Texas Noob

Non-Trout pursuits

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d34dh0r53
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Texas Noob

Post by d34dh0r53 » Tue Aug 04, 2009 4:51 pm

So I'm a total noob to fishing in Texas. We moved here about 3 years ago and the fly fishing itch has been re-ignited by a quick detour to my old stomping grounds in northern Idaho during a family reunion, and I'm wondering what the public access policies/etiquite/rules are for the local creeks. I'm wanting to try my hand at bass fishing on a couple of the creeks in west Bexar county but it appears that most of the land surrounding them is private. Is the only access to water around here city/state parks and paying someone for the use of the river? Will I get shot if I park near a bridge and cast a couple and I happen to be on someones land? The idea of fishing in a park with a billion swimmers around just rubs me the wrong way, and to some extent so does paying someone to use their water, although not as much. If I have to pay every time I want to get a line wet it will severely limit my fishing as I have 3 income eating rug rats (anyone know a cure?). I am going to sign up to use the GRTU lease, but that is quite a ways from where I live (just north of Wiseman on Talley) and it seems to be geared towards trout fishing. I'm anxious to try trout in south Texas, but I think I may be a little spoiled having spent my youth trout fishing north Idaho and Montana ;) I really want to get out and catch some bass, but I don't want to a) get shot/yelled at b) go broke although I'd prefer the latter if that's the only option.

Thanks in advance for the help, hope to see you out there.

Dave

Danny S
Posts: 141
Joined: Tue Jan 02, 2007 9:09 am
Location: Helotes, TX

Re: Texas Noob

Post by Danny S » Wed Aug 05, 2009 3:56 am

Dave--you can park at most river crossings and access the rivers using the right-of-way; access immediately adjacent to the bridge. You do need to pay close attention to "no parking" signs--at some crossings, there is no parking within a hundred yards or so from the crossing. This is the case at one crossing two of us frequently visit. Even if you park legally and access the river legally, some landowners might challenge your right to be in the river (never happened to me, but has to some). In this case, it's best not to get into a bad situation and go find somewhere else to fish.

As a side note, you mentioned the term "creeks" in your post. Under Texas law, many "creeks" are not subject to the same access and use rights as a navigable river. They are not considered navigable, and that presents a whole new ball game.

Hope this helps some

Alex Argyros
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Re: Texas Noob

Post by Alex Argyros » Wed Aug 05, 2009 9:35 am

Danny gave you excellent advice. Let me just add that although the scenery on the Guad tailrace may not rival that of Montana, the quality of the trout will surprise you. Plus, it's nice to be able to fish for trout all winter and stream bass in the summer.

d34dh0r53
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Re: Texas Noob

Post by d34dh0r53 » Wed Aug 05, 2009 10:25 am

Danny, Alex,

Thanks for the advice, I've heard that the Trout are actually pretty nice in the Guad and I'm really looking forward to hooking into some.

What is the definition of "creek" in Texas? I use that term very loosely to describe flowing water that I could wade across, maybe getting up to my armpits and about a hundred yards wide. Although reading my definition I'm probably better describing a stream :) How far up/down stream do the right of way adjacency rules apply?

Thanks for all the help so far.

Dave

Danny S
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Location: Helotes, TX

Re: Texas Noob

Post by Danny S » Wed Aug 05, 2009 11:44 am

Not so sure you would be able to find a definition of a creek, but generally speaking, they would be smaller than a river--HA!

As for fishing around here, the rivers would include (hope I don't leave any out): Guadalupe (to include the North and South Forks west of Hunt), Perdenales, Blanco, Llano, Sabinal, Frio, and Medina. Some of the rivers appear more like a small creek in places, especially as you get near the headwaters (example is the Medina). I doubt you'll find any of our rivers here will be 100 yds wide, except in maybe certain sections. The only creeks I know of someone fishing are Cibolo Creek (you can park at the Nature Center just outside Boerne) and Leon Creek. Leon is primarily fished by folks who can get access to Lackland AFB.

Now to Rights-of-Way: Generally speaking, if you access the river by walking as close to the bridge as possible, you should not encounter any trespassing problems. Most rights-of way extend maybe 25 feet--give or take. Once you are in the river, you can wade as far as you wish up or down stream--as long as you stay in the river. There are state laws that describe the river bed where you are safe from trespassing. If I recall correctly, the law uses the phrase "median flow" with regard to where the public rights end. Many, many landowners have some sort of demarcation (signs, barbed wire fence, etc) that delineate their boundary. Some are legit and, in my opinion properly located. Some are questionable, but I don't challenge their boundary. A good rule of thumb, as long as you are in water, you're not violating trespassing laws.

Danny

d34dh0r53
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Re: Texas Noob

Post by d34dh0r53 » Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:50 pm

So I was driving around this evening with my kids and we started up at lake Medina and headed almost down to Castroville. There are three places that I was interested in, and I'm hoping some of you could shed some light on it. The first is the bridge just below the dam on Old Medina Dam Road. I definately does not look like they want you in the water there, there are barbed wire gates that go right up to the road and apparently it's owned by Medina Ranch. Can I jump off the bridge into the middle of the river and stay out of trouble, or will big guys with guns come?

The second place is the bridge that crosses the Medina just south of Paradise Canyon. I can tell they don't want you in the water there either, but it looks like there is access. I'm thinking about taking the wife and kids to Paradise Canyon some afternoon and wading downstream.

The third place is the bridge that crosses when you're on Demontell Lane just north of Castroville, that was a beautiful little stretch and there were no fences or signs posted at all, so I really feel like that is the place to get my feet wet the first couple of times.

Any of you been to any of these places? What are they biting on this time of year?

TIA,
Dave

Danny S
Posts: 141
Joined: Tue Jan 02, 2007 9:09 am
Location: Helotes, TX

Re: Texas Noob

Post by Danny S » Wed Aug 12, 2009 4:52 am

I have not fished any of the areas you describe. The only stretches of the Medina I've been on are those upstream from Bandera and mainly upstream of the town of Medina. I would say that if it looks like you don't have clean access, then you may not want to mess with it. There are plenty of places to access rivers that raise no questions, so you likely would not want to mess with places that are questionable.

There is a ranch upstream of the lake that some folks have mentioned provides fishing and access, and I believe there is a daily access fee. Not sure of the details. Maybe someone else can chime in about that and the section of the Medina you drove?

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