New to Fly Fishing, and SW Florida [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: New to Fly Fishing, and SW Florida

12-14-2006, 05:26 PM
Hi everyone,

Im new to this site and to fly fishing as well. I've been interested for a number of years but haven't found the time to do the research until recently.

I will be relocating to Bonita Springs FL by January. I really want to hone my casting skills while catching some fish. :wink: I prefer to start out surf casting. I am interested in the Wiggins Pass and Big Hickory Pass area. If anyone has any helpful information, it would be much appreciated. Fly types, sizes, rod and reel suggestions....Anything...

Thanks so much, and I look forward to being a part of this forum.

12-14-2006, 07:46 PM
I only have some limited info of the area as I only vacation in the Sanibel area 3 weeks during the winter.......the area you refer to has unlimited estuaries which in the winter months, esp if you have a boat, canoe or you warmer water temps.....I've done well a little north- Big Carlos pass/Lover's key area, and below Marco island, Im going to try the flats just south this year, as they supposedly have some tarpon.
Water temps are a key, as anything below 70 degrees and or a cold front shuts things down for at least 3 days. Tides are crazy too......sometimes only one high and low all day....check out the local tide charts in the paper and look for times in which the tides are actively rising or dropping...avoid the flat line times.
re fish.....depending on the season..tarpon, snook, redfish, ladyfish and spotted sea trout......the 1st 3 are very cold will find almost non of these surf /gulf side in the winter months...but in warmer months they cruise the shoreline in great numbers.
Re 8 or 9 wt...I like the 9 in case it's are fishing salt....don't cheap out because you will buy twice....I have a Lampson Velosity 4 reel (about $245) and a Tioga 10 large arbor(about $150)....I love them both and for the $, Tioga can't be beat in my still have to soak and or rise them off after every use...I've had mine for 5 years and no problem as long as you maintain them. If you want to pay 400 plus you can, but not necessary.
Flies.....I've tied everything...but to be honest...a charteous over white or tan over white clouser will do thee trick 80% of the time (3 to 4 inches in length)
Suggest that you go to the new Bass Pro Shop in Ft,.Myers and get a local opinion. Fly fishing is still looked at somewhat oddly on the gulf side esp when one wears a stripping basket for intermediate line....line is your choice....floating better for shallows, but an intermediate does well too.
Best of luck,

12-14-2006, 09:17 PM
Paxton, thanks for the great info....I learned more from you in 3 minutes of reading than I did in my hour of web searching...I really appreciate it.

Lovers Key-Estero Bay is probably where I'll spend much of my time. I work in the area during the winter so its quite accessible to me.

Anyway, thanks again....Im very jealous of your Chatham residence. Much of my fishing childhood was spent in Pleasant Bay.....A beautiful place, one I hope I can call home in coming years.

Take Care Paxton.

12-16-2006, 07:32 PM
I have managed to trade my Hawaii timeshare for a couple of outings to Sanibel and Marco Islands.
Fly fishing Ding Darling out of a kayak is fun with a few snook and baby tarpon possible. And you will probably be the only fly fisher near the bridge that goes from Ft. Meyers to Sanibel, but you can catch some nice sized Tarpon there too. The fly shop that was on Sanibel a few years ago was no longer there last year when I went; couldn't find any others in the close vicinity.

Fished the Tamiami Trail canals east of Marco Island last winter for baby tarpon and snook.

There is a good fly shop in Naples at the intersection of Tamiami Trail and Lakewood Blvd, next to a gas station with a huge American flag that was very helpful for flies and a guide. Had to take a break to find a business card -- Mangrove Outfitters. They had some guides who only worked out of boats and some that wade guided and covered the Trail.

Bonita Springs is in the middle of a building boom; construction eveywhere last January. Buy now; it will be expensive soon!
Good luck.