Sunday, October 17, 2010

Well Worth It...

Columbus Day weekend I fished hard but the warmer weather had the fish forgetting about the fall like performance they had put on the week before. After making several rookie mistakes and only putting a few in the boat with Jon, I decided it was time to pay some dues. The following day I fished with Fivvy, a man that I respect and appreciate and I guess could credit for starting me into fly fishing. Fivvy has had a tough year and has not been able to get out on the water much so I offered him the bow for a full set of tides. The wind made for a tough day on the pole but at low he still stuck 4 before coming tight on a tailer during the flood. Seeing him catching those fish really encouraged me and helped me to deal with my mistakes earlier in the weekend.

After putting in our time during the week to pay the bills, Jon and I launched with the sunrise on Friday and made a short, cold run to a couple new low tide flats in search of a fix. The cooler weather this weekend was all they needed to get back into the swing of things. I tied on my version of one of Mike’s mad creations and Jon allowed me to redeem myself by being up first.

I was onto a fish within a few casts only to have him shake the hook before I got him on the reel. As soon as he came off though, I looked to the left and saw the same school daisy chaining and tailing in less than a foot of water. I picked up the line and made one cast into the middle of the commotion, stripped once and the drag broke the early morning silence.

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!

I was even able to convince Fivvy to climb on up and give me a go at one more out of that school before we moved on.

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.

This is a great time of the year to sight fish the low and grab a tailer on the high, though they will have to wait for us this week as we head north to chuck these at some guy named Albert???

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Not a bad hump day...

  Wensday my buddy Gifford and I decided to brave the early morning cold of an oncoming lowcountry Fall and look for some tailing reds..

  I know you yankees and mountain hippies will laugh... but live through a few summers of 110 degrees with 90% humidity, and this will seem cold to you as well 

The sunrise was beautiful.... and the early morning light revealed that the water was already up, and waiting for us.. 

 Gifford being the gentleman that he is offered to pole first... So I got to stand on the bow like a fat tourist and take pictures while I wated for a fish to show... It was a gorgeous  morning and scenery was not hard to come by.

 Luckily we didn't have to wait all that long for the first fish to show himself.  I didn't have the camera ready for him, but as soon as I released him gifford notified me that a second fish was pushing in hard right at us... a few quick casts and I was hooked up again within 15 seconds of releasing the first fish... Wham, Bam, Thank you Ma'am...

   Feeling sated, and a little selfish, I decided I would do the right thing and push Gifford around for a few shots...   He's no rookie on the rod, and it didn't take him long to find and connect with his first target..

   That last shot was the parting look from this fish... he had had enough and we gave him the old, "Long line Release"...   Gifford found another willing fish without too much effort, and we were tight once again..

  After Giffords second fish, I managed to find another to make an odd 5 on the day... but no photo's seemed necissary, so we just let him get back to his buisness and called it a day...

It was a beautiful lowcountry fall morning, with good company, and willing fish.. thats all a man can ask for..

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Thoughts On Tailers..

This is an older essay I wrote... some of you may have read this from other places... but I'm gonna put it here anyway... hope you enjoy...


  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?

Friday, October 1, 2010

Oh friday... How I love thee...

Got out with Jon this morning to do a little fishing..  We found the fish happily charging down the banks... Made the run with a hoody on while sipping the coffe... God I love fall!!


Hope your Friday is goin' as well as mine!!