When you think of the subtropical temperatures, sunny skies, and the abundance of saltwater and freshwater ecosystems; It’s easy to see why Florida is considered one of the best states for fly fishing.
With all of the places to go fly fishing in Florida, you might want a few destination ideas to narrow your options. Don’t worry, just check out this list of favorites for fly fishing in the Sunshine State.
1. Big Pine Key, County Monroe.
Miles of turtle grass meadows stretch across the clear, flat plains near Big Pine Key. The turtle grass is a key component of this marine ecosystem as it serves as a nursery for crustaceans and bait fish. This is the preferred food for backcountry wild fish such as tarpon, permit and bonefish year round. Bring your 8-10 fly fishing gear, crab or shrimp-imitating fly patterns and get your Florida saltwater fishing license.
2. Mosquito Lagoon, Brevard County.
Fly fishing at Mosquito Lagoon, just 45 minutes east of Orlando, should be on your list if you want to target redfish, sea trout, or the black drum. It is best to plan a trip with an experienced guide in the fall or winter months when the water level is low and fish roam the grassy areas.
3. Tomoka River, Volusia County.
The scenic waters of the Tomoka River offer anglers kayaking to hunt teenage tarpon, snook, or redfish a fantastic Florida fly-fishing experience. You’ll paddle past wooded river banks and wading birds as you cast bobble minnows or baitfish patterns. Start at the Tomoka Boat Ramp in Tomoka State Park on Park Avenue in Ormond Beach.
4. Ten Thousand Islands, Collier County.
The Ten Thousand Islands Area is in the western Everglades and is a dream destination for fly fishing in saltwater for several reasons. The hinterland tidal rivers in this part of the state are lined with hundreds of mangrove islands, oyster bars, and feeder streams. This equates to a prime habitat for snakes, redfish, tarpons and spotted sea trout.
5. Lake Manatee, Manatee County.
If you have never tried freshwater fly fishing in Florida, then you should visit Lake Manatee. Located on Florida’s Gulf Coast, Lake Manatee is another quiet spot for kayaks, canoes, and small boats (outboard motors are rated at 20 horsepower). Access to the boat ramp is in Lake Manatee State Park.
From salt water to fresh water, there are so many great fly fishing spots in Florida. Hopefully this list can help you narrow down your options while also encouraging you to explore some new destinations.