Fly Fishing The Flats

Fly Fishing Sanibel Island
I get to take all levels of fly fisherman fishing on my local waters of Sanibel Island and the Fort Myers surrounding area. It is probably the greatest occupation in the world, other than being a paid judge in the Hooters’ bikini contest. My guest anglers range from the truly expert to the complete novice and everything in between. So it’s always interesting and never boring and I wouldn’t want it any other way.
Today it was a true expert, Kevin Sloan from Sitka Gear. Sitkagear.com designs and makes probably the best hunting performance apparel in the world. If you hunt, I would highly suggest you check them out. (That was an unpaid plug, btw)
Kevin and I hit the shallow flats early in the morning to look for redfish in about 8 to 12 inches of water. It didn’t take long before we both spotted two redfish following a large stingray. The tails of the redfish were beautiful because of the early morning sun shinning on them. I wasn’t sure whether to try and get a picture of it or keep poling my boat in the direction of the fish so Kevin could make a cast. Kevin persuaded me to keep poling. He then made one cast with his 8 weight fly rod and a secret fly, made a few short hopping strips and, Fish On!! It was a nice sized redfish, probably 12-13 pounds and measured 32 plus inches.
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After that, knowing we probably couldn’t catch a bigger redfish, we hit a deeper flat near mangroves hoping for a Snook. We didn’t get a Snook but he did hook several mean Jack Cravalle. This is the strongest fighting fish, pound for pound, that there is in our waters.
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Now to finish the day with a bang, we went to another area where I had seen some Tarpon. Tarpon are just now showing up in good numbers and they without a doubt are the most exciting fish to hook in the entire world. They are 5 to 6 foot monsters that hang out in 4 to 7 feet of water and once hooked, they shoot out of the water like a silver missile.
We managed to “hook” 5 of those bad boys on fly, but couldn’t keep any of them on the hook for very long. Tarpon are professionals about spitting the fly and quickly becoming “un hooked”.
So there won’t be any pictures to share of our Tarpon fishing in this report.