The flats from Key Biscayne all the way down to Islamorada are my home waters. These flats offer some of the best fishing in the world, but at the same time, it can be the most challenging place to fish. With time, you cane even teach an ape to cast a fly rod or spinning rod. This is a technical fishery, where successes are measured through many different factors. But knowing what to present, where to present it and how to present it; being able to analyze the situation at hand and see it through… that is the real challenge fishing down here. At times, your biggest challenge as a fishing guide down here is the role of the teacher. Sometimes you have more experienced fisherman on your bow and sometimes you have those less experienced.
As I can recall, the last couple of charters have been really fun. No matter how many times I put anglers on their first tarpon, permit, or bonefish, via fly, bait, or whatever… I never tire of this. It is a real blessing when you have a dedicated angler on the bow who knows the trials and tribulations and brings with him/her the determination to get it done. My job is to show my anglers how to get it done. The ones who listen best are usually the ones who can deliver. I had some great fisherman on my last couple of charters.
I had the Gator professor in Islamorada on a quest for his first bonefish and permit. This was the first time the professor had ever fished in the Keys so at first I had originally thought the challenge was going to be to adapt to this technical fishery, but as the the situation would have it, the professor was able to get the job done on the first shot. The reward, a 13lb downtown Islamorada bonefish comes to hand.
What else could make this day any better? How about this…
The professor’s first bonefish and first permit. This will likely be a day that neither of us will forget.
I recently got to fish Marcus from Texas. Marcus was a hardcore fly fisherman and college student with a goal in mind to catch his first bonefish on fly. We chose Biscayne Bay to be our stadium of choice. I was pretty stoked in the morning when I witnessed what a great fly caster Marcus was. So without any doubts, we worked on presentations and were rewarded with Marcus’ first 2 bonefish on fly.
As the weather cools… there will be more to come. Stay tuned…
Here is the video I shot with Rising Tools from the fly show in New Orleans. Rising makes some cool and innovative gadgets specifically for fisherman and many things specific to the fly fisherman.
For all you Kayaker out there this is the new Hobie Revolution 11. This interview was done in New Orleans with Morgan and Alice.
At only 47lbs it is a compact version of the original 13′ Revolution.
As you might have guess there were plenty of gear bags at the show. The bag that had my attention was the William Joseph mag series bags. This bag uses an earth magnet to open and close the majority of the lids instead of zippers. They tell me the reason they use an earth magnet is due to the fact that the natural magnets last quite a bit longer than man made magnets.
This is a dream come true for me on multiple levels. Being mostly a saltwater fisherman I have gone through many bags in my time. Mainly the trouble is caused by saltwater sprays. If I forget to rinse the bag off and clean the zippers really well after a day of fishing, the zippers will corrode and eventually get stuck. This obviously renders the bags essentially useless. The issue has plagued me for years no matter how expensive the bags were. All it took was one slip up and it will eventually corrode on me. This new mag series by William Joseph will certainly solve this issue for me as there will be no zipper to corrode and get stuck.
The second issue is more about me being lazy. Many times I am adding leaders, getting pliers out, and changing lures on a boat. When the action is hot I tend to leave the lids open because I never know if I or someone else need to access again quickly. I have a bad habit of leaving the lid open and it creates a big mess. As you can imagine what happens when the run gets a bit rough. All the gear spills out all over the deck or even fly out of the boat to never never land.
With the mag series it is just one flip, it to close and one flip, it opens. A one handed operation. A dream come true for a non neat, non compulsive fisherman such as I. yeah baby!
The price point of the mag series bags is more expensive but there is lifetime warranty and it sure beats changing bags every few months. I am pretty sure this will be my next boat bag.
They also make Wading packs using the magnet technology.
