Spring and its warmer temperatures has finally arrived which typically marks the slowing down of the trout bite on the lower Guadalupe and the start of better, more-consistent opportunities for warm-water species such as largemouth, smallmouth and Guadalupe bass; Carp, Gar, Rio Grande Perch, and various types of sunfish. Spring also brings more opportunities for rain which improves flows on our Hill Country rivers making fly fishing and paddling opportunities more accessible.
Our past newsletters and fishing reports have been focused on fly fishing for trout on the lower Guadalupe. Through the spring, summer and early fall we will broaden the newsletter and reports to cover fly fishing for warm water species on multiple rivers and include river information that pertains to paddling throughout the Hill Country.
As of mid-last year, we expanded our trip options from just half and full day fly fishing float trips to offering kayaking trips on remote, scenic sections on multiple rivers. We provide half and full day kayak trips and overnight, multi-day paddling trips. With relatively cool temperatures and optimal river flow conditions, the next couple of months is a great time of year to book a multi-day, camping adventure. Please click the link below for more info on our kayaking trip options.
San Marcos River:
It’s finally back!!!
After a few years of poor fishing due to flooding, the San Marcos bass and sunfish bite is back and consistent. We have been focusing on stretches from Martindale to Luling which is roughly 30 river miles. Flows around Martindale have hovered around 250 cfs and in Luling around 200 cfs for the past few weeks. Water clarity has been good with the typical aqua blue tint of the San Marcos. Fish can be found in slower moving water near structure. As the water warms into summer, larger concentrations of fish; specifically, Guadalupe and smallmouth bass, can be found in the deeper, moving water along bends in the river. The top water bite has been pretty good. It will get more consistent as the temperatures warm and the frogs and grass hoppers begin to show up on the banks. The streamer bite has been the more consistent option. No particular time of day seems to better than the other. We provide both half and full day trips on the San Marcos.
San Marcos Guide’s Choice Flies:
Dahlberg Divers olive size 6
Fruit Cocktail size 6
Umpqua Swim Frog Size 6 orange and/or yellow belly
Hard body poppers in sizes 4-6 in yellow and orange.
If you are interested in catching panfish throw yellow, orange, and olive poppers in sizes 6-12.
Autumn Splendor Wooly Bugger sizes 4-8
Clouser Minnows sizes 2-6 in chartreuse/white, pink/white, tan/white, and yellow
Matt Bennett’s Lunch and Brunch Moneys
Super Buggers in olive or black sizes 6-8
Near Nuff Crayfish in orange sizes 4-8.
For panfish a white, tan, black, or olive Wooly Bugger sizes 6-10 is hard to beat.
Upper Guadalupe River
The Upper Guadalupe is always a fantastic option from both a fly fishing and scenery perspective. We focus on sections from Waring to Spring Branch with the primary focus being from Waring to Kendalia. Throughout April flows have hovered around 50-70 cfs in Comfort which is right on the borderline of being too low. Without any rain in the near future options on the upper may be limited. Optimal flows on the upper Guadalupe is between 90-120 cfs in Comfort. We did have some incredible days of fishing. The water has been crystal clear with many sight casting opportunities to bass and carp. The bass and carp relative to the San Marcos and Colorado river are on average smaller but the amount of fish caught is much higher. The diversity of species is also an advantage. It is not uncommon to catch over 5 different species in a day and up to 9. We have seen good numbers of Rio Grande Perch and Warmouths which have been less common on other rivers. Look for fish along the banks in deeper pockets. We offer only full day trips on the upper Guadalupe.
UPPER GUADALUPE GUIDE’S CHOICE FLIES:
Bigger is not better.
Hard body popper yellow, orange, olive sizes 4-6
Fruit Cocktail size 6.
Matt Bennett’s Brunch Money
Clouser Minnows in white/chartreuse, white/pink, and black size 6
Panfish Darter Sizes 4 or 8
Wooly Buggers in olive, black, and white in Sizes 6-8
Baby Gonga in rusty brown and/or tan/yellow size 8
Lower Guadalupe River
The lower Guadalupe in and near New Braunfels is some fun and easy water to fish. Despite the easy access and every growing tube hatch, sections from the 1st Crossing/Hueco Springs to Cypress Bend Park are good half day morning options. Gruene to Cypress Bend is a great water for beginning anglers and paddlers with good opportunities to catch all 3 bass species and a handful of sunfish. Flows are very low with just 60 cfs being released from Canyon Lake Dam. Flows below 80 cfs make a few rapids from Hueco Springs to River Acres park difficult. Flows from 150-200 cfs is optimal. Our focus has been on the San Marcos and Upper Guadalupe this spring but have heard some decent reports on the lower Guadalupe.
LOWER GUADALUPE GUIDE’S CHOICE FLIES:
I can’t say exactly what they are eating but poppers in orange, yellow, and olive in sizes 4-6
Clouser Minnows in white/chartreuse, white/pink, and tan/white in sizes 4-6
Autumn Splendor Wooly Buggers in sizes 4 and 8
Near Nuff Sculpin olive sizes 6-8
are good flies to consider
The Colorado river has been fishing pretty well the last few weeks. We have been focusing on sections from 183 to Webberville which is a lot of big, flat water. If you are looking for trophy bass the Colorado is typically your most consistent option. This section of river has large, daily changes in flows. Catching the river at its lowest point is the best time to find fish. Fish on the Colorado tend to concentrated along structure on the bank and around mid-channel structure. As temperatures warm fishing conditions on the Colorado tend to slow down. In most cases the larger the fly the better. We offer full day trips on the Colorado river.
Colorado River Guide’s Choice Flies:
Umpqua Swim Frog in yellow or orange belly size 2 and Bubbleicious frog size 2
Double Dirty Hippy in colors brown and/or platte size 2
Gonga tan/yellow size 2
Mojo Minnow in emerald shiner size 4
Murdich Minnow in chartreuse/white size 1/0
Llano, Frio, and Blanco Rivers
The Llano, Frio, and Blanco rivers have all been too low for our rafts. With some decent rainfall they can become options. Flows need to be above 125 cfs on these rivers for us to do trips.
For further, more detailed information on fly fishing conditions, river conditions, access points, and river section lengths or to book a trip please feel free to contact us.