Tag Archives: naples

Florida Keys: Chilling In Someones Screen Saver

Papa Mac and I walked down to the dock where Capt Derek Rust was having a beer with his buddies while he cleaned off his bay boat from an evening fun fish. He handed us an 11 weight and told us to cast at the bow of a 60 foot yacht. The marina tarpon were rolling around and we all watched them while drinking a few beers. P-Mac laid out a cast and jumped about a 40 lb poon before it spit the hook. We all cheered and continued with our banter. The very next cast a smaller fish 15-20lbs was on the rod leaping around the marina. Again we cheered and gave P-Mac shit while he was bringing the fish towards the dock. But, the marina poon met its demise when a giant boil/ splash erupted 20 feet from the dock and making the line go slack. Shark we all yelled. Then we saw it swim under the lights. A shark it was.. About a 500lb Bull Shark that just inhaled a tarpon in one bite.



For the next 2 days we fished from Derek’s Hells Bay Marquesa casting to everything we saw. There certainly was more casting then catching and for me that was plenty.Boat_Trailer_sunrelease When it comes to Saltwater Angling I am certainly way out of my element and I appreciate all that people teach me. I feel like I am getting a little better. It also amazes me how you can lay out a beautiful 70 foot cast when you are messing around but when a school of Giant Permit swims at you 50 feet away you become jelly. This happened multiple times. And although some considered the fly P-Mac and I got the Permit smack down. As we floated across a beautiful flat Derek said “somewhere this view is someones screen saver and here were are chilling in it.” And he was right. The dark blues, greens and turquoise colors popped against the light blue sky. It was perfect. Thanks Derek.



After a tragic week for the United States as well as for our family I have come to realize this — The wind/ sun on your face, being able to walk/ run, having a great family/ wife /kid(s), friends, smell of flowers, saltwater, snow, heat, rain, humidity, hangover, smiles, laughter, sad and angry. — are things that I have taken for granted at one point or another. P-MacreleaseSometimes it takes a tragedy or an unexpected event for us to realize that we are all on borrowed time and that we should embrace and enjoy all we can.  This last week I took a minute each day to focus on some of these things and appreciate what was present and not get angry at what was not. For example: A Giant Tarpon was present, but my fly was not. Never a reason to get angry in that situation. Frustrated sure but angry no way. Although I am sure Capt Derek might have been a touch angry. This was the first time rustreleaseI had seen Derek since his move from Tahoe. It was good to catch up and have him show us around his new stomping grounds. I was truly amazed on how much he has learned during his time down there. Just the massive body of water that is in front of you is intimidating enough, then throw in tides, water temps, currents, boats, motors, poles, shit I am already tired. Hats off to you Capt Derek.

tarpon popperrelease-2

Our trip to Florida this year was great, the fishing was a bonus. Our little boy “Maco” was walking on the beach and loved water. He even got to go on his first boat ride, although he was a little fussy with his life jacket on he loved the wind blowing in his hair. Little dude also got to see his Great Grand Father who is the original Joe. The four Joe’s got to hang for an evening and chat over dinner. Something that rarely happens. Wifey got to get her tan on which puts her in a happy place and overall it was just good to be around family. Fishing was a bonus.



Enjoy the spring it is a great time to be doing anything. Thanks for reading.

Naples Florida Tarpon Fly Fishing: Success

Brazda and I were trying to get our Tarpon juju right as mark ward shut the engine off and started building a new leader. It was about 9 in the morning and the tide was slack. ” these fish cruise right through this tongue when the tide comes in” mark explained. I was pumped I hadn’t had florida fishing conditions like this for a very long time, the wind was variable and out of the east no clouds and flat calm. Braz spoke up and said ” you’re up dooda” I jumped up on the bow and said “are you sure?”

Mark was up on the poling platform scanning the horizon when he said ” joey over here on your left about 40 feet. You see it?” I did but couldn’t tell which way the fish was facing then it turned. I made my shot and started to strip. I was almost to the end of my fly line when the fish inhaled my fly. It exploded into the sky right next to the boat and instantly took took all the fly line and into the backing. Jeff caught all of the hour battle with some great shots. Below are some pics from the fight. Thanks Braz for the unbelievable pics you took.


Tail Walking On The Horizon

Into The Backing

After about an battle of tug o war the rod broke above the second eyelet. I was able to wrangle the beast next to the boat where mark grabbed the fish by its mouth. One head shake later Mark lost his grip on the beast and it slowly floated off. The broken rod tip caught the edge of the boat and popped off the fish. I was so tired it was a relief to done with the battle. In the picture below you can see the rod dangling in the the air.

Jeff took too many good pictures to post but one of my favorites is the one below which he made a banner on his face book page Fly Fishing Washington. Be sure to check it out for more great pictures of fly fishing adventures from around the country,

A Way Of Life

Naples Florida Fly Fishing: Tarpon

“Jeff you have a fish 10 o’clock laid up underneath that mangrove. you see it?” “no.. oh wait which way is it facing?” It was a falling tide and the flats fishing had died off so we hit the back country before motoring in for the day. The fish was laid up tight to the mangroves under the over hanging leaves. It was going to be a tough shot. Braz picked up the line and placed it too far behind the fish. “your behind him” mark said ” pick it up and throw it to your left.” “too far left, it is a tough cast.” Brazda picked up the line and plopped it under the leaves on top of the fish. ” get that out of there before the line touches its back and spooks him.” Braz made a few big strips and this is what happened.

The Hookset

The Rising

The Spit

The Finish

The Cursing

We finished out the day poling the last two bays and headed North towards the marina. It had been a great day. The morning was a bit more successful.. stay tuned. Right now we are drinking rum and going snook fishing under the lights. Don’t discriminate. That sheeeet is fun.