Week 01/30/19 - This report was written by Hunter Towery.
Surface Temp: 59f
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
The streamer bite has stayed good even though we're downsizing the size of the flies. Smaller profiles tend to work better on the chillier days we've been having. The fish are pushing closer to shore getting on beds. Try looking in deeper water for bedding fish in clearer water. You might be fishing right on top of some big fish. Continue to fish near submerged timber if the fish are being shy. These areas will hold fish, and a slow retrieve with a heavier streamer will trigger bites from less active bass.
Brian Miller with a couple of beautiful streamers that he tied at Fly Tying Club.
The most productive streamer patter has been anything closely resembling a bluegill. Focus on flies that have bright orange or purple paired with a darker color such as olive or black. One good tactic for the warmer days is to throw around a chartreuse popper searching for the more active fish. Then switch to a streamer and dissect the water around that area. That one two punch is your best bet at success as you can quickly pattern the fish. Try using a shorter leader with your topwater as it will help turn over wind resistant flies in the higher winds. Keep your flies a little deeper than usual and focus on submerged grasslines. The fish are still best responding to shad and bluegill patterns with a slow retrieve rate. The smaller size flies are working, with number 6 brush flies matching the "hatch" the best. Have a few larger 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. 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 are pushed up near timber close to shore. 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) have pushed up shallow as well and are hanging out in the pads or thicker grasslines. Use baitfish patterns in white, and purple in sizes 6, or 8. 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.
Perhaps a new tradition is born? Fifth Tuesday of the month, and the Fly Tying Club was hosted by Beer Revolution, 3234 Florida Ave S, Lakeland, FL 33803. It was also Taco Tuesday. Fly Tying, Great Food, Great Drink, good times!
Fly Tying is regularly at Andy Thornal Company on the first and third Tuesdays of the month, 6pm-7:30pm. We usually tie two patterns including Bass, Saltwater, and small flies, too! This club atmosphere is friendly for beginners and experts, ages 10-70. Bring your tying tools or borrow some of ours. The class is free, but we ask that everyone make a $10 purchase to offset costs. Next club meeting is February 5th.
We have heard that the Shad are beginning their annual mating run on the St. Johns river near Sanford. This is Florida's only 'trout' style fishing and will last for about another month. Contacts us for acces points to the St. John's. The wind will start calming down after that thunderstorm on Thursday. Cooler temps are coming but the fishing should only be getting better from here. The winds will die down and the temps will warm up after the light rain as the week progresses. The lake levels are continuing to drop slowly and clearing in clarity. The Peace, Econ, Hillsborough, Myakka, and Withlacoochee River are all at high levels. And levels on the Kissimmee River are at slightly above average level for the time of year.
Register Now for our Full Day Fly Fishing School. Our Next Date is February 23rd. Click here for more info/registration Where Great Traditions Begin!