When you think of the Everglades in Florida many thoughts may come to mind – vast gator filed swamps, oceans of grass, one of the most epic places for birding, the only place like it in the world, adventure, and so on. But for locals and those visitors that have chosen to do so, the Everglades is a true mecca for fishing enthusiasts. This place has called out to fishing legends such as Flip Pallot and Herman Luscerne. I was born and raised in Miami, and have had the pleasure of being able to visit this place almost every weekend for 20 years, I have since moved on – and in leaving the access to the Everglades, this is a decision that affects me the most to this day.
I have always been a backcountry and flats fishing guy, the Everglades for such an activity is world renowned. I use to hit the Flamingo marina and travel the front and backside on nearly every weekend of my existence in the area. But the Everglades and Everglades National Park have much more to offer.
One of the best places to fish the ‘glades is on the west coast just south of Chokoloskee. This part of the park is in line with the 10,000 islands fishery and all points south to Flamingo. It has expansive flats and backcountry systems that hold resident Tarpon, Redfish, Snook, and Sea Trout – to name just a few.
For fly fisherman, the park is a dream destination. You are situated in the old Florida, with enough expanse to find you own hole for your day of fishing. You silently stalk the flats on a shallow water skiff being polled into some of the most remote locations. You can see activity all around you at nearly any tide or condition.
Regardless of your fish count, a day in the park is always a memorable one. It’s one of the places that adhere to the saying of many shallow water enthusiast that proclaim, “Its not about the fish”. This place grabs on to your inner soul and brings you to a raw personal state that no other place can bring you to.
If you have yet to make the journey into the park, a local guide can go a long ways towards making sure you experience the park as you should. Some stewards of conversation in the Everglades have also taken up careers in guiding here. To my knowledge, one of the absolute best is Glades Fly Fishing. Capt. Paul Nocifora is a true local who fishes everything from the parks west side to the Marco Island fishery. He is a fly fisherman who also caters to light tackle enthusiasts. But one of the most important assets of Capt. Paul is his true love or the Everglades and the surrounding fisheries. Check out his contact info below:
Trip info here