Fly Fishing Blog

Summer Tarpon On The Fly

Fly Fishing for Juvenile Tarpon – The weather is terrible at times it can be so hot your sweat starts to sweat. There are moments of shear excitement followed by hours of boredom and random conversations. I love it! There is nothing like juvenile Tarpon Fishing on the Fly. This video sums up the last season of 2021. The Skiff we are using is a Dragonfly Emerger 16 Feet long

Remember to always handle these little tarpon with care. Practicing conservation is always the best method when it comes to fishing. Take a quick photo and then set them free after a proper revival. Be sure to check for predators such as sharks and porpoises. These animals can lurk in the shadows awaiting the release of a lethargic fish.

Feel free to contact me if you want to target these late summer tarpon on your 8 weight. I charge half day rates for morning sessions up until late Mid September.

Fly Fishing Juvenile Tarpon


Fly Fishing Video Boca Grande Technical Skiff

Fly Fishing video Boca Grande. My friend Steve Hall made this video of he and I catching some snook in the Boca Grande area. We are in Steve’s Dragonfly Emerger boat specs Link Here. This is a great time of year to sight cast to these snook transitioning to the beach from the back country. Steve is an avid fly fisherman and acclaimed outdoor photographer. Enjoy. WATCH TO THE END!

Fly Fishing Video Boca Grande

Charlotte Harbor Fly Fishing Report

Charlotte Harbor Fly Fishing Report Covid Version 2.0
If my calculations are correct this article will be coming out on November 26 th so let me wish you a Happy Thanksgiving!! By now you have obviously decided how you are spending the normally, “Big
Family and Friends Gathering” holiday. This makes me wonder which set of CDC, State or local rules have you decided to follow or ignore in order to enable you and yours to enjoy your T-day to the fullest? It’s a funny thing really, I have known what the CDC (The Center for Disease Control and Prevention) is… what it does… and that it’s located (in Atlanta Georgia) for years, but until this pandemic, when I heard the acronym CDC, the first thing that came into my mind was Cul De Cannard, not disease control.

Charlotte Harbor Fly Fishing Guide best rated

Cul de canard is a French term basically meaning… wait for it …duck butt. No, No, No, this isn’t a rarely heard of delectable delight served up for the first Thanksgiving dinner at Plymouth, but a group of delicate oily feathers found around the preen gland (uropygial gland) on the duck (and other aquatic birds). These feathers are used for, what else but, tying flies… dry flies at that. Due to their oily nature they have a built in natural buoyancy that works to keep those small flies afloat. So now Covid is even interfering with my fly tying. Don’t mess with my CDC!

Charlotte Harbor Fly Fishing Thanksgiving Day

I can tell you that my T-day plans have changed. It usually starts off with a half day charter with two brothers that I have taken out several years now. They come and spend T-Day in Boca Grande with family. After that my wife and I get together with a group of about 15 or 20 people that have nowhere
else to go. Which means that all of our immediate families live too far away to make it reasonable to travel to, or actually have no family left. Well, this group of misfits informed me that because of the big upswing of covid cases and CDC guidelines (not cul de canard) that they have called off the big get together all together.

The brothers I spoke of above, just called this morning and they said that they are not making the trip this year. They don’t want to spend time in airports with all the other travelers. I can’t blame them. I also heard an hour ago that airlines maybe cancelling flights anyway (not verified). So yes, plans have changed. I guess I will have more time to prepare the Charlotte Harbor Fly Fishing Report

Plan B

If I pick up a charter for T-day that will be great, if not, I’ll spend time hiking with my wife, in one of the many preserves or parks that we have available to us here in our area. She is much like our Waterline publisher Josh Olive in that she will go for a walk and end up on her hands and knees looking at plants, bugs and other critters to satisfy her curiosity. Maybe she will want to get on the water to fish and sight see. In that case whether it’s Diane or a client we will go look for Macks and Bonito first out in the Gulf.

I love watching her or a client hooking up to a Bonito. The gulf probably rockin’ the boat with some wind chop and then swells on top of that. The rod is being yanked out of their hand by the speed and power of the Little Tunny, while the spool is being dumped and knuckles are being busted…what fun!!

Good equipment

New Flies?

I’ve also tied up some new flies that I want to try on them. Of course I will keep my eyes peeled for tripletail too. I’ve got a new fly for them also. They won’t be able to resist it! Famous last words right? I’ve been finding a few of them and catching them fairly consistently. But, most have been on the small side so far. They should start showing up in better numbers and hopefully size wise a little bigger, around buoys and flotsam in the Gulf and harbor very soon.

