Everglades Reds

Watching the stars out of the indigo sky while sleeping on the platform around WilyWily in Everglades National Park. I had lost count and could not believe how crisp and beautiful the stars shined bright. Winter had just passed and springs was on its way the only real transition of weather patterns this far south in Florida. Basically it’s ether hot or nice and the nice last for about two months before it turns back into hot. The guided trip was a adventure in its self with a cold front blasting through the region of the state a day before and the tidal effects of a new moon the landscape looked as foreign as I’ve ever seen it. A whole other world only accessible by the shallowest of skiffs.


The bugs were tolerable and for most part it was quite comfortable. Any uncomfortable-ness was ignored or over shadowed by the fishing. As I drifted a sleep the wind was dry and crisp as it whispered out of the north trying to go north east . The smell of coffee and fried ham woke me up it was five in the morning and chilly. The horizon to the east casted the beautiful grey and off in the distance you could just make out the silhouettes of three ducks heading further south. With a belly full of fried ham eggs and toasted Cuban bread we loaded our gear. Seven and five weights the five weight was up lined to a six. The assortment of fly ranged from poppers, gurglers,and live bait patterns.


With our yeti thermos filled with grainy coffee and the skiff loaded down with lunch we were ready for a all day adventure exploring the interior waters of E.N.P on a falling tide. The water way was composed of little tidal tributaries that branched off and poured into and out of bays. The water was clear and cool. The summer months are usually the opposite the water is not as clear and luke warm. Running the skiff up to one of the bay’s the waters were still and the sun was warming the southerly side of the bay up. We decided to pole into the bay which was only two feet deep in the deepest parts. I’d never seen a crawling RedFish or even eight Crawling Redfish .


These fish were foraging on what I believe to be crabs or some type of crustaceans. There back’s were glistening in the rising morning sun. They would every so often charge and push at food towards shallows of the mangrove flat. Green and yellow leaves littered the bay floor and the sediment on the bottom was a rich black color. After twenty minutes of watching this awesome display of nature we could not contain our selfs any more. Six weight with brown and tan gurgler, a long shot at the most . A nice thirty foot cast two strips and the fly started to spit and bubble. Two of the eight Redfish started to race and it was on . They pushed the fly out of the water with the bridges of their noses. A light copper color that stood out in the shallow water and mangrove green wall as a back drop. Finally the more dominant Redfish smashed the gurgler with a explosion of water. A health strip set and the fight had just be gun .


I watched as the fish raced at speeds I’d never seen it cut a cross one end of the bay and then doubled back heading for the entrance. Six weight” screaming” a foreign noise in this jungle paradise . Poling as fast as I could I closed the gap and the fish settled down . The reality was that this fish had never been caught or even had a hook in its mouth. After releasing the twenty one inch Redfish we watched and caught three more. The biggest being thirty four inches . Watching these great fish in one of the thousand bays we could fine was in itself worth the trip. Latter that night we celebrated with home made chocolate chip cookies and some “Makers Mark” . Discussing our adventures and listening to each other’s perceptions on the beauty’s of E.N.P hoping to learn something we hadn’t seen . Battered fly’s and used six weights lay in the skiff as the stars fall once again out of the indigo sky. Experience this here: http://gladesflyfishing.com/


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