Hours 10-6 Monday-Saturday (863) 299-9999

2020-11-16 FLY FISHING REPORT

by T. Allen Wyatt

Report is: Excellent
Surface Temp is about 76
Weedless Poppers, Dragon Fly Patterns, and Baby Batifish patterns

Fly Tying Club returns, first and third Tuesdays at 6pm.  Because of social distancing, seating is limited.


Dawn and Sean Sass with some incredible Michigan Salmon.

Tips of the Week:  Buck bass and Crappie are cruising weedlines.   A fast retrieve on baitfish/streamer patterns may create reaction strikes.  A second cast in the same place may be the key.  We suggest Clouser Deep Minnows-White, Sexy Shad, Baby Bluegill and Chartreuse are good colors.  Weedless poppers will be productive in grass and lilies.  Use a heavy leader and a fly w/weedguard to prevent getting hung.   Bluegill will be found, hanging around lily pads.  Small foam spider with rubber legs, trailing a beaded pheasant tail or rainbow warrior-only a slow twitch.  Five minutes of extra slow retrieve is normal for this technique. It is easy fishing that will drive Bluegill nuts. 

Jim Bishop sent pics from an incredible trip.  Love the Brookie.

 Incredible rainbow trout for Karl and Angie Duce.

7 Day Outlook: When the wind settles down, we will find the fish cooperative. It may be some of the most productive fishing of the season, with Crappie (Specs,) Bass, and Bluegill in water that is easily fished with a fly rod.   Pheasant tail nymphs, squirmy worms, and  dragonfly nymphs are perfect for bluegill fishing subsurface. Small foam spiders and dragonfly dries will tempt the bluegill and bass on the surface.  Search for woody structure and canal seawalls to attract fish.  Popper fishing can be very effective at first light.

 Jason Bergwall sent these pics from a recent South Florida Bike Ride[?]

Techniques: Poppers (with rubber legs,) fished slowly during low light conditions, and even during the day under shady over-hang and around docks.  Rubber legged spiders above or Wilson's bully spider below the surface for Bluegill.  Move slow.  They will be next to solid structure like metal sea walls, dock pilings, or knock down cypress.  Fish the moving water as lakes drain the recent tropical rains.  Reaction strikes can be enticed with deep running lousers and EP Baitfish patterns.

AJ Trevino tied an amazing Mini Game Changer, and the Bass like it!

 
While on the road, Steve Barringer, tied this gurgler with Glow-in-the-dark flash.

We love your fly fishing and tying pics.  Please share at allen@andythornal.com 

October 12, 2020

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Bass Fly Fishing ›   Fly Tying ›  


2020-10-12 Fly Fishing Report

by T. Allen Wyatt

Report is: Good
Surface Temp is about 76
Weedless Poppers, Dragon Fly Patterns, and Baby Batifish patterns

Fly Tying Club returns, first and third Tuesdays at 6pm in October.  Because of Social DistancingSeating is very limited.

Jim Bishop has tied some beautiful October flies for North Georgia trout.

Watch for schooling shad, this time of year.  Bass will find them and crash through in a frenzy.  Small white baitfish patterns are your best bet.  Glass minnows, Puglissi minnows, and white clousers are perfect for this.  The action is fast and furious---when you can find it.  Reaction style retrieve are important during the fall transition. A fast retrieve on baitfish and streamers will create reaction strikes.  A second cast in the same sport may be the key.  We suggest Clouser Deep Minnows-White, Sexy Shad, Baby Bluegill and Chartreuse are good colors.  Buck Bass are focused on grass lines and shoreline.  Weedless poppers will be productive in grass and lilies.  Use a heavy leader with a fly w/weedguard to prevent getting hung.   The panfish will be found in shallow water, hanging around lily pads and cattails.  Small foam spider with rubber legs, trailing a beaded pheasant tail or rainbow warrior-only a slow twitch.  Five minutes of extra slow retrieve is normal for this technique. It is easy fishing that will drive Bluegill nuts. 