Charlotte Harbor Fly Fishing Report

Decent Jacks

Oh did I mention the 15 pound Crevalle Jacks that showed up a few days ago. You can’t miss them, an acre of water just blows up with their patented explosive pops and crashes. Of course you can’t always count on them either, but what a bonus it is when they do show up… and they don’t care what fly you throw. If you hit the water with the fly front of the path they are traveling, you are on… and I hope you aren’t using your 6 weight like I was. I’ve been doing that a lot lately, light rod with big fish… what a terrible problem to have! I love Jacks. They wake up mad every morning and carry that bad mood and attitude with them all day long. I know that if they could they would jump up in the boat and “fin slap you!”

Charlotte Harbor Fly Fishing Report

Finding Fish

Don’t ever leave fish to find fish right? But if it dies down in the Gulf or you just can’t find them, head to the back country somewhere. The keys in Pine Island Sound, East Wall bar, West Wall or Gasparilla Sound area. The incessant wind has laid down for Thanksgiving and the fishing has been good. Redfish and Snook are still eating baitfish patterns and Trout have been great on poppers on the shallow grass beds and of course eating Clousers on the deeper grass flats.

Back country Redfish

Diane will catch a few fish then watch the white pelicans circle up the bait to eat. And look for her Roseate Spoonbills that she loves to watch. I
wonder if the Roseates have CDC? I’ll probably end up with the smoker on the back lanai cookin’ a duck butt minus the CDC feathers for
our own delectable Thanksgiving dinner. That is all I can muster up for this Charlotte Harbor Fly Fishing Report, thanks for visiting my site and feel free to call me anytime for questions or concerns or to book a trip.
Whatever it is you may doing today, be safe, be thankful for all that we have here… and stay fly.

Tarpon Fishing

Tarpon Fishing Guide Boca Grande and the surrounding areas has become so popular it is hard to fathom.  It is that time of year again when the tarpon start to show in places like the shallow waters of Foster Bay near North Captiva to Little Gasparilla Pass and all along the beaches.  Of course let us not forget the infamous Boca Grande Pass, the place always filled with controversy.   Personally I like to stay away from the crowds and fish the back country areas far from other boaters.  I will occasionally head to the beach and with certain customers toss a crab (Crab below photo) at a passing Tarpon Pod.  It really is all in what the customer wants.

Tarpon Crab by Steve Hall

Tarpon Fishing Boca Grande On The Fly

When Tarpon Fishing on the Fly the angler usually is casting at passing tarpon attempting to get a tiny fly inches away from the giant black eyeball of a tarpon. Dangling a chocolate bar in front of a child and teasing him or her with it until they hopefully decide to eat. Hyperbole of course but you get the point. It’s tricky, frustrating and rewarding all at the same time.

Tarpon Fishing Boca Grande

Tarpon Fishing Boca Grande With a Guide

Look I am not trying to sell you something here but if you want to be successful at this then hire a fishing guide it is well worth your time and money. To catch a tarpon on fly can take a lifetime of understanding and study or you might just get lucky which is the preferred method. Putting the fly in the right place can be best done with little guidance and help.

Tarpon Fly Fishing Boca Grande
Tarpon fly fishing boca

Tarpon Fishing Handle With Care

Tarpon are a most beautiful creature and should be handled with the upmost care and respect. Knowing when to cut the fish off and how to handled the fish once landed all comes from experiences that guides and accomplished anglers learn from others or just doing. If you are not sure what you are going to do with the tarpon once you get it to the boat ask someone or do some research so as not to harm the animal in anyway. Here are some links to the state laws about handling tarpon FWC TARPON RULES

Tarpon Fly Fishing steve hall

The Reward of a Lifetime

The fight will cost you both mentally and physically. It is something that you will remember all of your life. It will be one of those moments a learning moment. Nothing easy is worth having if you are catching tarpon the easy way then where is the reward? This is the question I ask? Challange yourself and the challenge will pay off in the form of success. For information about taking a Tarpon Trip with me Call Today

Fly Fishing Charlotte Harbor Steve Hall

706 254 3504

Fly Fishing Charlotte Harbor Tarpon How To Where To

Fly Fishing Charlotte Harbor Tarpon how to where to is the question on the minds of some anglers new to the area. Finding these little fishing can be rewarding in all the seasons. For me summer is certainly more active time for juvenile tarpon near the mouth of the Myakka River. Numerous anglers gather there as well as the East side of the Harbor for an early morning shot at these rolling little aquatic cross fitters. Come spend the morning with me and land one of these little magnificent creatures before lunch.

