Starting in late November, Texas State Parks and Wildlife begins stocking neighborhood park lakes, state parks and even parts of the Guadalupe River with rainbow trout! These are fish raised in one of the state fish hatcheries, and then released with the expectation to be caught. These stockings are big events and it’s fun to watch the waters being pumped full of fish, and the crowds that come to catch the fish afterwards!
Rainbow trout are great fish for kids to catch, easy to clean and cook!
The Texas Parks and Wildlife Website shows a list of all the Stocking locations, the dates they will be stocked during the winter, and even how many will be stocked! While we have our favorites, it’s fun to meet the people who “do the circuit”, and follow the trucks to their locations!
While there is no limit on size at most locations, as all the fish stocked are meant to be caught, there is a limit of 5 fish per day per person.
Most locations do require a Texas fishing license, except for those located in state parks.
At these locations, you’ll see every kind of fisherperson, from fly-fishers to kids fishing with corn kernels. The excitement about fishing is you never know what will catch the most!
While we enjoy visiting our local neighborhood lakes after a stocking, we really enjoy the stocking days at the Trinity River at Trinity Park in Fort Worth, where the banks are lined with people waiting to catch a fish! It’s almost a festival atmosphere! If you’re taking the kids, here’s a fun tip, the new all-accessible Dream Park is located in Trinity Park also, and it’s amazing! Leave a little time for play, too!
If you’re completely new to fishing, take a fun road trip to Athens and the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center! They have a stocked pond and volunteers on hand to help you get started, with already set hooks, bait, and they’ll even help you take the fish off the hook! While you’re there, take a tram tour of the fish hatchery, and don’t miss the fish feeding show, too!
Click HERE to visit the Texas Parks and Wildlife Website for stocking dates.
As Rainbow and Brown Trout are cold water fish, they do not fare well in our Texas lakes and rivers during the summer. But there is one place where they are sustainable, the Guadalupe River! While there are special rules that apply here, such as lures and size restrictions, the fish are stocked at 5 locations along the river. Visit the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s website for up-to-date regulations on trout fishing at these sites.
While many properties owners allow river access to paying guest, the U S Army Corp of Engineers operated Guadalupe Park and Camp Huaco Springs both offer FREE access! I just love both of these locations!
Guadalupe Park is located beneath the Canyon Lake dam, and the water is very cold! I’d really compare it to the Frio River at this location, and during the summer it’s a great place to go cool off, but during the winter, it’s a great location for fishing! The shallow areas allow for wade fishing, so bring your waders! Parking is convenient with steps down to the river, and there is a restroom at the Canyon Lake park. This is a fun place to get out and explore before or after you fish, also! They offer tours of the Canyon Lake Gorge each weekend, with visible dinosaur tracks, and one of the most popular places to tube is the horseshoe on the Guadalupe River. Here you’ll find restaurants and Jellystone Park Hill Country is a fun place to stay, and of course there are many VRBOs in the area.
The private camp, Huaco Springs, which is a fun place to visit for tubing and river recreation during the summer, is leased out by TP&W during the winter to allow for FREE access for fishing! The camp is open 30 minutes before sunrise until 30 minutes after sunset, and it’s along New Braunfel’s River Road, one of the nicest drives in the area! Because of the deeper and faster moving water, you’ll want to bank fish or launch a canoe or kayak, which the park rents by the hour or day. Camp Huaco Springs also offers camping, RV sites and even cabins. The spring-fed creek that feeds into the Guadalupe in the park is beloved by kids in the Summer, but we always pack their suits and towels even in winter. The constant 70 degree temperature makes it hard to keep my kids out of all year long, even in February! Again, visit the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s website for up-to-date regulations on trout fishing at these sites.
As we have gotten more into Trout Fishing, we started Fly Fishing a few years ago, and love it! There are several places around the state that offer fly fishing lessons, and I really recommend that you take them, but even a novice can be successful with a good guide who has all the equipment to get you started, and show you how and where to fish while you’re fishing! Check out River Hills Outfitters.
Orvis offers beginner Fly Fishing Classes, and this January we took our first fly-tying class, which was really fun and gives you a completely different perspective on fishing! Once you learn, they offer fun monthly get-togethers, too!
Tailwaters Fly Fishing in Dallas also offers great classes, lessons and a terrific store for all your gear! They are more suited for the bigger fish, and our top stop when preparing for our tarpon fly fishing trip this coming Summer!
Living Waters Fly Fishing in Round Rock also offers great fly fishing classes, fly tying classes and get together to help get your started!
Since we started fly fishing, we’ve headed out of state to Oklahoma, Arkansas and Missouri on some great fishing trips! It’s a fun way to connect the whole family!
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