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Texas is well-known as a gateway to some of the best saltwater fly fishing in the Gulf, but the Lone Star State is also home to some of the most unique and varied freshwater fishing the South has to offer. Largemouth bass are found just about everywhere in the state, with some of the country?s best bass fishing occurring in Toledo Bend Reservoir on the Louisiana-Texas border. But for fly anglers craving running water, Texas Hill Country is the place to go.
Bubbling up through limestone hills, the Edwards Aquifer feeds dozens of rivers and creeks that run through Texas Hill Country, creating some of the most unique fly fishing opportunities in the South. These streams, including the Llano, Blanco, and San Marco, range in character from gin-clear waters flowing over granite streambeds through wooded hills to vivid aquamarine-tinted waters running through rugged limestone canyons. Warmwater fish such as largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, and a slew of sunfish species are widespread throughout the Hill Country streams, with some regionally distinct native species including the Guadalupe bass and the Rio Grande perch. The Guadalupe River, however, is the southernmost river in the U.S. that supports trout year-round. The Guadalupe is primarily a warmwater fishery in its upper section, but trout fishing is available in its tailwater section below Canyon Dam. Rainbow trout are stocked each winter and the cool waters from the dam stay consistent enough throughout the warmer months so trout to be fished for all year long.
Inshore saltwater species like redfish, speckled trout, flounder, and black drum are common throughout Texas? coastal waters, but they?re found in some of the most unique and interesting places in the Gulf. Along the southern coast of Texas, the long and skinny Padre Island separates the mainland from the waters of the Gulf, stretching from near the Mexico border all the way up the coast to Corpus Christi Bay and beyond. Between the mainland and Padre Island is Laguna Madre, a hypersaline shallow water lagoon, and one of the premier places to catch redfish on the fly. The lagoon averages 2 to 3-feet deep and is ideal for sight fishing. Further up the coast and only an hour southeast of Houston, Galveston provides even more grounds for phenomenal redfish and speckled trout action, but if you have good timing, can be one of the few places in Texas where you?ll get shots at tarpon as they migrate along the Gulf Coast.
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