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Saltwater Fly Fishing Bonefish, Tarpon, Redfish, Permit, False Albacore, Striped Bass, etc...

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Old 02-19-2012, 11:24 PM
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Default Needed great guide for fishing Pensacola Florida

I am looking to fly fish the flats or ?? sometime in mid June somewhere near Pensacola Fla. I am not at all familiar with the areas so I am open for suggestions. I do not even know if there is Bone fish in the area or if it is only Red Fish, Pampano, etc. Any suggestions would be most welcome regarding a guide service. Thank you in advance

Jamie
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Old 02-21-2012, 12:49 PM
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Default Re: Needed great guide for fishing Pensacola Florida

Hopefully some of our FLA folks will weigh in-- there should be lots of options down there.
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Old 02-21-2012, 01:06 PM
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Default Re: Needed great guide for fishing Pensacola Florida

I'm from Southwest Florida, south of Tampa, but the only bonefish we see that far north of bonefish-on-the-flats territory are well offshore in deep (out of reach of even full sinking t14 lines) water. Pompano are an option typically on rockpiles inshore in the winter, but I don't know about in June. I believe you're going to be looking at redfish, seatrout, maybe macks, snook, and false albacore, but don't quote me on any of that. I'm sorry I can't be of any help with the guiding question, hopefully one of our N. Florida members will weigh in!
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Old 02-21-2012, 09:26 PM
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Default Re: Needed great guide for fishing Pensacola Florida

No bonefish or snook near Pensacola. You're looking at pompano, redfish, speckled trout, ladyfish, black drum, king and Spanish mackerel, bluefish, bonito, barracuda, a couple different types of jacks, and cobia. I probably left some out.

I'm not sure on the seasonality of those species, but my dad's retired to Pensacola and he's caught some nice redfish and a black drum recently. Personally, I'd target redfish and specks if I hired a guide, because they're pretty predictable on the panhandle and damn good eating, but all bets are off if there are cobia around. Cobia are amazing.

Ladyfish are inedible and can be annoying, but superfun on light tackle.

The rest of the species listed show up near shore when they show up--no guarantees.

Edit to say: Hunter Armour is a guide that my dad has used. I don't know if he will fly fish, but he can put you on fish.

Last edited by biggie_robs; 02-22-2012 at 06:41 PM.
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Old 02-22-2012, 07:06 PM
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Default Re: Needed great guide for fishing Pensacola Florida

It's been a few years since I have seen her, but Maggie Gray at Grays Tackle and Guide Service knew where the fish were. I know her shop is still open, you can google it. In June you can catch a gillion fish without a guide if you don't mind wading. Go out to The Johnson's beach part of the Gulf Islands National Seashore. Look on the Bay side (its actually called Big Lagoon) for grass and wade out so you can cast over the grass. Find a place that has about 4 feet of water over the grass. Throw at any place where there is a sandy spot in the grass. Clouser's and Deceivers after the sun gets up, but some sort of top water chugger thing at dawn and dusk. Specks, Reds, ladyfish, spanish mackeral.....
That's where I lived the first 43 years of my life. I only wish I had fly fished then.
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Old 02-24-2012, 01:52 PM
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Default Re: Needed great guide for fishing Pensacola Florida

When I lived in ValP., I fished sea trout, redfish and shark. I also speared flounder amd crab at night. I don't even know if that's legal anymore. I'm sure there must be tackle stores in the area that will help you out as far as fish and tackle you'll need.
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Old 02-25-2012, 11:44 AM
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Default Re: Needed great guide for fishing Pensacola Florida

Thank you all for your responses. I may just fly to the Bahamas for a couple of days and go bone fishing or I will stay in Pensacola. Too many choices and too little time especially since this is a family thing. None the less to close to the ocean not to get some Fly time in. Thank you again and keep it coming

Jamie
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Old 02-25-2012, 02:52 PM
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Default Re: Needed great guide for fishing Pensacola Florida

Jamie, Shallow Water Expeditions is a guide service between Pensacola and Panama Beach. They post some siiiick fly fishing videos, but that's my only exposure to them. Nevertheless, you might want to check them out, at least to watch their videos!
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Old 02-25-2012, 08:24 PM
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Default Re: Needed great guide for fishing Pensacola Florida

I'd be interested in knowing what it means when they say a GREAT guide. Is it numbers of fish or would not catching anything but getting excellent advice and tips be sufficient.
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Old 02-26-2012, 10:48 AM
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Default Re: Needed great guide for fishing Pensacola Florida

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Originally Posted by monello View Post
I'd be interested in knowing what it means when they say a GREAT guide. Is it numbers of fish or would not catching anything but getting excellent advice and tips be sufficient.
In my opinion a great Guide does everything they can to meet or exceed the expectations of their client. A great guide can properly tweak/improve an anglers technique if that is the desire of the client. A great guide comes to the table prepared and professional and in my opinion should look and act the part of a professional. At some point a great guide might become a friend but even then the guide can still retain a professional approach to the guiding portion of the experience. A great guide will determine or provide for the following before they get on the water.

A great guide will determine what fish the client wants to be placed on. Some clients want that one great specific species of fish willing to risk all for just one shot at the right fish while others may want a shot at lots of fish or different species.

A great guide will do their best to put the angler in a position to accomplish the above. Nobody gets to insure the fish will be there but Great Guides provide the best opportunities, based on local knowledge, to hit the best spots from the correct directions in order to give the angler the best chance to meet his or her goals.

A great guide knows what kind of attitude and vibe the client wants and delivers that feeling to the best of their ability. Some anglers just want to be poled around with no conversation. Some anglers want to wade only using the boat to get them from point A to Point Z. Some anglers want to chat about everything under the sun, some anglers want to eat great food and drink as supplied by the guide and others just want enough to get them through the day. Some anglers are completely focused on the catching of fish and others want to focus on a more wide area of items such as taking in a few sights while fishing.

A great guide finds little ways to make the experience better for their customers what ever that might mean. Picking up the anglers in a cleaner vehicle and better/cleaner boat if one is not wading only. Better loaner gear if that is required, fast and quickly tied quality knots and connections if that is the angler's need, respect for the environment and the fish is always good for those of us who practice C and R while Flyfishing. And of course Respect for the client and the sport.
A guide teaches by example/action as well as teaching by words.

As a note a great guide does not have to be the most expensive. Generally, great customer service costs nothing as it is just an understanding of what people are looking for and knowing how to discover that information without pestering the client. Knowing what few questions to ask when the client first books the trip or the guide follows up with a few more pertinent questions prior to the trip is what great guides do. Not everyone is looking to drink Champagne and eat Caviar. Giving a great experience does not have to cost the guide money just going the extra mile to determine in advance what the customer is looking for and giving real value to best meet the expectations of that client.

For those of us who have had the great fortune of having guides like I note above as well as some who exemplify the opposite of what I have noted then I can assure you there is absolutely a hierarchy of guides servicing all areas of the world. I have been very fortunate to have found and continually use so many of the great ones. I am also cursed with the knowledge the next unknown guide might not meet my expectations but that part is my job to try and perform my own due diligence to find that local guide who might best meet my requirements. Sometimes we can improve the chances of finding the next great guide. Thus the reason I asked my question on several fly fishing web sites.

Jamie
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Last edited by fishordie; 02-26-2012 at 11:05 AM.
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