All Water Guides

Orvis Endorsed Fly Fishing Guide Service in Central Texas

2016 Orvis Guide of the Year Finalist

2015 Orvis Guide Service of the Year Finalist

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

One from the homeland

Pat joined me (Winston) for a day on the Gaudalupe yesterday and upon learning he lives in Lafayette, La the conversation quickly steered to all things L'Acadiane. Restaurants, Watering holes, Culture etc...etc... Being born in La La land and having spend many years in Lafayette ( A GREAT place BTW) it was wonderful having Pat on the boat for the day, with all the wonderful talk of the homeland we managed to put a few in the boat. Over all the fishing was a little sluggish, we netted a few, lost a few and missed a few altogether. The weather was nice as well as the company again re affirming that its not always about the numbers. 

Enjoy,
AWG

JANUARY FLY FISHING FOR GUADALUPE RIVER TROUT

In January we have all been splitting our trips between the Colorado and Guadalupe Rivers. Most of that time has been on the Guadalupe River catching some nice rainbows in some unseasonably cold weather. With the frigid weather compliments of Polar Vortex I and Polar Vortex II, the water temperature on the Guadalupe River has been cold and the trout seem to love it. We'll repeat, "trout love cold water and lousy weather", which will continue on Guadalupe River in February.

It seems as though with every trip down the river the catches have been improving. We are consistently catching good numbers of fish between 15 and 19 inches. Even better than all the catching, is watching friends and family members — fathers and daughters, sons and moms, old college roommates, etc. — all coming out to fly fish and enjoy this wonderful resource. Families and friends fishing together, making memories, and sharing old stories makes for a great day on the water.

We are primarily using tandem nymph rigs using a 4X 7-1/2’ leader with a larger attractor and a small (size 20) midge tied on a 16” 5X tippet dropper under a small indicator. Top attractor patterns included eggs, stones, and pheasant tails size 12-16. Midge patterns included CT trico emergers, RS2s, and zebra midges in sizes 18-20. Increasingly, San Juan worms and sucker spawn will be brought in the rotation throughout February and into March.

Along with our colder than usual winter weather, additional trout stockings have contributed to the quality fishing we have experienced in January. Weekends have been very crowded and those clients that book Monday-Friday are having much better catches than our weekend anglers. We would be more than happy to explain this to your bosses, your spouce or your school principle in the hopes of getting you out on the water during the week.

 

January Bass on the Colorado River: Fly Fishing Between Polar Vor-texas

Temperatures in the Texas Hill Country has been hot and cold—the Webster definition of polar extremes—with temperatures ranging from 20° to 80°. Fortunately, these “hot and cold” winter weather patterns are what make winter fly fishing in Texas so awesome. When it’s cold we fish for trout on the Guadalupe River and when it’s hot we head over to the Colorado River to fish for bass—Largemouths, white bass, and or course our native Guadalupe Bass (my personal favorite).

This January on the Colorado River has been by far the single best month of winter bass fishing we (All Water Guides) have seen in the last decade. All of the conditions have been perfect. Let me explain why this month has been so good. First, water quality, the flows have been low and clear after late fall flooding cleared the river of historically high levels of invasive aquatic vegetation. The Colorado went from a hot and choked river to a cool and clear river. Second, with the loss of aquatic vegetation, bait fish and crawfish have lost all of their hiding places and are forced to seek refuge along bank structure—mainly cypress roots, dead-falls and cut banks. The bass are hugging the banks taking advantage of this “bonanza” of food easy for the taking. The final equation is the pattern of how cold fronts have hit the area. We have experienced fronts that bring extremely cold weather for two to four days (pattern-A) followed by unseasonably warm weather for two to four days (pattern-B).

With pattern-A water temperatures drop to the low 50’s and bass metabolisms slow down, which totally shuts down feeding. With pattern-B water temperatures rise to the low to mid 60’s and bass metabolism speeds up, this increases feeding and when we say feeding we mean BINGE-FEEDING! Timing is essential and when we hit the river on pattern-B days the bass fishing on the fly can be GREAT!

Primary fly patterns that are producing have been heavy weighted Clouser Minnows (chartreuse/white) and crawfish imitations (orange/brown) with heavy mono weed guards fished slow around bank structure. Placement and presentation is all important—cast that are slightly off the mark result in flies that are to far out of the narrow “strike range” of winter bass. Clients that place their cast in tight to structure and work their flies slow and deep are reaping the rewards of quality winter bass on the Colorado River.

The fishing should continue to only get better in February as pre-spawn female bass laden with eggs go into hyper feeding mode. February is now here, the bass are big, conditions are right, and we are booking up fast.

Set. Play. Net. Click. Release.