Fly Fishing Port Charlotte

Fly Fishing Charlotte Tarpon in Port Charlotte Harbor.  Check it Out Fly Fishing Video.  Tarpon In Charlotte Harbor. What A Blast.

The Good The Bad and The Ugly on Vimeo.

fly fishing charlotte tarpon

Come spend the morning casting with Rex for these little maniacs. It is morning that you will not forget. The action is usually over by 10:30 am and we are back at the dock. Call today and let’s get out after these amazing tarpon in good ole Charlotte Harbor! Capt. Rex~

More Tarpon

Copyright 2015 Rex Gudgel

Choose Your Fly Fishing Guide

Make The Right Choice For a Fly Fishing Guide

You have decided that you need to hire a fly fishing guide want to try your hand at saltwater fly fishing; where do you start? First you need to decide what kind of fish you want to target. Do you want to catch a Calico or White Sea bass out of the kelp beds of California?How about a Striped Bass out of the boiling waters of Boston harbor? A Bone fish in Belize? Maybe a Permit in the Florida Keys. Whatever the decision turns out to be, you have a couple of choices of how to go about it.  D.I.Y. Do It Yourself is one way to do it and it’s a blast.

fly fishing guide

There is a massive amount of info out there that you can learn from and maybe put a trip together. But, if you have never really done any saltwater fly fishing, hiring a fly fishing guide is the best way to go…at least the first few times. When doing so you want to make sure that the fly fishing guide you hire is the right one for you, your budget, your fishing charter needs and desires. Since the area in which I work is in South West Florida (particularly Charlotte Harbor, Boca Grande up to Sarasota) this article will be based on features of this area, but many of the question could and should be asked of  any fly fishing guide anywhere.A question that should always be asked in the

Charlotte Harbor area is, are you a licensed and insured guide? Does this make a fly fishing guide able to put you on fish? No, but the United States Coast Guard requires a charter captain to be certified and licensed by them anytime you will be taking money as payment for fishing on any waters governed by the U.S.

To become a charter the USCG also requires that you take and pass an extensive test, have documented experience on the water and pass an FBI and Homeland Security background check. A USCG guide is also required to be a member of a drug consortium in which they can be drug tested at any time. They also must be trained and certified in first aid and life saving techniques. Being a Charter captain is not just “hey buddy, you wanna’ go fish?

The Right Fly Fishing Guide

These requirements of the USCG are for your safety and the safety of the public on the water.I know that in the Charlotte harbor area there are still several “guides” that aren’t full time guides.That should be another question you ask. These individuals may work a full time job as a carpenter or a
store clerk…whatever, and will only be on the water when they get a trip or have some time off. They may be very knowledgeable and seem professional, but they may not have taken the time or spent the money to get a license. They also won’t know what the “full timer” knows about what’s happening on the water from day to day.

Ask your potential guide what techniques of fishing they specialize in. Perhaps they “drift fish” grass flats,
sand holes, and blind cast? Maybe they anchor up and wait on tides to bring you fish? Do they get on the poling platform and push you quietly along mangrove shoreline sight casting to Reds, Snook and Tarpon? Do they get so far into the back country that you get out and wade fish? All of these are good techniques and can be productive. Just make sure the guide can do what you want.

I have a couple of clients that come and only want to wade fish. It might not be the best approach at that time, but I’ll get them to places to wade and find fish. I have clients that only want to sight fish from the bow, so I pole shallow flats and mangrove islands. Then there are clients that don’t care what they do. They just want to catch something. I had a new client on board today. Andy is a spin fisherman who doesn’t fish very often. We used all of these techniques and caught fish using all of them. He had no preference and wanted to learn. By the end of the day he was also thinking about buying a fly rod. Oh yea, I made him try the long rod and he caught a couple of fish.

A good fly fishing guide should be able to use all techniques to get his clients on fish.Here, in Charlotte Harbor we are blessed with fantastic back country fishing. We are also blessed with the fact that it doesn’t take long to get outside our barrier islands to the beach in the Gulf of Mexico. Don’t be afraid to ask about nearshore fishing, if that is something you want to do.

