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July 10th, 2012, 01:14 PM
Tompkins: Rivergoers roll with the flow
Houston Chronicle http://analytics.apnewsregistry.com/analytics/v2/image.svc/chron/RWS/chron.com/CVI/5/CAI/3632532/E/prod/AT/HLCopyright 2012 Houston Chronicle. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. (http://www.fishwestend.com/forum/admincp/#license-4ffc70e40af48) Updated 09:33 p.m., Wednesday, June 13, 2012
For the past few weeks, especially on weekends, the Guadalupe River adjacent to, and upstream from, the state park bearing the iconic waterway's name has been as crowded as the park's campgrounds and picnic area. "We've been swamped," said Boyd, who works at Bergheim Campground and River Outfitters, which offers tube, canoe and kayak rentals and shuttles for folks wanting to float or paddle the cypress-lined, fish-filled Guadalupe River upstream from Canyon Lake. The median flow in the Guadalupe River near the state park during June is around 200 cubic feet of water per second, according to records of the United States Geological Survey. With little water in the river, record heat and a ban on open fires, visitation to Guadalupe River State Park fell by more than a quarter. Especially hard hit were the shallow, rocky, clear-water streams in Central Texas popular with paddling anglers. Even in East Texas, where average rainfall is often twice that of the Hill Country and South Texas and rivers and streams are less susceptible to drought, waterways dropped to levels that made paddling and fishing all but impossible, either because of shallow water or logjams blocking the streams. [...] Village Creek, a popular paddling and float-fishing stream north of Beaumont, has a median June flow rate of about 215 cfs, according to USGS records. [...] overall, the summer of 2011 was a bust for many anglers who enjoy the outstanding fishing opportunities provided by Texas rivers. Anglers recently float-fishing the Guadalupe, upper and middle Brazos, Llano and South Llano reported typically outstanding fishing. The reach of the Colorado River between Austin and La Grange holds excellent fish habitat and healthy populations of largemouth and Guadalupe bass as well as channel and blue catfish and several species of sunfish. Deeper, slower pools holding aquatic vegetation have yielded some magnum largemouths, including several fish weighing 4-6 pounds and one that hit 8.5 pounds on Dedeaux's Boga-Grip scales. Brush piles in 20-30 feet of water on Sam Rayburn Reservoir are producing excellent catches of crappie. Orvis' Fly-Fishing 101 classes offer free hands-on instruction in the basics of fly-fishing and include discount offers on gear.

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