Fly Fishing for Bass on The Butler Chain

November 04, 2018 by Austin Keaton

Trip Info

The Catch
Bass (Largemouth)
Summary

Early Bird Gets the Worm

Peter and Andy started their day off with me on the Butler Chain of Lakes bright and early. I headed over to International Drive to pick up the guys from their hotel at 5:30 a.m. and we made our way to the RD Keene Boat Ramp. We talked about the day ahead of us, how we were going to target the Bass and even do a little bird watching!
 

Working Kissimmee Grass

The First thing I had Peter and Andy do was make long cast’s using a 7ft 6in Star Rod rigged with a topwater plug along the edge of Kissimmee Grass. Within the first couple cast’s Peter hooked up to a nice Bass. A few cast’s later Peter had a Chain Pickerel come 2ft out of the water for his topwater plug! The hit was so violent, the fish knocked the plug out of the water and didn’t get hooked, but was amazing to see. We continued to work the grass line, waiting for the Bass to begin schooling up.
How to Catch Bass on a Fly Rod

Like clockwork, the Bass turned on after about 45 minutes of us working the Kissimmee Grass and the bite was on for the next 3 hours! I told Peter this was the perfect opportunity to catch Bass on a Fly Rod, since they would be close to the surface and feeding on little glass minnows. A fly can be small, lightweight, and suspend in the water column much better than a artificial lure. Peter laid out a beautiful cast with my Temple Fork Outfitters 6wt Mangrove fly rod and hooked into another solid Bass. The key was doing short, fast strips of the line to give the fly the correct action. The fly he used was an all white fly I personally tied called a Schminnow. After a we caught more fish the wind began to get stronger so I handed Peter my TFO 8wt Mangrove fly rod. We were using a small bass pattern fly which the Bass absolutely loved. We would drive to where we could see the Bass schooling, then Peter would make a cast into the school with his fly and Andy with a spinning rod. Andy also caught a bunch of fish on topwater plugs and a Senko!
Bird Watching on the Butler Chain of Lakes

When Peter first called me he asked if there would be any opportunities to see birds and wildlife. There are absolutely great birding and wildlife opportunities on the Chain, so Peter and Andy brought their Binoculars and I brought a backup pair. We ended our day enjoying the Butler Chain for its natural wildlife and beauty, driving around Bird Island and the other lakes connected on the Chain. We saw a Bald Eagle, Turtles, Ospery, Grey Pelicans, Great Blue Heron, Ibis, Kingfishiers and list goes on! I had an amazing time on this trip. Thank you to Peter and Andy for another great day on the water!
 

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