Boca Grande Fishing Guide

Everglades Fishing Guide.
Late summer and fall is a special time and place for Everglades fly fishing guides. Most of the big fish are on the outside of the ten-thousand islands and everglades river mouths. This is a great time to fish early mornings and late afternoons for rolling and tailing fish. I love this time of year as the water is a bit stained and fish readily take poppers and top-water plugs. Top water plug fishing is usually doe with a casting ‘bait-casting’ rod and reel. This type of equipment not only allows you to throw longer distances with larger plugs with more accuracy but helps you keep your plug walking on the water for much more time throughout the day as you are not reeling up and opening and closing the bail as on a spinning reel. I enjoy showing my fly-fishing clients the art and skill of effectively throwing and working a bait-casting rod and reel. Top-water action in the stained water of the Everglades is second to none. Large snook, tarpon and redfish readily take top-water plugs with aggressive explosions on the surface. I love the fall fishing as most recreational anglers have not came down to Southwest Florida from their summers homes yet so most of these fish haven’t seen much if any pressure for 4-6 months. I look forward to hearing from you and please don’t hesitate to call with any questions regarding injuries for a Everglades Fly Fishing Guide.

First Cold Front

Most boca grande fly fishing guides dred the cold weather, high winds, and negative tides, I welcome it. Through the years I have loved the challenge and figured out how to catch fish in the worst conditions. The answer is walking, when you walk you see a lot more, a lot more wildlife, a lot more fish! I do not do much push poling during the winter as it is usually very clear and shallow water which makes the fish sensitive.

If that sounds gun please call because the fishing has been on fire and will continue steady now thru march. Book you Tarpon Fly Fishing Guide now to get a good tide.


Winter Time Lows

We have been having some great low tides and high north winds to keep the tide low and the water clear. I have been in  my normal wintertime routine of wade fishing with 1 or 2 anglers. This has been so productive and fun with the redfish, a lot of good size fish with some great eats. We are generally using tan or brown baitfish patterns. Snook has been good with the warmer weather and great blind casting over the grass flat for big trout! Come fly fishing with Boca Grande guide!


Red Drum

Been a windy couple weeks but most of us wade fisherman enjoy the big north winds that can keep a tide out of the back country almost entirely! There has been good numbers of big redfish and snook around to sight-cast to on foot.  I was wading with clients back to back that had multiple eats and misses from the same fish on foot. When you can see a fish laid up and you are standing still, that fish has no idea there is any danger as he would if you were in a skiff. All the fish sees are two legs and a small bait that is fleeing, he will keep trying to eat it until he has it. Bill even hooked a big one, set the hook, the redfish blast on the water from being hooked and the hook pulled…he came back and ate it again. Bill went on to catch a grand slam on foot as we found some juvenile tarpon willing to play ball. Get out of the boat, stop and look around and you will do much better.

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Get out of the boat, stop and look around and you will do much better.

Stop down to the Outfitters to chat or book a trip!


Fall SUP fishing

This past week has been some incredible fishing with great sight casting and tailing redfish opportunities. We have been exploring all depths of the back country on stand up paddle boards. It really is my favorite way to fish this time of year on low water. They are very easy to use and stable, and I believe you catch more fish due to the stealth of the board. Plug fishing off these is a dream and with the right set up fly fishing is a great time. We throw at tailing redfish a rods length away from the board, they do not even notice the board. We plug fished off them the other day and caught countless snook, redfish and trout, there is nothing like being towed around by a fish. I really enjoy the exercise aspect of it as well, you can get your workout and fishing knocked out in one shot! I have a rack on the east cape vantage that is able to take 3 boards deep into the back country where paddle boards have never been before, it sure is an adventure! If anyone has any interest in this new style of low impact fishing give me a call at (231) 409-4231 or visit

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Wade Fishing Boca Grande

It’s getting to be that time of year, with some good winds and lower tides I like to get my clients out of the boat and do some stalking of fish.
I like to wade fish with a fly in places I would otherwise not be able to get to or in situations that would give us the ultimate stealth, like tailing redfish. Given the opportunity I will always get out of the boat on a good flat that’s already showing tails. I will also Wade tidal creeks that would be too noisy to pole skiff in or tuff to cast around mangroves in the boat, that is the ultimate in snook fishing.
Wade fishing is the ultimate in adventure and staying close with nature. Walking the flats is so stealthy these redfish will swim right against your leg, not snook but redfish love to check you out. Without tailing fish it’s all about good light and shallow water to see laid up snook, seeing and feeding a laid up snook in tight quarters is really the pinnacle in Charlotte Harbor fly fishing. You can have the monster tarpon, I will take stalking a big snook on foot any day!
So get out of the boat and explore. We have some great flats boots and good flats to Wade even without a boat in Boca Grande. book a trip!
Paul Ray
(231) 409-4231

