“I aimed my rod at the beast and yanked on my line, hoping I had tied a weak knot. No luck. The gator slowly moved away, and I yanked several more times. The gator paused and turned to face me, but I didn’t tug again. I pulled out a knife, cut the line, and paddled away. I told the mosquitoes that bore through my sweat-soaked shirt that I could re-tie a fly line and leader but would have a tough time reattaching my lower torso.”

Fly fishing in the Everglades, whether for giant tarpon or what have you, comes with the potential danger of a gator run-in. Check out Tom Keer’s column in the new November/December issue of Sporting Classics for the conclusion of his hang-up with an American alligator.