Fishing Reports for the Llano at Castell

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July 7, 2008 - Don Johnson

I left Georgetown at about 5:00AM, stopped in Llano for breakfast, and got on the water at about 7:00AM. Fishing conditions were great: there was plenty enough water flow (120 cfs upstream at Mason), the sky was partly cloudy and became more cloudy as the day went on. I fished upstream from the bridge, and I was the only one on the river, on either side of the bridge. The wading was easy and the river was full of the current seams, rocks, and pockets that Guadalupe Bass like. However, except for one nice catfish, I had very little luck, catching only a few six inch bass and five inch sunfish. I tried Llano bugs, black and olive woolly buggers, and chartreuse and white Clousers, but no luck. Good weather, good water, the right flies; nothing to blame but me.

I fished upstream then worked my way back down to the bridge by about 11:00AM. I decided to cross the bridge and fish the downstream side for a while. As I started to make my first cast, I noticed that my rod tip was broken. When I climbed over the bridge I had slipped and had to put my hands down to keep from falling. Though I didn’t notice it at the time, I must have hit the rod tip on the concrete bridge face when I put my hands down. Last year when I fished this crossing I broke a rod tip when freeing it from some brush.

Poor fishing with nothing but me to blame. Two broken rods. I think I will try somewhere else on the Llano.

August 16, 2007 - Don Johnson

I got on the water at about 7:15 AM and fished upstream from the bridge. The water was clear and the wading was not difficult, and I had the river all to myself. The USGS flow gauge at Mason read 364cfs and the one at Llano read 288cfs. When I first started, I took a few sunfish and small bass (ten inches or less) on a popper, but that activity soon died out. I switched to a grey and white clouser and took a few more small bass, but the fishing was slow. I tried black wooly buggers and olive wooly buggers with no success. While walking through the brush on one of the riverís islands, I snagged my rod tip in the brush behind me. Instead of stepping back to free the rod, I gave it a tug and then a shake. This was a mistake and resulted in a broken rod tip; lesson learned. The tiptop broke off, down to the first line guide, (fortunately the TFO folks will replace it for a minimal fee). I continued fishing a while, but the broken rod tip didnít improve my casting. Thursday August 16 was the day that tropical storm Erin hit the Texas coast, and by 9:30 AM I could see dark clouds to the south. With a broken rod, relatively poor fishing, and a tropical storm on the way, I decided, at about 10:00 AM to call it a day. By the time I got back to my car and changed into dry clothes the rain had begun.

Despite the tripís frustrations, I will come back to this place, or at least to the neighboring crossings. The river is beautiful, and I am sure the fish are there; I just need to learn how to catch them.

As I said above, when I left the river at about 9:30 AM the flow at the Mason flow gauge was 364cfs and tropical storm Erin was arriving. By 6:39 AM the next morning the flow peaked at 23,500cfs and the height gauge whet from went from below two feet to almost twelve feet. I am glad I didnít wait a day to go fishing!