Water temperatures in the 70s were a pleasant surprise during recent fly fishing river trips. Redfish, ladyfish, trout, snook, largemouth bass and a few baby tarpon were our reward for slow, deep presentations of baitfish patterns. Deep water with wood structure harbored the most quality fish. Arriving at the end of the outgoing tide allowed us to see trees and wood that would later be covered with a fast incoming tide. Full sinking fly lines matched with an 8 weight fly rod were used with a short 4-foot, 20-pound leader and a 30-pound hard monofilament shock tippet. Weighted synthetic baitfish patterns with a 30-pound hard monofilament weed or wood guard in sizes 1 and 2 can probe depths and not hang up.
Fly fisherman Pat Damico runs charters in lower Tampa Bay and can be reached at captpat.com and (727) 504-8649.