Friday, March 19, 2010

Sanibel: Birding and Flyfishing

Sanibel: Birding and Flyfishing from Vladan Milenkovic on Vimeo.

We spent a couple of days birding and fishing around Sanibel Island, FL. While the weather and water temperatures were much cooler than usual, we had a great time. The fishing was slow, but we were able to catch some fish and take many bird photos in Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge.

I fished the Refuge a bit, trying to cover most accessible spots, timing my back casts between groups of bird watchers. The spring snook season is closed this year, due to the fish kills caused by the cold weather. While I had not much luck in the back country, it was a lot of fun throwing the fly around overhanging mangroves, and letting it drift through the deep holes in the channels.

Sanibel Causeway proved to be the best bet, since the surf was up, the wind was howling, and our second morning was drenched in rain. I had to scout the best casting spots, while avoiding the sheepshead fishing crowd around bridge pilings. In the afternoon, I concentrated my efforts under the Causeway, throwing long casts around schools of bait, which were swept with the outgoing tide. Amy was patiently reading her novel, and snapping pictures. After a missed strike from a Spanish mackerel, I switched to a wire leader. Spanish mackerel are fast swimmers, and often strike your fly while running towards you… Several casts later, I had a solid hookup, and landed a nice mack. I continued fishing, but with the ebbing tide, the show was pretty much over.

The variety of water around Sanibel is mind boggling, and I can only imagine how incredible the fishing can be later in the season. I am already planning a trip for beach snook next year!

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Saltwater Rods

My latest builds: Pac Bay Rainforest 8wt and Graphite USA 11wt.

Long Fly

A non-floating variation on the theme, with long , flowing hackles...

Saturday, March 06, 2010


I've been finishing up my two new saltwater builds this weekend. While I was waiting for the finish to cure, the mailman delivered a package from Japan. Hitoshi Takemura sent me some wonderful teas from his homeland. I am already brewing some as I am writing this blog entry and getting ready to apply another coat of finish... Thank you Hitoshi!!

If you like fiberglass fly rods and vintage flyfishing gear, check out Hitoshi's blog.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Red Foam Gills

More floating baitfish... These have floating foam pads made of red foam-they represent gills perfectly!