Fish deeper with your fly rod: A variety of species are available on the flats for saltwater fly fishers, including reds, trout, jacks, snook, bluefish and Spanish mackerel. We usually target one, but it's possible to fish for all even when alone. Most use a floating weight forward fly line. This is great for shallow water, but your next accessory should be a weight forward intermediate clear sinking tip line.Many saltwater species want food at their level of the water column. This line will do the trick.
Attached to the fly line will be 4-5 feet of 20-pound fluorocarbon leader. Flies should have a weight in them to get you to the desired level. An ideal pattern that covers a lot of water is a chartreuse and white clouser minnow. The dumbbell eyes can be of different weights, allowing you to fish a variety of depths.
Boat position: If fishing a flat during high tide, move your boat horizontal to the shoreline. The wind and tide must be considered before drifting. A bow-mounted electric trolling motor used at a slow speed will guarantee your position. At low tide, cast to the edge at the first drop-off by keeping your boat a little deeper. Because many fish will be in schools, I keep a small mushroom anchor with enough line available tied to the stern. When fish are located, slip the anchor over the side, permitting you to target the largest concentration. In deeper water, use a countdown before retrieving to consistently fish at the same depth.
Fly fisherman Pat Damico charters out St. Pete Beach. Call (727) 504-8649 or visit www.captpat.com.