With continued heat and afternoon storms, we expect deep clouser methods to produce.  Pheasant tail nymphs, squirmy worms, and  dragonfly nymphs are perfect for bluegill fishing subsurface. Small foam spiders and dragonfly dries will tempt the bluegill and bass on the surface.  Search for woody structure  and canal seawalls to attract fish.

Best techniques for the week include Technique 1) Poppers (with rubber legs,) fished slowly during low light conditions, and even during the day under shady over hang and around docks. Technique 2)Heavy rain creates flowing water,  Largemouth bass will flip into Ambush mode.  Struggling Baby Bass, Baby Bluegill, and Baby Tilapia, and Golden Shiners are targets. Swing Puglisi style baitfish and wooly buggers in the current.  These places include: canals, culverts, and/or drain pipes.    3)Rubber legged spiders above or Wilson's bully spider below the surface for Bluegill.  Move slow.  They will be next to solid structure like metal sea walls, dock pilings, or knock down cypress.

2020-05-29 Fly Fishing Report, Fly Tying, and 101 Class schedule

Fly Fishing 101
Fly Fishing 101 resumes.  Due to our historic times-Class sizes are very limited.  While there is no cost, reservations are required (863) 299-9999 or info@andythornal.com  Click here for more info and class dates.
Chris Walls caught this 3 1/2lb Bowfin.  It literally destroyed the popper.   



Tips

The topwater bite is excellent.  Fish small poppers and sliders for bluegill and buck bass with white or olive being the top color picks.  Larger bass have moved into deeper water, mostly.  Except a couple of people are finding afternoon schools of shad on the surface.  While very late for schooling shad, the weather has kept water temps a little cooler than normal.  Small white streamers and EP style minnow flies will be the right size. Crayfish flies, olive or black/blue should be fished pretty low to the bottom with a slow crawl retrieve.  The panfish will be found in shallow water, hanging around lily pads, cattails, and buggy whips.  Small foam spiders and dragonfly dries are dependable. Small weighted black Wooly Buggers and Bream Reapers are a good choice when the bluegill quit hitting topwater flies and move to slightly deeper water. A slow crawl or short hops but slow on the bottom. Mayfly Hexagenia are still hatching on some of the lakes.  This large, 1.5" bug drives the fish, nuts. Big Stimulators and or foam tail dry flies are the ticket.  We like a deep indicator rig-with your fly several feet under for specs and big bluegill, fished on weedlines, or fished vertically in the deeper grass. Tilapia have been chewing these deep rigs too.  Had a report that they are taking grass shrimp, too.

Hunter Towery, Sweetwater Guide Service, Colorado
Hunter Towery is spending the summer, guiding in Colorado,  Give him a call at 863-837-7028, or hunter.sweetwaterguideservice@gmail.com  Go catch a rainbow!

Forecast                                                                                      

 The topwater bite will continue to excel with the warmer weather. Stick with white or olive poppers They are working, especially in the shade. The streamer fishing has been very good, white is  the top choice.  New colors in clousers to try are sexy shad and bluegill (small size 6.)  AND Gulf Coast Snook fishing is great along the beaches!  Same white baitfish patterns as the bass, but add shrimp and sand flea patterns to the mix.   Back to lakes-big mayfly patterns on top and dragonfly nymphs subsurface, for bluegill.   Windy days can bring all types of terrestrials onto the surface.  Bluegill will key on them.  Small foam spiders, beetles and ants are important for bluegill on the surface.  Bigger bass will be in 5-9 foot.  Buck bass will be cruising the grass lines.  At the time of this report: the Peace River is above average  (258 CFS). Econ River is above average (243 CFS).  Myakka River is far above average (99 CFS). Hillsborough is below average and slowly falling (58 CFS). Withlacoochee is high at (1.4CFS). Kissimmee River near Frostproof is high  (79 CFS).  Afternoon Storms can change these levels to flood stage, very quickly.

>>>INSERT YOUR BASS or BLUEGILL PIC HERE<<<
Share your Pic with the Central Florida Fly Fishing Community!  We know you are catching fish.

 

Techniques

Best techniques for the week include Technique 1) White or olive poppers fished slowly during low light conditions, and even during the day under shady over hang and around docks. Technique 2) 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. Add a small split shot 18 in. above the fly if the winds pick up. This will help maintain proper depth. Technique 3) Small baitfish patterns fished on the edge of structure in the morning or evening.

