Tag Archives: beach snook

Lessons from Beach Snook

Brad Lowman with nice beach snook near St. Petersburg, Fla.

Brad Lowman releases a beach snook near St. Petersburg, Fla.

As June bleeds into July, it’s hot in Florida. The heat rises from the earth, hour by hour, as if you stepped into a sauna. Relief comes early or late, before the first cup of coffee or an after hour after the last glass of iced tea, as the sun eases below the dunes.

I measure the seasons by my fly-fishing calendar. Each season brings a new species. It’s now too hot for redfish and seatrout. Pretty soon, the tarpon and snook will arrive.

It was the same with freshwater, when I lived in Virginia. March is perfect for brook trout in the mountain streams. The brown trout of the spring creeks begin to stir when the grasshoppers stir in August.

As I reflect upon three decades with a fly rod, I learned lessons from each species.  … For more, go to http://www.hatchmag.com/articles/what-i-learned-beach-snook/7714402

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On the Road Again

Back at it with Steve Gibson this morning. Since the west winds are forecast for the next week or so, I made the trip to Sarasota. The fish weren’t as aggressive as earlier in the week, but we both got lot’s of walking (6 miles) and shots at cruising snook — and NO fly rods were broken. Thanks to Steve for the photos and the company.

Snookinhand

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A Enlightening Day in Sarasota

If at first you don’t succeed. …. That, in essence, is the moral of today’s fishing story. Steve Gibson and I tried one spot for beach snook, but the surf was a bit too rough. An offshore storm was to blame. Of course, I would have shut it down and headed for the closest breakfast joint for another cup of coffee. However, Steve persevered.

Our second spot was a bit calmer and the snook cooperated most of the morning. We combined for 12 fish, all on fly, all sight fished with either a D.T. Variation or a Schminnow.

I broke my rod on my last fish. Angler error, but still landed the quarry. Steve was nice enough to share his rod and I had a chance to land a big girl that weighed close to 14 pounds or so, but I snapped the leader with a vicious hookset, a move that no doubt came about because of missed fish earlier in the morning. Helplessness followed heartache after a rush of adrenalin that no drug — legal or illegal — has ever provided.
I’ll be back to the beach soon — as soon as I can get another fly rod. FedEx anyone?

The fish that broke my rod.

The fish that broke my rod.

Steve with a nice snook.

Steve with a nice snook.

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Why Tide Matters

A nice way to start the morning.

A nice way to start the morning.

As some of my fishing friends know, I spent much of the weekend wondering why the beach snook were not pushing up close toward the sand. The past few times I’ve been out, they’ve been deeper, in the second trough and beyond — tough to see, tougher to fish for.
Logan Valeri and I first thought it was terrain and beach topography. Spencer Goodwin’s response: “They have tails. It’s a big ocean.”
Ken Taylor believed it could be the full moon.
My conclusion: It’s tide driven. We had a fairly strong incoming early this morning, which ignited scads of glass minnows. Sure enough, the snook followed. My previous couple trips, however, the morning tide was sluggish and the fish merely lounged beyond the breakers.
So the upshot: Moving water, means moving fish, even if the distance traveled is fairly small. One note of caution: The tighter to the shore the fish are the tougher they are to catch. Awfully skittish. But this one girl did eat. Made my morning.

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Getting Ready for the Beach

D.T. Variation

Courtesy: Steve Gibson.

The winds are supposed to subside later this week. Hopefully, beach snook will be waiting. One of the best flies for this type of fishing is the D.T. Variation, a pattern developed by Sarasota guide Steve Gibson. It’s quick and easy to tie. I love Deceivers, but they’re time consuming. This fly is a breeze.

Materials: Mustad 34007 No. 1 to No. 4, white flat-waxed monocord, four white neck hackle (two on each side) facing (not splayed), pearl krystal flash, white neck hackle (palmered, 3D Prism Stick-On, Devcon 2-Ton expoxy.

Instructions:

1. Mash the barb down on a standard size 2 hook. Attach thread at the rear of the hook shank just ahead of the bend with a half hitch.

2. Select four white neck hackles and make two pairs with the curve facing inward. Measure the feathers against the hook shank. Secure with tight wraps.

4. Select two or three strands of pearl Krystal Flash. Secure them to the hook shank in front of the feathers equally on both sides.

5. Tie in a white neck hackle. Palmer with five, six wraps. Try to get the fibers to lay back.

6. Build a head. Tie off.

7. Attach the 3D prism eyes on each side.

8. Re-attach red thread and wrap a band of thread about 1/8th of an inch to create the tip of the head.

9.  Coat the head, eyes and red band with Devcon 2-ton.

 

 

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