Flies for the Mosquito Lagoon and Adjacent Waters

Flies for the Mosquito Lagoon and Adjacent Waters 

Redfish Flies

A selection of effective flies for fishing the east central Florida lagoons.

It occurred to me while working on my Goodnews River fly series that one needed to be done for the local Florida waters. This is it!

Which flies work best when fishing the Mosquito Lagoon? What day are we talking about? Accept the fact that the fish have moods. Some days they’ll eat anything. Other days they’ll eat nothing. You need to cover the water column, and you need to think about what your target species eats. For fishing in this lagoon, flies need to have weedguards or they will not work.

Redfish eat crabs, small fish (generally two inches or less) and shrimp. They have an inferior mouth, and prefer to feed down. Seatrout eat small fish, shrimp, and occasionally crabs. They have a superior mouth and prefer to feed up. They will take a much larger baitfish than reds typically do.

Mosquito Lagoon Redfish

A small Merkin will take reds when nothing else will work. Black drum like it, too.

For reds I like flies on #4 and #2 hooks, lightly weighted, and equipped with weedguards. Patterns include Clouser Minnows, my version of Borski’s sliders, Merkins, bunny leeches, and similar types of flies. I always have some unweighted bendbacks (same sizes) for when the plop of a weighted fly landing spooks them.

Indian River Seatrout

Sliders work on many different species. This one uses synthetic “hackle”, but an actual hackle feather works well, too. Note the obvious two-pronged weed guard.

For seatrout I like minnow-type flies, similar to the popular Puglisi patterns, in sizes 2, 1, and 1/0. Small gurglers, poppers, or sliders are also good to carry. There’s quite a bit of crossover between the two species in terms of what flies they’ll take.

Mosquito Lagoon Seatrout

Big trout eat smaller fish. This one took a bendback. A minnow pattern is a necessity.

Colors are more important to fishermen that fish most of the time. That having been said, my redfish flies are typically black, brown, tan, gray, green, or purple. My trout flies imitate the natural coloration of small fish, or are hot pink and chartreuse.

Lastly, for days when blind casting is needed, I like the Dupre Spoonfly and the Rattle Rouser in addition to a few popping bugs.

If you carry a selection of the types of flies mentioned you’ll be ready for almost any situation you’re likely to encounter here.

Please feel free to comment and let all of us know what your favorites are. You might even consider writing a guest blog about it!

John Kumiski

All content in this blog, including writing and photos, copyright John Kumiski 2012. All rights are reserved.


  1. Thanks for sharing this great info! I put in a link from our kayak club website as we have a lot of folks getting interested in fly fishing. I’m sure they will enjoy your blog as much as I do!

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