When you think about the subtropical temperatures, sunny skies, and abundance of both saltwater and freshwater eco-systems; it’s easy to understand 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 help you narrow down your options. No worries, just check out this list of sunshine state fly fishing favorites.
1. Big Pine Key, Monroe County.
Miles of turtle grass meadows can be seen stretching out over the clear, shallow flats near Big Pine Key. The turtle grass is a key component of this marine eco-system because it serves as a nursery for crustaceans and baitfish; which is the preferred forage for backcountry game fish like tarpon, permit, and bonefish throughout the year. Bring along your 8 to 10-weight fly fishing gear, crab or shrimp-imitating fly patterns, and get your saltwater Florida fishing license.
2. Mosquito Lagoon, Brevard County.
Located just 45 minutes east of Orlando, Mosquito Lagoon fly fishing trips should be on your list if you want to target redfish, seatrout, or black drum. Your best bet is to plan a trip with an experienced guide during the fall or winter months when water levels are low and fish are roaming across the grass flats.
3. Tomoka River, Volusia County.
The scenic waters of the Tomoka River can equate to a fantastic Florida fly fishing experience for anglers who want to pursue juvenile tarpon, snook, or redfish from a kayak. You’ll paddle past forested riverbanks and wading birds while casting wiggle minnows or baitfish patterns. Launch at the Tomoka boat ramp located at Tomoka State Park on Park Avenue in Ormond Beach.
4. Ten Thousand Islands, Collier County.
Located in the western Everglades, the Ten Thousand Islands area is a saltwater fly fishing dream destination for a number of reasons. The backcountry tidal rivers found in this part of the state are lined with hundreds of mangrove islands, oyster bars, and feeder creeks; which equate to prime habitat for snook, redfish, tarpon and spotted seatrout.
5. Lake Manatee, Manatee County.
If you haven’t tried freshwater Florida fly fishing, you may want to make it a point to visit Lake Manatee. Located on Florida’s Gulf Coast, Lake Manatee is another serene spot for kayaks, canoes, and small boats (there is a 20-horsepower limit on outboard engines). Boat ramp access is provided at Lake Manatee State Park.
From saltwater to freshwater, there are so many amazing places to go fly fishing in Florida. Hopefully this list can help you narrow down your options while encouraging you to explore a few new destinations.