June 3, 2011
By Sheila Anderson
Check out more photos from this outing in our Photo Gallery!
The Texas Women Fly Fishers came to Austin for our first outing on Lady Bird Lake (formerly Town Lake), and what a successful outing it was. Once traffic was negotiated and hotel or other lodging was found, we met at Sportsman’s Finest for a Fajita Dinner Mullet Mixer. Stacy Lynn, Sportsman’s Finest Operations Manager, provided the wonderful dinner that was grilled in the back yard by Greg Welander—Fly Fishing Sales and Austin Fly Fisher member. The meal was complemented with homemade Spanish rice, beans, and delicious lemon bars from Stacy’s mom’s recipe.
The members of Austin Fly Fishers were invited to join us at the mullet mixer to provide local fishing knowledge of Lady Bird Lake, and more specifically to help us understand the “rules” of their PerchMasters Tournament. This is a fun tournament they hold annually, and we had been invited to join in for a little fishing competition. Doug Kierklewski gave a humorous, yet insightful, presentation about fishing the waters of Lady Bird Lake. After he spoke, I think we were not much closer to understanding the “rules” of the tournament. We came away with, “the most fish caught by an angler entitles them to become the reigning PerchMaster.
Saturday morning we met up at Fiesta Shores on Lady Bird Lake, just east of I35. Everything seemed to go so smoothly. We had help from the guys unloading and launching our kayaks, the wind had laid down for a change, there was very little current, the lake was peaceful, calm and I think everyone caught fish. We found fish in the expected areas near vegetation on the shores, in the shade of trees, and even on spawning beds that were visible in the shallower water. What more could one ask for at a fly fishing outing?
Lunch arrangements were taken care of by the Austin Fly Fishers and consisted of delicious gourmet sandwiches, chips, and a drink for five bucks. We had shared the reservation of the covered pavilion area with them so we had much-appreciated shade to relax in, eat, and receive the awards. There were more awards for this tournament then I’ve ever witnessed. Largest fish, smallest fish, most fish, the “Bull” (?) Award, youngest angler, and maybe some others I can’t quite remember now. Mary Rohrer won the largest fish trophy, she had competed fairly with the other contenders but was able to sway the judge with a six pack of his favorite beverage, Tab Cola. What a hoot!
Dinner on Saturday evening was held at Cannoli Joe’s, an Italian restaurant that Mick Vann, Food Writer for The Austin Chronicle describes as a “dizzying array of fresh Italian food cooked in small batches, presented in a really comfortable and artistically unique space.” The food was tasty in a serve-yourself manner so we had no long waiting for our dinner fare; once again, everything went so smoothly. Some of our members were talking about fishing again on Sunday morning, but we’ll have to wait until the next outing to find out if anyone actually did go back out on the water. I think this is an outing worthy of repeating—who knows? Maybe next year?