It's a scientific fact... when it's hot outside, it's always cooler on the water! And, while late summer can bring some of the hottest temperatures of the year here in Central Texas, being on the water will remind you that things are truly better outdoors. This time of year can give you a serious case of cabin fever... But, hold tight! We have a few fishing tips to help you beat the heat and help get you out of the summer doldrums.
The first thing to do is get an early start. Early morning temps in the low-to-mid 70's will feel almost chilly compared to the near triple digit highs in the late afternoon. And, the bite has been best before the heat sets in, so plan on getting off the water by 2 or 3 PM, at the latest. Then, make sure to protect yourself from the sun with sunscreen, a hat and face buff. And, as always, don't forget to bring plenty of water in your Yeti bottles to stay well hydrated. On our guided fly fishing trips, our guides will always bring you a Yeti full of ice cold water to drink, with plenty more water in the cooler.
On that note, we want to announce that, in support of Costa del Mar's campaign Kick Plastic, we will no longer provide drinks in plastic bottles on any of our guided trips. As many of you know, we have been working hard organizing trash cleanups on our home water, the lovely Colorado River and her tributaries. And, our First Annual Loco Trash Bash was an amazing success thanks to all of our fantastic sponsors and everyone who came out to help. Most of the trash we saw on the river was plastic water bottles! So it was an easy decision to kick plastic water bottles for Yeti bottles. We will be hosting the Second Annual Loco Trash Bash again in Spring 2019, so look for the date in the next couple of months. Meanwhile, we are working on putting together another great event for this Fall on the amazing Colorado River. Keep an eye out! No picking up trash this time...
So, it looks like we have at several (okay, probably a lot) weeks left of this heat. If you are looking to go on a guided fishing trip here soon in Central Texas, the options are float trips on the Colorado and San Marcos Rivers, and wade trips on the Llano River. For those wanting to get salty, sight casting for redfish near Port Aransas is a great option. Check out some recent photos and videos below.
Hang in there everybody! Fall is gonna be here before you now it. Just get out there and stay cool. You definitely don't want to be rusty for that Fall feeding frenzy!
Spring is one of the best times of the year here in Texas. The weather is great, and the fishing can be great as well. As our local waters warm, the fish get much more active. Bass fishing on the Colorado, San Marcos, Llano and the Guadalupe Rivers are starting to turn on. Early spring is a good time to catch some of the bigger spawning bass. As the water gets warmer later in the spring the top-water bite will get going. Nothing better than watching a bass attack a popper on the surface!
Winter in central Texas is never a dull time of year. Monday's high can be in the 20s and it can be in the 70s by the weekend. Our fishing this time of year can be just as varied. Here are a few options for winter fishing in central Texas.
Guadalupe River trout fishing. The Guadalupe River is the southernmost trout stream in the lower 48. The Guadalupe River chapter of Trout Unlimited (GRTU) is the largest chapter in the nation. GRTU and Texas Parks and Wildlife stock the Guadalupe River from December through February. Most of the trout will average 12 to 14 inches but there are quite a few fish in the 18 to 20 inch range as well. The guadalupe River is a very popular destination this time of year so fish during the week or when the weather is nasty to avoid the crowds.
Colorado River bass fishing. Even though bass fishing can be slow during colder weather, that doesn't usually last long in central Texas. Two or three warm day is usually enough to get the fish moving. Bass fishing this time of year can be very rewarding. The current world record Guadalupe Bass was caught by one of our clients in February. Several of us have caught bass in the 7 to 8 pound range this time of year as well. Other possibilities this time of year are large white bass, crappie and freshwater drum. You might also have a chance to see a bald Eagle, an otter or a beaver on the Colorado.The Colorado River is never crowded, especially this time of year.
The White Bass run. Central Texas has several great rivers with late winter early spring White Bass spawning runs. Although timing the run can sometimes be tricky, it is well worth the effort when you hit it right. It can literally be a fish on every cast. This year we will be running jet boat trips for white bass on the Llano River above Lake LBJ and the Pedernales River above Lake Travis. Other rivers may be added depending on water and fishing conditions.
