Winter 2019

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It has been a great season on The Guadalupe so far and I expect more of the same for the foreseeable future! Ample rainfall over the last several months has the river flowing nicely. We’ve had high water most of this Trout Season which isn’t great for all the wade fisherman out there but has produced phenomenal float fishing from the raft. With Canyon Lake above flood pool of 909ft, flows have recently gone up to the 1200cfs range and fishing has been excellent. For comparison, historical median flows on The Guadalupe River below Canyon Lake are around 150cfs. The higher flows allow us to cover more water, close to 10miles on full day trips. Bigger flies and heavy split shot are the ticket in higher flows. Its very important to get flies down into the feeding zone of the Trout. Once that’s accomplished its game on. Productive patterns include Stoneflies, Eggs, Worms and standard staples like Hares Ears, Fox Squirrels, Soft Hackles in the size 12-16 range. I haven’t been fishing many small flies in the 18-22 range as in years past due to the higher flows but I’ve had some success with Midges, Baetis and smaller nymphs as well. Streamer fishing has also been productive. I recommend a 200-300 grain sink tip line to get flies down into the strike zone of the Trout in the higher flows.

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Striper fishing has been tough in the high water. It gives them a lot of places to hide and makes getting big Streamers down in the current tough, even with a 400+grain sinking line. That being said, we’ve seen some monster fish in the 30lb range and had a few follow flies back to the raft recently. Had a good friend out on a Striper hunt not too long ago and stuck a nice one on a Gamechanger tied by Chase Smith. I expect Striper fishing to pick up this Spring as the river comes down and if you’re willing to put in the time casting large flies the result could be a state record class fish.

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All the water we have bodes well for Spring and Summer fishing prospects. I expect the Guadalupe to fish well into the early Summer and possibly beyond depending on flows and water temperature. Shaping up to be some of the best fishing we’ve had in years. This also means we should have a large amount of Trout survive the Summer and holdover to next season. Some of the more remote rivers I fish for Bass are also flowing nicely and I’m excited for the warm water species to re-enter the mix soon in March. Its going to be a great Spring for fly-fishing the Texas Hill Country!

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John Shank