I pray that this little write up about hitting dock lights finds you tomorrow morning during your glorious toilet time or while trying to find something to spice up your mid week work day.
My buddies and I have been avoiding the crowded late summer boat ramps and hot as hell days in southwest Florida by hitting the water at sun set. We are less than a year into this fly fishing thing and have been honing our skills by throwing tiny flies short distances at fish that are typically more willing to cooperate than those found during the day.
Armed with a few energy drinks, beef jerky, and rods ranging from 5-8 weights we silently hop from light to light with the hopes that we may tangle with a willing participant. Similar to seeing the tails of foraging redfish gently breaking the surface of a glassed out grass flat, nothing gets my heart pounding faster than watching baby tarpon rolling or snook popping minnows in the hue of a green underwater light.
We spend hours dropping our dainty flies in front of what to appear to be hungry fish only to watch them tease you by charging the fly until your leader enters your guides. Being the optimist that we fisherman are we continue our search with the belief that each subsequent cast is going to result in a ferocious strip strike.
Every now and again the fish gods decide to show us some love resulting in a baby tarpon inhaling the fly and going air born as you strip strike! While in the back of your mind thinking… Damn, I sure hope there is no nick in my leader and did I check my knot?
The ol tarpon dance of laying the rod out as they go air born and dodging the trolling motor never gets old! This summer we have been fortunate enough to get our grimy hands on our fair share of baby tarpon for a quick photo sesh before sending them on their merry way.
If the water is flowing half way decent the snook rarely can turn down a fly dancing through the ever so green water column like blind minnow geeked up on redbull!
The dock lights have allowed several of us to stick our best fish on fly to date and I have been fortunate enough to put several people on their first tarpon, including a few dudes traveling all the way from Denmark.
The dock lights have been friendly to us rookie bug slingers! Seeing that this is my first year back in southwest Florida, I am really looking forward to seeing how the dock lights transition into the fall and ultimately winter. Hope y’all enjoy this quick write up and the little bit of fish porn.
– Tyler @tdrx32