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Florida FlyMagazine Fishing Only Florida - Only Fly Fishing


Vol 3 No. 2

What’s Inside?

Capt. Rick Grassett’s Forecast for March 2012.............4 Product Review: The Freedom Hawk Pathfinder 14.....8 Lighten Up.....................................................................13 Fundamentals of a Straight-line Cast..........................15 Salty Fly Tournament 2012...........................................18 G. Loomis Skiff Casting Challenge Championship......21 What is Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing?...............22 Mornings.......................................................................24 Join the Bonefish & Tarpon Trust Today!.....................25 Captain John Kumiski’s Redfish Worm........................34 Tarpon Federal Gamefish Initiative.............................40 Guide Report - Capt Drew Cavanaugh.........................42 The School of Fish.........................................................48 Tying the School of Fish................................................52 School of Fish Recipes...................................................55 Gerber Flik Fish Multi-Pliers ........................................58 Destination Fly Fishing - Five Steps to Success...........62 Guide to Guides & Fly Shops........................................72 Meet the Editorial Staff................................................76

Florida Fly Fishing Magazine

Only Florida - Only Fly Fishing A Bonefish & Tarpon Trust Conservation Blue Ribbon Sponsor

Florida Fly Fishing Magazine publishes articles about fly fishing in the Sunshine State. It is published on the shores of the Gulf of Mexico in Dunedin, Florida.

Editor & Publisher Edward C. Maurer Contributing Editors: Aaron Adams Joe Mahler Jeannie McGuire Ken Morrow Robert Morselli Dusty Sprague Contact: (727) 798-2366 A publication of Edward Maurer Consulting, LLC. Copyright 2012 All rights reserved. Actions, activities, travel, techniques, etc. seen within are examples of what others do and participate in and should only be carried out by qualified individuals. The outcome of your activities remain your own responsibility. Properly wear and use all safety equipment. If you’re afraid of the water, stay away from it.


Being there

I think we all agree, or at least understand, that our love of fly fishing has as much to do with our surroundings and “being there” as it does the actual catching of fish. Whenever I encounter people while fishing the unfailing question I’m asked is: “How’s the fishing?” Sometimes it’s “Have any luck?” Yeah, you hear that, too, don’t you. My answers, almost equally without fail are “great” to the former and “always” to the latter, or something else that doesn’t include fish themselves. It’s more of Zen thing, being able to cast a line, enjoy the water and surrounding environment, being lucky enough to do it unfettered by clocks, politics and other oppressive things that cause bumps in the night. It’s being able to drift with the tide, both literal and philosophical, absorbing recuperative energy and transforming it into a healthier, happier life that gives fly fishing meaning to us as anglers. It’s more than chasing fish; they’re only the excuse we use to find ourselves “there.” Speaking with a fellow angler a few days ago we compared our favorite kinds of places to fish. Of course, we both enjoy our luck of being able to fish here in Florida but I also had to include trout streams where I cut my fly fishing teeth before I moved back home to the Sunshine State. Few moments compare to sitting alongside a wooded trout stream, having a sip while smoking a pipe; relaxing without even having a line in the water. It doesn’t matter if I’ve caught fish or not, it’s that I’m there. Fly fishing is less about the fish than it is about the philosophical person I am when “being there” is what counts. It’s about the greatness of the moment, the luck of being a fly angler in a place I love. Ed Maurer, Publisher

On the cover: The Bonefish & Tarpon Trust annual membership drive and fund raiser. Learn more on page 25. 3

Capt. Rick Grassett’s Fly Fishing Forecast for March 2012

Fishing for reds and trout on shallow flats of Sarasota Bay should be strong this month as baitfish become more plentiful. Fly poppers and Gurglers should work well due to warmer water. Look for catch and release snook in the ICW at night. In the coastal gulf, king and Spanish mackerel and more may begin to show up towards the end of the month or sooner due to the warm winter we’ve had so far. Keep your eyes open for early arriving tarpon in Sarasota Bay, lower Tampa Bay and Charlotte Harbor. Catch and release fly fishing for snook at night should be good in the ICW between Sarasota and Venice this month. Cast small white flies, like my Grassett Snook Minnow, up tide from structure and let it sink before stripping it across shadow lines. They may eat Gurgler type flies when they are chasing shrimp across the surface. Fish peak tidal flows for the best action. You may also find snook feeding on shallow grass flats on sunny afternoons, especially due to the warm winter we’ve had so far, where they might eat wide profile baitfish fly patterns. Reds should also be a good option in March. They’ll spend more time feeding in shallow water due to more plentiful bait. Look for them along mangrove shore lines and the top of bars when the tide is high Look for big reds or in potholes and along edges of bars when the tide is low. I like to a Gasparilla So pole or wade in shallow water when hunting for reds. Focus on seams where grass meets sand, but avoid crossing seams with your fly line. Instead just cast your fly and leader across seams, starting with shorter casts and lengthening them to avoid spooking fish you may not see. I like lightly weighted flies (bead chain or extra small lead eyes) with weed guards, like my Grassett Flats Minnow, fished on 10’-12’ leaders on a floating fly line. Trout fishing should also be good this month. Baitfish will become more plentiful as water temperatures reach 70 degrees or higher, which means good top water action. Drift deep grass flats of Sarasota Bay and cast ahead of the drift with weighted flies on sink tip fly lines. My Grassett Deep Flats Bunny fly and Ultra

Hair Clousers are both good fly choices for trout on deep grass flats. The synthetic material flies will hold up much better to toothy and rough mouth fish. You’ll find the biggest trout in skinny water along with reds. Look for them in potholes or on shallow grass flats. Fly anglers should do well with 12’ or longer leaders and lightly weighted flies, Gurglers or Crease flies. North Sarasota Bay, lower Tampa Bay and Gasparilla Sound have some great flats for trout and reds in the spring. You might also find pompano, bluefish or Spanish mackerel mixed with trout on deep grass flats. Fly poppers or Gurglers may make blues and mackerel show themselves. Techniques are the same as for trout, drifting deep grass flats and casting ahead of your drift with weighted flies on sink tip fly lines or poppers, Crease flies or Gurglers on floating fly lines, but you’ll need to add about 6” of multi strand braided wire or heavy fluorocarbon to your leader when toothy fish are around. Be on the lookout for early arriving tarpon. These are probably resident fish moving out of rivers and creeks where they’ve spent the winter. They may be rolling on deep grass flats or “laid up”, sitting still just below the surface. Cast wide profile baitfish fly patterns, such as Deceivers or EP flies on floating or sink tip fly lines. Don’t hit them on s in skinny water this month. MCFF club member, Mike Perez, waded the head or cast beyond ound flat with Capt. Rick Grassett and caught and released this nice them so that the fly comes toward the fish. You may find early tarpon in Sarasota Bay, lower Tampa Bay and lower Charlotte Harbor including Gasparilla and Pine Island Sound. They may frequent some of the same deep grass flats where you trout fish, so be prepared when fishing those areas. I usually carry a 12-weight, rigged and ready beginning in the spring to be ready when an opportunity presents itself. Look for Spanish and king mackerel, blues, tripletail, cobia and false albacore (little tunny) in the coastal Gulf this month. When the water temperature is in the high 60’s to low 70’s, baitfish and predators should be plentiful. This might normally 5

happen towards the end of the month, but with the warm winter we’ve had it could happen at any time. Look for diving terns and breaking fish to find mackerel, blues and false albacore. Cobia and tripletail may be found around crab trap floats and buoys or over structure. Fly anglers should do well with sink tip fly lines and weighted flies, like my Snook Minnow and Ultra Hair Clousers, for mackerel, blues and false albacore. I like lightly weighted, but more bulky flies, like my Grassett Flats Minnow, for tripletail. 8 or 9-weight fly tackle should be adequate for most species except cobia. I would use wide profile baitfish fly patterns, such as Deceivers and EP flies, on a minimum of a 9 or 10-weight rod with a floating or sink tip fly line for cobia. Your tarpon fly tackle isn’t too heavy and the same flies should work for cobia so it could serve a dual purpose when tarpon or cobia may be around. There should be lots of action this month on both shallow and deep grass flats, the ICW and the coastal gulf. We’ve had a warm winter, so action in the coastal gulf could explode early. Whatever you choose to do, please limit your kill, don’t kill your limit! Tight Lines, Capt. Rick Grassett Snook Fin-Addict Guide Service, Inc. FFF Certified Fly Casting Instructor (941) 923-7799 E-mail and

Hotlinks to: Florida Tide Charts Florida Weather Radar SailFlow Winds



Product Review: The Freedom Hawk Pathfinder 14

Following are my initial impressions of the Freedom Hawk Pathfinder 14; how it handles, how it fishes, comfort, some of the features, and thoughts on why I chose some of the rigging that I did. I chose Superbowl Sunday afternoon and a 3.25 mile stretch of tidally influenced creek not far from my home for the shakedown cruise for several reasons.   First, the weather was good.  A high temperature in the mid-70s and mostly sunny, with only a slight chance of rain and enough breeze to let me know how the boat would react to wind.  

