Wednesday, March 10, 2010


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Guadalupe River Tailrace 100 cfs (slightly up ). water temp 59, air temp 66.6 degrees, water is clear, with slight green stain, 100 cfs. Wind has laid down, not as many Cypress leaves on the water.

Fishing is great.......anglers report many big trout to the net.

GRTU leases are not crowed this morning, but a few anglers sprinkled through the Trophy Zone.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Current Conditions

Guadalupe River Tailrace 442 cfs. water temp low 50s, air temp 53 degrees, water is clear, with slight green stain, Cool, Rainy, Thunder, Lightning. winds forecast at 25-35 mph out of the west 7:50am. Wading is dangerous at these levels.

Fishing is great.......anglers report many big trout to the net on small flies.

GRTU leases are not crowed this morning.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Consider other Anglers

Over the years it has been my impression that anglers are becoming more and more inconsiderate of their fellow angler. Maybe the influence of my years as a child fishing the steams & lakes of Tennessee with anglers that were very considerate & courteous had a much larger impact than I realized.

I received a joke from a friend, awhile back, that said if you raise you’re child to be understanding, considerate & courteous, he will not be able to drive in Texas. It is a sad truth if you have driven in Houston, Dallas, San Antonio or Austin lately.

Everyone seems to think their schedule, or need to get somewhere fast because they did not plan, is more important than the other Guy or Gal. They will risk having a wreck to save 1 minute by running a yellow light or cutting someone off and then act amazed when they have to spend the whole day or several days dealing with all the issues of the wreck. All because they were trying to save a minute.

What does all this have to do with fishing? I’m seeing more & more, of this attitude, on the rivers, streams & coast of Texas. Anglers are becoming less & less considerate of other anglers. The attitude that, I drove all the way from Dallas or Houston to the Guadalupe, my time is more valuable than yours. The whole idea of getting out on the water fishing is the exact opposite of this type attitude. The attitude should be one of relaxing, being in the great outdoors, exploring new water & maybe even picking up a few fish. I can’t remember who quoted this but, it goes something like this “men have fished for hundreds of years and never realized it is not the fish they are after”

I have witnessed the actions of some anglers that are truly amazing. Tromping in just a few feet from another angler and fishing the same 10’ because they saw him catch a fish without asking politely if it is ok. Fishing one 5’ hole with a few fish in it all day long, not giving anyone else a shot & catching the same fish over and over, and then bragging about how many fish he caught. You might as well fish the kiddy pool at the TPWD Expo. Floating through the water a wading angler is fishing without trying to go behind or telling them you coming through, and try not to disturb the water by splashing the paddles, just expecting you have the right of way. YOU DON”T

My point, have some consideration. Treat others anglers the way you would like to be treated. Go out of your way to be considerate & understanding. If you’re fishing a hole and you have caught a few fish move on, give someone else a shot at it. You might go as far as to tell him what was working for you. Explore other areas; the point is to fish the river or stream, not a hole (kiddy pool).

If wading in near another angler, ask permission, if it is closer than a 100’. Almost 95% of the times they will say come on. If they object, either wait on the bank or slowly wade a little further up or down steam. If you’re the angler in the water, catch a few fish and move on. Don’t be a kiddy pool angler.

If you’re floating and come up on another angler, stop and see if you can get behind him. If not tell them you’re only way through is in front on him, tell them your coming through and then move through with as little disturbance as possible.

These are only a few examples, but the best rule of thumb is ask you’re self, if I was the other angler, what would I want if the positions were switched.

Be considerate, you never know, it might spill over into other areas of you’re life.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

How to adjust strategies for different water clarity.

These strategies are not the be all, end all, strategies of water clarity, but techniques that I have found productive & consistent. They were developed from 10yrs of full time guiding, books I've read, & other guides. One book I distinctly remember helpful, was Small Mouth Bass a handbook of strategies, the 1st addition was published in the 80's. Even though it focus is on Small Mouth, the water condition strategies, apply to most game fish, including Rainbow & Brown Trout.

