I thought an article by John Jefferson would be an excellent way to introduce my favorite river to fish in the Hill Country. The Guadalupe is the only river in Texas with trout available year round. And no, you do not need a fly fishing rod to fish here. There is a great public fishing area right below the spillway and normal fishermen are always there. The fly fishermen walk the shallow areas on the other side of the river accessed by a nature trail with parking on the opposite side of the spillway from the public fishing area.
The first quarter mile of the river is always cooler than its surroundings because the cold water flowing from the dam acts as a huge air-conditioner and cools the air down considerably. It is a great place to fish away a hot, sticky, summer afternoon in Texas.
The following article was written by John Jefferson and is available free to all at the TPWD website and can be accessed at the following link: [log in for link]
Here is the first few paragraphs to get you interested:
Rare Fish, Rare River
Trout donít naturally occur in the Guadalupe, but they seem right at home.
By John Jefferson
There was a narrow path through the woods at the end of a caliche parking lot. I followed it through the brush, and as the trail broke through the thicket and started down toward the river, I could see five or six fishermen already in the water. It was the spring of 1966 and Lone Star Beer had just provided 10,000 rainbow trout to be stocked in the swift currents below Canyon Dam on the Guadalupe River.
The Guadalupe is a rare river, arguably the most scenic in the state and resembling a Rocky Mountain trout stream in places. Spring-fed, its headwaters are in the Edwards Plateau, west of Hunt in Kerr County. It meanders its way over limestone beds through the Hill Country and is the most popular recreational river in Texas. Tubers and rafters are abundant during the warm months. The Guadís also the only stream in the state with water conditions that will support trout year-round. It widens and deepens east of New Braunfels en route to the coast.
And itís rare and special to me, personally. Itís where I caught my first fish, learned to swim and had a few other firsts. A passion for the Guadalupe was formed, and never waned (in spite of nearly drowning in it once or twice). A little boyís recollections of summertime adventures along the river bank with a cane pole and a can of worms became more epic and precious as the years passed.
Before the Corps of Engineers constructed Canyon Dam and created a tailrace of sparkling, rushing water, the river was known for its immense catfish, scrappy goggle-eyes and unique Rio Grande cichlids (not found in many other streams). Family photos show a catfish dangling from a hoe handle held on the shoulders of two tall men, with the fishís tail touching the ground. Floods on the river were of gargantuan proportions, too.
With completion of the dam and impoundment of the previously unharnessed river in 1964, new fisheries developed in Canyon Lake for white bass, striped bass and largemouths. But the most significant fishery would be born below the dam.
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