2019 is off to a great start!
Lake Houston- a combination of water temps between 45 and 55 degrees(warmer being better) in the creeks and rivers and slightly spiked flows has kicked off the White Bass run, along with Crappie and Yellow Bass. So between now and April are great times to get out and wade the creeks and do a little catching!
Urban bayous- haven't been awesome but on select days Grass carp and Commons have been on the flats and catchable.
No other reports as of right because that's all I've personally fished lately other than saltwater and a Guadalupe river trip. Good luck out there!
February 21st Houston Fly Fishing Report
White bass, Crappie and Yellow bass are all starting their spring spawning rituals up the creeks and rivers of Lake Houston and across Texas. Just before the rain we were catching some solid male Whitebass along with the occasional female. Once the creeks and rivers start to clear in the next week expect for even more Whitebass and yellow bass to be further up river. We also are catching double digits of crappie most days. A lot of 9 inchers but some decent 12” to 15” fish also. Spotted bass and channel catfish have been making appearances also.
Grass carp have been surface sipping consistently. Making it a great time for urban dry fly action! Common Carp have also been roaming the flats and seem very willing to eat almost any well placed bean chain nymph. Tilapia have also started showing up on the flats gearing up for their spawn. Buffalo have been scattered occasionally finding one that'll eat.
Reports of buck bass bedding and Bowfin being caught. It's almost time for Bowfin trips! Grass carp are shallow in warmer days and grumpy but will eat.
Whitebass and carp trips officially start February 10th. If you've never fished the run you're missing out! They are fiesty and very willing to eat! Making for a great time to get the kids out, a newbie or yourself!
I know most people aren't even trying for carp right now but hey we live in Texas! This time of year we get a lot of rising Grass carp making for a crazy urban experience! Who throws elk hair caddis in a concrete bayou in the winter? This guy!!
Couple of things to look forward to this spring.
The Bass spawn on Lake Houston and possibly Lake Raven.
I'm really looking forward to this one. The Bowfin spawn on Lake Conroe. If you haven't seen Bowfin's spawning colors you are missing out! Google it! Oh did I mention how hard they fight and that they are sight fishable?
As you know the 5 year drought effected most of Texas. Including our fishing and had caused the Whitebass population to dwindle and for several years on Lake Houston. With almost no flows to spike a spawn and warmer water temperatures we went a couple of years without any spawn at all. On your best days you were lucky to catch 5 Whitebass. Now they were big fish all over 14 inches for the most part, but nothing compared to my beginner days of fly fishing the run and catching so many fish you lose count. It had in fact got so slow the bait chunkers would pull up ask a person how they were doing and just leave. Usually there were 20 cars lined down the road now you'd maybe see 3 of the die hards.
Finally during the beginning stages of the 2014 run I caught my first juvenile’s in the 6 inch range and not just one, but fifty in one pocket. I was ecstatic! It had been so long it felt like it would never happen and soon the Whitebass would be non existent. As that season went on we had perfect flows and floods. That made for some decent fishing days nothing crazy but sometimes 10 or more fish if you worked for it. The spawn was happening though and next year was looking brighter.
During the 2015 run it was about the same daily numbers did go up slightly. But finally with more 10 to 11 inch fish and the big girls who had been making it through the drought and thousands of jigs, flies and live bait tossed near them. Still improvement and signs of a bounce back were on the horizon and I could almost hear the sound of the drag screaming on my 2wt.
This year's run (2016) was the best I can remember. Not necessarily in terms of numbers (though there were some 30+ fish days), but consistently big Whitebass were caught. Average size this year during the actual spawn were between 12 and 14 inches with several 16+ inch fish being caught. (I saw the lake record broke at least 3 times on the fly and not submitted.) Not much under 12 inches through the actual spawn but juveniles were caught but only in the early staging and some as the run tapered off.
It's great seeing the lake bounce back so fast and give you so much to look forward to the next year. Of course there's bass and carp fishing still but there is just something about the spring run that just screams fly fishing to me. Plus who doesn't like to break out the 2wt or glass 4wt and wade down a creek throwing clousers with an almost guarantee of getting bent.
With all this rain keeping our lakes at pool you can bet next year's run is going to be even better!