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If you’re looking for the best books on fly fishing in Florida, then you should find this list helpful. This list is made up of fly fishing books that Captain Brian Boehm, a Florida fly fishing guide, has read and recommends. Though there are many books written on the subject, not all are worth owning. Captain Brian’s list of the best fly fishing books for Florida are books that he specifically thinks will help fly anglers living in or visiting Florida.

A picture of fly fishing books

Below you will find my list of the best books on fly fishing in Florida. I’ve read and own all of the books on the list. As a guide, I find these books so valuable that I continue to consult them. In this post I thoroughly review each book on the list for you and explain why I think it belongs on the list of best fly fishing books for Florida.

The list of best books on fly fishing in Florida covers a wide variety of topics and situations, ranging from: Flats fishing, fly fishing for tarpon, flies, fly tying, knots, rigs, & more. If you’re searching for good books about fly fishing in Florida, then you will find this book list to be honest and helpful.

Best Books on Fly Fishing the Flats in Florida

Fishing the Flats: by Mark Sosin & Lefty Kreh

A worn fishing book

A worn copy of Fishing the Flats

Lefty Kreh, one of the authors of this book, is a legend and an early pioneer of fly fishing in saltwater. Though this book was published in 1983, you will find that most of the information is as relevant today as it was nearly forty years ago. While he walked the earth, Lefty Kreh was one of the greatest teachers that fly fishing has ever seen.

There is plenty of information in this book that will help anybody who fly fishes in Florida. The book is not written specifically for fly anglers. But Lefty and Mark dedicated much of the book to fly fishing and included information that any angler will find valuable. Spotting fish, finding fish, and understanding the tides are all covered in chapters of this book.  The chapters on fly fishing, tarpon, bonefish, and permits are must reads.

What You’ll Learn

This book will help you do a better job of reading water when you’re fly fishing the flats in Florida. It should help the reader become much better at breaking down a flat by understanding which features of a flat are most important. The book also includes a handy tarpon weight estimating table. You’ll learn how to approach a flat, how to pole a boat, and much more when you read this classic saltwater fishing book.

The history of saltwater fly fishing is captured in this book and it may be one of the most underrated benefits of owning it. This book is a snapshot taken in time; showing where fly fishing was and how far it has come. You get to see how far the sport has progressed since the publishing of the book. You may be shocked to see some of the equipment they were using. You’ll also find Lefty’s predictions on the direction of the sport to be fairly prophetic. The concepts and techniques you learn in this book, make it a timeless classic.

To find out more about this book and where to purchase it, Click Here

Flats Fishing II – A Shoalwater Handbook: by Jan Maizler

A copy of Jan Maizler's book

Jan Maizler’s informative work

This is another great book for any fly angler planning on fishing in Florida. Flats Fishing II includes Jan Maizler’s entire original Flats Fishing book, plus additional content and helpful new updates. The volume of information contained in this book is impressive. Similar to Lefty’s book, Maizler’s work is not specifically written for fly fishing. It’s a book that gives the reader a comprehensive approach to fishing the flats. But the book does have multiple sections and chapters written on fly fishing.

This book on flats fishing is thoughtful, deep, and informative. If you’re fly fishing in Florida, this book will serve as a good advisor. It’s an incredibly thorough and well organized book. Jan Maizler does an excellent job of prioritizing what aspects of flat fishing are most important and he accounts for loose ends with small sections on niche subjects.

What You’ll Learn

One of the best parts of this book is the attention that Jan gives to shallow water skiffs. Chapter 6 is dedicated to shallow water skiffs. He includes extensive writing on what makes a good poling skiff and which features of skiffs are most important. Chapter 4 is a great place for the reader to find excellent knots and how to tie them.  Chapter 9 is dedicated to fly fishing for permit and is guest authored by a guide.

Fly anglers targeting bonefish will find the section on bonefish fly recommendations very helpful.  Chapter 16 has a bit of everything and does an excellent job of tying up loose ends. The chapters that Jan dedicates to snook, redfish, bonefish, tarpon, and other flats species are thorough. Chapter 19 covers how to approach each species differently. You can’t go wrong with this book in your Florida fly fishing library.

To find out more information on this book and where to purchase it, Click Here

Best Books on Fly Fishing for Tarpon in Florida

Fly fishing for tarpon is one of the most challenging endeavors a fly angler will embark on. You may find it difficult to find enough information to adequately prepare yourself for a tarpon fly fishing trip. There are a plenty of tarpon fly fishing books out there that aren’t worth owning. Fortunately for you, I own almost all the books written on fly fishing for tarpon and I have filtered out the bad ones. I narrowed the list of best books on fly fishing for tarpon down to the best three.

