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Super-Light Weight Fly-Fishing in the Florida Keys


Saltwater fly-fishing typically demands a heavier rig, specifically the elements, as they throw everything at you in a moment’s notice. Some say the size of the fish demand the heavy weight gear. This is true, only if you are aiming to pick up larger fish, targeting a specific area, using larger flies, etc.

On occasion, I will exercise my super-light fly rig and fish various shallows and shoals in the Keys. These locations are specifically chosen, as they offer smaller varieties of fish. Small Bonefish, Ladyfish, Snook, and a variety of Jacks frequent these shallows. What makes this so fun is the fact your super-light rig will make a three pound fish feel like a monster.

The other day, I slipped away to fish Bahia Honda (just South of Marathon, in the Keys). The morning was perfect, flat water, no wind, and a perfect temperature. Spent a few hours wading skinny water and picking up Jacks, namely Leather and Crevalle. Be careful of the Leather Jack spines – handle them carefully. They love to hang in the deeper channel and take advantage of baitfish sprinting for the shallows. I used various #8 naturally colored Gotchas and Bonefish Clousers, all of which are pictured below.

Obviously, fishing with a super-light weight rig can be difficult in this environment – when the wind stops blowing, it can be a lot of fun. I used my 3-weight rig:

  • Rod: Sage SPL 373-3 G4
  • Reel: Galvan OB-1
  • Line: SA Mastery GPX WF3F
  • Leader: Berkley Vanish Fluorocarbon, 30lb, 20lb, and 12lb tippet

Do yourself a favor though, take a variety of rod weights. The conditions change quickly. If the wind picks up, you will have what it takes to still get out and land some fish.

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