most of us in the sport fishing community, the attributes that differentiate an
exceptional angler from an average one are pretty well established. Patience of
a saint, the ability to study and learn from our surroundings and being able to
think like a fish are just a few. Here’s one that I think is my personal best; stubbornness!
Bull-headed, never- give-up, fly-in-the-face-of-popular-belief stubbornness! If
I did not possess this “gift” (believe me, that’s not what my wife calls it) I
would have never landed my first South Florida sailfish on fly. I probably
would have made a couple half-hearted attempts and eventually called it quits. Worse
yet, I would have listened to the advice and opinions of more than just a few who
believe, “You can’t catch sailfish on fly in Florida!”
Like professional golfers and major league hitters, avid fly-fishermen are athletes. They understand that remaining at the top of their game, means the fly rod must continue to be a seamless extension of their arm - comfortable and fitting in every way while outputting maximum performance with the greatest level of efficiency. Problem is when purchasing an off-the-rack long stick - even from a leading manufacturer - there is always something that you wish you could adjust. Whether it’s the length of the handle, the feel of the reel seat, the butt section, the number of pieces or maybe it is the color of the blank or the number of guides. There always seems to be one minute factor that just doesn’t feel or look right. Now, obviously anglers can still be quite effective with a less-than-perfect stick. That fact is undeniable. But will you be achieving your absolute full potential? I don’t think so.
Roll-casting my crustacean to a
large but compact school of cruising fish along a quite stretch of barrier
island beach during a recent recon mission, I could only imagine what it would
have been like pursuing game fish along this once untamed GulfCoast
Rich in natural history and
resource, Southwest Florida possesses a
magical allure of adventure and opportunity. A wild coastline once plied by the
Calusa Indians followed years later by rugged settlers who forged a meager
existence here from farming, hunting and abundant saltwater bounty.
Fly-fishermen penetrating further up secluded creeks than ever before are finding success on a consistent basis. With a little ingenuity and sense of adventure, you, too, can get in on this exciting ultra-skinny water fishery.
For anglers of all kinds, knots form the critical link between you and
the fish. Without properly tied knots, you are completely wasting your
valuable time on the water- and fly-fishermen are not exempt.
As a full-time professional fishing guide, I am extremely critical
about knots because I need my clients to land the greatest percentage
of fish possible. My reputation and livelihood depend on it. As a rule,
when a paying customer steps foot onto my boat, the first thing I do is
cut everything off the end of his or her fly-line and start from
native Floridian and professional light tackle guide, I’ve fished for and
connected with countless tarpon along Florida’s
West Coast. Specializing in fly fishing from Homosassa to Charlotte
Harbor and Sarasota
to Tampa Bay, I’ve been pursuing silver kings
since the age of 14.
talking tarpon, one immediately envisions giant, leaping silver fish, and
rightfully so. Being a true game fish of world-class merits without the blue
water requirements, no fluffiness is needed here. Here’s a species recognized
to be at the top of the fly fisher’s game which provides more enjoyment than
most athletes in the entire sporting world could ever know.