East Central Guides Dance To The Rhythm Of A Different Drum
Pogonias Cromis, more commonly referred to as the black drum, is the least glamorous member of the popular drum family. With a range that extends along the entire eastern seaboard and throughout the Gulf of Mexico, black drum can be found in a wide variety of venues. Here in Florida they are commonly encountered along bridge pilings, piers and inlets, but also have a close association with shallow grass and mud flats. One such extremely diverse estuary that offers prolific feeding grounds for large schools of hefty black drum is bordered by New Smyrna Beach to the north and Cocoa Beach to the south—and it's called the Indian River Lagoon system.
As a professional fishing guide I've been asked just about every question you could imagine. What's the biggest fish you've ever caught? What is the best time of year to fish? Why do we have to leave so early? Are we going to fish the incoming tide? While these are all great questions, my all-time favorite is one that's asked almost every trip. What's your favorite fish to catch?
Captain Charles Wright – www.chokoloskeecharters.com
Before visiting America's #1 city to score tarpon on fly, please adhere to the following advice.
Key West, as commercial as it is, is a phenomenal destination for the fly angler. Not only does the southernmost point in the United States offer some of the best flats and offshore fishing in the entire state, there's a host of superb eateries, excellent guides, a full range of accommodations and a diverse nightlife.
While nirvana is there for all of us to enjoy, I headed south partly because of my desire to subdue a bone on fly, partly because I had a hankering for tuna tacos at the world famous Hogfish Bar & Grill, but mostly because I was able to fish with Captain Gil Drake.
Capt Charles Wright – Chokoloskee Charters // Photos: Tosh Brown
Caught a few redfish and snook on fly? Try your luck offshore for a humbling experience that will certainly elevate your skills to a whole new level.
Florida is known the world over for its tropical climate and sunny skies. While mild winters, 2010 aside, offer unrivaled shallow water opportunities I still yearn for winter's end, as flimsy fly rods aren't just for idyllic flats. Every year the predictable weather patterns of spring and summer lure me over the horizon in search of extreme challenges and new accomplishments. While I'm a hardened shallow water aficionado hopelessly addicted to snook, redfish, tarpon, bonefish and permit, I yearn to fill my offshore fix with a welcome change of scenery and target species.
The long and short of selecting the ideal fly line.
To many anglers, successfully targeting game fish on fly represents the pinnacle of an ever-evolving fishing career. Most would agree that catching a snook or redfish on a live pilchard is not as rewarding as coaxing the same fish to feed on an artificial offering. For an even greater reward, try enticing that fish to inhale a fly you tied yourself. With traditional casting outfits, the weight and momentum of the lure or bait pulls line off the reel.
With the fall bait run about to commence,
fly fishermen can expect explosive action with tailing reds.
The small hairy bug never broke the surface tension of the water. It
lay there patiently waiting to be coaxed into life by its master. “Just
let it sit until the fish’s tail goes down” were my instructions to
Bob. The golden tail ahead of us slowly submerged. “Start with slow
strips,” I said. Under my tutelage Bob was on his third fish of the
day, so he already knew what my instructions would be as he
instinctively moved the fly before I even spoke. The water erupted in a
large boil behind the fly.