Like we have been saying the last few fishing reports, here in Texas we are really lucky to have several fishing options in the Fall, and that holds true into the coming Winter months as well. Depending on the weather you can choose between trout fishing or bass, and redfish anytime. However, with the temperatures switching back and forth the way they have been, it's important to be aware of how those changes affect the bite. Understanding how the fish may react to various changes in their environment will help you decide which fish to target based on conditions and how to adjust your technique to improve your chances of getting the bite you are looking for!
For most of us over here at All Water Guides, this is hands-down our favorite time of year to target big bass. The bass are getting ready for the winter and all sizes are feeding like crazy right now! The varying temperatures lets us fish all types of flies, from poppers and minnows to deep sinking crawfish. If it has been a little chilly over night bass may be holding in deeper holes away from the bank and will eat if the presentation is right. As it warms up the during the day they will probably move toward the banks to warm up and feed on bait fish more aggressively. Several warm days in a row can even lead to some fast action with poppers. Late Fall is setting in with a cold front that is about to hit us the first of this week. Some of us guides will probably pull out the sinking line with a small crawfish early in the day and work it slow, then switch to a floating line with a bigger crawfish when it warms up a bit and give it a bit more action. If you go out with one of our guides these are some of the techniques they will use to put you on the fish.
Many anglers start thinking about trout this time of year, and the Guadalupe River is the number one destination for Texas trout fishing. Freshly stocked trout can be caught on a variety of attractor patterns. Stripping streamers or floating a nymph below a strike indicator are a couple of preferred methods. The Guadalupe is low and extremely clear right now so the trout spook easily and will become extremely selective as the season progresses. But, trout are being stocked weekly and overall catch rates are expected to increase as the numbers of fish in the water goes up. Light leaders and small flies will be necessary to trick the trout as they become more wary due to increased fishing pressure. As always our guides are on the water daily to stay on top of what is working to put fish in the net.
And don't forget about the redfish! Captains Alvin Dedeaux and JT Van Zandt are the go-to guides for site casting for redfish on the Texas coast. The fishing is so hot right now that there is not much to say except you gotta try it to believe it!
The big cool down in our weather this week reminds us that things are changing for our local fisheries... and changing fast!
That means it's time to break out the sinking lines and weighted flies for bass fishing. Our favorite bass flies this time of year are weighted crawfish and leech patterns. And, fishing slow and deep will produce the most strikes. Some of our biggest bass are caught between now and the spring spawn! Also, timing your fishing trip can be important this time of year since bass tend to be most active right before a cold front or after several warm days. So keep your eye on the weather report before you head out!
Coastal fishing continues to be good through the fall and winter, and most people consider this to be the best time of year to catch a redfish on a fly. Cooler water temperatures and lower tides can lead to great sight casting opportunities for tailing redfish. What's more exciting than coming around a remote corner in the flats and catching site of a big ole' group of busy, blue tails?! At that moment, the possibilities seem endless...
And last, but definitely not least, late fall in Texas signals the beginning of the highly anticipated trout season. The Texas Parks and Wildlife will begin stocking our local trout stream, the Guadalupe River, starting in December. You can find the stocking schedule here. Scroll down to the Canyon Tailrace to see the schedule for the Guadalupe River. The more effective methods to catch trout on the Guadalupe tends to be nymphing or stripping streamers. Stay tuned to this page for more info on specific patterns as the season gets going. Prime time on the Guadalupe runs mid-December through March, so make sure you set the hook on a guided trip with AWG's this year before our short trout season gets away from you!
So... time to dust off those waders and the puffy jackets and get out on the water!
With falling air and water temperatures, everything seems to dial down in the Fall... except for the fishing! Water levels and water clarity are great right now on the Colorado and San Marcos Rivers. Most of our warm water fish tend to sense the coming winter and begin to feed aggressively as the water temperatures drop. What and how the bass are eating has changed along with the weather and it's a lot of fun to see how different Fall fishing can be than other times of the year.
