recommendations for flies for FL Panhandle

edwardo

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I need some recommendations for flies to use in the flats of the Florida Panhandle; specifically, St. Joe Bay. I will be spending a week fishing there in mid October targeting reds and speckled trout, maybe flounder. Thanks!
 

okiekev

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Don’t overthink it. Clousers, baitfish, and shrimp patterns will work. There are small 3-5 ft potholes all over that bay, look for the fish in those. The water will still be warm so you may also look for deeper water edges and channels.
 

eightwt

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As far as clousers, my go to is chartreuse over pink, (tutti fruttie). Kinda mimics the electric chicken color the spin guys use.
 

okaloosa

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dont forget to check out all the bouys and pilings for triple tail....be careful though, the tides there can really leave you high and dry...pay carefull attention to the markers...
 

bigjim5589

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I've never fished that area, but have always liked to have some Seaducers with me when targeting Seatrout. Many times I had plenty of weighted flies, but not a fly that could be fished with very slow sink rate.

Also check out Capt. Jesse Males, Poppin Flats Shrimp @ backwaterflies.com. It's a surface fly. Jesse has some other flies that you might also be interested in.

These are some that I had tied. A variation of the Poppin Flats Shrimp, and a Seaducer, but I also added a bit of marabou to the tail.
 

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okaloosa

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4-8 for specks and reds...
bigjim is right about whistlers! they are deadly with or without lead eyes......
but the king of the panhandle is the mighty chartreuse/white clouser.....just have different weights and sizes....
clouser.jpg
 
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bigjim5589

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4-8 for specks and reds...
bigjim is right about whistlers! they are deadly with or without lead eyes......
but the king of the panhandle is the mighty chartreuse/white clouser.....just have different weights and sizes....
View attachment 25775
I didn't mention Whistlers, I said Seaducers! 🙄 :LOL: But, Whistlers are good too! (y)(y)

I like having flies in the size 6 to 2/0 range for when I go to the coast. Never know what I might find. That doesn't mean you need every fly in every size. I think I had tied that Foam Shrimp on a size 1, and the Seaducers were on a 1/0. Those I would fish in open water, creeks & such, and smaller sizes if in the grass on a flat, like a 2 or 4. All flies are not a good choice for all situations, which is why having some variety is a good idea. There's not a lot of difference with most saltwater flies if you have a size 1, 2 or 1/0. You don't likely need them all in the same fly pattern. You will want some weed guards on most of these. I prefer the two prong hard mono types. Weed guards are not just for the weeds either as in that type of fishing that you plan, there may be other obstructions, such as oyster beds, and weed guards can save a lot of lost flies in situations like that too.
 

bigjim5589

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This will be the last thing that I add here in this post I think, maybe! 🙄

A guide friend of mine who fishes the lower part of FL, showed me a way to position the two prong weed guard on flies, that keeps the hook from getting snagged most of the time, and doesn't interfere with the fish getting hooked. That can sometimes be an issue, particularly on smaller size hooks.

This fly has a properly added weed guard. The two prongs deflect it away from the snags, and it's still open enough, that when a fish grabs the fly, the weed guards don't keep them from getting hooked. I use 16, 20, 25 & 30 lb Mason Hard mono for weed guards, depending on the size of the hook, ad how it might be used.

The hard mono is folded around the shank, then lashed in place with the tying thread & figure 8's and a few wraps around the mono, then more figure 8's. Then a coating of head cement or epoxy is applied, and once dry, the weed guard can be adjusted a little if needed. I like to make them just slightly higher than the hook point as measured straight across the line of travel of the hook point. With the weed guard added in this manner, they can still get snagged sometimes, but that's the case with most weed guards. but this way won't guard against bites.

1025.jpg
 

edwardo

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Great information! Now, as I don't tie my own flies, can you guys recommend reputable online stores where I can purchase? Does anyone in Port St Joe carry a good selection of flies?
 

bigjim5589

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Give a look at Ole Florida Fly Shop. They're in Boca Raton and will ship. I have not bought flies from them, only tying materials, but I know they do have some of their flies tied locally or in shop. They've been great people to deal with.
 

deceiverbob

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Great information! Now, as I don't tie my own flies, can you guys recommend reputable online stores where I can purchase? Does anyone in Port St Joe carry a good selection of flies?
Forgotten Coast Fly Company is in Appalachicola, about a 1/2 hour from PSJ. My best speckled trout on any tackle was caught in St Joe Bay on an E.P. Mullet fly.
 

okaloosa

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Forgotten Coast Fly Company is in Appalachicola, about a 1/2 hour from PSJ. My best speckled trout on any tackle was caught in St Joe Bay on an E.P. Mullet fly.
how big? any photos? never get tired of seeing gator specks
 

CWFlies

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Any of these will work for what you want to do. Just change out the colors depending on how dirty or clear the water is. IMG_E3773.JPGIMG_E3775.JPG67745029_109133953764991_4626707584940769280_n.jpgIMG_3766 (2).JPG
 
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