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


Partly Sunny

Hi: 89

Wednesday Night


Lo: 68



Hi: 90

Thursday Night


Lo: 68



Hi: 92

Friday Night


Lo: 69


Mostly Sunny

Hi: 94

Saturday Night

Mostly Clear

Lo: 73

Lake Fork Water Level (last 30 days)

Water Level on 6/12: 403.36 (+0.36)

Lake Fork

Fishing Report from TPWD (Jun. 5)

GOOD. Water Stained; 76 degrees; 0.86 feet above pool. Lake Fork is high with all the recent rains and gates are open. Bass are good on top waters frogs early in the morning over grass, and Yellow Magics along the edge of the grass Texas rigs and Carolina rigs good around bream beds 3-7 feet. Squarebill crankbaits are good around bream beds 2.5 model bream patterns. Flukes are good on the edge of grass in watermelon candy . Report by Marc Mitchell, Lake Fork Guide Service. Black bass are challenging with constant weather extremes, look for the clearest water you can find. Fish points and main lake cuts. Top waters are working in the shallow grass, streamers are working in the shallow banks 0fished slow. Bream are excellent in the shallows, wooly buggers and small poppers should bring a strike. Report by Guide Alex Guthrie, Fly Fish Fork Guide Service. The crappie fishing on Lake Fork was definitely moving into the steady summer pattern this week. We are still seeing great numbers of black crappie on lay downs and certain trees in 14-28 feet. You can also find black crappie on certain docks and bridges over the next few months. We have been seeing lots of small white crappie on brush piles but some bigger keepers showed up the last few days. These will continue to get better and better over the next few weeks. Focus on brush piles in 14-22 feet for the best fish. Some summer time trees are also holding white crappie and that will also get better over the next few weeks. Minnows are working well and small hand tied jigs in neutral colors are working just as well when you pitch and swim them over fish. Soft plastics will also get you a bite. The channel catfishing is excellent as it always is on Lake Fork. Bait you a hole near timber in 18-25 feet close to a creek channel. Use cattle cubes or sour grain to attract and hold those fish. Trees that have overnight roosting birds are a great place to make your hole. Use any prepared catfish bait of choice to load the boat o

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