Second, the tide was perfect for my purposes: outgoing until after 1pm followed by a slack tide of about an hour before turning back toward the launch ramp for the remainder of the day until an hour after sunset.  This would allow me to paddle downstream with the current for awhile if I launched at noon.  Then I would get slack tide, meaning lazy water.  If I played my cards right, I would still have at least a half mile to paddle downstream when the tide turned to test the boat against the flow before turning around for an easy paddle back to the launch.  Finally, I didn’t expect to see anyone else at the public ramp or on the water.  Almost everyone would be watching the game (or the commercials).   Since I had never paddled this water or this boat before, I thought that minimizing “the human variables” was pretty attractive. The very first big advantage you notice about any Freedom Hawk kayak is the

incredible ease and safety of entry and exit from the boat. Extending the pontoons into position 2 (Y configuration), the boat has the stability of an 8-foot wide floating platform.  Standing in knee deep water, simply hold onto the boat somewhere and step on board.   If you raise the stand up bar, you can even just grab hold of it and step up into the boat to a full standing position.   Don’t try that with your grandpa’s canoe!   The Pathfinder’s Elite Angler Seat makes the entry and exit process a whole lot more pleasant, too.   Then again, it makes almost everything about the Pathfinder more pleasant.  Once on board the kayak, simply retract the pontoons and off you go. That brings me to the second thing I noticed about the Freedom Hawk Pathfinder.  The Pathfinder’s new hull design is just different enough to give the boat a totally different ride than the other Freedom Hawk models.  By adding the Elite Angler Seat, you change the center of gravity enough that the boat’s primary stability with the pontoons in position 1 (in line with the hull) will feel very shaky for those of you used to wide, flat-bottomed fishing kayaks.   It is far more similar to that of trekking and white water kayaks and canoes.  So don’t “dig and lean” on that double-bladed paddle to try and build some momentum or you are likely to startle yourself!  In position 1, the Pathfinder is very agile.  It will spin and quickly edge to the splash lip at the top of the gunwale if you try to “muscle” it.  For a typical paddle craft fisherman, I would say:  think of a Freedom Hawk Pathfinder in position 1 as a canoe (except for the facts that it has a self-bailing hull, internal dry storage, and several other features you will find only on a quality kayak. Switching into position 3 (pontoons extended, but in line with the hull like outriggers), the Pathfinder is solid as a rock.  This is actually my favorite configuration of the boat so far.  Position 3 provides as much stability as anyone could possibly want and the boat is still mobile.  Drag increases a bit, but not too badly.  You probably don’t want to paddle upstream against a 4 mph current like I did yesterday for about 9

a half mile unless you really want a good workout, but it will paddle along nicely on flat water at about two miles per hour with a double-bladed paddle. You don’t even have to modify your stroke.  And now you fellas who like to dig and lean on those paddles can do so to your heart’s content!  Stand up, sit down, turn around, pole, troll, drift, paddle, drop an anchor off the stern - this is the configuration that allows you to do whatever you want to with the ultimate in primary stability.  I guess taking a six foot breaker broadside might flip the boat in this configuration, but that’s about what it would take.   I’m very impressed.   The Freedom Hawk kayaks I’ve used in the past did not have the improved 3-position pontoon system.  Those old models only had 2 positions:   inline and Y-shaped for stability when standing. Speaking of the pontoons, I weigh 195 lbs.  I’m carrying about 15 lbs of gear in the bow dry storage tank when the anchor is in there and about 7 lbs when it’s not.   Yesterday taught me that I need to ballast the pontoons to trim the boat properly.  I probably need to add about five pounds to each pontoon - as far to the rear as possible.  I’ll most likely do this with a couple of small shot bags.  You can use zip-loc bags of beans, rice, etc.  It really doesn’t matter.  Just make sure you keep them small enough to fit through your water-tight hatches. I only fly fish, so I rigged the boat specifically to avoid adding things that could snag a fly line.  The levers, pontoons, stand-up rail, and general lack of open storage wells on any Freedom Hawk kayak make outfitting these boats a bit challenging.  The Pathfinder has the additional large dry storage port in the bow to compound the issue.  If you are used to traditional rigging and outfitting options you will have to think outside the box to configure a Freedom Hawk, especially a Pathfinder.  But the accessory options do exist and are readily available.  You can spend a bunch or spend a little.  The choice is yours.  Let me tell you a little about what I have done to my Pathfinder. First, I chose the Elite Angler Seat.  I have serious issues with nerve impingement

in my spine and an arthritic hip. A good seat really isn’t an “option” for me, it is a necessity.  Probably my biggest criticism of the Pathfinder is that it doesn’t have an adequate means of securing the Elite Angler Seat to the hull of the boat.  I had to come up with this on my own. Using large cable-ties, I fastened a hook-and-loop closure adjustable webbing strap with a stainless steel grommet to rigging eyes (available at marine supply stores) located on the gunwales at the front corners of the seat.  Looping the straps around the seat frame, I was able to securely anchor the seat’s front edge to the boat.  That is really all you need.  There are molded-in tracks in the hull for the back legs of the seat.  With the front strapped down and the back in the tracks, the seat is firmly in place and cannot be knocked out of the boat.  Yet, by unfastening the two straps you can remove the seat.  I attached the Otter Box for my Samsung Galaxy S phone, which contains my Navionics Charts and NOAA weather apps to the front edge of the seat, too.  The box tucks under the front of the seat and is readily available.  My Camelbak hydration pack fits snugly over the seat back without any uncomfortable bulk, providing me with easy access to liquids and additional storage for gear.  Plenty of straps on the Camelbak make is very secure.  It is also weatherproof. Adding a paddle clip down the starboard gunwale was challenging, but not impossible.  You have to do some experimenting and figure it out, mark the location of the clip carefully, and then drill your holes if you want to use a clip.  On the port gunwale, I had to stow a two-piece twelve foot carbon push pole.  In terms of dimensions, this would be far less challenging than an eight foot paddle.  Functionally, it required a lot of thought.  The rigging had to accomplish three things.  First, it had to store both sections out of the way during transit.  Second, it had to store one section when I use the spike section as a stake out pole.  Third, it had to function as an anchor point for the push pole when I set it down to fish and didn’t want to break it down and stow it, as is typical when stalking flats sight-fishing.   This last function had to occur aft of where I would be standing to avoid snagging fly line.  Of course, whatever I came up with had to be a minimal hazard to fly line. The solution, once again, came in the form of those adjustable hookand-loop straps from the marine store and some cable-ties.  These are longer versions that provide more versatility.  One is mounted 11

a few feet aft of the bow on the port gunwale and the other is mounted next to the seat. They work splendidly! Two more small webbing straps attached to the foot pegs function as my rod stagers when I am poling and paddling around a flat in the standing position.  A readily available light pole and rod holder finish out the basics. For a fishfinder, I use a Humminbird Pirhanamax 160P the self-contained, portable unit with the transducer that drops over the stern.   It fits inside the bow dry storage compartment and sets up in minutes, and runs on its own battery.  I avoid any permanent mounting this way (another fly line snag point that is a quick and almost sure way to break an expensive piece of electronics), and only carry it on trips where it is likely to be useful.  I can also take it out of the boat any time I walk away.  Frankly, I don’t use fishfinders a lot, but when fishing deeper water...especially new water...they come in handy. To wrap it up, I had a great paddle in a fantastic new boat.   Freedom Hawk kayaks are very innovative and unlike any other boat on the water.  So you have to expect a lot of things about owning one to be different.  They are the ultimate in stand-up paddle craft fishing, which makes them hard to beat for sight-fishing.  The Pathfinder is a long-awaited and great new addition to the Freedom Hawk line because of its design features that favor operating in “big water” environments like saltwater and large lakes.  The Elite Angler Seat is a major upgrade!  There is some room for additional accessories and perhaps a few tweaks and improvements to future year models of the Pathfinder.  That’s a part of why I was asked to join the Freedom Hawk pro staff.  But this is true of every boat in the world.  Perfection is an ideal we all chase but never catch, like the Holy Grail of Arthurian legend.  I’m sure my opinions and observations will evolve and deepen as I become even more familiar with the boat, paddle it in different environs and increasingly challenging conditions, and experiment with the trolling motor option.  I’ll keep you posted.


Lighten Up

Step it down a notch

Fly rod overkill is something that I think most of us have experienced. A typical example occurred during my first season of fly fishing, I landed a tiny jack on a #8 kit that was finished off with a 10 or 12lb fluorocarbon leader. I set the hook properly so of course that tiny jack didn’t stand a chance. That was the first time that the thought occurred to me, ‘there’s something wrong with this situation’. What I truly wanted and expected of fly fishing was a balanced battle and what I came to realize later on was that I wanted fly fishing to challenge me - but how to accomplish this?... On a recent trip to Florida, I brought along 3 fly rods: a #8, a spare #8 and a #5. The 8-weights were for snook, barracuda, bonefish. The #5 for fishing canals and a few fresh water lakes in the area that contained bass, mostly. One day, on a whim, I took my #5 (reel loaded with fresh-water line) to a stretch of the Intracoastal Waterway and started casting my smallest salt water flies: crazy charlies, gotchas, as well as small poppers. I can describe that experience in two words: pure joy. And a revelation as well. It seemed that all my time fishing 8-weights was overkill. Granted, fishing in salt with a #5 is more than just pushing the limits or your gear, it’s an outright exaggeration - but it did prove a point, and that point was that it could be done. With that #5, I brought in small jacks and a 6 - 7lb. barracuda – with no bite guard on the leader, which I acknowledge was a lucky catch. Many of the rods in my modest collection were purchased based on recommendations from fly shop owners, various publications and, of course, other fly rodders. I’m pleased with all of my fly rods, they do the job that they were intended for… and yet I’ve always had this nagging feeling that all of the information I gathered before making each rod purchase was somehow lacking. What that Florida experience brought to light is that for every single one of my rod purchases, I have gone ‘too heavy’. I could, or rather should, have gone for a #4, when a #5 was recommended, and that pattern repeats itself right down the line - a #8 recommended (and purchased) when I should have gone with a #7. Or perhaps even a #6. Buying slightly lighter gear than is commonly recommended can be reasoned out, indeed, even justified. I should admit that I’m partial to light gear. The heftiest kit I fish is a #8. I’ve used 10s, 11s and even 12-weights and, despite being aware that they do have their place, there’s just no denying that these kits offer little in the way of subtlety 13

- which I think is an essential component of fly fishing. Fishing a #12 isn’t unlike fishing with a hockey stick (sarcastic remarks about trying to haul in a 16lb jack with a #3 kit fully accepted). There are times that I really do need that fast #8 to get those big, bushy flies out to a reasonable distance – but a mid-to-lo-flex #7 will properly carry those same crabs & streamers 98% of the time. The mathematical result is clear: you’ll be cursing 2% of the time, but enjoy real benefits like casting comfort and increased level of strike detection, especially with smaller fish, for the other 98% of the time. And you have to admit that lighter gear is, overall, just more of a pleasure to fish. I remember the rule of thumb when I was researching my very first fly rod purchase: a #6 was your ‘all-arounder’, a #5 to be considered only if you were aiming for trout - exclusively. I did purchase a #6, but quickly found that it was overkill: just too formidable a weapon for the fish I was stalking. Over the years, as my casting improved, I substituted my #6 with #5s, and later #4s. The #5s now work just as well as the #6 did and I can’t remember one time where I thought: shoulda brought the #6 to the water. So my suggestion is this: step it down a notch - or two, and do so without overlining your rod. You can still catch, land (in a reasonable amount of time) and release a fish with slightly lighter gear. Also, using lighter gear has two great benefits: it forces you to refine your casting/playing skills, and it will greatly increase the fun factor while landing a fish. Give it a try. Editor’s note: In the summer months when warmer water contains less oxygen fish need to be landed quickly so as to not over exhaust them. If you can do that with lighter tackle, so be it, but put the fish’s welfare first and it will be there for you to catch next time. When it’s bigger.

