Geared for Tarpon and Bonefish of the summer..

Tarpon and Bonefish are two of the most sought after species by fly fisherman from Biscayne Bay to Key West.  We hold a very special fishery here where we don’t have the fish that are easiest to catch, nor do we have the biggest population of either of the two species here, but what we have here in South Florida are some of the worlds biggest, toughest, and most challenging bonefish and tarpon.  As a guide in Biscayne Bay and the Florida Keys, it always brings a smile to my face on days where I have seen my anglers from various experience levels conquer their firsts.  Because I don’t guide full time, I get to spend quite a bit of time on the bow as well on my off days and study and learn these fish from the angler’s point of view.  This aids in helping me coach the marksman on the tippy end of the skiff in delivering their presentation and finally sealing the deal. 

In recent weeks, I guided two incredible anglers to their first tarpon and bonefish on fly.  In the few recent days, I was able to accomplish the same again with another two anglers, but this time, these two anglers were not locals.  My buddy Capt. Willy Le of Titusville caught his first big tarpon on fly on the bow of my Maverick Mirage.  In the days to follow, I then guided a Noweigian angler from London to both his biggest bonefish and his first tarpon on fly (before this day, he had only saltwater fished in Mexico).

It’s a great feeling to be the man on the watch tower when you have anglers who can listen and get it done… but then again, there is a part of me that would rather be on the pointy end of the skiff most of the time.  This is where guide becomes angler, fish becomes teacher, and fly tackle is put to it’s rounds.  All the coaching and directing I’ve done from the watch tower comes into question at this point.  This gives new definition to practicing what I preach…

My buddy Dr. Tony and his father joined me for a day of tarpon fishing recently in the upper Keys.  Tony’s dad brought the HD Video camera and was able to capture some great footage of lots of tarpon, lots of frustrating moments, and moments of victories.  Our afternoon of fishing was great as we threw at singles, pairs, and giant hoards of big tarpon travelling up and down the ocean side of the Keys.  We started off with lots of tough shots into a strong breeze at fish that were snuffing our presentation on every good shot.  A quick fly change and adjustment in presentation was key and I finally hooked a rather large tarpon throwing into one of the biggest strings of tarpon I had ever seen in my life.  The victory dance ended before it began as the silver beast leaped several times into the air while I was clearing the flyline and had the last loop of line wrap around my watch.  It was a quick death for my brand new monic fly line as the watch cut right through the fly line in one loud “SNAP”.   I made up for this the next round as I hooked and tamed one shortly afterwards.  Tony hooked another fish minutes later that made for Miami and never looked back.  We tried to chase but the fish was still ripping line off of Tony’s reel like as if we were sitting still.  I didn’t manage to shoot a bunch of photos but I did manage to shoot a couple shots.  Our main focus was on shooting video so stay tuned for some raw footage from this day.

 

Bonefishing isn’t the greatest this time of year as days are very warm and shots are limited to the cooler hours but knowing how to work with this can lead to some pretty good fishing.  It also helps when you are fishing with one of the world’s best bonefisherman (Tim Mahaffey).  Office work was a pretty slow week so my buddy Tim and I decided to take off for 4 hours during the middle of one day and do a little bonefishing in Biscayne Bay before having to return to our land locked duties.  In the short time we fished, we managed to catch 4 decent bonefish on fly, one of which was close to double digit status.  On this day, we fished with Monic full clear fly lines which gave us the edge when the water was ultra clear, winds were low, and the sun was high.  Fishing with full clear fly lines do take a little bit of getting used to, but because you now to read the fish in relation to where your fly landed, it does force you to become a better angler.

Days are getting longer and temperatures are getting warmer, but the fishing is as always… AS GOOD AS EVER!!  Stay tuned for more of the good stuff…

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