A good early-season tactic is watch for redhorse suckers. They graze the bottom.
Their fallout kicks nymphs into the current and you can find holdover trout following them, the same way Kenai rainbows follow salmon (stingrays and redfish, etc.)
A day fishing with my buddy Floyd Burkett
his rainbow, from the same pool after I moved down
In March, sucker spawn flies make a great attractor, with a thread midge dropper - orange and chartreuse are both good colors
In November you can try your really big nymphs for attractors also size 6-8 hex dries - still usually fish those with a thread midge dropper tied to the hook bend. Don't be afraid to skitter your hex dry - that will often draw strikes. Hex hatch will last well into December. We also have a size 10 slate drake. Either big mayfly will look like a little sloop sailing down the river. But don't count on seeing them, because they usually crawl up the bank. Sometimes they crawl up you.
Many years ago, I had a shut-out day - when I was pulling my waders off, there was a size 6 yellow hex on my shirt, laughing.
Big mayflies live in calm water.
as most tailwaters, midges make up 70% of the Guadalupe biomass
size 22 is usually small enough, and will just barely take 5x tippet.
The 8-lb rainbow in my first post was caught on a size 22 midge.
Here's my swimming BWO dropper, tied on a size 18 scud hook - killer fished on the swing in a BWO hatch - usually faster water - head of a pool coming off a riffle and/or chute, pocketwater
XS copper bead
8/0 rust or brown thread
tail - 2 pheasant tail fiber tips, longer than the body
body - twisted emerald green flashabou
collar - sparse brown fur dubbing
- if you only get one fly on the Guadalupe
a BWO nymph - those frog legs are for hanging onto rocks in fast water
and a dun
it's the eggs in the females that make them olive
and a cloud of BWOs - there's a long riffle and fast chute just upriver (behind me) - swinging BWOs is always productive in the long run for as far as you can see
here's a good sun-lit profile of a BWO in flight - you can see they're all tail
Caddis occupy the same water as BWOs, and they often hatch together - both actively swim when they hatch.
A caddis looks like a small moth skittering above the surface.
Two good caddis attractors (fished with the BWO dropper)
sparkle nymph (size 14 sproat is my favorite hook)
also size 14, Guadalupe Prince - bead-head prince tied with antron wing
another good dropper tied on size 18 scud hook, Dave Hughes serendipity
I showed this to one guy and he's never fished another fly on the Guadalupe
super simple - strands of antron beneath the base thread wrap, midge lace, clip the antron - this has XS yellow glass bead
trailing shuck midge tied on a size 18 scud hook
the advantage of using this hook is it ties like a size 20 and hooks like a size 16