Lakota Ramble~

Mar 18 2021

Riverhorse Nakadate

Fry

Member Since :
2013
Number of Posts :
6

Reservation Number : 27402
Property Name : Lakota Lake
Reservation Date : 03/16/2021 All Day -
Total Fish/Sizes : 26 from 1-5 pounds
Lures Used : Deer Hair Frog Fly size 0/2

Lakota Ramble~

A hair before 4 a.m.  French press coffee in a thermos on the kitchen counter. A cherished backpack with a vintage thunderbird blanket thrown in, a ranch jacket, a couple fly rods, and a hardbound book about John Muir’s walk across the southern United States. The cooler gets thrown into the truck. A handheld map of Texas sits on my thighs as I drive. Northbound towards Cleveland, Texas leaving this city behind, with everything ahead. That’s why the rearview mirror is so small, the front windshield wide-glide and all-encompassing. There’ll be no looking back from here, just onwards to water.

Small towns rule. Bear claw, apple fritter, and blueberry cake donut in a small brown bag still warm from being handed through the window at the first authentic homegrown bakery I see. Say no to big corporate chains, yes to local soul. I normally don’t even bother with the fritter, but this spring early morning, after seeing them all beckoning on aluminum racks, why not splurge a little, have a contest between them? Somebody’s got to do it. 3rd place is the fritter, should have known. Second is the blueberry, nice cake body, but the fruit notes are far too high, insistent. Bear claw for the win, by a mile. It comes apart both fleshy tender and with that golden sugar maple crust blooming away. 

First light is everything in life. I live for it. Having traversed a winding dirt road surrounded by trees, I park the truck along the lake in the grass. I take the time to just stand there taking the forest and vibe in, watching the lake for signs of life and hearing the waking birds. Within the first few minutes, I see a kingfisher, chickadees, a wren, cormorants, a snowy egret, blue jays, crows, woodpeckers, and even a cool bird called a banaquit. A pair of bald eagles as big as any I’ve ever seen in Texas fly overhead looking for breakfast, too.

My lawd. If I was able to design the perfect bass lake, here it is. Endless coves, flats, wraparounds, ambush points, ridged bank drop-offs, serpentine shade-drenched skinny channels, timber laydowns, an old dock with walkway, and even the edges of surface dwelling weed beds gently coming a few feet out where fish can loom waiting for meals. Damn. It’s about to go down. Some days, you just know it−you can feel it in your ribs.

I slip the canoe into the water. Nothing feels like this, being immersed to the hips on a lake with no one for miles.  A few tendrils of early morning fog along the banks, sheet glass, not even a faint breeze yet. I start arcing out casts and it feels so good. Fly casting is equal parts meditative and soulful. As for what fly to use, it never ceases to amaze me how much endless bull dookie there is out there about lures. To me, it is simple. Either a baitfish pattern, or a frog. But to be honest, I throw the frog all darn day, and have caught enormous bass on topwater even when it is 98 degrees out in perfect afternoon summer sunlight. It is good to have our own style, do what we want to do, what feels right in life, in the brief time we are here. 

I start picking up fish everywhere you think they would be, and the wicked eats are not for the faint-of-heart. Moments like these I am unaware of anything else in life−awake, present, unconsciously oblivious to the rest of the world. These windows of solitude are so few and fleeting. By late morning, rainclouds pass over and wet us all down, but it doesn’t bother me a bit. I take a break and nap lazily in the back of the pickup truck bed, then wake to see a trio of cormorants flying overhead in the swirl of clouds. Almond butter and organic honey sandwiches on wheat, sea-salt and lime chips and local tomatillo salsa on the tailgate, a frosty Shiner pulled from the cooler…everything tastes sublime out here.

During the afternoon session, coming alongside a tree that has fallen from the bank into the water, I fire the frog right into the dirt at the edge of the lake, and hop it rowdily with a couple slow strips of the fly line….boom. This is by far the best bass of the day. She runs hard, and I can feel her trembling in my hands, thanks to the fly rod being so sensitive. Within a few seconds the pressure lightens up which always tell me a big bass is about to make a jump.  This chunky girl comes out of the water with gills flared, shaking to and fro like a tarpon, and even tail walks for good measure. As she comes alongside the gunwales of the canoe, the frog comes out of her lip just before I can grab her. That’s fine, we both got what we wanted out of the moment. 

Rolling out late in the day after a few more fish and passing rainstorms, I think about things. This Cherokee Viking Texas boy approves of this surreal and mesmerizing Lakota Lake, and is so damn thankful for this day. 

