John Grasta, Bass Pro Ambassador, breaks down Florida Fly Fishing with a focus on skagit and tarpon spey. We find out how you can DIY your way to tarpon with a spey rod without a boat, which other species you can hit on a road trip if you’re planning to head down to Florida and why he is loving Bass Pro and his life so much in Florida.

We dig into his favorite products from Fair Flies towards the end and why Florida is such an epic place. It’s pretty awesome to get his perspective, not only on fishing but also on other things.

Click below and listen to the Podcast about Florida Fly Fishing with John Grasta:

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(Read the Full Transcript at the bottom of this Blog Post)


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Florida Fly Fishing

Florida Fly Fishing Show Notes with John Grasta

00:03:06 – John talks about how he got into fly fishing. His father’s side of the family were avid hunters and fishermen.

00:05:12 – He mentions his mentor who introduced him to saltwater fishing and to David Olson of White’s Tackle who taught him how to create distance by using a shooting head and mono running line.

00:06:54 – John talks about how he refined the traditional spey rod techniques and how that turned into his biggest addiction.

00:08:25 – He provides tips to those who want to get into tarpon fishing.

florida fly fishing
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00:12:13 – He shares his techniques in fishing in alligator infested waters.

00:16:40 – He says that the pre-made fair fly brushes are the end all be all and why he deviated from the traditional fly fishing techniques.

00:18:03 – He tells about his biggest speckled sea trout which was 29 1/2 inches and weighed 10.2 pounds. He caught it using the predator hot orange/chartreuse 5D brush from Fair Flies. 

Florida Fly Fishing
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00:20:22 – He describes how he ties the poppers that he use on tarpon and his own go-to pattern for everything which is the spitter gurgler.


00:24:10 – He mentions Nicklaus Bauer’s videos that he often watches to learn patterns for catching pike and muskie and think of how he can put his personality into those patterns.

00:26:23 – He breaks down how he hooks into a tarpon.

00:31:50 – He talks about the Cabela’s Vector Two-Hand Fly Rod which is one of his favorite rods.

Cabela's Vector Two-Hand Fly Rod
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00:34:33 – He talks about the benefits of the two-handed fly rod.

00:37:54 – He tells how he uses his pickup truck to gain elevation and distance when fishing.

00:40:29 – He mentions some of the good lakes in Florida for fishing such as Lake Apopka and Starke Lake in Ocoee.

00:42:28 – He talks about the Bass Pro Shop and gives tips on where to fish in Florida and the best times to catch a tarpon there.

Florida Fly Fishing
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00:48:24 – He specifies the best months and times of the day to catch some tarpon in Florida.

00:50:12 – He elaborates the benefits of using a Spey rod making it a great tool to have if you’re going to Florida.

00:58:01 – He describes his setup for fishing tarpon and gives tips on how to reduce the line twist or what he calls pigtail.

01:01:42 – He enumerates the different species of fish you can hook into in Florida.

1:07:23 – He mentions two fly shops in Orlando that are the best resources to get gears and get the lay of the land.

1:09:42 – He talks about the Everglades National Park.

1:14:22 – He mentions other outdoor activities to do in Florida such as camping and kayak fishing and gives tips on how to plan your trip.

1:20:21 – He talks about the first time he moved to Ocoee, Florida 15 years ago and shares some information for those who are thinking about moving to Florida.

1:25:02 – We talk about the International Convention of Allied Sportfishing Trades (ICAST) 2022. He also mentions the Balsax Previa Max floating line (dark blue) which he uses for his running lines.

Previa Max Mono 1100 yds Blue
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1:27:49 – He commends Fair Flies for making the best equipment for fly tying and other fly fishing products which he uses for bass, tarpon, and saltwater species down in Florida. One of his favorites is their pre-made dubbing brushes.

Predator I Hot Orange 5D Brush

1:31:25 – He takes us to fishing around alligators in Florida and gives tips on what to do and what not to do to prevent accidents and being attacked by alligators.

1:38:28 – He tells a story of a lady losing her dog to an alligator.

You can find Bass Pro Shops on Instagram @bassproshops

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John Grasta on Tiktok @jbf_flyfishing

Bass Pro Shops

Videos Noted in the Show

Related Podcast Episodes

WFS 270 – The Everglades in Florida with Steve Davis from the Everglades Foundation

Read the Full Podcast Transcript Below