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Fly Fishing In The Texas Hill Country: Tips From A Local Expert

Ready To Try Out Your Fly Fishing Skills In The Hill Country? Here’s Where To Start.

If you want to unwind in the beauty and tranquility of the great outdoors, take up fly fishing! It's a fantastic sport that lets you hone a skill and enjoy Texas waterbodies to their fullest – wading into a babbling stream is hard to beat when you’re ready to relax! Our own fly fishing expert, Anthony Atwell, not only enjoys this sport himself, but has spent years guiding and instructing others in the art. Talking with him about fly fishing has given us the “bug” (no pun intended) to try it out!

In our latest blog, we tapped into his expertise to round up the best tips and tricks for fly fishing in the Texas Hill Country. Whether you’re a beginner, or you have a few years of experience under your belt, these ideas will help you level up your fly fishing skills.

Fly Fishing Tips: From Fish Facts to Bait

There are 5 key areas of fly fishing. Before you can become successful, it’s important to grasp each of these:

The Fish - if you were a fish, where would you feed and what would you eat? The seam, a.k.a. the edge of slow and faster water, is what they like. Fish all levels of the water - top, middle, bottom - until you find the most productive level. 

Equipment - use a fly rod that you can utilize in medium and large streams, as well as small and medium rivers. Anthony’s favorite rod is the Sage 9' VPS Graphite III, Ross Reel, with a #5  floating line, 5x leader 9', and 5x-6x tippet.

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Bugs & Entomology - learn your bugs that work in spring, summer, fall, and winter, as there will be some variation.  We recommend checking out to stay up to date. Always ask your local fish shop what they recommend or hire a local fly fish guide! In general, smaller bugs often catch the biggest fish. 

Technique - It is a great idea to practice casting in your yard, over grass. Casting line only, setup targets from 10' to 40'. Start with small, slow casts until you hit the first target consistently, then cast further. When you are on a moving river, start with shorter casts in slower water, and practice mending line so your fly moves with the current naturally.  

Research & Prep – A quick Google search is always recommended to check weather, water flows, and seasonal fly fishing tips. Every river and stream are a bit different, so learn in advance. This will save you time and frustration! When you are on the water, watch the water itself and the air above it. You'll notice when the fish hatch and go on a feeding frenzy! 

If you want more in-depth tips on fly fishing the Hill Country, or you’re looking for a guide to help get you started, check out Anthony’s website to learn more. 

The Best Fly Fishing Spots in the Texas Hill Country

There are fantastic fishing spots all over the Hill Country where you can spend time by babbling streams and placid lakes to unplug from hectic daily life. Lots of Texas state parks and natural areas have beautiful bodies of water that are home to fish like the trout pictured above. These are 5 of our favorite locations for fly fishing:

1. Blanco River. Located in Blanco State Park, you don't even need a license to enjoy the fishing experience here! The river is home to sunfish, rainbow trout, channel catfish, Guadalupe bass & largemouth, so you'll have plenty of options to catch!

2. Cypress Creek. Starting at Jacob's Well and flowing into the Blanco River, Cypress Creek is a highlight of Wimberly, Texas. These crystal clear waters are a trout-fishers dream!

3. Pedernales River. Not only does this river offer excellent fishing opportunities, but Pedernales Falls State Park features gorgeous, cascading waters to provide an incredible view.

4. Guadalupe River. This is one of the most popular fly fishing spots in Texas for a reason! It's teeming with brown trout, rainbow trout, bass, and in some stretches of the river even Rio Grande cichlid (the only species of its kind native to the U.S.)

5. Canyon Lake. A sizeable body of water like Canyon Lake offers a wide range of fishing options (and plenty of boating too). The reservoir is home to many different bass (largemouth, smallmouth, etc.) but is especially well-rated for white bass, striped bass, and catfish.

Start Your Fly Fishing Adventure

Ready to begin your fly fishing journey in the Texas Hill Country? The Hill Country is full of unique adventures and opportunities to explore the outdoors, and fly fishing is among our favorites. Be sure to brush up on the most recent Texas rules and regs before casting your line, and keep these tips (and great locations) in mind!

If you’re looking for other ideas for outdoor adventures here the Hill Country stay tuned to our blog and events page (we do everything from hikes to rock climbing). Better yet, join our AdventureOn membership and become eligible for tons of outdoor gear giveaways from brands like LifeStraw and Cauldryn Coffee, plus discounts on lots of other outdoor equipment.


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