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page 3 out of 15
Mixed Bag New Year's Orlando Fishing Report We fished the Mosquito Lagoon one day, and the St. Johns River two days, and the Banana River Lagoon one day. Of course results were a mixed ... morebag. And Sunday is New Year's Day! So we have a mixed bag New Year's Orlando fishing report!

Best wishes to all for a happy, healthy, and prosperous 2017!

Monday around noon I went launched the Bang-O-Craft on the St. Johns. Son Alex and John Napolitano were with me. It was warm and sunny and every airboat in Florida seemed to be there. Fish were popping fry minnows all over the river.

At the mouth of the Econ there was a paddling fly caster who steadily caught 12 inch bass on a small white streamer. Since there were three of us we refrained from joining him and went farther up the Econ. We found breaking fish up there but they weren't taking our flies very well. John and I each got a crappie.

We went back down the river and the other angler had left. We took his spot. Fish were breaking steadily. Using a fry fly I did some damage! Bluegills, bass, and my first shad of this season all succumbed to the fry fly's charms.

When the action slowed we went down the river, where we found another spot with breaking fish. Again, the fry fly did some damage, taking some reasonably large bass. The other fly that worked extremely well was a #10 white Gurgler, a silly little fly. The fish liked it, though!

Fry Fly
hook- Daiichi X510, #10
thread- Danville flat waxed nylon, white
wing- craft fur, light grey, light tan, or cream
eye- Witchcraft 3-D, 5 mm

Start the thread. Cut off a clump of craft fur and pick out most of the fluff. Tie it on to the hook, smooth the head, and whip finish.

Glue the eyes on with Zap a Dap a Goo or Duco cement. After the glue dries, coat the head with Softex.

Since the fly is small, you'll catch some very small fish with it. Some surprisingly large fish will take it, too. The hook is on 3x thick wire, so it will hold a good fish without issues.

You can see how to tie a gurgler here http://www.spottedtail.com/how-to-tie-a-gurgler/. Since the #10 is so small I use hackle fibers for the tail and the tying thread for the body- simple!

On Tuesday Greg Scible and Caleb Cousins joined me for some Mosquito Lagoon light tackle action. Unfortunately the action part was fairly slow- a couple trout and small reds. We started fishing the spots that had been so good to me last week- not so good this day. We tried Deadly Combo-ing for trout. We got a few fish but again, pretty slow.

We checked out a couple spots where I had found fish last week. Caleb got a slot red on a DOA CAL Shad. We Deadly Comboed again and got a few short trout. We tried soaking cut mullet in two spots where this worked wonderfully last week. Not even a catfish this day. I cranked the motor to move, and it pooped out. It would not start again.

I had them start fishing while I thought about the problem. They started hitting trout immediately, again on the Deadly Combo. Most were short, but a few were slot fish.

In the meantime I checked the in-line fuel filter. It looked fine, but there must have been some debris in it. When I reassembled it, the boat ran fine. We kept fishing though, and got a bunch more trout.

We ended the day with six reds and about 30 trout, not bad for a slow day.

Wednesday at 8 AM I met Paul MacInnis at the Space Center Badging Station. He got me a visitor's badge and off we went to the Banana River Lagoon. We had perfect paddling weather- no wind, no clouds. We paddled a long way before we found any fish, though.

The fish we found was a school of large black drum. They were way more interested in each other than in our flies, as we did not get bit.

We got a few small trout, though.

We found some smaller drum. I got one about seven pounds or so on a crab pattern.

I later got a small, beautiful nine-spot redfish on the same fly. Paul got a fish here and there too.

Some kind of rooted vegetation is beginning to grow on the otherwise barren sand bottom there, and the water is quite clear in most places. Perhaps it was just an off day, but it was pretty slow fishing-wise.

Thursday afternoon I went back to the St. Johns, by myself, by kayak. A short distance from the boat ramp there were breaking fish. My first two casts, on the little gurgler, each garnered strikes from 12 inch largemouths. Before leaving that spot three strikes were missed and two more bass released.

The spots that had been so hot on Monday were not on Thursday. Apparently the fish are following the moving bait.

No shad or crappie were caught, but bluegills and a couple more bass rounded out the catch. All fish were released to make more fish for the future.

