What's hot: The magic water temperature of 70 is here, and fish that love flies are active. Baitfish aren't everywhere, but locating them is the key to spectacular fly fishing. Open water temperatures are still cooler in the mornings, and most trips have been more productive when they increase by a few degrees. Afternoons should be productive as the tide goes out.
Technique: Using polarized glasses, scan the deeper edges of grass flats for signs of baitfish: diving birds, nervous water and fleeing bait. Irregularities in grass edges, isolated grass clumps, points and sand holes deserve a cast. We use No. 2-4 baitfish colored flies tied with synthetic material and 30-pound hard monotippets. Many fish, especially mackerel and ladyfish, will destroy a natural hair fly and a light tippet. Long strips are better because many takes allow you to strip-set the hook in the middle of your retrieve.
Fly fisherman Pat Damico runs charters in lower Tampa Bay and can be reached at captpat.com and (727) 504-8649.