Fishing Reports for Shaffer Bend Recreation Area


  • A Description for Shaffer Bend Recreation Area
  • A map showing this fishing location

April 20, 2009 - Rod Viator

Begin and end times: 0713 hrs - 1234 hrs
Air Temperature, weather conditions: 65 sunrise, wind speed zero, 80 noon, wind speed 5-10 knots
Water temperature, water condition: cool and crystal clear.
Flies that worked: No. 8, grey over white Clouser with medium black chain bead eyes, with pearl flashabou in grey.

Arrived at the river near the Fish Rock at sunrise just early enough to catch a glimpse of 3-white tail deer enjoying a cool drink of water in Rod's Pool. Rigged up and made my way to the pool and heard wild turkeys coming to roost on the west bank of the river. Sunrise on a river is the best part of the day, any day. I fished alone at Rod's Pool for several hours and caught and released 9-white bass from the same spot. Most were 10-11 inches males and 1 being almost 12 inches. Pete Wilson arrived and made his way down to the pool. We noticed a lone Wild Turkey hen strutting along the opposite beach on her way to roost. Others from the SGFF arrived and began fishing the pool north of the Fish Rock. Don Johnson came over to where Pete and I were whipping the water to a froth, without success, and said he had a secret spot about a quarter mile upstream he was going to try. After an hour of mostly casting practice, Pete and I drove along the river road to where Don and 2-other members were fishing the cut bank side of the river with great success. I fished the narrow channel and rapids upstream about 200 feet of the others and caught and released an additional 2-WB. I had to leave after noon for an appointment, but had a great morning overall.

April 10, 2009 - Rod Viator

Begin and end times: 7:37 a.m. - 10:35 a.m.
Air Temperature, weather conditions: Arrived with temp @ 55 +-, wind dead calm, early. Upon departure, temp @ 70 +- with 25 knot winds from Northeast.
Water temperature, water condition: Don't know temp, didn't get my feet wet. Water crystal clear.
Flies that worked (size, color, pattern): Grey over white calf tail Clouser with 4-strands of pearl flashabou on either side of grey on No. 8 hook. Black medium anodized chain eyes. The only fly you should use.

I went to my secret pool about 150 yards from the Fish Rock as I described on my last outing. Fished the ripples downstream of the first rapids and caught and released 17 White Bass. All males at 10” +- and one fat boy over 12”. I also had 3-quick releases. No lady WB to be had. Only 6 other fishermen in the water, all around the big hole near Fish Rock. Saw 3 long rodders using flies with some success. Never had to change flies all morning. Thought this might be a good idea for the club outing on April 20th. The First Annual SGFF White Bass One Fly Tournament. This outing would be for the most WB caught on one fly for the day. All fishermen would be on the honor system. Yes, I know that's an oxymoron, but we have to start sometime and trust our fellow anglers. I'm too modest to mention the 19” 5.4 lb. Rainbow Trout I caught that day. Anyway, it is truly a Good Friday when you can catch and release a few fish. I've had so much fun on that river, I've renamed that spot as Rod's Pool, and left a marker for others. Look for the cairn.

April 4, 2009 - Don Johnson

Weather: Clear skies, light wind with occasional gusts
Water Quality: clear
Time Fishing: 8:00 AM – Noon
Flies that worked: Gray and black Clouser with black lead eyes

I went first to Camp Creek Park but caught only one white bass in about a half hour of fishing. Then I went down to Shaffer Bend an fished the same spot that Kent, Clint and Mike fished on Wednesday. I had a good day in terms of numbers, I caught well over thirty fish, but a poor day in terms of size. A little over half the fish were under ten inches, and the largest fish of the day was under twelve inches.

April 1, 2009 - Don Johnson

Weather: Clear skies and very windy
Water Quality: clear
Time Fishing: 4:00 PM – 7:45 PM
Flies that worked: Gray Clouser with black eyes
Fishing partners: Kent Conner, Clint Barton, Mike Ives

We fished a few hundred yards upstream from “fish rock”. There is a long narrow pool of deeper water running parallel to, and up against, the south bank. We waded three quarters of the way across the river to stand on a submerged sand bar and cast toward the south bank so we could retrieve through this deeper water. We each caught enough fish to make it a very good outing. I wasn’t counting, but I am sure I caught more than thirty fish; at one point I caught four fish on four successive casts. Clint and I each landed small carp, and Kent did a long distance release on one. We used the usual white bass flies. I had the best luck on number 8 Clouser minnows with small black lead eyes and sparse bodies in black over gray or light blue. On average, the fish seemed smaller than on previous trips. My largest fish was not much over twelve inches and there were a lot of non-keepers.

It was very very windy - cinch up your chin strap to keep your hat from blowing away windy! If we hadn’t been catching fish the wind probably would have blown us off the water after about an hour. There was some sort of a snag on the bottom in front of where Clint and I were fishing, and we each lost four or five flies to this snag. I guess that is the price you pay for keeping your fly on the bottom where the fish are.

