12-04-2006, 05:58 AM
Hi there, was wondering if anyone would have any info. on good contacts for flights, guides, lodges, and reasonable accommodation around the Islamorada area (or anywhere) of the Florida Keys to fish the Everglades for next year around July. Targeting redfin and the likes.
Promised the wife Disney land in Orlando as long as I got a week FF in the Keys... good trade off I hope! :)
If anyone has any info would be greatly appreciated.
Definitely contact Ben Iannotta Jr, bigfishonfly.com (sponsor). Lots of firsthand experience with members and they'll vouch for his knowledge, dedication and downright fishiness. Killer boat and located right on Summerland Key.
12-05-2006, 01:20 PM
Check out Cheeca Lodge on Islamorada. It has amenities for the family and is as nice a place as you'll find in the Middle Keys. They can hook you up with guides.
If you plan to fish the Everglades from the Keys, you should plan on staying on Islamorada or islands east (north) of Islamorada because the Keys make a sweep away from the mainland and the Glades starting about Islamorada. Much further west than Islamorada, and you're looking at a long boat ride to the Glades and few guides will make that run. If you want to really fish the Everglades then look into Ten Thousand Islands part of the Glades (redfish, snook, tarpon, trout, but no bonefish) on the southwestern-most corner of the state. (South of Naples and Marco Island). The best jumping off point to the Ten Thousand Islands is Everglades City or Chokoloskee and staying at the Rod & Gun Club. The Rod & Gun Club is a great "old Florida" lodge, but sometimes shuts down during the summer, so call ahead to make sure it will be open the dates you have in mind. If you're driving from Orlando, then Everglades City is several hours closer to Orlando than any of the Keys. Another Glades alternative is to fish out of Flamingo, which is southwest of Homestead/Miami and closer to Orlando than the Keys. Be aware that other than fishing, there really isn't much in Everglades City or Flamingo for non-fisherpersons and the bugs can be overwhelming in summer. There are airboat rides, Nature cruises which will consume a day, but after that you may have a revolt on your hands. In the Keys there is diving, some shopping and touristy type stuff for others to do. If you're flying from Orlando to the Keys, you'll either fly into Marathon (a haul to the Glades) or Key West (forget about the Glades from Key West). Or, you'll fly to Miami and drive to Islamorada (about 2 1/2 hours).
My suggestion- House the family at the Ritz Carlton in Naples, and drive the hour or so to Everglades City to fish in peace each day. Hope it works out for you.