The Tampa Bay Times, by Pat Damico
Predictable exciting fly rod action
Get out early and walk our beaches with your fly rod. The sun at your back and an easterly wind that provides smooth water will improve visibility so that protected snook can be seen in the wash within feet of the sand. Generally, a large female will be surrounded by smaller males involved in the courting process. Tides that provide moving water will improve the bite. Locations close to passes containing structure are hot spots. A fast action 8 weight fly rod with a clear sinking tip rather than a floating line will perform better if there is any wave action. Stay on the sand casting parallel to the shoreline and keep your shadow away from the fish you target. Good brown to yellow tinted polaroid glasses are a necessity to improve vision. Hold your cast until fish are spotted. Concentrate on fish that are facing you. Then carefully cast a size 1 to 2 white baitfish pattern in front of or to the side of the snook working the offering in long erratic strips. When a snook shows interest, increase the speed of your retrieve to mimic a frantic, escaping baitfish to trigger a violent strike. Barbs should be crimped facilitating a quick careful release.
Fly fisherman Pat Damico charters Fly Guy in lower Tampa Bay and can be reached atcaptpatdamico.com and (727) 504-8649.