"Guadalupe"by Jan Hackett on 06/17/14
I accompanied my wife to a conference in San Antonio last week and found myself in need of something to do for the afternoon. I grabbed my 8’6” 5 weight some wading shoes and my copy of “Fly-Fishing the Texas Hill Country” by Kevin Hutchison (Kevin has upgraded “Bud” Pirddy’s book with permission from the family) and headed off to the lower Guadalupe.
I headed towards the base of the dam at Canyon Lake and parked at the trail head (N29 86.96 W98 19.461) of the nature trail. The 1.25 mile long trail parallels the river and you will clearly see well warn paths from others accessing the river. There is parking on the north side of the river (N29 87.0772 W98 19.5516) that provides access to the tailrace a steep set of stairs leads to a fishing pier used by bait fisherman. This side of the river will provide the best access for launching your float from however the nature trail side provides the easiest access for wade fishing. There is a tremendous amount of fishing pressure in this area but always worth a shot. In addition to the trout, bass and panfish you may hook into a hybrid striped bass that are known to reside in this part of the river.
The fishing proved to be a little slow that day so I headed towards the car and drove down river to the Lazy L & L Campgrounds (N29 49.100 W98 10.388). The campground is open all year round and provides river access at the “Devil’s Playground Rapids”. I paid my eight dollars and headed towards the parking area and the short trail leading to the river. The rapids provide numerous runs, riffles and holes for fish to hold. There are two deep pools on either side of rapids that always warrant a few casts. Other then the handful of casts you can make from the shallows you will need a float tube, kick boat or some other means of covering the water. This also is the beginning of the special regulations area on the lower Guadalupe, from the sign located on a tree down stream to the “second crossing” you are allowed one trout over 18” and is must be taken on an artificial lure or fly.
As luck would have it on a Wednesday afternoon I had the entire area to myself for the next few hours. I ended up catching fish that included one rainbow about 8 inches various panfish and one nice size bass. I had success with various floating and sinking flies that included a foam grass hopper, Hicky’s Condor, bead head pheasant tail nymph, wooly bugger/bomber in various colors and the bass was caught on a Naiser slider tied in orange and black.
As the sun slipped behind the hills and trees I headed for the car put my stuff away for the thirty minute drive back to San Antonio and reflected on a great day fishing on North America’s most southern trout fishery.