Recently, I had the good fortune to spend a few days on the water with my good friend, Ben. As always, I picked him up at the Orlando International Airport and within an hour or two, he was tight on a redfish. Its become quite the tradition for us.
Ben is working on a new YouTube project and it was a “work trip” for him, so it seemed fitting to put him on the back of the skiff.
Here’s the result of that effort to get him up to speed with a push pole.
I’d say he’s well on his way to becoming a regular Pusherman.
In addition to stabbing a few fish in the face, we spent time talking about more technical issues like the following:
Make sure to follow Ben on his new YouTube channel, Huge Fly Fisherman, more content is on the way, including conservation issues facing Mosquito Lagoon.
Ben will also have his writings about the state of conservation efforts in Mosquito Lagoon featured in This Is Fly magazine very soon, check it out.
From stories being recount from a day on the water, to analysis of the latest fad sweeping Instagram, you’ll get a fresh new perspective that hasn’t seen the desk of an industry insider before the publish button is clicked.
I searched for months for the skiff I have now owned for the past 9 years. After missing a couple of similar models, I finally got the jump on everyone and got the first look at my 1998 Hells Bay Whipray – “Mosquito Lagoon” Edition, (the 33rd hull built) when my son was less than a day old. I left the hospital a day later to see it for the first time. I wrote a check that afternoon, knowing I had found my saltwater soulmate.
The near decade we’ve spent together has been epic. She’s taken me on lots of adventures across the Sunshine State.
There is something special about that old skiff. Today, I watched Flip Pallot opine, in the way only he can, the History of Hells Bay Boatworks. It was fantastic.
In addition to hearing his thoughts on the journey that lead to the revolutionary skiffs we love, I’ve talked a lot with Chris Morejohn, the architect behind the design. Having him remember my skiff and sharing details of its history was fulfilling and deepened my bond with it further.
A lot of people say there is no “perfect” skiff. They’ve never been on mine.
At the end of 2014 the family and I packed up and headed west in order to give my son his first experience seeing snow. By all measures the trip was a wild success. Truly a spur of the moment idea, we threw together an itinerary on the fly and let the adventure unfold on its own terms.
Despite being billed as a family trip I found enough time to sneak off and stepped out for an afternoon session that quickly had me longing for a saltier environment. Say what you will about trout guys having trouble with the double haul, fishing with gloves is harder!
The greatest part of the journey was the discovery of the National Park Service’s Junior Ranger Program. It has sparked an insatiable appetite in my child for spending time outdoors learning about history, wildlife and conservation.
Since our return we’ve dedicated time to visiting a few National Memorial sites that we likely wouldn’t have in order to complete the Junior Ranger programs there. As an unintended consequence, our family is now more actively engaged in finding new places to visit and learn about.
If you have little ones, check out the program and get out there, you’ll spend amazing quality time with them and they’ll soak up knowledge at an alarming rate. Their program’s motto sums it up nicely; Explore – Learn – Protect