Tag Archives: 8 weight

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.

 

IFTD 2015 – Playing Hookie on Day 3

After spending two days at the Flood Tide Company booth, I ducked out to film a little with Catch 1 Films on the home water; Mosquito Lagoon.

ONE: mosquito lagoon

Its always great to spend time on the water with friends.  Being able to relive the moments in film is priceless.

 

 

 

 

 

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.

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

 

 

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.

DIY Bonefish On Fly – Planning The Adventure

Bahamas Goombay Punch Bonefish Fly Fishing
My Thoughts Are Beginning To Wander To The Islands

One of my partners in crime recently found out that we have been granted access to a condo in the Bahamas when we want to take advantage of it.  The news sent my mind reeling with thoughts of morning tides that overtake mangrove propagules that have taken root in soft marl in the far reaches of a coastal creek.

The image of sunlight flashing from an upturned tail breaking the surface draws me like a moth to flame.

I have things that could be more productive that need to be down, yet I pour over aerial maps on Bing and Google looking for areas of promise that will soon be within reach.

To me there is nothing more rewarding than plotting a course that takes me to a new area where I think bonefish will await my unfurling loop of fly line.

The hunt is still a ways away, so for now I’ll continue to plan.

When I step into the warm salty waters somewhere within the archipelago of The Bahamas, I’ll be ready.

Christmas Cheer, A Redfish & Beer

As jolly St. Nick prepares his sleigh and team of tiny reindeer, my thoughts move to the weather.  Just like Santa, I too plan to be active on Christmas Eve.  Now going on nine years, my tradition of spending the day outdoors on the water looks to be a tough one.

The forecast is filled with a stiff breeze and showers, but my hopes are not dashed.  I’ll be out there despite the weather.  Its going to be my last salty outing of the year, and I’m not about to pass just because its a little less than ideal in the weather department.

My Christmas Eve tradition is a day of reflection on the year past, its successes and failures (plenty of those), as well as a time to look forward to the coming year and what it might bring.

The cleansing I receive at the hands of the great outdoors and its beauty is why I fly fish, it is who I’ve become.  Just like the gifts brought by three wise men, the water delivers me a bounty that is hard to measure.

Less than a week ago, I spent the afternoon with my young son, chasing redfish in small creeks and ponds hoping to sow the same seed in him that my father nurtured in me.

On Christmas Eve I’ll be thankful for all that I’ve been able to do in the year past and look forward to more good times that will surely come.

 

Ditch The Guide – The Rewards of DIY Are Priceless

By far my favorite saltwater species to target with a fly rod is the bonefish.  Their attitude and aggressiveness, not to mention the backing exposure they deliver, are the best.

Most of the bonefish I’ve cast to have been Bahamian, though I’ve given it a go from the Florida Keys, South Caicos to  Oahu.  Most of the time its been a DIY scenario.  Despite being guided a handful of times, the most rewarding trips and best memories have been when I’ve done it on my own.

By the looks of it, these guys enjoyed a little DIY bonefish action in and around Turks & Caicos.

The next time you’re thinking about heading somewhere tropical, keep in mind DIY is rewarding and achievable.   Think of all the conch fritters and Kalik you could buy for $500 a day.

 

Bahamas Style: Redfish On Fly

Until this week, I’ve always thought there was only one place to go to enjoy wading for redfish in a place that evokes the feeling of bonefishing a Bahamas flat.  A few years ago it was the Lower Laguna Madre of Southwest Texas where I had experienced it for the first time.

The Gulf Islands National Seashore is also just such a place.  Recently I spent the better part of 3.5 hours walking the shoreline there looking for redfish in gin clear water over hard sand bottom.  The set-up is identical to what you normally see reserved for bonefish.  My timing was off, I was there on an extremely high tide, so I passed on wading and remained on the narrow ribbon of beach along the water’s edge.  Nonetheless, I saw a handful of redfish, all solitary hunters, that were plying the same shoreline.  This time they were a bit too wary of my offerings and all of the shots I took ended without a hook-up, despite a couple of promising follows.

There are literally miles of flats available.  Hard sand bottom with sparse sea grasses stretch on from horizon to horizon.

The idea of spending time on the Redneck Riviera has grown in appeal by significant digits.

For now, I’ll carry the panhandle skunk back home with me, but rest assured, I’ll return again with a sharper plan and better timing.  I love bonefishing, I love it even more when the expected gray ghost is actually a copper rocket.