Fundamentals of a Straight-line Cast


Illustrations by Joe Mahler

Good casting, like any other skill, has basic and essential techniques that form the foundation upon which all techniques are built. Once mastered, the angler can develop his or her own style to suit individual needs and situations. Ed.

Pick-Up without Slack Line. The rod needs to pull against the weight of the entire line and leader extended beyond the rod tip when the cast begins – no slack in the line or leader. Hold the rod tip close to the surface and strip in enough line to get the fly moving. Smoothly lift the line off the water and into the initial back cast. Bend the Rod. Rod bend and line speed are needed to make the cast and result from rotating the rod at the end of the casting stroke. Rotating the shoulder, elbow or wrist, usually in some combination, rotates the rod. For short casts, little rod bend is needed and can result from a slight rotation of the wrist, elbow or shoulder alone, or in combination. Longer casts require more rod bend using longer casting strokes and are best achieved using a combined rotational movement of the shoulder, elbow and wrist. For long casts, begin with a smooth pulling motion to remove slack. Steadily increase speed, delaying rod rotation. End the cast by rapidly rotating the rod to an abrupt stop. The key is maximum rod tip speed at the end of the cast. 15

Adjust the Stroke Length - the distance traveled by the hand during the casting stroke, from beginning of distinct acceleration to the stop. The length of the stroke varies with the length of line being cast. For a short straight-line cast use a short stroke. For a longer cast use a longer stroke. The path of the hand should be straight away from and straight to the target area. Adjust the Rod Arc - the angle between the rod butt at the beginning of the cast and the stop position. The width of the angle should match the bend in the rod to maintain a relatively straight path of the rod tip. A relatively straight path of the rod tip produces a narrow loop of line. The rod tip should stop just below the on-coming line. Adjust the rod arc to fit the bend in the rod. For short casts use a narrow arc; for longer casts use a wider arc. The intent in the figures below is to illustrate casts with the same amount of rod bend but with differing rod arcs.

A rod arc matched to the bend in the rod will produce straight path of the rod tip and a narrow loop.

A rod arc too wide for the bend in the rod will produce a wide loop.

A rod arc too narrow for the bend in the rod will produce a tailing loop.

Adjust Timing - the pause between strokes to allow the line to fully straighten without losing tension and falling dramatically. Wait between strokes to let the line straighten. Good timing adequate pause - is long enough to allow the line to straighten fully with just the leader not yet straightened. Poor timing is not waiting long enough or waiting too long. Watch your back cast when you practice! Select the Casting Angle. For casting to close targets stop the hand low in front and higher in back, unrolling the line just above the target. For more distant targets the hand path should be more parallel with the water. To reach targets under obstacles, tilt the rod to the side, casting more parallel with the surface. Good Casters: • Begin the cast by removing slack • S e l e c t a c a s t i n g angle in-line with the target • Smoothly lift the line into the initial back cast, opposite the target • Smoothly accelerate Casting into a headwind the hand along a straight path • Rapidly rotate the rod at the end of the stroke • Adjust the rod arc to fit the bend in the rod • Stop the rod abruptly • Pause to allow the line to straighten


Salty Fly Tournament 2012

“The largest fly fishing tournament in Florida” When Tampa resident and photographer Sam Root conceived of the Salty Fly fishing tournament in 2010 he did so with the idea of presenting a small event accessible and affordable for anyone. Held in the Tampa, Florida area, the tournament is easily accessible to anglers throughout Florida or those flying into Tampa or Orlando. “The tournaments in the Florida Keys are hard to get to and too expensive and time consuming for the average person.” said Sam. “It really keeps a lot of fly fishermen from attending. Salty Fly is for everyone since it doesn’t cost much and you don’t have to be invited.” A full-weekend event, this year’s tournament was kicked off the night before by a pre-party and premier viewing of the International Fly Fishing Film Festival in Ybor City, an entertainment district adjacent to Tampa’s downtown area, and followed up the next day by a G. Loomis casting competition across the bay in St. Petersburg. What began as a small tournament in 2011 saw 65 two-angler teams for this year’s February 25th event, reportedly the largest fly fishing tournament in Florida. Winds ranging from 12 to 20 knots challenged anglers as they fished in various spots along Tampa Bay’s southeastern shore. While almost all of the teams fished from flats boats, some employed kayaks while a few others committed themselves to wading. The top three winning teams fished from boats or waded as conditions dictated.

1st Place Team “Flatz Slobz” Capt. Bryon Chamberlin, Tampa Sage TCR 9wt rod; Nautilus NV 8-9 reel, Rio Clouser Taper 9wt line; Clouser minnow Capt. Nick Angelo, Tampa TFO BVK 8wt rod; Tibor Everglades reel; Cortland Redfish 8wt line; Clouser minnow

With NNE winds ranging 15 to more than 20 knots blowing parallel to the shore, most of the 65 teams ran to likely places and tried to fish lee shores whenever possible. A member of one team said they were lucky to find a spot with the winds

2nd Place Team “Flats Hunter” (Both are Hillsborough County, Florida, firefighters) Alonzo Sotillo, Westley Chapel (Tampa) TFO BVK 8wt rod; Galvin T8 reel; AirFlo Tropical 8wt line; Clouser minnow Frank Leto, Westley Chapel (Tampa) Sage RPLXI 990; Lamson reel; Scientific Anglers 9wt Bonefish Taper line; Clouser minnow

to their back and redfish to their front. “It made for some really good, long casts as long as we were positioned right. It was a matter of making more of a roll cast and letting the wind carry the line more than trying to do any back-casting.” Facing rough conditions and choppy water many of the teams opted for approaching spots in their boats and wading to the fish, “At least we didn’t get knocked out of the boat.” one team member told me. Another angler fishing from a kayak said it made for some “very interesting paddling.” Sam Root (R) awarding 3rd Place Team “20 Knots” (Named on the spot in recognition of the day’s wind conditions) Jay Wright, Tampa Sage TCX 7wt or 9 wt rod; Sage 4580CF reel; Monic FST clear floating line; Clouser minnow, Airhead, EP Baitfish pattern flies Leigh West, Tampa Sage Xi3 9wt rod; Lamson Velocity 3.5 reel; SA Supra 9wt line; Clouser minnow, Airhead, EP Baitfish pattern flies Tom Tylisz and John Wilson of Team “Wang Anchor” won the Calcutta with a 3-spot redfish. 19

Event organizer Sam Root (not shown), with invaluable help from Lauren Alvarez (L), Dale Snead (R) and many other behind the scenes people and sponsors, put on a great tournament that made it possible for fly anglers from all walks of life to participate. Anglers are already looking forward to next year’s event, with lower winds of course.

The Salty Fly tournament was hosted at Mama Iguana’s “Wings, Beer & Atmosphere” restaurant in Apollo Beach; our compliments to the management and staff for bang-up service and great food.

Chris Hargiss shows off the event t-shirt every competitor recieved in their team bag. Team mates Brad Karzewski (L) and Jeff Harrell (R) opted to wade instead of fighting the strong winds from a kayak.

Tampa Bay Buccaneer offensive lineman Ted Larson (L) fished with Capt. C.A. Richardson of Flats Class TV

G. Loomis Skiff Casting Challenge Championship

On an overcast day with east winds blowing between 15 and 25 knots, 21 teams competed in the inaugural G. Loomis Skiff Casting Challenge Championship held at Maximo Park at the southern tip of the Pinellas County peninsular in St. Petersburg. Using G. Loomis NRX 9 weight rods competitors cast to targets from flats skiffs poled by their team mates through a six-casting station course where they were required to switch positions after the first three casting stations. Each team participated in an initial elimination round with five teams moving on to the final round. Two places were awarded.

1st Place: Capt. Colby Hane (L) and Capt. Dave Chouinard; each recieve a Championship Crystal 2nd Place: Capt. Bryon Chamberlin and Capt. Nick Angelo, who, as team “Flatz Slobz” also won second Trophy and a G.Looms NRX rod place in the previous day’s Salty Fly tournament, earned Crystal trophies and G.Loomis Pro4X rods

Teams cast toward onshore targets from six casting stations. 21

What is Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing?

Since its inception in 2005, Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing has been dedicated to the physical and emotional rehabilitation of disabled active military service personnel and veterans through fly fishing and fly tying education and outings. In the fulfillment of this mission, PHWFF works with wounded or disabled active military service personnel and veterans in Department of Defense hospitals, Veterans Affairs (VA) hospitals, and military transition units nationwide where we now have over 110 programs, 6 in Florida. Our activities are closely coordinated with military and hospital staff, and all services are provided without cost to participants. PH WFF p r o g rams include active duty, reservist, guard and veterans of all conflicts, and disabilities of all types. We work with appropriate hospital staff to determine who can participate in our programs that include fly tying, fly casting, rod building and fly fishing trips locally and worldwide. The relearning of the fine motor skills required in areas of fly fishing can be particularly effective in the overall rehabilitation of our disabled military personnel as they pursue normal life activity. Our programs meet at least monthly developing a continuing relationship unlike other programs that are more “take a vet fishing,� oriented. TU, FFF, and independent

fly fishing clubs, after signing a Memorandum of Agreement, provide volunteers who give their time helping teach fly fishing related skills to our military heroes who have given us so much. Your interest in helping would be very much appreciated. See what this wonderful sport and pastime can really do. Visit our website at to learn more about news, events, sponsors and other topics, as well as access contact information. We are a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Pat Damico PHWFF Deepsouth Regional Coordinator St. Pete Beach, FL More information about Project Healing Waters is available at




I hate mornings. I really do. I can’t say I hate them with a passion because I don’t have enough energy in the morning to be passionate about anything. Walking a straight line can be tough. I usually stumble around a bit before getting the autopilot in gear, but apparently I can have coherent conversations. I know this is true because sometimes, later in the day, a fishing buddy brings up a point I apparently made in one of these early morning conversations. I usually just nod and agree, having no idea what he is talking about. It’s rare that I get called on it. I’ve always assumed the occasional bumps on my forehead are from walking into a doorjamb on the way to the bathroom in my dawn stupor, but now that I think about it, maybe I said something that pissed someone off and don’t remember paying the price for the snide remark. My ability for coherent thought in the early morning is so bad I have to get my fishing gear ready and either in the truck or in a pile next to the door the night before. Even then, I’ve left items laying on the floor at home, and remember them later only by their absence. It might even happen that my night-before packing is done at a late hour, when I should be getting the few hours sleep I will need for the next day, so getting all of the right items into the pile is not assured. Still, my success rate for these late-night packings is respectable. Failures in late-night packing have been of the excusable variety; they have made a day of fishing less comfortable, but I can’t remember leaving an essential item at home (like a rod or reel). The few times I have tried to get it all together in the morning have resulted in disastrous outcomes. I think the most frustrating of these failed attempts at morning consciousness was when I took the wrong rod, well, rods. After unloading the canoe from the roof of my truck, piling my gear into the canoe, and dragging

