As I referenced in my last Front Page, in October of 2018 the Texas Hill Country and its associated rivers were overwhelmed in a matter of 48 hours with well over 10 inches of rain. This area is known to flood at the drop of a hat, and we see some pretty catastrophic water levels every couple of years. This one, however, was different. I have lived in this area since 2005, and during the flood of 2019, the water rose faster, higher, and flowed harder than even many of the old timers have ever seen. The following spring the devastation was evident. Not so much in terms of the wilderness infrastructure...that actually looked pretty normal. It was the fishery that was virtually nonexistent. So much so in fact that the majority of our raft trips last year amouinted to not much more than sightseeing and artifact hunting trips.
I've been fishing this stretch of the river since 1997, and on an average day you can not only land a mixed bag of Sunfish and Bass, it's also not unusual to have many as 10-15 shots at Carp will into the 20-30 pound range. In 2019 we saw a sum total of 4 Carp. They were just nowhere to be found.
Last week we dropped the raft in about 11am, and within the first hour, had landed well over 20 large Sunfish on ultralight 6'6" 2wt. flyrods. Not only that, by the end of the 4-mile float, we had also spotted at least a dozen Carp well in to double digits, and several Largemouth Bass pushing the 4 pound mark. It always amazes me how given enough time these things heal themselves, and often in a manner better than they were prior to whatever catastrophic event caused the whole dust-up in the first place. What's even more amazing is that so many of the landmarks I have associated with certain productive spots, after all these years and all these floods, look virtually completely untouched and unscathed. It's as if, over time the rocks, the trees, the cliffs, the river, and the fish that swim in it get stronger and more resilient with every catastrophic event that tests its mettle.
There are some very valuable and applicable lessons to be learned from such observations, but in times like these they don't really require much explanation do they?
Hope you all have a safe and healthy week,