Oh boy did we see a lot of wind this year! A lot of rough days of me trying to hide along some lee sides or preferably in small canals. Targeting snook, jacks and tarpon in these spots even in the worst conditions for fly fishing can make the break when others give up.
Fishing along structures like mangroves, sea walls, pilings, boats, bridges and drop-offs is as exciting as it gets, especially in clear water and when you can see these fish.
One of the critical points is the presentation of your fly. What I mean by this specifically, is you really want to touch the structure with your fly. A few more inches away from your target will cut down your chance of catching the fish by a mile. These fish are using the structure to push the baitfish against the wall where they become an easy prey.
I’m using different kinds of baitfish flies in size 1-4/0, depending on the season. On average I would recommend a finger long pattern. On a side note, always keep a rod with a big popper fly ready to go. On many occasions big jacks can show up quickly and out of nowhere and in most cases, they will be gone in the blink of an eye. You must react fast to get your popper out there and make as much noise as you can. These gangsters will hit it hard!
A rule of thumb that works for me on average during the day fishing baitfish patterns is, as bigger the fly as faster the retrieve.
In this regard, it’s always about nature and playing the best hand from what Mother Nature is giving us. It is still easy to get spoiled here along the Treasure Coast working as a fly-fishing guide compared to guiding for Atlantic salmon in Norway (my wife wants to go back there really badly!) Enjoy our fall season and let’s hope for a good mullet run!