Spring Transition On The Fly

Spring Transition On The Fly

Fishing Conditions: Excellent
Surface Temp: 68f
Clarity: Tannic 18 inches

Tip of the Month: Our weather has been a little indecisive lately, just as soon as we’ll warm up with several days of sunshine it’ll drop again. That’s to be expected this time of year of course and should be savored as long as possible because we all know what Summer will bring. When the weather changes so does our tactics. We will slow down our retrieves, lighten our tippet size, and choose more subtle fly patterns those lacking noisy rattles or a lot of flash.

Techniques: One of my favorite rigs when water temp drop is a Beadhead WoolyBugger. It is hard to beat for all our freshwater species from bass to gar, I even like to fish them under a strike indicator and keep it suspended either over near-shore grasslines or submerged timber since these areas will hold fish due to their higher ambient water temps.The drop in water temperature means the fishing is actually best when it warms back up towards late morning. Whenever the winds make it difficult to keep your fly from behaving correctly switch over to an intermediate sinking line to keep the line from being blown off course during the retrieve. Topwater flies aren’t the best option when its gusting fairly hard. But on the calm days in sheltered areas the topwater bite has been ferocious with big fish crushing flies in small pockets or around the base of submerged trees. When water temperature rises they push even shallower. During these late season cold snaps it helps to target cover that is both in and out of the water since it will warm up faster than submerged cover. When fishing around heavy cover beefing up your fly tackle is necessary, 20 pound tippet is standard along with stiff weedguards on your flies. The bass will literally be touching the cover since they feel safe and are warming themselves. Fly patterns that are key this time of year are olive and orange Clousers and heavy purple or orange craw flies. If the bass have an orange coloration in their mouth or reddened lips they have been feeding on crawfish. These flies are best fished with a sinking line, since once the fly hits the bottom its best to let it sit and crawl along the bottom. With a floating fly line it could get blown around if the winds are blowing and pull the fly away from your target zone. For the fish that are cruising searching for baitfish a white shad pattern fished against windblown grass lines have produced some steady action. Topwater will continue to improve as the water temperature approaches the mid 70’s. The crappie action is hit or miss some anglers are still catching them on the cooler nights drifting in 5-8 feet of water over submerged grass lines with their green lights trailing the side of their boat. The bluegill and panfish bite has been pretty good with more amounts of larger fish creeping up and staying shallow. Topwater spiders and ants fished around shade during the warmer parts of the day have brought some good fish to the boat.

Local Weather and River Levels : Weather conditions are warming up but the winds are mildly blowing. The bass fishing is great and will continue improving. Spec fishing (Crappie) should continue to be good. The bluegill bite is solid too. The water level on the Peace River, Econ River, Hillsborough River, Myakka River, and Kissimmee River are low. The water levels on the Withalacoochee River is high.

Submitted by: Hunter Towery
Peace Creek Guide Service