Shad Outing

Saturday February 22, 2020

Going to launch at GS Lee boat ramp off of highway 46.   From 210 truck stop (Pilot Travel Center, 1625 County Road 210 West, Jax) on I-95 it is a little over 2 hour drive.  I will be leaving the truck stop at 5:30 AM. You can have breakfast at the Waffle House if you get their early. The direction are easy. I-95 South to Highway 46 just North of Titusville.  From I-95 it is about 11 miles to the ramp. The ramp is at the Jolly Gator Fish Camp ( CS Lee Boat Ramp) Canoes, Kayaks and most fishing boats all can be used. When the river is really low there is a sand bar that can be hard to get over for larger boats, but as of now it looks to be O.K.  A good spot to start is South of the boat ramp. You can fish from a boat, the shore or if you bring waders you can wade fish if the water is not too high.  

Equipment:  5-6 or 7 wt. Rods will get the job done.  If the water is high a sinking line is good (high water means faster flow).  The faster the water flow, the faster sinking line will do better. Weight Forward lines can also be used in lower water conditions.  When using a WF floating line use a longer leader. 10 to 12 lb fluorocarbon tippet is a good size to use. 

A landing net is very helpful.   

While shad fish you may catch a variety of fish.  Shad, Bass, Sunshine bass, Bluegills, Armored catfish, 

Blue Tilapia, Bowfin, Gar, Crappie and Bream and I once caught a flounder.  

We will have a shore lunch a 1 PM.  We will set up near the intersection of the St. Johns and the Econlockhatchee (Econ) River.  This is only about ¼ mile South of the ramp.  It is easy to find because this is where you will see most of us fishing.

Flies:  There are many flies that will catch Shad.  The following is just a few you can use. If you are not a tier then Bonefish flies like the Crazy Charlies and Gotcha  and small Clouser’s will do or bream flies that are similar to the ones below.  

Red chenille head, lead eyes, pearl mylar body, pearl Krystal Flash skirt. From

Charlie Chapman, Backcountry Flyfishing Association (club), Orlando, FL.

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. From Charlie Chapman.

Same as A, but with hot pink ice chenille (or Estaz or cactus chenille).

Purple marabou tail, silver tinsel rib, purple chenille over

chrome-plated lead eyes, black thread. Tied by Capt. Dick Martin,

Melbourne, FL

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.

Orange marabou tail, pearl mylar tubing over hook, black thread  (unweighted)

Dick Michaelson


American Shad. Image: Raver, Duane – U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.