Wednesday, March 3, 2010


This picture is from this website, which has an excellent commentary of Colorado Bend State Park. Here's an interesting quote about wild goats and some suspected mountain lions:
From the parking lot, start walking downstream (to your right if you're facing the river.) The path will take you beside the river for about half a mile. As I was walking along, I came upon a herd of wild goats. A few months earlier, I had done a kayak trip on the river and our guide had said that Spanish goats lived in the area and that they were the preferred meal for mountain lions. Turns out mountain lions (though they'd have to be called cougars or panthers around here, I suppose, since there are no mountains anywhere near here) have in fact been seen in the area. Seems that they are expanding their territory once again.
I've been hearing that the white bass are spawning (or "running" as it is often called) in East Texas already. In a couple of weeks, it'll start in Central Texas, and I was thinking about one of my favorite places in the Hill Country to do some white bass fishing.

As a kid, we'd often spend part of spring break fishing in one or more of the fishing camps that were located near Bend, Texas. The accomodations at these camps were a bit rustic for my mom and sister, so we'd always stay in fairly nearby Lampassas. Sulpher Springs, Lemons Fishing Camp and Gorman Falls were the three camps that were there in the 1970's.

Now Lemons and Gorman Falls are the Colorado Bend State Park. It's just gorgeous up there, and springtime is the perfect time to visit.

As it says below, the busy season is the Spring White Bass Run. I've done quite a bit of fly fishing during the runs, and it's just a blast to catch these fish on a fly rod.

There used to be another fishing ranch in the area, I believe it was called Jim's or Indian Jim's or something like that. It featured a $5 entrance fee and great access to many parts of the Colorado. At the time, the early 90's, Billy Ray and I stumbled across the place and found lots of spots on the river we could pull right up next to. I recall putting folding chairs out in shin deep water and fishing in a deep pool off of a large gravel bar which had a huge overhanging cliff on the opposite side of the river.

In any event, it's not a big secret, but I suspect there is always room for more anglers.

Right now, with all of the rain Central Texas and the Hill Country have been getting, it should be a good spawn, or at least the conditions are right for a good spawn.

Here's an edited version of the information from the above link:
Colorado Bend State Park
Box 118 Bend, TX 76824 325/628-3240
Texas Outdoor Family workshop will be held at this park on Saturday - Sunday (May 15-16, 2010).

History: Colorado Bend State Park, a 5328.3-acre facility, is located west of Lampasas in San Saba and Lampasas counties. The park site was purchased partly in 1984, with the balance acquired in 1987; the park was subsequently opened in 1987.
The park is located at the former sites of the Gorman and Lemons Ranches above Lake Buchanan.

Activities: The park currently offers the outdoor enthusiast access to primitive camping, hiking, fishing, which at certain times is terrific, swimming, mountain biking, birding, and nature watching, and guided tours. The park has 15.8 miles of hiking trails and 14 miles of mountain bike trails. When Lake Buchanan is near normal levels, the river is navigable from the park's boat ramp all the way to the lake, approximately 10 miles. This is a trip on slow moving water through the beautiful canyon lands of the Colorado.

Tours: There is a guided tour to Gorman Falls on Saturdays at 2:00 p.m. The tour lasts about two hours and includes a 1 ½ mile round trip hike. Reservations are not taken for this tour. Gorman Falls is also accessible without a guided tour. There are two trails for day use hiking (3 miles and 5 miles round trip). The park also offers guided walking wild cave tours and self guided crawling cave explorations. Due to various hazards in the caves such as low oxygen levels and poisonous gases and the fact that the caves are a non-renewable natural resource, ALL CAVES in the park are closed except through tour or special permit. Reservations are highly recommended for the cave tours due to the limited number of people which can be taken on any given tour. Contact the park (325/628-3240) to make reservations and check questionable weather conditions. Substantial footwear is recommended for all tours.
Check the Calendar for tour fees.
Campsites & Other Facilities:
The main camping area offers drive-up sites (with picnic tables, fire rings with cooking grills, a lantern post, potable water in the area); riverbank tent sites (with picnic tables, fire rings with cooking grills, a lantern post, and potable water in the area); composting toilets, a fish-cleaning table, and a boat ramp. (It is 9 miles to Lake Buchanan.)

There are also 2 back pack areas where you must carry everything you need and pack out absolutely everything you don't use. (Bring containerized fuel to cook; nearest gas station is 35 miles away.) The River Back Pack Area is about 1 mile from a compost toilet and 1.3 miles from a water faucet. The Windmill Back Pack Area is about 6 miles from a compost toilet and water faucet. Ground fires are also prohibited everywhere in the park except in designated fire rings in the main camping area.
There are also two group areas: The developed Live Oak Group Area where you can drive to the site with picnic tables, a lantern holder, a large fire ring, water in area, and a compost toilet in area; the premium, developed River Group Area where you can drive within 75 yards of the site with picnic tables, a lantern holder, a large fire ring, water 1/4 mile, and composting toilet 1/4 mile.

Natural Features: Birders can enjoy viewing some of 155 species of birds found in the park, including specialties such as golden-cheeked warblers, black-capped vireos, and bald eagles. Gorman Falls is located on the western bank of the Colorado River, approximately 10 miles above Lake Buchanan and includes a portion of Gorman Creek which feeds Gorman Falls. Gorman Falls is an impressive, 60-foot-high waterfall. The falls' travertine formations and associated lush vegetation are very scenic. Small travertine dams have formed quiet pools of clear water which support a variety of aquatic communities.

Elevation: 1025 Ft. above sea level

Weather: January average is 46.2, July average is 85.9. First/last freeze: November 20 / March 11.

Schedule: Open 7 days a week year-round, except for Public Hunts (which are held during the week) - Call or Check the Calendar for events and access restrictions scheduled within the next 3 months.

Busy Season: Spring White Bass Run.

Directions: The park is west of Lampasas, southeast of San Saba. From the intersection of US Highways 281 and 183 in Lampasas, take FM 580 west 24 miles to Bend and follow the signs 4 miles to the park entrance. From San Saba, take US Highway 190 about 4 miles to FM 580 and follow the signs 13 miles to Bend; follow the signs 4 miles to the park entrance (2 miles of dirt road). The headquarters and main camping are 6 miles past the entrance on the dirt road (unmarked County Road 442). (Access road subject to flooding.) Note: No Gasoline Service in Bend. Latitude (degrees, minutes, seconds) N: 31° 01' 22.40" Longitude (degrees, minutes, second) W: 98° 26' 32.67"

No comments:

Post a Comment