Fly fishing tactics: Most fly-fishers prefer minimum wind and cloudless skies. This has been a problem lately. The wind makes casting more difficult, unless very experienced, and clouds interfere with sight casting opportunities because you can't see the fish in the shallows.
Go to a river: We have many rivers that empty into Tampa Bay and the gulf. A boat or paddle craft is necessary for mobility and safety. Rivers get narrower as you head upstream and offer wind protection from tree covered banks. Most fish we are interested in will be structure oriented. Casting will be to fallen trees, undercut banks, points of land, sandbars, mouths of small creeks and tree cover close to the water surface; any interruption in normal shorelines should be investigated with probing accurate casts. Outgoing tides are generally preferred. Moving water is very important.
Equipment: An 8-weight rod with a floating weight forward line would be the first choice rigged with a popper or shallow running baitfish imitation. Another 7- or 9-weight with a clear sink tip will really cover deeper water where larger fish often want offerings in their face. This baitfish imitation should have a little built-in weight. Snook and small tarpon should be available, so have a 30-pound shock tippet attached to the fly to prevent breakoffs.
Fly fisherman Pat Damico charters in St. Petersburg and can be reached at captpat.com and (727) 504-8649.