Thursday night a cold front came through, putting the kabosh on any thoughts of fishing Friday.

So that is the Mixed Bag New Years Orlando Fishing Report! Have a great holiday!!

Life is great and I love my work!

Life is short- Go Fishing!

John Kumiski

All content in this blog, including writing and photos, copyright John Kumiski 2016. All rights are reserved.
Friday, 30 Dec, 2016
Wow, the past few weeks on the Trinity have been extremely good to clients. While others have been working hard to find fish, we have consistently hooked a half a dozen adults on a ... moredaily basis, with my last 2 days up there hooking 16 adults and landing 8 of them, this being right after the big rain last week. This recent storm has blown the river out again, but as I type it is already back into fishing shape. What does this mean......time to get up there and hook some chrome. We are still finding some willing fish to take a swung fly, but its all about right place at the right time, as well as water temps. This last rain storm did help bring the water temps up slightly. The indicator with nymphs below has really been cleaning house, and if you have the right flies, the right drift and the right float, there can be some epic fishing. Look for the Trinity to be the go to steelhead fishery for the next month or two, especially if you want to get away from the crowds, and try you hand at swinging.

Lewiston - 300cfs steady
Bucktail - 500cfs and dropping
Douglas City - 775cfs and dropping
Junction City - 1600cfs and dropping

Nymphs: Stones, Psycho Princes, Eggs, Worms, Copper Johns
Swinging: Ho Bo Speys, Bread Crust, anything black/blue
Guides Tip: "Be the report, dont believe the report!!!"
This will be my go to steelhead fishery for the next 3 months
Fishing Water Report:
Monday, 19 Dec, 2016
As some of you know, I did spend a bunch of time on the Feather this year, but when it became to crowded, I decided to head up to the Trinity. There were some epic early season egg ... morebite days, but once the egg bite become full swing you would see 6-8 boats, and a bank angler in every fishable spot. This made for tough fishing for everyone. Despite all that, the fishing was pretty good up until early Nov, then came the fishing pressure, and the fishing definitely suffered. Now that the pressure all but disappeared, the fishing as picked up slightly, and will be looking good come the New Year,. This is also when the upper river opens. Currently the river is experiencing a bit of color, which I would call a brownish green, it is fishable at this point,, but give it a week or 2 and it will be that steelhead green that we all seek. Once this happens, this place will fish extremely well, and Ill be guiding it on a regularly daily basis. PLEASE, dont forget the salmon are done spawning now, so please try not to walk through the tailouts where are their eggs are. The winter run started to show their scales prior to storm and will continute to trickle in throughout the next few months. Want to try swinging, the Feather is definitely the place, and in about a month or so, the salmon eggs will hatch, and swinging an alevin pattern will give you that tug that we all search for. Prime time for this is the end of Jan to mid March. If you are looking to get out and learn how to fish the Feather in the winter/early spring book your trip now while prime dates are still available. If spring is your thing, book well in advance as this is my busiest time of year.

Nymphs: Princes, Caddis, Eggs, Worms, Copper Johns, Mays
Swinging: sculpins, olive streamers, flesh flies, alevins, white or olive wooly buggers

Guides Tip: Dont stay in one spot, the fish are spread throughout the entire system. Fish a spot for a while with the usual bugs, if nothing happens time to move.
Fishing Water Report:
Monday, 19 Dec, 2016
I would not recommend fishing the American right now, flows are a touch over wadable level, LOL. However, we are all hoping that the flows come down to fishable levels for Jan 1st, ... morethis is when the upper river opens. We are currently booking trips after Jan 2nd for the opener. If you are looking to hook big winter steelhead and do not want to travel, this is the river for you. Steelhead pushing 15lbs are available, most averaging 6-10lbs. Personally I think the only way this river will be fishable after Jan 1, is going to be out of a boat, its still going to be pretty high. Several years back, we experienced these same flows on the American in late Dec at 30k, come Jan 1, it was down to 6k and the upper river fished extremely well. Lots of fish, only fishable from a boat, boy was it good. I am hoping for the same situation this year.

