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.

Deck The Walls -An A.D. Maddox Hatch Is Coming Off

We love art at Salt Bum HQ.  It provides us with a daily reminder of what we love through the eyes of the artists that created the works we’ve been lucky enough to collect.  When we come across something that sparks our interest, we often have to re-hang and adjust the collection to make more room for another addition.

We’ve found just such an opportunity in A.D. Maddox.  If you haven’t seen her work, you owe it to yourself to seek it out.

Known for her vibrant work, creating amazing  paintings of trout and their bold colors, artist A.D. Maddox  has just released a new series of recently finished originals depicting various fly patterns.

Serious collectors will likely be snapping up these stunning works, so if you plan on getting in on the action, get on it before the hatch is discovered by the masses.

A small sampling of our favorites from her new releases are shared below.

 

 

To see all of her works, including limited edition prints of her past originals, visit:  http://www.admaddox.com

 

 

No Outlet To Mainland

The stretch of dunes that comprises Canaveral National Seashore between New Smyrna Beach and NASA Kennedy Space Center are one of the last great remote stretches of coastal land in Florida.  Boats explore the Atlantic to the east and Mosquito Lagoon to the west, but vehicular travel of the four wheel kind is no-existent on the barrier island between the two in most of Canaveral National Seashore.  Miles of steep sandy beaches where you’ll struggle to find a human on a normal day lay in wait for exploration.

Before you head out there to find adventure, you’ll need to acquire a Backcountry Permit from the National Park Service.  Its a $2 formality, so don’t let it slow you down.

Walking the beach with a fly rod in search of a surf traveling target can be spotty at best, but it is definitely worth it.  From redfish, black drum and the occasional shark, targets will appear.

Adventure List:

Take a good pack with you, you’ll likely end up finding a treasure of some kind along the beach and it will come in handy to get it home.

Water is paramount.  At least a gallon of it if you plan to cover a few miles.

A fly rod between 7-9 weight depending on your preference is plenty for what you’ll encounter.  It will likely be a bit breezy so, make sure what you take will allow you to cast well into the wind.

Crab, baitfish and shrimp patterns in varying weight and size are your go to flies.  A handful will do, you won’t need a lot.

Be mindful of the weather, storms along the beach can approach rapidly and be severe.  There is no cover on the beach from lightning.

As you begin to egress, pick up as much plastic as you have room for in your pack.  Despite your commitment to Leave No Trace, lots of plastic is deposited on the beach by ocean currents and nature will appreciate your helping hand.

Get Out There – Adventure Awaits

 

 

Life Gets In The Way

The past weeks have been busy ones.  Aside from the usual things that make up a normal day, I’ve found myself working hard advocating for a skatepark to be built in the town where I live.  My son skates & loves it.  The lessons it teaches him, I love.

You would think that by 2015, elected officials would be more receptive to providing a fair shake to all sports.  Despite being globally popular and skateboarding being the second fastest growing sport in the US, the idea of a skatepark still scares a lot of politicians.

At any rate, I’ve still found a few minutes here and there to fish and by and large its been great.  The bass and redfish along the Space Coast of Florida have been obliged to tussle, and for that, I’m thankful.

Though the writing here on Salt Bum had slowed, I was still putting thoughts on paper.  Check out my latest ramblings in the Spring editions of The Drake Magazine and Southern Culture On The Fly.

Drake Spring 2015

SCOF Spring 2015

 

Gentlemen, Start Your Engines – The 2015 Tarpon 500 Is About To Go Green

Skiffs are beginning  to slide into the waters surrounding the Florida Keys as the annual tarpon migration is starting to happen.  Starters will spin motors to life in the pre-dawn light as anglers and guides head out to post up on their chosen line, hoping to see strings of tarpon streaming to them ready to eat the fly they’ll offer.

Get a taste of the addiction that is getting fed by joining legendary tarpon angler Andy Mill as he shares a day with his son, teaching him the ropes.

If Andy’s passion doesn’t get you geared up to head south in search of silver, you might already be dead.

One Love – Learn To Cast Easy

It would be a difficult task to find a more personable and entertaining guide in the Bahamas than Tory Bevins.

Aside from his casting prowess, he’s a Raconteur of the first order.

If you find yourself on South Andros, look him up.  He works at Andros South.  If you’re fishing DIY or at another lodge, you can find him after quitting time at the small bar by Little Creek or up island at the Rust Barge.

His casting style is simple to understand and works incredibly well.  Take a few minutes to get in the groove and you’ll be slinging string like a pro.

Horizons Teaser

Continuing with the idea of lifestyle, the crew at Forever West Media and World Angling have teamed up to produce a film that captures the essence of what drives the fly fishing lifestyle.

I’m looking forward to seeing their work in its entirety.

Horizons Teaser on Vimeo

If you live and breathe this thing called fly fishing, you’re going to love this one.

Lifestyle

When I hear people talk of fly fishing as a sport, I silently disagree and hope that they might someday evolve and recognize it in its purest form, a lifestyle.

While it may seem off-putting or elitist to say, its truly how I feel.  To me, its more than reaching for a different piece of equipment when I’m fishing.  Fly fishing is what bends my perception of this planet.  You know, the one that sports a surface made up primarily of water.  I see through that lens  when I view my day, week or future years.  When I talk with friends, it is always there, even if just below the surface.

Fly fishing wasn’t always that for me, but it has been now for so long, I have a hard time remembering it any other way.

As a kid, I travelled a lot on summer breaks from school.  Camping our way from Memorial Day to Labor Day, my family and I have explored all over the United States and Canada.  My memories from those adventures are cherished, yet more recent travels spurred by fly fishing have meant more to me.

The reason for the enhanced quality of the fly fishing travel is certainly due to the bonds that were made and kept with fellow anglers that accompanied me.

There  have been many fish caught and released along the way, yet its the camaraderie that my memory keeps vivid.

Sports have seasons, competition and champions.  The fly fishing lifestyle I’ve grown to love has none.

When I see companies that recognize that lifestyle matters more than SPF factor and how waterproof a bag might be, I’m more inclined to spend my money with them.

Howler Brothers is one such company.  If you don’t get the sense that these guys are living a lifestyle, you may not have a pulse or have given up on life.

Fly Fishing is calling, will you Heed the Call?

Howler Brothers

Fly Fishing & Adventure Travel