I hosted a group of friends and clients on a destination fly fishing trip at Crane Meadow Lodge in Twin Bridges, MT last week. This is an annual trip for me and was our 14th year at the lodge. We fished the Beaverhead, Big Hole, Jefferson, Ruby and Madison Rivers in southwest Montana where we caught and released numerous brown and rainbow trout and some brookies during the week. We fished streamers and a variety of grasshopper dry fly patterns, often with a nymph dropper, on 4, 5 and 6-weight fly tackle. We also had some dry fly action with tricos and a few other bugs.
Just like fishing in most places around the world, there were a few great days and some slower ones, but the variety of fishing available is one of the best things about Crane Meadow Lodge. The fishing there is by either floating or wading, and the weather and scenery are outstanding. Temperatures ranged from a very comfortable high 40's in the morning to the mid 80's in the afternoon with low humidity, a welcome relief from southwest Florida's heat and humidity in August. In addition to beautiful valleys surrounded by rugged mountains, the wildlife is amazing! We saw whitetail and mule deer, moose, bighorn sheep, hawks, eagles, ducks, geese and sand hill cranes and enjoyed some outstanding meals prepared by Chef Nick back at the lodge every evening.
Back in Sarasota, catch and release snook fishing around lighted docks and bridges and trout, blues and more on deep grass flats should be good options. Reds are schooling on flats of Sarasota Bay and there should still be some tarpon in the coastal gulf. You should also find tarpon in upper Charlotte Harbor and areas of Sarasota and Tampa Bay. Juvenile tarpon in canals and creeks or around bridges are also good options.
Capt. Rick Grassett
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Snook Fin-Addict Guide Service, Inc.
Fishing this past week out of Island Discount Tackle on Anna Maria island on my 23ft tower boat has been steady and productive with a nice variety of fish, providing some exciting action and fillets for the dinner table.
Redfish have finally started their push into Tampa Bay. Every August, schools of the redfish start to gather in numbers that can number from 10-500. Double and triple hookups have been achieved on a recent trip, with all three fish measuring over 30". After pictures, the copper colored bruisers were released to fight another day.
With the abundance of mangrove snappers in the bay and huge schools of smaller sized shiners roaming our waters, the snapper bite has been firing off. The key to getting the snapper chewing has been to chum with a mix of live and dead shiners. I use a size-2 hook rigged with a with a size-1 split-shot on a 20lb leader. The sweet taste of the fillets make this fish high on the hit list.
Capt. Mark Howard
Sumotime Fishing Charters