DIY The Everglades [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: DIY The Everglades


Joey1
05-22-2007, 04:11 AM
Hi there,

I was wondering if anyone would have any suggestions for flyfishing the Everglades and Islamorada on a tight budget. This was going to be an indulged fly fishing trip in August but now is rather tight due to buying new house and boat here on the western lakes of Ireland as well as starting a family (I'm doomed!). Most places in the world if you have a little forsight and savy you can research local waters, talk to locals, read maps and books, hire a boat (if you are experienced with boats) and have a reasonable chance of success with a few fish on the fly...

Is this possible in the Everglades and the Florida keys or is it just a far too big and daunting task...

As I part-time ghillie on the western lakes here in Ireland I was wondering if there were any like minded fly fishermen in Florida that would help with a days fishing and in return if they ever take the notion would have free accomodation, boat and angling with myself and the wife in Ireland and there is always a cold one in the fridge.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated...

Cheers,

Brent.

Bob Bergquist
05-22-2007, 10:29 AM
As for the Everglades, if you can get a canoe there is tons of fishing just off the Tamaimi Hwy. Lots of mixed fishing black bass, sunfish, snook, redfish, baby tarpon, aquarium fish...You will see a bunch of big gators up close as well.

flyinsalt
05-22-2007, 06:49 PM
If you're going very deep into the Everglades you better be carrying a good GPS and radio. It is very easy to get turned around in there if you're unfamiliar with the place and the tides might get you stuck too. I've only fished there once, but have spoken to some very knowledgeable guides who stress that you have to be careful there. As far as the fishing goes, you can't beat it.

nmbrowncom
05-23-2007, 05:10 AM
i would go little further than flyinsalt in my recommendations. i've fished the everglades many times. while the fishing is great, it is as dangerous a place as i have ever fished. there are thousands of dense mangrove islands to easily get lost in and around, endless swarms of biting insects including huge mosquitos by the millions everywhere, as well as an array of deadly animals such as snakes, crocs, and alligators. and for the most part it is out of range for cell phones. think long and hard before you go it alone and be sure to prepare well, and most important check in with the park rangers so they can come looking for you just in case. all of that said, there are some areas close to the everglades, such as along the tami-ami highway where you can rent a small boat and fish the canals withou any problem-great bass fishing there. also you may want to check out the canals in south florida around miami. they're loaded with peacock bass and largemouths and the occaisional snook and tarpon. very easily accessible from the adjacent road. there are a few relatively inexpensive guides as well who you can go out with for a half day to get the lay of the land and then go out on your own. try alan zaremba. good luck

petevicar
05-24-2007, 10:30 AM
Hi Brent
I have fished the Everglades out of Islamorada and also fro Everglades City.

From Islamorada you would go by boat to Flamingo, a ride of about 45mins. Then you would use the lift to get the boat over the dam wall and enter the Everglades and into White Water Bay. I understand that the lift is not working since it was damaged by a hurricane a few years ago.

From Everglades City you can enter the Everglades easily. However I would not dream of doing it on my own without a very experienced guide.
Firstly the wider channels mostly have very hard bottom and you can destroy your prop.
Secondly there are alligators and crocodiles all over the place which are sometimes quite agressive.
Thirdly it is a maze of channels and it is very easy get lost.
If you need details of an expierienced guide let me know.

Pete

SteelBoneguy
05-24-2007, 10:45 AM
DIY aspect I would screw the glades.

There is a ton of DIY for the Keys even recent magazines that give info on directly where to go including mile markers. A guide will seriously up your chances but fish can be had w/o one and w/ enough research.

I'll let you know how I do as my family and I are DIY to the Keys this June. Renting a flats boat and all.

Eddie
06-04-2007, 12:16 PM
Juro posted some good info a while back. A search would bring it up.

captdr
06-05-2007, 09:23 AM
hi brent,
i am a guide and i grew up in the keys. i would strongly recommend not going down there "diy". you would be frustrated at best, hurt or worse if you're not careful. there are ways to go there and possibly catch fish alone, it is just not easy, and not a very forgiving place, particularly in summer. send me a message or pm me (i just changed my user name because for some reason i could not log in today)... i will send you more detailed info...

danny

captdr
06-05-2007, 11:37 AM
DIY aspect I would screw the glades.

There is a ton of DIY for the Keys even recent magazines that give info on directly where to go including mile markers. A guide will seriously up your chances but fish can be had w/o one and w/ enough research.

