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…