Fall is also the prime time to fly fish for redfish on the Texas coast. The progressively temperate conditions of Fall are especially beneficial for coast fishing. Decreased winds speeds and cooler water temperatures set up great opportunities to sight cast to tailing fish in shallow water. We are lucky enough to have good fly fishing on the Texas coast all year, but the next couple of months are undoubtedly the best time of the year to target redfish on the fly.
So, is Fall the best time of year to fish in Texas? The short answer would be yes! We are lucky to have fishing opportunities year round, but fall is certainly one of the better times to get out on our local waters.
Usually about this time of year we are starting to talk about Fall being right around the corner. Don’t get me wrong, Fall is my absolute favorite time of year to fish but let’s talk about the right now a bit.
So far, the fishing on the Lower Colorado has been absolutely amazing this summer-well relatively absolutely amazing I suppose. Many years ago, way before All Water Guides, summer time wasn’t so bad. Sure it was hot as hell, but the fishing kept us engaged with numbers that almost don’t seem real anymore. Then, the drought set in, and it got bad. Then, bad got worse. The drought ‘ended’ and we rumbled amongst ourselves about when will it come back around…it has to come back around…right? And slowly it did. We’ve seen the ‘old river’ through changing windows. Windows that were inconsistent, confusing and frustrating to us as guides. Privately, I wondered “what if it never recovers?”
We have had some great fishing over the last few years since the drought. But, the last piece of the puzzle has been the summer time fishing. It just hasn’t been there for us. I think we’re seeing that come to an end and we’re seeing the river coming into its own again. As a paramedic, there is a time after a patient experiences cardiac arrest when we have regained pulses where we just have to sit and watch. It’s the longest few minutes I can barely explain, and then only to those who have experienced it too. You sit and watch with your hands in your pockets to see if they can hold their own without intervention. When they do, the tone changes dramatically. I kind of feel that the summer time fishing has been those few minutes we’ve needed to see if the river can hold its own. And in these last few weeks we’ve seen a river busting with life, cool clear water and some great fishing.
As I sit and type this, we are coming off some really great time spent on the water. Some weather moved in yesterday that gave the watershed a good flushing and as always there will be a recovery time, but I’m excited and optimistic about what August and September have in store for us. The name of the game will be as it has been: start early and fish hard until the heat has sucked the life out of you.
I know football is less than a month away but from a fishing stand point I’m looking forward to seeing how this summer pans out.
See you on the water.
January in Texas is not like most places. One day can be in the 30s and the next day can be in the 80s. The good thing for us fishermen is that we have good fishing opportunities no matter what the weather does.
Trout are stocked on the Guadalupe River through January and February. With the current good flows the trout season should continue well into March. Cold and cloudy or rainy days also offer a chance at some of the Guadalupe River Striped Bass. The current state fly rod record Striped Bass was caught in the Guadalupe River by John Erskine one of our guides.
Winter and early spring are one of the best times to catch some large bass on the Colorado River. Both largemouth and Guadalupe bass will be putting on weight in anticipation of the spawn. The current world record Guadalupe bass was caught on the fly in February of 2014 in the Colorado River. Largemouth bass over 5 pounds are a real possibility this time of year as well.
Fall has finally arrived in Central Texas. With the cooler weather come some of the best fishing of the year. Due to a very rainy year, most of our rivers are in better shape than they have been in along time.
Bass fishing has slowed down on most our local streams. The Colorado River is the exception. We are still picking up some nice bass by fishing deep and slow. The Colorado River fishes well all winter, the key is to fish during a warm period. Two or three warm days in a row is all it takes to get the bass in a feeding mood. The numbers of fish caught this time of year will not be as great as the warmer months, but the chance of catching some really large fish is better during this time of year. The current state record Guadalupe Bass was caught in February of 2014 by one of our clients.