I'll let you know how I do as my family and I are DIY to the Keys this June. Renting a flats boat and all.

i've read those articles, too, and seen a huge burst in the "diy'ers" there. articles etc. will only help you so much, most people don't even have an idea of how to pole a boat...
i would be very careful... get a good chart, polarized glasses are an absolute must, understand the effects there of tide and wind... and err on the side of caution... and stay well away from anyone up on a poling platform--growing up, i was taught to be 1/4 mile, that has gone out the window in recent years...

mikez
06-10-2007, 04:31 PM
We rented canoes in Everglages City for a day trip last June and had a blast!
There were 6 of us split in 3 canoes and stayed in touch with walkie talkies. We caught redfish, snook, jacks and various odds and ends. One sizable tarpon was seen but not raised. Two canoes [including the one I was in] opted to cross a big bay [forget name] while my Dad and brother stayed near the rental place. We all caught fish but the less adventurous team did the best [more time fishing less time paddling]. It was one of the greatest and cheapest adventures I've ever had. I'd recomend it heartily. In fact some day I intend spend a long weekend and canoe fish the whole time.
Obviously you have to be careful but if you use common sense and possess reasonable navigation skills, canoeing the Glades is a heluva lot safer than driving the highway TO the Glades!:wink:
The ones who want you to pay them to take you fishing don't want you to know it, but it's true.:roll:

captdr
06-12-2007, 12:08 PM
wow. actually just seeing this now. i guess this falls under "no good deed goes unpunished". i am a professional guide. i offered the guy who posted this free advice, not an opportunity to pay for my services. south florida is a very unforgiving place, especially in summer. in addition to hurting yourself, you can also hurt the environment if you don't know what you're doing or where you're going. typically, people who rent skiffs and have a hand held gps make a mess of the backcountry and don't even realise it. "good navigational skills" will only get you so far. mike z, i'm glad you had a good trip, that's great... and it can be done (i said as much), but it is not the rule, it is the exception, and the keys and the glades remain a hard place to consistently catch fish, and stay safe. going there once, twice, or whatever, doesn't mean you have any idea of what you're talking about. and not everyone (guide or not) is a money grubbing sleazebag.

petevicar
06-12-2007, 12:42 PM
Hey Captdr

I agree with a lot of your points here. I think that fsihing in the Everglades without someone who is extremely expierienced is a dangerous thing and not to be recommended.
I think Mikez is very lucky that nothing bad happened.

Maybe it's just that I think fishing should be a fun experience.

Pete

captdr
06-12-2007, 01:16 PM
well thanks, pete. i thought this would be a bloodbath. as i'm sure you might know, south florida can be a lifetime experience on the water. it can also be incredibly dangerous, and you can find yourself in a world of trouble really quickly. i grew up on the water down there, and i can tell you firsthand how dangerous... i can think of a zillion examples, i have been dumped out of my gheenoe (stuck trim tab) in dirty water, in the midst of huge reptiles... i have been stuck in the waaay back of florida bay with no power till the wee hours, i have almost been knocked out of my canoe by a big croc (she was just trying to get away, but we surprised each other and it could have been really bad)... almost been hit by lightning a thousand times... a great example is a guy who died last summer of heat exhaustion(he was lost)--he was 21 (!!!) years old. so, it is a very serious place. things can go from a nice day on the water to a disaster incredibly quickly. past 20 years, it also has been decimated by tons of people coming down there, utterly clueless, screaming around the backcountry. that's all.

mikez
06-12-2007, 09:04 PM
I'm sorry if I offended anyone. I think more was read from my post than was actually written. "Money grubbing sleazebag" is miles away from where I was going with that.
No doubt a guide is the way to get that life time of experience in one day and assure a good catch.

I do feel however that the dramatic talk of giant reptiles is not representitive of actual risk to a fisherman in a canoe. I would be very interested to see references for any incidents involving canoe fishermen and "snakes, gators and crocs". I actually am a fan of reptiles and even know one or two things about them. I would be ready to bet that statistically the threat is insignificant to nonexistent. Perhaps I'm wrong. Provide me with the references of the incidents and enlighten me.

As far as navigating goes, as I said, use common sense. We're talking day trip here. There is no need to penetrate miles into the mangroves. There is tremendous amount of fishable water within a short paddle of the rental shops. That near by water gets less fishing pressure than might be expected since most fishermen with gas powered engines tend to travel far from the ramp.
The fact is that there are several canoe rental shops through out the Everglades and they do a good business. Also, it is possible to get permits to travel all the way through the park via canoe including camping at remote primitive sites. With out looking into it I don't know how many people do it each season but it's a well known destination for those seeking a true wilderness adventure. With all those people paddling through the Glades, if the risks were as bad as suggested, they'd be losing people all the time. That simply is not the case.

I stand by my statement that a self guided canoe trip is a very rewarding, safe and affordable way to experience the Everglades and catch a few fish. I also stand by my statement that driving the highways in southern Florida is many, many times more dangerous than canoeing the Glades.
I do retract and appologize for my closing remark suggesting those people wanting to charge for fishing trips would misrepresent the dangers.

mikez
06-12-2007, 10:11 PM
Maybe it's just that I think fishing should be a fun experience.

