Sunday, February 28, 2016

February Fly Fishing Report

It's been a great fly fishing month overall with a combination of some great catches made by my clients in the saltwater marshes to the fresh waters of the upper St. Johns River. That includes species of Redfish, Spotted Sea Trout, Black Drum, American Shad, Hybrid Striped Bass, Red Belly Bream and Crappie. We typically run down to the upper St. Johns River this time of year to catch Shad but  also had a nice surprise this year with some Hybrid Striped Bass(a.k.a. Sunshine Bass) up 7 lbs. These fish were a great fight for my clients on 6 weight fly rods! The Shad also ran pretty big this year up to 20". Jacksonville's Timucuan Preserve salt marsh also gave us some consistent action mostly with Redfish holding in the deeper holes. A special thanks and congratulations to 14 year old Mason who was with his uncle Derek catching his first saltwater fishes and Redfish! He's hooked for life now! Tight loops & Lines to all!



Saturday, January 30, 2016

January Fly Fishing Report

It was a good month of fly fishing for schooled up Redfish & Sea Trout generally a couple days after the cold fronts pass through and as the weather became more mild. Lots of first timers catching there first Reds and Trout on fly. The water temps. stayed in the mid to upper 50s and clear most of the month helping make a good Trout bite. The Reds that took flies well were mostly schooled up in the holes and few on the mud flats. On one particular trip we caught over 60 fish on fly and light spinning gear with most of the fish being caught in the smaller creeks. The focus is now the American Shad run which is happening for the next 1-1/2 months down in the lower St. Johns River. Tight  loops and lines all!

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

December Fly Fishing Report

As predicted the Sea Trout bite picked up for my clients with some nice fish being caught up to 4-5 lb. range. By blind casting into deeper 7-10 ft. holes  in smaller creeks during the middle of the out going tide. Mostly happening in Jacksonville's Timucaun Preserve. The rigging recipe was using a 15' clear sink-tip fly line with my black and white HD Clouser fly. The end of the month brought in some unusually warm weather with Christmas day hitting 80 degrees along with extreme low tides making it easy to find active schooled up Redfish as far back in the creeks that you can go. The winter time will be one of your best times to catch a big Redfish on fly during these extreme low tide that we typically get during the winter months. As usaual the Sea Trout bit will get better as the water clears up during the winter. The American Shad fly fishing is up next starting by Mid-January to early March. Tight loops and lines all and Happy Fishy  New Years!

Monday, November 30, 2015

November Fly Fishing Report

November brought in the beautiful and refreshing fall weather and dropping water temps. to around the 65-75 degree range putting the Reds and Sea Trout on the bite! The bait was on the move steering things up making things happen. The bigger Sea Trout starting showing up more which normally occurs as the water temps. drop and the waters become more clear. If you after some big Trout now is the time. Sight fishing for Reds was slow on some of the trips around low tide due to the higher water levels caused by the consistant northeast winds. On the other hand blind casting was very effective if you knew where the Redfish holes were to get you catches.  In some cases we did see some Redfish actually charge our Sher-Red fly like it was there last meal and typically fought harder as they do  in the fall! The big Sea trout bite is expected to only get better in December and through the winter months along with sight fishing for Redfish also improving as the water typically clears. The wintertime generally means less bait which means more opportunities the catch a trophy fish on fly. There not much else for them to eat. Another welcomed and exciting change coming around the end of December is the American Shad Run down in the lower St. Johns River. One of my favorite times of the year! Until next month tight loops and fly lines!

Happy November Clients wit there 1st Redfish's and Sea Trout

Saturday, October 31, 2015

October Fly Fishing Report

Tailing Reds on the grass flats was pretty good earlier in the month with the typical slow down towards the end of month due to the grass getting to thick and not being able to drop your fly in front of them along with cooling water temperatures that put there main food source, the Fiddler Crabs down into hibernation. There are still opportunities to catch a tailing Redfish in early November if the weather remains mild and warm. The month of November does bring some opportunities for tailing Sheepshead and Black Drum on the flats with good weather permitting. 

St. Augustine inlet was on fire most of the month with catching decent sized Bluefish, Jacks, Ladyfish and also some Spanish Mackerel in the mix on the incoming tide for most of my fly anglers using 8wt. and 9wt, fly rods rigged with  sink-tip fly lines and large bait fish patterns. It was sure way to bend your rod! 