We just finished with Tarpon season here and the Tarpon have moved into the rivers or have moved on down south to the Glades and beyond. Don’t get me wrong we will be able to catch Tarpon here almost year round, but,the biggest migration of Tarpon in the world has moved on now until next summer. It’s changing into our Fall season. Now the beaches or “nearshore” (staying within a few miles of land or beaches) fishing will be filled with Bonito, Mackerel, King Mackerel, Triple Tail, Jacks, sharks, pompano… etc… Always ask about options.

Yes, if you want to catch a Redfish by sight fishing the back country, then, yes stay there all day and work. Just don’t forget the variety of fishing we have here in Charlotte Harbor.If you are relatively new to fly fishing or at least new to fly fishing the salt ask if the guide will instruct and teach while on the boat. There are many guides that will take you out, but are short on patience and only really want experienced anglers on their boat…it hurts their fish percentages to have a newbie on the boat. Ask if they happen to be a certified or better yet a “Master” certified casting instructor with the IFF (International Federation of Fly Fishers).

Can He or She Cast

These guys and gals that have gone through the Master Certification want to help you. There is really no other reason to put themselves through the long tough testing process. Sure it’s a feather in their cap. But most of the people who just want the “title” stop at the basic certification level. Most Masters want and do teach. This process isn’t just about being a good caster. It’s a teaching certification. It’s about learning to communicate what makes a cast work for you.But in order to get these “certs” you have to be able to cast very well. The casting skills needed to fish the salt are very different from those used in small trout streams or bass ponds. These folks can and will make you better all-a-round fly fisherman.

Ask about the boat in use and the gear that will be provided if you don’t have your own. If you are going to sight fish the back country you don’t want a boat to big to get there. There should be a poling platform and a push pole aboard for the guide to use.  There might be a casting platform and stripping basket on the boat if needed. It does not by any means need to be an expensive flats skiff to get you on fish. They are very nice, but not always necessary, for the job. For instance, you probably don’t want to take a 16 or 17 foot flats skiff out of the back country into Gulf the on a breezy day because of swell and chop, so near shore fishing would be out. There is no one boat that can do everything.

Charlotte Harbor Fly Fishing Guide

The rods and reels supplied should be a recognizable brand and relatively new, and of course in the weights needed for the area. Make sure and take your own gear if you want to use it. It’s always better to use what is familiar to you. Tell the guide what you have and they will help you make that decision.There are a few guides who will offer a no fish, no pay policy. Be very careful of this. It sounds good at the time, but there’s always a catch. The way most of these policies are worked is they will have many exemptions or hidden agendas. Meaning that the “”no fish no pay policy for example cannot be used if you are flats fishing, fishing for red fish, kid’s fishing, never saltwater fished before, tarpon fishing and so on.

Another way that this is done is the guide will fish for you or fish for non-game fish species of no sport fishing value, like getting bait. Ask your potential guide if he or she offers such a policy and what the exact details are. If you think about it, how can a guide offer something they really have no control over. We all know that sometimes fish just don’t eat!

Peruse the fly fishing guide web site. A professional and serious charter captain will most likely have a high quality web site with very useful information on it. The web site will be updated with current information on it as well. It is just a common staple in the day and age we live in now. You may find all of the answers you are wondering about there. Do they practice catch and release? What are they fishing for now? Pictures speak a thousand words. Check out the gallery section. Look at the pictures of the fish they are catching and see the boat they are using. See if the pictures look recent or are they from twenty years ago.

fly fishing guide

There are a lot of You Tube and cyber heroes out there, so even the websites can be misleading pick one, and call him. Make a list of questions you want to ask. The guide should be willing to talk to you and give you all the info you need. When you call, be clear and honest about what it is you are looking for and also what you are not looking for. This is the best way to get a feel for the right guide for you.


Come Cast With Rex and Catch Fish Like This!

Charlotte Harbor Fly Fishing Guide

Call Today Let’s Go Get Some Fish!

Fly Fishing Charlotte Harbor Captain Rex Affordable Rates

Fly Fishing Charlotte Harbor Captain Rex. In this video Rex gets  what is sometimes referred to as the back country slam on the fly!  Although unofficial it is official for fun’s sake. 

Although FWC has changed the rules and the species (to get more species involved) some anglers still consider this an “off the record” accomplishment.

