Dog Days On The Fly

Conditions: Great
Surface Temp: 85F
Clarity: Tannic 18-24 Inches

Guide Tip: Whenever you have high water levels and a higher water temperature I always have great success fishing the flooded shoreline with a Dahlberg Diver type fly pattern. These flies work very well since they float but have a bullet shaped head so whenever you strip the fly it dives and leaves a bubble trail behind it. Calling fish from great distances.

Techniques: The vast majority of anglers fly rod or conventional don’t pay attention to their shadows. I like to make sure as much of my shadow is as far away from where I’m fishing as possible. Look for inflows or outflows as they attract all species to feed on terrestrials and baitfish that get churned up by the flowing current. Starting the day with a light colored popper or diver to cover water and find active fish is your best bet. Overhanging limbs and docks will hold the majority of fish. When targeting these heavy cover areas a strong tippet is key, as is a SLOW retrieve. When fishing a diving fly I tend to avoid a dropper fly since the fly already covers a lot of the water column. But on a traditional popper pattern I love to trail a small woolly bugger behind the point fly. As the day heats up chucking streamers is the go to for largemouth. I like to use an intermediate sinking line so I can fish bulkier flies and still have a solid sink rate. I prefer a bluegill imitation like an olive and orange Clouser Minnow and I’ll fish this fly around shady hideouts and submerged grass lines. The Clouser will be fairly weedless, but I’d resist the urge to fish it in really heavy cover. That is the place for a weedless brush fly. Some of lakes have sandier, harder bottoms that are better for fishing flies on the bottom. A purple or rust colored crayfish fly crawled along the bottom is a great tactic during the hottest part of the day. A little known tactic to target suspended bluegill is to use a strike indicator about 2 feet from the fly line then add two split shots about a third way down the leader where the butt and midsection meet. Then tie off a size 12 Hares Ear or 12 Pheasant Tail. The nymph is much deeper than most anglers fish and I crawl the fly back very slowly, pulling the fly line to my wrist on the retrieve.

River Level Outlook: Currently all our water levels on the Econ River, Hillsborough River, Withlacoochee River, Peace River and The Kissimmee River (below the HWY 60) dam are high. This is a challenging situation but remember the fish will push up extremely shallow during these high water levels.

Submitted by: Hunter Towery
Peace Creek Guide Service