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
Bright days will congregate fish into shadows. Docks create shade, but so do tree lines. A good angler will follow the shadows across the lake-East side at sunrise, West side at sunset. Topwater for Bluegill in the morning. The fish are shallow early in the day. As the day progresses they head to deeper and cooler water. Big Bass are pursuing frogs. They are pushing shallow where the frogs are laying their eggs. Umpqua Diving Frogs, Dahlberg Divers, Stewarts Hula Frog, and Raineys Georgia Bullfrawgs can produce a personal best. Get out your 8wt to cast these big flies. Presentation is opposite of tradition. Frog patterns should definitely plop when they hit the water, just like a frog. A successful plop will get the bass to look up. Heavy leaders are needed in the heavy cover-where this style of fly fishing is most effective.
Fishing Conditions

Fly Fishing Winter Haven Chain of Lakes is currently Good

Orvis-Endorsed guides nearby:

Water flow:

Visibility: 18 inches

Water temperature at mid-day: 89 Degrees F

Water condition: Slightly Turbid

Best time of day to fish: Morning, Midday

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

When the sun is high, bream and bass will move deeper. Small streamers along weedlines and docks will produce fish. Small wooly buggers and bigger clousers will get the flies near the bottom. Next technique is a floater/dropper tandem rig for panfish. Using foam body poppers or hoppers, attach a dropper underneath-using pheasant tails, hare's ear or a prince nymph-these should hang 3 or 4 feet off the floater. Dragonflies are year round in Florida. Throw blue poppers and/or wooly buggers (dragonfly nymph) to match the hatch. Because the Dragons are year round, every size is appropriate. Proving the irony of fishing-we have two contrasting popper techniques that are recommended. One customer insists on popping vigorously and then waiting till the rings dissipate, then pop again... Another insists that gentle, quick and continuous tugs are what is generating strikes. The diving style flies are working too-using a long quick strip to make them dive, and waiting till the fly resurfaces-seems to be irresistible to larger bass with a personal best reported. Dahlberg divers have been in the mouth of several photos over the last two weeks.

7-Day Forecast

We anticipate bluegills to be shallow, surface bite at sunrise and sunset. Tilapia are a possibility with a dropper rig. Grass carp will be cruising the shallows-let us know if you can get them to eat. Big Bass will be found in shaded cover. Small black and small white minnow patterns will be good. Clear mornings with Summer-pattern, afternoon rain this week. Winds will be moderate except when storms are near. Suprisingly, lake levels fell last week, but we expect lake levels and river levels to rise through the week. At the time of this report: the Peace River is average level, Econ is above level, Myakka River is half of seasonal average, Hillsborough is at above average and the Withlacoochee spillway is flowing heavy when it should be near 0. Kissimmee River gauge below the Hwy 60 dam is currently not reporting. All Florida rivers can double, triple, or higher, during our extreme heavy rains. Use caution this week when on the river with paddle craft.

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