A Passion for Tarpon: by Andy Mill

A book on tarpon fishing

The premiere tarpon fly fishing book

Andy Mill may be the best fly angler of tarpon to walk the earth. He authored the most complete book on fly fishing for tarpon that I’ve come across. A Passion for Tarpon is a work of art and by far the most beautiful book ever published on fly fishing for tarpon.

The book is chalked full of interviews that Andy has with pioneers of the sport. The book is also packed full of the most relevant techniques, flies, methods, and more that you will find anywhere. Andy held nothing back (well almost nothing) when he spilled his wealth of knowledge on fly fishing for tarpon onto the pages of this book.

This book is massive – it may weigh five pounds. It’s filled with beautiful pictures, helpful illustrations, and incredible old Florida Keys tarpon stories. This book is aptly named as it is clearly the result of one man’s passion for pursuing tarpon on the fly.

What You’ll Learn

Because this book is filled with so much goodness, it’s easy to forget how instructive it is. Andy lays out nearly every scenario an angler may encounter while fly fishing for tarpon. And then he walks you through it step by step. The book is so detailed that it includes multiple diagrams on casting angles in the wind, and which fish in a school of tarpon to target.

Andy spends time sharing what equipment he prefers , how he constructs his leaders, and the importance of a clear tip on your fly line. You’ll learn how to fight a tarpon, and Andy shares what flies should be in every tarpon angler’s fly box. You won’t find a more thorough book on fly fishing for tarpon out there.

They are not giving this book away. The price starts at over $100 and a personalized edition will cost you more than $300. This would be the best $100.00 you will ever spend on fly fishing for tarpon. To find out more information on this book and where to purchase it, Click Here

Tarpon On Fly: by Donald Larmouth & Rob Fordyce

Tarpon fly fishing book

Classic late ’90’s Florida fishing attire

Most of you should recognize Rob Fordyce from his Seahunter show. I think the first time I saw Rob was when he appeared on an episode of ‘The Spanish Fly’. I wondered why Jose Wejebe was hanging out with such a meathead. Boy was I laughably wrong. I had no idea how much knowledge and talent Rob had. Fly anglers will appreciate Rob’s early introduction to fly fishing in saltwater by the great Flip Pallot, Al pflueger and others.

Rob had no intention of writing a book on fly fishing for tarpon, but one of his clients and friends talked him into it and helped coauthor it. On episode 5 of the ‘Captains Collective’ podcast, Rob shares how this excellent book on fly fishing for tarpon came to be. Thank goodness that Donald Larmouth insisted that this book be written. The book is introduced by Flip Pallot – an endorsement of the book’s worth.

What You’ll Learn

There’s not much fluff or foreplay in this book. The authors dive straight into the meat of fly fishing for tarpon. The book is a master class on fishing for tarpon with a fly rod. In Chapter 3, you will learn the knots that one of the premiere tarpon guides in the Florida Keys uses and when to use them. The authors include beautiful pictures of effective flies and they spend some time on the importance of sharpening hooks.

You’ll learn how to get yourself in the ‘ready’ position and the value of using a line tamer bucket. Chapter 10 may contain the most valuable information for any fly angler serious about chasing tarpon. In this chapter there are pages of diagrams that represent different scenarios you’ll find yourself in when you’re fly fishing for tarpon. The book will show you where to place the fly in each scenario.

If you’re looking for a tarpon fly fishing book that cuts right to the chase and is packed with valuable information, then this should be number one on your list. When I purchased this book, it was not the easiest book to find and I paid a premium for it. You may need to be patient if you want to purchase this book at a reasonable price.

To find out more information on this book and where to purchase it, Click Here

High Rollers – Fly Fishing For Giant Tarpon: by Bill Bishop

A book on fly fishing for tarpon in florida

Bill Bishop’s book is a gem

Flip Pallot thought so much of author Bill Bishop that he introduced Lefty Kreh to him. Lefty thought so much of Bill and this book that he penned the foreword. In the foreword, Lefty does a great job of describing how this book is different from traditional fly fishing books. It is in fact different. Bill Bishop found a different way to deliver loads of excellent information to the reader.

Bill Bishop came to become one of the best fly anglers for tarpon his own way. I have a lot of respect for that. It makes sense that he would pass down his knowledge in this book in his own way. His book is filled with incredible black and white illustrations. In these illustrations, Bill strips away any distractions and focuses the reader on the most critically important parts of fly fishing for tarpon.

