Welcome to Eye of the Guide

Part Fifty-nine

Just For Fun or Practice
In Texas? Time to spare?

By Allen Crise (aka flysoup)

Are you a displaced trout fly fisher due to frozen creeks and snow too deep to wade in the high country of the northern states? Perhaps you are visiting Texas on a business or pleasure trip? Maybe you are a local and just need a little fun or practice on the water? In whichever case, take some time to fish our Texas rivers and streams.

Many species and hybrids of bass, Spotted, Guadalupe Smallmouth, White, largemouth, hybrid, and Striped bass, all inhabit the rivers of the Central Texas and the Texas Hill Country. From the Ft. Worth / Dallas metroplex south to Austin, is the rolling hill country, with some of the best winter wade fishing that any befuddled fly rodder could ask for, and the hard fighting Texas spotted bass and the mid-weight fly rod were made for each other! There is an abundance of water in Texas to fish, with rivers like the Brazos, Trinity, Leon and Guadalupe (these have all been dammed to control the spring rains and floods), and lakes like Possum Kingdom, Whitney, Granbury, Benbrook, plus many power plant reservoirs, this is an area where you can flyfish year-round with no closed season.

In the winter, Texas has a stocking program which gives us rainbow trout to improve our skills. In the summer, below the Canyon Lake dam, you can find trout year round.

Brazos River

If you prefer a big fish, try the he-man of the rivers, the striped bass. The biggest taken is now almost fifty pounds. The stripers will school up below the dams of the Brazos river to give any fisherman a battle will he will remember.

In the winter you will want your winter duds, the water temperature will be below fifty degrees in the Brazos river. By summer the river temp will get up to ninety degrees a few miles below the dams. (This is Texas.)

Camping and canoeing is a year-round thing in Texas, but watch for the weather changes in the spring and fall. Be prepared by bringing both warm and cool clothes. In the summer the heat can be tough on the body, so don't overdo, and drink lots of liquids.

Guadelupe River What kind of equipment should you bring? If you have a trout outfit, it will work well for spotted bass; a 5 wt. is great. The striper will take a little bigger outfit, an 8 wt with lots of backing will work well. If you want to go for the largemouth in the lakes and reservoirs then bring a 9 wt or bigger to get those big bass flies into, and the bass out of, the heavy cover.

So, you only have a day to spend, you are on "company time" no problem! Just try our wade trips down most any river that you can cross on a highway or back country road. In the Dallas / Ft. Worth area there are hundred of such crossings that will give you public access to the rivers and lakes.* By wading out or casting from the bank, you can find fish to keep you in a state of euphoria. At a time some are trying to relax in a hotel or motel, you can enjoy some quality time of fly fishing and come back really refreshed.

So bring your fly rod when you come to Texas. It is quality fishing time! We won't tell. ~ Allen R. Crise(aka flysoup)

*Note: If you have to cross a fence to get to the water, you better not stop. Find a location that clearly provides open access to the water, or check with the landowner.

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