Guadalupe River Fly Fishing

Guadalupe River Hatch Chart and Suggested Patterns

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Matching the hatch on a trout stream is quite often the difference between having a good day and having a great day.  On the Guadalupe River, we see a diverse number of insects throughout the year, and in the late winter and early spring see very good cross hatches of bugs.

The hatch chart provided here is intended to be a general guide.  Quite often we will see a hatch of bugs outside their typical times of the year but the insects and time ranges listed below are when we most often see a particular hatch.

Guadalupe River Hatch Chart


Suggested Patterns to Match the Guadalupe River Hatches


  • Standards
    • Pheasant Tail Nymph; natural & black (Sz 16-20)
    • Prince Nymph (Sz 14-18)
    • San Juan Worm; Red, Tan, Orange (Sz 14-16)
    • Eggs; Peach, Yellow, White, Red (Sz 16-20)
    • Hare’s Ear Nymph; tan (Sz 16-20)
    • Copper John; Copper, Red (Sz 16-18)

Standard patterns will work throughout the year and form the basis for my fly boxes.  They are mostly “confidence patterns,” or those that have proved to be successful at various points throughout the year.  When starting your Guadalupe River fly box selection, these are must have patterns.

  • Midges
    • Zebra Midge; black (Sz 18-24)
    • WD 40; black, gray, chocolate (Sz 18-24)
    • Black Beauties (Sz 20-24)
    • Tailwater Emerger (Sz 18-20)
    • Brassie (Sz 20)
    • Red Hot (Sz 18-20)

Similarly to other tailwaters, midges are our most common aquatic insect on the Guadalupe.  Color an size will vary throughout the year, but in general, black in a size 20 will be productive throughout the year.

  • Blue Winged Olives
    • RS2; gray, olive (Sz 18-22)
    • Pheasant Tail; Natural, Black (Sz 18-22)
    • Mercury Baetis; Gray, Olive (Sz 18-22)
    • Mercer’s Poxy Back Baetis (Sz 18-22)
    • BWO Emerger, Olive (Sz 18)

BWO’s are a type of mayfly that prefer cooler, overcast days but their nymphs are present in the water at all times.  This is another standard for tailwater fishing and quite often the smaller emerger patterns will also work for a midge during cross hatch situations.

  • Trico
    • RS2; black (Sz 20-24)
    • Pheasant Tail; Black (Sz 20-24)
    • Trico Spinner; Black, Cream (Sz 20-24)
    • Trico Emerger; Black, (Sz 20-22)

A trico is another type of mayfly and will provide some of our better dry fly fishing opportunities in the early spring.  They come off in the morning, often before sunrise and continue into the late morning.

  • Hexagenia
    • Hares Ear Nymph (Sz 12-14)
    • Green Drake Nymph (Sz 12-14)
    • Prince Nymph (Sz 12-14)

Hexagenia are the largest of the mayflies we see on the Guadalupe, and are typically a light tan to bright yellow in color.  They are a meal that will get trout to the surface and will even entice a bass.

  • Slate Drake
    • Pheasant Tail (Sz 14-16)
    • Prince Nymph (Sz 14-16)
    • Hare’s Ear Nymph (Sz 14-16)

Slate Drakes are just that, slate colored drake (yet another type of mayfly) that are similar to the green drake hatches you see on western waters.  They are more prolific than their Hexagenia or BWO cousins and are another bug that will get trout moving off their feeding lanes to chase down.

  • Caddis
    • Hares Ear Nymph (Sz 16-18)
    • Graphics Caddis (Sz 16-18)
    • Caddis Emerger (Sz 16-18)
    • Elk Hair Caddis; Tan, Gray (Sz 16-18
    • Stimulator; Yellow, Tan, Orange (Sz 14-18)

Caddis prefer sunny and warm conditions and are one of the better options for fishing in the spring, summer and fall.  In the summer months, it is not uncommon to see trout rise to attractor caddis dries in the evenings.

  • Sucker Spawn
    • Sucker Spawn; Pink, Yellow, Green, Cream   (Sz 14-16)

It is hard to call this a hatch, but during the spawning of our native red horse suckers, trout on the Guadalupe will key on the roe (eggs) of the suckers, often hitting them with very strong takes.  In the peak of the spawn, it is possible to tie on a sucker spawn pattern and only have to change patterns once you have worn the fly out.

  • Terrestrials
    • Ants; Black, Red (Sz 16-18
    • Hoppers; Tan, Yellow (Sz 10-14)
    • Crickets; Black (Sz 12-16)
    • Chernobyl Ant; Various colors (Sz 10-14)

Spring, summer and fall produce some nice terrestrial fishing on the Guadalupe, quite often with the ants being better early, then with the hoppers and finally the crickets in the fall.  Fish them also as a dry for a dry dropper rig.

  • Streamers
    • Wooley Buggers; Olive, Black, Tan, Orange (Sz 6-12)
    • Stone Fly Nymph; Black, Brown (Sz 8-14)
    • Zonkers; Olive, Black, Tan, Orange (Sz 6-12)
    • Epoxy Minnows (Sz 10-12)
    • Crawfish Patterns; Orange, Brown (Sz 8-10)

Streamer patterns mimic bait fish, leaches, crawfish and other larger food sources.  They are fished with an active retrieve, and do very well in the weeks following a stocking, or when there is little bug activity on the water.


This page is intended to serve as a starting point for selecting fly for the Guadalupe.  There are many, many more patterns out there that will be productive for fishing the river.

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