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MidCurrent Lower Florida Keys Tarpon Report

Posted on May 19 2005

We were lucky enough to spend a few days in Key West this week and pole after tarpon, which arrived in a premeditated frenzy along the ocean side of the Keys and actually ate flies, if that can be believed. Steve Abel, Andy Mill, Steve Walburn (editor of Saltwater Fly Fishing magazine) and a host of other notables were there doing a lot of fishing on just a little sleep. It was, truth be told, a bit like the old days, with gobs of fish arriving out of the ocean and rolling calmly within 10 feet of the skiff.
Better yet, there weren’t that many boats. Apparently the horrible weather of last year left a bad taste in the mouths of many anglers, and a lot of guides have decided that real estate is a much more predictable line of work.
It does seem that most fly fishers are choosing 60- or 70-pound fluorocarbon for shock leaders this year, opting for more bites over long fights. Owner’s Aki (2/0 and 1/0) is typically the hook of choice. But otherwise things haven’t changed much in the past 10 or 20 years. You still get 2 glorious days of weather out of 7, and if you want to catch a lot of fish you must be able to cast over the boat and deal with wind, even over your casting shoulder. Oh yes: and fish with a good guide.

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