Are Florida Fishing Flies

Paul Gonzalez
• Tuesday, 10 November, 2020
• 8 min read

Water clarity in the backcountry estuary environments is at a peak during the cooler months of the year, making it easier to locate sea trout on the grass flats near sandy potholes. One of the best rigs for winter trout fishing is a soft plastic shrimp lure on 15 to 20-pound fluorocarbon leader beneath a popping cork.

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(Source: www.youtube.com)


Target winter redfish along mangrove shorelines up in brackish spring-fed rivers, around bends or deep holes, where the water temperature tends to stay more constant following a cold front. You can use a soft plastic shrimp, or try the Ned rig, which is most commonly used for winter bass fishing, but works equally well for targeting redfish during the cooler months of the year.

Black drum can be targeted in bays or estuaries around rocks, deeper holes, and pilings as well as offshore around structure near mud, sand or she'll bottom. Found nearshore and offshore from central to south Florida triple tail are most often spotted around channel markers and crab trap buoys.

Debbie Hanson is an award-winning outdoor writer, women’s sport fishing advocate, IFA world record holder, and freshwater guide living in Southwest Florida. Legend has it that the ancient Macedonians caught trout on artificial flies while the apostles were throwing their nets into the Sea of Galilee.

But in recent years, everyday anglers looking for a challenge have embraced this fly-fishing technique that can trace its origins to Biblical times. Today, serious fly fishermen anglers will pay top dollar to catch exotic species such as peacock bass in the Amazon or tiger fish in the Zambezi River.

Tarpon, the silver king of game fish, are chrome-bodied brutes that can grow to six feet in length and weigh more than 200 pounds. The shallow grass and sand flats off Homosassa are known for big tarpon and the dedicated fly Rodgers who follow these silver kings with near religious devotion.

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(Source: www.youtube.com)

Hidden clusters of rocks help keep pleasure boaters away, so these tarpon hunters can pursue their prey in peace. Each Spring, the grass flats draw some of the world’s best anglers to test their skills against the granddaddy of sport fish.

This area is considered to be North America's most diverse estuary, with overlapping tropical and subtropical climates that support 4,300 plants and animals, 72 of which are endangered or threatened. Fly fishermen who wade along the grass flats stand as good a chance as their boating brethren of catching a fish.

By setting your expectations as to the size and the amount of fisheries available here in Florida, I am hoping this adds more weight to the specific flies we choose. For the sake of our top ten flies, let’s target the following fish: Tarpon, Permit, Redfish, Bone fish, and Shook.

Other various species of shark, jack, sea trout, tuna, Yahoo, Hound fish, and Barracuda will hit this selection of flies as well. This means having a good mix of colors, weights, fly species, designs for potential targets in the fishery.

For example, a mix of fly designs may include shrimp, crab, bait fish, frogs, worms, etc. A mix of colors might include brown, beige, white, orange, red, pink, chart, etc.

bass fly peacock flies fishing patterns lures tying florida streamers streamer striper
(Source: www.pinterest.com)

Pompano on their annual migration offer great opportunities for fly fishermen. In the lower Indian River Lagoon on Florida ’s east coast, once a few cold fronts have rolled through, and the water temperature has cooled, it’s time to start looking.

Fly-fishing for pompano is typically done inshore in Southeast Florida, due to the wintertime swell on the beach. I prefer a strong incoming, which flushes clean, clear ocean water onto the flats.

But if I don’t feel confident I can see everything, I will pole the back edge of the bar, facing into the current. This way, I’m as quiet as I can be and don’t have to worry about hull slap or casting a large shadow.

Watching a pompano push up on a shallow bar and begin to tail is one of my favorite sights to see, whether I blow the shot or not. The floating works most of the time, but it doesn’t hurt to have the sink tip handy.

Good numbers of fish show up from March to May in this region and tend to taper off as the water warms. Captain Nathan Donahue (850-323-0659), of Apalachicola, has been pompano fishing the northern Gulf Coast for over 20 years and filled me in on the fishery.

fishing florida clearwater petersburg st tampa bay charters
(Source: www.flyfishingflorida.com)

“Although it’s typically 6 to 10 in a pack, I’ve seen schools of hundreds and had days when I got tired of catching them,” says Donahue. Their diet consists of shrimp, other crustaceans and even small bait fish, so anything mimicking these will catch fish.

Nathan Donahue prefers a chartreuse Closer minnow or rag head crab. Nick Laos, of Sandbarflies.com, ties an incredibly realistic sand flea fly for pompano.

The area has many several chains of smaller lakes, and all the exciting freshwater fly- fishing available you could want for a lifetime. There are simply a thousand of bodies of water, canals, lakes and retention ponds everywhere and most are great place to fly fish.