March 29, 2009 - Randy Johnson

Weather: 45 degrees up to 75 degrees in the afternoon, very little wind until late
Water Quality: 59 Degrees, very clear
Time Fishing: 10:00 AM – 2:30 PM
Flies that worked: Gray Clouser with black eyes

Don Johnson and I went to Shaffer Bend on another white bass expedition. After trying the large hole below “Fish Rock”, Don came upriver to where I was, about 800 yards upstream. I was having no luck at the very head of the pool, so Don went about 100 yards downstream and waded out on the large sandbar, almost to the other bank, so that he could cast into the deepest part of this pool. He immediately started catching fish, and for the better part of two hours, we stayed in the same location, and caught about 80 fish. Don did much better than I did, primarily because he had a full sinking line and I had a sink tip. He probably caught about 60 of the 80, and all males. In the photos, you can see Don’s typical position all day, with his rod bent with another white bass on the line. The other photo shows another reason he was so successful. He stuck his rod tip under water, all the way to the bottom, during his retrieve. This keeps the fly as close as possible to the bottom, which is the key to catching a lot of fish. Don and I had doubles on eleven times!!

Our only disappointment was a very large fish Don hooked and played for 3-4 minutes. The fish was big enough that we never saw it, and the hook finally pulled out. Hey, it’s the “one that got away”!

March 26, 2009 - Don Johnson

Location: Camp Creek Park , upstream from Shaffer Bend
Weather: sixties, overcast and foggy
Water Quality: Clear
Time Fishing: 8:30am to 12:30pm

Instead of going to Shaffer Bend, I went a little upstream to Camp Creek Park . I had two reasons for choosing Camp Creek: 1) I wanted to see if any white bass have made it up that far, hoping to find a place to fish that is less crowded than Shaffer Bend, and 2) I was driving my little Corolla, and I am not sure it is up to the roads in Shaffer Bend, especially after the recent rains. When I arrived at the park and started to gear up, I discovered that I had brought my sinking line spool but had forgotten to bring the reel itself. I ended up stripping some line off the spool, putting the spool into the front pocket of my waders, and holding a cast’s worth of line looped in my stripping hand; not a very satisfactory situation. The next time somebody tells you the only reason you need a reel for fishing warm fresh water is to hold the line, don’t underestimate how important just holding the line is. I waded across the river, walked to a long deep hole about one quarter mile down stream, and began fishing. I caught about four white bass in about thirty minutes. I then noticed that the current had increased noticeably since I first arrived, and I decided that I had better get back to the north side of the river while I still could. I walked back upstream to my crossing point, near the park, and crossed back. The north side’s river bank, rocky in some places and slippery mud in others, falls from a dense tree line steeply down to the water. I struggled over this terrain, thankful that I had brought my wading staff, back down to the big pool and began fishing. I caught only one more fish in an hour of fishing and then decided that, with poor luck and a fly line that was constantly becoming tangled in my free hand; I wasn’t having enough fun to keep it up. Overall it was a frustrating day; at least I didn’t slip down the steep bank into the deep pool and drown!

The only reason I have posted this dismal report is to let people know that at least some white bass have made it quite a bit up river from Shaffer Bend. As the season progresses Camp Creek may offer a less crowded opportunity to fish.

March 21, 2009- Bruce Wilks

Water Temp: 66
Air Temp: 81
Water Quality: Off color to clear
Time Fishing: 8:30am to 12:30pm
Fishing partners: Greg, Blake, and Lindy

Sat morning at Shaffer Bend I caught about 18 whites at Shaffer in the morning along with some small blacks. Greg caught a bunch of whites and 4 or 5 blacks… We caught fish on at least three different flies, but the most productive was the Black/Blue clouser… My girl friend Lindy caught her 2nd fish and first white bass on a fly rod after only 2 hours of instructions on casting and how to fish for white bass… Lindy ended up with three fish on her first trip… Blake caught at least 18 whites… After we eat lunch we left Shaffer and headed towards the Llano River at About 1:30pm…

March 20, 2009 - Rod Viator

Begin and end times: 8:11am - 12:35pm
Air temperature, weather conditions: 51° and clear am and 81° pm and clear, wind dead calm till noon, then 10-15 mph from Southeast
Water temperature, water condition: Unsure of temperature. Water was crystal clear.
Flies that worked:Clouser Minnow, Size 8 TMC 811S, Gray over White Kiptail, Black Eyes with 4 strands Flashabou through gray.

Arrive at the park to discover only 7-fisherman working the big pool below the granite slab. There was 1-canoe, 2-kayaks, and 1-zodiac positioned in the pool and the assortment of bait slingers and lure chunkers surrounding the area. I moved down about 2-hundred yards up stream to the first riffle, away from the smell of the bait. By noon there were 28-fishermen corraled around the pool. All alone by the riffles on my 3rd cast I was into White Bass. I managed to catch 20-males, all about 10-11 inches and had 5-quick releases. That’s a bag limit where I come from. After loosing 4-Clouser calftail flies, I switched to the same color pattern in marabou, same black eyes. I think the eyes are the key in this clear water and I will not fish without them. They sure got the attention of the fish, they shreaded that fly. Even on the pick-up to recast, I would take a strike! If conditions stay the same and water temperature is more conducive, I’m sure the ladies will be moving upstream for a little action very soon. I didn’t move more than 60 feet all morning and marked my position on the river. Look for the cairn.

