Watch Video:Flies & Fins Rough Cut
The crew had been assembled, Will and Bryan (the Bear) drove down from New Orleans, Brian Esposito came over from Ft. Lauderdale, and Jeff, Kevin, and Bill joined me at our “headquarters”, a borrowed house in Everglades City, FL. The plan was simple, head out into the Everglades with enough supplies for a week, 4 Hell’s Bay skiffs, and all of our camera gear ( a few crappy cameras), and see what we could get ourselves into and how long we could last.We all piled into the boats some guy wished us luck, and we roared into the wilderness. By roared I mean we did about 20mph. I felt like the leader of a moped biker gang. We put the biggest guy (bear) in the tiniest boat (Skate) for fun, and not 5 minutes into the journey we ran aground. About an hour after a quick push to deeper water we had reached our destination, a small Key near Lostman’s river in the heart of the Everglades National Park.We were in our own back yard but completely out of our element, as none of us had ever done this before, and only a couple of us had ever spent a night or two out there. After settling in for the night, I realized we weren’t alone. The bugs showed up in force, along with an alligator, a crocodile, three one eyed tipsy seagulls, and at least 3,000 raccoons. Ok there were probably only a few coons, but we were never able to confirm that, and to this day are still wondering how many we were dealing with. I popped a xanax and slept like a baby.One would think that when camping in the Everglades that you would be awoken by the birds or the sun or something nice, but we were awaken by Bill, who really loves his boat. It was aground, really aground, but so were all the other skiffs. The tide had fallen as expected, and all four boats were way up on the beach. Queue the Bear. 3 seconds later we were all fine, but I knew that in the back of Bill’s mind that he knew that his new Whipray was now damaged goods….he he.The next bunch of days we all agree, was one of the best weeks of our lives. And the fishing, was out of this world. While most of the country was freezing their asses off, we were busy rippin lips. I got to catch one of the biggest snook of my life, Will caught his personal best, and we went deeper into the glades than I have ever been.We are currently editing it all down as our entry for the fly fishing film tour for 2010. The first stop is in Ventura, Ca on January 26, 2010, and we have about 4 months of editing to cram into the next three weeks. If you need me, I’ll be easy to find.