July 18, 2013
Texas Hill Country is one of the most scenic travel destinations. Hunters know this area for its abundance of exotic game, which includes wild pigs, turkeys, Axis deer, mouflon sheep and more. But what few people know, even within the state of Texas, is how great fishing can be, there. Small rivers, like the Llano, offer excellent float fishing opportunities for rare Guadalupe bass (found only in Texas), largemouth and panfish. And these small rivers are particularly well suited for fly fishing Texas Hill Country. In fact Conway Bowman, host of The Outfitters Built by F-Series and renowned fly fisherman, was so intrigued with the Hill Country that he took his show there on a special expedition.
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Canoes are the best way for fly fishermen to explore the small rivers of the hill country. On hot afternoons, fish will seek the shade just under the vegetation along the bank.
Raye Carrington on the Llano River is a quaint local inn that caters to fly fishermen. For information, call 866-605-3100 or visit: http://www.llanoriver.com/
A quick screen of the local waters was quick to reveal an assortment of beetles and flies. While imitations of these will work, Bowman found that small poppers, imitating baby frogs, brought instant strikes almost every cast.
You don't need big sophisticated rigs here. Bowman used a light, 5-wt. rod with a 3X tippet. Size 4 frog poppers dead drifted under the shadows of overhanging trees brought lots of action.
Expect to be pampered at the Raye Carrington, which is located near several excellent Hill Country fishing rivers.
The Llano offers some fun canoeing for fishermen. Eddies behind large rocks mid-stream produced fish, but the larger head and tail waters of pools was where the best action was found.
Springtime is one of the best seasons to fly fish the Hill Country. The fishing is excellent and visitors can count on seeing a great display of local wildflowers in bloom.
Here is a typical pool situation on the Llano with vegetated banks and rocks dropping off into deeper waters — perfect for bass.
Guides Johnny Quiroz and Marcus Rodriguez, owners of The Guides of Texas, are expert fly fishermen who offer a wide variety of Texas fishing adventures including fly fishing float trips in the hill country. Contact: guidesoftexas.com
Poppers dropped close to the banks brought almost instant strikes. Just a few twitches and it was 'fish on! '
Redear sunfish ('shellcrackers ' to the locals) eagerly gobbled up Bowman's poppers. This is a layed back trip that both novice or experienced fishermen will enjoy. The hill Country is located just 90 minutes north of San Antonio, so access is easy and good fishing can be found year-round.
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