Guadalupe Bass

Non-Trout pursuits

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Alex Argyros
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Guadalupe Bass

Post by Alex Argyros » Mon May 28, 2007 3:31 pm

As I've indicated in a previous post, I'm moving down to Austin in the near future. I look forward to joining the lease program and learning about Guadalupe River trout fishing, but in the interim, I'd also like to educate myself about Guadalupe bass. Therefore, a few questions:

1. Do Guadalupe bass rise to dry flies? If so, any recommendations?
2. Are there rivers more conducive to Guadalupes than others? Are there stretches with access that anyone could recommend? I am attracted to the idea of Guads because I like the kind of envirnonment I've read they favor: clear streams and faster water.

Any thanks would be appreciated.

Thanks,
Alex

mickmcco
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Post by mickmcco » Mon May 28, 2007 3:51 pm

Ron McAlpin and Jimbo Roberts are our resident experts on Guadalupes, but I can tell you they can be found in the Guadalupe (especially up high, near Hunt), Cibolo Creek, the Pedernales, and elsewhere. Though I've not heard of them hitting dry flies, they love streamers and nymphs. I've had my best luck on Cat's Whiskers and beadhead Prince nymphs. And yes, they do love fast, clear, clean water, just like trout.
Mickfly
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bhigdon

Post by bhigdon » Mon May 28, 2007 8:33 pm

Try a rubber leg popper.....

Jimbo Roberts
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Post by Jimbo Roberts » Mon May 28, 2007 11:55 pm

For top water fishing I like Balsa Minipi Bugs, Sliders, and foam Grasshoppers in various colors for Bass on top. I haven't thrown to many true dry flies to catch them but various imitative flies like Stimulators, Madam X, Turk's Tarantula and most foam Stoneflies or Salmonflies should also work. Remember that Bass are very curious and they will take almost anything at one time or another. The Guadalupe Bass are found throughout the Hill country rivers of central Texas, their native range. Jimbo

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Ron Mc
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Post by Ron Mc » Wed May 30, 2007 12:01 pm

I have seen them taking damsels and tricos off the surface at tailouts, and have caught them on a swinging BWO dropper.

When we had the major moth episodes last summer, you could pound the fish everywhere with red poppers. I was catching little fish with their bellies distended from the moths (and big fish were rising for them, too)

I bet for ten years, I fished nothing but small poppers and sliders for these fish and was very happy with the results.

Usually, though, down deep at the heads of pools and pocketwater will find the most fish. When I learned to stand in the chutes and at the heads of pools, combing the current seams with a sinking line and streamer, I went from a few fish to 40-, 60-, even 100-fish days.

I stood in this spot (actually on the gravel upriver to the right) and caught 7 spotted bass with a T130 sinking line and cats whisker
Image

Image
then I walked around to the tailout and had 2 more take my streamer just when it hit the water - I'm sure they were cueing on damsels.

In a wetter year like this, we may be waiting awhile to fish most of the middle rivers. The river was running about 150 cfs in the photo above, and this part of the river will probably run 500-600 cfs through most of this summer (1190 cfs today). Best bet is going to be the headwaters- also the western rivers should fish well - Hunt for the Guadalupe; Harper for the Pedernales; the forks of the San Gabriel should fish very well this summer.

A-strain fish exist only in Johnson Creek, which is a main tributary of the upper Guadalupe with no public access. There are also stocked fish in the Sabinal, Frio and Nueces out west.
Ron Mc

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Post by mickmcco » Wed May 30, 2007 12:58 pm

According to Gary Garrett of TPWD's Heart of the Hill Research Center, there are also pure strain Guadalupes in Cibolo Creek at the Nature Center. He's working on a project with the Center to take spawners from Cibolo, raise their progeny in the hatchery, then restock nearby streams with pure strain Guads.
Mickfly
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Ron Mc
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Post by Ron Mc » Wed May 30, 2007 1:19 pm