Trout fishing in the Guadalupe River is best from now through March. Unlike the bass on the Colorado, the trout fishing can be good even on the coldest days. Texas Parks and Wildlife and Guadalupe River Trout Unlimited will be stocking the river through February. Cold water flowing from the bottom of Canyon Lake dam creates the southernmost trout fishery in the United States. Like most other tailwater fisheries, strike indicator nymphing is the most productive way to fish the Guadalupe River. Most of the fish in the Guadalupe will be between 12 to 14 inch range. Fish over 20 inches and larger are caught every year. Bundle up and get out on the water!
I’m going to make this short and sweet. After months of big water on the Lower Colorado River the powers that be have dropped the flows and the fishing is the best it has been in a long time, it feels like we’ve been reunited with an old friend. The water is clear, cool and perfectly shallow. Our boat rides are finally a little challenging as we negotiate the right line through channels and sand bars. Mid summer is normally not our most favorite season because of the heat and the tough fishing but this year is a little different. The fishing right now is spectacular. I spent the better portion of the day sight fishing to bass laid up on the bank. Fishing the Lower Colorado is always exciting when the conditions are good but it has been a long time since we’ve been turning heads of big eager Bass like were doing now. The top water action is HOT in the morning and once the sun is up the fish are still active with streamers until early afternoon again this is all visual.
If you’ve been holding off on booking a trip the time is now! We’d like to think the flows are going to remain as they are for the foreseeable future but who knows. Half days are the way to go right now with an early start, which usually will get us back at the ramp and on our way around noon.
Like I said, short and sweet. The fishing is HOT book a trip!
See you on the water.
December means the beginning of trout season and midway through the month the Guadalupe River is starting to deliver. The El Niño weather pattern has meant ample rainfall this past summer and fall — in addition to the floods of late October — have given us higher than normal flows (500+ cfs) than we have experienced in recent seasons. This is a good thing!
These high flows will also benefit the aquatic insects that sustain our trout, which in turn will help our trout survive the summer. The last several seasons were plagued by extremely low flows (50cfs t0 150cfs), which was hard on the fish and the anglers—not to mention guides who ended up dragging their rafts for long stretches of the river. We have been guiding the Guadalupe for close to two-decades and can remember flows averaging between 300 and 900cfs in the 1990’s and up until 2007.
With the higher flows has come off-colored water, which continues to improve every day. The river’s water temps are in the low to mid-60s allowing our trout to acclimate to the river. The TDPW and GRTU completed multiple stocking so there are plenty of fish in the river for fly anglers. Every trip out we are hooking and netting more and more trout per trip. Clearing water and more stockings by TDPW and GRTU in January will only improve the trout fishing. We still have a few opening in January and February so don’t miss out on what is shaping up to be one of the best seasons in a long time.
What’s been working is mostly large attractor patterns like worms, eggs, and rubber-legged nymphs. That’s not to say that we aren’t getting bit on imitations of natural, like Trico emergers, PMD emergers, RS2’s and BWO nymphs in size 18-20. Darker patterns with flash and beads seem to help as well.
As important as fly selection is, getting your rig set up correctly — long leaders with plenty of split-shot — is super critical. Additionally, we prefer larger Thinga-ma-bobbers to float heavier rigs and 3X and 4X leaders—higher flows and off-color negates “leader” or “indicator” shyness. Multiple drag-free drifts in the same area is the best way to target the trout. Most of our hooked fish come from the tenth or twentieth drift in the same area—be patient and methodical!
A note of caution: During the last two weeks our guides have watched more than our share of waders and kayak fishermen having mishaps due to the high flows. The Guadalupe River at 400cfs and above is no joke — it is difficult and hazardous to wade. Many of the GRTU lease areas are wader friendly below 400cfs, but for now please use great care and commonsense. As for kayak fishermen, please wear your PFD at ALL times. We have watched kayaks flip while attempting to navigate the Weir below fourth-crossing, Ponderosa rapids and the Devil’s Playground.
