Photo Essay


INTERACTIVE AQUARIUM: Ian Wilson-Navarro’s Invasive Florida

In any conversation I have with fishing folk who lack real-world knowledge of the South, a mention of Florida immediately evokes a conversation about the Keys and its tarpon, bonefish and permit. Much to their surprise, I let them know tarpon can be caught on both sides of the state, not just at the bottom. I have not once been asked about flyfishing in Florida’s interior. If you want to truly get to know a place, would you go to the chain restaurant on the strip and ask the smiling dullard of a host about the local scene? Or would you go to the alley behind the restaurant, gain some goodwill from the kitchen staff by freely doling out smokes, and find out where you should really hang out in this place you find yourself? 

I’m a back-alley kind of gentleman. In this metaphor, the flats and your bright and shiny species are the chain restaurant, Florida’s uncountable miles of canal, creek, river, pond and lake are the alley, and the kitchen staff is a whole host of South and Central American fish species that through fate, ignorance and biological tinkering now call these waters home. If you’re only fishing on the outside of Florida, you’re selling yourself (and Florida) short…

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