The Everglade City area this holiday week has been overrun with tourists. Not that it's a bad thing but after months of the sleepy town atmosphere coming into the tourist season takes a little time to get used to again, at least for me. Other than the regular tourists come the kayakers from all over the world to paddle, fish and camp in the park which is kind of cool because I get to meet many of them and enjoy discussing or helping them with information about the area as well as learning from them about kayaking and fishing in other parts of the country and world.
After the holidays things will slow down a little again but until then getting out without running into other kayakers, canoeists and boaters could be difficult especially with launching around town. Knowing the area kayak fishing the Everglades area for awhile now I can always find places to go and most likely never see another sole, so today I decided to do a little exploring and fishing and headed to The River. Where I launched goes right into a saw grass marsh which doesn't look very inviting but eventually goes into a series of shallow lakes connected by tunnels and creeks. The water in the area was draining with an outgoing tidal flow today but I lucked out and only had to portage my boat once for about 30ft. Later in the winter this area may be inaccessible during our dry season. A lot of the water was only 4 or 5 inches deep as you can see in the first and second picture. I expected to see a lot more wildlife but maybe since it got fairly warm out I didn't see much. I was thinking gators or a python in the saw grass areas but didn't run across any. As for the fishing, I brought a fly rod and some light spinning gear and fished where and when I could. I ended up breaking my 8wt on a snag somehow but before that I was having fun catching baby snook some as tiny as 3"and the biggest as the one in the picture. It was tough fishing a couple of the creeks but I hooked up a couple of times with some small tarpon. There were some bigger snook in there also but couldn't coax them to eat.
It turned out to be a nice day! I paddled just over 11 miles and never did see anyone else until I got back to the launch around 4:30.