The Tampa Bay Times

Successful shallow water fly fishing depends on a variety of factors. Find fish, don’t spook them, make a good presentation, and use the proper fly would certainly be high on the list. By changing a few words this can apply to fishing with conventional tackle especially when using artificials. Could you rank them in order of importance? It is obvious that if we can’t find fish, our venture will be a failure. A poor presentation may catch a few, making this important. What fly we use is often the primary interest especially of the inexperienced angler. After listening to you talk about a successful trip, the question is always, “Yes, but what fly were you using?” In clear shallow water where the fish can often be seen why do they stop feeding and seem indifferent to our attempts to catch them? Is it possible that scaring the fish might be the most important issue? How many times have you seen feeding snook and redfish in the shallows and were never able to catch one? They will scoot into deeper water to avoid you, or move as you approach, always staying outside of casting range. Even if you can reach them your attempts will be ignored. Watch a heron catch his next meal; duplicate his patience and stealth and watch your success improve.
Fly fisherman Pat Damico charters lower Tampa Bay and can be reached at and 727-504-864

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