 Craig Jameson tied this beautiful Wilson's Bully Bumble

Fly Tying Returns on Tuesday, June 2nd.  We will set up in our larger room, and seating is very limited.  6 foot spacing, and mask is recommended. If you are interested, please contact Allen Wyatt allen@andythornal.com 863-299-9999Mon-Sat 10-6eastern Also, we can send instructions electronically.  

2020-04-13 Fly Fishing Report

Big Bug Sale Click for More Info
Big Bug Sale See the Selection

Fly Tying Club and Fly Fishing 101 are postponed.  These activies will resume as soon as possible!  

Conditions: Good
Surface Temp: 79f
Clarity: Slightly Tannic 28-inches

Rylan Jameson with a beautiful bass caught on the 3wt!

Tips

Disappointing news, most public boat ramps are closed, but there are exceptions.  Sheriff’s office is enforcing social distancing at the open ramps. Tenoroc WMA is not open as of this report.  If you can get on the water, the topwater bite is good with white, black, and frog being the top color picks. Larger bass are schooling  shad in open water. Keep your eyes out for nervous water or exploding fish.  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.  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. Small weighted black Wooly Buggers are still a good choice when the bluegill quit hitting topwater flies and move to slightly deeper water. 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 olive scud patterns mimic the grass shrimp with orange patterns represent dying scuds. Some anglers prefer using a strike indicator several feet above the fly to keep them above the submerged grass.  A deep rig, with your fly several feet under your indicator, has helped keep specs and big bluegill on the line.

Jason Bergwall Quarantying

Jason Bergwall has been 'Quarantying' some beautiful streamers.

Forecast                                                                                      

The topwater bite will continue to excel with the calmer days and warmer weather. White, Black or Frog poppers are working, especially in the shade. The streamer fishing is straightforward with small "electric chicken" streamers being the top choice. Stick with scuds and dragonfly nymphs for bluegill fishing subsurface, fished near the bottom. 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 or crowded days. At the time of this report: The Peace River extremely low and falling (60CFS). Econ River is extremely low and falling (30 CFS).  Myakka River is extremely low and falling (9 CFS). Hillsborough is below average and slowly falling (50 CFS). Withlacoochee is about normal trickle (1CFS). Kissimmee River near Frostproof is below average and slowly falling (14 CFS).  This time of year, water levels should be lowest.  Lake levels are falling rapidly.

Techniques

Best techniques for the week include Technique 1) Small bluegill or chartreuse clousers fished tight to shore and slowly retrieved. Pink and white has also worked well as of late.  Technique 2) White, black, or frog poppers fished slowly during low light conditions, and even during the day under shady over hang and around docks. 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. Add a small split shot 18 in. above the fly if the winds pick up. This will help maintain proper depth.  Keep an eye open for the upcoming Giant Mayfly hatch.

Order Fly Tying Material with Free Shipping for a limited time->Click Here

2020-03-31 Fishing Report

Report by Hunter Towery

Fly Tying Club and Fly Fishing 101 are postponed.  These activies will resume as soon as possible!  

Order Fly Tying Material with Free Shipping for a limited time->Click Here

Josh Genrich shows off a beautiful Bluegill caught on 5 wt with a black floating beetle.

Conditions: Excellent
Surface Temp: 78f
Clarity: Slightly Tannic 27-inches

Tips

The warmer days have helped keep the local fishing pretty good. The lakes have been noticeably busier even on weekdays. Tenoroc WMA is one of two open (as of this report) fishing management areas still open in the state. Modified admission rules are in place but the lakes are still open during normal hours. Public ramps are still open with some park closures throughout the state. So far a good number of anglers and boaters have been on the water on the more popular lakes. The topwater bite is still good with white or olive being the top color picks. Larger bass have been schooling on shad in open water. Keep your eyes out for nervous water or exploding fish. 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.  Bass that are locked and focused on the beds will be more interested in defending than feeding. Some fry guarders have been spotted by the shoreline. 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. Small weighted black Wooly Buggers are still a good choice when the bluegill quit hitting topwater flies and move to slightly deeper water. 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.