Our guides are experienced in white water rowing and respect the power of the Guadalupe insuring safe trips for our clients even in high water flows. So when choosing a guide service, remember, to select a guide who has decades of experience of rowing and catching trout in fast water — choose All Water Guides!
Despite the recent cold and rain we have still managed to catch some nice bass on the Colorado River. It has not been fast and furious but good enough to keep us interested. We have been catching some quality fish as well. Winter is one of the best times to catch some of the biggest fish in the river. The current state record Guadalupe Bass was caught in the Colorado River in February a couple of years ago. As temperatures continue to cool, watching the weather will be important when planning to fish the Colorado River. After several warm days fishing should be pretty good. The slowest fishing will be right after a strong cold front.
I got out on the Guadalupe River the other day with Chris Jackson AWG guide and owner of The Action Angler. I hadn't been on the Guadalupe River since before the big rains this fall and I was curious to see how things were looking. I was also wanting to catch a few of the striped bass that had ended up in the river after the high flows coming from Canyon Lake. Flows were just under 1,000 cubic feet per second and the water still had a green tint to it but had a couple feet of visibility. It was great to see the Guadalupe with some water in it after so many years of drought. Chris and I were both just happy to be able to row the boat and not have to get out and drag it through the shallows. The fishing was good as well. We caught a handful of nice stripers and even got a really nice smallmouth as a bonus fish. We also saw quite a bit of flood adamage that was a real strong reminder of what the the power of water can do. At the moment it looks like the high flows will continue for a while. The river is definitely not wadable at this level. The good thing is that all the fish in the river tend to do a lot better at higher water levels. This winter should be one of the best trout seasons we have had in years, and the warmwater fishing should be good until the trout get going.
It has been a long time. We used to fish the Llano almost weekly during the fall, spring and early summer. The drought has made it really hard to float the last few years. Recent rains in the hill country have brought the water level in the Llano to near normal flows for a few days here and there before they get too low again. The tricky part is timing your trip. Go too early and the water will still be high and off color. Wait too long and you end up dragging more than floating. Ron Linehan and I had a trip booked on Wednesday. I was watching the river flow gauge at Mason and it looked like we might have perfect flows for our trip. I drove out to the take a look at the clarity and we ended up going on Thursday instead. Fishing was slow in the morning , but things started to get going after lunch. We did get a few fish on top but the most productive patterns were weighted wooly buggers in a few different colors. We did have to drag the boat in a few spots, but all in all it was a pretty good float. For now at least, the Llano seems to be holding at a little below normal. Additional rains this fall could keep flows up through the rest of the season.
Good fishing this morning on the San Marcos River near Martindale. The San Marcos is flowing at close to 300 cfs and the water is slightly off color. Clouser minnows fished deep were the most productive pattern. Fishing was best early in the morning and should continue to improve as temperatures cool in the next few weeks.
Shea, JTVZ and Winston have been holding down the fort here in Central Texas while Alvin and Chris are guiding in Colorado again for the summer. JD, who I loving/not so loving only refer to as a bum now, is driving south from bumville where he’s been bumming it up for the last 6 or 7 weeks being, well…a bum!
JTVZ recently finished another Texas Water Safari placing 4 th in his ultimate 2man group and as the 100-degree weather sets in both Shea and Winston will be heading to Colorado with their families.
Summer time on the fly in Central Texas has been weird. As you all know we had some major flooding in Central Texas and the fishing on the Lower Colorado River has been totally bipolar. I've joked about this a lot with clients saying I'd love to buy rail car quantities of Prozac and dump it in the river to stabilize the mood of these fish. We’ve experienced days where we couldn't buy a fish and the extreme opposite where we couldn't not catch fish. Frustrating to say the least because there is absolutely no rhyme or reason to it.
