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

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

100° in the Shade — No Problem!

What do you do when it’s 100° in the shade and you’re on summer vacation? Simple, you go fishing! Let’s face it, it’s hot! However, the fish don’t seem to care about the heat. With good hydration and sun protection—including quality SPF 30+ clothing, and the occasional swim break anglers can enjoy themselves on our Hill Country Rivers all summer long. Over the last several weeks the fishing has remained good despite hot weather, rain, and “yo-yo” flows on area rivers. Summer patterns that are getting the job done include poppers, clouser minnows, weighted rubber-legged streamers and crawfish imitations.

Accomplished angler, Alex Butler (pictured) fished with us and put together a respectable mix of fish on both the Colorado and San Marcos rivers. Alex and his wife Lee Ann caught good quantities of quality bass—both Guadalupe and largemouth. An added bonus was a day of surprise catches, which included various sunfish and a monster Rio Grande Cichlid (Cichlasoma cyanoguttatum) that measured 10”.  Alex was able to check off this species (Cichlid) from the TPWD Freshwater Elite Angler Award “big fish” list. After fishing with Alex, it’s not surprising that he holds the Colorado River water body record for a Guadalupe bass on a fly rod.

On another note, with recent research coming from our friends at TPWD and Texas Sate University, everyone at All Water Guides (AWG) is quite confident that the new world record Guadalupe Bass will come out of the Colorado River east of Austin. This was echoed by Texas Parks and Wildlife Aquatic Scientist and avid fly fisherman, Dakus Geeslin who recently shared his expert opinion in response to the latest research on Guadalupe Bass, “This is pretty significant, in fact up until this latest round of genetic analysis, folks including myself believed the Guads east of Austin to be slightly hybridized. ...You guys [AWG] should really latch onto this as an opportunity to put somebody on a world record pure Guadalupe Bass.”

We appreciate the great work and collaboration between Texas Parks and Wildlife and Texas State University researchers. Happy to see 100% strain Guadalupe Bass in the Colorado River! For years we have had our share of naysayers who have questioned our catches/photos of huge Guads as “hybrids” or “spotted bass”.  Our intuition has been validated at last! Collectively, the guides at AWG have spent over two decades fishing for Guads on the Colorado River. We love nothing more than sharing our unmatched experience and knowledge with others.

Here is the link to the research mentioned above:
http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00028487.2012.758170

Alex Butler with a nice largemouth caught on the Colorado River.

Better than expected!!!

Better than expected!!!  But still a tough day yesterday.  Water was still dirty and the wind, it seemed, could not make up its mind.  It was  coming on strong from all directions.  JTVZ and I fished Lil' Web to Big Web with Kevin, Dave and Chum.

(Chum was quite a character that "fished" but mostly handed out advice)

Dave used a Echo3 6wt.  Hitting the bank hard with a popper but had the most luck using an extra fast sink tip with a 'crawfish like looking thang' in the fast water where we found some Guadalupe bass.  My boat were folks from out of state with no knowledge of our state fish, I love peoples reaction to this fish "wow what a fighter"

Absolutely gorgeous day and again we had the entire river to ourselves.   The fish must be getting really hungry.

Guad bass + Camera+ = fun picture.

"They pull hard"

Good weekend. Between the state flower in full bloom and our state fish the Guadalupe bass in an eating frenzy, it's hard to beat central Texas right now. Many bass to the boat this weekend, heavy orange crayfish seemed to be the ticket.  These things can't eat any more than they do, taking giant flies with live crayfish still in their throats. Lots of bent rods out there right now. Enjoy the Bananza.

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. 

O'brothers where are thou

Had a great trip on the Colorado with brothers Jason and Jordan. The day started a bit slow making us think O'fish where are thou. But slowly the fishing improved and the bite was on. Once the sun was up and with warmer mid-day weather the Guadalupe bass were all over our surface flies. Flip-Flop poppers and Alvin's Double-Crease patterns in yellow, orange and red made the bass go crazy. The Colorado river is gin clear and in perfect condition for catching bass on the fly. With the bass moving into post-spawn they will be looking to fatten-up, which always means good numbers and bigger fish. All-and-all a great day on the river!

Jason with a nice Guadalupe bass caught on a a red Alvin's Double Crease fly.

Jason with a nice Guadalupe bass caught on a a red Alvin's Double Crease fly.

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.

Canoe fishing Utley to Bastrop

JT and I made a run from Utley to Bastrop in the canoe this week. The fishing was fantastic and the scenery on this stretch is wonderful. The river is really clean and there are lots of rocky riffles in the river and many scenic spots along the way to enjoy. The first few miles get hit pretty hard by boaters, but after the first set of rapids the fishing really picks up. We started catching fish right away and had good luck all day! The middle 7 miles of this stretch are virtually impossible to reach with a motorboat, so if you want to see some water that very few people fish, you should consider a trip!

3-21-13 Colorado River

Good fishing today on the Colorado River. The day started off kind of slow and got better as it got warmer. Spring is defiantly under way. We caught quite a few nice Guadalupe Bass as well as a handful of Largemouth bass. The best was a Largemouth bass of around 4 pounds. At the end of the day we had boated between 30 and 40 fish and all of them were caught on top!