I am a full-time fishing guide specializing in fly fishing and light tackle angling on the flats and in the backcountry of Islamorada, the Florida Keys and Everglades National Park. With more than thirty years experience on the water and a dozen years experience guiding anglers of all ability levels, I want to be your guide on the fishing adventure of a lifetime!
Islamorada and the Florida Keys are simply a paradise for fisherman. Anything with fins that is worth catching is found here. The bonefish, permit and tarpon fishing is world class, with the very real possibility of casting to record sized fish on any given day. While bonefish, permit and tarpon are synonymous with Islamorada and the Florida Keys, the fishing opportunities don’t end there. Fishing for redfish and snook in the Islamorada backcountry and Everglades National Park often goes unmentioned but it’s an absolutely fantastic fishery!
I am a patient, friendly and courteous guide whose only concern is that your day on the water is an enjoyable one. Whether you are an expert, a novice, or a parent taking their child fishing for the first time, you will not find a guide who will work harder to ensure that your day on the water is fun, memorable and loaded with fish!
I hope you enjoy my website and thanks for visiting.
-Capt. Pete Rowney
Often referred to as “The Ghost” for its ability to blend with its surroundings and vanish before your eyes, bonefish represent one of the great flats challenges.
If you want to catch a bonefish the size of a mullet, go ahead and book a trip to Mexico or Belize. Have fun. I’ve caught brown trout bigger.
Islamorada bonefish are different. They have shoulders. The average Islamorada bonefish is normally in the 6-9 lb. range with fish in the double digits common.
Hook an Islamorada bonefish that has you looking at a near empty spool and you’ll understand why our bonefish fishing is special. Shots on world record-sized fish are always a possibility.
Considered by many to be the ultimate flats prize, permit are a combination of high octane speed and bulldog tenacity coupled with a hypersensitive disposition and an ability to disappear in front of your eyes.
Fishing for Islamorada permit represents probably the greatest flats challenge and to catch one on fly an angling achievement.
Islamorada permit average 12-20 lbs. but fish in the thirty-pound range are common and larger fish are always a possibility. Deep bodied, thickly muscled and powered by a tuna-like tail, permit will fight all the way to the boat and take off on another blistering run just when you think you have them.
The first time you hook an Islamorada tarpon and a fish that looks like a 6-foot piece of polished chrome goes airborne, you’ll know why the nickname “Silver King” is appropriate.
Legendary for their strength and aerial acrobatics, tarpon can range in size from petite to down right slob-sized. At certain times of the year casting to one hundred pound fish is common!
Islamorada tarpon fishing will test your physical and mental limits. They will beat you up and leave you psychologically in tatters. How many other fish can you say that about?! Tarpon fever, baby!!!
Typically found in the “backcountry” of Everglades National Park, Islamorada redfish rank right up with bonefish, permit and tarpon as a perfect gamefish. Tough, stubborn fighters, redfish can be every bit as fussy and frustrating as bonefish.
Redfish can be found along mangrove shorelines or on flats so shallow you’d swear they were swimming in wet grass. Tailing redfish are every bit exciting to see as tailing bonefish and demand the same stealthy approach and accurate casts. Islamorada redfish are common in the 4-8 lb. range with larger fish always a possibility. Once you’ve “seen Red” you’ll be addicted!
Generally found in the “backcountry” of Everglades National Park, Islamorada snook are another phenomenal gamefish. Bucket mouthed and explosive, snook don’t just inhale flies and baits, they destroy them!
They are structure seeking gamefish, ambushing prey from the cover of mangrove shorelines. When they are tight to cover they can be a bit tough with a fly rod but in cooler months snook will seek warmth and sun themselves out in the open. It’s a perfect setup for a fly rod!
Islamorada snook are common in the 5-10 lb. range with the slob twenty pounders a possibility. If you ever get “snook thumb” you’ll be showing it off to all your friends!
Speckled sea trout, jack crevalle, ladyfish, mangrove snapper, grouper, Spanish mackerel, sharks and a million other species can all be found “out back” in Florida Bay and Everglades National Park.
Islamorada fishing guides refer to these species as “fun fish” because they don’t require any angling experience and they’re all fun to catch. If you’re simply looking to have a stress-free day of rod bending action, “fun fish” are the way to go.
For fly anglers new to the sport, “fun fish” are a great way to work on casting skills while catching fish at the same time. If you simply want to have fun, it’s all about the “fun fish”!
“The solution to any problem – work, love, money, whatever – is to go fishing, and the worse the problem, the longer the trip should be.”
~ John Gierach
Well spring has sprung on the flats of Islamorada and the Florida Keys. And with the warmer water temps one of our flats favorites has been showing in good numbers: the tarpon. Each day more and more fish have been showing in the backcountry and on the flats closer to home. Most of these fish are … Read More...