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Filtering by Tag: Fly Fishing

Time to Get out on the Water!

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 is here!

 

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.

 

 

Early December Fishing... So many options!

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! 

 

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!


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.

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. 

A Whole Lotta Bass

I have been on the water 27 of the past 30 days and I have to say spring fishing is off to a great start. Most of my time has been on the Colorado River. The water is low and clear and the bass have moved off the spawning beds and are feeding aggressively. We were starting to have quite a few good topwater days but a few recent cold fronts have slowed the surface activity. 80 degree temps the next few days should get the bass looking up again. Most days we are catching quite a few Guadalupe Bass ith some as large as 3 pounds. we are also hooking and landing a few Largemouth  Bass over 5 pounds. The next couple of months should provide some of the best bass fishing of the year. 

Guad-city 3-16,17,19

Good fishing in the last few weeks. This report encompasses the last 4 trips as they have all been similar. Due to the largemouth spawn, and lack of activity from the bucket mouth,  we've been catching mostly Guadalupe bass lately.  Most people who catch this species  will tell you that they are more aggressive than the largemouth bass and fight a bit harder pound for pound. So there has been no lack of thrills out there. I personally have a love for this fish that dates back to the first one I ever landed back in the late 70s on the Pedernales river, near the state park. If your interested in catching this gem of a bass there is no better place on earth than the lower Colorado.

Lower Colorado, Feburary 17, 2013

JD and I hit the Colorado yesterday.  We ran a few miles up river from Smithville and after the first sand bar we had the river to ourselves, as usual, on the Lower Colorado.  The wind made it difficult but we managed to boat 15-20 fish in a few hours, with a handful of nice ones.  LOW AND SLOW was the key yesterday.  I used a 6wt with 150 grains sinker with a few different streamers having the most success with a Belly Dancer (no clue, it’s a Montana thing) but I liked it.  The fish were where they should have been.  I missed some nice opportunities and we both had some good thumps, a little wintertime rust I think.  We were down to t-shirts and flip-flops by early afternoon and it’s only going to get better… Spring is near.

2-10-13 Guadalupe River

Good fishing today on the Guadalupe River. We caught a bunch of nice trout on an assortment of flies. San Juan Worms and RS2s were the most productive flies.