Christmas stocking of rainbow trout perfect gift for Llano River anglers

The Texas Park and Wildlife Department will stock the Llano River with rainbow trout Dec. 17. Photo by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service


CASTELL — The rainbows are getting stocked in the river with care in hopes that anglers will soon be there.

Well, it’s not exactly how the “Night Before Christmas” goes, but for folks looking for a little fishing this Christmas season, it sounds perfect. On Dec. 17, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department officials are stocking the Llano River at several spots between Castell and Llano with rainbow trout.

Then, they return Jan. 14, 2015, to add 800 more in Grenwelge Park in Llano on the east side of the Texas 16 bridge.

The December stocking includes 2,400 rainbow trout.

While anglers in northern states or climates enjoy rainbow trout fishing throughout the year, Texans typically have to wait until the annual trout stocking (with a few exceptions) to try their hand at this cold-water fish. But when the rainbows arrive, it’s a great time to get on the water.

Angling for rainbow trout means putting aside the heavier tackle usually associated with largemouth bass for a lighter setup. A spinning reel with a ultralight to light rod filled with 4- to 6-pound test should handle the job.

Some good lure selections include Mepps-style spinners, small spoons and jigs. Since the rainbow trout are hatchery raised, they are used to eating food similar in size and nature to corn kernels, so anything resembling such could draw a bite.

Kids will enjoy landing the colorful fish, and a hook tipped with a Berkley PowerBait Corn Nibbles could be just the right thing to get a bite or two.

Of course, a good fly rod with a fly resembling a native terrestrial can bring the trout in as well.

Since the trout can’t live in the area once the water temperature begins creeping up in spring, officials encourage anglers to keep what they catch.

On Dec. 17, TPWD officials will release the trout at several bridge crossings between Castell and Llano including RR 2768, CR 102 and CR 103. Stocking dates and locations can change. For up-to-date information, go to

A fishing license with freshwater trout stamp is required by anyone 17 or older and born on or after Jan. 1, 1931, fishing in public waters.

There is no minimum length to keep these stocked rainbow trout. The daily bag limit is five.

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