View Full Version : fly fishing in S Florida...need opinions

04-07-2008, 09:18 PM
We are thinking about taking a trip to Ft Lauderdale and possibly the Keys in June. We have only been fly fishing for a year and only on creeks and tailwaters. We would get a guide for any kind of trip we book while down there, but would you guys recommend trying to fly fish. Everything that I have read about salt water fly fishing makes it sound very hard.

04-07-2008, 10:09 PM
ALflygirl-I bought a 8wt TFO pro series for my beach trips from LRO. Call or stop in and let them know where your going and what you might try to fish for. They will definetly get you started and they might even know of a good guide to use on your trip.
Fishing in the ocean is different only because the rod is bigger than what we use in the mountains.
You will have a great time. I am actually jealous, but happy for you. It makes me wish we were heading to the beach this year.=(

Byron is a great one to ask about fishing in FL.

04-09-2008, 12:07 AM
I agree with using an 8wt. rod. I live down in Charleston, SC and primarily fish for Redfish. Your best course of action besides hiring a guide, should be to become as good as you can at Double Hauling. That casting technique will make or break you when it comes to casting in the wind and when it comes to reaching fish over 50' away, and when it comes to casting flies that are heavily weighted. There will be no shortage of wind either. Although you can get some very nice windless days on the coast...sometimes...;) And, when you get it down, you can use it when fishing in the mtns too.
It's not hard, it just takes practice and repetition to build those casting muscles even stronger. You could practice with your trout rod, but you need to build those arms so you will be able to cast all day so use an 8wt. or whatever rod you would primarily fish there.

Let me know if you have any other questions.:smile:

04-09-2008, 12:18 PM
It's not nearly as intimitading as it sounds but start easy. I certainly wouldn't try Tarpon on my first trip. I fish a lot near Destin in N. Florida and there are plenty of easy trips like Ladyfish, Spanish Mackeral, Jack Crevelle, etc. that isn't like fishing Redfish on the flats or Tarpon. One trip I like to do is fish at night around dock lights. That's about as easy as it gets. It actually tons easier than fishing for trout in the Smokies!

04-09-2008, 12:29 PM
Thanks for the info. 2oclock....Sounds like I need to spend more time in the gym than I am currently for the ol double haul!! ;) We have actually shifted our interest from S Florida because of time constraints to Port St Joe. Anybody have any thoughts about that area???
Thanks again!

04-09-2008, 10:52 PM
We have been to St.George Island several times. The whole area has some great inshore fishing. The ladyfishing are easy to catch with a white flashy bugger and are a ball. Don't forget a bite tippet. Shrimp flies, crease flies are good. Robinson Bros in Appalachicola is a good guide group. 8 wt rod is plenty for most fishing.

I envy you. Our Floriday trip has been changed due to son's HS football.

Byron knows quite a bit about Port St Joe.

04-11-2008, 10:28 AM
In the surf, the most common fly I tie on is a Chartreuse and White clouser. Just be careful on a windy day, it'll put you on your knees when it hits you in the back of your head with those lead eyes.

04-11-2008, 02:57 PM
Returned SUN from a week in the Turks & Caicos, bone fishing at every opportunity. Guides were really expensive, and reluctant to go out becuse of the windy conditions. Muddled thru on our own, pleanty of places. Double haul works good, and if casting with the wind can really get it out there. Remember to keep your rod as far up in the air and off the water as possible. However, a Kevlar vest for the back, and a steel pot for the head and ears would be good. There are still a half dozen real big blue green bruises on my back, and the only reason I still have any ears left is I was wearing a sun shade off the back of my hat for my neck and ears. You actually come to dread the "whap" as much or more than the pain that has yet to hit your brain, but that could just be due to my worn out sixty year old synapses. Nothing like bonefishing. To hear your reel sing like a banshee is something that just does not happen very often. I cannot wait to try it again. Watson

04-11-2008, 06:35 PM
Watson....sounds like a great time....except for the "whap"!!! Love to hook into a bonefish one of these days!

Byron Begley
04-14-2008, 06:04 PM

You do need to learn to double haul. Also you need to keep 30' or more of line in the air then shoot the rest. For bonefish you will be sight fishing in the Keys so you don't need to cast all day, just when you see a fish. Accuracy is important and you will be casting in the wind. Learn to cast on both sides of your body. For instance if the wind is blowing from your right, turn and make a cast as if you were casting the other direction from your target then shoot your backcast to the target. That way your fly won't hit you or your guide. If the wind is blowing from your left cast as you normally would. I am assuming you cast with your right hand holding your rod. If the wind is blowing from your front or rear use a side arm cast to keep everything low and manageable. An 8 weight rod would be perfect for you. I like a 9 wt. too. A TFO Professional is hard to beat for $159. A Bauer JM Reel has a good cork drag and it costs less than most cork drag reels. I mention less expensive gear in case you are not going to fish in saltwater often. Seeing the fish can be frustrating. I like brown, amber or rose colored sunglasses. I had a guide in the Keys tell me to look for something unusual. Down there, to me, everything looks unusual.

Saltwater fishing is a lot of fun. I wouldn't start with tarpon or permit. Try bonefish, redfish, speckled trout or any other species first. Good luck and have a good time!


Byron Begley
04-14-2008, 06:13 PM

Sorry, I missed the post about Port St. Joe. It is a beautiful place. The water is usually clear. You can wade out from the State Park at Cape San Blas. From now on I'm going to use a Kayak. You can rent them there. My buddy Jack had a 9' bull shark swim within a rod length from him just outside the marina at the Park. He was wading in water above his waist. You could paddle to shallow spots then get out to wade to avoid the big sharks. When you wade always shuffle your feet. There are a lot of rays there. If you step on one you will wish you hadn't. If you shuffle they swim away before you get to them.

I like the Port Inn. They have a good website. You can walk to great restaurants and it isn't a long drive around to the cape. I don't personally know any guides there. I know two in Destin which is not far away.