Pete

Pete, I guess everybody has a different view of what a fun experience is. My day spent fishing the Everglades from a canoe was easily one of the most fun and exciting trips I've had since I've been a grownup.
Maybe for whatever reason it does not appeal to you. That's cool with me.
My impression was that the guy asking the original question was of the type that would appreciate such a trip. I'm thinking this wasn't a good venue for the topic.
I guess I should have just PM my response.

juro
06-12-2007, 10:22 PM
I think there is a big difference between fishing deep in the glades or backcountry and DIY on the Keys.

I thought DIY on the keys was easy, convenient and a good way to get started. Compared to the remote places where fishing is far less commercialized and medical help is non-existent. I encourage it.

But if you're thinking of going deep into the glades without a knowledgeable party in the group I think the risk is extremely high.

There are plenty of fish where the risk is low on the Keys. No need to take risks to find fish even along old route 1.

captdr
06-12-2007, 11:11 PM
I'm sorry if I offended anyone. I think more was read from my post than was actually written. "Money grubbing sleazebag" is miles away from where I was going with that.
No doubt a guide is the way to get that life time of experience in one day and assure a good catch.

I do feel however that the dramatic talk of giant reptiles is not representitive of actual risk to a fisherman in a canoe. I would be very interested to see references for any incidents involving canoe fishermen and "snakes, gators and crocs". I actually am a fan of reptiles and even know one or two things about them. I would be ready to bet that statistically the threat is insignificant to nonexistent. Perhaps I'm wrong. Provide me with the references of the incidents and enlighten me.

As far as navigating goes, as I said, use common sense. We're talking day trip here. There is no need to penetrate miles into the mangroves. There is tremendous amount of fishable water within a short paddle of the rental shops. That near by water gets less fishing pressure than might be expected since most fishermen with gas powered engines tend to travel far from the ramp.
The fact is that there are several canoe rental shops through out the Everglades and they do a good business. Also, it is possible to get permits to travel all the way through the park via canoe including camping at remote primitive sites. With out looking into it I don't know how many people do it each season but it's a well known destination for those seeking a true wilderness adventure. With all those people paddling through the Glades, if the risks were as bad as suggested, they'd be losing people all the time. That simply is not the case.

I stand by my statement that a self guided canoe trip is a very rewarding, safe and affordable way to experience the Everglades and catch a few fish. I also stand by my statement that driving the highways in southern Florida is many, many times more dangerous than canoeing the Glades.
I do retract and appologize for my closing remark suggesting those people wanting to charge for fishing trips would misrepresent the dangers.

i appreciate the apology. to be clear, i didn't mean to say it was a horror film with giant angler eating crocodiles (though they are there and they are not predictable)... it's just that there are tons of things that will hurt you (mostly weather) that are never in the great informative "diy" articles written. mostly (like 99%), my posts were in regard to power boats and guys renting skiffs. that is a nuisance at best, and it not only is dangerous to the people in the boats, it is dangerous to nature and the backcountry. past 5 years, everybody with enough money for a hand held gps and a skiff is out there, running over fish, flats, birds, etc. and generally just making a mess of florida bay. ironically, i have no problem with people renting canoes, they do waaay less damage to the environment down there, and if they have a problem, it is usually getting lost and dehydrated. i have however, been in my canoe and been caught in the middle of nowhere in lightning storms, and also been in the canoe when all of a sudden waterspouts appear (as well as been extremely close to large reptiles, sometimes during mating and birthing season). i don't know if guys from wisconsin consider that kind of stuff. the last sentence of your post was directed at me, let's be fair, and i am not here to get clients, i have a lot. i was trying to offer help, since i have been fishing those waters consistently and obsessively for 20 years. that's all. in actuality, if everyone rented canoes, and was like you, i would never have posted at all. but there are days now in the back that feel like you're in a bass tournament (and what's more, with anglers totally unfamiliar with the "lake"), and that is more what i was talking about.

petevicar
06-13-2007, 01:35 AM
Hey Guys
The great thing about this forum is that everyone is different and can express a different viewpoint.
What is interesting to one person is not to another.
You both have very valid points of view.

Please continue to express these opinions.
That's what the forum is all about.

Pete

mikez
06-13-2007, 07:13 AM
Juro;
I didn't think the original poster was asking about going "deep into the Everglades" and my response was not based on such a trip. In fact a made a point of mentioning my father having stayed close to the rental place and having had the best fishing success. He and my brother landed numerous respectable snook and some good sized redfish and I do not believe they were ever out of sight of the road.
It is absolutely reasonable to plan a safe and successful DIY trip without going deep into the Glades or taking any other unneccessary saftey risks. The biggest risk entailed in a DYI trip is the risk of having lousy fishing without the local knowledge and experience of a guide. Many, maybe most people are more comfortable paying for that expertise to ensure good fishing success. There is not one thing wrong with that. I'm wired differently than most people and for me the thrill of the chase includes the reaserch prior to the trip and the hunting and exploring and experimenting and hopefully eventually the catching of the quarry. That's where the "Fun" is for me. By virtue of having asked about a DIY trip, I assumed the original poster felt the same way.


