DIY The Everglades - Fly Fishing Forum
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Old 05-22-2007, 04:11 AM
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Joey1 Joey1 is offline
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DIY The Everglades

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.
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Old 05-22-2007, 10:29 AM
Bob Bergquist Bob Bergquist is offline
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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.
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Old 05-22-2007, 06:49 PM
flyinsalt flyinsalt is offline
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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.
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Old 05-23-2007, 05:10 AM
nmbrowncom nmbrowncom is offline
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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
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Old 05-24-2007, 10:30 AM
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petevicar petevicar is offline
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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
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Old 05-24-2007, 10:45 AM
SteelBoneguy SteelBoneguy is offline
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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.
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Old 06-04-2007, 12:16 PM
Eddie Eddie is offline
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Juro posted some good info a while back. A search would bring it up.
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Old 06-05-2007, 09:23 AM
captdr captdr is offline
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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
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Old 06-05-2007, 11:37 AM
captdr captdr is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteelBoneguy
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...
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Old 06-10-2007, 04:31 PM
mikez mikez is offline
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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!
The ones who want you to pay them to take you fishing don't want you to know it, but it's true.
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Old 06-12-2007, 12:08 PM
captdr captdr is offline
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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.
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Old 06-12-2007, 12:42 PM
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petevicar petevicar is offline
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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
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Old 06-12-2007, 01:16 PM
captdr captdr is offline
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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.
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Old 06-12-2007, 09:04 PM
mikez mikez is offline
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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.
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Old 06-12-2007, 10:11 PM
mikez mikez is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by petevicar

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.
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