Tag Archives: saltwater fly fishing

Robalo the Beachcomber

Guest Blogger: Mike Cline, Bozeman, Montana

Beach combing is an activity that consists of an individual “combing” (or searching) the beach and the flat beach intertidal zone, looking for things of value, interest or utility. For Robalo, beachcombing is an annual event. Each year as the waters warm along the Gulf and Atlantic coasts of South Florida in the late Spring, Robalo ventures out to the beaches looking for things of value. Robalo is part of a large clan of beachcombers that frequent summer beaches in both the tropical Atlantic and Pacific coasts of the Americas. The name Robalo, of Spanish origin (rὁbalo), was derived from Lobos or wolf. Indeed, the Robalo are wolves of the sea, of sorts. In the U.S., especially in South Florida, we know them as snook.

Snook are a worthy saltwater gamefish and their lifestyle gives the saltwater fly angler some challenging opportunities throughout the calendar year. Taxonomically there are some 12 species of snook in the genus Centropomus split evenly between the Pacific and Atlantic. Of those 12, only four species reach sizes exceeding 10 lbs. Along the Atlantic and Pacific coasts of Mexico and Central America, Robalo as they are known, are an important food fish. In South Florida, Centropomus undecimalis, or the Common Snook is king. Female common snook can routinely reach weights exceeding 30 lbs. Snook are aggressive carnivores feeding on crustaceans and baitfish making them ideal fly rod targets. In early July of 2018, I would take advantage of this aggression as well as Robalo’s propensity for summer beach combing along the beaches of the South Florida Gulf coast. more…

A Fly for 100 Fish

Guest Blogger: Mike Cline, Bozeman, Montana

Anyone who has ever read about, thought about or fished for Musky has heard the phrase: “A Fish of 1000 Casts.” Well this post has nothing to do with Musky. It does however recount an incredible day on the water—Friday, March 2, 2018—at the mouth of Mullet Key Bayou near the mouth of Tampa Bay. I had escaped winter in Montana for five days of fishing in Florida in route to some work in Pittsburgh. Day one generated the usual mix of Speckled Trout and Ladyfish on a pleasant day with little wind and a decent tide. Day two however proved to be one of those problematic days where the wind and tide conspired to make fishing difficult. I probably caught less than a dozen fish in five hours and fought a stiff southeast wind all morning. I was optimistic about day three on Mullet Key Bayou as the wind would be moderate, but from the north. Wind direction is all important in these shallow estuarial waters.

Mullet Key Bayou is oriented north and south and is about 1.5 miles in length. It is shallow with lots of exposed flats except for one natural and two dredged channels. In the Spring, water temperature in Tampa Bay is always a few degrees colder than the open Gulf. A night, shallow flats deep in the bayou cool consistent with overnight lows. With a southeast wind and low tide, that cool water is pushed to mouth and keeps water temps depressed even as the tide changes. Because the wind is pushing shallow water off the flats it keeps the water somewhat turbid at the mouth of the bayou as well. That cooler, turbid water was reason for the poor fishing on day two. The southeast wind also makes for much rougher conditions as it travels over two miles of open water. I was hopeful the north wind would make for better fishing. I was not to be disappointed. more…

A Trout Fisher’s Guide to Catching Striped Bass on the Fly

Guest Blogger: Alysson Cwyk, President of the Delaware Valley Women’s FF Association

Scenario: You primarily fish tiny streams for trout, but your Instagram feed has been littered with photos of monster striped bass recently and it’s piqued your interest. What’s up with all these stripers and how can you get in on the action?

It’s the start of the fall run here in the Mid-Atlantic. Massive schools of striped bass are moving their way down south along the coast, chowing down on baitfish and (hopefully) flies, plugs, and live bait, cast by hordes of fishers lined up and down the shoreline and on boats out chasing after birds working the water. more…