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Fly Fishing Florida: Top 10 Fly Patterns for 2018

2018 Top 10 Saltwater Flies for South Florida and the Keys

This is an awfully big topic to cover, for starters. South Florida is the sport fishing capital of the world for a reason. In a relatively small amount of square miles, there are numerous types of environments yielding an unbelievable amount of fish. From blue (deep) water, to skinny water; from coral bottoms to sandy bottoms; from fast flowing jet-stream currents to stagnate backwater; from mangroves to turtle-grass, it’s here in South Florida. The vast variety of fisheries would blow your mind. How could anyone be forced to ten flies for all our fisheries?

By setting your expectations as to the size and the amount of fisheries available here in Florida, I am hoping this adds more weight to the specific flies we choose. How do we come up with candidates for the top ten? Flies have different categories, sizes, colors, weights, and patterns – all flies will be considered for year-round seasons, temps, lunar cycles, and tides.

At the end of the day, we would like to help simplify this crazy science of what to use and when. If each fly box holds and few options for the predominant South Florida species of fish and several indigenous color options, chances of catching fish are much higher. For the sake of our top ten flies, let’s target the following fish: Tarpon, Permit, Redfish, Bonefish, and Snook. Other various species of shark, jack, sea trout, tuna, Wahoo, Houndfish, and Barracuda will hit this selection of flies as well.

The List

Pearlescent Gotcha
Sandy Scampi: Olive
Bonefish Special: Upgraded
Crystal Schminnow: White
Cracked Merkin Crab Fleeing: Biscayne Blue
Backwater Tarpon Toad: Chartreuse
Southern Scampi
Seaducer: Chianti Red
Murray’s Backcountry Baitfish: Grey
Wired Bendback Charlie: Chartreuse

For Special Occasions

Hunting Tarpon at night: Dark Tarpon flies
For the Tarpon run in May/ June each year: Palolo Worm: Using Marabou & Laser Dub

When we head out to fish, we bring an abbreviated selection of flies. No more than 15 patterns maybe in a small fly box. When the specie of fish isn’t necessarily guaranteed, it’s important to have a variety of flies for a variety of conditions. This means having a good mix of colors, weights, fly species, designs for potential targets in the fishery. For example, a mix of fly designs may include shrimp, crab, baitfish, frogs, worms, etc. A mix of colors might include brown, beige, white, orange, red, pink, chart, etc. A mix of depths will obviously include lightweight through heavy sinking flies.

We would love to post some of your top ten flies for South Florida! Send us a pic via e-mail and tell us all about them.

As always, we are here to help answer any questions and/ or guide your selection process for any fly fishing trips you take in Florida in the near future.

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