Flows: 30,000cfs and steady

Guide Tip: Keep an eye out for this river to be good to great after the opener. Ill be fishing it as long as the flows are under 15k, yes I said 15k. The fish sit is specific areas at these flows, and if you know where to look, and how to fish for them, you can have some great fishing.
Monday, 19 Dec, 2016
I wouldn't recommend fishing this until the flows come down. When they do, look for the these trout to start keying in on the skwalas. With steady weather over the next few weeks, ... moreI would give the Yuba about 2 weeks before it becomes fishable again. I am already booking dates for the Skwala and March brown hatches, this is where you can not only have fun swinging for trout, but throwing dries all day as well.
Monday, 19 Dec, 2016
Big Bend Paddle Fishing Report Mike Conneen and I just wrapped up a seven day, 60 mile paddle along Florida's Gulf coast, from the Aucilla River to Steinhatchee. So this is a Big ... moreBend paddle fishing report.

Tough Going
This was the most physically demanding trip I've taken in at least 30 years. Generally when taking an extended trip you want to take it easy the first day, to shake out the kinks and settle in. The wind punched us in the mouth from the start. We had two relatively easy days (one because we took it off) and fought the wind every other one.

In spite of that we caught some fish, including redfish, seatrout, flounder, bluefish, ladyfish, and even the coveted lizardfish (sorry, no photo).

A brief rundown-
We left home Sunday morning and drove to Sea Hag Marina http://seahag.com in Steinhatchee, where we spent the night in a charming little fishing cabin. We even got to watch some football.

Russ McAllister of Suwanee Guides http://suwanneeguides.com picked us up Monday morning and gave us a shuttle to the boat ramp on the Aucilla River. Shortly after launching Mike caught the trip's first fish. We paddled against the current (incoming tide) to the Gulf and against the wind to the Econfina River, where we camped at a FWC campsite.

Tuesday we again fought the wind all day as we paddled south to the FWC campsite on Rock Island. Since the wind was still howling out of the south on Wednesday, and since we were basically spent from fighting it the first two days, we spent Wednesday night here too. It was quite a lovely place, remote enough we did not see another human for two days.

Thursday we had the best weather and best fishing day of the trip, going from Rock Island to Spring Warrior Creek. We hit reds most of the way on a variety of lures. We camped at the FWC campsite on the creek.

Friday we had a 13 mile day. While windy, it was coming off the shore instead of up the coast, so it was not as rigorous as the first couple days. However, the distance involved meant we had very little fishing time. I got two reds by dragging a DOA CAL shad behind the kayak as I paddled. We camped on Sponge Point, another great site.

Saturday the wind blew again off the shoreline. Much of our paddle was on a low tide. When the tide goes out along this coast it goes WAY out. I had to drag my boat for a ways, an option not available to Mike. We found a fish-filled hole in an otherwise almost waterless flat, where we caught all of our fish for the day. Our campsite this night was at Dallus Creek, where the feral pigs roam. Fortunately my yelling at them scared them off.

Sunday we had nine miles to go to reach Steinhatchee. The first seven were gorgeous, with light south winds and steady progress. When we stopped for a break I said, "This weather couldn't be any nicer." As soon as we started paddling again, BAM! Fifteen to 20, right in our faces, the waves coming over the bow of the boat, and miserably tough, slow going. Mother Nature just kicked our butts one last time before we finished.

Paddle Trip
This was not a fishing trip where we paddled. It was a paddle trip where we fished as time allowed. I brought a fly rod and used it about 15 minutes over the course of a week, blind casting without success. Many of the fish I caught came by trolling the shad as I paddled.

Having said that, the habitat here is probably the best remaining in the state- lots of oysters, the thickest seagrasses I've seen in a long time, and nice clear water (Fenholloway River mouth excepted). The fish did not run large but there were plenty of them- when we were able to fish.

Anyone wanting to use the FWC campsites needs a permit. Visit this link for more information- http://myfwc.com/viewing/recreation/wmas/lead/big-bend/paddling-trail/camping-permits/

And that is the Big Bend Paddle Fishing Report!

Life is great and I love my work!

Life is short- Go Fishing!

