July 25, 2014

Hosted by Sheila Anderson and Kerri Stephenson

Check out more photos from this outing in our Photo Gallery!

Urban angling is a not-to-be-missed experience I recommend everyone add to their bucket list. The solitude we feel when we are on the water with rod ready to cast to that soft spot just beyond the ever protective weeds that defend the bass’s domain, can be suddenly interrupted by the wail of sirens as emergency vehicles scream to the location of an early morning call. A conversation with your friends as you paddle from the launch site to where you’ll begin your drift gets drowned out by the train whistle sounding at each intersection of traffic it approaches and the rumbling vibrations created from the nearness of it. You are reminded quite often that you have not left the city, rather you seem to be directly in the midst of chaos as you adapt to these stimuli.

Mullet Mixer fellowship and fun

Having volunteered to coordinate the July outing with my sister, Kerri, we originally hoped to find a suitable location for our group to stay on the San Marcos River. Being spring fed, the water temperature is cooler there; it belies the heat of the day and makes a float trip almost bearable. Unable to meet our objective, we decided to move the outing to Austin and fish Ladybird Lake in the heart of downtown. July in Central Texas is not the best time to fish for bass and sunfish; the heat warms the water quickly and drives the fish down deep as it also promotes the rapid growth of weeds – hydrilla and fanwort – the bane of weighted flies with unguarded hooks. The best fishing in July is early in the morning, very early.

More than a handful of TWFF members braved the July heat and hit the lake in their kayaks for a chance of catching a large bass, the promise of seeing that explosive “take” as the fish crushes the frog-like deer hair popper that raises a disturbance on the water’s surface with each strip. After learning at the mullet mixer that the best time to start rigging and launching would be at 6:00 am, these remarkable souls came early with great enthusiasm to fish the ever-pressured lake. There were many, many anglers launching from the drainage ditch across from Austin High School. The small parking lot, already full, was the scene of everyone getting down to the business of readying themselves for the morning feeding frenzy that was observed two weeks prior during a test run for this outing.

Mullet Mixer fellowship and fun

Well the fishing wasn’t great, as promised, but quite a few of our members did catch some fish. Armed with the big bass bugs handed out at the mullet mixer, we all tried our best to lure the fish from the depths of waters. We started early and finished early, getting off the water before heat stroke could set in. As the morning worn on, the recreational business of paddling, both stand-up and kayak, began in earnest. Ladybird Lake is a recreational hot spot as it turns out, and we certainly had an eyeful of people watching. Have you ever before heard a boom box blaring rap music while fishing? Imagine what you’ve been missing.

We individually enjoyed the afternoon before gathering at the Anderson’s for a BBQ dinner and scrumptious desserts– also provided by the club. (Thank you, budget committee!) We were a cozy bunch, filling the house with our stories of the day, learning from our experiences, and enjoying each other’s company. We adjourned after a business meeting and after awarding the raffle prizes that were part of a small fundraiser for TWFF. Kerri Stephenson won the autographed book, Fly Fishing the Texas Hill Country by Kevin Hutcheson, Gretchen Gellelman won the Dooney & Bourke hobo style handbag, and Tammy Notley won the grizzly saddle hackel. Book and feathers were accompanied by a jar of Joyce Davis’s homemade peach jam.

Anderson BBQ…yummmmmmmm!

The following folks attended at least parts of this outing: Leslie DeHay, Mary Kain, Rhonda Schlatter, Patricia Perkins, Kay and Les Jackson, Pat and Don Carlson, Karen Gebhardt, Beverly Gordon, Tammy Notley, Julie Jordan, Stephanie Sobotik, Judy Lunn, Gretchen Gettelman, Cindy Organ Marilyn and Harris Young, Sheila and Robert Anderson, Kerri and Jim Stephenson, Susan Gaetz, Lise Lozelle, Mary Rohrer, Cindy Stewart, and Lindy and Bruce Wilks.

Robert, Kerri, and I would like to thank all of you who attended the outing; you made it a success, and we’re grateful for your participation!