Monthly Archives: December 2015

Northeast Florida Reds Await

Here’s a throwback to the past: A story, presumably in Florida Sportsman, on fly fishing creeks in NE Florida in a kayak at low tide. Jerry McBride is the author. Rick Ryals is the focal point. Timing is key. You’ve got to get the right tide at the right time, preferably in the morning before the wind kicks up. Once the wind picks up, sight fishing becomes a lot more difficult. Ryals obviously has put in his time on the water. He knows where to go and when.  I’ve got a call into him for more info. Below is a link to the story, which was posted on the Snook & Gamefish Foundation’s website. Enjoy.

Leave a Comment

Filed under Education, Fly fishing

A Meeting of the Minds About Snook


The Snook Symposium is set for Jan. 16 in Orlando. Registration is free, but space is  limited for the event, which will be hosted by the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission. Among the topics to be discussed are the effects of the 2010 freeze, the 2016 stock assessment and snook management, past, present and future. Bonefish Tarpon & Trust and the Snook & Gamefish Foundation are among the handful of sponsors in what should be an informative event.

Leave a Comment

Filed under Conservation

Another Fly-Fishing Gadget


I’m not a big gadget guy, but lord knows there are enough tools in fly fishing. Entire Orvis and L.L. Bean catalogs are full of assorted nick nacks. I’d like to think I can do without most. Simpler is better. However, I must admit my vest, fly-tying desk and garage are bulging at the seams with more and more stuff every season.

But I’ve finally bought something that’s small, compact (very important) and that makes life easier for your average angler. It’s called the Tie-Fast knot tool. It’s made my Cortland. I bought mine at the Port St. Lucie Bass Pro.

Ultimately, I’d like to work for Bass Pro in the fly shop department. To do that, I know I need practice tying knots. I can handle the basics, but I quickly realized, it’s tough to get repetition on the knots needed to set up a fly reel — the albright, arbor, spider hitch and nail knot. Once I set up a reel, I rarely go back to these knots. So … I had to practice. That’s where the Tie-Fast tool comes into play.

You can use a pencil or straw for the nail, but this tool makes it easy. Here’s a video from IntheRiffle that shows how.


Filed under Education, Fly fishing, Fly tying

Tight Lines in Montauk

Montauk is one place I’ve always wanted to go. I’m not much of a fan of the Northeast, but Montauk is the one exception in my geographical mindset. Its rugged beauty is attractive enough, not to mention the striped bass fishing. It’s definitely on my fly fishing bucket list. This video came from Dan Dow of Bonefish Tarpon & Trust. Dan posted this on his Facebook page. Check it out.

Leave a Comment

Filed under Entertainment, Fly fishing

The IRL Paddle Adventure: A Lesson in Getting Things Done

My story for the Snook & Gamefish Foundation on the IRL Paddle Adventure, which is a worthwhile cause. Many thanks to those who helped with the story, including Rodney Smith, John Kumiski and Nick Colantonio.

About 10 years ago, two guys fished the Indian River Lagoon, probably chatting away while looking for schools of redfish. They had discussed paddling the whole Lagoon, but never did so. At one point, neither is sure of exactly when, John Kumiski and Rodney Smith committed to the 160-mile trip over a two-and-a-half week span.

 “What John and I do best is communicate,” Smith said. “We’re water folks. It’s all about the water. It’s a precious resource. You dream and you dream big. One day we’re going to paddle the Indian River Lagoon, from one end to the other. It’s time, let’s do it, let’s paddle. From New Smyrna to Jupiter Inlet. And we start planning it.”
There was one catch: Smith wanted to invite anyone willing to grab a paddle. Kumiski, the realist of the pair, wanted to restrict the trip to just the two of them, but agreed, if Smith would handle the logistics of a group effort.
Thus the Indian River Paddle Adventure was born, an affair that started in 2013 and recently completed its third event last month.
Its primary purpose is to raise awareness for a struggling IRL. One of the world’s most diverse estuaries has been under duress from an array of water-quality and management issues. The trip was designed to draw attention to the Lagoon and hopefully raise a few dollars along the way. “And have a good time,” Smith said.

Leave a Comment

Filed under Conservation, Education, Fly fishing

Trout in the Winter

My story for the Snook and Gamefish Foundation on strategies for catching winter trout. Enjoy.

It’s almost November. A hint of fall is in the air as a tinge of cool air has replaced summer’s suffocating heat. Of course, we’ll miss those flat calm days, but with winter on the way, conditions to catch big seatrout are not far behind. Given that timetable, here’s a look at a handful of the top places in Florida to find your quarry.

The Florida Fish & Wildlife Commission plans a stock assessment for trout in the fall of 2016, so make sure to log your catches in the SGF Angler Action Program. The FWC uses SGF AA data to manage recreational gamefish. More info means better management. Try to do your part.

Back to the best state-wide spots for trout:


Leave a Comment

Filed under Conservation, Education, Fly fishing

No, Not That Ted Williams

Nice work from Monte Burke on Ted Williams, a passionate conservation writer. A good read.

Leave a Comment

Filed under Conservation

Rigging Up

It’s the first day of December and winter is closing in on us fast. Florida’s winter still leaves plenty of quality time for fishing. Temperatures are forgiving, but sometimes the wind blows for days and days. During those doldrums, I take time to check tackle — rods, reels and fly lines.

Usually, I take my gear to the fly shop to get assembled and once that’s done, I rarely tinker with the setup. I now realize I should have paid more attention to the knots and what goes where. So. … my goal is to set up stuff on my own, so I’m not as helpless at home or on the water if something goes wrong.

Here’s a video showing a simple way to set up your backing to fly line connection.

Leave a Comment

Filed under Education, Fly fishing