Fishing Conditions: Good
Surface Temp: 82F
Water Clarity: Tannic 12-inches
Guide Tip: Immediately after a rain fall one of my favorite tactics is to seek out flowing water either from a culvert pipe, canal mouth, or other outsource and fish a size 10 squirmito worm fly in blood red or glow in the dark. This is a key pattern for our hotter fishing times as this inflow of cool water washes in terrestrials, and disorients baitfish. The easiest method is under a small strike indicator with an AA split shot. This allows you to keep the fly in the strike zone ( usually 3-4ft under the strike indicator). As usual large white or olive poppers fished parallel to the grasslines help you cover water and find your fish early in the morning then you can come back later in the day and target them with heavier streamer patterns in a similar color scheme at the topwater.
Techniques: This time of year can be a tricky time to be a freshwater fly fisherman. The fish can get fairly difficult to target moving into heavier cover to escape the heat. The time of a trip can make all the difference with early morning and evening bring prime times due to more mild temps, after a rainfall is a great time as well. This is one of my favorite times of year to get up early and throw big poppers around submerged grasslines and lily pads. Also submerged timber, if you fish where I fish and it’s a little lacking on lily pads. The fish will hug the cover and will aggressively explode on any disturbance, if they miss the topwater strike I like to either mark a waypoint or just remember the spot and circle back around a little while later and target that fish with a similar colored streamer pattern. When fishing large topwater flies or streamers near heavy cover I find a short stout leader is key, as this helps turn over heavier flies and gives us more room to step on the gas pedal and horse those bass out of some thick cover. An 8- 8 1/2 ft 20 pound leader is the ideal tool when your “power” fly fishing. When it comes to streamers which are my personal favorite bluegill patterns work the best for me. The classic Clouser Minnow is a safe choice, I personally prefer the E.P brush style flies as they look more realistic and push a good bit of water. I have the best luck with olive and orange or black and purple. Usually the darker the water the darker the fly as it provides a better contrasting image to the fish. But a black and purple will tear it up in clear water because the bluegill darken up after suspending in deeper water. I like to fish these on an intermediate sinking line with an AA or BB split shot on a 3-4 ft piece of fluorocarbon. Purple or orange crawfish patterns are killer lower water column patterns when targeting structure in deeper water during the warmer parts of the day. Those several patterns allow you to fish the entire water column and are a year round staple in my fly boxes. As for our bluegill fishing it’s still great but the bass bite has picked up while the panfish has slowed for others. A small spider or popper fished with a caddis nymph dropper is just about the best way to target the bream now. My nymphs rarely change and I usually have about the same amount of luck with different fly patterns as a dropper nymph but don’t be afraid to experiment with nymph size and color. A slight change from olive to tan could turn the day around. For fishing slightly deeper water try a dark colored woolly bugger with a AA split shot crimped about six-ten inches above the fly.
Local River/Weather Outlook: Now you shouldn’t fear the high water you should just be prepared to fish shallow as this new water pushes some fish EXTREMELY shallow, we’ve poled flooded cow fields and sight casted very large bass with topwater this time of year last year, I’ll leave it at that. Winds are manageable and the evening rains will continue. The current water level on the Peace River, Hillsborough River, Econ River, and Myakka River are very high at this time. As is the Withalacoochee River. The Kissimmee River is also above normal level.
Submitted by: Hunter Towery
Peace Creek Guide Service