Top Water Action

I’m often asked, when is the best time of the year to flyfish in Texas. Personally, I prefer to fish when the fish are biting anytime, but the top water bite reigns supreme for almost all fly fishers everywhere. Not only are the fish aggressive this time of year, but they are also often larger as well. Add in the fact that this is usually when the weather is warmer and more hospitable, well who doesn’t love that? It’s sort of like the perfect recipe for the perfect pie, or the perfect scotch with the right cigar.

Here's a few tips from my experience.

Windy banks are a great place to start on your search for aggressive bass. As the wind blows the bait fish towards the shoreline, the schools of bass will follow and begin a feeding frenzy. It’s often frustrating to watch the water surface blowing up as feeding fish chase shad and not be able to get them to bite your fly so I have developed a few techniques over the years that help.

  1. Match the hatch. Feeding fish are focused on what’s moving in front of them and not so much seeking a different bait. Try to match the size and action of the bait fish.
  2. Fish ahead of the school. Bass herd and harass schools of bait fish to separate and confuse them. Cast your fly to the periphery of the school and offer a single bait instead of trying to blend in with the school.
  3. My favorite technique is to throw a “One Eyed Slider” (check out and simulate a crippled bait fish on the surface. Bass are always looking for an easy meal. I developed this killer pattern to entice feeding and lethargic bass. Allowing it to simply float above their heads is almost irresistible and they will attack it aggressively.
  4. Fish around aquatic vegetation. A well-placed frog imitation is almost a guaranteed winner around weeds and brush. Try early and late when the frogs are naturally active. In our Lake the frogs have a white belly so I try to use a similar looking fly. Learn what the frogs in your lake look like since they will be colored to their surroundings.
  5. Bass are lazy. Deer hair crippled fish imitations are deadly this time of year, make sure you have some flashy tinsels in the pattern to attract a look from the bass. This will often invoke a reaction bite. Short line strips that give this fly erratic movement with frequent pauses will create an easy target for a hungry fish.
  6. Don’t forget the night. One of my all-time favorite techniques this time of year is fly fishing with top waters at night. If you haven’t tried this, you’re missing out on some super exciting fishing. It’s sort of like fishing blind folded, sounds crazy but it’s super fun and often the bigger fish patrol the shallows at dusk looking for frogs.

Finally, be stealthy. Shallow fish can see you and hear you much easier and although they’re in an aggressive mode they are much easier to spook. Position your water craft as far away from your target zone as possible and try not to scream too loud when big boy blasts your bait.

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Lake Fork Current Weather Alerts

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Lake Fork Weather Forecast


Slight Chance Thunderstorms

Hi: 103

Sunday Night

Chance Thunderstorms

Lo: 73


Slight Chance Thunderstorms

Hi: 92

Monday Night

Partly Cloudy

Lo: 67


Mostly Sunny

Hi: 92

Tuesday Night

Mostly Clear

Lo: 66


Mostly Sunny

Hi: 96

Wednesday Night

Mostly Clear

Lo: 70

Lake Fork Water Level (last 30 days)

Water Level on 6/26: 396.89 (-6.11)

Lake Fork

Fishing Report from TPWD (Jun. 22)

GOOD. Water Stained; 75 degrees; 5.99 feet low. The crappie bite on Lake Fork has been just a little bit finicky this past week. Best depths have been 13-23 feet with fish in brush and suspended on laydowns and trees, or holding on the bottom of underwater bridges and road beds. Minnows are still the go to bait and the smaller the minnows the better for finicky fish. Same goes for your hand ties and soft plastics. Downsizing can make the difference between a slow day and a stellar day in the heat of the summer. Report provided by Jacky Wiggins, Jacky Wiggins Guide Service. Bass are good with 3/4 ounce shaky heads or football jigs in green pumpkin and orange or June bug in 14-25 feet of water off drop-offs or channel swings. Carolina rigs are good in the same areas with a 10 inch blue fleck or LFT ring fry in bluegill color good in 15-25 feet of water. Deep crankbaits are decent over long points and channel swings. DD -22 in chartreuse and blue, TW Ghost chartreuse and blue good over 18-23 feet. Report by Lake Fork fishing guide Marc Mitchell and Jason Hoffman, Lake Fork Pro.

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