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Fly fishing advantages over casting

May 22, 2010

If fish don't get big by being stupid, then why did a 38-inch shook eat my homemade chicken feather fly?

How can a simple hook with a few feathers tied to it have so much appeal to fish?

The snook ate the fly because it looked "right." This simple concoction of fur, feathers and steel tied and presented well looks more alive in the water than probably any other lure.

Article Photos

Capt. George Tunison

During the retrieve a properly tied fly looks very enticing in the water as it swims on the pull and breathes and undulates on the pause, slowly sinking or suspending. It's hard for a fish to resist a breathing, moving object right in their face, teasing them.

There are many reasons to try fly fishing. Our local fishing grounds offer unlimited world class shallow-water fly angling for species as small as a 10-ounce trout, to 100-pound tarpon, to sharks that can bite those tarpon in half. Even our bait fish put up a good fight on the right fly tackle.

A five-pound jumping ladyfish on a light fly rod is guaranteed fun. A lot of folks don't realize that mullet take a fly and offer great light tackle sport as well.

Fly tackle is classified by a weight system. Rods go from tiny, frail 3 weights to ultrastrong 12-13 weights for tarpon, sharks, tuna, marlin, etc. The fly line the rod utilizes is matched to the rod's weight class. A 7 wt. rod uses a 7 wt. fly line, a 12 wt. rod uses a 12 wt. line.

Add a reel, backing, leader, and fly selection and you are ready to fish.

A general guide is a 5-6 wt. for sea trout. A 7-9 for redfish and snook. A 10-12 for tarpon

Fly fishing is a very efficient way to fish. While moving down a shoreline, you can place more casts in the strike zone than your buddy using spinning tackle. The spinner casts to the target, and then retrieves all the way back to the boat to recast. The fly casts to the target and retrieves through the strike zone, then with a flick of the wrist picks up the fly and sets it back down on a new target without retrieving back to the boat.

For every one lure presentation the spinner makes the fly guy makes two, sometimes three, doubling or tripling his chance for a strike.

Fly fishing is easy to learn and I can have a nonfly-fishing client catching fish in 30 minutes. Many anglers try fly fishing and never go back to their old angling methods. Private lessons are available from most instructors at reasonable prices. Please email me for a class schedule.

Capt. Dick May of Easy Rider Charters reports redfishing has finally taken off. Lots of reds are under the bushes when we get a tide of more than 1.5 feet. They want shrimp.

With the calm winds this week, tarpon fishing should be red hot. Lots of bait in the sound. Nice trout and Spanish mackerel everywhere. White bait under a cork is your best bet.

Capt. Roy Bennett of Hot One II Charters says he recently had a proud moment. Last Sunday, he took out National Guard Sgt. Leonard Lindsay, assigned in Kuwait, on a free tarpon/shark charter through, and he caught an estimated 100-pound tarpon.

After the jumping and belligerent fish was subdued, tagged, and released, Sgt. Lindsay, his grandfather (and lifelong fishing partner), and Bennett exchanged high fives. It was another of those memorable days on the water in Paradise.

I can't say enough about how it makes me feel to give back to the brave soldiers and to show how much we appreciate what they are doing for our freedoms.

Capt. George Tunison is a Cape Coral resident fishing guide. Contact him at, or Flying Fins Sportfishing.



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