Join the Bonefish & Tarpon Trust Today! BTT’s mission is to conserve and enhance global bonefish, tarpon and permit fisheries and their environments through stewardship, research, education and advocacy, as well as: • Serving as a repository for information and knowledge related to the life cycle, behavior and well being of bonefish, tarpon and permit. • Nurturing and enhancing bonefish, tarpon, and permit populations. • Supporting research on bonefish, tarpon, and permit behavior and life cycles, and on bonefish, tarpon, and permit fisheries. • Providing educational material to the public and fishermen • Wo r k i n g w i t h r e g u l a t o r y authorities and the public to ensure that the laws protecting these species are enforced • Interacting with government agencies to assist in the management and regulations related to bonefish and tarpon. BTT is a group of concerned anglers and guides who want to preserve their way of life. Scientists working to answer questions about these popular and elusive gamefish. Bonefish & Tarpon Trust is this and more. It was formed in 1998 by a group of anglers, guides, and scientists in the Florida Keys who wanted to learn more about bonefish and tarpon in order to enhance their dwindling populations. Since then it has grown to include concerned anglers from over 20 countries, researchers from throughout the world, and guides committed to working with BTT in order to educate anglers and gather data while on the water. Our continued success can only be guaranteed by your generous support and that of your fellow anglers. Please help us in our mission by joining, and urging your friends, guides, captains, and fishing clubs to join at 25

it to the edge of the bay, I grabbed the rod tube and started setting up the 6-weight. This was to be a pursuit of schoolie stripers on an outgoing tide at dawn. I locked the reel onto the reel seat, and threaded the fly line through the guides of the first of the two rod sections. This rod is a soft 6, it may even really be a 5-weight to someone who knows, and shows a good bend to the small schoolies found in this backwater. I grabbed the tip section of the two piece rod, threaded the fly line through its guides, and put the rod together. But the two pieces didn’t fit. The tip section was too large for the lower section. The rod was unuseable. In my early morning stupor I had grabbed the butt section of the 6-weight and the tip section of the larger 8-weight, each a self-made, all black rod. The rods were splayed on the table drying from the previous trip a couple days before. I had grabbed from the table the first two rod sections my stumbling hands had felt that morning, and hadn’t been able to discern the obvious (to a conscious person, anyway) mismatch of my choices. I stood there dumbfounded for a while, as the blood started moving through my veins, energizing the neurons that carried the message of what my eyes were seeing to my brain. I then watched for a while as small stripers slurped silversides from the surface as the bay=s waters slid slowly out toward the sea. Even as the soft glow of dawn slowly became full light, I remained alone in the bay. It was pretty, but the memory of that morning still brings me pain. For all the pain (both physical and mental) that is morning to me, I fish the dawn hours often. Dawn is a special time in that the water is as alive as any time of day or night, but most of my fellow anglers are not out and about. In New England, the night-time striper addicts are either home or well on their way, and the day-timers have not yet stirred from the comfort of their beds. Very often I am alone in my pursuit of early morning stripers. More importantly, if there is to be a calm time of day in New England, where the winds off the ocean can have a cooling effect even in mid-summer, it is dawn. Calm winds bring calm seas, and silence. Often, there is a mist, or even a fog, that gives the dawn a surreal feel. But amid the silence are the sounds of stripers. Sometimes there are slurps, similar to the sounds made by early-risers sipping coffee in the shop in town. More exciting are the popping sounds, almost like a firecracker, as the striped bass suck in a hapless prey - perhaps a shrimp or sand eel trying to hide in the water’s surface film - with such force that they suck in air along with the mouthful of water. This is a sound that, once it has been heard, will not be forgotten. When the bass are especially excited, there is a lot of splashing as

they chase fleeing baitfish through the surface waters. If there are schools of small baitfish, they leap from the water en masse in their attempt to escape death, falling back to the water like heavy rain as they crash back into the water. The stripers thrash the schools of baitfish, mouths agape, tails slapping the water surface. These are the sounds of a good dawn at my favorite spots on Cape Cod. I am a creature of Cape Cod summers. In the spring, and again in the fall, mornings can be cool enough to cause me to hesitate before getting out of bed. In the spring, I am eager to chase stripers after the long winter, and the possibility of energetic fish on a spring day is usually enough to get me out of bed. But there are times when I give in to temptation and leave fishing for later in the day. In the fall, I am often able to get myself rolling with s simple reminder of the proximity of the approaching winter, and just how long that winter can be. Other times, the images already etched in my memory from falls past may be all I need to put the autopilot in motion. Fall presents the greatest possibility at witnessing the carnage of large schools of large bass and bluefish feasting on menhaden, herring, sand eels, and silversides, often right up against the beach. The fall mayhem provides the greatest shot at the biggest fish of the year since so many fish are so close to shore and feeding with such careless voracity. But wind is more likely than cold to keep me from a dawn patrol. A strong wind, regardless of time of year, can erase the sounds of feeding fish, send the baitfish toward the bottom, and make casting a fly rod a frustrating affair. Worse, the shorelines and shallows that I prefer to fish become filled with dirty water suspended sediment and dislodged algae. But I have gathered a collection of places that are suitable for fishing at first light, so I can usually find a lee if the weather is not too bad. So, if the wind is not unreasonable, I had enough presence of mind to pack the truck the night before, and the promise of fish starts my autopilot, upon waking I will find myself standing on an empty shoreline, greeting the dawn with a hopeful cast of a fly. This piece first appeared in Saltwater Fly Fishing Magazine in 2001. 27

Capt. Jon Bull, Shadowcast Charters (L) taking the three-handed

d approach with Capt. Rob Salimbene and a sizeable black drum.


The goal of fishing is to be personally surprised and rewarded (even though we actually expect it) by that tug on the other end of the line when a fish bites our humble offering and we connect directly with nature unseen , shrouded from our view by the mysterious waters until we finally retrieve the fish to hand . The size of the fish really doesn’t matter all that much in the grand scheme of things. It isn’t what motivated us to take up a fishing rod in the first place . And it isn’t what will keep us fighting through the chronic pain and fatigue of old age to continue fishing until we drop dead with a fishing pole in our hands. The number of fish we catch on any given day is no more significant than their size is to our deepest motives for fishing - the answer to the question “why do we fish” that most of us really wouldn’t say out loud for fear we would be thought silly. No, it was and shall be that simple tug at the other end of the line , the view of the sunrise and sunset, the breeze on our face , the sound of the waves caressing the shoreline or of a babbling brook or rushing rapid , the sights and sounds of birds and other wildlife , and the smells of nature all around us. The feel of the fish on our hook , taught line in between , as he surges and darts to and fro - instinctively trying to evade capture is what pulls us to the water with tackle in our hands. It is a grand game with Mother Nature that we play, and it really doesn’t matter much who our opponent ends up being. Numbers do not matter because the real purpose of the whole exercise is to escape the normal routines of our lives and engage in something just a little bit primal . It is really about tickling that genetically coded reminder buried within our DNA that this is where we came from, where we really belong, and where we someday will return . It restores our souls. From “It ’s About The Little Things” Capt. Jon By Ken Morrow Shadowcast Charters jbull1229@



Capt. Willy Le 33

Captain John Kumiski’s Redfish Worm A five-minute fly By Stuart Patterson

The mortar that binds As I stood on the beach I could not help but notice how my Father had changed. I had not seen him in ten years, our lives never seemed to sync up even though we spoke often on the phone. My Dad does not fly fish, but he taught me much of what I know about fishing, the outdoors, and being a Father. As a young man he joined the military and requested duty in locations that would allow him to hunt and fish this great country of ours: Alaska, Colorado, and Florida to name a few. As I watched his weathered and wrinkled hands tie on a Pompano rig to the surf rod, my mind switched to a black and white photo of a young boy, five years old, standing on the bank of a long forgotten river holding a stick with a line, bobber, and hook. Next to me was my Dad, maybe in his mid twenties, full of youth and energy. Looking up from the sand, I watched my Father cast the surf rod, placing the pyramid sinker right at the spot where the sand bar had a slight break and

deeper water. He slowly walked the rod back to the sand spike and placed it in the holder. “Dad, you are casting like an old pro!” He nodded, looked up at the tip of the rod just as it began to bounce. “Fish on!” I shouted. He grabbed the rod and reeled in the first Pompano of the day. A few days had passed since we went surf fishing. It was raining as I dropped him off at the Amtrak station. He opened the car door and said, “I don’t like goodbyes, please don’t get out.” I nodded, told him I loved him, and he said “I love you too, and I will see you this summer. We have a lot more fishing to do together!” Driving home, I began to ponder all of the people I have met and places I have been because of fishing. Anyone that has a passion for fishing knows it is the mortar that binds us. That day on the beach with my Father will live on through memories and stories. The pompano will grow in size each time the story is told as will our bond. Unlocking the door to my house, I paused and stared at my hand. Weathered and wrinkled; like Father like Son. The fly If it has not become obvious yet, I like flies that are easy to tie and that catch fish. I am in awe of flies that look more like works of art than rough impressionistic imitations, however my own artistic skills are quite limited and my patience, at times, is even more limited. Maybe it is old age slowly creeping up on me or simply that my life has been filled with too much crap already to want to deal with any additional, self inflicted, frustrations. Whatever the reason, I like simple flies that work. This month’s fly is exactly that, or what Captain John Kumiski calls a 5 minute fly! Captain John Kumiski is a guide, writer, and outdoorsman in the true since of the word. With numerous books ( category/Books-5) under his belt, Photo Courtesy of Captain Kumiski including Redfish on the Fly, Flyrodding Florida Salt, and Fishing Florida’s Space Coast, John is an authority on Fly Fishing the Indian River Lagoon and, of course, the world famous Mosquito Lagoon. John 35

designed this month’s fly after another of his creations, the Bunny Booger (http:// Simply put, he was looking for a smaller version of the Booger that had motion even when motionless, was weedless, and that fish would eat. Fishing the fly is as simple as it gets “…I throw it to fish I can see and make sure they see it.” Captain Kumiski has caught redfish with this fly and also black drum, sea trout, hardhead catfish, and bluegills. When I asked Captain Kumiski about variations on the fly, he stated “I’ve used bunny strips and marabou for the tail instead of Arctic fox. [It] doesn’t seem to matter to the fish. I’ve tied it in brown, [but it] doesn’t seem to work as well.” Let’s see what it takes to tie this simple and effective fly. Materials Hook: Mustad 34007 #4 Thread: Danville flat waxed nylon, black. Eyes: 1/100th ounce lead dumbbell. Tail: Small clump of black Arctic fox fur, or 1/2 to 1 inch long zonker strip cut from a rabbit skin, or clump of black marabou fibers. Body: Black cactus chenille or 10mm (standard) Estaz. Weed guard: 15-20 pound test monofilament “V”. Tying Instructions 1) Attach thread at the bend of hook

2) Tie in a hank of arctic fox fur about 1 1/2� in length at bend.

