That Guy Can Cast

You’ve been there and seen it with your own eyes, That Guy, the one who saunters out to the casting pond at the fly fishing show in full on “tactical”  gear and starts sending a little piece of yarn down range at distances over 60 – 70 feet.  Its impressive, he thinks and if you remain engaged and don’t avert your eyes away from his greatness you’ll see him survey the fringes looking for approval.

That Guy is the last dude I want on the dance floor on the pointy end of my skiff.  If I’m going to expend energy poling around the flats in search of fish to target, I want someone who’s capable and fishy, not That Guy.

I’m sure That Guy has the best intentions and wants to catch fish, but the mentality that accompanies the and enables the public display of casting hero isn’t a good fit in the real world.  Perhaps I’m being too quick to judge, but based on my experience its nearly always true.

distance casting flyfishing hero
Fly Casting Ain’t Fly Fishing

My experience on the water has taught me that the unexpected close range shot is more likely the one that results in feeding a fish than the 60+ foot cast.

The wind and short window of opportunity that exists in the real world makes that longer shot, a long shot.

Angles change quickly in the salt world and with more line out, the less likely an angler is going to be successful in picking up from a bad cast to adjust to a fish’s movement.  Angles are very important.  Its  called angling and on a shallow saltwater flat, its a killer.

When a fly makes an unnatural move towards the would be hunter, the reaction is abrupt and typically unforgiving.  Opportunities are lost in the blink of an eye.

The sheltered and static calm of the casting pond is a thing of the past when a fish and the skiff is moving as well as the nearly ever-present breeze.

Don’t be That Guy. Stay frosty and study the angles, make a decision and cast.  You’ll have about a second to do it.

The next time you’re at a show, enjoy time with the guys that avoid the pond, you’ll likely be rubbing elbows with the fishiest dudes there.

 

Humble Pie & An Eye To The Sky

As Spring Break drew to a close, time on the water increased and a great friend and kindred spirit from Texas joined me for a day on Mosquito Lagoon in hopes of feeding a few redfish some buck tail and feathers.  The full moon was ever present in the back of my mind as we struggled the first half of the day, literally watching fish swim past well presented flies without the first hint of interest in them.  It wasn’t a matter of fly choice or tactics in getting them to eat, it was just the funky psyche of the locals that had us resigned to laughing at the snubs one after another.  One fly literally passed over the fish’s nose and brushed across his eye without so much as a flinch.

The days that followed saw a bit more of an agreeable personality emerge in the fish, perhaps due to the lunar phase moving further past the full moon.

Despite the improved attitude being offered, a handful of feeds resulted in no fish to hand as missed hook sets pushed their way to the forefront, stymieing the goal of giving short skiff rides to a select few reds.

You know its getting hopeless when you feed a fish twice, only to pull the fly from the jaws of success both times.

Its times like these where you chuckle at the notion of bonefish being spooky devils.  Bones are a joy.  Pure unadulterated bliss.

In just over a month and a half my next DIY bonefish adventure will go wheels up.  In the meantime, I’ll keep shoveling more humble pie into my beer hole.

 

The last time we were dropping dimes:

 

 

Break Time

Spring Break, synonymous with time at the beach…

That time has arrived, but first a little bit of time has to be spent at the ballpark checking up on my favorite springtime caster.  Baseball is in full swing in the Citrus League, which can only mean one thing – the west coast will see some silver soon.

Its already starting to happen in the Keys, so its now just a matter of time and a few more warm days away.

For now, its dogs at the ballpark…

Happy Days Are Here Again!

 

Through the magic that is Daylight Savings Time, the sun will set an hour later today.  The added hour in the evening breathes life into my soul.  Being given more time in the afternoon to spend with tailing redfish is like a gift from heaven.

Sun Setting later for Salt Bum

 

The Endless Summer has officially begun.

The Wind Was Blowing at 25 MPH…

There are lots of reports surfacing on Social Media that include pictures of sports hoisting up a fish for the camera that make claims of success in extremely high winds.  A lot of the time, its just not rooted in fact.  Thats not to say the guide or angler making the post is overtly being deceptive in their claims of success in less than desirable conditions, more often than not, its simply an inability to accurately estimate wind speeds on the water.

The next time you are on the water,  you might find the following chart to be of use as an aid to better estimate the conditions you’re experiencing.  Make note of your estimate and the time and check it against the hourly wind data at the closest airport weather station on the National Weather Service’s website.  You’ll be surprised at first, but over time you’ll become very accurate.

Guide To Estimating Wind Speed Over Land & Water

Terms used by US
Weather Service
Velocity (mph) Estimating Velocities
on land
Estimating Velocities
on Sea
Calm less than 1 Smoke rises vertically Sea like a mirror Check your glassy
water technique before
water flying under
these conditions
Light air 1 – 3 Smoke drifts; wind
vanes unmoved
Ripples with the
appearance of scales
are formed but without
foam crests
Light breeze 4 – 7 Wind felt on face;
leaves rustle; ordinary
wind vane moves by
wind
Small wavelets, still
short but more pronounced;
crests have a
glassy appearance and
do not break
Large wavelets; crests
Gentle Breeze 8 – 12 Leaves and small
twigs in constant
motion; wind extends
light flag
Large wavelets; crests
begin to break. Foam
of glassy appearance,
perhaps scattered
whitecaps
Ideal water flying
characteristics in protected
water
Moderate Breeze 13 – 18 Dust and loose paper
raised; small branches
are moved
Small waves, becoming
longer; fairly frequent
whitecaps
Fresh Breeze 19 – 24 Small trees in leaf
begin to sway; crested
wavelets form in
inland water
Moderate waves; taking
a more pronounced
long form; many
whitecaps are formed,
chance of some spray
This is considered
rough water for seaplanes
and small
amphibians, especially
in open water
Strong Breeze 25 – 31 Large branches in
motion; whistling
heard in telegraph
wires; umbrellas used
with difficulty
Large waves begin to
form; white foam
crests are more extensive
everywhere, probably
some spray
Moderate Gale 32 – 38 Whole trees in motion;
inconvenience felt in
walking against the
wind
Sea heaps up and white
foam from breaking
waves begins to be
blown in streaks along
the direction of the
wind
This type of water condition
is for emergency
only in small aircraft in
inland waters and for
the expert pilot
 

 

 

Mosquito Lagoon Fly Fishing Guide