1 Dear Fellow BFA Orlando members and FFF club members from around Florida, I would like to invite you to join us for a weekend of American Shad fly fishing on the St. Johns River. The American Shad run is one of the great unique fishing opportunities in central Florida. People come from all over to experience this annual event and we are proud to host fellow fly fisherman like you. The following packet will give you all of the information needed to participate. We request that you RSVP so we can properly prepare for the event. Please give me a call or send me and . BFA Orlando club members can also RSVP on our Facebook page. Tight Lines, Keith Browning (407)
2 Event Info: Location: Dates: St. Johns River, Near Mullet Lake Park (Directions to Property Below) Starts 1:00 PM Friday February 1st Ends 1:00 PM Sunday February 3rd Outing Contacts: Keith Browning (407) Tom Dyll (407)
3 Local FFF Club Contact: (To be completed by local FFF club representative) RSVP Information: RSVP to Keith Browning, (407) Name: FFF Club: Number of People in Your Party: Other Names: Contact Number: Contact Small Trailer (yes/no): Boat (yes/no): Status I have a boat and am willing to take a FFF club member out. I have a boat but no room for guests at this time. I do not have a boat and I am looking for a ride. I do not have a boat but have made my own arrangements.
4 Address and Map: 932 Indian Hammock Dr, Osteen, Directions from Tampa/Orlando (Click For Google Map) Directions from Jacksonville/Daytona (Click for Google Map) Directions from Melbourne/South FL via 95 (Click for Google Map) Watch for BFA signs as you get near the camp site.
6 FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) 1 America Shad Fishing (Modified from an older Wikipedia post) On the St. Johns River the season is from December through March. Some excellent fly water can be accessed near Route 46 between Sanford and Titusville all this within easy reach of Orlando. Except in unusual conditions, the shad stays fairly deep, requiring weight on the line or fly. Many fly fishermen will use an unusual 1/64 oz. "microjig" that resembles a tiny crappie jig, although it commonly has short feathering to the rear. Traditional fishing methods are either by slow trolling or drift casting, i.e. casting upriver and letting the lure drift with the current. This is effective for locating the shad before fly fishing. Shad can be sensitive to colors. Varying colors can often improve results. The male shad is an excellent game fish, showing multiple jumps and an occasional end-over-end; it has been called a "freshwater tarpon". The pregnant female does not fight much, but in the past was often kept for the roe. Today most people practice catch and release but there is still a bag limit of 10. You are recommended to have a freshwater and saltwater license when shad fishing on the St. Johns.
7 "Licensing requirements follow the species of fish you are fishing for, regardless of where you are fishing. For example, anglers fishing for and possessing largemouth bass in brackish water need a freshwater license; anglers fishing for saltwater species in fresh water (e.g., spotted seatrout, red drum, snook, or American shad) need a saltwater license to possess these species." What Flies to use? Think small (less than 1-1/2 inches) and flashy. It is good to have several weights to accommodate different depth and current conditions. Streamers - Others patterns, like flashy streamers, are more useful in times of drought, and/or when the shad have migrated to the headwaters of the river (Hatbill Park and Puzzle Lake areas, e.g.), where the shad may congregate and behave like spawning salmon. Sometimes, the water depth may be only one to three feet, so the flies are fished with a floating line. There are also those times when the shad will be active near the surface even in deeper water, and these flashy patterns can be fished quite effectively on floating, sink-tip or slow-sinking fly lines in the usually dark, tannic waters of the river. Colors - As far as my choice of colors, I prefer crystal flash, pink, or tan flies. Other club members recommend pearl white, red, pink, chartreuse and purple colors, with pearl or silver versus gold flash. It would also be appropriate to have some more subdued patterns (with little or no flash) in case the shad seem to be repelled by flashy flies. I think that they will generally hit most small flies when they are active.
