Learn the Fly-Fishing Basics for Free
Fly Fishing 101 & 201
Fly Fishing 101
Fly Fishing 201
A free Trout Unlimited Membership—a $35 value—is included for all FF101 and FF201 graduates. Upon completion of the course, you will receive special in-store offers, valid for the purchase of Orvis products.
Please see store associates or call 850-650-2174 for details.
Upcoming Seminars & Events
Call us at 850-650-2174 for information on upcoming classes and seminars this season.
Local Fly-Fishing Information
Destin, Fl. (The world’s luckiest fishing village) is in the northwest panhandle of the state. This general area is roughly bound from Panama City to the east and Alabama to the west. This stretch known as the “Emerald Coast” is known to be the home of fantastic fly fishing, it is known as the Emerald Coast because of it’s Crystal clear emerald green water and beautiful sugary sandy beaches, which makes it major vacation destination for families and fisherman alike every year.
The areas fisheries include both saltwater and fresh water, with Salty species being the main target especially in the Gulf of Mexico, with the fresh water lakes and rivers holding a nice population of bream and bass.
Saltwater Fishing License info
Local Saltwater species to target:
Tarpon, Redfish, Cobia, Bluefish, Speckled Trout, Flounder, Pompano, Sheepshead, Black Drum, Ladyfish, Stripers, Spanish, and Jacks
Perdido Bay splits Florida and Alabama at the far west end of the Sunshine state. Some shallow grass flats and sand flats are the spots to look for reds and speck all year round also look for the occasional Jack, Tarpon and blues will show up with the baitfish in the warmer months look for them in a little deeper water, and around the pass.
Pensacola Bay offers some great fishing in the western edge of the panhandle as well, this system is made up of a few back bays as well like Escambia bay and East bay. These bays lie roughly 20 miles east of the Fl ./ Al. state line. The Escambia & White Rivers feed Escambia bay, and the Black river dumps into East bay. Redfish and Trout will be a mainstay all year round with spring / summertime Spanish and Pompano along with Tarpon in the warmer months, a spring time Cobia run and Stripers in the winter months.
Pronounced Choctaw - Hatchee, this bay empties in to the Gulf of Mexico at through East pass which splits Destin and Fort Walton Beach. The bay is about 3 miles on average north to south, and is about 10 miles east to west. The southeast portion of the bay is great to wade, kayak, or float the flats in a skiff to hunt for redfish and speckled trout. The west end in to the pass can be a great spot to look for Spanish and Kings as well as Tarpon that will hang out in the bay, also out off the beach just on the gulf side of the pass as well.
Panama City fishing consist of a few bays, East and West bay are two of the more popular fisheries, divided by Panama City respectively, they offer some excellent redfishing opportunities. West bay has a very low country, swampy, and marsh feel to it, so it is great for Reds, and Speck and the occasional jack bustling around the grass flats and feeder creeks. East bay is similar but deepens faster so it can be much trickier to wade. Wading, kayaking, and skiff fishing are the most popular ways to maneuver this water way. A barrier Island that protects this bay is Shell Island , which is known to be home for Tarpon, Cobia, and some big Bull Reds. Bay fishing for black drum in the winters is good, running into spring time Reds and Specks heat up along with a good Cobia run, Spanish Pompano and Tarpon start to heat up with the weather in the summer months.
Apalachicola Bay, along with other water ways, sounds, are great for Reds, Specks, Black Drum, Ladyfish, Pompano, and even Tripletail, But then growing draw to the area is the superb Tarpon fishery it is. Big schools of menhaden and other baitfish move in during May and June and following them in are the silverkings themselves. Less pressure lots of baitfish and great water make for more aggressive, happier feeding fish, and this is why this region of Florida is becoming a hot spot for people seeking Tarpon. 11 and 12 weights are key here to land big fish, as well as reels with 300 plus yards of 30 lb. backing. Smaller Tarpon flies that move well in the water in 1/0 and 2/0, do very well.
Freshwater species to target include Black Bass, Bream, American Shad, Crappie, and Stripers.
Freshwater Fishing Licenses
Non – Resident
The Escambia River flows out of Alabama into Escambia Bay, and offers great fly fishing for Bream and Bass. The River is best navigated by boat or kayak or canoe, but can be wadeble in areas. Plenty of boat access and good water make for good Bream fishing in the spring to early summer, and the great Bass fishing in the summer through the fall.
Blackwater River State Park: Blackwater River
The Blackwater is a great river to canoe or kayak with its sandy bottom, the use of light tackle is a great way to produce good numbers of Bream. The head waters are accessible in the state park, and roughly 15 miles downstream is another good point to put in near the city of Milton.
Just west of Crestview, Fl. lies a great Bluegill and Bass fishery called Bear Lake. The lake easily fished produces great numbers of Bluegill on smaller terrestrial and popping bug patterns, The Bass like the same style flies, and don’t forget the deer hair diving bugs. Four to seven or eight weight rods are the norm. Bluegill are hot in the spring and early summer with Bass fishing heating up in the summer.
Choctawhatchee Bay is the end of the run for this long river, Bass, Shellcrackers and Bream being the best target. A good population of Sunshine Bass are found in the lower stretches of the system, with bluegill and Shellcrackers readily available all over this river. Following this river system can provide great access for boats and kayakers at them many launches. Small baitfish patterns along with poppers, shrimp patterns down river, at the end of 4 to 8 weights are the ticket.
Florida Fish and Game
Florida Fishing Licenses
Florida Sportsman Magazine Online
Panhandle Fly Fishing Club
Emerald Coast Fly Rodders
Fly Fishers Guide to Saltwater Florida by, Larry E. Kinder
Store Manager: Jan Peele
Fishing Manager: Sky Johnston
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