Everglades 2018

The Everglades remain a slice of wilderness containing a maze of mangrove mysteries and subtle treasures. The twisting rivers, bays and cuts of tannin stained water draw the angler away from civilization and towards abundant opportunities to build memories seared into the brain by exposure to the intensity of unique experience.

Saltwater crocodiles, alligators, ghost orchids presented in the silence of the backcountry. Roseate spoonbills, egrets, eagles, pink flamingos…not every trip but just often enough to take your breath away.

Creek Redfish (00050048@xC4F0B)

Tony Peveler, Glenn Johnson, Tony Moillica and I head out tomorrow for three days of fishing in the Everglades. Will someone catch a grand slam… a snook, redfish, tarpon, and sea trout on the same day? Will someone hook a gator?  Will there be tarpon rolling in a remote channel? Can we catch a keeper snook? Will someone hook a tarpon and watch helplessly as the silver king launches itself into the top of a mangrove tree? Will someone fall in to the dark mysterious water? Will one of us stick a plug into the hand of another? Will the wind howl or will the backcountry be a peaceful slick calm piece of magic water?  Will the manatees gentle expose themselves? Will the dolphins paly along side the skiff as we streak across the bottom of Florida towards Lostmans River. The unanswered anticipated adventures represent the best of fishing.

Keeper Snook (00049667@xC4F0B)

Keeper Snook

Answers come tomorrow. Stay tuned.


Off To Fish The Everglades

On Monday morning, good friends Lee Mitchell, Bob Hamilton, Chuck Sheley and I will begin our annual November fishing adventure. We are off to the Swamp! The beauty of the Everglades cannot be over stated. Although blurry, this picture of flamingos in the wild was taken on a previous trip to the Everglades.

Wild Everglades Flamingos

Wild Everglades Flamingos

Our quarry will be the beautiful snook, bulldogging redfish, and there may even be a few tarpon around. The three year ban on keeping a snook due to a huge fish kill as a result of extreme cold in the Everglades has been lifted. So, if we are lucky, there may be a snook and redfish dinner some evening next week.

Everglades Snook

Everglades Snook

We have the good fortune of fishing with tremendous guides, Steve Huff and Andrew Bostick. I am quite sure they are not as excited about fishing us as we are about their being our guides! They will either pole or use their electric motors to direct the skiffs along oyster bars, mangrove islands, channels, and other fish holding structure. With the new moon we are hopeful that enough water will be moving to create tidal exchanges sufficient to encourage hungry fish to strike our plugs.

There will be some bugs, some plugs hung up in the mangroves, a lot of good-natured chop busting, and great camaraderie. If I can master a little technology as the week goes along, my hope is to do a brief daily posting with a little pictorial proof of our adventures.

I have one personal goal. Avoid falling from the boat into the water where alligators and sharks swim. I had two such mishaps last year. Although I am confident I will stay dry, Steve Huff did tell me during a phone call last week that he had stored a snorkel on the boat to make sure it is available for me.


Guide Steve Huff

Fishing Guide

Fishing Guide

What a privilege it has been to fish with this man. This picture was taken at Steve’s induction into the IGFA Hall of fame several years ago. I caught my first Permit with Steve, fist tarpon over 50 pounds with Steve, fished Key West for the fist time with Steve, and many more firsts! Those of us who fish with Steve often look closely to see if he has gills! His instincts are legend.

This sums him up best. I was fishing for snook in the Everglades with great friend, Chuck Sheley, last November.  Huffer was our guide. We had an hour and a half skiff run to return to the dock at Chokoloskee as the fire orange sun was setting in a crushing blue sky behind the mangrove islands. The wind had stilled. The surface was calm as the pockets of water next to the mangroves darkened in the shade. There was silence. All the rest of the guides had long since returned to the dock. I knew we would be able to see the bright stars of the dark night sky by the time we docked. Steve said, “See…wouldn’t it be a shame not to be out here at this time of day?”

Steve was recently featured in an article published in the International Angler, a publication of the International Game Fish Association. The article is titled, “Captain Steve Huff: Secrets for permit on fly”. The article includes links to his IGFA Fishing Hall of Fame induction video and a demonstration of Steve time his permit fly loop knot. Take a look.