This morning I fished Barton Creek right off Lady Bird Lake in downtown Austin. The creek is spring fed and so is warmer than the main lake. I was hoping the warmer water in the creek would attract bass in from the main lake. This, as it turned out, would be the only hope I had that would come true.
Paddling along the creek was like paddling in a swimming pool. The water was gin clear. I could see down to nine feet deep quite easily. This, I think, was partially to blame for the difficult fishing.
First of all, between the pedestrian bridge and the street bridge that crossed over the creek, I found that the creek was absolutely loaded with bass. Most of them were in the 2 to 3 pound range but there were plenty there that were 4, 5, 6 pounds or bigger. I had never seen such a concentration of healthy bass in one small area before. I have also never had a school of bass in this size all follow my fly in such large numbers. I would have 5 to 8 bass at a time trail my fly. This is where the good news ended.
No matter which fly or which type of retrieve (slow, jigging, burning, start & stop, etc.) I tried, I could not get them to eat it. They would follow it until the leader itself passed trough my tip guide and then they would thumb their nose at me and swim off. Very frustrating!
I had folks on the bridge or the running trail yell things at me like, "Hey buddy! There's a huge fish right behind you!" and I would reply, "Yeah, thanks.". After three frustrating hours without a single bite, I decided I had had enough of these bass with commitment issues. I told them to all see a shrink and let me know when they were over their inadequacies so I could catch them all. I won't hold my breath.