Fly Fishing During The Transition Period

Best Time: Morning
Surface Temp: 82-85 Degrees
Clarity: Slightly Tannic, 18”

I hope everyone made it through Hurricane Irma ok and without too much damage. Let’s keep the residents of South Florida in our prayers as they recover.
Tips: The trend for this month has been near shore grass lines and cooler water. The fishing has been pretty spectacular at times and also equally as frustrating. The bass has been consistently schooling on shad and is fattening back up. Some of the times they won’t touch a fly no matter the pattern while other times they demolish anything moving. The best way to handle the pickier feeders is to match the hatch as closely as possible with brush style streamers and downsizing tippet size. White Clouser is also working well in a size 6 bead chain, they are keying in on the smaller shad.

When the schooling subsidies focus on pounding the bank with weighted Clousers during the heat of the day and bright poppers during the cooler parts of the day. Try to switch up tactics if they aren’t responding well, this is the transition period. Watch for receding grass lines as this will force the baitfish into the open and the bass will be feasting, they are already patrolling around these grass lines eating bait.

The panfish bite has been successful with some nice size shell crackers and bluegill caught in hares ear nymphs. In my opinion, these make the best dropper flies to trail behind a number 10 popper. Finding sandy bottom has been key, small midges have been hatching look for small bugs on the surface and this will attract the bluegill. Most anglers in Florida overlook our aquatic insects but they are a key ingredient in our lakes and rivers food chain.
My favorite nymphs are a size 12 hares ear, size 14 damselfly nymph, and a size 20 midge. These will mimic nearly all of our aquatic insects and all make great dropper flies as they won’t pull the popper down under the surface. Fishing these tandem rigs near the grass lines is a great way to fish the whole water column and find fish faster. Covering water is key.

There will be plenty of water moving through creeks, rivers, and canals. Canals with moving water should be good for bluegill and bass fishing all week. There is potential for bass on topwater after rain, but expect them to be in the deeper parts of the lake or in shaded structure. The water levels on the Peace River, Econ River, and Myakka River are high, far above normal. Kissimmee River (below the Hwy 60 Dam,) are at historic record highs. Lake levels have risen.

Hunter Towery
Peace Creek Guide Service