Captdr;
Like Juro, I live and fish in Massachusetts so am all to familiar with the concept of "everybody with enough money for a hand held gps and a skiff is out there, running over fish, flats, birds, etc. and generally just making a mess". That pretty much describes every weekend of the summer between the Merrimack River and Buzzards Bay. If we only had some dangerous reptiles, I'd be the first one to invoke their trecherous powers to bring a little peace to my prefered habitat.
And no, I was not refering to you specifically. Several different posts contained dire warnings I felt were more emotional than factual. You just happened to be the one that spoke up about my indiscreet choice of words. No offense was meant.

juro
06-13-2007, 08:42 AM
Mike,

I am with ya brutha. It's no secret I am a DIY'ed in the wool do it yerselfer.

Captn,

Frankly all these tales of crocs and deathly horrors just makes me want to explore it more. However as a fellow guide I have to wonder why you recommend canoes and kayaks when these nasty crocs are knocking your hull! Trying to tip the scales are we? HAHA just kidding

There's room for everyone it's a free country. Like our moderator said, there are many perspectives and we respect all reasonable ones here.

captdr
06-13-2007, 03:35 PM
the main point is, and was... yeah, it's dangerous. it's dangerous for the people traveling, but moreover, it is dangerous to the environment. if a guy from illinois gets eaten by a huge alligator (or struck by lightning, or dies of heatstroke, etc. etc.), i could care less. if a guy runs across my favorite flat, i am pissed. i wasn't being emotional, i was trying to let a guy (a european, for that matter--i doubt if he has ever fished a similar ecosystem--for that matter, there is no such place)... know that it isn't fun n games and hanging out at the lorelei at the end of another flawless day. that's all. people are absolutely destroying that part of our world, it is a way more delicate and harder to navigate place than massachusetts... anyway, i was trying to help the guy, that's all. if people rent canoes, they can do a lot less damage usually to the keys and the glades. as i said, i wish everyone was courteous, smart, well meaning, and rented canoes down there. that is not the case, and it is a disaster--for them sometimes, but usually for the wildlife. also, the fact that everyone has keyed in on the reptilians is silly--there's a lot of great ways to die or get hurt down there. i mentioned a bunch. and when you're uninformed (or ignorant or stupid) you are upping your chances of having a problem down there. i was just giving a more real side to it than most (if not all) of the "diy" articles out there.

petevicar
06-14-2007, 12:56 PM
Hi Captdr
I think that you perhaps underestimate the amount of travelling that a European is prepared to do to go fishing.
You may also underestimate the experience that many Europeans my have.

captdr
06-14-2007, 02:28 PM
no, i got it. a lot of my clients are from abroad. anyway, once again, just putting it out there--unless (and even if) you grew up there, it is not the easiest and most hospitable place to fish in the world. enough already. have a good weekend.

FLStan
06-20-2007, 12:22 PM
DIY fishing in the glades is no big deal. I've been fishing down there a couple of times a year for close to 20 years. It's not much different than fishing in other parts of FL. Yes, the glades can be challenging but also rewarding at the same time. I'd recommend heading out of Everglades City as it is "less" remote. You can file a float plan with the parks dept and go on from there. There is also some pretty decent fishing within site of Chokoloskee or Everglades City in the bay, especially for redfish.

I'd also recommend the book, written by a local guide, John Kuminski, called "Fishing the Everglades- A Complete Guide for the Small Boater ". It a through dissertation written for the camping angler and it even suggests some canoe loops.

Just use prudent judgment when it comes to the weather and the bugs this time of year. Have fun...

Stan

Joey1
06-26-2007, 04:01 AM
Thanks to all for the kind insight and advise into the Everglades/Keys.

I'd be buying you all a pint at the vitual bar if I pull off a couple of successful angling adventures in the glades. I'll let you know how I get on in due course. Till then thanks and if your in my part of the world don't be a stranger!

Cheers,

Brent.

petevicar
06-28-2007, 09:50 AM
Hey Brent
What is your part of the world?

Joey1
07-02-2007, 07:24 AM
Hey Brent
What is your part of the world?

Sorry Pete,

I'm living permanently in Oughterard, on Corrib. But I'm originally from Auckland on the Manakau harbour.

Cheers,

Brent.

petevicar
07-02-2007, 12:49 PM
Hi Joey
I have fished close to there on a number of occasions.
Lough Beltra, Newport river, the Moy, Lough Furness.
Haven't been there for a few years.

Pete