The Guadalupe River as a trout fishery is unique, frustrating at times, and always seems to be a controvercial topic. I mean, they don't call it the Dramalupe for no reason. That being said, it is here now and here to stay, so you might as well take advantage of it!
Every year I get asked the same questions. So in this series (Answering Your Questions) I am providing the answers, and the info you need, to best put yourself in postion for success this on the Guadalupe River this winter.
The first, and most common question I get is, "What flies work best on the Guadalupe River?"
What flies do I use?
More than any other question, I get asked "what flies do I use for trout on the Guadalupe River?" So, here are the flies I have found to be most successful:
The Zebra Midge is a popular fly on the Guadalupe River. It is popular because it catches trout there. But, because it is popular, at times, every fish in that river has seen it! Because of those two things (it works but if fished often) I carry three color patterns of the Zebra Midge when I head to the Gudalup3: black and silver, red and silver, and olive and gold.
|Zebra Midge: Black and Silver|
|Zebra Midge: Olive and Gold|
|Zebra Midge: Red and Silver|
Buy you Zebra Midge here.
CDC Elk Caddis
You always should carry an Elk Hair Caddis to the Guadalupe River. And many people do. I know some that only fish this fly. I really love to fish the CDC Elk Caddis version. I believe the CDC (cul de canard feathers) add a touch of "realism" and by addinging some extra buggy-ness and by holding tiny little bubble under the water. This fly produces. I really like fishing it in Dun, but Black and Tan color patters work well in the right conditions also.
|CDC Elk Caddis: Dun|
|CDC Elk Caddis: Black|
|CDC Elk Caddis: Tan|
You need to carry a Wulff Hairwing wing fishing the Guadalupe River for Trout. Dry fly fishing for these fish is less common, but that can make it more successful in the right conditions. The Wulff Hairwing is high floating and micics any number of "flies" that can be found on and around the river. I prefer to fish the lighter color on brighter days, and the darker color on cloudy days or in darker conditions.
|Wulff Hairwing: Black|
|Wulff Hairwing: Blonde|
Hare on Fire
Talk about a fly that will stand out from the rest and attact attention, the Hare of Fire will shine above the rest. It might sound weird, but on those high pressured days, sometimes a fly that stands out is the way to go. The Hare of Fire will certainly stand out and catch fish. I specifically love to fish the Hare on Fire when the water is moving fast.
|Hare on Fire|
|Hare on Fire|
Order your Hare on Fire here.
The last "must-have" fly for fly fishing the Guadalupe River is the classic Wooly Bugger. I prefer to fish a Bead-Head Wooly Bugger, but a regular wooly bugger works great too. Olive is my go-to color, but black, white, and brown, can all be successful color patters as well.
|Bead Head Wooly Bugger: Olive|
So, I hope that helped to answer your question! Yes, many people fish other flies, and you can too, but these are the flies that I have had the most success with (and I know other have also!) So, make sure you stock up on these flies before you head out to fly fish the Guadalupe River for trout this winter.