Florida Freshwater Fly Fishing Charters

Florida freshwater fly fishing charters

Florida Freshwater Fly Fishing Charters

In this article I will talk about Florida freshwater fly fishing charters. I moved from the busy Sarasota area to enjoy the fantastic fishing opportunities and terrific scenery that Florida offers.  It is a more relaxed pace and not nearly as busy as the resort coastal areas.  These waters are really underfished!  I chose Inverness, Florida as a home base for my Florida freshwater fly fishing charters.

4 hour charter $375 1-2 anglers

6 hour charter $450 1-2 anglers

Contact Capt Jim at (941) 371-1390 or captklopfer@comcast.net

Inverness, Florida is blessed with a wide variety of freshwater fishing opportunities. Most of these waters are shallow with aquatic vegetation being the primary cover. This makes them ideal situations for anglers freshwater fly fishing in Florida!

fly fishing for bluegill and panfish

Inverness, Florida is a small town located 30 minutes south of Ocala and an hour west of Orlando. Is a charming and quiet place, quite unlike those larger cities. Inverness is also 15 minutes away from Crystal River, a famous saltwater fishing destination. However, my goal is to promote the underutilized fabulous freshwater fishing opportunities available to fly anglers.

Florida freshwater fly fishing charters

My name is Capt. Jim Klopfer and I have been a saltwater fishing guide in Florida since 1991. I have a USCG Masters license and fully insured with $1 million liability. I moved to Inverness, Florida from Sarasota, Florida at the age of 61 in order to ease into a different style of guiding. While I really enjoy saltwater fishing, I found that as I got older I prefer the solitude and natural beauty of freshwater fishing in Florida.

I use a 15 foot Siesta skiff powered with a 25 hp Yamaha tiller. This boat definitely has a saltwater skiff feel to it, as opposed to a bass boat which are more often seen on the Inverness lakes and rivers. However, it is a perfect craft for fly fishing in freshwater. The deck is large and uncluttered, the boat has a nice beam and is very stable with plenty of storage. I can comfortably take two guests along with myself.

Florida freshwater fly fishing charters

The primary quarry that my clients and I pursue on Inverness Florida freshwater fly fishing charters are largemouth bass and panfish. The lakes in and adjacent to Inverness have excellent populations of largemouth bass, bluegill, shellcracker, crappie, and other species. Anglers often choose to do both on a single charter, targeting bass as the larger fish and panfish to provide action and variety.

Tackle used on Florida freshwater fly fishing charters

Fly fishing for largemouth bass in Florida is relatively uncomplicated. I use an 8wt rod with a floating line the majority of the time. There is seldom the need for even a sink tip line as I am usually fishing fairly shallow water. I usually start off with a popper or a bass bug as surface bites are very exciting. In the shallow, weedy waters, top water presentations also help keep the fly out of submerged vegetation. They are effective on all but the coldest days.

fly fishing for Florida panfish

I will also use subsurface flies when chasing largemouth bass in Florida as well. My top pattern is a variation of a woolly bug are in Crystal minnow, tied in black with a little blue flack and a marabou tail. It works very well as it undulate through the water and is fairly weedless. I will occasionally use a Clouser Minnow pattern, especially when bass are feeding on shad in open water.

My primary panfish rod is a 4wt outfit with a floating line as well. This is small enough to enjoy hand sized bluegill and other panfish while still giving anglers a chance to land a three or 4 pound bass. It is not at all uncommon for largemouth bass to take the fly intended for panfish. My top two patterns by far are a black Wooly Bugger and a small gold glass minnow type bait fish pattern.

Waters fished on Florida freshwater fly fishing charters

All of the water set I fish are within a 45 minute drive maximum Inverness, Florida. These include the Tsala Apopka chain of Lakes which includes like Henderson in downtown Inverness, Lake Panasofkee, Lake Rousseau, and the with Withlacoochee River. These four bodies of water offer anglers a wide variety of fly fishing opportunities.

The access to these lakes and river is outstanding automation point there are multiple launching points for the lakes and river, resulting in an ideal situation for running fishing charters. I can choose the best option based on the angler goals as well as the current conditions in order to deliver the best possible fly fishing experience.

As every experienced anglers knows, fishing conditions change constantly. This is true in freshwater lakes and rivers as well. In the very shallow Florida lakes, water level is very important as a 2 foot swing can have a huge impact. Therefore, it is best when booking an Inverness Florida freshwater fly fishing charter to determine the area to be fished based on the best report and conditions available.

Each of these four main bodies of water have advantages and disadvantages, depending on conditions. Lake Panasofkee is a nice sized like that’s only a few miles long and is the closest for anglers traveling from Orlando. It is an easy lake to fish as it is shallow with a lot of vegetation. It has an excellent population of both panfish and bass and is an excellent choice for anglers looking for both quality and numbers.

The Tsala Apopka chain of Lakes is very shallow and is sensitive to water level more than the other lakes. It is basically a swamp with three major polls, Inverness, Floral City, and Hernando. It offers good fishing and is the most convenient to Inverness, Florida. Each pool has a good ramp and access.

The Withlacoochee River is a beautiful Florida River that offers solitude in a pristine and secluded environment. It is an excellent option on a breezy day as the river offer some protection from the wind. It has a good population of bass and crappie in particular, with decent bluegill as well. It is quite long and there are multiple segments that can be accessed in fished just a short drive away from Inverness, Florida.

Lake Rousseau is the most remote of the areas that I fish. It is 45 minutes northwest of Inverness, and about the same distance from Ocala. That makes it around a 2 hour drive from Orlando. However, this is in my opinion one of the most under fished lakes in Florida. It is created from a dam on the Withlacoochee River. It is full of stumps and submerged trees, making it quite tricky to navigate but also a fantastic fishery!

This is the best option for anglers seeking a trophy largemouth bass. The lake truly holds a lot of large fish, but there are also good numbers of bass as well. It is also a premier shellcracker fishery, though they can be a little trickier to catch on fly. Bluegill abound in good numbers as well. There are multiple access points and launch options, depending on the wind and other conditions. Because of the dam, lake water level fluctuation is much less.

In conclusion, I hope this article will encourage anglers to give an Inverness Florida freshwater fishing charter a try!