The Guadalupe river is a hot spot for many fishers, tubers, kayakers and canoers. It’s also a favorite for swimming or just hanging out by the water. But what is it that makes this river such a great place for family, friends, and adventure to take place? No matter what activity you’re taking part in, you’ll be rewarded with time spent on of the most scenic rivers in Texas.
The river was first called Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe by Alonso de León in 1689. It has been a home and utilized by humans for several thousand years, including the Karankawa, Tonkawa, and Huaco (Waco) Indians.
Several dams help control the flow of the river, notably the Ingram dam and Flatrock Dam in Kerr County. But the river itself is prone to overflow and conditions can change rapidly. The river bottom is limestone and cobble as with most hill country streams, and at river flows of 300 cfs or less, the river is suitable for wading.
Where to Fish
While you’re apt to find good fishing anywhere, a few of the best areas to fish along the Guadalupe are close to the dams and reservoirs created by the controlled flow such as above and below the Ingram Dam. Ingram Dam is a county park area, and the reservoir behind the dam offers good fishing, as does the area just below the dam.
Canoes can provide access to areas of the river that would be hard to reach otherwise.
The Ingram Dam has a parking fee and is home to swimmers, kayakers and fellow fishermen alike.
What to Fish For!
The Texas Parks and Wildlife stock the Guadalupe with fish year round and with rainbow and brown trout winter at Louise Hays Park. Three varieties of bass — largemouth, smallmouth, and the native Guadalupe — reside in the river*. At least two kinds of catfish — channel and flathead (yellow) — are commonly caught. Sunfish and crappie are likely to be found in reservoirs behind dams, and gar and carp also might end up on the end of your line.
Stocked trout feed on caddis, midge and mayfly hatches and nymphs and streamers are the most effective flies.
Catching your own live bait is fun and increases the likelihood of reeling in the big fish! However, if you have live bait left over, Parks & Wildlife officials ask that you not put them in the river to help restore native species.
* Largemouth bass like quiet water, the Guadalupe will be found in flowing water