As I sit here writing, I can hear the local coyotes laughing and yipping in the Poudre River Valley below. Their cries remind me that this land is theirs first...before me. It was the coyote, the buffalo, the elk, and fox that occupied this prairie long before we moved in with our look-alike houses complete with tomato gardens, sodded lawns, and HOA agreements.
Just like I enjoy fishing that river below me, I find a sacred place in the Florida Keys. Each year, I spend several days and weeks exploring a place that teems with wild tarpon, snook, redfish, snapper, shark, turtles, permit, bonefish...the list goes on with exhaustive host of species...and I haven't even mentioned the birds.
My point: The Florida Backcountry, The Bay, The Gulf Side, The Keys...These are places that own my heart and my soul. My mentors and friends are buried on these flats...and the people I call family push a skiff daily in search of fish to bring their clients to days-of-a-lifetime. It is a matter of time, be it decades or days from now that I will sow my ashes alongside them.
For the past 15 years, a fishing tournament honors the late Herman Lucerne and his love for the Florida Everglades including its vast biodiversity. This Herman Lucerne Memorial Tournament brings together the finest anglers throughout the Keys as well as anglers from around the world who recognize the fragility of this ecosystem. Tarpon, snook, snapper, sea trout, redfish, bonefish, and black drum are the quarry of this strictly catch-and-release tournament and for the first time, Wetfly has stepped up in a huge way to become a Gold Sponsor while both providing product for all of the anglers and support staff and sending myself to fish the tournament with Chuck Rocha as "Team Yellow Leaf - Wetfly." Legendary Keys Guide, Steve Friedman, will be guiding myself and Chuck to all seven species with the hopes that we will not only have a great time, but be contenders in the race to catch all seven species and catch the largest of each.
Follow me and my friends Chuck, and Captain Steve Friedman throughout the tournament on our Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/Wetflyfish). We'll be posting live updates of the action including pictures of the fish and events included. We may even post some video of Congressman Garcia and Chuck Rocha doing the Limbo alongside the docks of The Lorelei Bar & Grill.
The Herman Lucerne Memorial Tournament donates all proceeds to benefit the Everglades National Park, a national treasure and a designated World Heritage Site. The Herman Lucerne Memorial is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.
- Steve Tatarchuk - National Sales Manager, Wetffy