This past Sunday Aaron and I left the kayaks at home, grabbed the fly rods, and headed west to fish the Guadalupe river for rainbow trout. While I’ve practiced at the local ponds, I’ve never actually caught a fish on the fly. I’d like to spend some time this summer chasing redfish with the fly rod so this trip would allow me to learn few things and practice on some smaller fish.
We left Pearland at 4:15 am and made a quick stop at Whataburger before reaching the river in New Braunfels around 7:20. Temps were holding in the upper 30s with an occasional gust of wind but we had blue clear skies and temps that would rise throughout the day. We hopped into our waders, rigged our rods for nymphing, and headed down to the river. After a few quick tips from Aaron we got our flies in the water and had a double hook up on our 2nd casts. Aaron had a nice fish to start the day while my first fish was in the 6 inch range.
The action stayed pretty consistent for most of the day with each of us landing a little over 20 fish each. The majority of the fish were in the 6-10 inch range but we caught half a dozen each that were around 16″. The Guadalupe River provides some beautiful scenery and great trout fishing during the winter months for Texas residents.
It’s been a while since I’ve been able to put up a post. I picked up a few days of summer school over the past week and a half so fishing has been non-existent for me. Summer school ended Wednesday so I met up with my friend Aaron to see if I couldn’t put him on a few skinny water reds. Aaron enjoys fly fishing so with the low tides and possibility of seeing plenty of backing reds I figured this could be an interesting trip for him.
We met up at 5 am and launched into the dark. The winds that have been pounding the Texas coast over the past month or two had completely died the day before which brought the tides back to predicted levels. Without the usual 20 mph wind we’ve had the water was like glass and paddling was easy. The downside was the lack of wind made the temperature seem warmer than it really was and the mosquitos were out in full force. Not even the 98% deet spray could keep them off of us throughout the morning. We reached the marsh before first light and had about an hour and half before the tide bottomed out. I realized that this was the lowest I had ever seen this marsh and with water continuing to slowly trickle out for a little while longer we decided to play it safe and headed towards a small channel that would be a foot or so deeper than the surrounding areas. If the fish were around, they would be somewhere near this channel because the ability to move around the marsh freely was denied due to the lack of water.
We pulled up to a small marsh lake with a deeper gut leading into it and could immediately hear bait being popped. Half a dozen reds where in two separate locations and feeding heavily and small shrimp and bait fish. We were unable to get a bite from these fish so we kept moving towards the deeper channel. Aaron stopped to setup his Go Pro while I continued to work a shoreline that lead to the location we were trying to reach. As I approached the channel I could hear several popping noises and knew a pod of redfish was right around the corner. Sure enough, the pod came out of the channel and into the lake giving me a nice shot at them. I tossed a 1/4 oz Beastie Bugg out in front of them and had a fish on. While fighting this fish I saw another pod coming in my direction about 50 yards behind that one and another following it another 50 yards back. I called for Aaron to catch up and get his fly rod ready. As I was landing my fish he caught up with me and laid a small fly he had tied out in front of them and hooked up. My fish went 25.5″ and Aaron’s went a little over 20.
We moved into the channel and found a few more pods roaming the area. I got greedy and tried for a double hook up on two pods that were only 20 yards apart and lost the first fish I hooked while switching to my other rod. Aaron moved over to a small lake with plenty of popping noise to find nearly a hundred reds over about 50 yards of shoreline. I decided to hop on the island and film him while he tried hooking up with his 2nd fish of the day on the fly. He hooked up after a few minutes and the rest of the fish went nuts. With all of the fish in such a small area, locating one to cast at was easy, but when a hookup occurred or one got spooked a domino effect occurred spooking the others. After a nice fight with his fish that took him into his backing a time or two Aaron landed his biggest red on the fly to date at 29.5 inches and a little under 9 lbs.
After that, the rest of the fish seemed to disappear completely. The bite only lasted about an hour for us but it was fast and furious for that one hour. A little more water to spread them out some would have been nice but it was still a pretty awesome day on the water and fun watching fish of that size in water so shallow.
Good friend and fellow Texan Kevin Doyle is spending a few years living in Montana where his wife currently works. They’ll be moving back to the Texas coast eventually, but as of right now, he’s making the most of his time away from speckled trout, flounder, and reds. Check out his latest video titled “Salt less – Transition to Trout” below for a look at some beautiful scenery and Montana trout.