3) Tie in black Estaz at base of fox fur and wrap thread forward. Do not wrap Estaz forward at this time.

4) 1/4� back from the hook eye, attach dumbbell eyes.


5) Wrap Estaz forward and tie off behind eyes.

6) Tie on “V” weed guard using monofilament.

7) Whip finish and apply head cement.

One last tip that Captain Kumiski had to offer on using his fly “…keep it wet, it works better that way!”

In addition to John’s books and seminar’s, you can book a fishing trip with him at or by calling (407) 977-5207. I also recommend signing up for his newsletter/blog at the same website. 39

Tarpon Federal Gamefish Initiative

The Bonefish & Tarpon Trust believes that making Atlantic tarpon (Megalops atlanticus), the “Silver King”, a Federal gamefish, is necessary to conserve tarpon for the recreational, economic and environmental benefit of present and future generations of Americans. Tarpon are prized saltwater fish that can live in excess of 80 years and grow to well over 250 pounds, making them especially susceptible to overfishing. Tarpon sport fishing contributes more than $6 billion annually to the regional economies of coastal southeast US and Gulf of Mexico from Virginia to Texas. Although primarily a catch-and-release fishery, sustainable tarpon populations are under threat from numerous sources including, critical natal habitat losses, unnecessary U.S. harvests by hook-and-line and spears in some states due to lack of regulations, and directed commercial and subsistence harvests by long-lines and gill nets in Mexico, Cuba and the broader Caribbean.  Evidence of non-sustainable US tarpon fisheries already exists.  Port Aransas, Texas, once known as the “Tarpon Capital of the World”, and a host to presidents and potentates for exceptional tarpon fishing in the 1950s, today has declined so greatly that the catch of a single tarpon today warrants special mention.  New satellite-based tagging research has shown that tarpon undergo extensive long-range migrations throughout the Gulf of Mexico, southeastern Atlantic US coast (seasonally as far north as Virginia), and Caribbean Sea.  This means that the tarpon fishery relies on a single shared regional population, and thus requires an integrated regional and international management plan. Regulations in many States and neighboring countries are either nonexistent or not adequate to sustain tarpon populations.  To protect these vital fisheries and their associated economies tarpon must be declared a Federal Gamefish.  This listing would spur States to collaborate on the integration and enactment of regulations to protect the tarpon fisheries, and allow the United States to begin negotiations with other national entities to ensure tarpon receive sufficient regional protection.  Federal Gamefish status for tarpon would further the administration’s efforts to end over-fishing, and advance cooperative conservation based on sound science and in cooperation with State, territorial, and local governments, the private sector, and Field and Stream magazine cove

others, as appropriate. Since tarpon are good indicators of coastal ocean health and climate change due to their use of coastal wetlands and estuaries as juveniles, and nearshore and coastal oceanic habitats as adults, Federal Gamefish status for tarpon would support ongoing efforts toward large-scale coastal and ocean management plans. Federal Gamefish for tarpon would ensure that the Commerce and Interior Departments work together with regional fishery management councils and commissions to improve the quality of our data and provide more accurate scientific records and research about sustainable tarpon population levels.  Protection would also encourage States to examine their management of tarpon stocks, prohibit sale or possession of tarpon caught in federal waters, and directly facilitate the cooperation of federal and State fisheries managers to ensure that State and federal regulations protect this important fishery.  Declaration of tarpon as a Federal Gamefish will underscore the administration’s commitment to conserving the nation’s resources, and encourage the cooperative conservation between federal and state agencies that is necessary to ensure sustainable fisheries.   Federal gamefish status will also provide leverage for working with neighboring countries to institute an international regional management plan for tarpon.

er from July, 1912

How you can help: Contact your representatives to the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate, and voice your support for this important initiative. More in formation about BTT is available at Florida Fly Fishing Magazine is a Conservation Blue Ribbon Sponsor of the Bonefish & Tarpon Trust 41

Guide Report - Capt Drew Cavanaugh - New Smyrna Beach Well now that we are into 2012 here in east central Florida and great weather is amongst us the flats fishing of the Mosquito Lagoon and Indian River has taken of tremendously here in the New Smyrna Beach, Titusville and Oak Hill areas of central Florida. Sight fishing the backcountry flats of the national park and refuge has begun to improve quite a bit, with water clarity getting into the optimal range it should be for this time of year and just outstanding days to fish in. Clear as spring water in most places and easy to spot fish with bright blue skies above you makes the fishing here on the Mosquito Lagoon and north Indian River a premier destination for world class sight fishing. Air and water temperatures are at a prime as well for making east central Florida fishing comfortable, exciting and fun. This is inshore saltwater flats fishing at its very best, what dreams are made of. There is no better place to fish here in the States on a year-round basis than here in Florida. Just so many options are here and opportunities for fish of all types of species to target. As the past several weeks have gone by the water visibility more than anything has cleared up some from the algae bloom that occurred over the summer and fall of 2011. It has taken a few months of cooler weather along with a couple of extremely cold nights and chilly days but we are getting to the famous clarity this area is known for making it a sight fishing paradise. The flats and sight fishing is great as the sun breaks the horizon in the morning and continues its ascent as the day goes by. Even at mid-day the fishing is still great and can be at its prime for the day. Water temperatures in the morning time are in the mid 60째 mark and rising up to the high 70째 mark at the height of the day. This is ideal for redfish and drum. Redfish, trout and several black drum

are being caught in fairly decent numbers on several different baits and lures as well as using light tackle sight fishing methods or fly fishing tactics. The fish are ranging from 2 to 15 pounds on average, with a few bigger and smaller ones mixed in. Searching the flats with baitfish, birds and activity of life on them is one of several different keys into getting on some nice game fish. As the nights are cooler to cold this time of year a grass flat that is near ledges, holes and drop offs are a good place to start looking for fish at dawn. The fish at night time will tend to drop into the deeper waters for warmth, food and protection.


As will the baitfish that they feed upon. As the sun begins to rise, the areas that the rays touch first will warm up the quickest and most likely will hold baitfish along with the predators that follow. This also applies to the shallow water, as for it will warm up quicker than deep water. Sand holes among the grass will tend to be great ambush points for all types of predators and game fish, as well as the ledges leading back to the drop off areas. In a sense they become a type of underwater field that is scanned by predators alike. Of course as with any day you fish shallow waters here on the flats the key elements to success are stealth, patience and distance. Take your time and do not rush things. Approach fish at a distance to not only give you ample time to get into position but also to give you a few chances to make that perfect cast. Use your push pole as much as you can and use your trolling motor as a tool to make up distances. Think like a hunter; be sure to give every angler a very wide gap between you and them. Space between and low noise is a key too. What is a wide gap? I say 900 plus feet if not more, give or take a few feet. You may see two or even three boats on top of each other and think to get in there with them. However consider that they may know


each other and be working together. If you get to an area that already has a boat there it is simple, move to another location. There is plenty of water to fish and plenty of fish to be caught. Early starts are a very good key to a successful day of fishing the Mosquito Lagoon. The type of baits or lures being used have been anywhere from a live shrimp placed on a small 3/0 circle hook with a small bullet weight for the black drum or redfish to the D.O.A. shrimp, D.O.A. CALS and D.O.A. Crabs. I like to throw a few of these with a weed less configuration. Throwing towards and past a feeding fish (say 8 to 12 feet past) then bring that lure/bait across their feeding path will entice a hit or two. Just be eloquent or graceful about this as not to spook them. As far as the fly fishing end of things we were able to land many redfish and black drum on imitation mullet patterns, crab patterns along with a shrimp pattern or two. Approach fish with the sun at your back at an angle and watch boat and your feet movement. Shadows from casts or yourself can alert fish of your presence. Soft casts, good target acquisition and perfect presentations need to be applied and used for all of the above. The best way to accomplish this is just to practice it. Trial and error as it is with any thing in life. Please remember to handle all of your fish with great care and a tender touch for a high survival rate upon their release. Hope to see you out on the water.

Captain Drew Cavanaugh, Florida Inshore Fishing Charters Cell 352-223-7897 http//


The School of Fish

An innovative method for tying a small school on one hook Article and Tying Instructions By Nikki Page With the onset of new materials and variations of old materials flooding the fly tying market, the fly tier is faced with a plethora of possibilities at the vise. With several companies having created UV epoxy resins that set up after only a few seconds of holding a UV flashlight to the UV resin, the tying experience that accompanies epoxy heads has become a real pleasure. Now a tier can dress a baitfish or streamer pattern that is ready to fish within a few minutes. Gone are the days of waiting for what seemed like forever for epoxy to dry. Gone are the epoxy induced tantrums and badly shaped or dripping epoxy heads. That is of course for patterns with only one head! But what about patterns with two heads! Or even...three? Bob Popovics illustrated in his book Pop Fleyes a really cool and extremely creative pattern that he called the Schoolie. This fly consisted of two streamer patterns tied on a keel hook. The first streamer tied on the bottom shank and the second tied on the shank just behind the eye. The fly represents multiple baitfish that can be presented to the feeding fish, on one fly. When fish are feeding on schools of fish this pattern can be the difference between fond memories of being on the water or a forgotten, fishless day. I began tying variations of the fly I refer to as “School of Fish� in