                                                                                                                                    Riverhorse~

Mar 18 2021

Wayne Pruitt

Fingerling

Member Since :
2017
Number of Posts :
92

Riverhorse,

Enjoyed your attention to detail! Lakota is a special place, on this we both can agree…………...I see you only have 4 post since 2013? Are we going to see more post like this in the future? Heading to Lakota tomorrow myself. Maybe a Fritter is in my future as well. Good luck on your next adventure and please keep us posted.

Wayne Pruitt

Mar 21 2021

Robert Cauthen

Fry

Member Since :
2016
Number of Posts :
17

Originaly Posted By Wayne Pruitt

Riverhorse,

Enjoyed your attention to detail! Lakota is a special place, on this we both can agree…………...I see you only have 4 post since 2013? Are we going to see more post like this in the future? Heading to Lakota tomorrow myself. Maybe a Fritter is in my future as well. Good luck on your next adventure and please keep us posted.

Wayne Pruitt

Wayne,

How’d you end up doing?

Rob

Mar 22 2021

Wayne Pruitt

Fingerling

Member Since :
2017
Number of Posts :
92

Originaly Posted By Robert Cauthen

Wayne,

How’d you end up doing?

Rob

30 LMB & 3 Crappie for the day largest was 4 ½ pounds…………………...

Mar 22 2021

Riverhorse Nakadate

Fry

Member Since :
2013
Number of Posts :
6

Originaly Posted By Wayne Pruitt

30 LMB & 3 Crappie for the day largest was 4 ½ pounds…………………...

Thanks for the postive words Wayne!

I wish I had time to write fishing posts more often, am usually out running wild or working away on adenture films, magazine pieces, trying to save the world, etc.  Just did a recent undercover piece with the Texas Game Wardens down on the border with boat chases, guns, etc…trying to shine a light on illegal netting and fishing in our gulf.  You can hop on for a read here if that bored, enjoy and hope to see you out there!

https://www.patagonia.com/stories/the-darkest-web/story-95652.html

Riverhorse

Mar 23 2021

Wayne Pruitt

Fingerling

Member Since :
2017
Number of Posts :
92

Originaly Posted By Riverhorse Nakadate

Thanks for the postive words Wayne!

I wish I had time to write fishing posts more often, am usually out running wild or working away on adenture films, magazine pieces, trying to save the world, etc.  Just did a recent undercover piece with the Texas Game Wardens down on the border with boat chases, guns, etc…trying to shine a light on illegal netting and fishing in our gulf.  You can hop on for a read here if that bored, enjoy and hope to see you out there!

https://www.patagonia.com/stories/the-darkest-web/story-95652.html

Riverhorse

Riverhorse,

I read the article. Sad that greed creates such injustice. You are very gifted with words. Your post caught my attention. Now I see why………..

I see you surf and play guitar……...I grew up 7 miles from Port Aransas so I spent lots of my time as a teenager surfing those waves. I am a guitar man as well. Let's meet up on a PWF lake in the not too distant future and enjoy a day of bass fishing. I love to kayak the lakes and it's warming up enough to do so. My brother and I look forward to meeting you.

Wayne

Mar 23 2021

Riverhorse Nakadate

Fry

Member Since :
2013
Number of Posts :
6

Originaly Posted By Wayne Pruitt

Riverhorse,

I read the article. Sad that greed creates such injustice. You are very gifted with words. Your post caught my attention. Now I see why………..

I see you surf and play guitar……...I grew up 7 miles from Port Aransas so I spent lots of my time as a teenager surfing those waves. I am a guitar man as well. Let's meet up on a PWF lake in the not too distant future and enjoy a day of bass fishing. I love to kayak the lakes and it's warming up enough to do so. My brother and I look forward to meeting you.

Wayne

Hey now-

Good to hear the words are out there resonating with kindred souls.  Yes, surf and guitar realms, I was a staff assignment writer for Surfing Magazine out of San Clemente California for ten years, and am still working with guitar magazines, fam on an advisory board with Billy G of ZZ Top, and Peter Frampton, fun stuff.  

Looks like you and your brother run full bore, fun to see.  Will catch up somewhere out there for sure, betya.

I think we are doing a virtual club meeting soon to talk about caring for the fish we all love and revere, how to handle them, get hands wet, types of nets or no nets, how long a fish should be out of the water, etc.  Stay tuned!

Search for Patagonia A Northern Light Film if you care to see recent work.  Canoe journey and some fine bass towards the end.  Fighting to keep our wilderness, etc.  A theme of mine.

Take care brutha-

Riverhorse~