Guadalupe River Fly Fishing

Guadalupe River Fishing Report

January 16, 2011Flows on the Guadalupe below Canyon Dam have been up and down in recent days as the Army Corp of Engineers has worked to remove a hydraulic cylinder that controls gate movements on the dam.  This has resulted in flow changes throughout the day from a peek of 200 cfs in the mornings to a minimum flow of 50cfs in the afternoons.  As a result, we have been having to time our float trips to catch the crest of the 200 cfs and move with it throughout the day.  My first impression when the schedule of work was announced (the January work runs from the 10th through the 25th) was that the fish and the fishing would be negatively impacted due to the work has been proven wrong.  I spoke with the Army Corp Canyon Lake Manager this past Friday and he believes that the work will most likely be complete prior to the January 25 date.

The fishing on the river has stayed good throughout the work.  The work is being done on weekdays, with flows being constant on the weekends.  One benefit to the work has been that some of the fish that were in shallow areas that made them easy targets for both osprey and wade anglers have relocated into deeper water.  Another upside is that the work, coupled with some cooler, rainy days, has kept the crowds off the river, enabling the fish to have a rest from angling pressure.

In the past few days I have seen nice fishing throughout the day and I have been exploring areas of the lower river that I haven’t seen much since last season.  One of the nice things about fishing the lower parts of the special regulation trout water on the Guadalupe is that not as many anglers have been on those portions of the river and the fish seem to be more willing.  Also, because of the distance from the dam, the flows have stayed better due to the time it takes the water to reach the lower reach as well as the addition of water from the various springs and creeks that come into the river below the dam.  Much like the 2009 season, when we saw low flows in the 50cfs throughout the season, the lower flows this season have concentrated the fish into areas that are deeper and has made point-to-point floating to find the pods a good option for a three quarter day float or a single rod wade trip on the lower river good options for getting into fish.

The schedule for work by the ACoE will include dates in February (14-23), March (11-23), and April (18-27) but given what I have seen in the first week of work I feel good that the fishing and fish on the Guadalupe will remain good throughout the work.

Suggested flies: for the Guadalupe remain much the same and include a mixture of of attractor patterns and naturals.  My attractors include various color eggs in smaller sizes (18-20) as well as San Juan worms in most any color.  I haven’t had much success with bead-head attractors but larger olive hares ear nymphs and beadless prince nymphs have worked more days than not.  Natural patterns include smaller (18-22) RS2 patterns in both gray and black, as well as smaller pheasant tails, poly wing midges in gray and brown and various soft hackle patterns in olive, gray, black and tan. 

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