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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. 

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!

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.

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".