Admittedly, Winter 2013 did get off to a bit of a slow start. With few significant cold fronts during the holiday season and even fewer during the first few weeks of the New Year, Everglades anglers were left wondering where all the snook were spending their sunny spring-like days and nights!!
Redfish were abundant and cooperative, making excellent targets for sight fishing purists who like to cast shrimpy-crabby fly patterns along the oyster clad shorelines of the 10,000 Islands and coastal bights to the south of Everglades City.
But, as fate would have it, several strong late season cold fronts created the conditions necessary to produce the world-class backcountry snook and tarpon fishing the Everglades are renowned for!!!
Although the devastating freeze of 2010 has put a big dent in our snook population, I can honestly say that there are still many days when veteran guides and perennial visitors might say the fly fishing is as good as it has ever been.
Unfortunately, those days are not as numerous as we would all like, but when the conditions are right, miracles do still happen deep in the backcountry of Everglades National Park!!!
Passing cold fronts always offer the best fishing during the winter months.
Small windows of warm, humid weather accompanied by equally small periods of low, dense cloud cover and light northwest combine to complete the perfect for incredible snook fishing in the tannin-stained waters of the backcountry.
Mark Goebel will attest to that as he spent one such morning earlier this month catching more than 25 snook up to 31 inches on foam poppers and deer-hair sliders!!
I can recall standing on the platform and giggling like a 10-year-old as literally dozens of snook smashed, crashed, crushed and smothered cast after cast with my secret little Everglades popper (Available to all of my best clients only … Ha!!!).
Once the cold fronts pass and the strongest northeast winds subside, surface temps begin to recover, triggering the largest snook and resident tarpon to float somewhat lackadaisically around random places in the backcountry!
And … if you, or your guide, knows where those places are, you will most certainly have the chance to cast to the fish of a life time!!!
Nine and 10-weight rods are the rule when casting big baitfish patterns and rabbit-strips to fish laid-up in varied depths of dark water!
The first weekend in March brought with it one last nasty little cold front which will undoubtedly suppress the northerly tarpon migration for at least another week or two … Hooray for my clients who have dates booked through the middle of July … All of whom have high hopes of doing battle with the Silver King!
Looking forward to an awesome March with some of my favorite clients!