Fly Fishing the Everglades

Slamming in the Glades

The fishing in Flamingo has become increasingly better over the past few years since the 2010 freeze. Even though we had a massive fish kill almost 3 years ago, the snook and baby tarpon have responded better than most anglers thought they would, including me. The redfishing down in the park since the freeze has been as good as I’ve ever experienced. It seems like every new area I explore these days, there’s hungry redfish waiting.

In this past week I experienced two great days on water fly fishing and spin fishing the Everglades. The first day was spent throwing poppers and baitfish pattern flies at Largemouth and Peacock Bass with a very skilled angler, Jay Levine of Miami, FL. On this trip we fished out of a canoe and ended up catching over 30 fish on fly in about 4 hours. I knew this was going to be a good day when the first cast with a 4wt; Jay landed a nice chunky Largemouth. That continued to be the trend of the morning with Jay completing what I like to call a “Freshwater Glades Grand Slam” (Largemouth, Peacock, Mayan Chylid, Bluegill).

The next trip was with Laurent Laffere from France who wanted to see what Flamingo had to offer. I can tell by the emails back and forth leading up to our trip that he was extremely excited to spend the day in one of my favorite places in the world-Everglades National Park. This day we experienced close to flats fishing nirvana as most will ever experience. Laurent wanted to first start with a spin rod and then try his luck with a fly rod. I don’t remember to many days that just about everywhere we went, we found lots and lots of hungry fish. The morning started out with tailing redfish that was caught on both spin and fly. The backcountry sweeper fly still seems to be the fly of choice, as fish would attack that fly like they haven’t eaten in weeks. After a morning of catching redfish and trout, we decided to complete the slam with hopefully a snook and tarpon. We ventured into the backcountry and Laurent didn’t wait long to land his tarpon and snook to complete his Grand Slam. Weedless soft plastic jerk baits and white shimmonws thrown up in the mangroves did the trick for the tarpon and snook. He went back and forth casting a spin and fly rod with each fish he caught. Flamingo is truly a special place, but days like that set it far apart from everywhere else. After a few Slams in the boat and one very spoiled client, we somehow made it back…. but just barely.

Cold Front

We had our first real cold front of the year this week. This north wind that comes with fronts will clean the water up on the coast and make it ideal for sight fishing.   This will definitely change the fishing.  The 2 things that I have found that moves fish around the most is the the water temp and water clarity.    I love exploring the 10k islands this time of year and getting lost in the glades looking for snook and reds. I will be on the water the next few days with alot to report.

Fishing Flamingo

Looking forward to getting back out on the flats of Flamingo when the wind dies down a little bit. We have had North winds at 30-40mph  with gusts up to 50 the last few days. That’s a little to sporty for the Maverick HPX-micro. We have our first real cold front coming this Tuesday with it getting down into the mid 50′s. I really like this time of the year because with all this N and NE wind, it really helps the water clarity. That makes it ideal for sight fishing up on the flats. Stay tuned because as soon as the wind dies down, I’ll be up on the tower looking for fish….

Everglades Grand Slam

Here’s a picture of Laurant’s snook to complete his slam. A Glades grand slam consists of Redfish, Tarpon, Snook, and Seatrout.  Im writing this wishing I was on the water today, but Hurricane Sandy had other plans.  Its raining and blowiing about 30mph

TS Sandy

TS Sandy is out there and gonna bring South Florida some heavy winds. This should slow the bite down but immediately after she blows through, the bite should pick right back up. I ‘ve been exploring some areas out east of Flamingo and have been very surprised of what we have found. A Lot of redfish all over the flats, which is not typically of some of these areas. Looking forward to getting back on the water very soon.

Slamming in the Glades

I was fortunate to be on the water three days this past week in three completely different areas. We spent time fishing areas from the freshwater and saltwater Glades to some urban canal fishing, and each trip we were rewarded with lots of fish. South Florida has a plethora of options when it comes to the light tackle and fly fisherman and were lucky enough to have it right in our backyard.

Day One

The first trip found us in a canoe fly fishing in the Everglades for Largemouth and Peacock Bass. I had the pleasure of having Jay Levine from Miami, FL on board for a very action packed morning. Watching the bass come completely out of the water to eat a topwater fly is extremely exciting. We ended up our four hour trip with over 30 fish on fly. What a way to spend a morning.

Day Two

I decided to take my dad out and do a little exploring in some of the many urban canals in South Florida. Peacock Bass was on our mind that day as we casted lures at these fish. Although we did catch plenty of Peacocks that day, the highlight was my dad landing a very nice snook near one of the many bridges that we fished.

Day Three
The last trip of the week I had Laurent Laffere from France with me in one of my favorite places in the world…. Everglades National Park. After going back and forth through email, I knew Laurent was beyond exciting for his first trip to Flamingo and he had every right to be. Never seeing a tailing redfish before, this very skilled angler made quick work of a group of tailing fish first thing in the morning. He fired off shots at fish and caught multiple redfish the rest of the afternoon like he’s done it for years. Later on in the afternoon, we ventured into the back country for a chance to play with some baby tarpon and snook. He has already made plans to visit in the very near future.

North Wind

I’ll be out on the water the next 2 days with trips down to Flamingo. We have a front moving in on Monday and the next 2 days we have a light northernly wind.   We should be able to take advantage of high sun and the low water first thing in the morning.   Looking forward to sight fishing the flats down there. You deffinitley have a great opportunity to put a slam (redfish, snook, tarpon, seatrout) in the boat on the flats of Flamingo.  Like I’ve said in other reports, this  is my absolute favorite time to be on the water. The days ahead are filling up, so call me and lets set up a trip!

Freshwater Everglades

Fishing in the Everglades this time of the year is as good as it gets. You have a great chance to have some slicked out days and everything starts to cool down a bit. Usually the winds start to pick up as we get the cold fronts that move in this time of year, but right before those fronts starting moving, fishing can be epic. I spent the past few late afternoons fishing the Glades via the canoe and have slayed the bass and peacocks. I’ve been throwing poppers with the fly rod and chug bugs with light tackle spin gear. The best part about fishing this area is you have that opportunity to catch a very big Everglades Bass.  Those big ones can be up to 10lbs.  You just have to be patient and weed through the smaller ones, which isn’t so much a bad problem to have…

Flamingo

The weather and fishing the last few days has been second to none. This is my favorite time of the year to be on the water, next to Tarpon Season of course. Looks like the next few days  were gonna have light winds like we’ve been having, which means a lot of happy fish feeding up on the flats. I have a few days open for the next few weeks. Lets get on the flats!