Tuesday, December 14, 2010
Sunday, December 5, 2010
It may not feel like it at the moment but there is change in the air. The summer is in her last heat filled death throws as she comes to an end. Fall is breathing down our necks with the promise of cooler weather and hungry fish. The summer has been long, and though I’ve spent some time on the water, my fishing time has fallen victim to too much work and boyfriend duties. But all things change. As fall ushers in the new season it brings with it hope that I can find some free time, and waste it poling along the marsh.
The water is like glass as we pull up to our first flat. Or at least it would be if the millions of mullet and shrimp would stay still. But I guess if I had a creature 100 times my size lying in wait for the chance to eat me, I would be moving too. As the morning progresses we find ourselves spectators to natures beauty, and the vicious game of life and death she hosts. Along the way we manage to catch a few fish. There’s not much talking between Brian and myself, no need really. The tide drops, then rises. The bait and reds seek the safety of the spartina, and our morning adventure comes to a close.
Our world, like our lives is constantly changing. No one moment on the flats is like another. So we adapt, change our flies, our approach, or pack it up and move all together. It’s this constant game of adaptation I find so compelling about saltwater fishing, and it’s what keeps my attention. All things change, a fact I try to keep in perspective in fishing and my life. Sometimes I am successful, other times I have to shake off a bad decision and keep moving. But the seasons will continue to change, each bringing new challenges, but also bringing hope. Hope that I will be able to adapt, and succeed. The hope that I too can change
Monday, November 8, 2010
Sunday, October 17, 2010
Jon dusted off his Albie boots…
…and landed a nice fish that was part of another group working the same flat.
We then decided to explore a new area and found a cove full of mud, oysters, and redfish! The action was pretty intense in the shallows and the camera was the last thing on our minds. We ended up landing 8 (4 each) on Friday in short time.
On Sunday I got the Fivver back out and we idled to a point where Jon and I had found them on Friday. I shut the motor down in 2 feet of water and climbed onto the jungle gym. I was only able to give the Stiffy a push or 2 before calling out, “fish at 11”. Fivvy took 2 casts and snagged a beautiful red in less than 2 minutes after arriving on the flat!
We made our way over to the mud and oyster cove that Jon and I had found Friday and the boys were acting a fool. We sat watching as tails and backs broke the slick surface and shrimp swam for their lives. Man I would hate to be a shrimp… EVERYTHING eats a shrimp! We each picked up a fish from the school before they broke up and the water moved into the grass.
Saturday, October 2, 2010
THOUGHTS ON TAILERS
BY: MIKE BENSON
The cool wet air of a South Carolina August morning filled my lungs as I walked down the dock towards the boat. Nothing makes me feel more alive than the anticipation before a days fishing, no matter where that may be or what I may be chasing. This particular morning I found myself in search of tailing redfish just outside of Beaufort, coffee in hand, watching the horizon illuminate against an impending sun.
Myself and three friends, Bridger, the eloquent southern gentleman, Jon, the reluctant family man, and Chad, the hopelessly addicted lawyer, were embarking in a two day jaunt through the flats. The moon and stars had literally aligned to bring us the first major early morning tides of the year, and just to sweeten the deal, evening tides as well. This meant that in two days we had the opportunity to fish four separate tides. A rare thing, and we intended to make full use of such a gift from the gods. The boat rocked and rolled only slightly against the wakes and currents of the river, my mind, normally scattered across a thousand different subjects, was settled on one thing and one thing only. The task at hand.
This year has been a tough one for me, and perhaps for many people out there. The economy is failing, bills piling up, wars continuing to be waged in places most of us couldn’t find on a map, and people dropping along the wayside like leaves from a mighty oak in the fall. I find myself so completely wrapped up within the problems and trials of my daily life that sometimes I fail to see the true beauty of my existence, that I truly am one of the blessed people who gets to do what I love. This morning I’m not thinking of my rent, or the power bill that’s due. I’m not dwelling on the fact that my truck is probably going to lock up if I don’t change the oil soon. I’m solely and completely focused on what has to be done. On what I love to do.
As the boat slices through the glasslike surface of the water, I can help but catch a glimpse of my own reflection. The man staring back is a far cry from the boy that left the mountains a mere 5 years ago. My life has taken me places and shown me things that perhaps I never envisioned myself experiencing, and I regret nothing. The man looking back looks rough, beaten, tired, and exalted all at the same time, like a man who has worked all day seeing his kids running out the door to meet him. Only I don’t have any kids, nor do I have plans for any. My joys in life are much more selfish, they are mine, and mine alone.
I see the marshland blasting past us at 30 mph, egrets, herons, birds of all shapes and sizes flocking in the marsh to feed on shrimps, crabs, and minnows that are being whisked into the grass with the incoming tide. The palmetto trees, pines, and cypress are all mangled into masses of foliage alienated from the mainland by expanses of spartina, creating the perfect habitat for both crabs, and hungry reds. Its just such a place that we initially approach, and within minutes Jon has spotted a tail, and the hunt is on.
On the rare occasions where we find the fish on the flats really working had, you don’t have time to think. It’s simply one fish after another, casting angles, fly changes, checking knots, concentrating on your movements through the grass, and the thousand other variables that go along with stalking a wild creature on foot in his home environment. For those few precious moments, you are suspended in time, life outside of your small swatch of spartina grass ceases to exist, and you can truly let go of everything, if only for a second, you can be free again. Remember what that felt like?