It's Hunting Season

At least that's what the duck Hunters tell me as I'm backing my boat down to the water this time of year. "good luck" they say as if I'm out there to struggle through this horrible 60 degree winter day. My answer is always "we'll suffer through It". 

 

Typical trips this time of year are full day and we cover around 6- 8 miles depending on what section of the river is fishing best. This time of year you can almost count on not seeing another person all day, if that floats your boat. I will say this - when the water is low and clear and the temperatures warm up to the low 60s, there is no other place on earth I would rather be than the Colorado River. Old growth Poplar and Pecan trees line the banks creating a ribbon of reds, golds and orange.  Mr. Great Blue Heron and always impressive Osprey are always there to greet you with a fly by.

 

There is something special about fishing this river in the fall and winter. Maybe it's the size of the fish averaging around 3 lbs, or maybe it's the pure numbers once you realize you've caught over 15 by lunch time. Or is it the pleasant temperatures that require only a light fleece jacket to stay comfortable all day. In either case the splendor of the fishing can stay with you for months. We at All Water Guides would love to show you what winter "Hunting season" looks like.

 

Cool days and tight lines

It’s beginning to not feel like Christmas — and we’re okay with it!

December rang in with a flurry of freezing cold weather, which should have shut down our bass fishing. But in spite of the recent cold weather, the Colorado River fishing is still going strong.

The last few days have been some of the best this fall with clients catching good numbers of quality bass—including white bass over 2 pounds, Guadalupe bass up to 3 pounds and largemouth bass to 5 pounds! The craziest catch of the week was by angler Tyler Reisig who caught a huge (40lb.) Smallmouth Buffalo (Ictiobus bubalus) that pulled the sledsled around for about 20 minutes.

The water clarity is perfect at about 3-feet and will only get clearer throughrout the winter. Even though the temps have been colder than normal, recent warm weather has the fish turned on to chasing small minnows. Sub-surface patterns like Clouser Minnows and crawfish patterns are the most productive right now. The weather looks good for the rest of this week until the next cold front hits just before Christmas.

If you are thinking about fishing the Colorado River now is the time. And don’t forget, All Water Guide’s gift certificates make the perfect stocking stuffer!

Family and friends coming together to share their love of fishing.

This holiday weekend (Friday, Saturday and Sunday) 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 all weekend and the fishing was nothing short of amazing. The river has been on a steady clearing pattern after recent rains and this combined with a warming trend after the season’s coldest weather has put the bass in the mood to eat.

Small fish, big fish, white bass, largemouths and Guadalupe bass were out in force and and our clients reaped the rewards. Several clients caught multiple species of bass while others caught personal best with the largest fish of the weekend topping the scales at 6 pounds 8 ounces! The one common thread was that every guide and guest noted quantity and quality fish coming to the net.

What's so amazing is the fact that we are bass fishing in late November and early December! As in past winters we were throwing crawfish patterns and classic streamers like Clouser Minnows, which always seem to work well. Additionally, all of us have perfected a number of new crawfish and streamer patterns that all produced well with black, chartreuse and orange/brown being the top producers. This great fishing should continue all winter as long as we maintain our typical Central Texas weather pattern of cold fronts followed by warm days—hopefully without torrential rains.

This holiday weekend was priceless with family and friends coming together to share their love of fishing and the great outdoors with AWG. We enjoyed spending time with all of our guests and are looking forward to a repeat next season. The only folks smiling more than our happy clients are their guides who collectively had a BLAST this weekend and for that we are grateful!

Thanks again from AWG!

Autumn Splendor Returns to The Guadalupe River

Lately we have been splitting our trips between the Colorado and Guadalupe Rivers. Warmer weather and clearing water conditions have produced incredible bass fishing on the Colorado River, however, the leaves are starting to fall and the coldest weather of the year is headed our way. We all know trout love cold water and lousy weather, which is the forecast for the next several days on the Guadalupe River.

This week the fish started acting more like trout — eating and moving on well-presented flies — and less like lost tourist visiting the river for the first time. We caught good numbers of fish between 14 and 17 inches. Two notable catches were the huge hook jawed males that came out of the same riffle giving angler Jeff Robuck great fights and even better memories caught on camera.

As for what is working for us — it’s the usual suspects. Tandem nymph rigs using a 4X 7-1/2’ leader with a larger attractor and a small (size 20) midge tied on a 16” 5X tippet dropper under a small Thingamabobber. Top attractor patterns included eggs, stones, and pheasant tails size 12-16. Midge patterns included CT trico emergers, RS2s, and zebra midges in sizes 18-20.

Additional stocking will continue throughout the winter and the fishing will continue to improve along with our colder winter weather. Flows are low but consistent and with the recent rains the river is in excellent shape. All in all, the Guadalupe River trout season is off to its anticipated splendor.

