Keys [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Keys

01-16-2005, 10:51 AM
Hey all,
I'll be in the keys the second week of Feb. I'll be with the wife so it won't be a fishing trip but I'm planning on packing a travel rod and would like to get in a bit of fishing either wading or maybe from a rented kayak. I'll be staying in key largo, and key west but plan on making at least one or two day trips to the Big Pine area. I'll take anything that swims but what I would really like to find are some Baby Tarpon. I know that the adults won't be around in Feb but any chance I might run into some babies around the pylons or Mangroves?
Tight Lines

01-16-2005, 11:01 AM
dmas -

You should definitely contact our new Florida Keys advisor, Ben Iannotta Jr. He is a Keys guide and outdoor writer who has agreed to be our "key" resource (pun intended).

You can find his contact info at: Big fish on fly (

We're setting up a new section for his fishing insights, on-the-spot reports and exceptional outdoor writing skills currently so keep an eye out for it in the days to come.

01-26-2005, 08:13 PM
Fish key west harbor this time of the year. Alot of nice size fish.

01-27-2005, 07:37 AM
Thx for the tip daverob

new yawk
01-27-2005, 08:39 AM
you might find baby tarpon in creeks, or if you want to take a drive up to flamingo and rent a canoe or a johnboat, you might bang a few. other than that, a good bet for wading off the upper keys in feb. is bonefish. if you can't get further than the near-ocean flats, you'll see more bones and permit (last february was great) than tarpon (too early) or reds or snook (usually further back a little). but to wade for either of these fish, you really need to be extremely careful about noise, be a good shot with a flyrod, and have good polarized sunglasses (i like amber lenses). good luck.

01-29-2005, 07:25 AM
Thanks for the info New Yak. Yeah I figured Bones might be a more realistic target. I'll tie up some more flies and snoop around when I get down there and see what I can find. Any fish would just be icing. It's been hovering around zero here the last few days and the lake effect machine has been raging...just getting on the water will be a victory for me at this point!

tight lines

01-30-2005, 07:13 AM
Hi dmas
I've fished the Keys at all times of the year. The types of fish that are around are totally dependant on the weather.
If there is a warm calm spell for a few days you can find tarpon in Florida Bay. I had an afternoon in February a few years ago when I jumped 15 tarpon, all big fish.
If it is cool then you can find bonefish on the Ocean side.
There are usually redfish in the Park near Flamingo and cooler weather will bring snook out of the mangroves to sun themselves.
Having said all that December 2003 was very cold ca. 55 degrees and there were very few fish around there were baracuda floating belly up the water was so cold.
That was the coldest I have seen in the Keys in the last 6 or 7 years.

As a general tip look at the weather forecast. If it is normal then fish for reds and snook in the Park, if there is a cold front then bonefish Oceanside, If it is warm and calm tarpon in the Park. If it is very cold (less than 60) stay in bed.

Good luck


01-30-2005, 10:01 AM
Thx petevicar...all good info
tight lines

02-01-2005, 12:01 PM
I will be in the Big Pine key area from 2/11 thru 2/16. If you want to fish I'm game. I have no cell phone (thank God) but if you want give me yours and we can give this area a shot. I plan on fishing mornings and evenings for bones. Mind you this is my first attemp at bones and I have flies and determination. If you would like you can send your cell # to my e.mail I also want to ask anyone in the keys during this time if they would want to barter a guided day in the "Keys" bonefishing for a day (or 1/2 day) in the Pocono Mts of Pennsylvania in the spring. Hope to here from you.


02-02-2005, 01:43 PM
Hey Jonsey,

Unfortunately I donít think Iíd be much help to you as Iím a newbie when it comes to tropical critters on the fly myself. Iím afraid Iím just a lowly Steelheader. :) I do have extensive experience in the salt, fishing the Fall blitzes off Montauk, but I donít think that will help too much on the flatsÖ except that maybe I know what casting into a good wind is like. Difference is I guess that a quarter mile school of busting albies or a thousand blitzing bass is a little easier to hit than the nose of a Bone. But at least the flats wonít heave under you like a Grady will in a good rip. :)

To be honest, Iím not sure how much fishing Iíll get in or when. I figure Iíd bring the travel rod along and sneak out when I can. The wife and I are dropping our one year old off with the parents down in Key Largo and are going to get some well-earned R & R. I donít think the word cell phone will be in my vocabulary. Still Iíll be on the look out for any of my fly fisher brothersÖso maybe our paths will cross.

Tight lines

02-03-2005, 11:56 AM
I get the picture! I wish you and your's a fun filled sunny time!
I have fished Montauk several times, last year was the latest. I also frequent the Salmon River area, the most exciting fly fishing I have ever had! It's like hooking a tuna in a little creek. Really puts a smile on your face.
If you see a guy w/ red hair and beard come say hi.