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

July/August Everglades Fishing Report

Greetings from Captain Buddy,

A perfect cast is a thing of beauty.  If it is a long cast, it is like a note of music extended and held.  In all other sports, the moment of impact separates you from the very object you are projecting in beautiful flight, but the execution of a perfect cast can be seen and felt from its inception until the fly touches down on the water. May your percentage of perfect casts-and the fish you entice to the fly, grow and grow, until your heart is full.  Joan Wulff, Founder, Wulff School of Fly Fishing

I’ve certainly made my fair share of casts to the mature and seasoned Tarpon that migrate mysteriously through the backwaters of our great Everglades National Park.  And, at times, I’ve wondered, how is it that they continue to indulge me?  That is, until they don’t… they love to scarf up the shiny, feathery object, but they don’t particularly care to stay on the end of the line for an indefinite period of time. Truly a phenomena that it is they who will typically decide when, where, and for how long.

After fishing with a father and son recently for 3 straight days, I gained some valuable knowledge, so stay with me on this one.  This father-son duo was from the northeast, and loved to fish for Muskies.  They likened Muskie fishing to Tarpon fishing, in that not as many are brought to the boat on-the-fly, but the allure of the possibility–the quest itself, provides ample adrenaline to stir the soul!  At one point, we hooked up with a solid 80 or 90 lb Tarpon– taken on a plug.  In deference to the Tarpon, I don’t use treble hooks, and generally only use a single hook on both plugs and lures.  On this particular day, I used a plug designed to allow a second hook to be added at the front.  I added a very sharp Owner’s hook, which when taken, is more effective in keeping the Tarpon on the line longer.  As I got the Tarpon to the boat, I saw that the Owner’s hook was just outside the fish’s lip.  Any guide will tell you, it’s a daunting task to grab a powerful, energetic, thrashing Tarpon by the mouth, especially with a sharp hook protruding right where your hand placement should be.  On the third attempt, when I thought I might have it, the Tarpon suddenly swam under the boat, creating tension that allowed it to brake off on the chime.  I felt lousy not being able to get a photo of the angler with the fish, but these were great guys, and, after witnessing the encounter and the power and size of this heavy-weight, totally understood what had transpired. What I learned from these Muskie fishermen afterwards is that when they’re fishing for Muskie, they always carry a plier, called a Knipex.  With the Knipex, they can cut a treble hook away if needed, or in this case, quickly cut the outside single hook away.  These pliers are like magic…small, compact.  You barely need to apply any pressure and they cut right through the hook.  You might even have a Tarpon where you can’t get the hook out of its jaw even with pliers.  In the sake of time, just take your Knipex, cut it nice and close, and off goes your healthy fish.  With that said, when the angler opts to have a photo taken with the fish, which most prefer, I will allow the angler to leader the fish (with gloves), while I snap a quick photo or 2, at which time the leader is transferred back to me to slowly release the fish.  So, the valuable knowledge gained is:  I now have my handy Knipex that is perfect for those situations that require a little extra ‘special’ handling, such as with the double-hook plug. It potentially allows me a few more seconds to secure the Tarpon boat side AND take that ‘proof-that-it-happened’ photo with time to spare!

I’ll wrap up with another wonderful quote that caught my attention:

Fishing completes me.  Its memories filter through all my days-the precise glint of moonlight on a Rocky Mountain spring creek with circles everywhere; a popping bug sliding off a lily pad, and the water exploding; the first taps of the first trout of spring taking a nymph.  None of these are simply leisure or only recreation.  And I cannot conceive of life without such measured, deliberate re-creation.  Nick Lyons, author, A Flyfishers’ World

And by the way, the fishing has been excellent, both early and late in the day.

Signing off……

Captain Buddy

Let’s Go Fishing!

Captain Buddy Ferber
(239) 298-3863