To say that I haven’t posted anything in a long while would be an understatement. I have a list of excuses, but I don’t even want to hear them myself. Busy season lasted longer than it ever has for me this year, which is hard to complain about. Getting to fish for a living is a dream job to me, but, telling people that you fish for a living is funny sometimes. It’s hard to explain to most people that when you fish everyday it can actually feel like work. Most people are not sympathetic, and they look at you like you are crazy. The hours are long, your body gets battered, time off is minimal, and you have to be on top of your game at all times. Your outside problems can’t effect your overall attitude on the boat with your customers regardless of what is happening. You have to be an expert at separating your two worlds. The only people you get to “complain” about “work” to is other fishing guides. They are the only people who can relate. “I haven’t had a day off for 3 months”…. “I need some time off”…. “I don’t want to fish tomorrow” … “Oh no, its going to be windy again”. In the end, our complaints are minuscule… getting to fish for a living is a blessing.
The weather in the Keys has totally gone to crap the last few days. Endless rain and wind have me cooped up in the house, and it’s starting to get to me. I came across this video while schmoozing on the Venturing Angler website. I was mesmerized by watching these micro permit feeding in their natural environment. And, the title is something I can completely relate to.
I pray that this little write up about hitting dock lights finds you tomorrow morning during your glorious toilet time or while trying to find something to spice up your mid week work day.
My buddies and I have been avoiding the crowded late summer boat ramps and hot as hell days in southwest Florida by hitting the water at sun set. We are less than a year into this fly fishing thing and have been honing our skills by throwing tiny flies short distances at fish that are typically more willing to cooperate than those found during the day.
Armed with a few energy drinks, beef jerky, and rods ranging from 5-8 weights we silently hop from light to light with the hopes that we may tangle with a willing participant. Similar to seeing the tails of foraging redfish gently breaking the surface of a glassed out grass flat, nothing gets my heart pounding faster than watching baby tarpon rolling or snook popping minnows in the hue of a green underwater light.
We spend hours dropping our dainty flies in front of what to appear to be hungry fish only to watch them tease you by charging the fly until your leader enters your guides. Being the optimist that we fisherman are we continue our search with the belief that each subsequent cast is going to result in a ferocious strip strike.
Every now and again the fish gods decide to show us some love resulting in a baby tarpon inhaling the fly and going air born as you strip strike! While in the back of your mind thinking… Damn, I sure hope there is no nick in my leader and did I check my knot?
The ol tarpon dance of laying the rod out as they go air born and dodging the trolling motor never gets old! This summer we have been fortunate enough to get our grimy hands on our fair share of baby tarpon for a quick photo sesh before sending them on their merry way.
If the water is flowing half way decent the snook rarely can turn down a fly dancing through the ever so green water column like blind minnow geeked up on redbull!
The dock lights have allowed several of us to stick our best fish on fly to date and I have been fortunate enough to put several people on their first tarpon, including a few dudes traveling all the way from Denmark.
The dock lights have been friendly to us rookie bug slingers! Seeing that this is my first year back in southwest Florida, I am really looking forward to seeing how the dock lights transition into the fall and ultimately winter. Hope y’all enjoy this quick write up and the little bit of fish porn.
– Tyler @tdrx32
This a baby Tarpon Video that I submitted to the “Poonfecta Fishing Tournament and Film/Art Festival” that was hosted by BARFLY SAFETY HARBOR. I ended up winning the film festival with this film. It was a great event with an awesome fishing format for baby Tarpon. I had a lot of fun filming and fishing during the make of this video. Also had a great time meeting fellow fisherman and filmmakers as well. I hope you guys like it. ENJOY!!
Its been a tough summer thus far. Hopes are always set high as I stair at my ridiculously early morning cup of brew. The thought of hundreds of miles traveled, sleep denervation, miles of paddling, bugs draining me dry and mile upon mile of poling flats in search of one dam fish has not deterred me from my quest… I continue to slave over it and my relentless will continue like a ranging fever. I had the opportunity to witness the magic of landing a permit on fly several times now and each time it gives me a glimmer of hope.
Good friend and fishing buddy Tex made it happen on a recent trip. As always we met on the water and fooled around with some bonefish that didn’t want anything to do with us. As we moseyed along I heard the yelling and knew he was on! Sure enough I get the pic of a permit
I did not fish the tarpon migration this year. Nor did I give chase to hefty spring time redfish wallowing in a meadow of turtle grass or pot-bellied snook foraging before the gentle bubble and foam of a mid-summer beach break. I haven’t even been south of Wall Street in the last six months. All of which is decidedly uncharacteristic behavior for someone who has over the last five years made (or at least tried to) a once monthly pilgrimage to the southern states during the spring and summer in search of these very fish. The timing for southbound adventures never really worked out this year. Between myriad weddings and a new bar to attend to, I had to pick my battles a little more carefully this summer. But, rather than see the absence of southern fishing as fishing opportunity lost, I made it a point to take advantage of fisheries that proved more accessible to one in my situation. May took me to the high desert of northern New Mexico for a wedding and some brown trout and this year I finally focused my efforts in earnest on taking part in the amazing summertime fishery that exists here in the northeast. And it is a remarkable one to say the very least.
The past few weekends I have been trying to figure out the whole pike/musky situation on SE Wisconsin’s Lake Delevan. These fish are defiantly plentiful but also very picky. The added weekend boat traffic and the fact that we are hurling huge flies at these fish doesn’t make the situation any easier. But, every weekend we are out there we are seeing more patterns develop. Standing on top of a Yeti, that’s on top of center council, while boats go racing by pulling skiers and tubes sure does get some funny reactions from people. But we are not there to fit the normal fishing profile…
Last May a group of friends traveled from Texas to the primitive snook and tarpon-laden backcountry of the southernmost tip of Florida. We had one goal in mind: to get completely submerged in the Everglades. We wanted to intimately experience the national treasure in the only way we knew how. We crammed our camping and fishing gear into a truck and hit the road for a week long camping adventure. The journey is the destination.
Here’s the trailer…full length version is coming soon…