All Water Guides

Fly Fishing Central Texas 2016 Orvis Endorsed Guide of the Year Finalist 2015 Orvis Endorsed Guide Service of the Year Finalist

The ‘not so’ dog days of summer?

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.

Winston

 

 

 

Trout or Bass? We Got That

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 is Here!

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!

 

Mid-December Fishing Report

 

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!


Summer Time on the Fly in Central Texas

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.

A post Texas Water Safari Poon

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.

Enjoy,

All water guides.

P.S. JD, you're a bum.

Three Rivers, Three Species of Fish, and Three Weeks of Great Fishing

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.

Winter in Central Texas

There is no doubt what winter has come to Central Texas. When the mercury drops and the wind blows us fishermen are in serious danger from a case of cabin fever. Fortunately for us we have a some  great options this time of year to get out and catch a few fish. 

The Guadalupe river is the first spot that comes to mind this time of year. The Guadalupe River below Canyon Lake is stocked with Rainbow Trout every winter. Texas Parks and Wildlife and Guadalupe River Trout Unlimited both stock the river from November through February.  Most of the fish stocked by TPWD will be in the 8" to 12" range. GRTU stocks larger fish, sometimes up to 20" and larger. The banks of the Guadalupe River are mostly, but there are quite a few access points for wading anglers or those wanting to launch a boat. Rio Guadalupe Resort, Lazy L & L Campground and The Action Angler are a few of my favorites. The nice thing about the Guadalupe this time of year is that no matter how cold and wet it gets you can still fish. The trout are usually more active when the weather is bad and the fishing pressure will be a lot less.  Check out some recent photos below.

If you are looking for some solitude, the Colorado River is the place to be. Bass fishing on the Colorado River is a year round proposition. After a few warm mid winter days the bass will be on the move and feeding. The nice thing about winter fishing on the Colorado is the chance to catch some really big fish. The new world record Guadalupe Bass was caught in the Colorado River in February of 2014. Several Guadalupe Bass over 3 pounds have been caught so far this winter. We have caught some really nice large mouth bass as well. The trick is keeping an eye on the weather. Fishing will be best after several days in the 60s. Fishing will be slowest right after a cold front moves through the area.  While there are miles and miles of great water on the Colorado River, access is limited for paddle craft and wading anglers. The easiest place to access the Colorado River is at Little Webberville Park. Cooks Canoes rents canoes and runs a shuttle service. Some recent Colorado River photos below. 

Of course we are doing full day and half day trips all winter on both the Guadalupe and the Colorado. Drop us a line if you have any questions or if you want to book a guided trip.

Great Day on the Guadalupe river

Today we did a 4 boat trip on the Guadalupe River with the guys from MGC Contractors. It was cold and cloudy for most of the day, but the fishing was good so we didn't really notice. Most of the guys had never fished the Guadalupe before but everyone did a great job on the water. We caught quite a few nice rainbow trout up to 17 inches. The most productive patterns were San Juan Worms and various attractor nymphs. 

Where did the Spring Go?

After a February filled with record fish and many days log on the oars this spring has been a blur and we’re not entirely sure where March and April went. Frankly after a colder than usual start to spring we were all happy to see warmer weather and warmer water and the fish must have felt the same way! Late March and early April is usually split into very different patterns with prespawn, spawn and post-spawn conditions affecting the way bass act and feed. This spring was no different with our guides fishing over 40 miles of the LCR we saw all three conditions as indicated below:

March was pre-spawn = large female bass full of eggs
Late March and early April was all about the spawn = fewer fish
April is still in post-spawn = good numbers of bass of all sizes

The last few weeks have proved to be very busy and very productive for All Water Guides. Alvin, Shea, Winston, and Jeff were all out on the Colorado River working and the fishing was pretty darn fantastic. The river has been on a steady clearing pattern after recent rains and this combined with increased flows and warm weather has put the bass in the mood to eat.

Our clients are catching plenty largemouths and Guadalupe bass with several clients catching their personal best. The one common thread was that every guide and guest remarked on the quantity and quality fish coming to the net.

We started our Spring throwing crawfish patterns and classic streamers like Clouser Minnows and weighted leachs, which always seem to work well. Lately though it’s been all about poppers and big deer hair divers. This week in particular was a turning point in that almost all the fish were caught on top—just the way we like it! This great fishing should continue through the end of April and into May and June. Recent news from LCRA seems to indicate that we will have good flows throughout the Summer—YEAHHHH!.

We always enjoy spending time with all of our guests—new and old—and are looking forward to an action-packed late spring and early Summer. We appreciate each and every trip and cherish the time spent with our loyal anglers. If you ever wondered what our clients have to say spend some time reading their insightful comments on our testimonials link. Even better, if you have fished with us, please take the time and write us a review.

