Fishing Reports for
The San Gabriel above Granger Lake, “The Steps”


March 15, 2017 - Jim Kettleman

Fished for 2 1/2 hours this morning at the steps. I caught 15. Mix of males and females. Big fish of the day was over 15“.

February 24, 2017 - Jim Kettleman

The whites are running at granger - the steps.   I fished from 1:30pm to 5:30.   There were at least 30 cars at the steps.  I went upstream and fished several locations above the crowds and caught 17 fish from 1:30 to 4:00pm.     I then went by the steps for another hour and caught at least ten more fish working my way down to the steps, most right were the trail comes down to the river.   All fish were males and most were in the 10“ to 12“ range.

I also found pristine spear point on a gravel bar.

December 31, 2010 - Rod Viator

Begin and end times: 0900 hrs - 1200 hrs
Air Temperature, weather conditions: 58 degrees +-, wind from the North 30 mph +
Water temperature, water condition: Water temperature brisk and clear, moderate flow and clear.
Flies that worked: No. 8 Gray over White Clouser with black bead chain eyes

Met Tim Nickels on the river about 0900 hrs. Tim had luck with Black over White Clousers and caught a dozen white bass that I witnessed. I caught a blue gill to start and then 5-White Bass males all under 10". Tim reported better luck yesterday in the late afternoon from 2-4 pm. I saw 2-other fisherman with approximately 4-legal female White Bass each. The fish seem to be holding in the deeper holes in the bend of the river and deeper seams.

April 6, 2010 - Tim Nickels

Begin and end times: 2pm – 3:30 pm
Air Temperature, weather conditions: 80° very windy
Water temperature, water condition: comfortable for wet wading, getting clearer, flows low enough that you can now wade across, river is in really nice shape
Flies that worked: none

Thought it might be good, only caught some dink crappie/sunfish. Saw a couple guys with 3 or 4 little ones on a stringer, not much action there. Water was perfect and I tried all the usually good holes with no luck.

March 28, 2010 - Tim Nickels

Begin and end times: 3pm - 8pm
Air Temperature, weather conditions: Clear, sunny, 70°, breezy
Water temperature, water condition: Comfortable for wading, visibility ~ 3-4ft
Flies that worked: Small beadhead streamers olive & white, anything immitating a minnow
Description of the fishing spot: I fished above the steps at the first good hole and didn't do any good, saw a couple caught on minnows. Fished below the steps on the far side, caught most fish there. Tried the hole at the steps on my way out and caught a niced crappie, nothing else, that hole had 4 people in it all day long

It wasn't as busy as the Steps can get on a Sunday afternoon but there were people in all the usual holes, including the usual family of 6-8 with kids throwing rocks in the water, dad drinking a beer, mom wading in the middle of the fish with her Zebco spinning outfit with 20lb test line, 3 massive split shots, a snap swivel and 5" long mister twister grub.

Took about an hour to figure out the fish, ended up catching around a dozen whites and 4 big crappie. Whites were all 9-11” inches, nothing very big. Fishing a 6wt with floating line, a 5' section of 4 IPS sinking tip, furled fluoro leader. I don't think it was too key having it down deep, quick strip retrieve worked pretty well and setting the hook required some learning to start getting things consistently. I only saw one good batch of fish between two guys, no one else was catching anything using minnows and lures. I think they're still in there pretty thick, someone a little more skilled could probably double my numbers. I did have some streaks with 5 fish in a row caught. River is still too high to wade across but the big tree fallen across the river below the steps is easily traversed (well, was for me).

February 28, 2010 - Tim Nickels

Begin and end times: Tejas - 10 am, Steps 2-3:30 pm
Air Temperature, weather conditions: Beautiful sunny day, pretty windy though
Water temperature, water condition: The N San Gabe above Georgetown Lake is very, very cold, too cold to wet wade but ok to be in briefly. Water was nice and clear, flowing pretty good. Steps - water is flowing strong with a bit of discoloration, temperature is comfortable enough for wading. Current is too strong to cross river at normal crossing spot.

The bridge area at Tejas was overrun with boy scouts when I was there, but there were numerous trucks parked there with people headed downstream towards the lake, I actually hiked upstream from Ronald Reagan not fishing, but I didn't see any fish anyways.

Checked out the steps Sun afternoon, lots of people but no fish that I could tell. Spent about an hour throwing clousers and beadhead streamers with no luck, conditions were nice though. There is a l ot of mud in some area, went in almost to my hip once. No bites, couldn't see anyone getting any bites.

February 28, 2010 - Don Johnson

This is just a scouting report, not a fishing report. I took a Sunday drive over to the white bass fishing spots around Granger Lake: the Hwy 95 crossing of the San Gabriel at Circleville, the “Steps”, the primitive boat launch, and Willis Creek. All four places had cars in the parking lot, with a lot of cars at the “steps”. I stopped and visited with fishermen at all four places. Nobody had caught any fish or had seen anybody catch fish, but several of the fishermen had heard reports of people having good luck last weekend.

