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I regularly see questions in fly-fishing forums that go something like, “I’m planning a family vacation and want to incorporate fly-fishing into it. Can anyone make suggestions about (a) the Bahamas, (b) the Florida Keys, (c) the Orlando/Disney area, (d) Florida’s Gulf Coast?”
A generic post like that will get numerous responses, leaving its author confused and with a lot of research still to do. A better approach is to ask if there are any good resources on these destinations for fly-anglers.
The Bahamas Fly Fishing Guide**](http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/redirect?path=ASIN/1592287263&link_code=as2&camp=1789&tag=sportfishing1-20&creative=9325), by Stephen and Kim Vletas, is an updated version of their 1999 release by the same title. The Vletases are well-respected fly-anglers who have thoroughly explored the fly-fishing opportunities in the Bahamas and surrounding areas. The couple have expanded the first edition to include recent developments and the Turks and Caicos islands. Like most guidebooks, this one includes all the necessary who, what, when, where, why and how information. What sets it apart are the detailed descriptions combined with the Vletases’ insights about the guides and facilities, as well as a new do-it-yourself section for anglers who want to strike out on their own.
For those interested in Florida, fly-fisherman and author Larry Kinder has put together a much-needed resource, Flyfisher’s Guide to Saltwater Florida. He takes this difficult and voluminous subject and does an excellent job of distilling the information for the reader. From the Alabama-Florida line down through the Keys and up to the Georgia border, Kinder’s no-nonsense guidebook leaves no stone unturned. It includes high-quality maps, detailed fishing information, and helpful lists of fly shops, boat launches, restaurants and accommodations – everything you need for a successful fly-fishing excursion.
Planning a trip can be as daunting as it is fun, but these two books will keep it enjoyable by taking out some of the guesswork. As for me, I can’t wait to go after tarpon under the bridge in Pensacola this July – I never knew I could find them there.