John Knox Ranch River Access

Reservations must be made 24 hours in advance of arriving.  Please email John Knox Ranch at to make a reservation.

Leased Fishing Access
Blanco River near Fischer, TX

river with person on kayakLocated on the south bank of the Blanco River in Hays County
See map

Lease period: March 1, 2022 to August 31, 2024
Phone: 830-935-4568
Lat/Long: 29.968451,-98.192709

Area Description

The John Knox Ranch river access area is located off of FM 179 (Wayside Dr) approximately 0.25 miles west of the “Slime Bridge” crossing of the Blanco River. John Knox Ranch offers a complimentary parking area for TPWD leased access users, and access to the Blanco River for fishing and paddling purposes. This access point serves as a take-out for a 3.6-mile float from the Fischer Store Road bridge. However, if putting in at Fischer Store bridge, please arrange to be dropped off with all necessary gear to float downstream. There is no parking allowed at Fischer Store Road bridge.

Alternatively, you can put-in at the Slime Bridge access point, park your vehicle at John Knox Ranch, and paddle upstream approximately 1 mile to view scenic bluffs and experience excellent fishing opportunities in the deeper waters of the Blanco River. Take-out would be back at the FM 179 crossing.

If the river is flowing well and you’re feeling a bit more adventurous, put-in at FM 179, and float downstream to FM 1492 – Blanco River Rd crossing. This float is 6.8 miles and should take 3-4 hours depending on flow and how well the fish are biting! There’s a spot on the north bank where you can take out, but once again, there’s no free parking at FM 1492. Please arrange for a shuttle or a friend to get picked up.

Remember, always be safe! Check USGS streamflow gages at Fischer Store Rd and RR 12 before you go, and know your skill level.

Special Conditions on Public Use

Access is open each day from 30 minutes before sunrise to 30 minutes after sunset for wade fishing and launching non-motorized boats, canoes, kayaks, or other floatable devices for the purpose of fishing.

To gain access for parking, please email John Knox Ranch at before you arrive to make a reservation and ensure availability of parking space. You will need the reservation confirmation email with the gate code in it. Visitors are required to make a reservation (and receive confirmation of that reservation) 24 hours in advance of arriving. Reservations need to be made during business hours Monday - Friday 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. 

Pack It In, Pack It Out

TPWD strives to leave our environment cleaner and more natural than when we found it. We encourage and expect all visitors to do the same by taking any trash and recycling out of the access area and properly disposing.


From Austin:
Take Exit 202 (Wonder World Drive) from IH-35 S in San Marcos. Turn right onto Ranch Rd 12 / Wonder World Dr. and continue for 11 miles. Turn left onto FM 32 and continue for 7.3 miles. At the FM 3424/FM 32 intersection, turn right onto Mail Route Road and continue for 1.6 miles. Turn right onto John Knox Road and travel for 1.4 miles. Turn left onto Wayside Drive (FM 179), continue for approximately 0.25 miles, and look for ‘Leased Public Access Fishing Site’ sign on the right.

From San Antonio:
Take IH-37/US-281 N from W Market Street in downtown San Antonio. Follow US-281 N to FM 306 in Spring Branch (approximately 37.6 miles). Turn right on FM 306 and continue for 12.1 miles. Turn left onto FM 3424 and continue straight onto Mail Route Road (past FM 32). Turn right onto John Knox Road and travel for 1.4 miles. Turn left onto Wayside Drive (FM 179), continue for approximately 0.25 miles, and look for ‘Leased Public Access Fishing Site’ sign on the right.

Angling Opportunities

Abundant angling opportunities are found in this segment of the Blanco River for Largemouth Bass, Guadalupe Bass, and Channel Catfish. Fishing for black bass is best when turbidity in the river is low, as these species feed primarily by sight. Anglers should target faster riffle areas for Guadalupe Bass, and boulders, woody structure, and aquatic vegetation in pool habitat for Largemouth Bass. Anglers are urged to practice catch-and-release of sportfish.

Fishing Regulations

All species are currently managed under statewide regulations.