Guadalupe River Fly Fishing

Guadalupe River Trout Fishing Report

January 17, 2018:   The last report I had said that winter was here, and in this report, we can only say that winter continues.   We have all of the GRTU rainbows in the river at this time, and they are BIG FISH!   Lots of big fish!  We are not seeing lots of fish caught in a day, but we are getting chances at numerous BIG fish.  It is just a matter of being able to play them correctly to convert a hookup to a catch.

As a bonus, this years brown trout will be here very soon, and that will add some variety to our fishing day.

Water temperatures are great, with most temps reading in the low to mid 50 degree range.  This means the fish are fighting well, but I am encouraging all anglers to be careful when releasing their fish.  These larger fish will wear themselves out much faster, and need a few more moments in the net to recover before you let them swim off.  Unfortunately, we have seen a number of dead fish this season, and poor releasing has a lot to do with those dead fish.

Flows are lower than average for the Guadalupe River, (about 90 cfs) which means on a float trip, we are getting out in a few places, but our dragging has been minimal.  For wade anglers, this means that you can cover lots of water, and possibly relearn some areas of the river that were inaccessible in the past couple of years due to higher flows.  As always, wade carefully.

We are seeing a wide mixture of bugs at this time.  Midges continue to be our most common hatch, with lots of small midges at this time.  I am fishing size 22 midges as my bottom fly most days, and would go smaller to a 24 if I felt that the folks I am fishing with can handle a fish on that small of a hook.  There are a number of baetis (blue winged olives) on the overcast days, as well as good trico hatches on the sunny mornings.  These, too are small flies, in the 20-24 range.  I’m seeing some caddis on the warmer days in size 18, and just a few slate drakes here and there, though it is a little early in the year for the slate’s to make a good appearance.  No matter the day, my typical setup includes an attractor in the 12-18 range and a natural (bottom fly) in the 20-24 range.   A little flash on the bottom fly seems to work well on sunny days.

Suggested flies:   Small midges like #22 pearl rainbow warriors, super secret midges and juju midges work well.  Various colors of soft hackles in the 18-22 range.  For attractors, small streamers (12-14) nymphed or small girdle bugs seem to work well some days.   On overcast days the fish are eating worms and most mornings I am seeing some kind of egg bite.

Tip #1: Shorter leaders (7.5’) with lighter tippet (5X) and light amounts of split shot (#6) are all in effect at this time.

Tip #2:  With the new trout in the river, try small streamers (size 12-14) either on a strip, or use them as your top fly for numphing


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Warm Water Report

January 17, 2018: 

The San Marcos River is not on my radar at this time.  Will have more to report come April or early May.

The Llano River near Castell is running low and clear.  There are trout at the James River Crossing, as well as at the Castell, Schneider (CR103), and Scott’s (CR102) crossings.  Clear, cold water means slow bass fishing.  If you are out there at a time where there have been a series of warmer days, try streamers deep and slow but be stealthy.  The clear water means spooky fish.

The South Llano River near Junction is flowing well at this time at about 100cfs.  There are trout around the South Llano River State Park, but I haven’t been out there to check out any bass fishing since the Fall.  Typically I’ll start fishing the South Llano for bass in mid-March.

The Guadalupe River near New Braunfels is in full trout season at this time.  Not seeing much in the way of bass.  Late March or early April will be the next real update for this bass report

The Colorado River has had a handful of good fishing days during the periods of slightly warmer weather.  Not big numbers, but some nice fish.  Fish streamers on sink tip or full sinking lines slow and deep.


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