Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Fly Fishing NE Florida-Wintertime Forecast

As wintertime approaches here in NE Florida I'm very happy to say that the fishing opportunities continue with a welcomed change to our fishing scenario that I really look forward to! Being a former Yankee from NY who appreciates this, let me tell you it's a privilege just to be able to fish during the winter compared to the rest of our country. What comes into mind now is big Sea Trout, schooling Redfish in the marsh and American Shad in the lower St. John's River freshwater's.

As our water temperatures drop it becomes more clear creating  comfortable conditions for Sea
Trout to show up. Best times to fish is in middle of the moving tides around structure casting into deeper holes. There is no doubt that this is the best time of year to get a Gator Sea Trout on fly and I have the perfect fly for it! 
On the other hand you can find large schools of active Redfish looking for a meal mainly in the
 afternoon as the water temperatures have risen through the day primarily around the low tide period. This especially happens a couple days after the cold fronts come through and right before the next front during the warming period. It happens to be that there really isn't much bait around during the winter so a well placed fly put in front of a backing Redfish is welcomed treat!
                                                                Backing School of Redfish                                                   

Finally the American Shad run is something really special that takes place in NE Central Florida starting about mid December through February around the upper headwaters of the St. Johns River. Prime time is January 15th - Feb. 23rd and recommend booking a trip early to reserve the best times. If you have not experienced this fishery you can expect to catch over 10-15 Shad during the prime time running up to 20" long and 4 lbs. on 5 and 6 weight fly rods. These fish are relatives of the Tarpon and will trill you to no end with a great battle and are less than a 2 hours drive away. Be sure to check out the video.