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Fly Fishing Lakeland | Saddle Creek

This may be the easiest place to Fly Fish for Bass from the bank in Florida.  Fishing is the prime activity at this large park,  though hiking trails, boating, bird watching, canoeing & kayaking, and camping are available.  The park is easy to find and extensive shore line calls out for fly fishing.

When fly fishing for bass, expect small to medium fish, and they are plentiful when you can find them.  Bluegill are also abundant, and this may be one of the best places to catch a catfish on the fly.

Fly Fishing Lakeland

BANK FLY FISHING IS SO AVAILIBLE AT SADDLE CREEK PARK because the land was a phosphate mine circa 1960.  As engineers re-claimed the watershed, they created a series of small, connected lakes with a large number of peninsulas extending into the lakes. 

Fly Rods

About one half mile of the shore line is closely mown, wonderful for fly casting.  There is approximately one mile more with vegetation on the bank that is still fishable.  The water is of medium clarity and deep enough that sub-surface tactics are in order.  Your gear might include:

  • A nine foot rod, four to six weights
  • A floating line with a seven to nine foot leader.
  • Sunglasses for safety
  • Forceps and nippers on a zinger
  • A stripping basket is worthwhile here
  • There are spots for top water flies here, but the depth of the water lends itself to Clouser Minnows, Stan’s Bass Worm or an EP fly fished slowly.

Fly Fishing Lakeland

TO IMPROVE YOUR FLY FISHING EXPERIENCE try using a stripping basket.  It holds the line that has been stripped of the reel, allowing the fly fisher to walk and cast more easily.

Boat Ramp at Saddle Creek

SADDLE CREEK HAS THREE CONCRETE BOAT RAMPS and plenty of accessibility for Kayak Fishing and canoe.  There are a number of large scaly reptiles patrolling these waters; wading is not recommended.

Comments are encouraged and appreciated!


By Chris O'Byrne, Director of Fly Fishing Schools


Interactive Map


Allen Wyatt
Allen Wyatt


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