Everglades Fly Fishing Charters
Everglades & 10,000 Islands Fly Fishing and Light Tackle Charters • Captain Buddy Ferber • (239) 298-3863

July/August Everglades Fish Report

Greetings from Captain Buddy,

With the migration pattern and the summer heat, it’s a tamer time of the year in the western Everglades that’s not historically known for racking up numbers each time you get out.  However, I was pleasantly surprised to find the July-August period through the end of the first week in August, right up to my Alaska vacation, was much better than expected. The problematic and persistent red tide and toxic algae bloom problems that plagued beaches further north, were not a factor where I was fishing, deeper into the Everglades. Thankful to say the least!  We spotted more Redfish, at smaller weights than in past years, and certainly not complaining because Redfish are known to grow at an extraordinary rate in their first few years.  During their first year of growth, they may add 1 inch in length every month.  By the end of the second year, we can have a 15 to 19-inch fish out there searching for our fly.  As the fish ages beyond the second year, it accumulates less size over time, with an approximate annual growth rate of 2-3”.  By the 6th year, we’ve got some serious game fish—in the 12-15 lb range, and with tons of stamina!  I can’t imagine how wonderful the fishing could be in the park, and neighboring Southwest Florida beaches and estuaries, with our water problem emanating from Lake Okeechobee resolved.  I believe with that (and that’s a BIG “that”) and the addition of a few more “Catch and Release” restrictions on Snook and Redfish, the fishing would be off the charts!

Tarpon fishing stayed consistent and prolific for me right through July.  With jumping 25-30 in July into the first days of August, I’m estimating a total for the year so far, has to be close to 100.  Not many landed, but hooked momentarily, and sometimes battled for an hour.  Also, not as much competition during this period, as most anglers feel that it’s just too hot.  I agree, it does get a little warm on some days, but there is typically a nice sea breeze and monster fish rolling in ‘secret’ spots, just waiting to be discovered.

My Alaska trip was an adventure, with lots of hiking to high mountain lakes and fast-moving streams.  Salmon fishing in Alaska, with its several varieties, has its specified dates (runs) in August and September.  But I was after the rainbows this time. They were sparse in some streams and abundant in others. One thing that was guaranteed was privacy, and incredible surroundings, where nature touches your soul.  All and all, the trip was really rewarding. On the way back from Alaska, I sat next to an angler from Connecticut.  He had just returned from fishing the Kamchatka Peninsula in Russia.   What he described to me, sounded like Heaven on Earth.  He floated for 5 days, with nice tent camps along the way, never seeing another angler on the river.  He said the “smaller” Rainbows there were 20” long, with most of his catch being somewhere between 24 and 32”.  The kicker is that he caught them on dry flies, and small deer hair mouse patterns.  Heck, now I have to get lots of charters to head to Russia to satisfy my passion!  To be honest, his trip sounded fantastic, but then, so was mine.  If you haven’t bushwacked in Alaska, try it if you find the opportunity.  I think you’ll love it.  I have to add, while hiking the trails in bear country, my secret bear deterrent was my wife’s idea, a small tin cup on my belt, with a spoon.  Though we carried bear repellant, whenever I came to turns in the trails, or areas that were heavily overgrown, with little visibility ahead, I started clanging away. When it comes to bears in the wild, the ‘element of surprise’ could get you into trouble. The experts emphasize to make a little noise and always let them know you’re coming.

Summing it all up, enjoyed my Alaskan excursion, but happy to be back home, fishing the warmer waters!

Signing off…..

Captain Buddy

Let’s Go Fishing!

Captain Buddy Ferber
(239) 298-3863