Fishing on the Llano River
TYPES OF FISH:The crystal-clear waters of the Llano River are home to graceful (read trout-like) native Guadalupe bass that share the river with spotted bass, largemouth bass, catfish, sunfish, perch, gar, carp, and dozens of other species.
FLIES TO USE:Guadalupe bass generally hang out in faster moving water. When the water temperature is cold, a heavily weighted fly or even sink-tip line may be needed for fast access to the bottom of a run. However, even on cold days small poppers, wriggly Madame X's, and dry flies often tempt bass and perch to come to the surface. I've caught some nice largemouth in quieter water using a huge Royal Wulff (actually tied for steelhead or salmon). Recommended wet flies are: size 4-10 sparsley-tied Clauser Minnows (chartreuse), Charlie Cypert's Mylar Minnow, Ninny Bugs, black and olive woolly buggers, damsel fly nymphs, and leeches. I've also had very good luck with a Clauser crayfish pattern, especially around the rocks in faster moving water. Dry flies (my personal favorites) include black and yellow foam spiders, cherynoble ant, Madame X, Turk's Tarantula, small to medium poppers (the preferred colors seem to be chartreuse, black and/or white). Almost any fly tied with lots of feathers and rubber legs seems to attract fish.
KNOWN HATCHES:The river enjoys mayfly hatches almost all year round and if you turn over rocks you are likely to find snails, leeches, caddis nymphs and mayfly nymphs.
EQUIPMENT TO USE:I use a 6-wt. rod most of the time because wind is a fairly regular occurrence and because I think a bit heavier rod more easily handles the combination of wind and heavy or bulky flies. A more delicate rod will work, of course, but YOU might have to work harder. I use floating line, but when the water temperature drops, an extra spool of medium sinking or sink-tip line will come in handy.
WHEN TO FISH:Although fish can be caught all year long -- certainly there are many glorious, sunny days in the dead of winter -- the fish are more active in warmer water (March through November). Though we catch fewer fish when the water is cold we consistently catch bigger fish in cold water.
SEASONS AND LIMITS:Fishing is allowed all year long. We recommend and practice catch and release, but if you intend to keep your fish there is a limit of 5 bass per day (in any combination of largemouth, spotted or Guadalupe bass) with a minimum length of 14" for largemouth and 12" for Guadalupe and spotted bass. There is no limit on pan fish.
Don't forget your license! We have new game wardens and they are regularly on the river.