More Than Fish Tales

Fish TalesCapt. Gjuro Bruer Specializes in Fun on the Fly

A native of the upper Gulf Coast, Captain Gjuro Bruer has been an avid fisherman his entire life, especially shallow-water sight fishing. His interest in tarpon fishing inspired him to move to the Emerald Coast at age 18. Now part owner of Old Florida Outfitters and Shallow Water Expeditions Guide Service in WaterColor, Bruer truly is living his passion.

Patience and an open mind are two ingredients Bruer feels are essential for guiding. He has gained many techniques from fishing all over the world in areas such as Africa, Mexico, Honduras and throughout the Bahamas. These journeys have allowed him to bring new methods to the waters along the Gulf Coast.

Shallow Water Expeditions Guide Service specializes in sight fishing. Bruer is a fly tier and is always prepared with a large assortment of his favorites.

 “I make sure each fly has all the elements that will guarantee success once presented to the fish,” he said. Through his extensive experience on the water and from watching the progression of fisheries in the Panhandle, Bruer has been able to guide clients to areas that had not been explored before.

“Analyzing the water and knowing how to adjust to the changing conditions is part of my formula for a successful trip,” he said.

Northwest Florida is home to some of the most complex waterways and ecosystems in the world. Whether a beginner or an expert, Bruer can guide an angler to the area’s most sought-after fish – tarpon, redfish and cobia, to name a few. After all, the Emerald Coast is the cobia capital of the world.

Bruer said he looks forward to the summer, which is his favorite season because tarpon fishing is at its prime.

Bruer sat down with Emerald Coast Magazine’s Erica Spivey to discuss his knowledge, experience and passion for fishing.

EC: How has the technology of fishing changed within the past few years, and how does it affect the fishing you specialize in?

GB: The technology of boats is constantly changing. They are building lighter, stronger, quieter boats so that it is easier to get close to the fish. This advancement is especially important for shallow-water fly fishing.

EC: What do you provide at Shallow Water Expeditions Guide Service?

GB: In-shore and near-shore fly fishing and light tackle expeditions, as well as ecotours, kayaking and casting clinics. In the near future, I hope to bring fly-fishing celebrities to teach fly-fishing demos and host classes for all skill levels.

EC: What Is the current top fishing rod?

GB: The zero-gravity fly rod is extremely popular.


EC: What is it about shallow-water sight fishing that is so appealing to you?

GB: I like the challenge that comes with the art of fishing, and sight water fishing gives me that. Shallow-water drafting is a challenge because it is more like hunting or stalking. I don’t cast unless I see a fish.

EC: What makes your expeditions unique?

GB: Intense dedication to fly fishing, the preparation put into the journey and the attention to detail. Taking the time to prepare the perfect fly and making sure it has all the right elements will guarantee success once offered to the fish.

EC: What sets the Emerald Coast apart from any other place you fish?

GB: The aesthetic of the water and beaches. The clear, clean, emerald green water allows the fish to be more visible, as opposed to dark blue or murky water.

EC: When customers inquire about a fishing excursion, what are some of the essential things they want to know?

GB: The basic rundown about my fishing background and experience on the water, along with what will be provided and what equipment will be used.