Dec 11, 2015 - Trip Report Brazos river Below Possum Kingdom Dam - day 1
Last weekend on the Brazos was fun, but it ended with me watching a fly fisherman pull a few large striper right in front of me. All week I had striper fever, I wanted to get back to that lower pool and drift some flies under a casting bobber. The weather started looking sketchy for Sat, so at the last minute I decided to play hooky and go up on Friday. I figured I would surprise the fish by showing up a day early
Daniel and Rick also went up and the three of us put in together at the Hwy 16 bridge around 10:30 am. The Dam was still releasing 300 cfs, and trying to paddle between the arches on the bridge takes some effort, but Rick scouted a trick around the Bridge. Straight across from the ramp is a tiny flow of water that we could use, to get to the slack side of the bridge.
Along the way we ran into a kayaker in a propel 13 trolling the big open area north of the bridge. He had a monster black bass on his stringer and some small stripers. He was nice and told us what was working but I have to admit, I had a bit of striper fever, and didn't waste much time getting to the first big hole below the pools.
Sorry Rick and Daniel, I wasn't much of a paddle partner .
No striper in the first hole, so we pushed on upstream to the pools below the Dam. Apparently, we were not the only people playing hooky, the lower pool was covered in fly fisherman. Rick found a spot to work his fly rod, Daniel and I moved up to the edge of the Big pool.
I really wanted to fish the top of the lower pool, but it was pretty covered up in fly fisherman. I continued up to the Big pool right below the Dam, Found the sand bass again, super fiesty smacking my top water into the air at times. Same pattern as last time, jerk,jerk pause, catch. I got them on top water, inline spinner and fly, but nothing much over 12". Here are few examples
I moved away from the rocks, and I went right to the restricted line (maybe a bit past at times .
I started to up size my swim shad baits, hoping to weed out the small fish. They still hit it and eventually tore the tail off one. Finally I found the winning combination, I was throwing a 6" soft shad swimbait as close to the foaming water as possible. I had to retrieve slow with pauses to let it sink. I lost a few to the boulders, but I was rewarded with 2 good striper 23 - 24" right around 3pm. They fought really well and made multiple runs. I hooked into a third fish, that took a ton of line. I tightened the drag but then he was pulling me into the Dam. When I tried to tighten down and back paddle the line snapped. After that, I needed to take a break, drink a Dew and enjoy the sun. Part of the reason I like the river, is I can take a break on shore, get out and walk a bit.
Here are some pics of the 2 larger striper, not the best pics as I had measured them and wanted to dump them back in quickly.
I went back and worked the big pool some more and never got anything big again. The top of the lower pool stayed busy with fly fisherman and in the late afternoon, they started hooking into some solid striper. Same place as last weekend, the top of the lower pool right in the current below the rocks. I didn't expect them to leave anytime soon, so I floated down and tried the deep hole below the pools, but only a few small bass.
I was loading the kayak up in the dark, ready to go make camp with a big smile on my face. I didn't break any records, but I got into some bigger fish and only lost a few lures
I had to drive up out of the canyon to get a verizon signal, called wife told her I was fine and off the water, then I headed back to the little park below the Dam to make camp for the night.
Even though it hit 80F that day, I still started a fire ... because starting fires are fun Opened a beer .. campsite is setup.
-Thanks for reading.
Here are some short videos just showing the area, nothing fancy.
That's good stuff Rob. I have never fished that section of the Brazos I have only done the area below Whitney. Regardless there is something enchanting about being on that River. So relaxing. Thanks for sharing!
Very good trip Rob! Enjoyed fishing with you and Daniel on Friday. I ended up with 4 Stripers and 4 Black Bass. Not any of any size but on a fly rod they were fun to catch. Let me know when you are going again and I will try to arrange to fish with you. I am keeping my eye on the Brazos below Whitney and as soon as they open Riverside Park we can hit that too.
Rick Irving "The Cowtown Kid" Kayak Fisherman and Real Estate Broker
“Angling may be said to be so like the mathematics that it can never be fully learned.” ~Izaak Walton
I am waiting for you to show me the way below Whitney, assuming they ever slow the release down
They are stocking PK again this Thurs 12/17. When I attended the Trout 101 event put on by the fly fishing clubs they said the next batch was going in above the hwy 16 bridge. I still have not caught my trout yet this year, so I maybe tempted to go again Friday or Sat, I will let you know. Have to watch the PK release, they are still at 300 cfs, but I would think they got rain and will be flushing the river again soon.
NOTHING BETTER THAN GO THE OPPOSITE WAY ON THE HIGHWAY DURING THE WEEK TO GO FISHING, AS ALL THE OTHER CARS ARE GOING TO WORK
I agree GoFish ... It has a nice beauty to the area. It is nearly perfect for me, easy 1.5 hr drive, clear water, easy access, just enough current usually etc.
Looking at google maps, there look to be some deep spots not far below the bridge. I have never heard any fishing reports from going downstream, but I would think they hold fish. Someday I may have to go down stream and try them out.
I fished below the bridge several times this year during late summer and fall. Covered about 1.5 miles downstream. It alternates between shallow fast spots, sort of a riffles, with some straight runs with moderate current, and some areas that were slower and a bit deeper. Until you get about 1.5 mi. down, there aren't any areas as wide or deep as that hole that's half mile above the bridge. At about mile 1.5 down stream, the river turns a bit to the east and there is a long and fairly wide hole. I caught decent numbers of fish but it was more Kentucky / largemouth bass and not so much stripers. I did score a couple of LMB around 3 pounds. Not sure what the fishing will be like right now as I haven't been that way for about 2 months. When the weather is right you could probably catch a bunch of smaller bass and bluegill on light tackle.
If you do it when the current is running pretty good, just keep in mind that you have to fight your way back up to the bridge.
Yeah, the current is always a concern. Those shallow fast spots are the killers ,but It looks like I could always walk and drag the yak back. I was thinking if the current drops below 300 cfs to maybe run down to these 2 holes just for the adventure of it. I don't think I would venture much further south to make sure I had the energy to get back.
However every time I get on the water, I get striper fever and want to head north to the DAM
Thanks again for the info.
Edited by MtnDew (12/15/1509:13 PM)