On a River Somewhere (in Texas)

Posted: April 13, 2012 in Fly Fishing, Kayak Fishing

This has been a long time coming, as up to now I hadn’t taken my camera out when I had been in my Kayak. A few people have been asking for some pics and my thoughts, so a few weeks ago I managed to get a day out on the Guadalupe River in Texas with my new Jackson Cuda, and here is a very brief note with pics.

I had hoped to get on the San Marcos River and try for a few Bass, however with recent rains in the area, the San Marcos was a little high and the banks very slippery and muddy. Yer I know, a bit of a girls blouse but I’m over having 3 kg of mud and grass on my shoes and then that being transferred from one end of the yak to the other! As such, I drove the extra 30 minutes and launched at the Rio Raft RV Park on the Guadalupe. I must say, $8 to allow you to launch and park your car for the day is pretty good value, BUT can’t they have a smooth ramp? They have gone to all the trouble of laying concrete, but it has more steps and drops than the bloody Great Wall of China. Rant over.

The Cuda ready to go

Once I had navigated the Cuda done the “boat ramp” off I went upstream to see what lay ahead for me in that stretch of the river. I have previously fished the Guadalupe, but only with a guide, and downstream of the Rio Raft. Downstream there are one or two small barrages etc but some good holes with nice Trout. Going upstream I found to be fairly easy paddling with only a few small rapids that you need to drag the yak around or through.

On my way up the first traffic was actually a few fishing guides, one of which I had been on the San Marcos with for a very successful day Bass fishing. (I will do a post on that day even though it was 10 months ago) It wasn’t long before I knew why the guides were out so early. About a mile further on, I came across the first group of “Tubers”. For my Australian friends, tubing in Texas, and other parts of the US, is a very popular “sport” or past time starting in Spring and going for the next 6-7 months. People in their hundreds (and possibly thousands) grab a car or truck tire for themselves, grab another to fit their esky (Australian for cooler) into it, load it with beer and other assorted drinks, and float down the river for the day. Great fun, and most of the people doing it are just having a great time, but as with anything, add alcohol, hot sun, and hotter chicks in small bikini’s, and the brain does not engage with some lads!!! This time of the year, I only passed about 40 people for the day, and they were all good spirited, polite, and gave you more than enough room so as not to piss you off. So all was good and everyone had a great day.

My setup at present. A little more organising to do!!

As mentioned, even with all the traffic in the water, I still managed to get some fishing in, throwing a few flies here are there. There being the odd tree occasionally!! And one of the things I like about the Jackson Cuda is how stable it is when fly fishing. I am yet to master the art of standing up, which I have done for short periods, but after ending up in the drink, I’m a little gun-shy. So having the seat at the high level, sitting, I can very easily throw flies (and lures) to my heart’s content. The other thing I like about the Cuda, is the side pockets to stow you flies/lures and other gear you need at hand quickly. Yes I know other yaks have this also, but I have a Cuda and that’s what I’m writing about. For me (and only me) I love the Jackson as it just looks like it was made for and designed for the fisherman. Heaps of storage for gear including rods, nice to paddle, and light enough for even me to throw on the car. Some claim you can carry 6 or more rods. Theoretically yes you can, but comfortably for me and my size, 2 or 3 is good. With the seat positions, I have the seat in the lower position when paddling as its more stable, but then jump out and put the seat up when I know I’m going to be fishing in one or two spots for a while. I am yet to take it out on an extended outing or overnight, so that will probably test the storage etc. There’s a challenge, just how many beers can you get in a Jackson Cuda?

Once I reached as far as I could, I slowly paddled downstream over the next 2-3 hours, pulling up and fishing in the deeper holes and snags, and just enjoying the day watching life and the tubers go by. Overall the day was successful for me, as I got the yak wet, I saw a section of the river I hadn’t before, I did some fishing, but unfortunately did not catch anything worth taking pics of. One small little Bass that was it!!! On arrival back at the Rio Raft, I then had the pleasure of using the Great Wall Construction Companies “boat ramp”. Lugging the Cuda up there with my level of fitness, is close to having to call the Paramedic!! But I did get the yak safe and sound up to the car park, and still had some energy to lift it onto the Charger. Yes I put roof racks on “Chazzy” to my wifes horror. And funnily enough, by that time of the day with a short drive back to my cabin, it was yet again BEER O’CLOCK. Yet again another successful day on a river somewhere. Cheers.

Chazzy the Charger with Jacko the Cuda attached


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