Filtering by Tag: bass on the fly
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!
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!
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.
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.
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.
Well now that the boss is back from Vail I think it’s a good time to update the fishing report.
The dog days are upon us here in Central Texas and the fishing has been tough. With the summer heat comes warmer water, lower Do2 (dissolved oxygen) and lots and lots of vegetation. The fish get lazy. As it goes when its this hot we tend to do a little more fishing and less guiding. We’ve been sticking (or trying to at least) to half days having the best fishing right at sunrise. That said, it’s been really inconsistent as to when the fishing is good. I recently spent the afternoon with a friend for what was going to be more of a boat ride than a fishing trip as we both were locked in to other stuff till about 11 o’clock. What we thought was the absolute worst time to be fishing turned out to be a pretty productive mid day fishing trip instead of just a boat ride.
We’ve been spending our time on the San Marcos River and the Lower Colorado River as well as some of the local lakes. The Lakes have been productive for us and are a great “plan b”, when the LCR doesn’t look all that great because of the wonky flows and water clarity that is seen this time of year.
We’ve also been all over the map on what’s been working. Surface and subsurface have both paid off without rhyme or reason. Needless to say we’re all looking forward to what’s just around the corner. We had an unbelievable fall last year and we don’t see any reason why this fall should be any different so book a trip now as were already filling up November.
So, in a nut shell, It’s tough out there but we’re still catching fish.
See ya on the water!
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
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!
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".
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.
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!
Tight lines and see you on the water,