Guadalupe River Trout Fishing Report
January 26, 2017: A bit of Springtime in Winter and higher flows to boot. This is the: It is better to float than to wade report.
Simply put, the trout fishing on the Guadalupe River is very good right now. River flows are up significantly from the last report, with the current release from Canyon Dam being at or about 600cfs. This makes wade fishing very difficult for most people. There are a few places that you can still access the river, though I would recommend caution for all but the most experienced anglers. These include areas around Lazy L&L (above the office, just downstream of Devil’s Playground), Gypsy River (do not go too far out), around the bridge at Action Angler and, for GRTU lease members, CVC and Ponderosa. Bring a wading staff and do not get in a hurry.
As of this writing, I have only had to wear waders on the boat a couple of times this season. Water temperatures are very good for trout right now, with most gages showing in the upper 50’s, but with the good to very good river flows we have had all season, we have been able to float the river without having to get a foot wet. The only time waders have been helpful have been on the few very cold days we have seen in the past month. The current forecast calls for a continued trend for good weather, so we can expect to see a continuation of this trend.
Suggested flies: The time is approaching. It is getting closer every day. Do we dare think it? Or even tie one on? Maybe today, possibly tomorrow; either way, soon it will be the time for the redhorse sucker spawn. Suckers have been stacking up in spots along the river and have been taking flies for a couple of weeks, sure signs that they are close to their spawning season. It is not quite in full swing, but trying a sucker spawn or other egg pattern can make a good day better.
Additional patterns and hatches have been fairly standard from the last report. We continue to see good tricos in the morning with caddis and BWO in the afternoons and the midges are thick in areas just below elevation changes along the river. Even with the higher flows the fish have been feeding on small patterns. This has given and advantage to the fish, and made for some interesting fights.
Fish your standard attractor patterns (girdle bug, worm, egg, etc) with a trailer fly. Favorite trailer flies right now include black RS2 (trico), #18 hares ear nymph (caddis), #22 rainbow warrior, pearl (midge) and any of a number of BWO patterns in sizes ranging from #18-22. I have also seen good days with standard nymphs such as pheasant tails, prince nymphs and the like.
I have been seeing a few PMD and slate drakes mixed in, so you might play around a little with some of those patterns in the afternoons.
High Flow Tip #1: It is difficult to get a good drift if you are fishing the swift water right now. In the higher flows, there are a number of fish that have moved into less swift water, which happens to be water where longer drifts are possible. Add in you additional split shot, work to make a longer drift but also look for water that might not be as swift.
Hight Flow Tip #2: Now is a great time to take a float trip. Just sayin’.....
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Warm Water Report
Jaunary 26, 2017:
The Llano River near Castell is running clear and cold and the report is similar to the last report. I am hearing a few reports of the TPWD trout still coming to hand upstream of the bridge in Castell. Check in at the store to find out the places upstream of the Castell bridge and how to better access those spots for fly fishing. If you want to mix in some bass and sunfish, fish small streamers deep in slow. I had one very good report from last weekend of bass around the Mason area being caught on streamers that were fished deep and slow. Consider bringing out your sink tip line this time of year.
The South Llano River near Junction has continued good flows. I have not gotten a recent report from the South Llano, but suspect that it is similar to the main Llano in terms of bass. Pick and choose your days and fish deep with streamers. There may be a few trout still around the state park, but their numbers are greatly reduced from the last report.
The Guadalupe River near New Braunfels has good flows. The warmer days has meant that we have seen some good bass and numerous sunfish, even when nymph fishing for trout. I saw a group of conventional anglers last weekend doing very well on soft plastic crawfish, that they were working slow and deep.
The Colorado River downstream of Austin had a bump in flows and went off color about 10 days ago but flows have moderated and the color is returning to the river. Broken record: deep and slow with streamers. Consider a sink tip to get down.
The San Marcos River is still flowing well, but cooler weather means cooler fish. You guessed it: deep and slow.
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