Its Been A Great Year!



It’s been just over a year since Martha and I moved to Florida. It took us a few months to get settled in the house before I could get out and fish. Then hurricane Irma showed up. So its was a rather interesting first year in Florida, with a couple of set backs. But I did get out and walk the beach for Snook, kayak fish the grass flats in the many local bays,  fish for Pompeno with kayak guide Neil Taylor, chase Albies in the Gulf of Mexico with Captain Rick Grasset, fish mangrove Islands around Chokilosky in the Everglades, fish the freshwater canals in the Everglades with my new friends in the Mangrove Coast Fly Fishers, kayak fish the Falka Union river with Chris Duerksen, and travel down to the keys to fish for Tarpon with Captain Matt Thomas. I did more fishing in the past year than any time in my life. Although I spent years teaching fly fishing and fly tying classes in Colorado, it is like I am learning to fish all over again. For me fishing Colorado was trout, trout, and more trout. Now I love trout fishing, and I long for the cool, clean, mountain streams, high mountain lakes, and the whole mountain environment. I miss the hatches of Blue Wing Olives, Caddis Flies, PMD’s, Green Drakes, Tricos and Midges. I can’t wait to return to Colorado. I had to leave my 6x tippet in my vest next to my box of #22 midges and move on to a completely new environment filled with many new opportunities. Each day here in Bradenton Florida there are literally dozens of options of where to go and what to fish for. I could kayak fish a freshwater lake, fish the gulf of Mexico, walk the beach, float a tidal mangrove stream, explore a hidden mangrove lake, or fish one of the many local bays. There are a variety of factors to take into account such as the tides, the wind, the moon phase, wave height, and water temperature. You never know what you are going to catch. Here is a list of the different kinds of fish I caught this past year: Trout, Snook, Spanish Mackerel, Blue Fish, Jacks, Pompeno, Whiting, Lady Fish, Permit, Bonito, Black Drum, Red Fish, Pinfish, Hound Fish, Lizard Fish, Puffer Fish, Grunts, Sea Bass, Mangrove Snapper, Gag Grouper, Largemouth Bass, Stumpknockers, Blue Gills, three kinds of Catfish, Bowfins, Myan Ciclids, Oscars, Crappies, and Gars. There were also a few fish that I caught that I couldn’t figure out what they were. In Tampa Bay alone there are over 240 different species. While fishing in the keys with my friend and professional guide Matt Thomas, I jumped 3 Tarpon but did not land one. The “trout set” kicked in and I have realized how much I have to learn in order to land one of the “Silver Giants”. Fish that are still on my bucked list are Tarpon, Barracuda, Peacock Bass, Snakeheads, a large Black Drum, a big Gar, and a small Sharks or two. Instead of the list growing smaller, it is expanding. Hope you will stick around for the adventure.

One thought on “Its Been A Great Year!

  1. Nice blog Jimmy. Yes, I’m excited your blog reads like a novel. I can see your mind spinning after each fishing session. Is a drift boat to wide for the mangroves? I’ll be down for sure. You always have a place here for you Colorado adventures.


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