Here comes the sun: Finally a few rays of sunshine have graced our gulf coast. Fly-fishing tarpon fanatics have had it tough this past week, hoping for a little sky to sight-cast to the abundance of fish cruising the beaches. The sun came out Wednesday in spite of a cloudy forecast, and the game was on again.
Local fly angler Tim Dant did a great job of holding down the pointy end of the boat. After rescheduling because of poor conditions, we made a last-minute decision to go anyway when the morning brought a cloudless sky and light easterly winds. Although there were no large pods of tarpon to cast to, there was a very good number of singles and pairs to shoot at. Many fish were traveling deep and surprised us at the last second, but a few high travelers gave us plenty of time to set up with the push pole and let them come to us. Tim put the fly in the right 5 gallons, and by noon we had one to the boat, another in the air that threw the hook after a few jumps, plus a couple of hard follows. A great day in the fly-fishing world.
Tactics: The trick is be patient, never set the rod down so you're not caught off guard and scan the water like you mean business. Seeing is believing, but you have to stay on it. Don't run the outboard at any cost and make minimal use of trolling motors.
Paul Hawkins runs FlatsGuy charters out of St. Petersburg and be reached at (727) 560-6762.