Great action on fly: New fly fishermen will be thrilled when a school of aggressive ladyfish is located in the vicinity of trout. These acrobatic members of the tarpon family will hit flies with reckless abandon. A chartreuse over a white Clouser minnow with small dumbbell eyes is a perfect choice. Use synthetic hair instead of natural ingredients so your fly will withstand the ladyfish's abrasive mouth. A trace of No. 20 test fluorocarbon tippet will resist leader wear. Larger fish will take you into the backing as they strip line.
Technique: Drift the outside of a grassy flat and cast toward the submerged grass. Look for small baitfish to dimple the surface or scatter when your fly hits the surface. If bait is present, your quarry will be in the vicinity. Work flies with a long strip that will be interrupted by a quick strike. A small mushroom anchor can be slipped over the side to position the boat for controlled casting, allowing multiple hookups.
Pat Damico fishes lower Tampa Bay and can be reached at captpat.com or (727) 504-8649.