Since I’m on the injured list with a messed up knee, all I can do is sit on the boardwalk at my house in South Cocoa Beach and take photos of all of my neighbors and friends having fun with Irene. This is one of the best swells that I’ve seen in years and a couple miles further South in Satellite Beach was twice as big. I wish I had a bigger lens but I was shooting with my 18-200mm and it was breaking way far off the beach so photos aren’t all that great quality. Also, I’m messing around with a new (to me) editing program called Lightroom. All I gotta say is “why didn’t I use this program years ago!” It makes mass photo editing a heck of a lot faster! I’m still trying to get the hang of it, but here’s what I got.
-Capt. Willy Le
Daiwa came out with the new Saltiga at the ICAST 2011 show this past summer in Las Vegas. In this reel is the mag seal technology. It uses a type of liquid magnet to form a water proof seal around the bearings of the reel. With any new technology comes R&D cost and this reel was not cheap by any means. They are priced about $1000.00 to $1499.00.
I do have to admit though it’s pretty darn smooth plus the bonus of having the bling factor to impress your friends.
Here is a video I put together while I attended a writer’s the past couple days down in Naples. I had one of the writers demonstrate the reels for me while I did quick video demonstrating the mag seal technology.
Yesterday someone sent me a link to a fly rod review concentrating on the 8wt line of fly rods. Since 8 wt rod for us here in Florida is pretty much the best all around rod to have for saltwater fishing, I found the results quite interesting.
The guys at Yellowsone Angler are not only credible but did a pretty thorough job in their reviews. They took 13 rods and gave it a good run down from price, weight, speed and performance.
It was not surprising to see that some of really highly rated rods did not have to cost $600 to $800. As a mater of fact a sub $300 rods beat many of the expensive rods in both weight and overall performance.
Here is the chart of the results and you can get more details on their website.
One of the busiest booth at the fly fishing show this past week was the Simms Fishing booth. Simms has always been known for their outstanding waders and fresh water apparel. Heck 80% of the trucker hats running around there were a variation of a Simms hat.
So it was no surprise that when they decided to tackle the saltwater market with tropical gear people expected it be popular.
Here is a run down of the latest greatest Simms is coming out with for the 2012 line up. From shoes, to buff like mask and new packs.
The fly show in New Orleans was small compared to ICAST but none the less it had some cool items to look at. I spent much of my time networking with many of the manufacturers that support the Saltyshores and the Salty Fly. If I had time and saw something interesting I would walk up to the booth and see what was cool.
Most of the time it was great and I got to meet new people. One moment that didn’t go over so well was one slow traffic afternoon. I walked into this booth to check out a new rod. The salesman in the booth came up to me. I looked up and said, “Hey, I hear you got a cool new rod out, can you tell me a little about it?”. He pointed over to a LCD screen and said “There is a video over there playing in a loop, go check it out…”. I walked over to the screen and watched it for a couple minutes. It was in the middle somewhere so I just walked off as I had no idea how long this video was gonna last. Other than that everyone I met was pretty cool.
Speaking of cool, one of supporter of the Salty Fly, Nautilus Reels won best Saltwater Fly reel of show with their new Monster Reel.
I had Ron and Alice help me film the interview with Kristen Mustad about the reel before they even won the award.
As you probably have noticed SS has been running really really slow here in the last couple months. It’s been pretty agonizing to me as well. Yesterday after getting back from the Fly show I went ahead and did the much needed upgrade to make the server and website run much faster.
As you can imagine this caused the website to go down with database errors for about 6 hours while we get things back on track. I am happy to say we are back up and running much faster than before.
On another note. I decided to experiment with canvas printing last week. I ordered a 20×30″ stretched canvas print of one of my underwater sword fish photos. It came in today and I have to say was pretty pleased at the results. This canvas is totally ready to hang.
I stuck it up on facebook and it has already been sold for $200.00. I will be printing a tailing bonefish, tailing redfish as well as tarpon here this week. Heck, next thing you know I might be opening a gallery soon.
Here is the next 20 x 30 Canvas print that has been ordered. It is a black and white I called
“Ghost in the mist.”