2002 while living in Ireland. I found that saltwater bass and pollack loved this pattern and in freshwater the pike would readily take it. I introduced it to my clients and it was an instant hit. I have come to tie many variations on various


styles of hooks, with circle hooks and offset or wide gap hooks being my favorite. Depending upon the style of hook I tie two to three fish on each hook, taking care not to overcrowd the hook. Not only with this affect the ease of tying, it also may affect the

way the fly tracks when in the water. Tying the school of fish is not much different than tying any other baitfish pattern; however, to have a nice fly when the tying is completed you need to keep a few things in mind, the most important being the sequence and completion of the epoxy heads. As each individual baitfish is tied and the eyes are in place you need to epoxy the head before moving onto the next baitfish on the shank. This is where the UV epoxy resins shine in all of their glory. Once you decide which UV resin (of which an article could be dedicated to this topic alone), take your time and form the head. I tie on a rotary vise and once I have formed the head I rotate that vise for a few seconds, these revolutions will help to even out the epoxy. It’s really the same principle as using an epoxy dryer. Once I’m happy with the head I slow down the revolutions (actually I don’t completely stop until the head is hardened) and turn on the UV light to harden the epoxy. If the resin that I am using has a tackiness left after hardening, I wipe it off with an alcohol wipe. You may also be faced with

a cloudy head if you have to clean the tack off; a simple fix is to apply a small amount of Hard as Hull or Hard as Nails. This can be done as each baitfish is tied and completed or once you complete the entire fly. If you plan on using a marker to bar the baitfish I recommend you do this as you complete each baitfish. Think of each baitfish that you tie on the hook as its own pattern and treat it as such. This way you will always be sure to complete it correctly before moving on to the next. Typically I prefer to tie the School of Fish with craft fur, shimmer and angel hair from Larva Lace or Unique Hair. By mixing color combinations and these materials I can achieve any imitation that is necessary. These materials are relatively easy to tie with and have amazing movement in the water. Craft fur and shimmer on a fly in the water have a lot of movement. Should you need to add a weedguard to this style of fly, simply tie it in and position it before forming and hardening the UV epoxy head. Regarding patterns: the sky, or should I say the water, is the limit. At every tying workshop or class that I present at I always impress the attending people to be creative and tie in such a fashion. The fly that you tie is your fly! Experiment, be creative and never stop being creative. Happy tying! Nikki Nikki Page is a commercial fly tier and the owner of Flies of Fancy. She can be reached at


Tying the School of Fish The Blueback Herring Materials Hook: Daiichi #3847, 3/0 circle Thread: Mono Body: White craft fur - silver holographic saltwater angel hair - fl blue craft fur top with baitfish angel hair Eyes: Red 5/16�, 3d holographic with, epoxy head Step 1: Place hook in the vise and start thread at the bend. Tie on a clump of white craft fur.

Step 2: Tie on clump of saltwater silver holographic angle hair.

Step 3: Tie on clump of fluorescent blue craft fur.

Step 4: whip finish twice or half hitch three times. Mono tying thread has a tendency to slip out when knotted; the extra whip finishes or hitches will ensure that the thread does not unravel when it is cut off.

Step 5: Stick the 3D eyes to each side of the fly. Take your time to ensure that they are even on all sides, once they epoxy is set they cannot be altered.


Step 6: Apply the preferred UV epoxy. Check to make sure that you are satisfied with the shape of the epoxy head tehn Harden the UV Epoxy with a UV flashlight. Rotate the vise slowly to ensure that the UV light covers all of the epoxy. Once the epoxy is completely hardened, wipe any tackiness off with an alcohol wipe.

Step 7: Start the tying thread behind the eye, wrap the thread back approximately one-eye length and repeat steps 1 thru 8.

School of Fish Recipes

Chartreuse and white #1 Hook: Daiichi #3847, 3/0 circle Thread: Chartreuse Body: White craft fur - uv minnow body 5-10 strands each side - chartreuse craft fur top with peacock herl 5-10 strands Eyes: Red 5/16”, 3d holographic with, epoxy head

Chartreuse and white #2 Hook: 1 Gamakatsu Octopus circle Thread: Chartreuse Body: White unique hair - chartreuse unique hair - sea foam green then barred with light green marker Eyes: Chartreuse 1/4”, 3d holographic, epoxy head

Chartreuse and white #3 Hook: 1/0 Daiichi 2546 saltwater Thread: Chartreuse Body: White shimmer - electric yellow angel hair each side - chartreuse shimmer, then barred with black marker Eyes: Chartreuse 1/4”, 3d holographic, epoxy head


Chartreuse and white #4 Hook: 5/0 EWG Gamakatsu monster Thread: Chartreuse Body: White then chartreuse then black bucktail layered. chartreuse krystal flash each side, chartruse bucktail topped with peacock herl. Eyes: Chartreuse 3/8”, 3d holographic, epoxy head

Chartreuse and white #5 Hook: 5/0 EWG Gamakatsu monster Thread: Chartreuse Body: White craft fur, chartreuse saltwater angel hair, chartreuse craft fur topped with peacock herl. Eyes: Chartreuse 3/8”, 3d holographic, epoxy head Glass minnow Hook: 1/0 Gamakatsu offset shank worm hook Thread: Mono Body: White unique hair mixed with pearl angel hair - pearl lateral line on each side Eyes: Chartreuse 1/4”, 3d holographic, epoxy head

Greenback minnow Hook: 5/0 EWG Gamakatsu monster Thread: mono Body: white craft fur w/ 4-6 strands chartreuse krystal flash each side - mix of olive and black craft fur Eyes: Chartreuse 5/16”, 3d holographic, epoxy head

Light Spanish sardine Hook: Daiichi #3847, 5/0 circle Thread: Mono Body: White unique hair with pearl angel hair, topped with sea foam green and peacock unique hair Eyes: Chartreuse 3/8”, 3d holographic, epoxy head Dark Spanish sardine (not pictured) Body: White unique hair with pearl and silver angel hair angel hair, topped with sea foam green, peacock and blue unique hair Angel minnow Hook: 3/0 Daiichi #4350, 3/0 Thread: Mono Body: Pearl saltwater angel hair - thin layer of silver angel hair, with rusty olive angel hair. Topped with baitfish angel hair Eyes: Chartreuse 1/4”, 3d holographic, epoxy head Perch Hook: 5/0 EWG Gamakatsu monster Thread: Mono Body: layered: white - bt yellow - chartreuse - olive shimmer then barred body with marker Eyes: Chartreuse 5/16”, chartreuse 3d holographic, epoxy head

Brown Anchovy (generic baitfish) Hook: 3/0 Daiichi #4350, 3/0 Thread: Mono Body: Layered: white - medium brown craft fur Eyes: Pearl 1/4”, 3d holographic, epoxy head


Gerber Flik Fish Multi-Pliers

A good, reasonably priced set of tools in one unit I tend to be a gear junkie. Yeah, I admit it, I like tools and gadgets and the latest, and even the oldest, gear and knives and all those sorts of things that make stuff happen. I often get a case of the “gotta-have-its” when I see a tool that may—MAY— mind you, have some use for some thing some day. That’s kind of sad in a way.... So, when I saw Gerber’s Flik Fish Multi-Plier I (you know), had to have it. What a great choice that turned out to be. The Flik Fish is, let’s see, one, two, three.... oh, about a dozen or more tools in one tidy five-inch, sixand-a-half when fully open, package. I like that: a lot of versatility in a simple, easy to carry implement that doesn’t cost too much.

Right off the bat the Flik Fish is simply a good pair of stainless steel pliers that can remove a hook from most any fish we’re likely to catch. The jaws are narrow enough to fit well into a fish’s mouth without endangering the gills, which is important, and are grooved to ensure a good grip on the hook once you get there. Cut into the jaws are grooves in three diameters for crimping leader collars, as well as a larger serrated clamping area for gripping tight to nuts and bolt heads. Behind that is a wire-cutter that I found would snip, with some effort, a #2 hook. They also make an easy job of flattening barbs. A decent pair of scissors (why are they a pair of scissors when one part by itself would be a knife?) is on board and they are advertised to cut through 150# mono; I find they easily cut through fluorocarbon leader and 30# fluoro bite tippet. I’ve also used the scissors to trim up flies when on the water. They’re large enough for most of those scissor-type tasks you might need when away from the house, but they fold up neatly and into the Flik Fish’s grip.

A two-, no, three-task file has a light-to-medium file surface on one side and on the flip, an abrasive, carbide-coated surface with a hook groove for sharpening and putting an edge on hooks. Conveniently, the end of the file is notched for pushing hooks out fish (or your partner) (or you) and has a slot should you need to pull them out (of your partner) (or you) instead. Two knife blades are provided, one straight and the other serrated for cutting boat lines and rope. Keep that in mind should you find a sea turtle or dolphin tangled in pot warp or netting. The blades,



scissors and sharpener all lock into place so your fingers don’t bleed all over everything and make a mess that you’ll just end up having to clean. In addition to the larger tools, there are four smaller components that are pretty effective in spite of their small size. There are two screwdriver bits, one small blade and another for Phillipstype heads, a little larger blade point that is also a bottle opener (It’s noon when I’m writing this and it does open a beer, all for the sake of responsible reporting you know.) and even (this was a surprise) an opener that I thought was too small to open a beer (it was) but turns out to be a decent can opener (for you gourmets). These also lock in place, which is nice because too often these smaller tools just fold up on you in the middle of a job. The Flik Fish comes with a ballistic nylon sheath that, for me, isn’t quite what I need. The sheath holds the tool securely and is open at the bottom to make allowance for the pliers when they’re extended, but it’s not quite roomy enough to just drop the Flik Fish back into it. However, the sheath is well made and does the job it’s designed for; I just need something different. Oh, before I forget, I attached a cord and takeup reel to the pliers for when I miss the sheath or drop them, which I’ve done several times now in waistdeep water. You know. Yeah, so the Gerber Flik Fish Multi-Pliers turn out to be a good, reasonably priced set of tools without being too big, too heavy or too damn hard to use. I’d buy them again if the cord broke at the wrong time, or maybe even as a gift for a buddy who might need to de-hook himself just a little too often. Ed Maurer You can find the Gerber Flik Fish Multi-Pliers and more online at

You, too can be part of Florida Fly Fishing magazine, here’s how! Writers and Photographers Guidelines

This is the preferred way of submitting copy [articles, etc.] and images [photos, etc.]. The easier it is for us to use them, the more likely it is we will! ALL submissions MUST be your original work or submitted with written permission of the creator. Old, historical works are very welcome but you need to inform us about their source. Upon submission you have, for all intents and purposes, certified that what you have sent is your intellectual property or of a historical nature. Copy: -12 point, Times New Roman, left-hand justified ONLY. No fancy formatting, etc. that I’ll just end up undoing anyway. -News pieces: 300 – 500 words -Articles: 500 or more words. Pieces that are more than 3,000 may be serialized—run in consecutive issues. Please tell me you’d like to consider that for your longer article. I’m very open to the prospect for worthwhile topics. -How-to, technique, fly tying articles: make these photo-heavy with explanations for each photo or diagram. -Travelogues: Include plenty of photos, etc. Consider including links to Google Maps. -If you have a particular placement for an image within the document, place its file name in brackets [redfish.jpg] where you’d like to have it placed. -By lines include your name and your town so we know where you’re from. Images: [ALL images—Includes photos, scans, diagrams, etc.] -100dpi, 1200 px wide minimum. Larger is better! I reserve the right (unless you specify otherwise) to edit images as needed. -Color preferred, but B&W, etc. are a welcome change when appropriate. -Large, crisp images are preferred to small ones. I limit image sizes in the publication, but large ones I can to reduce produce better quality. -Name each file, then provide important info and captions in a separate, clearly labeled document. If the images accompany an article, etc., list the info at the end of the document. For example: redfishing.jpg; photo by Joe Doe; woman in blue is Deborah, man in green is Ed Please email ALL inquiries and submissions to:


Destination Fly Fishing - Five Steps to Success

Good planning and preparation pays big dividends By Capt. Pete Greenan The First Step Take into consideration your ability, financial wherewithal and a target species or location. If you are not an experienced two handed spey caster you might not choose a Scotland or Russian trip for salmon. A little introspection will help you decide what you are capable of and whether or not you are ready for a particularly difficult species or an expensive location. If you don’t think you can handle a 100 lb. fish, you might not want to fish for giant tarpon or sailfish. That being said, you can prepare for any of the above or any other species or location with proper practice. If you want to fish for steelhead in British Columbia you would want to learn to use a twohanded rod, do some research into the best rivers, guides or lodges and read about the techniques needed for success. Big fish may require some time at the gym or working with a trainer to bulk up. When considering a once in a life time trip to a remote location or for a particular species, understand the cost of the trip is usually more than a stated rate plus travel costs. I have found that most trips cost 20% to 30% more than I estimated. You don’t want to leave yourself short of money. For instance, a trip to Andros Island for bonefish may have an added cost if you want to go to the west side of the island; an extra $50 or $100. Most important is deciding what you can and cannot do. For instance, can you effectively wade a river or stand on the bow of a flats boat? Opt for a trip that allows you to fish comfortably and without danger. The Second Step Choose a companion carefully. Most of us like to fish with friends or family. However, you would not want to share quarters or a boat with someone you don’t get along with very well. You

should also consider your mates ability and physical limitations. Are they equal to yours? Would fishing with that person prevent you from doing all the things you want? You may be able to hike a mountain trail for four hours on a pack back trip but can your buddy? Can he/she cast well enough to not miss the best opportunities of the trip? Will your partner be able to cover his costs well enough? When using guides and lodges double occupancy keeps costs down but sometimes it’s more fun to explore alone. It is more expensive but often more rewarding. The Third Step When should you go? Every location, species and environment has a prime time and a shoulder time. When doing your research look for the best season, moon phase, migration period or weather conditions. The shoulder season offers better rates but the fishing may not be at its best. Plan far enough ahead so you’ll be able to book the trip on the days you want. Call or e-mail lodges and outfitters to find the best times. Talk to friends who may have been there and read all the articles and books you can. Utilize all the resources on the internet like chat rooms, forums, etc. Delving into the nitty-gritty of a venue can save time and money. The Fourth Step Be prepared. Now it is time to think about your gear. You’ve made your decision on where and when to go but what do you bring? Do you have appropriate rods? How many should you take? Have you used them regularly? Most venues will require more than one outfit. I like to take four, two primary and two back-up. Do you need reels with a strong drag and large capacity or extra spools? Are your lines in tiptop shape? You wouldn’t bring a bonefish line for Alaskan rainbows or visa-versa. Do you have the right leaders and do you have enough to cover all circumstances? Have you practiced the knots you’ll need? Are you wading? Wet or dry? Think about the appropriate clothing. You may need a super rain jacket or a wide brimmed hat or breathable shirts or silk long johns or all of the above. Will you be tying the flies you need on site? You’ll need a travel kit for that. If you need more equipment, can you purchase it in the location you going to or do you have to carry everything you need with you. What about food & water? Is it available, supplied or do you have to fend 63

Boca Grande - Sunrise 65

Capt. Pete Greenan

for yourself? How about emergencies? What do you do if you step on a sting ray or fall in an icy stream? I can’t say enough about medicine. Be absolutely sure you have everything you need; sunscreen, Neosporin, band-aids, prescriptions, etc. Each location will have its special needs and not covering them can ruin a fun trip. If you are traveling to a tropi cal desti nati on, I suggest you defend against the strong sun with clothing, not tons of sunscreen. Sunscreens damage fly lines, leave odors on flies and lines, and stain fiberglass and vinyl. Do not use sprayon sunscreen ever. Most important is practice. Practice casting with the rods you are going to use. No one goes to the Super Bowl before they play Pop Warner. Use casting instructors whenever possible. They can fine tune your casts so you won’t miss any opportunities because you couldn’t get the fly to the fish. The Fifth Step Consider your options. There are three methods I take into consideration when planning a special fishing trip. The first is commonly called DIY or Do-It-Yourself. I’m a fairly knowledgeable

angler and have advanced casting skills. This means I can cut my costs and still have a wonderful time. I can also tie the flies I need and make the knots I’ll be using. I am fortunate to have many friends who I consider peers when it comes to fishing so I can choose a good fishing buddy. As a Federation of Fly Fishers member I can utilize contacts all over the world. They will help me be ready and may even enjoy a visit or a day of fishing. Making new friends is part of any fun trip. I will choose this type of trip as often as I can. The second method I might choose is to go on a “Hosted Trip” with one of the many Federators that arrange package fishing vacations. I would always choose a Federator because I know they are well trained and have a lot of experience. The Host would inform you of the things you need to bring, the rod, reel and fly selection, what the cost is and what the options are. He/she will be able to suggest the best flights, times and locations. And they will be able to offer a trip in your budget. I suggest this for the slightly less adventurous angler. Being with a group introduces you to likeminded friends who may become your best fishing pal in the future. Also, there is safety in numbers. The third method to consider is going with a lodge or outfitter. These trips 67

are usually a bit pricier but you have the security of an operation with extensive knowledge and a financial interest in your enjoyment and well being. They want you back. Here again you’ll be informed of all you need to bring and all the expenses in advance. Most lodges or outfitters of any size are also insured. That means more security for you. This type of trip is excellent for a first time single angler. You will be able to determine if you really like exotic fishing vacations and what method will work for you. Opt for the lodges and outfitters recommended by the Federation of Fly Fishers if you can. These companies have been vetted and have been shown to be responsible businesses. Always consider your safety when making your decision about a location. This is especially true about traveling to countries that have a history of violence and crime. Most seasoned travelers purchase medical evacuation insurance before they leave or are members of a medi-vac plan. Several companies offer such a service. And this will get you home in case of injury or illness. So, to recap, it is important that you give a lot of thought to your trip. Asking friends what experiences they enjoyed the most will lead them to tell you some horror stories. Don’t believe them all. Most trips, if not to a country that is at war, are fun and exciting. The better prepared you are the more comfortable you will feel. Being better prepared relieves those intrepid feelings and adds pure excitement to your adventure. Consider taking your first trips to one of the many fine fishing venues in the United States. Fishing the great eastern smallmouth streams is an inexpensive fun trip. Have you been to one of the old lodges in northern Maine? How about bass fishing in Florida or Texas? That would be fun. All you freshwater anglers might enjoy a saltwater trip and visa-versa. What excites you the most; bonefish & tarpon; browns & rainbows, smallies & pike or panfish & bass? Do you like to

wade rivers, flats or ponds? How about a kayak trip? You see, the possibilities are endless. Whatever you decide, remember this is recreation. So.. take time to re-create yourself and have fun. I hope this article helps pique your interest in a fishing adventure. In the near future I will be writing short articles on preparing for specific locations. These will help you prepare for one particular venue or species. Fish Hard, Capt. Pete Sarasota, FL Capt. Pete Greenan is a Federation of Fly Fishers Master Casting Instructor and a member of its Casting Board of Governors


Stop, shop, and let them know you found them here! We have them all mapped out for you at

BOCA GRANDE: Boca Grande Outfitters 375 Park Ave., PO Box 1799, Boca Grande, Florida 33921

KEY WEST: Saltwater Angler 243 Front Street, Key West, FL 33040-8371 (305) 294-3248

KEY WEST: The Angling Company 333 Simonton St. Key West, FL 33040 305.292.6306 Welcome to the Angling Company website. It is my pleasure to not only be a part of the Key West fly fishing community but also to supply the tools for any angler to enjoy a great day, both on and off the water. The Angling Company was created to fuel the passion of the local guides, their clients, and the local anglers who call this island home. I have worked hard to provide a store with everything any professional fisherman may need fused with the comfort and knowledge to get even the most novice fisherman hooked up. Fly fishing is a sport that I care about deeply. The store number and email address are there to serve you. Please feel free at any time to call or write me personally. I would love to answer any questions, arrange special orders or trips, or purely help out in any way I can to contribute to the love of what I think is the greatest sport on earth.

MIAMI: Fly Shop of Miami 8243 S. Dixie Highway, Miami, Fl 33143 (305) 669-5851 We offer you top name brands, excellent service and expert rigging of tackle for all saltwater fly fishing situations. Find a full range of saltwater & freshwater fly fishing equipment and clothing for Florida and worldwide destinations. Buy top name brands including: Sage, Loomis, Thomas and Thomas, Winston, Temple Fork Outfitters, Redington, St. Croix, Hardy, Tibor, Nautilus, Abel, Ross, Shimano, Scientific Anglers, RIO, Cortland, Fishpond, Simms, and Ex Officio.

NAPLES: Mangrove Outfitters 4111 E.Tamiami Trail Naples, FL 34112 239-793-3370

NOKOMIS: Flying Fish Outfitters www. 820 Albee Road West #1, Nokomis, FL 34275 (941) 412-4512 Flying Fish Outfitters is more than a store—it is a full-service shop that helps you have an excellent day on the water. We carry a diverse selection for the fly and spin angler, and our specialty is providing our customers high quality products for any budget. Our ever-expanding selection of fly tying materials includes all the locally desired products but we are also happy to special order other items for you as well. In addition to supplying rods, reels, lines and etc., we are committed to education and offer a variety of programs - most free of charge. Please visit us in person 7 - 7, 7 days a week

Orlando: Orlando Outfitters 2814 Corrine Dr., Orlando, FL 32803 ph: 407.896.8220 fax: 407.896.8244

Sanibel: Norm Zeigler’s Fly Shop 2242 Periwinkle Way, Unit 1, Sanibel Island, FL 33957 239-472-6868 We are a full-service fly shop offering the finest fly fishing equipment, apparel, flies, books, artwork, and accessories. We feature Sage, Redington, Rio, Seaguar, Umpqua, Temple Fork, and other top brands. Our flies are tied by local experts. We book guided charters for fly, spin, and conventional fishing. We offer fly casting instruction. We also carry a wide selection of spinning gear and bait. Our most important product is information. We will send you to the best spots and provide you with the best flies.