The dock light fishing remained steady for Seatrout and Jacks under the lights and will typically continue through November with larger Sea Trout showing up due to the dropping water temperatures. The next 5-6 month months will bring the best opportunities to catch a gator Trout on fly. So stay tuned! Tight loops and lines to all! 

                                                                              Inlet Bluefish

Tailing Redfish in the Grass



Wednesday, September 30, 2015

September Fly Fishing Report

Well..  I think September has turned out to be the best month of the year so far for catching tailing Redfish and Sheepshead on the flooded grass flats! More than half the month had flood tides with plenty of opportunities to find time. I actually did my personal best by catching the wily Sheepshead after trying more than10 years with probably over a 100s of cast's at them. Managed to get it on my own tied crab fly that went 5 lbs. at 22" long. So don't ever give up trying to catch one. It's worth the wait and tell you it will eventually come. My clients also did very well with getting there 1st tailing Redfish on the grass flats. The flood bug fly was a big hit! Nothing like a topwater strike on the flats. The flood tide fishing should continue to be good for the next 4-5 weeks until the water gets to cold for the fiddlers and grass gets to high. Switching gears the dock light fishing for Sea Trout and Jacks also continued on a steady pace.

                                                             Rich's epic Sheepshead catch!

                                                          A strip strike hook set well done!

                                                   Pat M. from NY with his 1st grass Redfish

Cary B. from Jacksonville with his 1st grass Redfish

                                      Woody H. from Jacksonville with a nice grass Redfish

The Reds loved the TS Flood Bug fly from Black Fly Outfitter 

                                                               September Grass Flats Video

Monday, August 31, 2015

August Fly Fishing Report

August brought the peak of the flooded grass flats season and hunting for tailing Redfish. Sight fishing at it's best! The best action happened to be late in the day around sun down. We all caught Redfish mostly in the typical 20" range with some up to 26" on top water Gurlger flies around the edges of the feeder creeks that lead into the flats. Getting these Reds on a Gurgler fly really added a whole new dimension and real exciting way to catch them! There's nothing like the experience of an explosive top water attack!

The dock light action continued to be outstanding with Sea Trout up to 5 lbs. on 6wt. fly rods providing a fun time for my anglers then followed by some great top water action at dawn with small Jacks up to 3 lbs. on Gurgler flies.  It was hoot for them on a 5wt. fly rod!

The beachfront nearshore fishing this month provided some good action with the  Spanish Mackerel on real light fly gear. Unfortunately the Little Tunny fishing did not happen as anticipated. They remained far offshore out of reach. We did find large bait pods of baby Menhaden and Silver Minnows close to shore around the inlet that the LTs should have been feeding on. Instead there was an occasional Tarpon roll up around the pods and small Sharks.

                                                   Flood Tide Redfish right at Dark

                                           Flood Bug-Gurgler fly from Black Fly Outfitter

Casting at the underwater green dock lights to Trout

Beachfront Fly fishing

Spanish Mackerel

                                             Client with a quality Sea Trout off the dock lights
                                                                    Jack battles at dawn

                                                          Jacks on top water Gurgler flies

                                                                           Jack Crevalle

                                             Client Carl K. from New Jersey with a Nice Trout

Friday, July 31, 2015

July Fly Fishing Report

This month of July has been an interesting one with some diverse fly fishing catches mostly early in the day or during the quite and cooler night time periods thus avoiding the afternoon heat and rainstorms.

Starting with the night-time dock lights. It's been the best month of the year so far with some quality sized Sea Trout of up to 5 lbs. caught on my custom tied white and pink San-minnow flies during any part of the tide that has moving water. My clients also caught a wide variety of other fish under the lights including Bluefish, Jack Crevalle and Lookdowns. Pictured below is Dennis M. from Minnesota who casted his freshwater 5wt. Trout rod for a few hours just after dusk and catching over 20 fish including some rarely caught Lookdown's. Then local client Bob M. below fought his first of several Sea Trout on fly that were also caught under the dock lights. First Coast Fly Fishing Unlimited had several other trips with similar results. Hanging around dock lights have proven to be a great way to certainly bend your fly rod and catch some decent fish on fly!

