WFS 408 – Fly Fishing Florida with Bruce Chard – Tarpon, Bonefish, Permit, Grand Slam
Show Notes: wetflyswing.com/408
Presented By: Drifthook Fly Fishing, Yellowstone Teton, Angler’s Coffee, Range Meal Bars
Bruce Chard is back on the podcast today to take us to fly fishing Florida, one of the greatest saltwater destinations in the world.
We find out how to catch giant tarpon, big bonefish, and permit on the flats. We discover how to prepare for tailing fish. We also get some sight fishing tips. This is an all-around huge episode and a great one with Bruce.
Fly Fishing Florida Show Notes with Bruce Chard
3:30 – Bruce shares his scheduled trips for 2023 which is a busy year for him. He has six bonefish schools and hosted trips booked for this year.
4:41 – He mentions he’s going to take a class with Bill Oyster to learn how to build a bamboo fly rod. We had Bill in the podcast in episode 343.
5:57 – I mention our interview with him in 2020 in episode 124 where we discussed giant tarpon fly fishing.
6:05 – He talks about Venice, Florida and Snook Alley which is a popular place to go at night time for snook fishing.
7:44 – I ask him for tips on planning hosted trips. He says he knows his guides and takes care of them whenever they are on a trip.
9:46 – He talks about the world-famous saltwater fly fishing destination which is the Florida Keys.
11:05 – When he first started guiding in 1992, Florida Keys was also one of the top destinations for giant bonefish. He says this is not as prevalent as it used to be, but they have more species now than before.
12:00 – We dig into the technical aspect of bonefishing in the Keys. He says bonefishing is good in the warm months in super shallow waters in the Keys.
14:11 – He talks about tarpon fishing. He emphasizes the importance of sight fishing and angling.
21:53 – Almost all the permit fly fishing tournaments were held in the Keys. He says that the guides in the Keys are technically advanced and devoted to their career.
23:12 – Permit is one of the hardest fish in the world to catch in the fly. He shares his outlook on permit fishing.
24:28 – Getting a permit to see the fly is more challenging than with the bone and tarpon because they’re pretty concentrated on looking down and most of the time they don’t allow you to get very close. The higher the odds you’re fishing for permit, the higher the odds you’re having a farther distance cast and distance shot.
31:35 – He breaks down his process from picking up his fly when he fishes for permit. It depends on the angler’s ability to make the cast. He describes how to do the backhand cast to catch a permit.
39:18 – We dig into the three main factors to focus on when looking for fish — the shape of the fish, contrast, and movement. He also talks about what inexperienced anglers usually do which leads to wasted opportunities and not being able to catch anything.
53:15 – We dig into the grand slam. It’s catching a bonefish, permit, and tarpon all in one day.
56:35 – He breaks down the rod set up for those who want to hit the grand slam. He says most really good guides in the Keys have really good tackle, top-notch reels, and rods ready to go. They also have saltwater rods that clients can use.
57:13 – For those who want to bring their own stuff, a 9ft 8wt is the average overall bonefishing rod.
58:09 – He recommends a nine or 10wt for an average permit setup. But when it’s windy and they’re bonefishing, they use a 9wt.
58:53 – For tarpon fishing, they use an 11wt which is the heaviest rod that they use. A lot of times they use a 10wt even for big fish.
59:04 – The weight of the rod has to do with the weight of the line. And the weight of the line has to do with how big your fly is.
59:20 – If we put things into ratio and proportion of your rod and line size compared to the size of the fish, it doesn’t make any sense.
1:00:34 – We dig into flies. He mentions the Peterson’s Spawning Shrimp and the Ragin Craven fly. Both are good for bonefish, permit, and other flats species. He likes throwing shrimpy flies that allow his anglers to strip the fly and stay connected.
1:04:41 – I ask him if there’s one line that he uses for all these species with different weights. He designed and created a full line of Scientific Anglers (SA) Salt Water Grand Slam Series Fly Line Tapers. It became their top-selling saltwater fly line.
1:05:36 – He shares that time when he worked with Airflo. They used the same design from SA to make the Tropical Punch Fly Line. It also became a top-selling saltwater line for seven years.
1:09:03 – He talks about Jim Teeny who he considers one of the greatest guys in the industry. He helped Bruce to get started in his career.
1:09:50 – We do the two-minute drill. He gives a tip on casting in the wind.
1:12:50 – He mentions the Bonefish & Tarpon Trust as the conservation group he supports.
1:13:06 – He recommends sunglasses with copper or amber-colored lens for saltwater fishing. He shares his experience on this.
Show Notes: wetflyswing.com/408