Cooler Weather Cooler Water Hot Fishing

The arrival of fall is one of our favorite things about living in Central Texas. Cooler weather and recent rains have made it even more exciting after our hot and dry summer. Several of our local rivers have benefited form the recent rains. The San Marcos, Colorado and Llano Rivers have all gotten a good increase in flows. Fishing is tough right after a big rain, but in the long run it really helps.  The lower Colorado River is in the best shape it has been in for several years. As the river clears up we will have several weeks of great fishing until things really cool off and we move into trout season.

When it rains, it pours!

As I sit here writing this report it’s raining—AGAIN! It’s rained more this October than any October I can remember. Not complaining — all this rain is a blessing and the entire Texas Hill Country needs lots more rain. Our rain to date has given the aquifer a good shot and the flows on area rivers are slowly coming up. This in combination with cooler temperatures — water and air — have got the big bass eating top-water flies like there was no tomorrow. I have been hitting the San Marcos and Colorado Rivers — in between torrential rains — and the fishing has been excellent.

I began the month with a father and son outing on the lower San Marcos River with Brent Davis (father) and Nate Davis (son) of Liberty Hill Texas. I knew the 9.5 mile trip would be long and with a flash flood a week prior to the trip there would be plenty of new river hazards to add to our adventure. The latter was to hold true as the flash flood had downed plenty of old growth pecan trees that offered up some exciting rafting. The fish must have not had good meal in several days — courtesy of the flash flood — because we started hooking bass right from the get-go. I can’t recall a recent trip where we caught the quantity and quality of bass as on this trip. Nate ended the day with a personal best — a monster large-mouth that was fooled by a well-presented diver-frog pattern on a Mystic 5wt rod. Having two very accomplish fly-fisherman on board and a river full of eager bass is my idea of Utopia.

Well, the rain has been consistent, which means guiding has been a little less frequent. With water clarity just a few days away we should put together some epic bass trips before all attention turns to rainbow trout on the Guadalupe River. Looking forward to just a few more monster bass on poppers before the holiday season closes out our bass fishing until spring.

Happy Halloween everyone and please remember to go through your kid’s candy and taste test them all just to be safe. Here's a  tasty treat for your eyes that I like to call "bass-candy-corn".

 

New boat...New water...No problem.

Alvin returned from Colorado with a new boat and with his arrival All Water Guides has been exploring some new water.   With our relationship with Orvis slowly taking shape we are stepping out of our comfort zone a little to offer up...well, more fish to our clients.  This is a fishing report though.

Head Shot!

AWG have been on Lake Bastrop and Lake Austin over the past month.  We are catching fish on the fly and we are doing so on some notoriously tough but very rewarding lakes.  As we wrote for another publication it is, after all, only water and fish gotta eat.

It's nice when the fish is exactly where you think it should be.  its a problem though when its your "ok...last cast"

Lake Austin fished very well recently for Shea and Winston who boated about 10 Bass (10 bass is a good day on Lake Austin).  They were on the water and fishing at daybreak and home well before noon and before they were in trouble.  Most fish were caught near the surface with baitfish like stuff and at times they were sight casting to some big fish chasing small fish which they said was extremely exciting.  Texas dry flies haven’t been productive yet (that's a big yet).  8wts are the way to go on the lake with an aggressively tapered floating line so you can throw the big flies. However, as things cool off, Winston will start ranting about the “other lines”.  Lake Austin holds some very large bass and participates in Sharelunker.  Lake Austin is arguably a top 5 bass lake in Texas and has been mentioned as a top 100 bass lake in America.  We’re looking forward to fishing this one more and with its close proximity makes for easy half day trip.

Shea and the BBQ bass

JD and Bastrop Bass

Lake Bastrop has been consistent for Alvin, Jeff and Winston.  Overall probably better.  We’ve all had good days pounding the banks with big surface flies.   Alvin and Winston managed a couple nice bass one morning in close proximity to some “bass fisherman” in “bass boats” which was kind of fun as we were getting tight and they were not.  We say this in a playfully competitive manner; we know we can learn a lot from these guys.  Like Lake Austin we have been on the water early and heading home before the heat of the day sets in.  Bastrop is said to have “more smaller fish” but we have not experienced this.  JD and Alvin have pulled out some larger fish.  6-8wts are the way to go, again with floating line. Poppers and baitfish type stuff.

Since the lakes are pretty new to us, we’re not saying that the fishing has been good or bad as only more time on the water will tell.  We are excited to be catching Bass on the fly though.  These lakes hold some big fish and targeting them with a fly rod is different.  I’m sure we’ve gotten some strange looks with our "row boats" at the ramps.  Fall is going to be good!

Alvin with a Bastrop "deer hair crushing" bass

Tight lines and see you on the water, 

AWG