Well June is here and things are in full swing here in Islamorada and the Florida Keys. The winds have lightened a bit and hopefully we’re in for more summer-like conditions because May was brutal. With the exception of a few days, it blew 15 – 20+ knots the entire month. Remember kids, a knot is slightly more than a mph. On top of that, we had a late season cold front! In May! I actually considered putting fleece on but decided to man up. Sorry to whine about it, but when you make your living in the great outdoors the topic of “weather” is a biggie. Needless to say, it made tarpon fishing a bit tough. Tough for the expert casters and impossible for everyone else. The lesson in all of this is be prepared for the wind. Forget all the stuff you’ve seen on TV with slicked out conditions. Sure it happens but most of the year you’re dealing with a breeze. If you’re dead set on bonefish, permit or tarpon, dealing with wind is part of the game. There’s simply no place to hide from it when you’re fishing for those guys. Knowing how to double haul is essential to success. Forget that $800 fly rod! Buy a $400 dollar rod and spend the rest on casting lessons! Unfortunately far too many anglers come to the Keys unprepared. There is nothing more heartbreaking for a guide than to see blown opportunities due to bad casts. Those missed opportunities add up and before you know it, you’re headed back to the dock fishless.
Anyways, I’ll stop ranting and start talking about the fishing. Tarpon fishing has been up and down. The weather being a huge factor as well as the migration itself. With the balmy winter we had a ton of fish move through. I’ve had a number of days recently when we’re only getting a handful of shots. When fishing is like that, you have to make those shots count. Not that they’re all eaters but you won’t know unless that fly fortnite-sex.com is in their face! Tarpon fishing can be frustrating as hell but jump a 80 -100 pound beast and you’ll forget all the bullshit you had to deal with. More and more permit are returning from offshore. I like looking for those guys floating on the calm days with good overhead light. Man I love those fish! Haven’t done much bonefishing of late but things seem to be improving although it’s been hit or miss. Redfishing has been solid but the great news outback is the snook. They’re definitely making a solid comeback. Seeing plenty of juvenile fish which is just awesome. My new favorite fish outback however is the sheepshead. Go ahead and laugh then try to get one to eat a fly! They are as spooky if not spookier than permit. And they tail too! Sheepshead are awesome!
And now for something completely different! My short story ‘Glades Tarpon was published in the spring issue of The Drake and it looks like I’m going to be published in the summer issue as well. If you haven’t picked up a copy go grab one! Until next time. -Pete