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Originating in San Marcos, Texas at base of the Balcones Escarpment the San Marcos River is fed by one of the greatest outflows of spring water from the Edwards Aquifer – 250 million gallons of water flow out of the springs each day! Eventually joining with the Brazos and Guadalupe Rivers, it continues down to the Gulf Coast.
The headwaters is ultra clear, narrow, and fast moving with lots of vegetation, including Texas wild-rice, a native grass found only in the upper two miles of the San Marcos River. The heavy flowing spring water stays a consistent 70 degrees year ’round, so you can still catch fish on a 30 degree winter morning! The fish in this stretch prefer a more insect and hatch based diet, although you’ll have some success with small bait fish as well. Hop along the public parks, beginning with San Marcos City Park for bank fishing access or take your kayak for a float.
The midsection runs from Cummings Dam, where the Blanco and San Marcos Rivers converge, to Staples Dam. The cypress trees and beautiful blue-green tinted water are reminiscent of the Guadalupe River. It widens up in this stretch as well, and the convergence results in warmer summer temps and cooler winter temps than you would find higher up near the headwaters. Boat put ins and take outs are fairly simple in this section, as the river flows parallel to Highway 80, with many crossings along the way for public access. The best wading can be found at Martindale Park or Pecan Park.
The lower San Marcos below Staples turns milky, sometimes muddy in color, but it certainly doesn’t hurt the fishing. This remote stretch, with its cut banks, natural structures, and good flows, is some of our favorite for top water fishing. In fact, it’s easy to get stuck rowing after dark, because it’s so hard to quit.
Half Day Float (4 hours) $350
Full Day Float (8 hours) $500
Rates based on 1 or 2 anglers.
Largemouth Bass, Guadalupe-Smouthmouth hybrid Bass, Rio Grande Cichlids,
Red Spotted Sunfish, Longear Sunfish, Bluegill Sunfish, Green Sunfish