November 26, 1996 Stocking Mike Strange, Austin Tx. The Texas trout season was on the road. Coming from Colorado and eagerly anticipated by 50 flyfishers at Lower Beans Camp. We began to gather at the river at 6:30 a.m. on a foggy November morning. Men of all ages, a few boys and two women. Most dressed in waders and jackets, cradling coffee cups. All anticipating the trucks arrival, bringing this years Trout. Originally scheduled for seven o'clock it was now pushing 9:15. At least the fog was beginning to burn off and the sun was breaking through, promising a great day to stock a river. The wait allowed for the greeting of old friends and the meeting of new ones. A couple of millionaires mingled with Texas cowboys and nobody much gave a damn who the lawyers were. We had a great opportunity to compare wader choices. There was a lot of Neoprene, Simms and Gore-tex were there, more than one Orvis and at least one Red Ball. I was glad to see that I wasn't the only one who had opted for the cheap Cabela's, 29 bucks in 95. In case anybody's wondering 95% were stocking footed. Our season arrived at about 9:30 and we crowded around the truck like kids catching the Good Humor man. We all watched as the hatchery pros pumped water from the Guadalupe River into the tanks to equalize the temperatures. The local chapter fish guru asked us not to fish this day as it would certainly result in dead fish, still stressed from the trip. A couple of guys were obviously disappointed in the request. No-one would say much to anyone who did fish, we just depended on everyone's ethics. Your ethics were dependant on how far you drove to be here. This might be the only time to envy the guys from Houston who had driven 3 plus hours. Some of these first day trout would likely find themselves in a frying pan since catch and release was likely to be unsuccessful. We had 11 locations to stock. The stocking itself involved two guys grabbing a 50 gallon muck bucket, filled with 20 gals of water and 30 pounds of fish. Hi ho and hike it to the river. In some places this involved a 1/8 mile hike overland to get far enough downstream to spread the fish, pretty easy. Or it might be a steep slip down a leaf coated hillside into fast water and then a hike through the water for another hundred yards, not so easy. By the end of the day the Guadalupe had become the new home to somewhere between 5600 and 6000 trout. The majority were from 10 to 14 inches, but enough were 20 inches plus that a big fish was possible on any cast, mostly Browns but plenty of Rainbow. Over the next 6 months these fish would be subject to plenty of fishing pressure. Bait casters, hardware guys and fly fishers would all hunt these fish. Most wouldn't make it but those that did had a good chance of getting through the hot Texas Summer and even spawning successfully. And next year we'll do it again. The hope is that with the cooperation of The Guadalupe/Blanco River Authority, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and Trout Unlimited the Guadalupe will become a self sustaining fishery. What a deal!