November 5, 2009
Guadalupe River Report
The trout season on the Guadalupe is starting early this year. Cooler days and cooling rains have brought the average daily river temperature on the Guadalupe River tailwater down to the required thresholds for the safe introduction of new fish that will soon join the holdover trout in the Trophy Trout Zone of the Guadalupe. My guiding season for trout on the Guadalupe will being on Tuesday, November 17 and continue into the spring. Flows are still down from the historic averages but Canyon Lake continues to rise, and has now gained five feet since the beginning of September. This is one of the earlier starts to the trout season on the Guadalupe in a number of years and, with the long range forecast calling for above average rainfall and slightly cooler temperatures this winter, we might finally be seeing the end of our extended drought and a return to nice trout fishing well into the spring.
Fly patterns early in the season often include smaller wooly buggers, standard nymphs such as hares ear nymphs, pheasant tail nymphs, zebra midges, various egg patterns and San Juan worms. There have been nice hatches in recent weeks, including caddis and some mayflies. As winter approaches the bugs, and therefore the fly menu, will change but for now, start with your go-to flies and then get more creative from there.
In addition to scouting for trout, I have also been looking for striped bass above the trophy trout zone. This has provided some mixed fishing days in which I have fished nymphs for trout in the runs and streamers in the pools for stripers.
All-in-all, it is looking to be another very nice season on the Guadalupe River for trout.
Warm Water Report
The warm water fishing in the Texas Hill Country has been a mixed affair of late. We have seen days when the fish will move 6 feet to take a fly, and others were you can bring a fly within an inch of a bass, only to have the fish slowly turn away. The trick for successfully targeting bass in late fall is often persistence and being at the right place at the right time.
The most productive fishing days are days when the weather pattern is stable and has been stable for at least 3 days. The quality of the fishing has also improved in the past few days, mostly due to the fact that our overnight lows are back into the mid 50s, while the afternoon highs are staying in the 70s. This is the time of year when we get our “Indian Summer” that will bring nice bass out from their stumps and snags. On the days when we are experiencing weather pattern changes the fishing can still be good, but is subject to shut down as the front moves through. If you are fishing ahead or right on the front, then the fishing can be excellent, once the front has moved through the fish often move into deeper water and will wait to see if winter is here or if the Indian summer will return. Another factor that has affected the fishing has been the rains we are finally receiving in the Texas Hill Country.
For the first time in almost two years the ground in the Hill Country is wet and so much of the rains we have been receiving, and that we are forecast to receive in the next few months, will be flowing into our rivers and lakes. With each rain event there is typically a 2-3 day window after the rains subside that the water is stained. The first day or two will put the fish down but a little stain on the water can allow you to get a little closer to the fishy spots before casting.
After the rains subside and the water clears, we have continued to enjoy nice sight casting days on both the Llano and Colorado Rivers. The San Marcos has received a number of rises coming off the Blanco River but the fish are settling back down and the fishing should keep improving as the current weather pattern holds. On the extreme end of what we see in the Texas Hill Country, on October 22, in 40 minutes, the Pedernales River in Johnson City went from 230 cubic feet per second (cfs) to 22,500 cfs and, at one point that day was increasing the level of Lake Travis by one foot per hour.
Fly patterns for this time of year are almost all streamer patterns. My best producing fly on the Llano has been in olive, and white has worked very well on the Colorado.
The forecast for the next week calls for stable temperatures (lows in the 50s, highs in the 70s) and mostly stable rain chances. Now is an excellent time to get in that last minute bass trip before trout season settles in.
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