Report by Hunter Towery
Our next free, quick-start fly casting school is Saturday, April th 9am-11am! Call for registration-863-299-9999. Seats are available! We offer this FREE program during the summer. Also see the Special-All-Womens-Class on the Schedule: Click here for more info and our summer schedule.
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
NEW BOOK BY OUR FRIEND and DIRECTOR OF FLY CASTING SCHOOLS, CHRIS O'BYRNE
Available at Andy Thornal Learn to fly fish anywhere in America, by casting to bass and bluegill near your home. In this humorous small book you will learn; how to find these exciting game fish, a fly cast that will serve you for a lifetime...
Fishing with Hunter Towery, Bryan Cheek caught this nice one on topwater.
The fish are noticeably more active with the warmer water temps. Topwater has worked well early in the day. Slower retrieves have still been most productive, especially in the calmer pockets on the bank or at the base of trees or docks. These areas will warm up and attract baitfish. White or chartreuse have been the top color picks. Dragonflies are still on the menu, so either a blue popper or a proper dragonfly dry will be ideal around cattails. White streamers like a Schminnow or Lo Fat Minnow have worked well when fished on a sink tip parallel to the shore. Use a quick retrieve with a long pause to keep the fly down. This method is best reserved for the warmer parts of the day. Anglers are catching some nice bass on crayfish flies, olive or black patterns have worked best. These flies should be fished pretty low to the bottom with a slow crawl retrieve. A floating fly line will work well with these weighted crayfish flies. You can add a small split shot 18 in. above your fly to help it sink more quickly. Bass that are locked and focused on the beds will be more interested in defending than feeding. The panfish will be found in shallow water, hanging around lily pads and cattails. Small foam spiders and dragonfly dries have worked well as a surface presentation. Try to make these flies smack on the surface, then slowly retrieve the fly. Weighted black Wooly Buggers are a good choice when the bluegill quit hitting topwater flies and move to slightly deeper water. They are a great imitator of dragonfly nymphs. Olive or brown are also good colors when trying to match those nymphs. A slow crawl works best giving the fly a chance to sit still. Bluegill are still munching on grass shrimp near the cattails. Their loud slurps can be heard and are a good indicator that fish are close by. Small scud patterns mimic these shrimp the best. Some anglers prefer using a strike indicator several feet above the fly to keep them above the submerged grass. A deep indicator rig with your fly several feet under your indicator has helped with keeping specs and big bluegill on the line..
Best techniques for the week include Technique 1) Large white or chartreuse poppers fished slow close to cover. Technique 2) White streamer patterns fished on a sink tip. Size 6 streamers have been the best size. The shad they are schooling on are typically small. Technique 3) Black or olive crayfish flies fished low and slow close to the shoreline. Crawl the fly over prospective areas, frequent pauses can coax a bite.
The topwater bite will continue to improve with the warming water temps. Stick with white or chartreuse poppers as these have worked well lately. The streamer fishing has been pretty straightforward with small white streamers being the top choices. The shad are small and we have seen multiple bass chase shad onto lily pads and strike. Stick with scuds and dragonfly nymphs for bluegill fishing subsurface. Small foam spiders and dragonfly dries work well to tempt the bluegill on the surface. Searching for areas close to deeper water will allow you to locate the fish easier. Rivers provide an excellent shelter on those windy days. At the time of this report: the Peace River is below average and stable (111 CFS). Econ River is below average and stable (54.4 CFS). Myakka River is below average and stable (18.8 CFS). Hillsborough is below average and stable (76.8 CFS). Withlacoochee is above average and stable (11.1 CFS). Kissimmee River near Frostproof is below average and stable (26.7 CFS).
New & Local-Tungsten Bottom Sniffer and a fresh batch of Sloppy Jose are perfect bluegill and specs
Fly Tying Club cancelled till Tuesday, April 7th.
Fly tying is regularly at Andy Thornal Company on the first and third Tuesdays at 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 10-80. Bring your own tools or borrow some of ours. The class is free, but we ask everyone to make a $10 to offset costs. Come into the shop at any time for tips and assistance with your fly tying!