What You’ll Learn

This book includes a comprehensive list and Bill’s approach to choosing tarpon flies. Bill covers important tarpon fly topics like size, profile, and colors. He refers to flies as a convenient snack which should give readers a little insight into feeding tarpon. He also presents information on how a skiff should be set up for fly fishing for tarpon and shares some skiff etiquette for tarpon fishing.

Bill does an excellent job of helping you understand how to find the ‘A’ position when you’re tarpon fishing. He breaks down the different types of rolls that tarpon will do and what each roll means. I was pleased to find that he subscribes to the ‘angles’ doctrine and Bill felt so strongly about it that he shared it in this book. You’ll learn about how important tarpon body language is and more in Bill Bishop’s fantastic book on fly fishing for tarpon.

To find out more information on this book and where to purchase it, Click Here

Best Books on Flies, Fly Tying & Knots in Florida

Saltwater Fly Patterns: by Lefty Kreh

A book on fly tying for florida

A resource for saltwater fly tying

If you’re fly fishing in Florida and you want to tie your own patterns, then consider this Lefty Kreh classic an essential for your fly fishing library. This book is especially helpful if you plan on tying flies with natural materials as synthetic materials were not nearly as popular then as they are today.

There are some historically classic fly patterns in this book. Lefty pays homage to Joe Brooks with an entire plate of Blonde series flies. Mark Sosin, who coauthored Fishing the Flats with Lefty, has his Blossum fly series featured in this book. Chico Fernandez fly patterns can be found throughout the book.  There are plenty of Lefty’s flies in this book as well. Bob Clouser’s famous clouser pattern and the half & half claim a few pages of this book.

What You’ll Learn

You’ll learn what fly patterns to use on bonefish, tarpon, redfish, snook and more. This book will have most of the fly patterns that require natural materials covered.  Lefty’s introduction includes a ‘Random Thoughts’ section which you should find very helpful. He covers topics like weed guards, bead-chain eye sizes, lead eye sizes, and more.

The amount of fly patterns in this book is staggering. The seaducer and deceiver are two of the many classic patterns that still get the job done in Florida. I use variations of many of these flies on charters. More than 20 pages of this book are dedicated to some exceptional tarpon fly patterns. This is a book you’ll want to keep near your vise as a quick reference for patterns or for creative ideas.

To find out more information on this book and where to purchase it, Click Here

Note: Though I have heard good things about Feather Brain and other Drew Chicone books on fly tying, I left them off the list because I have not personally read them. You may find them valuable resources, so it may be worth checking his collection out.

Essential Knots & Rigs For Salt Water: by Joe Mahler

a book about knots

A handy pocket guide to better knots

Joe Mahler is a bit of a South Florida fly fishing treasure. He’s one of the best casting instructors in the United States and his illustrations have been used in numerous fly fishing publications. He is respected in the industry and has partnered with fly fishing giants, like the late Lefty Kreh . Joe is also the creator of the straw boss fly – a newer fly design that actually qualifies as a new fly pattern and not just an old fly pattern tied with new materials and rebranded.

Joe’s knack for teaching is evident in whatever project he touches, so it should not be surprising that his book on salt water knots and rigs is a book you want in your fly fishing library. The book is conveniently pocket-sized. It can easily be tucked in a pocket or dry bag for use on the water. It will make an excellent companion on any fly fishing trip you embark on.

What You’ll Learn

You’ll learn the essential knots & rigs to fly fish in Florida. No more, no less. Unlike most knot books, Joe’s offering is well organized with easy to understand illustrations. The section on building leaders is a must for any fly angler making their own leaders. Joe’s book shows you how to build the best leader, whether it’s for shallow water, big game, or IGFA certification.

The Homer Rhodes, Huffnagle, Slim Beauty, and Duncan loop are knots every fly angler should know and Joe does a wonderful job illustrating the process of tying them. You’ll find his section on working with wire informative and clarifying. Finally, you will learn easier ways or helpful tricks to tie knots you’ve known for years.

To find out more information on this book and where to purchase it, Click Here


I hope you enjoyed my list of best fly fishing books for Florida. These books will serve you well if you would like to learn more about the sport of fly fishing in Florida. These are foundational books that will help make you a well-rounded fly angler in Florida. If you find other books that you think should make this list, then by all means, shoot me an email and let me know. If you’re interested in taking a fly fishing trip with me just Click Here.

Captain Brian Boehm
Quiet Waters Fishing
Sarasota, FL