Tag Archives: coastal

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.

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?

Here Comes The Sun

I’m headed out to fish today & the forecast is fantastic!  Its the kind of day often referred to as Chamber of Commerce conditions.  Little to no wind, maybe a breeze.  Cloudless, bluebird skies will dominate the day.

Today’s conditions will make it very important to respect the sun.  Every cast I make will be undertaken with the sun’s position as part of my casting equation.

Shadows, no matter how small, matter.  Fly line overhead has the ability to cast a shadow.  A moving shadow, like that of a bird, makes every targeted fish nervous and will instantly change its personality from hunter to hunted.

When looking at an approaching fish, I always visualize where the fly, leader or fly line will cast a shadow and plan my angle accordingly to limit the effect it may have.

By avoiding having a shadow wreck an opportunity, you’ll increase your success rate by being aware of the sun.

 

Restraint

Its on.  There is plenty of social media chatter regarding the onslaught of shoreline cruisers along the Space Coast.  The buzz is confirmed, get out there.  Light flies, natural colors; you’re welcome.

 

I’ve been putting in a good bit of time plying the Mosquito Lagoon over the past couple of weeks.  When the opportunity presented, I took a few moments to simply enjoy the view.

 

 

On one of those recent afternoons I had the pleasure of spending part of my day with T.J. Saunders doing work from the front of the skiff.  If you ever find yourself visiting Tampa and need a guide, look him up:

Lucky Fly Charters

He is a masterful fly tier, if you need some tasty crustaceans or baitfish patterns, he’s your man.

After Equinox – LC Journal

There is something about the south that draws you in and wraps its arms around you in a big comforting hug.  From the mountains of appalachia where Southern Culture On The Fly is composed and published to the marshes of the Lowcountry where Flood Tide Co. calls home, there is a vibe that invites you into the fold like a long lost brother who’s home for the weekend.

Every time a new video drops, you know its going to be sweeter than molasses.

After Equinox is no exception

LC Journal – Doug Roland

 

Wading The Flood Tide in North Florida

While its often the South Carolina Lowcountry that is top of mind when talking about flood tide opportunities for redfish in flooded spartina.  The flats of St. Augustine and Jacksonville up through Fernandina are also prime for stalking redfish up in the grass.

 

Whether you choose to fish from a skiff or wade, its some of the most rewarding flyfishing that you’ll experience.

Here is a little taste of the North Florida good life from GShank on Vimeo.

 

Gotta love the marching fiddlers.  Excellent shots!

Anything Happens, Everyday

The more time I spend on the water, the more I get it. Even though I’m standing there with a fly rod in hand, its the total immersion into the environment that impresses upon me the essence of why I’m there.

After pulling on the rope to start up my faithful 25 HP outboard a simple twist of the tiller washes away the daily grind of the day job and my soul is set free to roam unabated.

I used to think these adventures were about stalking and catching fish. Now I simply let it happen along the periphery of the overall adventure and where it might lead.

I always have my head on swivel, searching for the next target that happens to be swimming by, but it is the macro view of the environment that brings the most joy.

I’ve seen a bobcat standing some 20 feet away along the mangrove sprinkled shoreline as curious and startled by my presence as I am of it. I’ve watched in awe as a bobcat swam between two islands carefully watching me as I passed by on plane, gawking.

The myriad of shore birds that ignore my presence as I slide by silently until I’m within a stone’s throw give me pause.

Seeing the ground appear to move as hundreds of fiddler crabs retreat from the waters edge in unison mesmerizes me.

I cherish this thing we call fly fishing. Not because of the fish I’ll hold for a moment or two to admire, but for the experiences that will form my fondest memories, for it is every time I go forth, I reinforce the notion that anything happens, everyday.