Located one hour south of Miami and sitting in between the Everglades National Park and the Florida Strait, Islamorada is a village of islands consisting of Plantation Key, Upper Matecumbe Key, Lower Matecumbe Key, Windley Key, along with Indian Key and Lignumvitae Key, which are both offshore. It is part of the legendary coral cay archipelago known as the Florida Keys. The village may seem unassuming but is actually a sport fishing capital. This is, after all, where saltwater fly fishing and backcountry sport fishing were born.
The name, Islamorada, originated from the Spanish explorers who once settled in the islands and translates to “purple island”. There are colorful theories surrounding the origin of the name. One relates to the purple sea snails which are known to gather in large groups at sea and occasionally get stranded on the shores, turning them purple. The second one relates to a climbing vine of rice paper flowers that were found to be native to South America. However, based on historical evidence, the name was only initially mentioned in public records in the 1900s, long after the Spanish explorers have come and gone. The name, Isla Morada, was coined by a certain William J. Krome, who arrived at the Florida Keys to work on the Florida East Coast Railway and subsequently bought acres of Upper Matecumbe Key and declared it the town of Isla Morada. A