Guadalupe River Fly Fishing

January 2, 2010

Guadalupe River Report

Winter continues in the Texas Hill Country, with most mornings starting in the upper 30s or low 40s and warming in the afternoons in the low 50s to lower 60s.  I did have one day last week where I was able to wet wade, but the norm has been for layers in the morning with pleasant weather in the afternoons.  We have had a full moon and clear skies this past week and the fish have taken advantage of those conditions to feed throughout the night.  That resulted in more selective fish in the days, but steady fishing nonetheless.  The moon is now waning and the fish will be going back to a more angler friendly pattern over the next few days. 

Most days have started out with light bug activity but as the days warm we have seen very good cross hatches of midges, BWO, caddis, tricos and even some hexagenia.  The mixture of bugs has made changing flies and depths a must and taking our time in any one spot will result in hookups as we take the time to dial in on the fish on a spot by spot basis.  With the multitude of bugs the fish are not moving off their feeding lanes and so getting good, long drifts, with minimal drag has been another key for success.

In a typical day we are seeing good fishing in the late morning, a slight slowdown in the early afternoon and then the fishing picks back up in the late afternoon and into the evenings.  I believe the slowdown was partly attributable to the moon phase but that is also the time of the day when we are somewhat between hatches.  There continue to be quite a few anglers hitting the water at first light but I have not seen anyone of those anglers with any large measure of success until later in the mornings.

Float fishing continues to be my preferred way to fish the river, as it allows us to cover more water with greater ease.  For those on a wade trip we have been able to get into spots where the fish are in a pod, allowing for some fast action but quite a bit of walking.

Fly Patterns that have been the most productive over the past week include smaller attractors such as cream colored eggs, beadless prince nymphs and smaller stonefly patterns.  Trailer flies that have been productive include smaller hares ear nymphs (18-20) various RS2 patterns in gray and black, midge emergers in black or chocolate and pheasant tail nymphs in black or natural in the same sizes as the hares ear nymphs.  I have also had good luck with caddis emergers on the warmer days.  My most productive pattern has been a #22 beadless zebra midge with a white wing.  The standard Guadalupe assortment seems to be staying productive at this time with possibly a shift towards smaller flies.

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