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Leon River

Leon River

Option 1

Location, Accessibility, and Landscape

 

When most people think about rivers in Texas, they will most likely picture the Guadalupe River, San Marcos River, or even the Frio River. Hardly ever will someone imagine the Leon River from Belton Lake all the way through Temple, Texas.

The Leon River is one of my favorite rivers to go on due to the good water clarity, the huge amount of bass, and the lush vegetation that exists. Fortunately, the Leon River is seated right in the middle of Texas with two main access points. The first and easiest access point is right below Belton Lake at Miller Springs Park.

Miller Springs Park is literally right at the spillway of Belton Lake, so the water can be a bit chilly but not too cold to spoil the fishing. Parking is plentiful and access to the river couldn't be easier as you literally walk your kayak down to the water.

I like to go downstream then come back up if the dam isn't releasing too much water, but you can always go to option 2 below as a take out point if you have the available transportation.

Type of Water, Quality, and Features

Part of the reason that I love the Leon River so much is the water clarity. It is about 3-7 feet depending on the day and time of year. I have found that this gives me both great clarity to enjoy some sight fishing, but also a little cover so that fish aren't too skiddish. 

There isn't a whole lot of cover on the Leon River, but there is a significant amount of structure in the forms of logs that provide good cover for some big bass.

Fishing Tactics and Tips

The Leon River can be very productive with the right selection of lures. If you want to just catch some fish, the best lure by far is just a Worden's Rooster Tail. There is a rare occasion that occurs several times when I am out on the water that always allows my to catch a fish. I call them strolling bass. On occasion, you will see a group of bass near the surface swimming around. The school can range from just a few fish to nearly 20-30. In general, the smaller number of fish in the school, the bigger the bass, and the larger the number, the smaller the bass wil be. I've found that throwing a Rooster Tail right into the school is the perfect answer. 

If you want a approach tailored for larger bass though, I would use large profile crankbaits and spinnerbaits. Topwater lures also work great during the appropiate times of day - preferrably dawn and dusk.

Things to Watch out For

There is literally not much to watch out for except maybe some classic snakes and spiders that can find their way intothe trees that inhabit the large number of trees that overhang the river.


Option 2

Location, Accessibility, and Landscape

 

Option 2 for fishing the Leon River is downstream from Miller Springs Park a couple of miles at Heritage Park. As far as the quality of the water, fishing tips and stuff like that, it is the exact same as option 1, so refer to option 1. This park is very nice, but it has several baseball fields and a waterpark in the park, so it can get a little crowded, but not too many get on the water here so you are alright in that aspect. 

Getting to the water is a little harder than option number 1, but it is accessable. You will have to go down about two feet from the bank to get into your kayak, along with battling some bushes at the same time, but other than this you are fine.

Type of Water, Quality, and Features

Same as Option 1

Fishing Tactics and Tips

Same as Option 1

Things to Watch out For

Getting to the water is slightly difficult and there is always the chance to trip and fall. There is always the threat of snakes as well so be on the look out for that. You should also note that there is a flood control dam downstream, so you will need to go upstream then travel back downstream. However, you can paddle all the way back to Miller Spring Park from option 1 if the water flow isn't too fast. This is quite a ways though so plan accordingly. 

You should also note that there is a water intake plant right where you will be putting in, but you will be fine as long as you do not mess around in the water there (there's not really a threat of getting sucked under but more so a legal threat). Once you get in, paddle upstream immediately until you are clear of the plant.