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Sun. Dec. 17, 10:00 AM ET

Fly Fishing for Bass

This pool has the perfect combination of rocky structure and overhanging cover. The trick for the guide is keeping the boat either perpendicular to or downstream from the person casting, so the canoe never runs over their line.

Casting just to the edge of the bank brought instant strikes from feisty Guadalupe bass on the Llano River. Casting distances are short here, so a 5-weight fly rod with a 3X tippet and Size 4 frog popper was all it took to get these fish to hit.

While Guadalupe bass are the prize on small Hill Country rivers, fishermen also have the chance to take panfish and largemouth bass. All of them fight like crazy and are a blast to catch on light fly tackle, like the redear dancing here.

Conway is eyeing the far bank where Guadalupe bass hold tight to cover and shade. The canoe provided an amazingly stable casting platform in quieter water. Twenty feet is a long cast here so even novice fly fishermen have a good chance of catching fish.

Small, redear sunfish rose eagerly with just a few twitches of the popper, so there was almost constant action all day long. Conway was quick to release all of his fish back into the river, taking care to avoid being stuck by their spiny dorsal fins.

The ancient rock outcroppings along the Hill Country rivers are some of the oldest exposed rock in North America and date back more than 1.5 billion years. At times stretches of the river felt like they were fishing in a prehistoric paradise.