Wednesday, December 19, 2012


The past couple of weekends I've been frustrated in my pursuit of the Texas Rainbow Trout stocked every year in various lakes and rivers around the state. They stocked a really nice place that's a couple of hours from the house, a river. I called the fishery that does the stocking at that river and was told that they no longer tell the exact date and time that the stocking will occur, only that fishing will be allowed for the trout beginning on the stocking date as shown on the TDPW website.

26 years ago this January, I rose early one frigid morning to venture to Meridian State Park, where the stocking took place about 7:30 on the appointed morning. The fellow at the fishing store told me when I should get there to see the actual stock truck pour the fish into the lake. So I got to the park about an hour before the stocking truck did and got to witness the stocking.

So when the appointed day and time came around two Saturdays ago, I was highly dismayed that it was about 80 degrees outside.  We has some prior engagement that Saturday morning anyway, so I wouldn't have been able to make the long haul to my favored fishing hole, and it was way too hot for any good fishing that afternoon.

And last Saturday, it was again in the high 70's, despite a cold front earlier in the week that dropped temps to the 30's for a few days. So during the week when I'm working and can't take the time to travel to my preferred fishing hole, it's freezing and perfect rainbow fishing weather, and I'm out of luck.

So it's looking like the forecast this Saturday might be in the 30's early Saturday morning. I've always found the stocked rainbows to be far more active when it's cold outside, particularly when the temp has been cold for a few days so the water temp can get down a bit. Although the overall water temp might take a few days to go down and might not dip during a cold snap, I find trout far more "surface" active when it's really cold (for Texas anyway) and even better, when it's cold AND rainy or sleeting.

So hopefully the cold front will come through tonight and make things conducive for some fun fishing early Saturday morning. There's nothing like watching the sunrise after you've already caught a few fish in the chilly pre-dawn light to start the day off right.

We've had this weird weather for so many years now. I can't really recall the last time we had a cold winter in my part of Texas where it was cold for even as long as a month before reverting to semi-spring and summer type weather.

As a kid, it would be cold or at least chilly to the point of having to wear a jacket for months at a time, beginning around the end of October. Nowadays, here we are in December and it's a balmy 75 at my house.

Last year the trout fishing was decent as I understand it but some places couldn't be stocked because they ran dry or very low during the drought of 2011.

We're running way short of rain again in Texas, and fire warnings have popped up in many counties tonight because of the dry and windy conditions.

The outdoor writer for the Austin paper was talking about how he lives either on the shore of or within view of Lake Buchanan, north of Austin. After a slight recovery from the drought of 2011, and a lot of dry years before that, it's been receding again apparently. Not a good sign. The writer was talking about how he couldn't see the water from his window anymore.

That bodes poorly for some of my favorite fishing spots. Like many Texans, I like to fish for rainbow trout in the winter, spawning bass and crappie in lakes and creeks and the white bass spawning run on several rivers in the springtime, and then settling down for specks and redfish in saltwater from July till the end of hurricane season. In between, there's many good times to fish for largemouth and other fish around the state.

Drought has affected all of my various types of fishing the last few years. It affects hunting as well, not to mention the severe effects on ranching and farming. Our world has changed drastically in my lifetime, and the weather changes have been the most troubling?

Droughts have happened lots before in my life. But now they are more frequent and have been far more severe than anything in my lifetime in my part of Texas.

Where do you think good places to live in the US are where there will be sufficient water 30 years from now?

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