Catch a rainbow trout in Llano, Blanco rivers
LLANO — While the cold weather might have some dreaming of spring, anglers should take heart because now is a hot time to hit a couple of local rivers.
The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s annual rainbow trout-stocking program is in full swing. In December, the department dropped a mess of rainbows in the Llano River between Castell and Llano. Crews are returning Jan. 14 to put 800 more of the shimmering trout in the Llano River at Grenwelge Park, located on the southeast side of the Texas 16 bridge over the river.
Anglers also can head south on U.S. 281 to Blanco State Park, where officials are stocking another batch of rainbow trout Jan. 15. This is the third time TPWD staff have added trout to the Blanco River at this location since December. They’ll make one more trip to the park Feb. 5.
Now is the time for anglers to snag some rainbow trout. Since the fish require cooler waters to survive, they will die off once water temperatures start climbing as winter turns to spring.
Anglers are limited to five rainbow trout per day, but there is no size requirement. If it bites your line and you land it, you can keep it.
A fishing license and corresponding freshwater trout stamp are not required for ages 17 and younger. Anglers of all ages fishing within a state park do not need a license or stamp. This applies to anybody fishing from the bank, a pier, a river, a creek or a boat, if the lake or pond is fully contained within the state park. Normal park entrance fees apply.
While rainbow trout are usually a challenging catch, the hatchery-raised fish being stocked often strike quickly, making for a great family activity. And you don’t need the sophisticated equipment used by fly anglers, a simple setup such as a closed-face spinning or spincast reel will suffice. Light lines, such as 8-pound test or less, should fit the bill.
Ultralight enthusiasts will love the fight these little rainbow-colored torpedoes put up.
As for setups, a bobber and live bait or even something such as kernel corn or cheese balls can draw strikes. Other popular lures include small spinners, jigs, small spoons and even tiny crank baits.
And don’t forget a camera. Those youngsters landing a colorful rainbow trout will make for some great photos.
Go to www.tpwd.texas.gov and click on the “Fishing” tab at the top of the page for regulations and more information.