Since this was an article about saltwater fly fishing I've gotta come to Bob's defense and say that fly fishing the south Florida flats is a whole different critter than going trout fishing or fishing for bass or sun fish in fresh water. First of all, the guides can cover a LOT of territory in a day and they charge a LOT of money. Second, the fish can also cover a lot of territory and they do so. There is vastly more habitat for them to choose from, and they take advantage of most of it. But they still have habits predicated on weather, tides, etc. These guides get paid for having the gear, knowing how to use it safely and efficiently, and knowing where the fish are WHEN in their area of operation. Generally speaking, it is a "3 strikes" sort of deal. It may take a good guide three "drops" to get on pattern on any given day down there. On tough days, it shouldn't take more than maybe 5 or 6. But he should still find fish. And fish don't stop eating. They just CHANGE their eating behavior.
With all that said, saltwater fly fishing is a whole lot more like hunting than any other type of rod and reel fishing. This is especially true of sight-fishing on flats, where it is a matter of locating your quarry, stalking it to within casting range, and then bagging it in a vast marine environment that can be quite hostile to your goals.
Some guides down there (like everywhere else, I guess) get very wrapped around you paying to fish with THEM instead of them getting to take YOU fishing. What I mean is that a good guide tailors the day to your abilities and goals. A "hot dog" doesn't give a rip about your abilities or goals. If you don't cast as well as he thinks you should, that's too bad for you. If he wants to go chase tarpon all day and you just want to catch something...anything...that's too bad for you. He's the Captain of this here boat! You're just paying for a ride.
One thing that FL is eaten up with right now in the guide community is conventional tackle guides who are...by and large...pretty good anglers and charter Captains in their own right, but who are advertising that they are fly fishing guides when they have next to ZERO fly fishing expertise. That is why Bob wrote that if the guide asks you if you would mind using conventional tackle, DON'T GO! Demand a refund!!!! If they show up with more conventional gear on the boat than fly gear, demand a refund! If their boat doesn't look "fly fishing friendly," demand a refund! It is very common these days among power boat and paddle craft guides. And I am here to tell you that if a guy is not a long-time fly angler who has pulled hundreds of fish out of those local waters on the fly, he will NOT be able to put a fly angler in an advantageous position to catch fish. They are taking $$$ under false pretenses. And a bunch of the true fly fishing guides down there are being hurt by it.
Tags for this Thread