March 19, 2009 - Tim Nickels

Begin and end times: 2:00pm to 8:00pm
Air temperature, weather conditions: 80° and clear/sunny/hot
Water temperature, Water condition: Unsure of temp. it was comfortable wading. Water was off color/stained green
Flies the worked: Unnamed- bead head streamer size 10-14 in olive over white, olive craft fur/marabou over white egg veil with some pearl flash

My first trip to the steps, had to see what it was all about. Hoped for peace and quiet but there were 20 cars at the parking area and the river full of kids. Went upstream to the first big pool, saw 2 guys fly fishing at the bottom of the pool catching fish every cast or every other cast with a couple of limits on a stringer. Took me 30 minutes to find the key, after which I caught 40-50 fish in the next 6 hours, non-stop action. However, for all the people I saw fishing there, no one else was catching hardly anything. It is easy to see why so many reports indicate that the white bass run is not happening or they’re all small or whatever, it’s because most people lack even the most basic fishing skills to catch them. Catching the fish was fun but, it was more fun to walk up on a group of 6 or 7 guys that had been watching bobbers all day long, and catch a dozen fish in front of them in 30 minutes. I even gave away a bunch of my flies to kids to help them out, and showed people what I was using etc.

Anyways, the fish were all small males though most I believe would have been legal. I don’t typically eat fish and didn’t keep any. The fish were typically in the deep pools where there was current, I didn’t feel that they were holding on the bottom but deeper usually worked better. I initially tried white and yellow combinations of clousers, but going to my tried and true little olive streamer was the ticket. I have a feeling that small beadhead olive wooly buggers would have worked as well, perhaps small olive Cypert’s too. The key was small with some pearl flash I think. The fish really turned on at dusk, taking flies more readily near the surface. By the time I left at dark, my fly was just a hook with a bead and little bit of material left on it, and they were still smashing it, so small was the key it seemed. I was using my 6wt since I thought I’d be throwing heavy clousers/Cypert’s but I wish I had taken my 4wt instead (mainly because i’s just a much nicer rig). But, those 10-12” still gave me quite a workout even with the 6wt. I was using a furled fluorocarbon leader which probably helped me get down some, tippet was 5lb but didn’t seem to matter due to water clarity, which was perfect for hiding my presence but clear enough that the fish had no problem finding the fly.

April 2, 2008 - Bob Brooks

Time: 8:00 AM to 12:00 Noon
Club Members: Bob Bruner & Bob Brooks
Fish caught: White Bass and Crappie
Number: 53 total

There were a lot of folks fishing today all up and down the river. Bob and I fished the same spots we fished yesterday. Weather was cloudy and the wind was light. The fish were biting but not as good as yesterday even though the total catch was higher. I used a sparsely tied Clouser in a size 1 0 tied with white buck tail and green crystal flash with black bead chain eyes. The shank was wrapped with green wire. Bruner used various flies but the white wooly bugger did the number for Him again. It was a good morning the whites and crappie were not very large but some good keepers. The water flow was fair.

March 31, 2008 - Bob Brooks

Time: 8:00 AM to 11:30 AM
Club Members: Bob Bruner & Bob Brooks
Fish caught: White Bass and Crappie
Number: 47 total
Comments: There were only 3 others fishing on the river when we arrived, all at the same spot, the riffle below the steps. Weather was cloudy and very windy but the fish were biting. I used a sparsely tied Clouser in a size 10 tied with white buck tail and green crystal flash with black bead chain eyes. The shank was wrapped with green wire. Bruner used various flies but the white wooly bugger did the number for Him. It was a good morning the whites and crappie were good size. The water flow was fair.

March 9, 2008 - Doug Cornwell

Fished between 6:45 and 9:45; air temp was around 35-40 degrees. The report is not much different than a month ago. Four white bass and six crappie on red/white and chart./white shallow water clousers.

During the last couple weekends I have seen a couple of stingers with 15-20 fish, but most are community stringers - one person is keeping fish and others are adding to his stringer. I have not seen anyone catching large numbers on live bait, spinning gear, or flyrods.

February 17, 2008 - Doug Cornwell

BEGIN AND END TIMES: 7:15 - 9:50
WATER TEMPERATURE, WATER CONDITION: Brown stained water due to recent rains.
FLIES THAT WORKED: small shallow water clouser in red/white. Red/white & chart. curly tailed grubs.
DESCRIPTION OF THE OUTING: One white, two small blacks, and eight crappie (most over 10"). Still waiting on the white bass run to start.

February 3, 2008 - Doug Cornwell

BEGIN AND END TIMES: 7:00 - 9:30
FLIES THAT WORKED: small shallow water clousers in white/chart, white/red
DESCRIPTION OF THE OUTING: Large numbers of white have *not* made it up to the steps yet. Caught 4 crappie and 2 - 10” male white bass.

February 8, 2007 - Al Kirchner

I read a report today on Texas Fly Fishers web site that white bass are starting their run. The water temperature was reported to be 59 degrees.