8 In deep water, casting techniques (for example, using the S- or wiggle cast; aerial mend) can be used to introduce slack into the line, allowing the fly to sink faster. Line mending techniques (feeding line out; mending the line in a down-current direction) may reduce drag, allowing a fly to sink faster or drift more naturally. Getting the fly deeper may increase hookups on the "swing" as well as during fly retrieval against the current. Upstream casting may be necessary in shallow and narrow sections of the river. This requires skills in casting, mending and retrieving the fly in order to impart fly action, to get the fly to the proper depth and to detect strikes. Shad Flies Patterns - Unfortunately, I don't know the original names of these flies, or if they ever had any t begin with. I've included the materials used in their construction. Red chenille head, lead eyes, pearl mylar body, pearl Krystal Flash skirt. (Charlie Chapman, BFA Orlando). Black chenille body over lead-wrapped hook shank. Tail is orange marabou and gold flash, body has gold mylar tubing overwrap, wing is gold Flashabou. Tied with black thread. (Charlie Chapman, BFA Orlando)
9 Same as A, but with hot pink ice chenille (or Estaz or cactus chenille). I don t have the recipe for this one but just guessing it looks like a marabou tail, tinsel body, bead chain eyes, chenille wrapped Head Orange marabou tail, pearl mylar tubing over hook, black thread (unweighted). (Charlie Chapman, BFA Orlando) Hot pink antron (or similar) tail, fine blue and fuchsia Flashabou (or similar) - mixed and wrapped to make body (not weighted), fuchsia Flashabou wing. (Tied by David Olson, Manager, The FlyFisherman, Orlando, FL)
10 Fishing the flies - The key to consistently catching shad is having a variety of tackle and using it properly. As shad migrate, the water conditions they encounter vary due to the dimensions and contours of the land surrounding and under the river. These conditions are altered by daily and seasonal fluctuations in rainfall, which can affect water level, color, turbidity and current strength at a given location. Therefore, a variety of fly lines and flies, used in various combinations, will allow an angler to effectively fish any location where shad may congregate/concentrate. 2 Is there a cost for this event? No, we only ask that you RSVP. 3 Is there a rain date? No. Event will be held rain or shine. In the event of severe weather or flooding on the St. Johns we notify FFF club contacts of a cancelation. 4 Boat Questions: The closest spot to launch is the NEW AND IMPROVED Lemon Bluff boat ramp. It s about 100 yards from the turn on to Indian Hammock Dr. A map from the camp site to the ramp will be provided when you arrive. Boats should be put back on the trailer at night and parked next to your camp site. Note: Please be respectful of the property when pulling your trailer.
11 5 Canoes & Kayaks Canoes and Kayaks can be used to fish for shad. Paddlers should be experienced and use caution because many areas of the St. Johns have high speed boat traffic. If you are a paddler don t be discouraged. There are plenty of places to go. Many paddlers fish near the Econ or use their boats to get to a nice bank. 6 Fly Fisherman Who Need a Ride A few of the BFA Orlando club members are prepared to take out those who need a ride. Depending upon the amount of requests we may be able to take guest either for a couple hours or for the day. Capt. Paul Cave, is a well respected guide on the St. Johns who runs shad trips. He can also recommend other local captains that he works with closely if needed.
12 7 Camping We are camping on private property that belongs to a friend of the BFA Orlando club. It is a large open field on the St. Johns. Camp sites are on a first come first serve basis. Most clubs have spots they have used for several years. We will be happy to help you find a spot if it s your first outing. All Campers are responsible for tents, sleeping bags, lights, etc. Tents and small trailers are welcome. Large trailers or RVs will have to make other arrangements such as: Lemon Bluff Camp Ground 949 Lemon Bluff Road Osteen, FL (407) There are no hook ups available. Everyone must be prepared to be self sufficient. No generators please. Remember to bring bug spray Running water and a bathroom will be available nearby.
13 Small grills for cooking may be brought. There will be one community fire pit. Wood will be provided. Trash cans will be available around the camping area. Please bring a few trash bags just in case. Before leaving campers must return the property back to the way they found it when they arrived. Please be considerate of the owner who has graciously allowed us to use his property. 8 Food Everyone is responsible for their own meals. You are welcome to make arrangement on your own to eat with other fly fisherman. Camp meals are encouraged. Final Note Have a good time, take some pictures, and send them in. I would like to post some on the web site or Facebook Page.