There's also been plenty of sight fishing opportunities to catch those belly crawling-backing Redfish during low tides at dawn if you had the skills to out smart one of these weary fish. Even better yet the end of the month brought in one of our favorite times of the year! The sight fishing game for tailing Redfish on the flooded grass flats. July pretty much puts the season into full swing with the best months coming up ahead that will last through early November. This is a fairly easy way to catch a Redfish, Sheepshead or Blackdrum close up if you can quietly stalk and drop your fly in front of them. July started off with some pretty good numbers caught with fellow anglers catching 3-4 per trip around early evening and dusk.

The near shore beachfront action for Little Tunnys had slowed up due to unexpected thermocline with dropping water temperatures that pushed the bait far offshore keeping the Tunnys away.  Report as of 7/25 say there already working there way back inshore busting on bait with diving birds about 3 miles out. I expect the month of August to really get fired up with these fast and furious speedsters and expect to have some good reports next month.

August Action Forecast: Tailing Redfish on the Flooded Grass Flats, Little Tunny's on the Beachfront and Dock-light Sea Trout.

Get out and take a break! Tight Loops and Lines to all !

                                         Client Dennis from Minnesota with a Spotted Sea Trout

                                                                                   Client Bob with a Dock Light Trout

       July Flood Tide Redfish

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

June Fly Fishing Report

Summertime is officially here along with its typical afternoon rainstorms that roll in a few times during week and hot day time air temperatures. This pattern often makes for slow mid-day fishing in the backwater marshes for Redfish and Trout. Not to worry because the fishing does continue elsewhere with some other interesting options!

In June our near shore ocean waters along the beach begin to calm from common westerly winds allowing us to get out of the inlets in small boats looking for folks of diving birds on bait fish pods. The bait is being and pushed up and corralled like cows into a pen by either Little Tunny's, Spanish Mackerel and mix of other types of fish like Tarpon, Jacks, Ladyfish, etc. 

For me this is the time of year that I look forward too testing my fly gear out, really stretch a line out and see the back of my fly line disappear into the water from 10lb. football with fins speed away! Some of these fish are known to bust rods! I'm talking about the fast and furious Little Tunny(a.k.a. False Albacore, Florida Bonito, Albie). Pictured below is my first trip of the year and happy to say that this type of fishing will last through the summer!

So my summers fishing itinerary includes getting out in the mornings first light and fishing through the morning in the low tide marshes for Redfish or beach front for Little Tunny's. Then chasing Sea Trout in the peaceful serenity of the night on the dock lights, and last but not least go sight fishing in the flooded grass flats for tailing Redfish around the spring tides for the next 4 month. Good luck and tight loops and lines all!

                                        6/21/15- Rich with his 1st Little Tunny of the Year

My Friend Tim with his 1st Little Tunny of the Year

Sunday, May 31, 2015

May Fly Fishing Report

The month of May starts the beginning of the dock light fly fishing season which generally lasts through the Fall. Believe it or not this is sight fishing at night! You can watch schools of Sea Trout swimming over the top of  florescent green underwater lights and also under the overhanging hood lights.  It will certainly pump your heart rate up! It's like a fish tank aquarium in your living room. It's also a great way to beat the summertime heat and afternoon thunderstorms. Pictured below is Schuyler M. from Austin, Texas who watched this 5 lb. Trout chase down and eat his fly while striping his fly through the light this past month.

May is also the time of year we start fly fishing the beachfront surf when the right conditions allow. Early to mid morning high tide with sunny skies and west winds are ideal. This is also another great sight fishing fly adventure as you walk down our beautiful white sanded beaches and cast to schools of cruising Redfish, Black Drum, sharks and more all within easy casting distance! Pictured below is Scott B. from Ponte Vedra, Fl. with with a nice 7 lb. Redfish he caught in May.

Last but not least the low tide creek fishing in Jacksonville's Timucuan Preseve salt marsh also continued with Jay. M. from Mass. catching his 1st Redfish on fly.

5 lb. Sea Trout on Dock Lights

7 lb. Redfish sight fished in the Surf

His 1st Redfish in the Salt Marsh