Day Trips: Secret Fishing Holes: Texas Parks & Wildlife’s RACA Program Adds Two More Sites – Chronicles

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Blanco River at John Knox Ranch (Photos by Gerald E. McLeod)

Two new secrets fishing holes have been added to Texas Department of Parks and Wildlifeit’s Access to the river and conservation area program, and they are awesome.

Texas rivers are in the public domain, but with 95% of the land privately owned, it can often be difficult or non-existent to access the waterways.

Blanco River at John Knox Ranch

This is where the RACA program comes in. TPWD negotiates leases with landowners for the public use of their property. Some access points are close to urban centres, such as the Texas River School on the colorado river near Austin, but most are wonderfully remote and isolated, like the paddle-in camps on the Devils River. The majority of access points require reservations, are for day use only, and are primarily for fishing and paddlers. A few of the spots require a nominal fee, but all require users to pack their trash. Currently, the program includes 21 sites on 10 rivers, but leases are added and terminated all the time.

South Llano River near Junction

Access to a beautiful part of the White River at John Knox Ranch apart from Wimberley was added recently. The children’s summer camp offers access to a secluded stretch of river lined with white limestone cliffs and towering cypresses. This is the starting point for a 3.6 mile canoe trip from Fischer Store Road Bridge.

The second access point announced this month is a panoramic section of the South Llano River close Junction. cupgrass huts gives access to a choice fishing hole on Bailey’s Creek as well as put-in for river paddlers. From there, the first takeout outlet is 1-2 hours downriver, or South Llano State Park is a 4-6 hour float trip. This access has the added benefit of a magnificent three bedroom farmhouse for rent.


1,594th in a series. Follow “Day Trips & Beyond,” a weekly travel blog, at austinchronicle.com/daily/travel.

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