When you reserve a fly-fishing trip, we “do not” provide the rod and reels unless specially requested. We have found in most all cases, the avid fly fishermen prefers to catch fish on their own equipment.

Freshwater fly-fishing in Orlando, Kissimmee and the Central Florida area can be really exciting. Whether its large mouth bass, bluegill and crappie there is no limit to the number of species you can catch with a fly rod.

lake okeechobee florida fishing jim history spots
(Source: www.wideopenspaces.com)

While a bluegill will not put up too much of a fight on an eight weight rod, you have to be ready for the trophy large bass to take a sample of your offering and it helps to have something you can lean on to turn the fish out of the grass. While much further south when the weather cools, means hot action in the Everglades and on Lake Okeechobee.

The Glades offer an unlimited array of targets in one of the most beautiful areas in Florida. Fly-fishing for large mouth, Oscars, War mouth, Mayan cichlid, bluegill and others in the back country of the Everglades or in the beautiful surroundings of world-famous Lake Okeechobee is a great fly-fishing trip in itself.

Poppers were designed as a surface lure to be skipped across the top of the water in a series of quick retrieves. Other good fly patterns for large mouth bass or the Muddled Minnow and the Wooly Worm.

Generally, when a fly is cast for bass it should be allowed to remain unmoving for a longer period of time then for trout. Bass tend to inspect your fly for some time before making the decision whether to take it or not.

At times we like our fly anglers to tease the bass with repeated casts over the areas where we know they live. Teasing can sometimes be a very effective method in bringing a lazy fish up for a strike when nothing else seems to be working.

(Source: gograyling.blogspot.com)

Hooks need to be sharp to penetrate quickly and without Polaroid glasses spotting these colorful fish as they attack are almost impossible. If you have questions about freshwater fly-fishing for bass, crappie or bream, Contact us.

Yes, Florida is known for its stunning beaches, theme parks, and family fun, but it's also the spot for some of the best fly-fishing you'll find in the entire country. The state is often referred to as the Fishing Capital of the World”, which is a mighty impressive designation.

Along with the destinations, we will also break down the hatches, your equipment, and the best times of year to visit. DIY Fly Fishing Bayview the DIY Fly Fishing Web Map to get turn-by-turn directions to the access points shown on the map above.

Florida is a state that offers endless fly-fishing opportunities that are meant to be enjoyed year-round. You never have to worry about it being too cold, too icy, or too snow-covered to get out and enjoy the lakes, rivers, and streams.

Sure, the winter sees cooler temperatures, but it is still perfectly comfortable for fly-fishing. Let’s also point out that the state offers tidal shoreline, giving you the choice between freshwater or saltwater fishing.

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(Source: nature.mdc.mo.gov)

It’s pretty hard to come up with just a handful of destinations to highlight, so keep in mind there are many others that should be explored. This is a big vacation destination, so you’ll have no trouble finding a wide variety of accommodation options.

The city is in southwestern Florida so you’re getting incredible temperatures for a good portion of the year. The Everglades border the Gulf of Mexico, and is often erroneously thought of a big swamp area.

Instead, it is filled with all kinds of stunning scenery, forests, mangroves, and tons of wildlife. You won't hear the sound of cars, other people, or civilization in general.

The typical fish you'll catch are redfish, tarpon, trout, and bass. First off, you’re treated to spectacular weather, gorgeous architecture, and natural beauty that is hard to rival.

Throw in some amazing fly-fishing conditions and you’ve got the perfect location. Those who have visited the Keys before tend to agree that spring and fall are a tad bit better for fishing.

moccasin water florida snake bite
(Source: www.wideopenspaces.com)

As for the fish you'll be catching, there are bone fish and tarpon, which make for a thrilling adventure. We can break the season down by fish to make it a bit easier for visitors.

Possibly the only downfall of the Florida Keys is that it can get quite busy, as this is a popular tourist destination. There’s also the fact you won’t have to deal with the cold air temperatures, making winter fishing all the more comfortable.

If you are planning to fish for trout while in Florida, the bug hatch obviously plays an important role. You can pretty much count on one or more being in season no matter what time of year you fish in Florida.

One of the biggest draws of Florida is the fact it offers such diverse fly-fishing opportunities. We are talking about freshwater and saltwater, coastal shorelines, landlocked lakes, streams, and rivers.

Because this is such an in-depth area, you’ll want to make a trip to a local fly-fishing shop for more information. They can steer you in the right direction as to what’s in season, and what will yield you the highest catch rate.

fishing colorado river fly taylor
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You can fish from shore, by float, boat, or wading in the waters of Florida. The license is available to residents and non-residents through the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

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