Captain Dale Bishop with his daughter Mavis

Captain Dale Bishop

I grew up in Virginia where I fished for bass, brim, and crappie in local farm ponds, starting from about as far back as I can remember. After college, I moved west to Colorado and Montana. It was there that I learned the fine art of fly fishing. When I compare fly fishing to spin fishing, I'm always reminded of the scene in Star Wars when Obi Wan Kenobi gives Luke his father’s light saber and says, "This is the weapon of a Jedi Knignt. An elegant weapon for a more civilized age". The nuances of casting a fly rod, combined with the entomology of matching the hatch sucked me in to the sport. Looking to expand on my fly fishing experiences is what brought me to the Keys.

My first fishing trip to Key West was in the late nineties, and I was completely enamored. I took other fly fishing trips to Mexico and Belize, but nothing compared to Florida Keys fly fishing. I found myself returning more and more often. No matter the weather conditions or the fishing conditions, the experiences both below and above the water were magical to me. I got my first shots at permit and bonefish and then discovered tarpon. When I jumped my first tarpon, I was truly hooked. Seeing this giant fish in three feet of water, flare its gill plates and suck in a tiny fly, then come soaring out of the water after I set the hook, left me standing on the bow of the skiff with my knees shaking. I moved to the Keys shortly thereafter.

With the help of the guide and friend that I had fished with for several years, I bought my own skiff and started the arduous process of learning the water and tides and seasons of the Lower Florida Keys. After having worked for other charter companies to become a more well-rounded guide and angler and to learn as much as possible, I decided to start my own charter business, Shallow Water Charters. I've taken anglers of all experience levels and introduced them to this fishery and style of fishing that I love so much. I hope you'll give me the opportunity to share this magical place with you and put you on fish that will give you a great Lower Keys flats fishing experience.

I have a passion for flats fishing and can talk about it for hours on end. For that matter, I can talk about just about any kind of fishing for hours on end. Whatever flats fishing species is your draw — tarpon, permit, or bonefish, shark or barracuda — I'd love to share my experiences and stories with you, and hear your stories. I have lived in and fished the Lower Florida Keys flats for many years and have fished in a number of other Caribbean locations; none compare to the Lower Florida Keys.

If you're new to flats fishing, I can be a wealth of information and I'd love to pass it along to you. If you're new to saltwater fly fishing, even better. I can show you the ropes of how to handle these brutes of the flats, from fly fishing tackle to knots to flies. I've learned what gear and knots to tie over the years to make your flats fishing experience, whether fly or spin, a success. Even if you need help with planning your perfect Keys fishing vacation, feel free to contact me regarding lodging, local entertainment, museums, points of interest, or a good roadside flat to fish. I'll do all I can to welcome you into this unique area that I fell in love with years ago, and to point you in the right direction.


Thanks for visiting my web site and I hope to fish with you soon.
Captain Dale Bishop