John Kumiski

All content in this blog, including writing and photos, copyright John Kumiski 2016. All rights are reserved.
Monday, 5 Dec, 2016
Fish Caught:
20 fish or more
Orlando Kayak Fly Fishing Report This is the Orlando Kayak Fly Fishing Report. With a kayak fishing charter coming up on Saturday, all my fishing this week was paddle-based fly fishing.... more

Tuesday's trip was on the Mosquito Lagoon. Yes, it sounds like a broken record. High, dirty water makes fishing tough there. I found one redfish all day. Remarkably, I had a good shot at it and caught it. Not a very sustainable way to catch fish, though.

Wednesday Mike Conneen and I went to the Banana River Lagoon. All the grass there is gone. I ran over a small school of fish and set up camp while Mike kept going. A couple hours of casting a wool crab netted me three bites that resulted in a black drum, a redfish, and a hooked and lost fish of unknown specie. Unfortunately Mike did not get a fish. There wasn't a lot of cheese around for us.

In spite of that I went back to the Banana River Lagoon the next day, to a different spot. The good news was the water, although of course still quite high, was clean. Like it's supposed to be. There was no grass at all, though. Only a handful of fish were seen all day, resulting in a single shot and a small redfish that took the wool crab.

It is painful to see what's happened to that fishery.

Saturday fly fisher Steve Marsden, from the wilds of northern Wisconsin, joined me for a day's kayak fly fishing. He had a few shots at tailing reds. Sadly there were no conversions. He did get what was by far the largest pinfish I have ever seen, and a handful of trout that probably would not have "held batter." The weather was awesome, the birds spectacular, and we enjoyed the day.

And that is the Orlando Kayak Fly Fishing Report!

Life is great and I love my work!

Life is short- Go Fishing!

John Kumiski

All content in this blog, including writing and photos, copyright John Kumiski 2016. All rights are reserved.
Tuesday, 15 Nov, 2016
We are in a transition period for the upper Madison. It doesn't know if it is still summer or if fall has really arrived. The upper mad does this every year. Fishin looses it consistency ... moreone day it is good next fishing falls through the floor. The bugs available to the fish are becoming more and more scarce. They are making to the transition back to a fish based diet. Sculpins and juvenile whitefish are fast moving to the top of the menu Streamers of all sorts are beginning to work, but it still pays to put a bead behind it. I think fishing is going to continue to get more and more sketchy The upper Madison becomes a river of extremes in the fall, offering some of the best fishing of the season. But also some of the worst. Every time one door closes another opens. See ya on the lower. E shores
Tuesday, 20 Sep, 2016
The Madison is still play in well despite the in increased pressure due to recent recent closures on the Jefferson bighole and Yellowstone rivers. Looks like they are going to open ... moremost of the Yellowstone back up and one section of the bighole remains open. Cooler temps have really taken the pressure off surrounding waters. If your going to fish the Madison sleep in have a big breakfast and hit the water around 11:00 AM the River has been crowded but everyone is on the same program. Get on the water around 9:00 then off around 3:00. The trick to avoid the trafic is go late get I behind everyone. Last night we had great fishing on ants between 3:00 and 7:00pm. Fish have obviously been seeing some ants. But the real show has yet to happen. For me it has been buggars and beads in the morning with limited success then hoppers and ants most of the afternoon Lots of small fish but good action. Every once in a while something in the 16 to 18 inch range shows up. Fish are sketchy on hoppers they want to get a close look. Takes nerves of steel to leave the fly while they check it out. Ant not so much. If they come for a look they will probably eat it. But you will miss fish because your too fast not because your too slow. Upcoming cool weather could change everything thinks. This upper River doesn't like cold nasty weather could be time to head down stream the the lower.
Sunday, 11 Sep, 2016
Lower Madison is comming alive temps last week were in the low to middle 70's now they are peaking out in the low 60's. Prime for Browns and rainbows. There have been some free floating ... moremoss issues, you need to have a good repitoir of moss removal techniques. There are still some hoppers out which seem to playing pretty well in the afternoon other than that it has bee the usuall array of streamers and nymphs. I like the crawfish looking stuff. Lots of daddy's down there. Fish early and Late to avoid the Bozeman crowd. Tight lines
Sunday, 11 Sep, 2016