Even in The Everglades the colors change with the seasons. With the daily rains pretty much ended the land will begin to dry and will make for easier access to many of the places I frequently fish and explore in the winter. With every trip lately I’m seeing more varieties of the migratory birds that spend the winter here. The spectacular White Pelicans are beginning to arrive in the bay and a couple of times in the backcountry this last week I’ve seen a few woodland species that pass through from the north such as small flocks of Cardinals. There also appears to be more of the raptors around and even though a few species of these birds inhabit the area others of the same species with migrate to the area for the winter. I’ve spotted Peregrine Falcons a couple of times over the last week athough I’m not sure that these are migratory birds. On one lake in the backcountry there was a small group of Pied-Billed Grebes, a strange small duck like bird that dives to feed much like a Cormorant would and also dives to hide when alarmed.
A couple of weeks ago it seemed to be pretty barren of fish in some of the backcountry areas I visit but this week I’ve seen a big change. There has been a lot of activity with the schools of baitfish that are around with Snook and Tarpon feeding on them. When I’ve been there many of the fish have been far back in the hard to reach mangroves feeding. It is still awesome to hear the distinct popping sound snook make as they feed on the schools of baitfish as they pass by. The baby tarpon make a similar sound under the mangroves where they appear to be a lot of times with the snook. I haven’t caught any of the larger snook yet but I know that it’s just a matter of time as more of the larger fish will make their way into these backcountry areas to spend the winter. I’ve been catching a lot of snook but most of the fish are smaller but still a lot of fun to catch. The same thing goes for the Tarpon, a lot of smaller fish but a blast to catch (or try to catch), especially on fly!