A lifetime of devotion to the sport of Fly Fishing…
Captain Cole Fairbanks is a Florida native, who grew up fly fishing the south eastern coast of Florida, from Stuart to Key West, and also extensively through the Bahamas.
Thirty-seven years of salt water fly fishing has given Cole a unique understanding of, as well as a deep appreciation for the flats, the surrounding back-country, and all of it’s denizens.
The desire to stay close to the sport he loved prompted him to start a custom fly tying business at the age of fifteen. In 1994 the custom fly tying outfit turned into a commercial business, and “True Flies for Saltwater” was born. In 1997 Cole moved across the state and began guiding fly and plug anglers on the waters surrounding Boca Grande, Captiva and Pine Island. While he doesn’t sell his flies commercially anymore, developing new fly patterns (and the tactics to make each one work) is still a passion for Cole today as he guides his clients to some of the very best sight fishing for Tarpon, Snook, and Redfish on the southwest coast of Florida.
Cole’s interest in the act of feeding flies to fish has been a lifelong obsession, and his ideology on the subject is expansive. What follows is the “short” version:
“Every species of game fish on the flats is looking for a certain forage. The tides, water temperatures, migratory habits, and more can all affect the fishes want or need. The right fly, coupled with the right retrieve takes fly fishing beyond the realm of merely casting at a fish; It’s not just a fly when you designed it – it becomes your answer to a challenge laid out before you by that fish. It is this challenge: this game, that keeps me up at night, and sends me to the vise at all hours. The challenge changes with the conditions: “it needs to sink quickly, or float high, land softly, perhaps “pop” loudly, etc. Putting a perfectly suited fly in the right spot is only half the battle , then one has to “play the part”: first getting the target’s attention, then adjusting the retrieve in order to create a primal spark within him to pursue – ultimately producing a vicious strike! This is perhaps the most gratifying sensation in fly angling, and it is the reason why I am of the opinion that there is no equal for the connection you feel with your quarry when fly fishing! That being said – you will not catch them all… which is why God invented the next flat! Another shot at redemption is seemingly always lurking just down the line – it’s what makes this game so irresistible. I consider it an honor to share this experience with the anglers who step aboard my vessel.”