FROM STAFF REPORTS
LLANO — Move over bass (and catfish) because rainbow trout are coming.
While the largemouth bass and other warm water species rank as top angler targets most of the year, when the temperatures drop, anglers are often left wondering what to do until spring.
Well, wonder no more because the rainbow trout are here to fill those colder weeks in between.
Since 1970, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department has stocked hatchery-raised rainbow trout in waters across the Lone Star State during the winter to give anglers of all ages and skills fishing opportunities during the winter months.
One of the big stops is Wednesday, Dec. 7, when the A.E. Woods Hatchery workers roll up along the Llano River at several low-water crossings from Castell and downriver to release a bounty of rainbow trout. The release is weather permitting.
The releases will take place at the RR 2768, CR 102, and CR 103 crossings.
In the past, the TPWD has released rainbow trout at Grenwelge Park in Llano, but the park wasn’t on the rainbow stocking list this year.
Another place people can try their hands, or lines, at rainbow trout fishing is Blanco State Park, where the first stocking takes place Thursday, Dec. 8. Subsequent releases will be Dec. 22, Jan. 13, and Feb. 3.
W.M. Brooks Park in Lampasas received a number of rainbow trout on Dec. 4. The park is located along Sulphur Creek on the south side of Lampasas between U.S. 281 and U.S. 183.
There is no size restrictions on rainbow trout (with the exception of some zones below Canyon Dam on the Guadalupe River), but anglers are limited to five trout a day. Anglers 17 and older need a valid Texas fishing license with the $5 freshwater stamp, which is included in fishing license packages.
Anglers, however, don’t need a license if fishing from within a state park. Check tpwd.texas.gov for complete requirements and restrictions.
While often associated with fly fishing, rainbow trout, particularly hatchery-raised ones, will strike a wide variety of lures, artificial baits, and natural and live baits. Anglers might find that light tackle works better when fishing for rainbow trout.
Whatever the tackle or angler’s skill level, the big thing about winter rainbow trout fishing comes down to one thing: having fun.