South Llano River
The South Llano River resides near Junction, Texas and clearly demonstrates what Texas anglers look forward to. With spring fed waters, Guadalupe Bass, and a beautiful scenery, the South Llano River is the perfect weekend getaway for kayak fishing.
Location, Accessibility, and Landscape
By far one of my favorite rivers is the South Llano River in Junction, Texas. Located 143 miles from Austin, 118 miles from San Antonio, and 312 miles from Houston, the South Llano River State Park is quite remote although located near the city of Junction. Surrounded by large cliffs, wild turkey, and 100 degree plus temperatures, the South Llano River is like an oasis in the middle of the desert. Although quite a drive for most Texans, the river is quite accessible with the aid of South Llano River State Park.
The landscape is pretty amazing when you add together tall cliffs and clear water. Especially when all of a sudden several wild turkey are spotted on the bank. If you ever get a change to come here, I would definitely recommend it, and if you get to fish at the same time... well let's just say a good time is approaching.
Although there are many options as far as floating down to a separate take out and all this kind of stuff, I found that sticking in at State Park Road 73 and going upstream and floating downstream on the way back was best. This was partly due to a parking lot being very near to this particular point, but more so that downstream from State Park Road 73 is where people enjoy tanning on the river and playing in the water. There will be hardly anyone upstream, and you can trust me, the fishing is very good when the stars align.
Type of Water, Quality, and Features
Water quality is quite good on the South Llano River. This is where the Llano River emerges from multiple springs, therefor the water can be extremely clear at times. At times, the water can become a little silty, but don't be alarmed because the fishing is still good.
There is a descent amount of features, such as rapids, timber, and vegetation. The main vegetation that you will find is lili pads and a form of hydrilla. There are several small sections of rapids, but none are greater than class I.
Fishing Tactics and Tips
Spinnerbaits and topwater frogs - that's all I have to say. Well, maybe not quite, but spinnerbaits and topwater frogs will aid you tremendously as casting into all of this vegetation will result in some good Largemouth Bass. I also would recommend a lipless crankbait, as the South Llano River is what I call a pool and shoot river, meaning their are sections of rapids connected by large pools. Rooster Tails are never bad either on any river. Texas Rigs can also be beneficial in the vegetation and the flooded timber.
Things to Watch out For
You will not have much to watch out for, but you will most definitely need to be cautious around rapids and always wear your life jacket. The heat can be very extreme so make sure you stay hydrated and have plenty of liquids available, along with wearing appropriate clothing and sun screen for protection against the sun. I would also suggest that you have some granola bars or beef jerky to munch on if you are out on the water for a while.