Senior shares information on fly fishing for trout in Texas


Every year when the leaves decide to fall off the trees and the October floods have pushed through November, there is a time period when people in Central Texas have the rare opportunity to fly fish for trout.


Trout fishing (among rainbow and brown trout species) is generally native to mountainous regions, most commonly Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, Georgia and North Carolina. This is due to the natural cold water that flows through the mountain streams where these trout can thrive. In Texas, the water is too warm year round for the fish. However, when December rolls around and the water is consistently below 50 degrees, the Guadalupe River becomes habitable for small trout. Now, these trout aren’t naturally found in this river on the west side of San Antonio. These fish are stocked from two organizations, Texas Parks and Wildlife and Trout Unlimited. The first stock will come from Texas Parks and Wildlife and will be available starting Dec. 4.


Down on a small campsite in New Braunfels is a company named Rio Raft. This company serves as a starting point and general spot for fishermen to enter the river while still central to I-35 and nearby towns. I’m not going to tell you any of my spots, but if you are starting at the base of Rio Raft at the river, you are bound to catch fish up and down any section of your choice.


If you’re making yourself a checklist for a fishing trip, like I always end up doing, then you should have some specific things on your paper. Your rod, your reel, your location, your transportation (I generally like to leave Austin at 6 a.m.), your waders and boots (necessary) and your hackle.


The hackle is where things get tricky on the Guad. When the stock is first placed, the trout are young and have a spawning mentality, so I have heard lots of advice to try out small egg replicas or brightly colored nymphs to mimic insects or eggs. As the season gets older and the trout get adjusted to the river, my friends and I have found that double rigging disco nymphs on a long leader works very well. The reason I am emphasizing long is because this is the ultimate tip to fishing the Guadalupe River. The water, while colder than other streams, is still warm compared to the mountain streams these trout are seasoned to, so they like to swim near the riverbed, where it is colder. These trout are very hungry, but for the longest time I could not figure out why they weren’t biting, and it wasn’t until I increased how deep I put my flies that I started catching more and more.


The Guadalupe is a ton of fun to fish with friends. It offers a beautiful stretch of water in a very close location – only 45 minutes from Austin. Don’t expect to be catching six pounders, as the stock usually only consists of fish that will get up to around 15 inches, but don’t be dissuaded by that thought, as the location is easy and unique to the area.

Once you have your fill of fishing for the day, there is an awesome hamburger place on the road out of Rio Raft, right before you turn right to head towards I-35. This restaurant serves as a good stop for lunch where you will probably run into other fishermen. If you’re really feeling the adventure, you can camp out of your car in Rio Raft in order to get an early morning start, but make sure you pack warm gear because December nights in Texas always bite a little harder than you expect them to.

Good luck and happy fishing.