half ash white while in the water but look a bit different once removed from the water. It is an interesting species to run across.
About 100 yards downstream I saw a man and little girl walking in the water so I started moving upstream. I continued catching green sunfish, small bass, and an occasional redbreast sunfish. However, I also caught two more Rios which sort of surprised me.
I headed upstream about another 200 yards and caught two more Rio Grande Cichlids. This made a total of five Rio Grande Cichlids which is the most I have ever caught at any one time and this was only in two hours of fishing. By contrast, last year I think I only caught two.
I recorded the spots where I caught the Rios to memory in case a fishing buddy ever wants to record a new unique species to try and catch on the fly.
The Rio Grande is a rare prize for some fly fishers. It is also selective on the flies it takes. I was able to catch them mostly on a #10 olive bead head nymph and on a #10 orange and pearl Cypert's mylar minnow.
It was refreshing to be in cool running water again and I am very thankful to have caught some fish that I don't get to catch that often. I'll be back some other day for sure. Maybe I will have my own annual Rio Fest, too.