For really good reasons or none at all, the clarity on the river seems to have been poor all summer. For those who fish with us regularly during this time of year you know the boat rides up river are… run…clear the jet intake…run…clear…run and clear. In years past by this time fly selection was a no brainier, you tie on a big popper and you fish the poor thing till it literally falls apart. This summer it's been different. I've had all my success on big ugly, no fun to cast, bottom dredging, school bus size flies. With the Memorial Day floods, the river was scoured and the banks have all been changed. Although the boat rides up river are a breeze now all that vegetation that is gone (and I'm just speculating here) have put the fish deep without out any cover to sneak up into. We’ve really had to focus on relearning the river as it’s changed so much which is fun but, here is that word again, frustrating. I've only fished the surface with poppers when we are in the “Throw The Kitchen Sink” at them mode. The silver lining to the frustrating fishing this summer is this: while were we're not catching lots of fish we are catching big fish. It seems on the days that for no good reasons the fish cooperate it’s the big ones that come out to play. Shea and Winston recently did a halfday trip where two 7lb Largemouth were landed along with a handful of 3 and 4 pounders. Also, while fishing with a buddy, Winston put a fish in the boat that probably went 10 pounds and rekindled the “I wonder when someone is going to land the big one” conversation.
The summer thus far has been pretty mild (relatively, it is Central Texas after all) but the 100-degree days are upon us it seems. One thing I've noticed that has made a difference in the "successfulness" of a day (half days to be honest) is the clients that arrive well dressed for the heat seem to do have better days as they don't get fatigued by the heat as quickly. The next silver lining to this "it ain't been great" fishing report is that winter is coming. This fall should be really special on the Lower Colorado River. We've got a lot of lakes up river that are fuller than they have been in years and with that we hope will come lots of cool clear water. We've been waiting years for this and we all feel the fish are as optimistic as we are. So book a trip, dress for success and get comfortable with fishing low and slow, and know that the next strip could be a 10pound river bass.
See you on the water and as always THANK YOU! All Water Guides has become something that we are all proud as hell to be a part of and we couldn’t do it without you all.
All water guides.
P.S. JD, you're a bum.
Springtime is always a welcome in the Texas Hill Country — the sites, the sounds, and of course the great fishing. This spring is no different except for the rain that has started to put a dent in this horrible drought that won’t loosen her grip. With the rain have come better flows or as I like to say, “new water” which seems to awaken the fish along with the rivers. Unfortunately, sometime this “new water” takes time to clear up before the fish think about eating streamers. This cycle of good fishing, rain, muddy water, and waiting has taught us to be resourceful and patient.
That resourcefulness paid off because we were able to to incorporate three rivers and three species of fish into three weeks of awesome fishing. While the rains took the Lower Colorado River (LCR) out of commission we focused on species number one: rainbow trout on the Guadalupe River.
The Guadalupe River to fish well with good catches on midge patterns and sucker spawns. The fishing pressure is down so the fish are eating well and in great shape. On weekends we are starting to see the annual “tuber hatch” so planning a trip during the week is the way to go. And if catching trout on the fly isn’t your thing than species number two might interest you: the annual Llano River white bass run is on for the next two to three weeks.
So far, every trip to the Llano River has resulted in clients catching double digits of white bass on Clouser Minnows and other assorted minnow patterns. The white bass are leaving the deeper waters of the lower Llano at the mouth of the Colorado River and working their way up to the more wadeable waters upstream. After a rainy start to our March the LCR had cleared up and we were concentrating on species number three: LCR Bass—largemouth and Guadalupe bass.
The fishing has been really good on the LCR and we are enjoying fishing with out of town guests visiting Austin for SXSW and spring break. Though the subsurface bite has been good, we are starting to catch increasing numbers of nice bass on top. The big producer on top has been Cohen deer hair divers (www.rusuperfly.com) and assorted foam popper patterns. March and April are two of the best months for fishing the Lower Colorado. We have already caught several largemouth bass over 6 pounds and a near state record Guadalupe Bass.