Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Gone Fishing...

I'm taking a couple of much needed fishing trips in the next couple of months, to different parts of the state for some very different types of fishing. This is one of the ones that Billy Ray and I are planning right now.

I've got a friend who put a LARGE luxury, deluxe, top of the line travel trailer in a scenic town in that netherworld that is the area between West Texas and the Hill Country. The line of demarcation is there for sure, but it's a wide line, stretching counties apart, as Texas transitions from Hill Country to desert. We call it The Zone.

The Zone runs from north to south in the state, but the part we were in was that Brady to Mason to Junction area and west of there for several counties. The terrain and available water dances like a snake through many counties, and it's a certain kind of beauty. Not unlike the terrain in better watered parts of the Big Bend country, the hills are smaller but there is sometimes spring fed creeks and rivers running through this area.

My friend's family keeps the trailer at a very nice RV spot in a nice little town. They use it very occasionally when they come to that town to visit relatives. Cheaper and nicer than the local motels, which ain't much. Since they already have the trailer, they keep it there year round.

Right nearby, there are some very good fishing opportunities for rivers and creeks. There's a few lakes in the surrounding area, but many of them are not doing real well water wise. That part of Texas seems to have some good water, despite the drought, and the one creek in particular which we want to fish is spring fed and apparently is running strong.

So Billy Ray and I plan to go for at least a few weekend trips to this borrowed trailer, thus massively reducing trip expenses with a nice free place to stay. The trailer owner's use of the trailer is infrequent at best so using it is pretty much at our last minute whim.

Several years ago, Billy Ray and I were looking at real estate in the area and cruising over several counties in THE ZONE, looking at various bargain properties. Many of these area do have year round water in creeks or rivers, and most of them are spring fed, just like their breathren in the Hill Country.

We found "this spot" that is some kind of highway department picnic spot from long ago, circa the WPA or the CCC. It could have been built by prison labor in the 40's or 50's. The park is next to a very large creek, with nice coolish clear green water flowing from springs. It looked like a VERY FISHY spot to me.

I talked to someone today who lives near there and drives near this spot on occasion. He said the creek is full of water and has been all year. He tells me that catfish and crappie have been biting a short ways further from this spot at some other public access areas (bridges, low water crossings, campgrounds on the river). The bass have been so so, and have been on the smallish "river bass" size. But no one he knows has been getting skunked out there.

This spot is sort of remote, where a small state highway crosses a county road, and there set up on about an acre is a simple park with concrete picnic tables, old tall brick grills and a portacan. There is a small shaded paved area that had some kind of table and benches inside, not very big but next to the grills for someplace to escape the sun while watching the rods.

You could easily launch a jonboat there and run a small trotline. But I think we'll try the bank fishing first. There are also some nearby spots I mentioned above, including a campground that charges a small day fee for access to their property with lots of creek frontage. So there's all kinds of options.

It's kinda in the middle of nowhere. The last time we drove past it, we checked it out pretty good on foot and saw some fish and minnows in the water. There was vegetation and the water looked nice and green like a good eco-system should. It's sorta reminds me of a slightly smaller version of what the Devil's River in South Texas looks like, an oasis river running through hills and desert, a thread of green life following the water.

But for a creek, it's pretty big. I've seen more than one river smaller than this creek. As I mentioned, the variance in the terrain and geology which move from desert to hill country and merge in a fusion that is part of each and yet different. It's a nice part of Texas, and I don't know how better to describe it. But there's some good fishing in a few of the creeks and rivers there, and that means we need to go fishing.

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