Welcome to Bat City Outdoors


Waves of live music, heaps of barbecue, personalities like Kinky, tireless Texas fight football fans, electric get-downs on 6th Street, it’s all right here. And still people treat each other like neighbors – Austin is just right.

Even so, that urban just right can bake on like sun-dried mud. When it does, it can only be scraped off in the outdoors. Luckily, Austin has some of that too. It’s in the rivers and ravines and with the waterfolk and wildlife that are Bat City outdoors.

Here you’ll find stories about the outdoors in Austin and beyond. And, you’ll find information to help get you out there.

Thanks for reading,
Shane Townsend

Bat City Outdoors |
From Austin. For Outdoorsfolk Everywhere.


Good news, Greeks & the boat-note boogeyman

DSC_0065The sun is on the rise. Water pours shhh from a fountain hidden in the cold fog. And, a veritable fleet stands ready to ferry folks of any shoe to their own kind of paradise. There are ski boats, bass boats, barge boats, stacks of 10,12, 14, 15 and mo’ boats. Nitro for wrestling fans. Tahoe for folks who want their cars and boats to be twinsies. And, Panfish 16 for folks who cannot abide by the word twinsies, ever.

Read the full story The Good News on page 97 of Gaff Magazine on-line.

Paddling Texas is ready for pre-order on Amazon

From the canyons of Big Bend to the cypress swamps of Pine Island Bayou, the waters of Texas have something for most every type of paddler and every paddling mood.Texas Spring

One might float the diminutive Comal River, argued to be the shortest river in the world. Another might dig deep and follow the four-day, 260-mile route of the Texas Water Safari, which Canoe & Kayak Magazine referred to as “The World’s Toughest Canoe Race.” Whitewater is here too. Lakes are as well. And, the Texas Gulf Coast is home to sandy beaches, knobby mangroves, and sea grass flats.

Bat City OutdoorsMeanwhile, Texas is home to some of the fastest growing cities in America. And, paddling is the fastest growing outdoor sport in the country.

DSC_0115“Paddling Texas” is a guide for those who are new to either and all those who love both. Featured trips offer easy access, secure environments, good facilities, great fishing, superb wildlife viewing, and beautiful scenery.

DSC_0095“Paddling Texas” gives recreational paddlers and anglers all the information they’ll need to paddle 40 fantastic floats in the Lone Star State.

DSC_0077“Paddling Texas” will be released later in 2014.

20121117-105608.jpgYou can pre-order the book now here on Amazon.

Gulf Coast

If you prefer independent booksellers, here are the details:

  • Series: Paddling Series
  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: FalconGuides; First Edition, First edition (November 4, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0762791268
  • ISBN-13: 978-0762791262


Austin has many excellent spots for fishing, and fly fishing is no exception. Before we talk about the spots, however, if you’ve never tried fly fishing, you might be wondering why you should try this method in the first place.

Shane Townsend, Fly Fishing on Austin’s Town Lake. Photo by Dave Brown

With all the tackle options for fishing, why would anyone choose fly fishing over a regular rod-reel setup? Why would someone don waders and actually get in the water they’re fishing from and wander around for hours? Or why, when they could be trolling from a powerful sport-fishing yacht, would someone opt for nothing more than a canoe and lightweight fly rod?

Established fly fishermen might respond with some questions of their own: Why drive an antique Model T over a Porsche? Why would someone prefer tai chi over kung fu? Or why would you hunt with a bow from a tree stand instead of with a modern laser-guided automatic rifle from a helicopter?

“The easiest way to catch fish is with dead bait,” says Shane Townsend, an Austin local and 30-year fly fishing veteran. He’s also contributing editor for Gaff magazine, author of the forthcoming book, Paddling Texas (fall 2014 release), and Senior Program Advisor at The Meadows Center for Water and the Environment, so he knows a thing or two about fishing. “You don’t fly fish just to catch fish; you fly fish for the whole experience, to be in nature.”

Read Dave’s full story on Roots Rated at http://rootsrated.com/stories/fly-fishing-austin

Two stories in Gaff Magazine: Baby Turtles & Food Math

Check out the new edition of Gaff Magazine for two stories:

  1. The Secret Message Behind Baby Turtle Lures, and
  2. A Call to Farms, Arms, and Fishing Poles

View this edition on-line for free or subscribe for hard copy delivery.

Thanks for reading,


Kayak Anglers & Citizen Science

The Spring 2014 edition of Kayak Angler Magazine highlights Texas Stream Team‘s work with Austin Canoe & Kayak and other partners to combine paddling and citizen science for the sake of Texas waters. See the magazine here. Also, check out the Clownfish section.


Texas Stream Team: Getting it done for Texas water

Texas Stream Team getting it done for Texas waters.

Texas Stream Team getting it done for Texas waters.

To learn how you can get involved, contact Travis Tidwell at (512) 245-9148(512) 245-9148 or via email at txstreamteam@txstate.edu.