Surface Temp: 64f
Clarity: Slightly Tannic 18-24-inches
Let us know what you are catching-or not catching-Send your pics of fish, beautiful places, or some of the flies that you have tied. We love to post them on our fishing report! Send to Allen@andythornal.com
Levi Payne is catching a bunch of fish this week!
Register Now for our Full Day Fly Fishing School. Our Next Date is January 5th. Click here for more info/registration Where Great Traditions Begin!
Continue to focus on hard cover such as docks and timber. Placement of the flies is important, try to almost hit the cover and fish it deeper in the water column. Fluorocarbon helps the fly sink and also is more abrasion resistant than nylon monofilament. Keep your tippet size at either 2x or 3x since it gives you enough stealth for the clearing water, but also gives you a chance fighting fish near dangerous cover.
Daniel Lanier shares this Bluegill catch from Calhoon County, Missourri. Caught him on a Pheasant Tail Cricket.
Keep throwing streamers with a low and slow retrieve. The fish are responding to shad and bluegill patterns. The smaller size flies are working, with number 6 brush flies matching the "hatch" the best. Have a few streamers tied with either rabbit fur or marabou in case the bass are feeling more aggressive. The added movement in these materials can create some violent strikes. The water is also clearing up in places like Saddle Creek and Teneroc making it even more conducive to fly fishing. Topwater is still working when fished in heavier cover such as lily pads or at the base of trees. With a slow retrieve back to the boat. The top colors have been yellow and olive. Look for the nervous activity caused by the shad, as this is a sure sign that the bass are near. When throwing baitfish patterns the best place to cast is parallel to the shoreline. This allows you to cover more water. Try varying the depth during the retrieve if they aren't responding to a steady retrieve. They are typically schooling on the windblown side of the lake. Bluegill still are hanging around docks and near any moving water. The best way to catch them has been a heavier tungsten nymph drug on the bottom or a worm fly with a squirmito tail on a jig head. When presenting these flies try crawling them by pulling the fly line to your wrist for a slow gradual retrieve rate. Sometimes bass sized flies get gobbled up by a monster bream when working docks or brush piles. This has been key as they prefer to eat them deeper when they are right above the bottom. When fishing near heavy cover for panfish bumping up to 4x tippet will allow you to still be stealthy but have some extra strength around the wood. Specs(Crappie) are still being caught along grass lines. Use baitfish patterns in white, black and/or brown/olive in sizes 6, 8, or 10. Classic popper fishing is recommended at sunrise when the weather is either a little warmer or foggy. Colors is important as the fish are selective. Start with white as this mimics a struggling baitfish then start trying brighter colors such as yellow or orange. Casting these at the base of trees have yielded some spectacular blowups. Popper dropper rigs are a very good way to fish. Use classic trout flies such as a Pheasant Tail or a Hare's Ear Nymph is sizes 10-14.
Tristan Barringer with another amazing bass!
Trevor Brown finished the year with some great fish!
The temps will drop as the week progresses and the wind will die down. This will make for a pleasant start to 2019. The lake levels are continuing to drop slowly and clearing in clarity. The Peace, Econ, Hillsborough, Myakka, and Withlacoochee Rivers are all at high river levels. And levels on the Kissimmee River are at below average level for the time of year.
Phil Pope is our Head Fly Tying Instructor. He was finishing some Lo Fat Minnows with his UV light for sale in the fly shop.
Special Fly Tying Session Jan. 15th. Our old friend, Captain Craig Crumbliss will show the art of Bamboo rod making, and teach fly tying.
FLY TYING CLASSES ARE ON FIRST AND THIRD TUESDAYS at 6:00PM-7:30PM. [Exept this Month since New Years was our first Tuesday-RESCHEDULE FOR TUESDAY THE 15th AND TUESDAY THE 29th.] No reservations needed. We supply materials and tools (or bring yours.) $10 min purchase requested. Because New Year's Day is on the first Tuesday of the month, our next tying class is Jan. 15th. Contact us at 863 299-999 for more info.