March 16, 2009 - Don Johnson

Begin and end times: 4:00 pm to 8:10 pm
Air temperature, weather conditions: low 80’s, clear blue sky
Water temperature, water condition: Clear water, Lake travis at 654ft, about 26 feet below conservation pool level
Flies that worked: #8 black over light blue clouser with small lead eyes

Books Bouldin, Clint Barton, and I fished Shaffer Bend this evening. For the first few hours fishing was fairly slow. Things started to pick up around 7:00, and the fishing was quite good from about 7:20 till we left the water at dark (about 8:10); at one point Brooks caught four fish on four successive casts. I wasn’t counting fish, but I believe I probably caught approximately thirty, with at lest half coming after 7:00. The fish ranged between nine inches to near thirteen inches, with most between ten and twelve inches. Clint fished a while from the big rock on the far side of the river, but most of our fishing was done from the sand bar on the near side of the river. Unlike my last trip here, today there was no current.

March 10, 2009 - Clint Barton

It was a great day on the river! I got to the water around 5:15pm and there was NO wind! I managed to catch 2 small black bass and 27 white bass before sundown. All but one looked to be males so I don't think the females have arrived yet. I caught the first 6 or 7 on small light colored clousers and caught all the rest on a larger black and white clouser.

March 10, 2009 - Don Johnson

Begin and end times: 7:30 AM to 10:30 AM
Air temperature, weather conditions: 70’s to low 80’s, Overcast
Water temperature, water condition: Clear water, Lake travis at 654ft, about 26 feet below conservation pool level
Flies that worked: #8 black over light blue clouser with small lead eyes

I started with a #8 gray Cypert minnow, and, though I caught one or two whites, I was being out fished significantly by the two spin fishermen who were on the water with me. I was about to change flies when I hooked, and landed, a 20 inch hybrid striper. This is the first fish in a long time that has shown me my backing (admittedly, I had my drag set very light). I switched to a #8 black over light blue clouser with small lead eyes, and I began catching a lot of white bass. I was at least holding my own, if not besting, the spin fishermen. I wasn’t keeping a detail fish count, but I believe I landed well over 20 whites. Most of the fish were in the ten to eleven inch range, but a few were over twelve inches.

I spent the entire day fishing on the sand bar across from the big rock locally know as “fish rock”. I was fishing where the two fishermen are standing in the accompanying photo. I believe there was more current today than there was on the day of the club’s white bass outing on March 7, and there was a lot less wind!

March 7, 2009

See the report report for the club outing to Shaffer Bend.

February 26, 2009 - Don Johnson

Begin and end times: 7:30 AM to 10:30 AM
Air temperature, weather conditions: 70’s, Overcast
Water temperature, water condition: Clear water, Lake travis at 654ft, about 26 feet below conservation pool level
Flies that worked: #8 clousers in grey, light chartreuse, and smoke blue.

With very warm weather the previous day and overcast skies this morning, I had high hopes. I caught a white bass, about 11 inches, within the first five minutes, and I had even higher hopes. However, that was the last white bass of the day. I ended up catching the one white, three LMB (the largest about 13 inches), and one smallish carp. All the fish came on small, white bass style, clousers in grey, light chartreuse, and smoke blue.

For most of the morning I was the only person fishing. One older gentleman came to fish with a spinning rod for a while. He said he had been fishing at noon the previous day and the upstream dam had been releasing water. He gave the friendly warning that if I happened to be on the wrong side of the river when they started generating, and if I wasn’t being alert for the beginning of the increased flow, that I might get trapped on the opposite side from my car. He said that people fishing at this spot have been catching whites and crappie, with better results near dusk. I got the impression that he lived near by and came down fairly frequently to see if the fish are hitting, with the attitude that when they’re hot they’re hot and when they’re not they’re not. He left after about thirty minutes of unproductive casting.

While I was fishing, a flock of turkeys walked down to the river and flew across to the other side. A pretty sight.

February 16, 2009 - Randy Johnson

Begin and end times: 10:00 AM til Noon
Air temperature, weather conditions: High 50’s, Clear
Water temperature, water condition: 57 degrees and clear
Flies that worked: Nothing

Brooks Bouldin, Don Johnson, and I went on a scouting expedition to check out Shaffer Bend Park on the upper end of Lake Travis, and to see whether it would make a good outing location for a white bass outing for the Club. The location is great, and we likely found the upper limit of where the fish can go upstream to spawn, but the spawning run hasn’t started yet. We didn’t catch any, and we didn’t see anyone catching fish. One guy told me he caught 4 small whites (probably males). The females aren’t there yet. This will make a great location for an outing, since people can fish with or without flotation. We will monitor the situation and try to plan a Club outing in the next few weeks.