Belated Keys report 5/9 - 5/12 [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Belated Keys report 5/9 - 5/12

05-16-2005, 03:23 PM
My unbroken record of lousy trip weather remains intact. :roll:

Consistent 20 - 25 mph wind out of the East pretty much had things shut down on the flats last week.


Bahia Honda - I saw more bonefish there than anywhere else although nothing within reasonable presentation range. Both days here were unfishable at high water due to tons of weed and roiled water. About three hours into the drop things cleared out nicely.

We fished the lower Keys - somewhere North of Ramrod/Summerland - plenty of fun with small / medium sized barracuda and jacks to make up for almost complete lack of Bonefish. I saw more Permit on this trip than I've seen anywhere else. The best shot of the trip got nailed by a baby 'cuda that swam off with my best crab pattern :roll: I also had a close encounter with a Tarpon of about 150lb that rolled on my fly but failed to eat just before lift-off - pretty exciting sitting in a 12ft Kayak :lildevl:

The previous week the weather had been generally worse but with variable wind direction more flats were opened up and a few nice fish were caught.

This was my first time in the Keys. Even though it was tough, I was impressed with the area and I will definitely be going back.

05-16-2005, 07:44 PM
Just returned from the Keys myself... in fact, I left on the 9th. Did you hire a guide for any of those days? How was the visability? Mostly we had cloud cover which made spotting fish more than tough. When the skies were clear we did the best.

I know exactly what you mean about the weather. Pretty tough to get shots at fish even when you do see them - no easy way to stop the kayak for one thing. We also fished from a friends skiff for several days - concentrating on tarpon - but even our best shots were flat out refused (follows, but no eats). We had about 1-2 days of good weather and I got a 30-pounder from the kayak, which was fun, but we didn't even see bonefish. I finally went wading on one of my last days and got a smallish Keys fish - about 8 pounds - late one evening on a rising tide. Only saw 4 fish all afternoon though, pretty poor showing for so much water.

Of course, while we were beating ourselves up in that skiff trying to find tarpon, a guide friend of ours found some fish down south and jumped 17 before it was all through. I think if I really wanted to catch fish down there I'd definitely hire a guide. Mostly I was on vacation so it didn't matter much. On crappy days we fished the bridges and caught baby tarpon and snooks.

Tight lines,

05-17-2005, 07:33 AM
This was a semi-guided trip. We had a big carolina skiff loaded with 6 12ft WS Tarpon kayaks. We'd motor out to within a mile or so of a likely spot and do a stealth paddle to get on the flat which was then wade fished. This is a good strategy and definitely one I would try again. Getting a shot at a bonefish or permit from a drifting kayak would be very tough although there are some interesting prototype demountable outriggers out there that would allow you to stand and fish. That opens up a whole range of possibilties - I can't wait to try it out on Monomoy :lildevl: .

I didn't fish from the yak much except when trying for tarpon over deeper water a couple of times. Our guide was Chuck Wirght who grew up in the lower Keys and has fished there all his life. Even he was scratching his head!

Congrats on your fish! Based on the bonefish I saw at Bahia Honda I would estimate them all at 8lb or better - one would probably have pushed the magic 10lb barrier.

The terrain reminded me a lot of the Bahamas - not surprising really since it is geographically identical. Other than Bahia Honda and some very tiny beach areas, opportunities for shorebound fly fishermen looked to be `limited. I tried wading around some of the likely looking bridge abutments but found myself knee deep in muck and getting deeper. Once you get out to the more remote areas there are extensive areas of fabulous firm bottomed flats for wade fishing.

05-17-2005, 12:56 PM
Hi Adrian
As you know there are a group of english people travelling to Cape Cod at the beginning of June.
Would you please make such necessary arrangements so that the weather is good. (Prayers, Anti Rain dances etc.)
I hope that doesn't mean that you have to leave town.
I have had 3 trips so far this year and the weather on each trip (Cuba, Seychelles and Los Roques) has been bad or worse than what is normally expected.
It is probaly all down to global warming.
It was very refreshing to hear the news today that a large number of US City Mayors ( over 100) have gone against the US Government and have signed the Kyoto protocol.

There is hope for us yet.


05-17-2005, 01:09 PM

I will be making sacrificial offerings to whatever and whomsoever in the intervening period.

It's nice to know I'm not the only one carrying the bad weather jinx :smokin:

I can promise that you will have a great time whatever the weather demons decide to throw at us :lildevl: