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 fishermen are going to find fish in 4 to 6 feet of water. There are multiple reports of decent bass at this depth. The trick is to use weighted flies like a clouser or a conehead bugger, and count the fly down 10 seconds before you retrieve. The faster you retrieve, the more the fly comes to the surface. This is a problem since the fish want the fly moving fast, and down deep. Tip for this: 1)sinking line, or 2) sinking-tip or 3) Loop-to-Loop sink tip. These lines will keep your fly deep, and use a fast retrieve. More Bluegill this week, with a change in tactics. "Early Bird" will catch the most fish. We had a nice report on a spider-dropper rig. Some bluegill hit on the spider (black,) most on the beadhead prince below. Important-Use bead head flies to drop to the bottom-use a long dropper tippet (3ft to 5ft). The popper bite it sill on, but early and late seem to be the rule. Colors-Chartreuse, White and Black. Size-Small and Medium.
Fishing Conditions

Fly Fishing Winter Haven Chain of Lakes is currently Excellent

Orvis-Endorsed guides nearby:

Water flow:

Visibility: 12 inches

Water temperature at mid-day: 84 Degrees F

Water condition: Muddy

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

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

Water temps continue to heat up, with occasional bucket dumps of rain. This is a formula for cloudy water. Some lakes, not all, are very cloudy-even chunky. This can occur when you put cold rain water on top of hot lake water. The hot water rises and brings all the bottom muck with it. Old timers would say 'the lake has turned.' This is usually a winter phenomenon in Central Florida, but when there are huge downpours of cool rain, this can happen anytime of the year. Our suggestion change to a different lake for a week. Come back and the fish will be very hungry! .The heat of the surface can shut down the bite. Follow the afternoon shade to find the most aggressive fish. Expect rain storms in the afternoon. Water is flowing through canals and large culverts. They are feeding funnels. Pay particular attention to the seawalls in the canals as they can give a fish a great spot to hang. Bluegill success on Dropper rigs with soft hackle nymphs and bushier style nymphs. Nymphs should be bushy, with rubber legs, and weighted, as there is plenty of bluegill action on the bottom.

7-Day Forecast

Falling pressure through the week, and clear afternoons til Thursday is forecast. Flowing canals will create feeding funnels and should be an opportunity. Lake levels are very high. Some of the lakes are complex to fly fish because the water floods into the grass and timber areas. The water levels are very high, docks are under water on the Winter Haven Chain, and flood control damns are wide open. Econ, Myakka, and Kissimmee (below Hwy 60) are at normal level for this time of year. Peace, Hillsborough, and Withlacootchee are very high---extra care should be taken. We expect bass fishing to improve to excellent this week.

Save Email

Add Your Fishing Report