The Florida Keys Opens For Fishing After Hurricane Irma

It seems like the last six weeks have lasted six years in the Florida Keys. After a direct hit from category 4 hurricane Irma the Florida keys and it’s residents have been coming back to life. The damage to the infrastructure has required a massive effort, but I am happy to report we are accepting visitors and running fishing charters once again! On the bright side we have all learned just how strong our community really is, and have witnessed the power of this place and it’s people.


If you are planning on visiting the Florida Keys for a fly fishing trip there are a few things to keep in mind. All lodging options are not available at this time. Most of our hotels and resorts are open, but check with me for the best options for your stay. Key West is the best option, but there are plenty of other places to stay in the Lower Keys. The Keys and it’s residents could definitely use the economic boost right now. Visit the Keys tourism website.


Florida Keys Fly Fishing Report Oct. – Nov. 2017


The fishing was not affected in any meaningful way that I can tell. I am catching permit, bonefish, and tarpon in the same areas as before the hurricane. In fact the fishing has been fantastic in the Keys. I couldn’t help but worry the fly fishing might suffer as a result of the storm. As a fly fishing guide in the Florida keys my families future is directly tied to the quality of the fishery. I would lay in bed wondering if I would find fish in the same places as before. A few gray hairs later, all is well in permit paradise. It might even be better than before. I know I certainly appreciate it more.


The fall is the best time of the year here in the Keys to fly fish for big bonefish. The drop in water temperatures kicks the appetite of bonefish and permit into overdrive. Schools of hungry bones can be found scouring the ocean side and gulf edge flats. For what ever reason bonefish seem to tail more often this time of year and that adds to the excitement. You should really consider a fly fishing trip to the Florida Keys for bonefish this fall.


Permit are out in force right now as well. The water temps are perfect for my friend the black tailed devil. I have been seeing and catching permit every trip out. Nice size schools have been cruising the flats, with the occasional lone jumbo permit. The fly fishing for permit should stay very consistent for the foreseeable future. This is a great time of year to fly fish for permit, and there are very few other boats on the water. This makes the permit more relaxed, and that much more cooperative.


Tarpon fishing will remain good until our first real cold fronts. Our resident and baby tarpon have been willing to play most days. These smaller tarpon range from 10 – 60 lbs and are a riot to catch. They are most active on calm mornings and of course after the sun goes down. I love fly fishing for tarpon at night around area bridges because the action is hard to beat. Plus you never know when you might hook a beast out there this time of year.

If you are interested in a Florida Keys fly fishing charter please give me a call at 305-340-9863 or you can contact me here.