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The Guadalupe River is truly one of the most unique rivers in all of Texas! From its source in the hill country all the way to its impoundment at Canyon Lake it fishes just like every other hill country warm water river; however, below Canyon Dam everything changes. While bass and sunfish are still present the real draw for most fly fishers is the year-round population of rainbow trout! Rainbow trout in Texas…yes, you read that correctly. In fact the Guadalupe River is a true tailwater or tailrace (river that flows below a dammed body of water) fishery and is home to the only fishable, year-round trout population in Texas. Although Texas Parks and Wildlife stocks many small lakes, ponds, and rivers with rainbow trout in the winter of each year, the trout are typically no longer present by the end of April, this is not the case with the Guadalupe River.
As long as the water temperature remains below 70 degrees Fahrenheit, the trout in the Guadalupe persist and are able to be pursued by fly fisherman. Trout fishing seasons usually starts around the middle of November and runs through late May. Depending on the amount of water released from the lake, the trout fishing can last all summer long and trout mortality will be minimal during a high-release year. The trout that make it through the summer are called “holdovers,“ they develop beautiful coloration and can provide some spectacular dry fly fishing throughout the summer, weather permitting. Whether winter, spring, summer, or fall there are always trout in the Guadalupe!
Full Day Float – $500
Float trips are a fantastic way to fish the Guadalupe River! Our AIRE raft rigged with an NRS fishing frame is the ideal boat for fly fishing the Guadalupe. The boat seats up to two anglers and is extremely stable no matter if we are fishing slower water or running rapids.
Guadalupe River Float Trips Based on 1 or 2 anglers
Target Species (Winter):
– Rainbow Trout
– Brown Trout
Target Species (Spring, Summer, Fall):
– Smallmouth Bass
– Guadalupe Bass
– Largemouth Bass
– Striped Bass
– Rock Bass
What is Provided
– All Flies
– Leaders and Tippet
– Lunch and Drinks on full day trips
– Hours of on the water fly fishing instruction
– Fly Rods and Reels are available by request
– Practice Casting: Practice distance, accuracy, and form in several different casts. (overhead, roll cast, sidearm, etc…) Making good presentations will catch you more fish than having the “right” fly.
– Practice on the water fishing techniques if possible. Especially mending and dead drifting if trout are your targeted species.
– Practice spotting fish. Sometimes when you are off the water for awhile, seeing fish underwater can be a challenge. In order to spot them faster, grab your polarized glasses, head to some clear water in your area, and go fish hunting! Bring a rod as well so you can practice sight casting!
– Practice Stealth! There are times that fish will become startled by loud wading, un-natural movement, shadows, etc. In order to make sure that you get the most out of your guided trip, practice being stealthy in your approach. Things to remember: Stay low, wade softly, avoid quick movements, don’t cast your shadow on a fish, wear natural colored clothing.
Pre-Trip Packing List
– Valid Texas Fishing License
– Fly Rod and Reel
– Polarized Glasses
– Wading Boots
– Waders (cooler months)
– Wet Wading Socks (warmer months)
– Hat or Cap for sun protection
Recommended Tackle and Gear
8-9 foot, 4-6 weight fly rod
Any fly rod in the length and weight range listed above should be more than adequate for all species of fish we will be targeting.
4-6 weight fly reel with a smooth drag
Normally the fly reel is just a place to store the fly line that is not in use; however, when a big fish latches onto your fly and runs for the next county you will be glad for high quality drag! Trout on the Guadalupe run hard and fast so a good drag is not just optional — its essential.
Felt or good rubber soled wading boots
The Guadalupe River has a unique streambed that varies from fine gravel to limestone ruts. Either sole will work fine — with the advent of rubber soles some have boot manufacturers have done very well some not so much. Make sure the boots have a somewhat aggressive tread pattern so that you will not slip on the ruts in the limestone.
Wet wading socks – preferably neoprene (warmer months)
This single item can make a huge difference when wade fishing the Guadalupe during the summer months. The neoprene wet wading socks that I use act as a barrier against sand and gravel and they add cushion to every step. Layer the socks for additional effectiveness and comfort.
(We use Simms Guard socks as an outer layer with their standard Neoprene sock as an inner layer)
Polarized Sunglasses with amber or copper lenses — gray is better than nothing but the fish will be easier to see with amber or copper lenses. (We use Smith Optics glasses with copper and amber lenses)
Waders (cooler months)
In cooler water and weather temperatures we do recommend wearing a good pair of breathable waders. Neoprene waders quite frankly get too hot for most of the fishing we do.