Craig Jameson has a beautiful Bluegill.  He is teaching his 7 yr old daughter the fine art of the 3wt. 

Forecast                                                                                      

The topwater bite will continue to excel with the calmer days and warmer weather. Stick with white or olive poppers as these have worked well lately, especially in the shade. The streamer fishing has been pretty straightforward with small "electric chicken" streamers being the top choices. 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 or crowded days. At the time of this report: the Peace River is below average and slowly falling (80.0 CFS). Econ River is below average and slowly falling (37.7 CFS).  Myakka River is below average and falling (5.99 CFS). Hillsborough is below average and slowly falling (57.3 CFS). Withlacoochee is above average and slowly falling (5.78 CFS). Kissimmee River near Frostproof is below average and stable (19.4 CFS).

Casting School Director, Chris O'Byrne had a stellar day at Teneroc Management Area.
Boating a nice Tilapia, Several Bass and Bluegill

Techniques

Best techniques for the week include Technique 1) Small pink and chartreuse clousers fished tight to shore and slowly retrieved. Pink and white has also worked well as of late.  Technique 2) White or olive poppers fished slowly during low light conditions, and even during the day under shady over hang and around docks. 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. Add a small split shot 18 in. above the fly if the winds pick up. This will help maintain proper depth.


Hunter Towery and his new Swamp Chicken-Available at Andy Thornal Company->Click Here.  While targeting large mouth bass on 8wt, this fly will be equally effective on Peacock Bass, and Big Tarpon, due to the heavy 2/0 stainless steel hook.  There are a couple of cool tricks to this monster.  Join us at the tying table in the middle of the fly shop.  There is always some tying on the vise.

FLY FISHING REPORT 2019-07-15

Week 07/03/2019
Conditions: Good
Surface Temp: 86f
Clarity: Slightly Tannic 16 inches

Our next free, quick-start fly casting school is Saturday, July 20th 9am-11am!  Call for registration-863-299-9999.  Seats are available! We offer this FREE program during the summer.  Click here for more info. 

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


Shauna and Jason Bergwell on the Manistee River in Michigan.

Tips:

Bright days will congregate fish into shadows.  Docks create shade, but so do tree lines.  A good angler will follow the shadows across the lake-East side at sunrise, West side at sunset. Topwater for Bluegill in the morning. The fish are shallow early in the day.  As the day progresses they head to deeper and cooler water. Big Bass are pursuing frogs. They are pushing shallow where the frogs are laying their eggs.  Umpqua Diving Frogs, Dahlberg Divers, Stewarts Hula Frog, and Raineys Georgia Bullfrawgs can produce a personal best.  For a simple alternative for bluegil, try the new mop flies, in chartreuse.

   
Billy Williams on the Kenai River in Alaska

Techniques:

When the sun is high, bream and bass will move deeper.  Small streamers along weedlines and docks will produce fish. Small wooly bugger and bigger clousers will get the flies near the bottom.   Next technique is a floater/dropper tandem rig for panfish. Using foam body poppers or hoppers, attach a dropper underneath-using pheasant tails, hare's ear or a prince nymph-these should hang 3 or 4 feet off the floater. Dragonflies are year round in Florida.   Throw blue poppers and/or wooly buggers (dragonfly nymph) to match the hatch.  Because the Dragons are year round, every size is appropriate.  Proving the irony of fishing-we have two contrasting popper techniques that are recommended.  One customer insists on popping vigorously and then waiting till the rings dissipate, then pop again...  Another insists that gentle, quick and continuous tugs are what is generating strikes.  The diving style flies are working well-using a long quick strip to make them dive, and waiting till the fly resurfaces.  Seems to be irresistible to larger bass with a personal best reported. Dahlberg divers have been in the mouth of several photos over the last two weeks.


Shawn Ceranic caught some nice bluegill on a chartreseu mop fly. Bluegill are very tough!

