Vision an important element: To set up your strategy for targeting some fish with a fly rod, you must be able to see the fish. Good Polaroid glasses are necessary. To save money, check out Polaroids that fit over prescription glasses. A yellowish-brown lens is best for most saltwater conditions. Also, a hat with a dark brim is preferred. Tilt your head from side to side to visually penetrate the water, avoiding surprises when sightfishing.
Get out before daylight: One of our best tarpon seasons continues. Lighted bridges will harbor tarpon from 20 to 80 pounds. Either anchor or use an electric motor to position the boat to see the shadow line. Many casts to cruising fish will be short, and will require speed and accuracy. Have everything on the boat secured and in place. The best chances for a hookup with tarpon on a fly will be here, though landing one will be difficult because they love to rub lines and leaders against barnacle-encrusted bridge abutments. Use an old line if fly-fishing and a stiff 11-weight fly rod. White flies in size 2/0 will work.
Anchoring technique: When anchored in shallow water near the beach or bridges have a float at the end of your anchor line so it will not sink. Having a quick disconnect arrangement allows you to follow the fish quickly and return to the same spot after the fight. Put your boat name on the float.
Fly fisherman Pat Damico charters out of St. Pete Beach and can be reached at captpat.com or (727) 504-8649.