I’ve never fished the canals of Cape Coral, but have fished all around pine island quite a few times. Always by boat or from the matlache bridge, or a dock where we used to stay in bokeelia. Plenty reds, trout, snapper, and snook in them waters. Kayaking would open up some awesome grass flats and mangrove shorelines. Oddly enough, I’ve never fished around there with a fly rod and it’s been a few years, so I wouldn’t be much help there. Heck, it wouldn’t surprise me if the canals had Mayans and tilapia. Sanibel is a close drive and stop in Norm Ziegler’s fly shop should point you in the direction of nearby fish from the beach.
I’m 64 miles from Cape Coral, but I mostly fish my local freshwater in Lake okeechobee and the far eastern portion of the caloosahatchee river. Summertime usually means big bluegills on beds around here. Let us know how it goes. ..
edit here are a few of my favorites here inland..personally, I never cared for the “EP” only patterns. I’ve done really well with my zonker tail, chenille body, with flash and ep tied in front combed back. Don’t forget some spiders or small terrestrial patterns..they can pull fish out of any puddle or ditch in fla.