Surf Fly Fishing in St. Augustine: A Guide to Thrilling Coastal Adventures!

Surf Fly Fishing in St. Augustine: A Guide to Thrilling Coastal Adventures!

Surf Fly Fishing in St. Augustine: A Guide to Thrilling Coastal Adventures this year we've targeted Tarpon, Redfish, and Lemon sharks from the beaches.
Into the Abyss: Nighttime Saltwater Fly Fishing Adventures Reading Surf Fly Fishing in St. Augustine: A Guide to Thrilling Coastal Adventures! 5 minutes Next Tying Night October With Doug Allison

St. Augustine, Florida, with its stunning beaches and rich maritime history, offers a unique and exhilarating experience for fly fishing enthusiasts. Surf fly fishing is a thrilling way to connect with nature while targeting a diverse range of saltwater species. In this guide, we'll delve into the essentials of surf fly fishing in the St. Augustine area beaches, providing you with valuable tips, gear recommendations, and prime locations for an unforgettable angling experience.

The Thrill of Surf Fly Fishing

Surf fly fishing is a dynamic sport that combines the excitement of fly fishing with the challenge of angling in the powerful, ever-changing coastal environment. St. Augustine's beaches provide an ideal setting, with a variety of gamefish species cruising through the surf zone. From redfish and speckled trout to Spanish mackerel flounder and Tarpon, the opportunities for a memorable catch are abundant.

Essential Gear for Surf Fly Fishing

  1. Fly Rod and Reel: Opt for a 8 to 10 weight Fly rod for versatility in handling various species and casting distances. Match it with a sturdy, saltwater-resistant reel equipped with a smooth drag system. Check our website, call us or stop in for equipment recommendations. Reels (    VFly Rods (

  2. Fly Lines and Leaders: A weight-forward floating line is a versatile choice for most situations. Additionally, carry intermediate and sinking lines for varying water conditions.   Use fluorocarbon leaders in the 16 to 20 lb range to ensure stealthy presentations. For toothy species try predator leaders or knotable wire. Fly Line & Leader (                                                                           This year we targeted lemon sharks in January at Matanzas inlet so the predator leaders came in handy. @douglasjallison IG with a lemon shark at Matanzas inlet.                       
  3. Flies: St. Augustine's waters are home to a diverse range of prey species. Pack a selection of Clouser Minnows, Deceivers, Crab and Shrimp patterns, and poppers to cover different forage options. If you're here during late September you may fish the mullet run. During that time you may have opportunities at catching Jack Crevalle or tarpon in the sloughs. In the mullet run we opt for larger baitfish Streamer patterns like EP baitfish or some of our favorite local tyers patterns.                                                                                                    Flies (          

  4. Waders and Boots: Invest in breathable waders and sturdy wading boots for comfort and safety in the surf. we have a great selection of Orvis waders and boots, but we suggest stopping in the shop for a correct fit. Wet wading is acceptable too depending on water temps.

  5. Safety Gear: Bring along a wading belt, polarized sunglasses, and a wide-brimmed hat for protection from the elements. Don't forget sunscreen and a quality rain jacket for unpredictable weather.

Prime Locations for Surf Fly Fishing

  1. Vilano Beach: Located just north of St. Augustine, Vilano Beach offers ample opportunities for surf fly fishing. Focus on troughs, sandbars, and the mouths of small inlets for feeding fish.

  2. Crescent Beach: This long stretch of coastline is known for its diverse fishery. Target the areas around tidal pools, jetties, and rock formations for a variety of species.

  3. Anastasia State Park: With its pristine beaches and abundant wildlife, this park provides a unique surf fishing experience. Look for areas near the inlet for potential hotspots.

  4. Matanzas Inlet: The inlet and its surrounding areas are prime spots for fly fishing. Focus on the deeper channels, submerged structures, and the intersection of saltwater and freshwater currents. Both beach side and intracoastal side are great wading spots. check out rattlesnake island for another access point.

Tips for Success

  1. Observe the Tides: Pay attention to tide schedules, as changing tides influence fish behavior. Fish tend to be more active during incoming and outgoing tides.

  2. Match the Hatch: Study local baitfish and crustaceans to choose fly patterns that closely mimic the prevalent forage.

  3. Practice Casting: Efficient casting in the surf is crucial. Regular practice will improve accuracy and distance, increasing your chances of success.

  4. Be Stealthy: Move quietly and avoid making unnecessary noise to prevent spooking fish. Stay low and approach the water cautiously.


Surf fly fishing in the St. Augustine area beaches offers a thrilling opportunity to connect with nature and pursue a variety of saltwater species. With the right gear, knowledge of prime locations, and a bit of patience, you'll be well on your way to experiencing the excitement of this dynamic angling adventure. So, gear up, hit the beaches, and get ready for an unforgettable surf fly fishing experience in St. Augustine!

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