This past Wednesday, Texas Parks & Wildlife stocked San Gabriel City Park with approximately 2,500 rainbow trout. I decided to go yesterday afternoon to check out the scene.
While there were several folks there fishing from shore, there were a couple in canoes. I decide to just paddle around and investigate. The water was clear yet I didn't spot any schooling rainbows or see anyone pulling any fish out. So I just paddled back and decided I would fish a spot downstream from the park past the retention dam/falls and a low water bridge. On my way out someone cast an in-line spinner across my bow and I barely avoid getting hooked. This was confirmation that it would not only be nicer fishing somewhere more secluded but safer.
Below the bridge, you can wade and paddle downstream and it becomes really scenic and sometimes feels quite secluded. On my way down, I spotted what looked like a rainbow trout no longer than 7 inches long. It looks as if some had made it over the falls. However, having caught some that size last year, they were all not that impressive fighters so I decided to pass. I headed further downstream to fish below riffles and rapids for bass and brim instead.
The water was so nice and clear and the temperature seemed to be in mid 60s. It was cool but not really cold. A lot of the algae was gone and the rocks below the clear water looked like granite to me. Before, with silt and algae clinging to it, I wasn't sure if they were just limestone or not.
Long story short, I caught several feisty Guadalupe bass, Largemouth bass, and some nice brim. I caught one beauty that was 9 inches long and it fought hard in the rapids and put a nice bend in my 4wt.
On my way back out, I found a young fly fisher wading near where I saw the small rainbow and he was apparently catching and keeping them. I circled wide behind him to the opposite side of the river to avoid disturbing him and the the rainbows. I wanted to tell him that when he got tired of catching hatchery fish that he could wade downstream and tangle with some wild bass and brim and have more fun but I was in hurry to get home to get ready for a Christmas party so I let him be. Maybe I'll see him out there again.