A buddy and I are headed down to key largo/islamorada area this weekend. We fly into Ft. Lauderdale Sat. afternoon and are staying in miami the first night and going to the boat show the following day. After we plan on staying at Hawk's Cay the following two nights. Hawk's Cay is on the secluded island of Duck Cay. Our final night we are planning on staying at Ocean Reef Club in Key Largo. The goal is to fly fish as much as possible and have a good time. This is our first trip flying in the keys and was hoping if anyone could give me some information relevant to our location, etc. We tend to get a guide atleast one day, and free lance, wade the flats, on the other two days, really appreciate it.
I believe he still guides out of there in the winter and spring. Paul's an excellent guide and knows the water down there very well. He should be able to hook you up with other guides also if he's booked.
They have folks that specialize in fly fishing that they can recommend. There are some super guides in the Keys, as well as "guides" that spend most of their time shucking clams that would be very happy to take you for a boat ride. Getting a guide recommended by ORC or Sandy or Sue at the shop would be a very good move. Since weather can be such a factor this time of year especially, you might want to see about getting a trip into the gulf side (looking for bones on the flats, or dense schools of sea trout on mullet) if conditions allow, then heading into the everglades backcountry—the backcountry will allow you to get out of the wind, and there’s a possibility of some big laid up tarpon, as well as small-medium tarpon, snook, and all kinds of other stuff. It shouldn’t be too far of a run from Islamorada and even less from Key Largo—(you should be able to arrange to meet the guide with his trailered boat closer to the park for more fishing time instead of run time.)
Sandy or Sue at the shop or folks at the ORC can also direct you to some areas to try for wading on your own--- just be aware that you’ll need a SW fishing license if you’re fishing on your own (you’re covered under the guide’s license when fishing with him/her). They’re available all over the place down there, and you can probably get them in the shop. There are some places that have site licenses that cover guests fishing on their grounds, so inquire about that wherever you're staying and you may not need a SW license if you fish from their property.
We will be down in Islamorada next month field testing some of the '09 gear and chasing some bones. Peregrines has some very good intel above and knows the area better than I do. A couple of additional recommendations for you. I would suggest booking a good guide for 2 half days rather than 1 full day for a couple of reasons. First, the best fishing on the flats is normally with the incoming tide, when the fish come in to feed. Second, you are less prone to a day of poor fishing and/or tough weather. The cost is not much more for two half days that 1 full day and doesn't put all your eggs in the same basket. We always plan our fishing, both guided and wading, around the tide charts. You can consult Islamorada area tide charts for your trip at Tide Tables. Hope this helps. Have a great trip!
Is this Todd? I am glad to see you posting. We will be looking for your report about your trip to the Key's. I hope you can help out some of our rod buyers with information on the Redington Rods you sell. Not in this thread but let us know what is new with Redington this year.
Forum members, Todd runs the Forum Fly Shop. We need to support the Forum Fly Shop as much as we can.
I haven't had much time to stay on top of the forum postings, but members are always welcome to send me a PM or call the Forum Fly Shop at 937-434-8472. We've had a number of people discovering the forum after shopping the Forum Fly Shop, which is great!
Hopefully, NAFFF members and moderators will support the Forum Fly Shop and look here first, before going elsewhere to purchase their gear. We have a huge selection of the best gear on the market today including Sage, Simms, Redington, Ross, RIO, Islander, C&F Design, Clear Creek, Rainy's Flies, and more. And of course, the revenue helps directly support the forum.