By Captain Pat Damico
What fly were you using?
Warmer water and more stable weather is finally ushering in our great spring shallow water fishing. An increase in larger white bait has filled the bill to finally lure redfish, trout, and snook into the shallows where they can be sight fished. When fly fishermen exchange information the definitive question always seems to be, yes but, “What fly were you using?” When conditions are favorable for a good bite, several successful fisherman will usually be using different fly patterns. Have you ever had someone who has fly fishing savvy pick up your rod after you have not caught anything begin to catch fish immediately? I’ve even exchanged rods with someone having a bad day and caught fish with their setup while they continued to not catch with the rod I was using. The fly is usually the least important part of the equation. On several recent river trips, snook were hanging very close to or under shoreline structure such as docks, mangroves, fallen trees, oyster bars and points. If the fly was not presented within inches of structure, fish weren’t caught. If a cast was close to a fish’s lair and it landed with a disturbing splash or was picked up too suddenly with a surface rip the fish not only ignored the fly but could be seen racing to deeper water for safety. Casting accuracy, proper presentation and minimal disruption will vastly improve your success with the long rod when using any fly pattern.
Fly fisherman Pat Damico charters Fly Guy in lower Tampa Bay and can be reached atcaptpatdamico.com and (727) 504-8649.