Wednesday, August 26, 2009

To fly or not to fly?

Fly fishing isn't for everyone. It's great for those who like it and are proficient at it.

But, truth be known, fly anglers make up a very small percentage of the total fishing population.

There are times, however, when someone who can handle a fly rod can do quite well. Now is one of those times in Southwest Florida.

Those who know me are aware that I love to sight-fish the surf this time of year for snook. I've been doing it for 25 years and have become pretty decent at it. I've been scoring pretty well over the last month.

One of my buddies, Ken Taylor of North Port, has been fishing the surf for a decade or more. He's a spinning enthusiast and one of the best around. But he as been having problems lately, and I blame it all on the equipment. I believe that my success is because of the fly rod. It allows me to present the fly naturally and quietly to skittish fish. In addition, when I pause during a retrieve, the fly doesn't bomb to the bottom; it suspends. When Ken casts a jig, it goes right to the bottom. Additionally, it makes some noise when it hits the water.

Today was a prime example. It wasn't that I landed a load of fish; it was the quality of the fish. I caught five snook to 31 inches. My next biggest snook was 28 inches. I've been getting quite a few snook of 27 inches and larger. My largest this season is a fish that went 38 inches.

I attribute it all to the fly rod.

By the way, my favorite fly is the D.T. Special (variation), a minnow imitation that I've been using for the last 17 years. The snook hit it so good that I don't see any reason to change.

There are days when a spin angler will do better than me, but not often. Fly fishing is very effective in the surf.

Beach snook season usually begins in May and continues until the first severe cold front in the fall. There are really good numbers of snook in the surf, so we anticipate excellent action over the next few weeks.

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