What an experience.
I stayed in Fort Meyers for 3.5 days, and I fished the Gulf 4 times. I was at the beach gearing up every morning as the sun would rise and illuminate the sky revealing the vast water I intended to fish.
I was very timid getting out. I started casting from the shore, based on the knowledge that was shared with me from friends. There were 2 guys that were far out, about 300 yards away from the shore, and at first, I thought they were sitting on paddle boards or float tubes...I was wrong. They had waded all the way out there following the shallow sand bar that went for miles up and down the coast. There was another fly fisherman there who was on vacation there (His daughters spring break) from the Midwest (Indianapolis). He gave me some more tips, and even showed me the way to wade out to where those other 2 guys were. I caught no fish that morning, but I did find a horseshoe crab. Zero fish were caught.
I went back to that spot in the evening, and had a bunch of follows from some sea trout. I even managed to hook up with one, but I was unable to bring the speck to hand. Usually, I don't mind losing a fish, but this time...pleased, I was not.
Decided to fish the same area (It's only 10 mins away from where I was staying...I wanted to maximize my time on the water). The fishermen the day before were local guys, who told me that, that area we were fishing is normally a happening area in the morning, and you can spot boils in the water up and down the beach line. Success!! I hooked up, and brought to hand my first fish from the Gulf of Mexico, a sea trout. I couldn't have been more excited about the catch. I was quick to lip it using the grips I borrowed from a good friend (Lucid Grips). That fish was going no where! After admiring the beautiful fish, snapping some photos, and releasing it, I felt relieved. Goal achieved....catch a salt water fish.
The wind was fierce, and completely blew out the area I intended to fish. So, I payed the toll and fished on the backside of one of the islands on the Sanibel Causeway. I did not catch anything. The Indianapolis fly fisherman had the same idea and arrived an hour after I did. He was able to hook up with a few lady fish before calling it a morning. I unfortunately did not catch anything but a tan.
My salt water adventure was a success. Big thanks, to the sea trout that gave me a salty smile!
I kayaked and fished Lovers Key State Park. I floated under a tree and was 20 ft from a beautiful Osprey.
I made a few casts at Bowman's Beach on Sanibel Island. I also, got to see a wild manatee, Florida alligator, and a two person kayak share the same water way.
Can't wait to return, and catch some more salty species.
I would also like to say a big "Thank you!" to Tim Adkins over at Critical Angling. Tim has helped me a great deal with the flies that I was tying for the Gulf. Search the hashtag #yetmmoreunsolicitedadvicefromtim LOL!