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Hey guys,

I already posted a thread about the trail to get some general knowledge but I’m having little success throwing a fly, basically have caught all my fish there with the spinning gear. Anyway I was wondering if anyone could point me in the right direction on flies to use back there. Colors? Patters? Slow sinking? Fast sinking? Top water? Anything helps

Thanks
 

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Try small top-water patterns in lighter colors
I fished some ponds down south near Naples recently and all fish were caught on either a chartreuse/white clouser with a strip, strip, pause retrieve, or even better was a white gurgler with the same retrieve. Gotta make the gurgler "pop" on the water to create enough attention. They'd often hit it on the pause. Lots o' fun that way
 

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I frequently go down the trail (every other week, sometimes twice a week when i couldnt launch the boat) to satisfy my urge of pulling on some fish with the long rod. As others mentioned before me, gurglers of any color for that matter will work. Personally, tan colored or all black with a tiny bit of flash, depending on the conditions. Strip... strip... pause..................... Work it slow and most hits will be in the middle of the pause. In regards to baitfish patterns, ive found flies with lots of movement when still work extremely well (marabou, rabbit, etc.) Same slow retrieve as a gurgler,with a long pause. If it suspends somewhat or sinks very slowly, thats the ticket. If no luck up top, switch to something that sinks a bit. Dont shy away from trying different patterns until one works. If youve found the fish, congrats on figuring the most difficult part. Most important is to be PATIENT and enjoy the fresh air and sights! Just be careful with the traffic. Everyday is different and the fish can be moody. Put in the time and you will be rewarded, i guarantee it. Good luck!
 

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There's really only certain times of year to fish the trail (and really get rewarded) in my opinion...and it aint this time of year..put your time in and you'll crack the code too!! like we all had to..! and when its good...it dont matter what you throw
 

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Though I've never fished there I just attended a talk by Steve Gibson on fishing that area. He likes to use the Mighty Myakka Minnow and Junior's Craft Fly or Minnow (Clouser).
 

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Hey guys,

I already posted a thread about the trail to get some general knowledge but I’m having little success throwing a fly, basically have caught all my fish there with the spinning gear. Anyway I was wondering if anyone could point me in the right direction on flies to use back there. Colors? Patters? Slow sinking? Fast sinking? Top water? Anything helps

Thanks
Where on the Alley and what are you targeting?
 

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I haven't seen it - but that book by Steve Kantner is probably well worth a close look... He advertised himself as the Land Captain years ago and made his business fishing that area with customers on foot... I'd pay very close attention to any tips that come with those fly patterns.

When I'm fishing anglers for baby tarpon (fish under 10lbs generally) in the 'glades we're usually using small white maribou flies in size #4 or small poppers in size #1. Add a few natural or dark colored maribou muddlers and you're pretty much in business... Shouldn't be much different along the Trail...

Here's a pic or two of the bugs we use...

My version of Norm Zeigler's Crystal Schminnow

The SpeedBug - my original pattern with a soft foam head - do it in many colors but the original in white is hard to beat..

One of several different Peacock clousers local shops have wanted - in size #4 -the important thing is the colors involved... The Trail has lots and lots of different oscar species (cichlids - and yes they don't belong - but the small one are forage for everything...).

Hope this gets you started... We never use a bite tippet -even with ten pound tarpon - just a long leader of 20lb fluorocarbon looped to a heavier butt section. You'll lose an occasional fish - but get a lot more bites....
 

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Don’t forget to look out for great big trucks when you finally hit the Trail... backcasts get interesting if you’re not careful...
 

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I usually fish a gurgler or a small version of the EP Glades Minnow, typically tied on a #4 hook. I work the Glades minnow very fast where it pushes a little head wake under the surface. That turns the snook and poons on big time. For a leader, you'll want to make sure you have a short section of something light (10-15lb) in between your butt section and tippet (usually use 25lb mono bit tippet) so you can break off easily when you catch your fly in the mangroves across the canal.
 

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I have fly fished the "Trail" for 65 years, we used to use Homer Rhodes grizzly streamers then bucktail/feather streamers (Inside fly. Now I use inverted muddler streamers with brown bucktail and grizzly saddle hackles. Most important is to provide weed guards so you don't waste time re-rigging when you lose your fly in the sawgrass or mangroves.
 

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Fished those ditches a lot when we had a place at Port of the Islands. Felt I only needed 2 flies: small 1/0 white Schminnow or DT Special; and a 1/0 Orange Tarpon Bunny (Deerhair head and bunny tail). The Bunny with lead eyes was very productive for juvy Tarpon in the quarry (check google earth).
 
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