In October of 2018 Texas was hit with a tremendous amount of rainfall. Due to the massive amounts of rain, rivers were rushing far beyond their capacity and reached historic levels. Damage was very extensive, many homes were lost, bridges were destroyed and rivers were also damaged.
Fortunately, conditions have stabilized again but I was curious to see what condition the South Llano River was in from all the flooding it had gone through.
It had been quite some time since I have got out on the water. In fact, the last time I got out on the water was in August of 2018. I was extremely excited to paddle my Pau Hana Endurance on the South Llano and I was curious to see what the water quality was like.
Upon arriving at the South Llano River early in the morning I saw the water quality was amazing…in fact, I’ve never seen the river more clear than it was this time. I think there are several reasons for this. For one, the river is recovering from the flooding and sometimes when there is a big flood it can flush out all of the silt and algae leaving a clean river behind. Another reason is that the South Llano is heavily spring fed and these type of rivers tend to be a little cleaner in the winter.
The start of the morning was very chilly, in the low 40’s. There was also a slight breeze so this made it just a tad more colder. I didn’t know if I would catch many fish, but I was eager to give it a shot.
My dad, who was using a Jackson Kayak Liska and a Worden’s Rooster Tail was the first one to land a fish. He caught a nice Guadalupe Bass that was very healthy.
A little while later I would land a fish on a Rage Tail Space Monkey. It was another Guadalupe Bass! I tell you what, there are some fish that are just something special to catch and Guadalupe Bass are just that. They might not be big, but they fight hard for their size and can only be found in a small region of Texas - and the South Llano River is a great place to target them. I saw this Guadalupe Bass in the extremely clear water of the South Llano and I casted out to try and see if he was hungry. Luckily, this Guadalupe Bass showed some interest and just a small twitch of my Rage Tail Space Monkey made this bass bite. He put up a good fight, but wasn’t the biggest Guadalupe Bass - no doubt a fun one to catch though. I was really happy that me and my dad both had an opportunity to catch a Guadalupe Bass even if they weren’t the biggest Guadalupe Bass out there.
As the day continued the temperatures began to warm slightly, getting into the mid 60’s and making the day very nice. Both me and my dad tried to catch fish throughout the day, but unfortunately there just wasn’t a lot of fish looking for a good meal and a chance to have their picture taken. I can’t be certain, but I think the floods actually impacted the Largemouth Bass in the river. I didn’t see hardly any Largemouth Bass in the South Llano River and I think the floods had taken a toll. Guadalupe Bass are much better suited for current, as they naturally like to swim in flowing water more than Largemouth Bass. All of the massive flooding could have impacted the Largemouth Bass population. Although I think there are still plenty of Largemouth in the South Llano River, I am very interested to see what I can catch on the South Llano River in a few months.
We did see quite a bit of wildlife; a snake, several deer, a ram of some sort, black squirrels and a fish that I have never seen before. I tried to sneak up on the fish to take a picture and although I got one, it isn’t the clearest picture I could have taken as the fish took off just as I was taking the picture. It was a neat looking fish, that is for sure!
Maybe we didn’t catch a ton of fish, but we certainly were immersed in a lot of beautiful scenery. Amongst all the great scenery was a small, spring-fed waterfall that was pretty cool to see. My dad also had the chance to go down a small section of rapids in the Jackson Kayak Liska.
I will admit, I am very thankful for the job I have but this was a good escape from the work week and a reminder of just how beautiful of a world God has made for us. It was also nice to see the South Llano River recovering from the immense flood it had experienced. The river definitely had some work to do, but it looked like it was quickly returning back to normal. I think this spring and summer will be crucial for the South Llano River.
If you have the opportunity, give the South Llano River a shot. It has some beautiful scenery, great fishing and is simply a good place to find some peace!
For more information on the Pau Hana Endurance please click here.