Welcome to Warmwater Fishing!

A Day on the Paluxy

By Robin Rhyne, Texas
Texas is a warm water fishing state. Every winter the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department does an admirable job of bringing rainbow trout fishing to Texans through their community trout stocking program and the southernmost trout fishery in the USA is the Guadalupe River in South Texas. But warm water is king! Bluegills, largemouth bass, Guadalupe Bass, spotted bass, smallies, warmouth, Rio Grande cichlid. But I start sounding like Bubba Blue in Forrest Gump reciting shrimp recipes. Then there's the Gulf Coast but that's another article.

Bob Voelker asked me to go fishing down on the Paluxy with him and Al Crise. I jumped at that offer, took me all of three seconds to decide. Nothing like an instant message at work inviting one to go fishing!

We left for Glen Rose at o'dark thirty and pulled up at the café about the time that breakfast rush had started. We knew Al must be there because he had advised that he'd be in a white Chevy truck and there were at least nine in the parking lot. One had to be him. A cup of coffee later and the right white Chevy truck pulled in. We had some breakfast and headed on out to the river.

Glen Rose and the Paluxy are at the edge of where Texas stops being the high plains and more towards the Hill Country. The historic Brazos River runs nearby, this area is a part of the Brazos drainage.

Our first stop was a low water crossing where we parked and waded in to fish the edges above and below. The fishing was not too great here but Al and Bob both picked up a few spotted bass and bream. I was sitting 100% skunk.

We moved on to another area of the river to fish; below a bridge sitting over a small dam. Kinda tricky here, the water was moving faster than any of us wanted to try. Why tempt Mr. Murphy?

We got on down the road closer to Dinosaur Valley State Park where we paused for a moment at the side of the road to watch two young men cutting doughnuts in a big puddle of water in a valiant attempt to wear out their truck before its time. Ah youth.

This was our most technical wade of the day, all done in cutoffs and T-shirts by the way. We never got in too much over waist deep all day. On this section of the river I had my casting epiphany. I was starting to get bummed out pretty bad about the skunk smell I was wearing. Al and Bob were big and gracious enough to not mention it. I stood there pondering why I fly fished in the first place, wondered why the heck I put myself through all this. Then, as I pondered, I began to get the image of fly fishers of old, standing in stately old streams with ponderous fly rods and horsehair lines, sweeping the fly across the water in the slow, elegant manner that was more a matter of practicality than "Style." As I pondered that image and pictured myself back in those times it all came back to me. I began to cast my Shakespeare fiberglass rod with slow elegance. The black and red shoe popper that Al had given me began to pull bluegills out of their hidey holes underneath overgrown sections of riverbank. I felt the water pushing my legs. I was right there on the river catching those bluegills right and left. That last bit of time on the river was worth the entire trip. Al showed us his best spots which must remain secret even though it really doesn't matter. All the fish have been caught out of the Paluxy, there are no more. So don't even bother coming, it would be a waste of time. I'll go fishing again with Bob and with Al but somewhere that there are fish. ~ Robin

About Robin

Robin Rhyne is an aspiring fly fisherman and fly tier who lives in North Texas and does not get to go fishing near enough! You can reach him via his website: www.robinscustomleadersandflies.com

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