Northeast Jacksonville’s – Clapboard Creek in the Tumucuan Preserve

The Scenario:These are the unspoiled pristine waterways of Northeast Florida! The trips mostly take place on the coastal wetlands known as the saltwater tidal marshes that are made up of a maze of creeks, barrier flats and lagoons surrounded by Spartina Cord grass, Neddlerush grass, Oyster bars and barrier Oak and Pine tree islands. During the warmer months we will visit the ocean beachfront and inlet waters.There is wide verity of opportunities that offer a new experience for all which includes over a dozen different kinds of fish species that can be caught on fly in two different  ecosystems to the north and south of St. Augustine depending on time of year. The wildlife scene includes a wide verity of birds including the Roseate Spoonbill, Manatees, Dolphins, Otters, Raccoons, Alligators and other reptiles. All accessible either by boat, kayak with minimal areas to walk in wade fish. This part of the state also happens to have the biggest tide swings of 5-7 feet, four times per day making it an interesting hunt and opportunity to see more of the natural beauty and wildlife. In general I like to plan the trip location on where the best fishing tides may occur(if feasible), weather conditions and time of year that offer the best catching opportunities to make your experience the best it can be!

The Ecosystems:First Coast Fly Fishing Unlimited is the only guide service that covers approx. 75-100 miles of these pristine waterways giving you a wide choice and opportunity to see the most on a given trip.  Guided areas cover Amelia Island, Talbot Islands, Fort George Island, Jacksonville, Ponte Vedra, St. Augustine , Mantanzas inlet and Palm Coast to Central Florida for the annual American Shad run. Jacksonville is also fortunate enough to have the only natural preserve within its own city limits making a fun backyard to have that is as little as 15 minutes away. It’s known as the Timucaun Preserve and covers approx. 65 square miles in northeast Jacksonville.

The Fish:The primary inshore year around target is Redfish(a.k.a. Red Drum) and Spotted Sea Trout. Other seasonal fish species include Southern Flounder, Jack Crevalle, Sheepshead, Black Drum, Bluefish, Ladyfish-Tarpon, Snook, Tarpon, Lookdown  and False Albecore, Sharks, Tarpon, Tripletail and Spanish Mackerel nearshore during the warmer months. American Shad fishing is also becomes  available in January-early March on the lower St Johns River freshwater ecosystem.

The Hunt: First Coast Fly Fishing Unlimited specializes in sight fishing the skinniest of waters while poling the skiff for backing-tailing Redfish around the low tide periods in the creeks that will test your skills on the wariestTheAdventurePage300x193 fish when conditions and time of day fished allows. We also do lots of blind casting around structure and holes when the water levels are higher. I generally will travel and cover several different areas to find fish and for you to see the natural unspoiled beauty and wildlife that the marsh has to offer. It’s a maze of creeks, shallow water flats.

During the Summer and Fall we are fortunate enough to get strong spring tides caused by the moons pull that brings in extra high tides levels that flood the Spartina grass flats.The Redfish, Sheepshead and Black Drum move in to feast on the Fiddler Crabs that live on the flats making sight fishing primarily for tailing Reds a special event. A fly fishers perfect challenge!

The summertime is also great time to fly fish for big Spotted Sea Trout on the dock light during the cool and calm sultry night. Then near shore beach front fishing for Tarpon, Sharks and False Albacore during the summer months and American Shad during the winter months.

The Guides Mission: My passion is fly fishing and show and telling you about our fishery. One of my first priorities is to properly set you up and assist you with rod set up and any casting instruction if needed and fishing techniques on how to catch our local fish.Then finding you fish by covering as many areas as possible and also create a great adventure that you’ll never forget! To be like no other experience you have never had!

Kayak-Wade Fly Fishing the St. Augustine Flats

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