Last spring the boys and I headed down to the Florida keys to do some fly-fishing. We decided that tarpon was our first priority and that is what we would be targeting for the entire week. Let me tell you folks, fly-fishing for tarpon in the keys is no joke.
Why tarpon? well first off it would be cool to catch one of these brutes on a fly rod don’t you think? Tarpon are prehistoric fish that can live in excess of 50 years. With this life span its not hard to see them from 30 lbs up to and exceeding 300 lbs. Tarpon are aggressive eaters and when hooked put up an amazing fight they are known for their acrobatic leaps and blistering runs. Sounds like fun if you are lucky enough to catch one right? Check out the video at the bottom.
Step One, Setting It All Up
We called up our friends from Key West Pro Guides and booked our fly-fishing guides for seven days, praying that the weather and tarpon would cooperate with us for that week. High winds are not a good recipe for tarpon fishing, not only does it put the tarpon down but it can be an uncomfortable and bumpy boat ride. Fly-fishing in high winds make it incredibly hard to cast to any rolling tarpon that we may happen to find. We prayed for good weather.
We also booked some sweet accommodations, our accommodations were house boats docked in the marina and within walking distance to our favorite bar and grill, Hurricane Hole. Not only does this place have the best selection of cold beer but great food as well. FYI not only will they cook up your catch of the day for you but they have some of the best wasabi / teriyaki chicken wings around. Highly recommended.
Step Two, Excited To Fish
After packing up our multitude of salt water fly rods as well as a couple of fishing shorts, a few t-shirts and sweat shirt or two. We hopped a plane from SLC at 5:00 am and deplaning in Key West around noon, with just enough time to drop off our luggage and jump aboard our awaiting guide boats for an afternoon hunting down some tarpon is a fantastic day in my book! Oh ya and ending the day with some delicious sea food and some yummy beer at Hurican Hole Bar and Grill doesn’t suck either.
Catching Tarpon? Not So Much
To make a long story short folks. The winds were not in our favor that week, not to say that our guides didn’t get us some great looks at some schools of rolling tarpon, because they did and they worked hard to do it.
No we didn’t succeed in catching any tarpon but that didn’t stop our fantastic guides from getting us into some great fish! While the winds were up we made our way behind some larger keys and not only fished but were blessed with catching a lot of great fish. Some of my favorite fish we caught were Snook, Jack Crevalle, Barracuda and Mangrove Snapper.
The Bottom Line Folks
What an amazing opportunity and a fantastic seven days of fly-fishing on the salt water, living in Utah that doesn’t happen easily. I want to give a big shout out to our good friends at Key West Pro Guides, they worked so hard to get us into quality fish! If you ever have a chance to get down to the keys I highly suggest you look them up (KWPG), Its well worth it!
I am certainly a beginner at salt water fly-fishing but completely enjoy spending time to learn this different type of fishing as well as being able to experience all the fantastic scenery and landscape that Key West provides.
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Not on a Fly Rod But Still Cool!
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