Creased corners, highlighted passages, sticky notes, whiskey/coffee-stained, sun-bleached, and an unhinged spine are the telltale signs of a book from my library that I would highly recommend. Aaron Reed’s book, “Fly Fishing Austin & Central Texas” is one such book.
With so much of Texas being privatized to landowners it can be difficult to explore our vast array of creeks, rivers and lakes, without the looming possibility of being prosecuted or even having a warning shot whizz through the trees and into the opposite bank for trespassing. Aaron however, has taken that stigma and turned it upside down. In his book, with the use of maps waypoints, and detailed directions, Aaron has cleared the path for any DIY’er to go forth and discover these hidden gems for themselves. Besides pointing out over 100 legal access points he also lines out the necessary gear, flies, and techniques used to catch any specific fish found on those waters. Also, his recommendations on music and nearby watering holes gives you a glimpse into Aaron’s mind and is a fun way to walk in his soggy river shoes.
There are several other sections of this book that go beyond access and technique that I love and appreciate. Having two of my own future explorers, I really enjoyed Part 5 of Aaron’s book called “Ankle Bitters and Other Wildlife.” Along with proper gear for the little ones, chapter 16 talks about how to approach getting your kids into the sport we love and how we need to make sure it is what they want it to be not what we wish it to be. To make sure they are having fun, not just fishing, but exploring flipping rocks, and swimming. Then in chapter 17, he gives us a knowledge of local wildlife and plants seen in these beautiful places. Part 7 “Legalities and Looking to the Future” is also great information for anyone looking to get out to discover waters on their own in a safe, legal, and environmentally responsible way.
It is basically a treasure map that gives you the tools and knowledge you need to fish on your own in Central Texas. Now I am not saying fishing with a guide is not an essential part of learning, but in the current times of “shelter in place” and “social distancing”, I think the release of this book could not have been timed better. It is a phenomenal guide for Central Texans looking for ways to safely get outside with friends (at a rods length), and family to just forget about the current troubles if not for a couple of hours.
By the way Aaron, if you are reading this I need another copy of your book. I may have read this one to death.
Be on the lookout for upcoming virtual book signing events and book inspired activities I am planning with Aaron and our other friends.
As always, May your rod always be bent down and your whiskey straight up.