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"My Goal is to give the enthusiastic angler the ultimate Boca Grande Fly Fishing experience.  Whether you are interested in fly fishing for redfish, snook, tarpon or cobia in the blue water's of Charlotte Harbor, my main objective is to give the angler a tremendous visual strike.  I offer the best sight fishing experience! It doesn't matter whether you are a novice or and advanced level fly fisher, instruction at any level is always part of the package.  I look forward to having you on my boat."
           -- Captain Austin



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November 17, 2010
October Super Skinny Sightfishing Madness
 
My last tarpon trip was July 26th and the sight fishing was great.  I headed for Montana and started fishing the first week in October.  The trout fishing this summer was great.  We caught lots of fish on big grasshopper flies out of the big rivers and the small streams.  October 10th I headed back to Florida and started guiding on October 17th.  We hopped into the boat and ran to one of my favorite creeks with lots of beachy banks where snook love to ambush baits in inches of water.  When we got their we had plenty of shots in the morning at nice snook and a few reds but we did not get a bite. I told Sam that it was probably a little to early and they weren't quite ready to eat yet.  So we fired up the big motor and headed for another spot.  The tide was going out and with the water a little stained this was a good thing for sight fishing.  We started walking through an area where I have caught lots of snook in the past  and we did not see much until we got further back toward the back of the creek.  We came around the corner and stopped as a snook lazily swam down the bank with his back out of the water paddling his tail like a crocodile.  I said " There he is, lead him to the left by about five feet, he cast and put the fly on the bank, as the fly was floating on top the snook saw the fly up their and kicked his tail I said "give it a strip"  just as the fish got to the fly and he blew it out of the water and we caught a nice 26 inch Snook.  This set the tone for the rest of the afternoon,  Snook and redfish in ankle deep water busting all the way around the corner of the creek.  We took 4 nice redfish and a dozen snook in the 24 to 28 inch class it was "Awesome".  Since then when the tide is low I am finding Snook and Redfish in water so shallow you can't even get the boat back there.  Sam and I have fished two more times in October and each day has been the best fishing I can remember around here.  We have been getting 15-25 strikes a day and on average catching 12-15 fish per day and lots of snook.  I was worried about the Snook this year because we lost so many last year, but there seems to be plenty.  I know it sounds crazy, but alot of the spots I am fihing are holding more and on average bigger Snook than last year.  The creek chubs are so thick in the back country that I think these new fish have found their way back and have taken up new residency.  Whatever happened I can tell you that snook fishing is good.
 
My good friend Jordan came up from Miami after fishing down in the keys and we had super low tides. We found Snook laying in water so shallow they could hardly move without exposing themselves.  We were able to catch 19 snook and 1 redfish the first day in water so shallow I think he could hardly beleive it.  The next day we found more redfish and landed 5 or 6  up to 30 inches and he spotted a nice 27 inch Snook that I never saw and he through the fly up to the bank, and as I stood there staring at the shoreline trying to pick the fish out of the bank he stripped the fly and a big black snook swam out and engulfed his fly and proceeded to run around the nearest point which had us running down the shoreline to keep the fish out of the bushes, and after a couple of big jumps he landed it and I looked at him said "That will make your day every time"  We headed back to the boat had some lunch and waded to another cove where we each caught a snook back to back and then we silently we walked through a narrow spot to get to a room on the other side and when we got in there we spotted a big snook laying with his back out of the water right on the shore behing a stick.  He had no casting angle at the fish with his right hand and since were playing I cast a 10 ft cast to the snook, and I kept landing the fly to far away because of the stick in front of the fish.  I finally got the fly to land 6 inches in front of the snook as it slowly moved towards it the fishes eyeballs came out of the water it because it swam over a little hump to get to my fly, I stripped a short little strip and the fish blasted it and I landed a beautiful snook. 
 
Redfishing has been awesome in the backcountry as well, yesterday I was out with Sam and he took 12 tailing redfish by 1:30, what a morning!!! We obviously had the right fly and he was making great casts.  We spooked a few but caught most of our shots.  They were tailing in groups of 10-30 fish of all sizes 22-34 inches over eel grass.  Lots of times the blue crab fly would hit the water and sink and right when he would strip he would have them on, or the would just wake up after the fly and cream it with short little hoppy strips. Either way we took 12 tailing redfish from the boat.  They were not spooky and there were lots of them. 
 
In the last 4 days of fishing I have seen over 80 redfish and Snook eat flies in ankle deep water.  I should have brought my video camera, but my computer is bogged down with videos and I am going to by some external hard drives so I can continue with video.  The bottom line is when the tide is low enough the fishing is awesome.  When the tides are higher it is still good in the right places.  The water is clearing up every day and that will help the high water fishing.  Although I did fish with a couple of guys on a high tide and over cast skies, we blind cast big topwater flies and we caught plenty of fish and missed plenty more.  The fish are definitely happy about the cooling fall temperatures and I am staring at the weather waiting for the first cold front.  We are going to get one this weekend, highs in the low 70's and I am sure the fishing will be great.  There have been plenty of tarpon around as well although I have not fished for them.  It is hard for me to justify tarpon fishing when the backcountry fishing is so good.  I think the fishing will continue to stay good through the fall and into the spring.  The Fish and Wildlife Commision still has a closure on Snook which I think is great.  As far as I can tell the snook are in good shape and I have no worries that they will bounce back in a big way due to the closure.  The next 4 months is without a doubt the best backcountry fishing of the year. 
 
I built two new websites, one for Florida fly fishing and one for Montana fly fishing.  The Florida website is still www.seaandstreamflyfishing.com and the montana website is www.montanaflyfishingoutfitter.com .   There is a beautiful picture of a 41 inch snook caught by Mike Chorske on the new florida site, and you can view my blogs, pictures and videos through this website.  Tight Lines and Happy Fishing!!!!! 
 
Capt. Austin Lowder