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Lemon Bay Conservancy

I got a chance to help out with the tarpon and snook monitoring program at Lemon Bay Conservancy.
Great little place if you have never been there, They do net pulls a few times a year if anyone is interested in volunteering.
From my research and understanding it started as the wildflower golf course years ago, with the real estate crash the LBC where able to buy the property at a fraction of the cost. They have since made it entirely into a nature preserve. Luckily they got to this in time and were able to save a valuable snook and tarpon nursery. We pulled over 50 tarpon in one small pond with a seine net, it really makes one think how many of these nurseries are in jeopardy of becoming built on or polluted with lawn chemicals? It is a great thing for any angler to see how these developments directly affect our fishery. I was also over in Vero Beach touring the Dragon Fly Boat works shop, I was talking with anglers there asking them about all their fly fishing opportunities. They have some great fishing there but it is a common fact that the sea grass is gone and they just kind of acted like it was just a way of life that the golf course pollution had killed any and all seagrass so Redfish and Trout are not so common there. We need to protect our beautiful park know as Charlotte Harbor at all cost.

We all need to come together as a community and tourist alike to help our fishery in any way and threat means catch and release along with our actual ecosystem.
There is a new link I came across called found adrift. It post articles trash that they found and picked up in certain fisheries. I think it is a great cause as well and should be practiced daily, it’s also good fish luck!!

Paul Ray

(231) 409-4231

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Tall Tales

This is that time of year for most anglers that the transition to the super shallow waterside starting to happen. My favorite time of the year, it’s time to hunt fish! If you really take your time on a shallow grass flat on a calm morning your likely to see some tails of redfish waving at you. Tailing redfish for me is one of the greatest sporting event I have ever been involved with, it’s stalking a wild animal that does not know you are there and then delivering a none than less prefect and I mean perfect cast. Don’t line him, don’t go to far left or right. Right on him! I like
to start my false cast as he’s waving and by the time he drops his tail (to move) it is in front of his face! Like I said before perfect cast, it really helps to throw at targets on dry land.
Along with great redfish action, huge trophy snook are around bunched up waiting on this weather to change (I hope it doesn’t) I think they are slightly confused by this warm weather and cooler nights. Nice trout are available on the grass flats as well.
We look forward to fishing with you this season and if you need to brush up on your casting please let us know!
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Fall Migration

Kicking off November with a bang, Bonito and schools of Mackerel are on the Gulf side and a lot of fun on the fly. This is happening because of the transition of bait from the back country to the deeper water in the gulf. The bait is so thick on the gulf right now there is all kinds of pelagic fish around and client Paul Williams and I caught over 100 fish on the fly including Bonito, Mackerel and Bluefish. With this transition period of bait the large snook begin their fall migration east into the creeks and rivers, these next couple weeks will be the real magic time to sight-cast large snook on the fly while they are making their way to winter time hiding spots! There is nothing quiet like seeing a trophy snook laid up and making the right cast to move that fish onto your fly, that is what it is all about. I like a small stained brown fly this time of year to match the water color. We will begin setting up fly tying demos this year at BGO to get back to the basics, the only connection we have to these fish is the fibers and feathers we have tied onto a hook. We look forward to seeing everyone at the shop this season!

Report brought to you by Paul Ray

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Clean water Cool Temperatures

November is upon us and with the fall comes cooler water temperatures and beautiful sunny days. The water is getting cleaned up for some incredible sight casting in November! This is the time of year to fool a big snook on his way back to the rivers and creeks for his wintertime resting spot. I always feel like these big snook are similar to bears and are going to eat as much as they can on their way to the winter time resting spots. Redfish are in good numbers and we can find them tailing on low to incoming waters or on the edges of high tide. Quality trout are on the grass flats and can be fooled with a clouser minnow. We are now outfitted with Bote paddle boards and are offering paddle board fishing trips for any experience SUP’er! This is the way to fish the wintertime flats, stealth and raised above the water gives you a big advantage over the classic poling skiff. We are outfitted with custom east cape paddle board racks for our Vantage skiffs and will be happy to take you on the paddle board adventure of a lifetime!
Stop in the outfitters to say hello!

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