Forecast :

We anticipate bluegills to be shallow or near shallow water. The topwater bite will continue in the morning. Frogging for bass should continue to be good.  Also, small black minnow patterns will be good.   End of the week shows a return of rain for the next seven days. Winds will be moderate except near pop up storms. Expect lake levels and river levels to rise through the week.  At the time of this report: the Peace River is average level, Econ is average level, Myakka River is at seasonal average, Hillsborough is at seasonal average and the Withlacoochee spillway is flowing heavy when it should be near 0. Kissimmee River gauge below the Hwy 60 dam is currently not reporting. 


Learn to tie Curt's Lineside at Fly tying club on 7/16 6pm-7:30.   Email us at info@andythornal.com
for a copy of the tying directionss.

LEARN TO TIE YOUR OWN FLIES AT OUR CLUB MEETINGS!  NEXT MEETING IS JULY 16th.  

Special Event, Fly Tying at Beer Rev, Tuesday 7/30/19 6-7:30 [It is Taco Tuesday-Grab some food and brews from our hosts at Beer Rev.]

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.


FLY FISHING REPORT 2019-04-24

Conditions: Excellent
Surface Temp: 76f
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

Our next free quick-start fly casting school is Saturday, April 27th 9am-11am!  Call for registration. Seats are still available! We offer this FREE program during the summer.  Click here for more info. 

Tips:

Topwater in the morning. The fish are shallow early in the day.  As the day progresses they head to deeper,cooler water. Sinking lines are very important as the bass continue to feed on baitfish in deeper water.  Game Changerflies fished on a sinking line will put you in the same deep part of the water colum as a conventional crank bait, but you can work the fly much slower, even suspended.  Take advantage of this unique opportunity.

 

Billy Williams is into the big Bluegills this week!

Techniques:

The bluegill bite is still going strong with topwater flies still working early.  Blue Sprogs and white spiders are favorites.  Small streamers like the Myakka Minnow and the Sloppy Jose have done a great job of picking up fish during the warmer parts of the day. These flies should be fished parallel to the shoreline with a steady retrieve near the weedlines.  Just outside of Lily pads is a favorite spot for tilapia right now, and they will readily take a small streamer this time of year. Adding a small split shot will help these streamers sink more quickly and stay deep during the retrieve. Topwater poppers fished near docks and cattails have produced some explosive bites. With electric blue and olive being the top color choices. Have you seen all of the dragonflies?   It is a good indicator to throw blue poppers. Hexagenia mayflies are hatching in our lakes. This is a great time of year to throw some big bushy dry flies like a stimulator pattern to match the hatch.   This is a great oportunity to fish with a dropper, as stimulators are the ticket to fish a weighted nymph, underneath.  Keep your flies a little deeper than usual and focus on submerged grass lines when throwing streamers. Also try to cast the streamers parallel to the shoreline. Bluegill pattern streamers have still been the ticket for the bass. Try using a faster retrieve rate this allows you to cover more water. They have started schooling up pretty regularly on the windblown side of the lake. Specs(Crappie) have pushed up shallow as well and are hanging out in the pads or in thicker grasslines. Use baitfish patterns in white, or bright colors such as chartreuse in sizes 6, or 8. The crappie have been caught midday, suspended near shore on heavy, small clousers. When retrieving the fly long slow strips have been the best. This keeps the fly deeper in the water column and closer to the fish.                                


Look at the snook that Manuel Morales found on the Peace River!
 
Calvin Lopez is catching small Buck Bass on the 5 wt. this week.  Topwater fun!
Forecast:

Expect bluegill to stay shallow and become aggressive on their beds. The topwater bite will continue. Take advantage of the calmer days and throw more topwater flies. Moon phase is last quarter waning with the New Moon on May 4th.  Lake Levels have risen from recent hard rain. The Peace River is at average yearly levels. The Econ is low, perhaps the lowest level for the year. Myakka River is average. The Hillsborough and Withlacoochee Rivers are at above average levels. Kissimmee River gauge below the Hwy 60 dam is currently not reporting.  This is a great time to be on the water, fishing will continue to be excellent.

Fifth Tuesday of the month, and the Fly Tying Club is at Beer Rev, 3234 Florida Ave S, Lakeland, FL 33803. We supply the materials, bring your own tools or borrow some of ours.  It is Taco Tuesday so get some great food, great drink, and meet some new fly tyers!

