Welcome to the forum and the great sport of fly fishing!
Spend some time browsing the forum and using the search function, then if you can't find answers to your questions, don't hesitate to ask, we have some really talented fly fishermen on this site that are more than willing to help out.
Also take a look at the Orvis Learning Center, lots of stuff there for folks just learning the sport. How To Fly Fish For Trout, Bass & More | Learn Fly Fishing With Orvis
Orvis also has a fly fishing podcast by Tom Rosenbaeur, take some time and look through the archives, tons of information there.
Fly Fishing Podcasts | Weekly Fly Fishing Podcast Tips | Orvis Fishing Podcasts | Fly Fishing Tips W
Ask About Fly Fishing Internet Radio has some pretty interesting episodes, take some time and listen to the ones of interest. I think you have to sign up to listen to the archives, but it is free for a limited time.
Fly Fishing - Internet Radio
Also take a look at YouTube, there are hundreds if not thousands of fly fishing videos there.
Your kayaking encounters with the gators reminded me of a tubing trip we did over by Tyndall AFB when I was in the Air Force. We had about six folks all in tubes floating this small stream, we stopped for lunch at a wide spot in the stream, while eating lunch someone says, "What is that on that log over there?"..........when it started moving we all knew what it was. Made the last half of the float kind of creepy and it was the one and last tubing trip we made in Florida.