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Robert Fischer: 78 Species on a Fly

Robert Fischer, of Tampa, with a fine spotted seatrout.

From Bill AuCoin, for Suncoast Fly Fishers

Robert Fischer of Tampa has caught 78 different species of fish on a fly and he’s shooting for number 79.

Fischer recently gave an update on his quest to fellow members of St. Petersburg’s big Suncoast Fly Fishers club. Fischer has landed saltwater stars like tarpon, bonefish, permit and snook, freshwater gamesters like salmon, exotics like barramundi, oscars and Mayan cichlid, and even offbeat characters like squid.

“I am not a species snob,” he said. “I release practically everything I catch so what does it really matter what kind of fish it is as long as it fights well?”

Maximizing the fun of it also includes catching that fish, whatever the species, on a rod that is smaller than you’re thinking is wise. If the experts say use a 10-weight, he casts a 7. If they like the 7-weight, he’s using a 5. Once he used a 2-weight with a 2-lb tippet to catch a legal dolphin. “I just wanted to see if I could do it,” he said.