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 May 7th.

FLY FISHING REPORT 2019-01-22

Week 01/22/19  - This report was written by Hunter Towery.

Conditions:  Good
Surface Temp: 60f
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

Special Fly Tying Event on Tuesday, 1/29/19 at Beer Revolution

Our friends at Beer Revolution have kindly offered to host a 5th Tuesday Fly Tying Night!  The tying starts at 6pm.  BeerRev offers beers from around the globe and has 23 craft beers on tap.  Every Tuesday is TACO TUESDAY, so grab a brew of some Tacos and join us for fly tying.  If this is your first time at the vice, give us a call and we will bring a set of tools for you.   BeerRev Website

BeerRev address is 3234 Florida Ave S, Lakeland, FL 33803

Jacob Beasley puts a weedless Sneaky Pete to the test! Jacob Beasley was expertly working a Sneaky Pete around the bass this week.

Tip:

With the windier conditions we've had it's a great time to break out the sinking line and bluegill patterned streamers. Start probing the shallows as some fish have started to push up . Reports on this have been varied, that's to be expected as some anglers don't say much about where they find the beds.  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.

Trevor Brown with a beautiful Peacock Bass from a weekend trip to Tamiami Trail!  Nice fish on a 3wt.Trevor Brown with a beautiful Peacock Bass from a weekend trip to the
Tamiami Trail!  Nice fish on a 3wt.

Techniques:
A chartreuse popper has been a great searching fly to find 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) are still being caught along deeper 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.


Weegie Bentley caught this amazing Tilapia on a size 16 Lion fly
(local pattern by David Brooks.)

Forecast

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 lake levels are continuing to drop slowly and clearing in clarity. The Peace, Econ, Hillsborough, Myakka, and Withlacoochee Rivers are all at above average levels but are falling closer to average yearly levels. And levels on the Kissimmee River are at below average level for the time of year.  

Fly Fishing School

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!   

 

 

FLY FISHING REPORT 2019-01-14

Week 01/13/19

Conditions:  Good
Surface Temp: 60f
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

Special Fly Tying Session Jan. 15th.  Our old friend, Captain Craig Crumbliss will show the Art of Bamboo Rod Making, and teach our fly tying session.  More info at page bottom.

Tiger Godwin was catching Brookies on his most recent North Carolina trip.  He is starting a guide service up there.  Contact us at Andy Thornal Company for contact info.

Tip:

The topwater bite has been steadily improving. White poppers and slow sinking streamers fished with a slow cadence have been productive. 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. Be on the lookout for fish up shallow, a popper is a great searching fly to find active fish. Then switch to a streamer and dissect the water around that area. 

                      Trevor Brown went for an hour of 'Therapy' this weekend.

Techniques:

The bass are going to continue pushing up and remaining near shallow water. Think drop offs instead of pounding the bank. They will begin to spawn here shortly so keep your eyes peeled in shallow water. 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.  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 deeper grasslines. 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.

Hunter Towery's "Sloppy Jose" jig fly

Hunter Towery's "Sloppy Jose" jig fly is great for specs.  This color is PBJ

Forecast

The wind will cooperate this week and make it easy to fly fish. The nights will stay cooler but will warm up as the week progresses.

The lake levels are continuing to drop slowly and clearing in clarity. The Peace, Econ, Hillsborough, Myakka, and Withlacoochee Rivers are all at above average levels but are falling. And levels on the Kissimmee River are at below average level for the time of year.  

 This is a lipped version of the Crease Fly.  This very creative 'Crank Bait' is by Billy Williams.

Special Fly Tying Session Jan. 15th.  Our old friend, Captain Craig Crumbliss will show the art of Bamboo rod making, and teach fly tying.

5th Tuesday Fly Tying on Jan. 29th.  We are confirming the location for fly tying in Lakeland, FL.  Hopefully this will be a tradition!

 FLY TYING CLASSES ARE ON FIRST AND THIRD TUESDAYS at 6:00PM-7:30PM.  No reservations needed. We supply materials  and tools (or bring yours.) $10 min purchase requested. Our next tying class is Jan. 15th. Contact us at 863 299-999 for more info.