Fly Fishing for Juvenile Tarpon

I had a single fly-caught tarpon to my name…that is until a couple weeks ago.  While visiting some good friends in Key West, I managed to sight cast and land a couple sub-adult (baby) tarpon from my buddies dinghy. The plan had been to do a few days from a mother-ship (my buddy’s “house”) in…

Bahia Honda State Park – Florida Keys

Last Monday, after my other friends left Key West, I headed to Bahia Honda state park to hunt for bonefish.  This park is a gem – gorgeous sand, great amenities, and generally is not too crowded for fly fishers to hunt the sand and grass flats for hours.  I armed myself with my 8wt and…

Feeding Stock Island Tarpon

If you want to see dozens of 100+ lb tarpon behaving like trained dogs, throw the scraps from your catch into the water at the Stock Island marina.  These fish know an easy meal when they see it. I was talking to one of the boaters there at the marina, and he was remarking on…

Fishing Report – Wading for Bonefish

After spending the day sailing and not seeing a single dolphin, I decided to wade the flat on the western edge of Boca Chica at sunset.  At sunrise two days earlier, I saw two fish tailing on the flat here while walking to the marina shower.  Foolishly, I did not run back to the boat,…

Fishing Report – Key West Reef Fishing

After fishing the Everglades and 10,000 Islands for the last few days, I headed down to Key West via the “Key West Express” ferry.  Once there, and after a solo lunch and a couple beers at Turtle Kraals, I was picked up by a childhood friend who now lives on a 35′ catamaran in the…

Fishing Report – 10,000 Islands (Part 3)

The third and final day of fishing in the Everglades has come and gone, and while it was windy, and slow, it ended with a bang. The wind forecast was off, and a strong westerly/south-westerly breeze stirred up mud and made running the beaches impossible.  We headed inland, hitting a number of points, coves, and…

Fishing Report – 10,000 Islands (Part 2)

Another day in the books here in the 10,000 Islands.  The wind did not help our cause, but we still managed to catch some fish on fly and spin, and see some of the wildlife this area is known for. With 15 knot winds out of the southwest, the passes into the gulf were lumpy,…

Fishing Report – 10,000 Islands (Part I)

Spent today fishing with guide Aron Blaisdell in the 10,000 Islands, catching snook, red drum, ladyfish, mangrove snapper, catfish, and had one of our crew jump a tarpon (into a tree).  Not a bad first day.  Tomorrow and Friday will keep us at it, flinging flies and throwing lures and live bait under mangroves, and…

Travel Fishing – Florida Everglades

In one week, I’ll be back fishing the 10,000 islands and the Everglades, south of Marco Island.  I’ve tied flies, read books, and dreamed of getting to tangle with ‘glades snook, red drum and tarpon again. Last time around, we fished on a small, shallow draft Dolphin Skiff, sliding into freshwater rivers far from the coast,…

DIY Fly Fishing for Dolphin

Spring and Summer in the Florida Keys is about dolphin fishing.  Sure…you can lobster, or fly fish for bonefish, tarpon, and permit on the flats, but spending a day chasing dolphin with a fly rod is the real deal.  And there is no fish that combines beauty, gameness, and flavor like these fish. Step #1: …

Fly Tying – Rusty Punisher

I’m two months out from my Everglades fly fishing trip, and I’m beginning to stock my boxes with fly patterns for Snook, Tarpon, and Red Drum.  I’ve always loved Drew Chicone’s flies, and I tied up a handful of his “Peppermint Punishers” with one twist – I used a rust colored EP brush instead of…