I don't think so, Mick, but I could be wrong. There are many largemouths at the Nature Center - big ones. I know they don't hybridize as readily with largemouths as with smallmouths, but they do hybridize with largemouths.
My buddy caught a sizeable largemouth from the Boerne Lake spillway.
So I would be very surprised if there were A-strain fish there.
But I do agree that most of the pocketwater bass at the Nature Center have the characteristics of endemic Guadalupe bass, and are a hoot to catch.
Ron Mc

mickmcco
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Post by mickmcco » Wed May 30, 2007 3:18 pm

I attended a meeting of the Texas Master Naturalist Chapter in Kerrville last summer where Garrett made his presentation on the topic of Guadalupe Bass Restoration. Several of the Cibolo Master Naturalists were there, and one of the main reasons they showed up was the joint project they have going with Garrett and the hatchery since it had been confirmed by DNA testing that the Guadalupes they had worked with Garrett to retrieve from the Nature Center waters were in fact pure strain Guadalupes.

Who am I to argue with the experts?
Mickfly
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Ron Mc
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Post by Ron Mc » Wed May 30, 2007 3:41 pm

well that is good information, thanks.
surprising, but good information.

I like to think of the beautiful hen in my photo above as the type example of Guadalupe bass, but considering her home and probable genetics in Waring, she only counts as mostly.


to appropriately salt expert-reverence, it was professional biologists in the '70s that elected to stock smallmouth in the Blanco River and brought the endemic bass in that watershed to extinction. :?

and as I've already said, finding any remaining pure strains of our state fish is good news, and even better when we can move the genetics of isolated strains around to safe headwaters.

p.s. Alex, the Hill Country Rivers thread below will show you some very nice water to find our river bass.
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pav
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Post by pav » Thu May 31, 2007 7:55 am

Can someone post pics of the tricos and damsel flies as well as some other flies mentioned n this thread. Or atleast point me in the right direction to find pics.
Thanx Paul
put off everything to go flyfishing

mickmcco
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Post by mickmcco » Thu May 31, 2007 9:42 am

Dr. Garrett was very clear in his presentation on the Guadalupe Bass Restoration Project that the reason they were having to work so hard to restore the Guadalupes was the misguided and overzealous effort by TPWD to stock smallmouth bass in the past.

The same can be said of the Texas state fisheries organization in the early 1900s that stocked rainbow trout on top of the native Rio Grande Cutthroats in McKittrick Creek. McKittrick now holds the only self sustaining wild trout population in Texas, and they're all rainbows.
Mickfly
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Ron Mc
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Post by Ron Mc » Thu May 31, 2007 4:16 pm

clouds of tricos on a June afternoon

Image
many species of this fly are widespread in the south
a little fly with a big footprint on the water

the damselflies the day I was describing were red, but there are blue, black and olive, as well. We learned from Dr. Jackman a couple of years ago that there are 600 species of damselflies in TX.



understand, Mick, just reminding that the appropriate salt should generally be applied

I would rather see the endemic fish protected instead of stocked. I also understand that hindsight is 20-20.
Ron Mc

Alex Argyros
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Guadalupe Bass

Post by Alex Argyros » Thu May 31, 2007 8:19 pm

Thanks everyone for the excellent and informative replies. One more question: has anyone ever tried indicator fishing for Guadaloupes or Smallmouth (a big nymph under a yarn indicator, for example)?

Best,
Alex

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Ron Mc
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Post by Ron Mc » Thu May 31, 2007 8:35 pm

Seen Jimbo catching them that way everywhere, and probably Mick. Summertime nymph fishing in the tailrace will land a half-dozen little bass for every rainbow - the tailrace bass really carry the characteristics of smallmouth.
Ron Mc

Jimbo Roberts
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Post by Jimbo Roberts » Thu May 31, 2007 11:44 pm

Yeap, I indicator fish for Perch and Bass all the time. Mind you I catch more Perch than Bass and I rarely catch the Big ones this way. If I were just going after Bass I would usually use a woolly bugger or streamer fly, see Ron Cat Whisker. Still Bass make up about 1/10 to 1/3 of my creel when I'm nymph fishing with indicators. I am also a very big fan of Grasshopper patterns and small poppers or sliders. You would be amazed how well topwaters work all day long, day in day out, on our hill country streams. Jimbo

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