  • Red drum
  • Spotted seatrout
  • Flounder (such as Gulf flounder, Southern flounder)

A Grand Slam is defined as the catch or catching and releasing of three specific saltwater fish species in a 24-hour period. The FWC updated the program in 2014 by creating nine Grand Slams, including a Small Fry Slam for children age 15 and under.

Successful anglers receive a certificate signed by the Director of FWC Marine Fisheries Management as well as a colorful t-shirt in recognition of their achievement. Recipients will also be listed in the Saltwater Recreational Fishing Regulations booklet and on the Club Members page. Anglers who are awarded at least three different Grand Slams will be recognized for Grand Slam Club Recognition Tiers for the opportunity to receive additional prizes.

Rex got his slam on fly —All captured on video!

The new fishing slams are listed here in the Florida Fish and wildlife’s webpage.  Catch A  Florida Memory

Fly Fishing Charlotte Harbor Captain Rex Lands the tarpon, snook, and redfish in the same area of Charlotte Harbor earning “the slam”.

All while on board the Dragonfly Grand Slam 17 Skiff.  Nice accomplishment.  Enjoy the video.

Book Your Family Fun Fly Fishing Charlotte Harbor Trip Now

Fly Fishing Charlotte Harbor

Fly Fishing Charlotte Harbor

Fly Fishing Port Charlotte. Here is a video that Captain Rex was featured while Fly Fishing Charlotte Harbor.  This video is about catching tarpon on the fly in late summer. The majority of the fishing is done prior to breakfast.  We get up early and get back before it heats up.  

If you want to book a trip to catch one of these late summer tarpon on the fly.  Call Rex and get the process started.  

Remember whether you want to learn how to fly fish or simply just hire a fly fishing guide for Charlotte Harbor Captain Rex is your man! Call now!

Contact Rex click here

Fly Fishing Port Charlotte – The Gear

The fly tackle: most days an 8 or 9 weight rod is appropriate for redfish and snook; a 9 or 10 for small tarpon and 10-12 for big tarpon. A good saltwater reel spooled with ample backing and a good weight forward floating line will be our primary go-to rod. We’ll talk about specifics prior to your trip.

Fly Fishing Port Charlotte

Fly patterns you will use will include a variety of bait fish patterns, crab patterns and a good mix of tarpon flies. Spin tackle fishers will mainly be using jigs and top water plugs.

Fly Fishing Port Charlotte – Conclusion

This is a great day on the water for those who enjoy the beauty of clear, inshore flats and who don’t have the time or can’t otherwise make the trip to the Keys. Depending on the species we’re after, we’ll pole the flats, working the feeding patterns until we spot tailing or cruising fish and get you set up to make the cast. While most people think that our water is dark here you will be surprised to find out how clear the water really is. With a good pair of polarized sunglasses you should be able to make the cast while I spot the fish. Call me and let’s go have fun.

I have included some links to a few quality Polarized sun glass companies check them out.

Costa Del Mar

Smith Sunglasses

Panama Jack

Salt Life Sunglasses

Of course these are just a few and there are many more great companies out there, but the point is to get yourself a pair prior to coming on you fly fishing adventure in Port Charlotte. Capt. Rex~

(706) 254 3504

Fly Fishing Charlotte Harbor With Captain Rex

Go Fly Fishing Charlotte Harbor with Rex today or when you are ready.  Maybe you are wanting to learn in one of Rex’s many classes or hire Rex for a one on one Fly Casting lesson. He is always ready to talk to you and provide a free consultation.–


Fly Fishing Charlotte Harbor
Charlotte Harbor Fishing
Fly Fishing Charlotte Harbor Guide
Captain Rex Charlotte Fly Fishing Guide With Another Stud!
Fly Fishing guide Charlotte Harbor
Fly Fishing The Harbor For Tarpon With Captain Rex Is Fun Rewarding!

Charlotte Harbor is nestled along Florida’s Southwest Gulf Coast, between Sarasota and Naples.

The area covers a diverse landscape of cities and towns. Therefore allowing you to choose from four island escapes: the barrier island community of Boca Grande, Knight Island/Palm Island Resort, with its serene beaches accessible by ferry, secluded Don Pedro Island and Little Gasparilla Island. For a small city experience, visit historic Punta Gorda, Englewood, or Port Charlotte. Picturesque and waterfront describe the towns of El Jobean, Manasota Key, Cape Haze and Placida, a quaint fishing and arts village.

Meet Captain Rex and Go Fly Fishing Charlotte Harbor or Boca grande

Fly Fishing Charlotte Harbor