Earlier this month (Dec. 5 & 6) I spent some time in Islamorada participating in the Ladies, Let's Go Fishing! seminar, dubbed the no yelling school of fishing for women. Due to a conflict with work, I couldn't enjoy the full weekend (especially the day of fishing) but glad I made the trip because I learned so much during the seminar. I'll just have to find another time to head down there to fish.
Some of the Saturday sessions were very basic but for the most part, I learned something new from each presenter. The interactive sessions were fun, a chance to apply what was learned. This included boat handling, fly casting, and rigging ballyhoo. That was the gooiest task, rigging the bait fish but the task was somewhat easy for me. It involved squeezing out its poop, popping out its eyes (with a pencil), and sticking in the hooks. To the left is fly fishermen Sandy Moret. Here's some trivia, Sandy used to bring groups to Flamingo when I worked there.
Sunday was the practical, so to say, but I headed back Saturday night. Most of the participants went out on the water with fishing charter captains and had a successful day. I'm jealous.
I definitely recommend Ladies, Let's Go Fishing! to any gal wanting to learn something new. It'd also make a great Florida girlfriend getaway. The instructors are accomplished and successful fishing charter captains and very patient with instruction and questions. Oh! Can't forget about the loads of swag given away, raffles, and great silent and live auctions. I ended with a gorgeous pair of polarized sunglasses made by Flying Fishermen and gift certificate for a canoeing trip with an outfitter in the Tampa Bay area.
The event was at Holiday Isle and I ended up staying at the Islmorada Motel (photo to the right). Nothing fancy but terrific people, clean motel room, and fab price. It's a bit 60s so a little kitsch but again, a great place to stay. Steps away is the Marker 88 Restaurant, which I mentioned in this blog post about stone crabs.
Heading back to Port Charlotte Saturday night, I stopped at the Key Largo Conch House for dinner. I was looking for fast food even though I didn't want fast food but knew I had to eat something. It was dark and thank goodness because I probably wouldn't have seen the Conch House during the day. It was the holiday lights out by the road that caught my attention.
I did a U-turn and headed to the quaint restaurant in what looks to be a house. I sat outside on the patio and felt like I was at a friend's house. Enjoyed a tasty order of conch fritters (which were served steaming hot, see a photo of them on Flickr.) and some sort of wonderful fish served with crab meat and asparagus.
This was much better than hitting up a fast food joint.
I was in the Keys for about 26 hours that weekend, definitely not enough time. But, I live a lot closer to them than I did a year ago, so maybe I'll be making another trip sooner than later.
View my Flickr stream for more photos from this weekend in the Keys.