What's hot: There are several places you can catch fish with a fly rod because of favorable water temperatures. Lakes and ponds are teeming with varieties of fish accessible and easy to catch. Chances are you have walked, bicycled or golfed next to opportunities. As long as water quality is acceptable, few impoundments are without aggressive fish. Small impoundments can be very productive.
Tackle: All you need is freshwater trout equipment. Four-, 5- or 6-weight fly rods are perfect with a matching floating weight forward fly line paired with a fly reel containing 20-pound braid backing. Seven- to 8-foot leaders should taper to 10-pound test, stouter than needed for trout. Use the same flies favored for trout in streams. Wooly buggers, streamers and muddler minnows are a few of my favorites. Have a few floating offerings such as beetles, ants and hoppers.
Technique:Docks, bridges, lily pads, weed beds, overhanging trees, and stumps and trees in the water will have concentrated fish. Work the shoreline around and under them. Walking on a dock or bridge will be unproductive because everything is frightened by your approach. Your shadow on the water also will alert fish to your presence.
Fly fisherman Pat Damico charters lower Tampa Bay and can be reached at captpat.com and (727) 504-8649.