Winter Haven Chain of Lakes, Florida Fly Fishing Reports & Conditions
Fly Fishing Map of Winter Haven Chain of Lakes, FL
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Winter Haven Chain of Lakes, Florida Fly Fishing Reports & Conditions
My tips of the week
Fishing a topwater popper up shallow has been a good bet early in the day. Whenever your fishing this way try to drop a wooly bugger off the back of the popper. This will allow you to keep the trailing fly in the strike zone. Still be on the lookout for schooling fish in slightly deeper water, and also bass beds up closer to shore. A good number of bass will be locked on their beds, and will behave aggressively towards any threat in/near their beds.
Fishing Conditions

Fly Fishing Winter Haven Chain of Lakes is currently Good

Orvis-Endorsed guides nearby:

Water flow:

Visibility: 24 inches

Water temperature at mid-day: 70 Degrees F

Water condition: Stained

Best time of day to fish: Bookends (sunrise and sunset)

Best stretch:

Best access point:

Fly fishing hatches in order of importance:

Dragonflies, Caddisflies, Blind Mosquitos

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

Fishing season: Year Round

Nearest airport: Orlando International Airport

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

The bluegill will continue to push shallow, some lakes have spawning fish already. They have been pretty aggressive and are really liking Sprogs and Myakka Minnow fly patterns. The colors have mattered as of late, with yellow or chartreuse topwater flies being the most productive. Sometimes they aren't in a chasing mood, switching to a nymph pattern and slowly retrieving it back can save the day. When fishing this way utilizing a heavier nymph pattern such as a tungsten Copper John will keep the fly closer to the bottom. A slow retrieve along grasslines near docks have put a few nice bluegill in the boat. The popper dropper rig continues to be the ticket as far as consistency goes. A unique variation is a Sprog with a Myakka Minnow as a dropper fly. This will usually keep away the really tiny bream and allows you to target larger panfish. The bass bite has been good and the lakes are continuing to stay busy as the weather keeps staying warm. The bass will still be aggressive when guarding fry. Looks for tight pods of bass fry near hyacinth mats or other thick grasses. Topwater gurglers will draw explosive strikes form the more aggressive bass. Some lakes have been pressured pretty hard and the bass are settling in slightly deeper water. Try using a shorter leader with your topwater as it will help turn over wind resistant flies in the higher winds. Keep your flies a little deeper than usual and focus on submerged grasslines. When switching over to baitfish patterns the best place to cast is parallel to the shoreline. Bluegill pattern streamers have still been the ticket for the bass. Try using a faster retrieve rate this allows you to cover more water. Try varying the depth during the retrieve if they aren't responding to a steady retrieve. They are typically schooling on the windblown side of the lake. Specs(Crappie) have pushed up shallow as well and are hanging out in the pads or in thicker grasslines. Use baitfish patterns in white, or bright colors such as chartreuse in sizes 6, or 8. The crappie have been caught midday, suspended near shore on heavy, small clousers. When retrieving the fly long slow strips have been the best. This keeps the fly deeper in the water column and closer to the fish.

7-Day Forecast

On most lakes, Bass have moved off the beds, although some of the Bucks may be shallow. Expect bluegill to move onto beds. Tilapia will continue to be in the shallow water and can be caught on nymphs. The winds will cooperate more this week with the temps cooling off later in the week. The fishing will continue to stay good even through the cooler weather The Peace, Hillsborough, and Withlacoochee Rivers are all at above average, but falling water and flow levels. The Econ and Myakka Rivers are at average levels.

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