We all love to hit the sunny south in search of some new species of fish. Lately we have been travelling to the Fort Myers/Pine Island area down on the Gulf Coast in Florida. Redfish, Snook, Sea Trout, Jack Crevalle, Spanish Mackeral and Pompano are the major species we target during our snowy winter months.
Like most fly fisherman I popped into the local fly shops and purchased the “lucky” flies for the area. I had some luck but there was many a time where I came home with my head hanging in shame. So much water out there and not a fish to be found.
One beautiful day when we were cruising around the Sanibel Beach area the fish were surfacing and once again my Floridian purchased flies were untouched. I dug deep into my Orvis Chest Pack and found three of my favourite Smallmouth Bass guide flies that I use exclusively for the Saugeen River in Walkerton, Ontario when guiding in my Clackacraft drift boat.
One of these flies is all white and has incredible movement. Three casts and wham! About a 28″ powerful Snook. The rest of the day we caught Snook, Jacks and Sea Trout. Moving to the skinnier water I changed my fly to a black Clouser with red accents that is awesome for Fall Smallmouth. Wham! My first big Redfish.
My success continued. Just because these fish live in Saltwater doesn’t mean they exclusively feed on different patterns then freshwater. I’m not saying that the local patterns of the gulf coast do not perform. But when the fishing gets tough take your Ontario Smallmouth Bass Patterns. You WILL catch more Saltwater gems.