Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Maiden voyage on Brushy Creek Lake

Brushy Creek Lake is a small lake located in Cedar Park near the town of Round Rock. Before it was opened to the public by the city of Cedar Park, people used to trespass and fish the lake illegally. There were rumors of big bass in it and when it first opened, I was there with other fisherman and indeed some large bass were caught (but not by me). I did manage to catch some decent bass, crappie, catfish and even carp there but after a while it seemed "fished out" and it got significantly more difficult to catch a bass though folks on occasion still caught some decent bass over 16".

Due to the small size of this lake, lack of any significant current and lack of motorboats, it seemed an ideal place to take my son so he could continue learning how to maneuver and fish from a kayak.

We got there fairly late in the afternoon. We carried our kayaks to the canoe/kayak launch and then paddled out to a particular spot I wanted to stay in that is popular with a lot of folks.

My son worked on figuring out how to position his kayak and set anchor. I fished close by but let him figure things on his own and explore. He found a small island with what looked like bird houses set aside for owls. There was a mayfly hatch and the sunfish were going crazy but we were here for the bass so our hooks were in the 3/0 size.

We hung around for a while, not really catching anything but enjoying the water nevertheless. As the sun was starting to quickly set, we started to paddle back to the launch in order to get home for dinner. On the paddle back you could hear some classical music, Bach's Brandeburg Concerto I believe, coming from the nearby golf course. The water was glassy smooth and the air was cool. A great way to end the day.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Quick trip on Lady Bird Lake

This afternoon I continued my quest to find a spot I could fish with my son and this time drove to downtown Austin to check out Lady Bird Lake (previously known as Town Lake).

I parked near the high school and launched from the canoe launch and headed downstream to the entrance to the spring fed Barton Creek.

The water was fairly clear and flowing nicely. The day however was windy. I worked my way upstream and in one location I had a bass trail behind my fly but no bite. That was actually the only fish I was able to see. I kept moving upstream avoiding the inexperienced folks that were trying to paddle the rented canoes from the canoe/kayak rental shack upstream.

I spent some time fishing along a large drain emptying into the creek but without any luck so I started my paddle back since I wanted to get on my way long before rush hour started.

I am considered just going with my son tomorrow to a small lake near our house that I rarely ever fish called Brushy Creek Lake. That's right, it has the words creek and lake together. It is a place I once caught a 16" crappie on the fly there. However, it was heavily overfished and so I stopped going there. Like Lady Bird Lake, it is a motorboat free lake and so kayak friendly. We'll see how this trip works out.

Quick trip on the San Gabriel River

I am officially on vacation this week so I am trying to catch up on fishing as it has been quite some time since I have been out.

With the rain we have had lately, I decided to head out to one of my favorite spots on the San Gabriel river. I wanted to check it out to see if it was good enough to take my son out on a subsequent trip. I got everything loaded in my truck and left around mid-afternoon.

When I got to the low water crossing, I noticed the water was indeed high and flowing fairly fast. It took some careful planning to get in at the low water bridge and start paddling upstream.

I got to a narrow section in the river with a bend and had a hard time crossing it so I had to beach and drag my kayak a short way over to some slower water so I could continue upstream.

I saw some backs popping up which were obviously carp feeding but by the time I got within casting distance they all disappeared. I thought I had been quite stealthy but apparently not.

I continued upstream towards the rapids and the current was quite strong to where I simply couldn't get close enough so I started drifting back. As I drifted, I cast along promising spots.

I passed a section where a small creek was emptying into the river and decided to try here. I let my fly drift and felt a hit and I had a fish on. Unfortunately it came off after a brief fight. I am positive it was a catfish from the way it fought.

It was a quick drift downstream with the increased flow. It didn't give me much of a chance to fish many spots. I only caught one small sunfish on the way before I finally ended up back at the low water crossing.

All in all I fished maybe for just over an hour. I decided to try a different spot the next day as this spot, while plenty of water now, was a bit risky to bring my son along.