I've got cabin fever bad. Really bad. And today was the worst, because it was just gorgeous outside this afternoon in my area. Nice and warm, in the seventies, typical Texas January. Because tonight it's supposed to drastically drop in temperature with some rain and supposedly we might get a couple of nights in the 'teens down here later this week. Maybe, just maybe, even some snow flurries.
That's a big deal down this way. You go just a few hundred miles west of where I'm at and there will be some snow and heavy ice on the ground this week. Maybe a lot, or a lot for the Hill Country/West Texas area. And we need some winter weather down here, if for nothing else than a nice quiet weekend at the home warming by the fire.
This past weekend whilst attending a birthday party for one of El Fisho Jr.'s good friends, I got to talking to Schoolteacher Bill, who is the dad of another friend of El Fisho Jr. Bill has been fishing the heck out of trout this season in Texas, and has a freezer full to prove it. And mostly landed "on the fly". Those not landed on the fly were via a 4 lb ultralight spinning rig.
Like me, Bill will fish anywhere and anytime for any GAME fish. Now, I define game fish loosely. To me, a crappie or a perch or a white bass is a game fish. A carp or a gar is not a game fish. A freshwater catfish of any variety is a game fish, as is the saltwater Gafftop catfish but the saltwater hardhead catfish is not a gamefish. So my parameters are a bit looser than your largemouth bass or speckled trout/redfish purist, but I still enjoy catching the real gamefish like specks and reds and big freshwater greenback, largemouth bass.
I surf fish as much as I can, not living right on the coast but within a few hours of it. I like saltwater fishing of all kinds.
In short, I enjoy fishing.
Bill is my kind of fishing guy. I've known him several years now, and I already knew that we shared an interest in music and guitar playing and being part time musicians and such. He's a few years older than me, but we've got a lot of similar outdoors experiences in some of the same parts of the state. Salt and freshwater, Bill and I have fished a lot of the same Texas places.
I mentioned that one of my favorite types of fishing was creek and pond fishing. We got to talking about the finer points of creek fishing and how we both used short rods to deal with the usual brushy conditions you encounter in fishing smaller creeks.
I mentioned my as yet not started project of making a short fly rod out of a rod tip I have and an old fly grip. Once the grip is somehow attached to the fly rod base, it'll be ready to go. It will be about 4 1/2 feet long, a very short fly rod.
I plan to fish a 1 weight WF line out of this small and thin and somewhat limber rod for very short distance casting of very small spider and fly and mosquito and grasshopper imitations. I actually have a ultra light spinning rod that is 4 foot long that handles a very fast taper WF line made for short rods that I got some years ago. The ergonomics of the reel mounted mid rod are not ideal, but then again, I'm more making short roll casts and flipping and drifting than I am using a traditional fly cast.
The short rods come in handy on smaller but deep creeks. I've caught many 2 and 3 lb. fish in creeks where I could jump across them (O.K., maybe in my youth I could jump across them). Deep holes and undercut banks and structure from fallen trees and such make great fishing and great hiding places for larger fish.
I've seen 40 lb. plus catfish come from creeks less than 10 feet wide and 8 feet deep, but again there were deep holes for these hiding fish along the way.
So Bill caught my interest talking about a creek not too far away from where we live. He knows a fella with a place with a great deal of this creek running through his place, and apparently it's a pretty big place. The big deep pools and larger wider parts of this creek require about a mile hike, the last several hundred yards of which is apparently through a near impenatrable thicket.
Bill apparently goes native and crawls through the bottom of the thicket infantry style to get to the promised fishing land. I suspect I'll use a machete and clear a path at least near to the fishing area, if that's alright with the owner, and I'll check in advance. It's one of those pack light adventures, although it sounds like a drag bag might be a good thing to have for Bill with his gear in there.
So all this gets me thinking about a new adventure. The boys will enjoy it and there are fishing waiting to be caught. Bill and I can show off those outdoor cooking skills for the boys with a lakeside lunch, and if there are no fresh fish we can bring some hot dogs along.