Winter Haven Chain of Lakes, Florida Fly Fishing Reports & Conditions
Fly Fishing Map of Winter Haven Chain of Lakes, FL
Bookmark and Share
Winter Haven Chain of Lakes, Florida Fly Fishing Reports & Conditions
My tips of the week
Bass fishing on topwater is very good. Bluegill are better underneath on a small (sz10) Wooly Bugger variant(hopefully with rubber legs.) Popper dropper rigs with classic trout flies on the dropper are always a best bet. Bluegill are hugging, perhaps even touching, the cover. They will not come out 12" for a fly so your casts have to be on-the-money. Bass 12"' to 18" are taking topwater poppers and sliders on the edge of the weedlines and lily pads. The color that has an edge is white, but electric blue is still work for bluegill. Bluegill are biting in the same areas.
Fishing Conditions

Fly Fishing Winter Haven Chain of Lakes is currently Excellent

Orvis-Endorsed guides nearby:

Water flow:

Visibility: 18 inches

Water temperature at mid-day: 84 Degrees F

Water condition: Stained

Best time of day to fish: Morning

Best stretch:

Best access point:

Fly fishing hatches in order of importance:


Fish species: Largemouth Bass, Panfish, Crappie, Gar, Grass Carp

Fishing season: Year Round

Nearest airport: Orlando International Airport

Free Orvis Fish Sticker

Winter Haven Chain of Lakes Description

The Winter Haven Chain of Lakes is a large group of around 60 different lakes located midway between Orlando and Tampa. A little less than an hours drive from either one of these metro areas you can find access via boat ramps on about a dozen of the lakes many of which are connected by a canal system allowing boaters into most all the lakes during higher water.

Most of the lakes are shallow ...

Techniques & Tips

Experience shows that there will be more aggressive feeding from shady and protected areas. Fish the docks that are close to deep water during the heat of the day and afternoon. Fish under the cypress and oak trees along shorewhen they cast a shadow. Follow the shadows, and notice the shadow lines from the trees; these are ambush points for bass. The east side of the lake is shaded in the morning, the west side is shaded in the afternoon. Use this to your advantage with topwater flies. Smaller bass using poppers and sliders are still working. Popper flies size 4 to 10 are producing bass in the 12" to 18" range. Summer rain patterns in the afternoon have cooled surface temps a little, and the sunset bite has been good, but the morning bite is excellent. Try frog patterns in the lilies during heat of the day. It is a great technique when the sun is high and the fish are hunkered under the lilies. One locally produced fly, 'Sprogs' have been catching bluegill fished inside the cattail and bullrush edgelines. Consistent bluegill success on a dropper rig with a prince nymph (instead of a pheasant tail.) New this week are the subsurface catches on wooly buggers when surface poppers are not working.

7-Day Forecast

HIgh pressure takes over till Friday when summer rain returns through the weekend. Expect the bass feeding to be more focused during the cloudy parts of the day. Morning should be best for a topwater bite. Lake levels are moderately high. Some of the lakes get more complex to fly fish because the water floods into the grass and timber areas. The fish are gorging on little bugs and lizards and other snacks in a place we cannot cast a fly. Some examples are Lake Mattie, Lake Kissimmee, & Crooked Lake, but there are hundreds of lakes that will have this same problem if lakes levels rise. The water levels on the Peace River, Hillsborough River, Withlacoochee River, Econ River and Myakka River are very high (5x to 10x normal water flow,) flooding much of the timber and bramble that is on the bank. The Kissimmee River (below the HWY 60) dam is also high. We will see lake levels fall until the rains returns on the weekend.

Save Email

Add Your Fishing Report