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On the hour and a half drive from Austin to Castell, TX i noticed that i seemed to be throttling the steering wheel with an increasingly tight grip, eager in anticipation for the fishing possibility that laid at the end of this seemingly endless stream of asphalt. This was after all a spot that offered up trout in the double digits in years past, being as they were, uneducated and farm raised trout, naive enough to swallow almost any threaded concoction that crossed their path. Oh the sweet memories of cast and take on the beautiful Llano.

The Llano river flowing through Castell, TX is just as dramatic and scenic as any stretch of the Llano, replete as it is with well worn limestone, sand bars, shallow riffles and deep well worn holes that hosts a variety of species during the warmer months. Twice during the winter though it is a heavenly repository to a small amount of TPWD (Texas Park and Wildlife) stocked trout that temporarily turn this warm water fishery into a rainbow trout run that is not only challenging but also a visually stunning testament to the unbridled scenery that is the Texas Hill Country.

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Running into a fellow fly fisherman, we struck up a conversation that included all the key points that fellow anglers usually discuss, flows, weather, and what is or isn’t working. In a wonderfully kind gesture however, the gentleman offered me one of his hand tied flies to try, a fly that was honestly quite beautiful in its simplicity. Parting ways, i strode from rock to rock with well selected care, my feet hardly protected from needles and abrasion due to the fact that it was eighty degrees and i was wet wading with nothing more than Chacos providing the most shallow of protection between sharp things and my already cracked and cut feet.

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It was a far cry from days of yore, in fact it was a major victory when i eventually enticed one especially gullible trout to go for a nymph just about the size of a clipped nail. Still, it was an incredible feeling to be on “trout waters” so remote, beautiful and far away from the throngs of well intentioned anglers that lately have overpopulated the Guadalupe.

Sure the TPWD stocked trout are significantly smaller than the GRTU stocked fish on the Guadalupe, but one can easily downsize to a 2-3WT (or a light Tenkara) and experience some wonderfully playful moments in some of the most scenic waters and scenery that Texas has to offer.

Note: TPWD was scheduled to re-stock the Llano with trout yesterday (01/12/17)  and though i was there from 12-2PM i never saw a tanking truck. I assume they stocked it later, but if you have any information please leave a comment to this post!

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Majestic and entrancing. That’s about all i can say.

Check out www.hooke.ca for more awesomeness.

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If you’ve been fishing the Guadalupe but have wanted to catch trout on your own flies this is the must attend event of the year. Chris at Living Waters will be releasing knowledge bombs this Saturday at his shop, Living Waters in Round Rock, TX.

Please let them know you heard about it here!

Saturday, January 7th – Fly Tying for Guadalupe Trout

All fly tying instruction will be shown on the projector, so every seat in the house is a good one!  Bring a notepad and a pen!

9:00 A.M. – Doors Open / Round Rock Donuts / Coffee

10:00 A.M. – Dries and Attractor Patterns / Presenter:  Chris Johnson

Chris will tie through each of the following patterns in step-by-step fashion:

  • Chris’ Mimic May
  • Chris’ Fluff Beast
  • CDC Skating Caddis
  • Dave’s Rubber Legged Red Squirrel (LWFF version)
  • Glow Bug Egg
  • Pat’s Rubber Legs

2:00 P.M. – Nymphs and Midges / Presenter:  Chris Johnson

Chris will tie through each of the following patterns in step-by-step fashion:

  • Dorsey’s Top Secret Midge
  • Garcia’s Rojo Midge
  • Chris’s Spanflex Midge
  • Rubber Legged Hares Ear
  • Chris’ CDC Flash Midge
  • Craven’s Two Bit Hooker (Chris’ CDC version)

6:00 P.M. – Doors Close

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dF#008 is our new Spotify playlist that’s the the perfect soundtrack for cold / grey days, leaky waders, and stalking trout with your fly rod in one hand and a flask of warm spirits in the other. Enjoy!