Clear Water:
  1. The Clearer the water the smaller the tippet or Line.
  2. Small Flies or Lures (#18-#24 Flies) or (1/8, 3/16 oz Lures)
  3. Natural Fly & Lure colors (midge, emergers, hares ear, flies & (craw-fish, shad colored spinners)
  4. Subtle Colors (white, yellow, brown, black)
  5. Fish moving water for Trout & agitate the fly, for other fish & lures use a swimming retrieves.
  6. Presentation & longer casts (staying further away from target lies or structure)
  7. Minimum noise & stealthy approach.
  8. Lower light conditions preferred

Stained Water

  1. In- between conditions
  2. Fish have mixed reactions based on amount of stain in water (experiment with sizes & colors)
  3. In general lean towards dark water techniques

Dark Water

  1. Heaver tippet or line is acceptable
  2. Larger Flies or large bulky lures
  3. Lighter colored flies or multi-colored lures
  4. Bright colors
  5. Slower bottom bumping retrieves
  6. Shorter cast are exceptable
  7. Bright light condition are better

There are many other conditions that will effect the fishing, but you will find if you use these strategies constantly you're catch rate will improve.

Bill Higdon

Friday, May 8, 2009

Alert! !

Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation (ODWC) stream biologists have discovered the invasive algae Didymo in the Lower Mountain Fork River (LMFR) in Beavers Bend Park in Oklahoma. Didymo can be very destructive to river vegetation and insect populations, thus significantly affecting fish populations. The concern is that fishermen could unwittingly transport Didymo from the LMFR to the Guadalupe (or any other rivers), so I want to alert our members about this risk and inform them on what they can do to prevent transmission of Didymo.

A little background - Didymo (commonly called "rock snot", it appears as a whitish gray blob similar to wet toilet paper) is an algae that attaches to stream rocks and can completely cover the river bottom, thus suffocating vegetation and bugs. Obviously this can be detrimental to trout populations. It was probably transported to the LMFR by way of felt wading boots, gravel guards, wading staffs or any other devices that it could stay alive on while being transported from one stream to another. It has been in some rivers in Arkansas for at least a year. The main concern at this point is that we do not transport Didymo to non affected rivers such as the Guadalupe, the Blue River in Oklahoma, or any other rivers our members fish. What our members can do is thoroughly clean all their equipment immediately after returning from a trip to the LMFR. Further information on Didymo and what can be done to prevent spreading it can be found at the following site.

ODWC has requested that we please not try to contact them directly. Please ask anyone with questions to call or email me. As additional information becomes available I will pass it on to you.

Thanks Bill,

Sunday, May 3, 2009

River Etiquette

With the increased popularity of fly fishing, the rivers and streams of the the Country are fast becoming the choice for many new anglers. With the increased popularity, stream etiquette is more important than ever. In the old days, it was not all that difficult to elude the one or two anglers, met in a day’s outing. Today, eluding our fellow anglers is an ever-continuing and often insurmountable problem.

The prime rule is…….conduct yourself so as to disturb your fellow angler as little as the prevailing conditions allow. Here are a few additional recommendations from a number of different sources.

1. Respect other anglers’ rights. Don’t crowd another angler or make loud noises when another person is fishing. A good rule of thumb is, stay at least 100’ from the nearest angler. Let me repeat this one….100’. It’s not that far.

2. Approach the water quietly and cautiously. If you come upon another angler on the stream, enter well upstream or downstream. A 100’ comes to mind. Enter the water as quietly as possible. Avoid splashing and disrupting the water.

3. If you come upon another angler while wading in a river or stream leave the water and walk around them well away from the bank. Re-enter the water sufficiently far away from him. 100’ might be good. Pass an angler by giving them as much space as possible without endangering your safety or trespassing on private property. Wade quietly behind them when passing so as not to put the fish down. If at all in question about crowding another angler, just ask them if they feel you are fishing too close. If someone starts crowding you, tell them something like: “You’re getting a little close to me. If you wait a few minutes, I’ll be finished here and you can have it to yourself.” Above all, avoid confrontation.

4. When floating, always float behind the wading angler if possible. Even then warn them you are behind them to avoid getting hit by the back cast. Sometimes in low water conditions you will have to float in front of the angler. If you find yourself in this position, stop and wait, give them a chance to motion you through. If the angler does not see you, let the angler know you are coming through and make sure he/she does not have a fish on. Only paddle when necessary and then don’t splash or smack the paddles on the water. Short soft strokes. Stay as far as possible from the area being fished. Also, apologize, and let him know you had no other choice. Most anglers are very understanding.

On a more personal note, On opening day and most weekend mornings on some rivers, trout fishers are lined up shoulder to shoulder to catch the stocked rainbows. On other river the expectation of silence and solitude, in that setting, getting within one hundred feet of another angler could be considered close quarters. As far as distance goes, use your best judgment. It is different in different rivers at different times. Some fishers prefer silence and solitude to concentrate on their fishing, while others are willing to converse with those around them. Again, use your judgment.