Monday, October 24, 2016

Everglades Baby Tarpoon Extravaganza

I haven't been getting out to fish much recently but the few times I have been out it's been a blast playing with the baby tarpon. Mostly using a 7wt setup and a variety of different flys. Different fly patterns and colors haven't mattered much to entice these crazy fish to strike.
We have finally gotten a few colder days and I expect we will be moving into more winter like conditions soon. The cooler weather has been a welcome relief.
I have been fishing mostly backcountry areas but plan on getting out onto more open waters soon. I've been getting some good reports of redfish and trout catches.  

Monday, September 12, 2016

Morning Excitement

A fun morning chasing juvenile tarpon as they roll around me on this small lake.

Many days the chosen fly is a gurgler top water which these crazy young tarpon seem to love.

A nice over slot size snook caught and released to be caught maybe another day. Caught using a light spinning setup with a paddle tail swim bait.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Don Robb

I first met Don Robb back in the nineties when first moving down to Florida.

 He was working in a local tackle shop in Naples where I first met him and he gave me information on fishing the local waters and also sold me one of my first fishing outfits to fish the area. At that time I was mostly fishing off of the beaches.

As I got to know Don better over the years he would turn out to me to be more of a local legend.

It wasn’t that long after moving to Florida that I got into kayak fishing and every now and then in the middle of nowhere in the Everglades I would run into Don who loved to fly fish out of his red 16’ canoe.

I actually first met a couple of other fishing legends while fishing in the backwaters of the Everglades such as Chico Fernandez and Flip Pallot but I’ll remember most the meet ups with Don who would love to tell his stories and sometimes non-stop to the point of me trying to get away from him so I could get back to fishing.

He had said that fishing in the Everglades was his favorite place to fish and that he had fished in many other places around the world including Asia and Europe.  I believe he may have been sponsored by Orvis during some of those travels.  He gave fishing seminars in Naples although I never attended any and also that he had no problem in telling about specific places where he had good luck and telling people where to fish.  Thank god he wasn’t into the internet with all the gawkers out there now days but that was who he was.

I hadn’t seen Don in a couple of years and wondered from time to time about him only to find out that he passed on last year after from what I understand ended up getting Alzheimer’s disease. 

What made me write this short piece on Don Robb is a couple of weeks ago I was fishing a small lake with my 7wt for juvenile tarpon along a mangrove lined shoreline when with no warning a large tarpon 60, maybe 70 lbs taking my fly in its mouth goes airborne and almost lands in my kayak.  Not having  much of a chance of landing the fish on this light gear and him getting into the mangroves I did end up breaking him off. Immediately after I thought of Don as the last time I saw and spoke with him he told me of a similar situation on this same lake and I only half heartily believed him that a fish that large would be in this lake.

Sorry for doubting you Don.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Florida's Disaster

Saying it's been really hot out is putting it mildly, it's actually brutally hot by noon most days recently here in The Everglades. As most don't like to visit the area during the summer months because of the heat are only missing out on some fantastic fishing.  

I remember many years ago living in Vermont hearing how Florida's government was totally corrupt. I've seen the rumor prove itself over and over again in the last eighteen years or so living here. Finally Florida is beginning to get the much needed and overdue national exposure it so deserves over this most current situation.Time will tell if anything will actually get resolved. Not that Vermont was a perfect state but the people there do care about their environment and the situation that's here in Florida would have been addressed and they would have enacted solutions a long time ago.

Not the only but one of the main culprits is the under regulated polluted agricultural waters being released from Lake Okeechobee full of fertilizer nutrients, nitrogen and phosphorus and then another is livestock waste runoff from the large cattle ranches which is creating deadly algae which has killed or is killing many estuary's and gulf and Atlantic shorelines, killing seagrasses, sea life and other wildlife in many parts of the state. Thank god it's not having any effect in this area of the Western Everglades, at least not yet. I have to admit even though I was aware of the situation I didn't realize the full impact till this past winter as some of my kayak fishing customers and other fisherman I met and talked to were coming here from these areas of Florida because their home waters were polluted and dying from the runoffs and not worth fishing.   
I'm not going to get into a drawn out article on the ecological disaster that's happening but if you live in the state you should be aware of the situation and if from out of the state and you are not aware of what is happening please check out the links below which have a ton of information and articles. 

Even though this disaster has been in the works for many years and I really hate to talk politics but this disaster has direct implications of the actions and inaction's of the current state Republican government from the governor, Rick Scott, most state legislators, US senator Marco Rubio and all the appointed heads of all the departments related to this issue.

Please check out the website and their Facebook page HERE.            

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Early Morning Success

Fishing early before the heat of the day and daily storms has been key in having a successful day of kayak fishing here in The Everglades.

Plenty of good sized snook around

No one has managed to boat some of the larger (20lb) backcountry tarpon recently with me but these smaller crazy guys are just as much fun to catch as far as I'm concerned especially on fly.
These exotics, the Mayan Cichlids appear to be populating more and more areas in the backcountry and are an almost guaranteed catch when fishing now. I would consider them an invasive species now but they are pretty and loads of fun to catch with a light fly setup. 

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Snook Season

Everything is finally coming together. There have been nice cool mornings over the last few days with warmer afternoons. The next couple of months should be ideal conditions for fishing especially for larger snook and juvenile tarpon in many of the backcountry areas, There are never no guarantees but seeing and catching some nice fish recently are very good signs for the foreseeable future. Even though the fishing can be great, when we get into June the daily rains typically begin and temperatures will soar so now is a good time to kayak fish this area of The Everglades.
For those that have been following some of the devastation of the waters and the fishery from the state government dumping polluted water out of Lake Okeechobee, it hasn't had any effect on this area of the state (yet). For those uninformed about this disaster and other concerns about how the state is trying to cover up the water problems please check out this site:   


Thursday, March 24, 2016

Moving Forward in the Everglades

Well again it looks like it's been awhile since my last post. It was a long couple of months with some not so normal winter weather. Even with catching some nice fish on a couple of trips it was tough to find any fish on others.
There is light at the end of the tunnel. Moving into spring we're having more warmer days and the water is finally warming back up again. With that, more fish are showing up and I've already seen a few very large snook.
I had a couple of disappointed clients recently lose larger fish mainly due to operator error, both were flyfishing. Forewarning and explaining how to setup and deal with some of these fish out of a kayak is night and day compared to say freshwater bass fishing and you'll never know what the excitement is all about until you experience this fishery for yourself.
Anyway, looking forward to the warmer weather and hoping for more predictable fishing conditions. I hope to have some great fishing reports coming in the following weeks.  

Thursday, February 25, 2016

El Niño Blues

Wow, it's been awhile since my last posting, sorry about that. I have to say there hasn't been a real lot to post about. There have been a few great days with some decent fish caught over the last month or so but this has got to be one of the most challenging winters for fishing that I can remember here in the Everglades. The weather this year has been anything but normal and the fish haven't been the most cooperative. Typically, winter is our dry season but we've had a tremendous amount of rain from January up until now along with some much cooler temperatures. Apparently this has all been to a "El Niño" weather pattern .

I have a few trips booked over the next couple of weeks and I'll follow up with a report in a week or so. If your planning to book a trip please call, the weather and fishing conditions are only going to improve moving into spring.