Weekend Angler: Austin
The Blanco is a classic Hill Country river varying from a wide deep river to a mite of a trickle. The biggest factor influencing the flows are rainy or drought conditions. The river flows across heavy limestone flats and drop-offs. The banks are lined with cypress trees, making for a beautiful backdrop. The predominant species include smallmouth bass, Guadalupe bass, perch, and the occasional largemouth bass. The feisty hand-sized perch always seem eager to gulp in a fly (great for teaching someone new how to fly fish).
The best fishing tends to be during times of low flows, when the bass and perch hold up in the limestone crevices, deeper pools, and deep pockets around the dams. Several good public access points are located near bridges and low water crossings. Anglers looking to get away from the heavily fished areas should wade up or downstream of the put-in areas. During times of higher flows wading can be downright dangerous on the monkey-greased limestone. Floating in a canoe or personal pontoon craft is a great way to cover the water during high conditions.
Fly rodders should have their boxes filled with the basics for bass and perch: Clouser Minnows, Deceivers, Grinnel Flies, Woolly Buggers, Zonkers, Muddler Minnows, damsel/dragonfly nymphs, and caddis larvae. The smallmouth and largemouth bass often aggressively take a fast retrieved pattern while the perch will take a slower retrieved pattern; the best technique is to mix up fast retrieves with slow.
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication
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