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About Us - saltwater fly fishing guides in Key West FL
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Fly fishing guides Key West, Florida
Fish identification - fish on the flats of the Florida Keys and Everglades

on Permit
Key West permit fishing“ I often describe permit and the act of fly fishing for permit with a number of terms. Exasperating, frustrating, intense all describe these fish and pursuing them with a handful of yarn and feathers. However, the most important term is rewarding. No other fish in our waters brings an angler a sense of euphoria like landing their first permit. These fish test an angler’s patience like no other, but when it all comes together the sense of accomplishment can satiate the fly fisherman for days. Those perfect permit days – enough wind to relax the fish, blue bird skies, and mellow, mudding fish – are enough to cancel meetings, reschedule appointments or stop whipping out the latest creation at the vise and head to the nearest permit flat. Successful fly fishing for permit requires focus on both angler’s and guide’s behalf, good teamwork, and a little bit of luck. No other fish can refuse a faultless cast ten straight times and then eat on a less than perfect offering. Permit make good anglers question what they did wrong after a refusal and celebrate after the same presentation to the next fish yields fly fishing’s ultimate prize . . . a permit on fly.”

- Capt Drew
constantly finding himself between “what went wrong” and high-fives

on Tarpon
giant tarpon migrate through the Florida Keys each year" Steve Huff coined it best when he said, ‘If you were to sit down and design a fish, and write all the best factors of a fish on paper, I think you would come up with a tarpon.’ They grow to enormous sizes yet prefer the skinniest water. They run as fast and as hard as any fish this side of a billfish. The take can be as complex and intricate as a spring creek trout’s or as wild and reckless as a Jack Crevalle’s. Oh and did I mention that they jump. Tarpon are hands down my favorite fish in the ocean and, although you can catch them from Africa to Nicaragua, there is no place like the Florida Keys to target these magnificent creatures. In one day of tarpon fishing, an angler may employ a number of methods and tactics and fish so many different conditions and situations that it's like playing 18 holes at you favorite golf course (not that I have ever played 18 holes, it just sounds good). You might start off with slick calm conditions casting an 11wt to schools of 100lb fish slowly rolling, tails 10 inches out of the water, and later in the day find yourself along a hidden mangrove edge shooting a fly four feet under the branches to 20lb babies laying in the safety of a protected pocket. Some days you might sit on the same corner all day long and get 100 shots at big schools of fish cruising down the flat and other days you may fish laid up singles in the back country, picking them of one by one. I could go on forever about the different, equally wonderful ways you can fish for tarpon but I think I've made my point. I haven't even touch on what happens when you hook one – just check out the video clips.”

Capt Jacob

on Bonefish
Florida Keys bonefish“ Bonefish may just be the ideal shallow water game fish, wary enough to keep them interesting but also willing to take a good offering more times than not. These speedsters ghost across the flats transcending between reality and apparitions. Whether as singles or large schools, the sight of these fish tailing or mudding along a backcountry bank can cause a person to forget the passage of time. When the seconds slow to minutes, the only thing between you and the fish is several pushes of the skiff and a delicate cast. A tailing bonefish provides the same thrill whether seeing them for the first time or the 1000th. While you will see more bonefish in locations such as the Bahamas and Central America, no where provides the same quality of fish as are found between Key West and Islamorada. It is no wonder the Keys were the birthplace of fly fishing for bonefish. These fish have seen it all and fooling one with a size 2 hook hidden in fur and feathers is no small accomplishment. Bonefish are like little thieves of the flats, darting from here to there, always nervous and looking like they are getting away with something. Bonefish have personality. Their triangular tails, sleek bodies and missile-shaped heads all work in unison to make a fish that is both unworldly and comical. Each fish unique in appearance and attitude. Bonefish capture all that is right in the world of fish.”

Capt Drew
ankle deep on a flat immersed in the vision of tails, not noticing the rapidly disappearing sun

barracuda are a great target with light tackle or fly rodon Barracuda
" Before reading any further, ask yourself this question "Am I a fly fishing snob?" If the answer is yes, don’t bother reading any further. If the answer is no, well by all means, please continue. Now don’t get me wrong, the barracuda is not a glamour fish. Maybe it’s because they are slimy and smell bad or perhaps it’s all those gnarly teeth, I don’t know. But, they can provide all the action and excitement of anything that swims down here. If you like a lot of shots, ferocious eats, and unpredictable fights, these fish are right up your alley. In all but the warmest of winters barracuda can provide near constant action. The shots will come in such quantity, they provide a solid foundation for beginning anglers, yet the takes can thrill the most experienced (snobs excluded). Some days they are easy, others they are a challenge, but they always provide a great way to spend a winter day. I fall in love again every winter, that is until the tarpon show, then..."

Capt John
self proclaimed "World’s greatest cuda fisherman"

on Redfish and Snook
Florida Bay and the Everglades have a high population of snook. Casting under overhanging mangroves is a lot is the best way to fish for snook" I don’t think it does either fish justice to lump them together, but they are inextricably linked in the angling world. Maybe it’s because I get shots at snook while poling shallow grass flats looking for reds or that some days redfish outnumber snook while poling the white sand beaches near Cape Sable. Yet no two fish could display more dissimilar personalities. Redfish are brash and bold, happily tailing and backing in search of food. Snook seem to slink and sulk, never making it easy. Whether lurking deep in the roots along mangrove shorelines or hiding in depressions on the flats, snook always seem mysterious and sinister.

Redfish are common in the Upper Florida Keys and EvergladesTo take this analogy to the bitter end, redfish are like the guys you want your daughter to bring home, respectful and dependable. A snook is the guy your daughter will bring home. The ones you lose sleep over. Whenever I am fishing the Glades, I just love the fact that I never know what fish will pop up next. Maybe it is an 8lb red grubbing or a 10lb snook laid-up in a hole. Some days they jump on our casts, others they ignore our best attempts. Hell, that’s just fishing, and I can’t get enough of it."

Capt John
many may know the Glades better, but none love it more

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