JP2Fish • 2508 West 9th Street • Panama City, FL 32401 • Phone: (850) 319-7855 • Email:

Saltwater Fly Fishing Guide

When I was twelve years old my uncle took me up to Deerpoint Lake north of Panama City, Florida to fish. I was just a kid and you can imagine my amazement when he handed me a 12-foot one-piece cane pole with eight feet of level fly line, a six foot piece of leader and a glow bug. Remember, this is 1972, and the fly fishing world is a whole different place than it is today. My uncle said, "put the flashlight on the popper...when it starts glowing flip it out there 'round them lily pads". I did what he said and I will never forget the sound of that first pound-and-a-half brim slurping that bug off the top. After that, no pun intended, I was hooked.

Not long after that I bought my first fly rod at Western Auto in Lynn Haven and started fly fishing the little ponds around my house. I got a 10-foot canoe for my 14th birthday and that is when I learned to cast, haul and reach out to the fish. My love for fly fishing has grown to just short of an obsession.

Having accomplished everything I probably will ever do on conventional tackle, my first love of fishing is catching them on the fly. I have caught smallmouth bass up north along with brown and rainbow trout. Then, all in the same day, I got my first slam: tarpon, snook and bonefish. There is a lot of truth in the "so many flies, not enough days" statement.

There are several choices when it comes to fly fishing. With me it’s all about catching fish on the fly, not watching redfish swim away from the boat because you lined them or they saw us before we saw them. Of course the one thing you won’t hear about is all the bugs in the marshes that will eat you alive while looking for fish in the marsh. Now I really have you confused, right? Wrong!

Sight fishing with the fly rod around here is looking for a big school, or spanish beating the top while chasing baits. Could be chumming spanish, blues, ladyfish and other species and casting to them when they start to feed on the chum... could be chumming on an offshore wreck, catching jacks, big blue runners, bonito and even snapper... could be cruising the beach looking for a school of redfish or a cobia.

Sometimes it’s as simple as this:

  • I’ve been fishing here my entire life...
  • I pull up on a spot...
  • I tell you to cast...
  • you catch fish!!!

There are many days you can catch so many fish your arms will ache. It’s just a matter of having a competent fly fishing guide who knows where the fish are and how to get them interested in your fly. You’re here to catch fish and that is what I want you to do.

I tie and supply many of the flies you will use. You are welcome and encouraged to bring all of your own equipment but sometimes that is not a travel option so I have plenty. I am also a certified fly casting instructor, very patient, and can get you where you need to be to catch fish in salt water.

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