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Old 02-11-2013, 11:09 PM
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Default Sanibel Island, Ding Darling

Headed to Sanibel Sunday for the annual family trip. I have fished this area a couple days every year with limited success. Any advice on fly patterns, size? Rockin' my new TFO Ti crx 8 wt, fishing from a kayak or wading. I check in at Norm Zeiglers but want to see what else people like.Thanks guys!
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Old 02-12-2013, 01:40 AM
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Default Re: Sanibel Island, Ding Darling

Ask About Fly Fishing Internet Radio has an episode with Norm Zeigler on Snook that would be well worth listening to. I think you have to sign up for a membership to listen to the archive shows but a trial membership is free.
Snook On A Fly | Norm Zeigler | Fly Fishing
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Old 02-12-2013, 01:53 AM
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Default Re: Sanibel Island, Ding Darling

Fished Sanibel and Estero island many times years ago. Flys tied with Flashabou and Crystal Flash brought plenty of action with Lady Fish , Jacks and Snappers . Clousers and various Bucktails for Snook as well as Shrimp Patterns. Small Tarpon baitfish and crab imitations . Clousers in Chartreuse and White and Orange and Tan for Redfish and Drum. Fish the channels between the beach and sandbars where they collect shells . Always something there on a moving tide! Watch the Bull Sharks !
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Old 02-12-2013, 05:45 AM
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Default Re: Sanibel Island, Ding Darling

Only time I fished that area was with a guide , cast a chart/white clouser never caught anything.
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Old 03-11-2013, 02:24 PM
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Default Re: Sanibel Island, Ding Darling

Redfish and snook will hit many types of flies, from spun-deerhair monstrosities to subtle, almost dainty flies like a white DT. Study the tide charts since they will have a profound impact on your fishing. Higher, moving tides are good for backcountry shorelines since so much of that area becomes unfishable on a low (including the flats and shorelines deep inside the park area). On a low or falling tide look for moving water near cuts or deeper flats. The redfish up there (and snook, to an extent) can be found across a much broader area than many other spots since the turtlegrass flats are so extensive. Your yak is a perfect way to find them.

As an alternative to Ding Darling you can put in at the ramp in Matlacha which gives you access to a host of other quality backcountry spots. Bear a gradual right when leaving the ramp and across the bay to fish the long shorelines on the far side or go left under the Bascule Bridge and fish along the long shorelines on the right side of the channel. When fishing open flats consider a fly that makes some noise like a Gurgler. Your best fishing will happen early and late in the day. If you are up to it you can also fish the dock lights around Pineland and especially Bokeelia at night. It's a wonderful place that harkens back to the old Florida I remember and pine for.

Good luck and enjoy.
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Old 03-11-2013, 07:37 PM
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Default Re: Sanibel Island, Ding Darling

Norm is the guy to ask. His shop is awesome and I highly recommend his go-to casting instructor, Joe Mahler. Joe is a class-act, as is Norm. If you're lucky, Joe will host a free clinic at the park across the street from Norm's. Every time I go back to Sanibel, I'll be calling Joe for another private lesson.

Norm will know what flies are working. I had success with his Crystal Schminnow and several deceiver patterns. The schminnows don't survive too many fish strikes though! I have one in my fly box that looks plenty slim and is missing an eye. I may frame it in honor of my first saltwater fly fishing trip.
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