Thanks again from AWG!

 

March Madness Bass action on the Colorado River

The fishing has been steady on the Lower Colorado River all month. 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 bass on top. The big producer on top has been deer hair divers tied by Pat Cohen. Check out Pat's work at www.rusuperfly.com. 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 new state record Guadalupe Bass. Now is the time to get out and catch some bass.

Colorado River 2-28-14

We had a few boats on the LCR today.  Winston fished a popular stretch with Tony from West Virgina (-5 this morning in Charleston) so needless to say he was pretty happy to start his “year” with some Texas Bass and good dosage of Vitamin D.  Alvin fished a lower stretch with Lucian and Cannon Jones. Before today all three had never caught a Guadalupe Bass. They caught quite a few up to 2.5 pounds.  The fish are still deep and hungry with no signs of them moving into to shallower water to spawn.  The banks of the River showed signs of spring and the 10 day for-cast looking good.

Enjoy,

AWG

Press Release: New State Record Guadalupe Bass Caught

AWG fishing guide, Shea McClanahan was guiding two of his more experienced clients Bryan Townsend and Jim Cooper Saturday, February 1, 2014 on the Colorado River, Texas when Bryan hooked into a larger than normal Guadalupe bass (Micropterus treculii). After a spirited fight McClanahan netted the native bass and all on board immediately knew this fish was something special. Shea weighed the mature female Guadalupe Bass on two somewhat accurate scales he had onboard and felt confident the 3.8 pound mark on both scales was a good indication that the fish was just over or very close to the current state record of 3.69 pounds — a record held by Allen Christenson since 1983. This was all the confirmation and encouragement Shea and his anglers needed to begin the process for seeking state validation of this pending record fish. Also worth noting is that this fish was caught using fly fishing gear and not conventional tackle. Bryan was fishing with an Orvis® Helios II flyrod, Mirage reel and a Gulley Ultra Craw fly pattern.
 
While still on the water, Shea called client and friend Jody Gibson who in turn made multiple calls resulting in Texas Parks & Wildlife Department (TPWD) inland fisheries biologist, Marcos De Jesus meeting Shea and his clients at the take out (location withheld by request). De Jesus took photographs, measurements of the bass’ length and girth, and a clipping of the pectoral fin to confirm the genetics of the bass, Micropterus Treculii. The fish was placed in an aerated cooler for transportation to the Cabelas location in Buda, Texas. Using Cabelas’ certified scale with Shea and his clients present the fish's official weight was recorded at 3.71 lbs., which breaks the current state record by .2 ounces!
 
The Guadalupe bass is found only in Texas and is the official state fish. It is primarily endemic to the northern and eastern Edwards Plateau (AKA: Texas Hill Country Region) including the headwaters of the San Antonio River, the Guadalupe River above Gonzales, the Colorado River near Austin, and portions of the Brazos River drainage. The Guadalupe bass, like other "black bass" including largemouth, smallmouth, and spotted bass, is not a true bass, but a member of the sunfish family Centrarchidae. (source: Texas Parks and Wildlife)
 
The link below is a digital photo album from Byron Phillips (friend of Shea McClanahan) who was kind enough to document the entire event from Shea's arrival at the take out until the fish was released into a quarantine tank at Cabelas. The fish will live out her life at the Cabelas (Buda, TX) location in a temperature controlled tank — with plenty to eat without risk of predation — for anglers young and old to enjoy for years to come.

https://plus.google.com/_/notifications/emlink?emr=10732689756618439217&emid=CPi7npqyrLwCFSJoRAoduz0AAA&path=%2Fphotos%2F104849159698103412208%2Falbums%2F5975620575267932449%3Fauthkey%3DCJ-n59PemN6v8gE&dt=1391308002806&ub=21

Pending Records for angler Bryan Townsend:
Colorado River (TX) Water Body — Largest Guadalupe Bass
State Record — Largest Guadalupe Bass
World Record — Largest Guadalupe Bass
State Record — Largest Guadalupe Bass — Fy Rod/Catch and Release
World Record — Largest Guadalupe Bass — Fy Rod/Catch and Release

 
Updates and the full story from Shea at http://www.allwaterguides.com/news. All Water Guides is very appreciative of Jody Gibson, Byron Phillips, TPWD officials and the very accommodating staff at Cabela's for their asistance — a real team effort. You can read more about Shea McClanahan at https://allwaterguides.squarespace.com/shea-mcclanahan/
 
All press inquiries: info@allwaterguides.com