VERO BEACH: The Back Country 1800 US HWY 1 Vero Beach, Florida (772) 567-6665 At the corner of 18th Street and US-1 We are a locally owned and operated, fishing and outdoor store. Specializing in Fly, Spin & Light tackle equipment and supplies. We stock one of the best selections of flies, fly tying materials, lures, rods and reels in Southern Florida. THE BACK COUNTRY IS MORE THAN JUST A FISHING STORE - IT’S A UNIQUE PLACE TO SHOP!



fly fishing

film tour

Florida Show Dates Jacksonville – Apr 3 5 Pointe Theatre Tampa – Apr 5 Tampa Pitcher Show Schedule, Tickets, Trailers

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Attention Guides , Fly Shop Owners and Managers

Join these fine guides and fly shops as part of our listings pages. We offer the information listings you see here as well as interactive maps to help your customers locate you when they are traveling or planning a trip. For more information, email us at or call (727) 798-2366 today!

Give them a call, go fishing, and let them know you found them here! Find them on the map at AMELIA ISLAND: Capt Lawrence Piper (904) 557-1027

BOCA GRANDE: Boca on the Fly - Capt Al White (941) 830-1375

COCOA BEACH: Cocoa Beach Fishing Charters - Capt. Doug Blanton 321-432-9470

COCOA BEACH: Native Fly Charters - Capt. Willy Le (321) 303-7805 Less than an hour away from all of the attractions in Orlando lies the Indian River Lagoon, the Banana River, and the World famous Mosquito lagoon. In these waters we have miles of mangrove shorelines, shallow grassflats, and numerous spoil islands that your captain will pole along in search of Redfish, Spotted Sea Trout, Snook, Tarpon, and a variety of other inshore saltwater species. Along with that, you will witness an abundance of wildlife including alligators, manatees, porpoises, and a variety of exotic birds that are native to our area.


JUPITER: Capt Ron Doerr, F3M Pro Staff, Bite Me Charters (561) 512-5560 Come fish for a variety of species on fly. We have the resources to catch up to 15 different species a day, to include Spanish Mackerel, Kingfish, False Albacore, Snook, Jacks, Sharks, Dolphin, Pompano, Black Fin Tuna, Cobia, Tarpon, Blues, Sail Fish, and more! I run two boats, a 32’ Twin Vee accommodating up to four flyrodders at a time and an 18 foot Egret for near shore and back waters.

MIAMI: Capt. Carl Ball Home: 954-565-2457 Boat: 954-383-0145

RUSKIN: Capt John Hand Phone : (239) 842-7778 Fax : (866) 592-1149 Email :

SARASOTA: Capt Rick Grassett, F3M Pro Staff Email (941) 923-7799 Snook Fin-Addict Guide Service, Inc. is your one-stop shopping source for quality, shallow water light tackle and fly fishing adventures. Capt. Rick can provide guides and accommodations for any size group.

ST PETERSBURG: Capt. Pat Damico, F3M Pro Staff Email: 727-360-6466 My base of operation is the St. Pete Beach area of Tampa Bay and I can trailer my 17’ Maverick flats boat to other areas as needed. My boat is equipped with both spin and fly fishing gear should you choose not to bring your own.


Meet the Editorial Staff Aaron Adams Aaron has long been an advocate of the philosophy that information is key to success. This is the primary motivation behind his effort to translate fish science into terms that anglers can use. You can benefit from this effort through his articles in this magazine as well as his books: Fisherman’s Coast and Fly Fisherman’s Guide to Saltwater Prey, and his chapters in Chico Fernadez’s book Fly Fishing for Bonefish. http:// Aaron also believes that anglers have a responsibility to be active stewards of their fisheries and habitats, so need to be involved in conservation. His friend Chico Fernandez said it best “The times when we could go fishing, have fun, and go home and forget about it until the next trip are gone. If we want to have fisheries in the future, we have to get involved in conservation.” Aaron promotes this philosophy through his work with Tribal Bonefish – a movement toward creating responsible anglers. Always one to walk the walk, as a researcher at Mote Marine Lab, Aaron studies gamefish and their habitats so resource managers have the information they need for fisheries conservation ( html). And as Director of Bonefish & Tarpon Trust since 2006, he oversees research and conservation programs on bonefish, tarpon, and permit that are essential to the long term health of these fisheries. Joe Mahler A native of Indianapolis, Joe Mahler has spent his life fly fishing for “anything with a tug” and teaching others to do the same. He is the author and illustrator of “Essential Knots and Rigs for Trout”, Essential Knots and Rigs for Salt Water” and most recently illustrated “Performance Fly Casting” by Jon Cave. In addition to Florida Fly Fishing Magazine, Joe’s articles and illustrations appear in magazines such as Fly Fishing in Salt Waters, Salt Water Sportsman, FLW, and American Angler. Joe is the creator of the popular fly pattern “The Strawboss” for use in both fresh and salt water. He lives in Southwest Florida and is currently a member of the Sage Pro Staff.

Jeannie McGuire Jeannie is a gypsy girl who likes to fish. A lot. Anywhere, anytime, fresh or salt, flats, inshore, offshore and even with, insert shudder and dread, bait. Alaska, to Canada, trout streams all over the US, bits of Europe, good chunks of the Caribbean and great spots in Central America, fly rod always in hand. Mostly she just fishes the flats of the Florida Keys from her little seaworthy vessel, the SS Salt Fly Girl. A pretty blue kayak that’s rigged and righteous. Jeannie probably wades way more than her mother likes and occasionally even casts feathers from the deck of a motorized vessel. A self confessed hack and total scrub, she professes near zero expertise. She just catches fish. Jeannie fishes for the zen, the beauty, the challenge, the occasional heart stopping adrenaline and for the pure joy of the sport and because … well…, it’s fun. “Sight casting for sport fish in salt water is to me ... the best of hunting ... the best of fly fishing... and the best of being on the water... all rolled into one...and the addiction of my life.” Jeannie, the Salt Fly Girl. Ken Morrow Ken Morrow is a Certified Adaptive Fly Fishing Practitioner and Texas Parks and Wildlife Department Angler Educator who serves as the President of the Adaptive Fly Fishing Institute, Inc. With over three decades of fly fishing and paddle sports experience, Ken specializes in fly fishing instruction and opportunities for people with a variety of disabilities. The adaptive sports philosophy of helping participants to achieve the highest level of independent function they can without compromising their safety drives Ken’s approach. He has been featured in award-winning films like “We All Live Downstream,” on TV and in print from ESPN’s Outside the Lines to Florida Sportsman Magazine, is a frequent conference and event presenter, and has held a number of staff writing and editorial positions as an outdoor journalist. Mr. Morrow is a member of the Freedom Hawk Kayaks pro staff and the Peak Pro Fly Tying Team. Before moving to Florida, he served as a member of the board of directors of the Gulf Coast Council of the Federation of Fly Fishers and founded both the Adaptive Fly Fishing Institute and the Heartland Region of Project Healing Waters. 77

Roberet Morselli Robert is the research director for the television show How It’s Made (Discovery Channel), seen world-wide, in 180+ countries. The show is translated in over 20 languages and reaches an international audience of over one hundred-million viewers per week. He recently wrote two television documentaries featuring under-water robotics and forensic investigation technologies. Upcoming projects include a documentary on the logistics of creating and setting up a Cirque du Soleil show. As team lead (way back in the 90s), Robert created award-winning websites for General Foods, Lipton (soup) and Hummer vehicles. “My creative portfolio is diverse by intention, I insist on that because diversity is what drives me – and fly fishing is a foundation, in a sense. Not a day goes by that it doesn’t cross my mind in one form or another. People who are completely absorbed by fly fishing will know exactly what I’m talking about, and I try to convey that affection every chance I get – to fly fishers and non-fly fishers alike.” He is currently preparing a 16-part travel/documentary series on fly fishing around the globe and can be reached at: Dusty Sprague Dusty’s passion is teaching fly casting and shallow-water fly fishing. He began fly fishing in the late 1950’s; tying flies and teaching fly casting in the 1970’s; and guiding in the early 1980’s. He has fly fished for fresh or saltwater species in much of the lower 48 states, Belize, Mexico, the Bahamas, and Canada, and has guided in Alaska. He is a senior instructor for Ascension Bay Bonefish Club in Mexico and has conducted saltwater fly fishing schools and hosted groups in pursuit of shallow-water species in the Bahamas, Mexico, and Belize. He is the former manager of two fly fishing shops and a fly fishing guide service at the Broadmoor, a five-star resort hotel in Colorado Springs. He has been a featured presenter of fly casting demonstrations at numerous fishing shows and has appeared on NBC’s Today Show and ESPN’s Fishing Across America. Dusty is a Federation of Fly Fishers’ Master Certified Casting Instructor and serves on the Casting Board of Governors of the FFF’s Casting Instructor Certification Program. He is a member of the Scientific Anglers Pro Staff.

Ed Maurer, Publisher After retiring from the US Air Force Ed conceived the idea of publishing a magazine about fly fishing in his home state of Florida. It took a decade for computer technology to develop to the point where Ed could effectivly produce a magazine without the prohibitive cost of print publishing. It took a couple more years for both technology and Ed to advance to a nexis where an effective, attractive and hopefully stimulating Florida Fly Fishing Magazine could be published in the format you are reading it in now. “I owe a lot to the many folks like those on our editorial staff, past staff member Stuart Patterson, tech advisor and mentor Bernadetter McCarthy and the many other friends and contributors who have given of themselves to make this effort successful,” said Ed, “and much of the thanks goes to my wife, Deborah for her constant support, encouragment and eagle eye.” In addition to Florida Fly Fishing Magazine Ed publishes Skinny Hull Sailing Magazine at

Florida Fly Fishing Magazine supports the Adaptive Fly Fishing Institute, Operation Still Waters, Project Healing Waters, Casting for Recovery, Bonefish and Tarpon Trust, Coastal Conservation Association of Florida, Federation of Fly Fishers, The Snook Foundation, Ocean Conservancy, and many other fine efforts to enhance the lives of others and our environment.


Vol 3 No. 2  

Florida Fly Fishing Magazine Vol. 3 No. 2 for March, 2012