Category Archives: History

What Happens After Dark?

Fly Anglers are typically found outdoors when the sun is shining or about to be.

The exploits that happen before and after the sun makes its trek from east to west are the stuff that brings it full circle and creates the basis of the lifestyle.

You know you’ve shot beer out both nose holes at the campfire, thats what I’m talking about.  Unedited, raw and no volume button in sight.

You can find that fly fishing vibe here:  Fly Fishing After Dark

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.

 

Old # 33 – A Term of Endearment

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.

Explore – Learn – Protect

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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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

 

Watching History Pass Over & Reprise

A stiff north breeze was blowing a couple of days ago, so I opted to pond hop for bass in the neighborhood rather than launch the skiff and contend with wind.

It was a decent bite, but thats not unusual for our little utopia of interconnected retention ponds.

While taking a break, perched on the (pond hopping assault vehicle) golf cart & talking to a friend on the phone, I heard the joyful sounds of multiple radial engines approaching.

There she was, a B-24 Liberator, bearing down on me from the north at around 1600 feet.

I mentioned it to my friend as he too appreciates such things & held the phone skyward as it passed overhead in an attempt to share the sweet sounds of WWII heavy iron passing by on wing.

The aircraft is part of the Collings Foundation collection.  It is the only flying example of its exact type, the J model.

Check Here to view a schedule of where you can see it up close over the next couple of months.

As luck would have it, they had James Stafford aboard filming the flight from New Smyrna Beach to Stuart, FL.

Seeing the fly-by from their perspective was a cool reprise.

I wonder if they noticed me standing there, mouth agape, phone held high?