January 14, 2011
DIY Adventure: Snook in the Everglades
By Kirk Deeter
For those of you dreaming about fly fishing in warm places, before you shell out the big bucks to jet off to some exotic island lodge, here's a do-it-yourself adventure to consider. Try fishing for snook and baby tarpon in Everglades National Park. You can camp along the way but bring plenty of ice, skeeter spray, and pure water. I'd recommend going in the cooler months.
Kayak fishing is an amazing experience. My buddy Al Keller and I hooked up with Captain Charles Wright at Everglades Kayak Fishing, who dropped us off with two boats (and a big cooler) on an little key for several days. Exploring the labyrinth of mangrove-ringed bays was one of the best fly fishing adventures of my life. At one point, paddling across a muddy bay, I counted the fins of 25 sharks, a few of which swam up to check me out, but they bolted away with the splash of the paddle. It's a real, rugged, "out there" experience for sure.
And I happen to think snook are one of the coolest, perhaps under- appreciated, species that can be caught on a fly. They attack with gusto, and fight hard. There's definitely something special about seeing a long shadow on an oyster bar, or tucked under the mangrove roots...making a cast...stripping the fly...and watching that fish accelerate. Once you see that, life just isn't the same.
Anybody done this? Anyone interested?