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Kayak fishing the Lone Star State...


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By Earl
#1459981
South Llano River, Tx

April 16, 2010
Put in: South Llano State Park, Tx
Take Out: Flat Rock, located about 4-5 miles downstream accessible via road that goes Texas Tech, Junction

Along on this trip is two of my boys, Jacob, Alec and myself
We got a shuttle from Sam Sloan from DDRC

We got off about 12:45 and had wanted to do a longer run but the rain was pretty intense earlier in the morning. The air temp was upper 60s to low 70s and cloudy the rest of the day. This was a stretch we had not done before and were excited just to get out on the water. The river starts out a bit narrow but widens up a bit. There are several fun narrows then opens up next to some bluffs as you make your way down to Junction. The flow was about 200-250 cfs which was fine to navigate the river although 400 would make it great. It took us about an hour and 10 minutes to make the trip down to Junction. The rest of the DDRC group had arrived and we made our way back to camp and started on supper. Jake and I had Chili and grilled cheese and Alec had Brauts and fried potatoes. After dinner we enjoyed our time around the campfire with the rest of the DDRC group.


April 17, 2010
Put in: The 2nd crossing on Hwy 377 upstream from the park, 10 miles from the park entrance.
Along on this trip were Sam Sloan, Marc McCord, Carolee Doty, Dale and Sue Harris, John Kulenschmidt , Tim Stanton, Tom Taylor, George Lackey, Hannah, Darrell, Alec, Jacob, and Earl

After a rainy night and morning I got the boys up to a sausage, eggs and toast for breakfast and we got the dishes done and lunch made for the day. We got all packed up and the rest of the DDRC group did the same and started dropping boats and paddlers off by 9am. After unloading and getting the kayaks loaded I drove back to the parking lot in the park next to the river and waited on our driver to take us back upstream. The river flow was about the same as the prior day maybe up a little. The rain stopped then the sun started to dare peak through and we all got on the water by 10am. The first mile down to the next hwy crossing has a couple of small rapids formed by drop offs and narrows. At the hwy 377 crossing you can portage on river left or right but I prefer the right, just watch for traffic when you are carry you kayak across. We all got across without incident and got on our way. I would paddle ahead and pull out the camera and take pictures as the group would come through some of the rapids. Shortly before we pulled over for lunch there was a sow hog and her fair size piglets jumped in the river in front of us and swam across the river then quickly disappeared into the brush. After lunch and about 8 miles down we came to another portage. This one is where a land owner has bulldozed a bunch of rock across the river and put in a couple of culverts. The culverts are on river right and the portage is not a challenge just have to do it. After this there are a few more small narrows, rapids, and bluffs. The last one is a turn to the left followed by a hard turn to the right with a big rock in the middle. This is a fun day paddle trip with several scenic bluffs along the way and several small drop offs and rapids with rock gardens and tight turns. This was our second time down this stretch of river but much greener that last year. There were much more prolific wild flow blooms than I remember from the past year also. We made it to the state park by 3:30. Jacob was taught by Hannah how to sneak up on turtles and catch them while they sunned themselves on logs along the river. The two of them probably caught and released 6-10 turtles between the two of them. Dinner hit the spot with the boys, steak, baked potatoes, and fresh green beans. Below are a lot of pictures full of memories.
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See you out there,

Earl
#1460193
Great trip, good report and fantastic pictures!!1 :clap: :clap: :clap:

I once floated the Llano from where the James River came in to Simmonsville road........a 6 mile float........and your pictures looked very familiar to that area........brought back fond memories.
#1461081
Earl,

Glad you were able to get out on the river. Your first sentence of each day's description assures me my sister and I did the right thing. After driving in the rain from BBNP, we arrived at the park Wednesday night about 6:15 and put a tent up in the rain. Took the tent down Thursday morning (in the rain) and drove back to Dallas (in the rain until Temple!). We've camped plenty in the rain, had nothing to prove to ourselves and had no desire to do it again for 3 more days! Hope site #19 wasn't too muddy and torn up for the next campers! :oops:

We did spot a scarlet tanager at the low water crossing so it wasn't a total waste of time!

And I'll be back - of the state parks I've visited, this is my favorite by far!

GG
#1461602
GG, I understand about not wanting to paddle in the rain. I was all set to do that but my 10yr old really was not all that hot on it. So we waited a few hours and it gave us a window later on Friday. Saturday was great though. We could tell that there had been some pretty good rain earlier in the week when we arrived early AM on Friday. I had been watching it all week on the radar and the river flow. I only saw one bolt of lightning Friday AM and then heard some later Friday evening.

Dave, the water was not that bad. I spent a lot of time in the water taking pictures and fishing a couple of people out after some spills. The boys went swiming on Friday.

Off to Lake Murray, OK tomorrow.

Earl
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