Lately; my English Lab, Cabo has been spending a good amount of time on the water.
As with most labs, he loves the water and often times finds the most inopportune time to quench his desire to get wet. He’s a master at going total ham and plunging into the backyard lake when you need to be on the way out the door to an appointment in five minutes.
Over the Christmas and New Years holidays, Cabo spent a couple of weeks in Melbourne with Florida Fly Co. co-founder, Ben Pickett. While there he joined Ben on the water a lot and unlike when he was younger, seemed to be a bit better behaved / able to remain in the skiff.
I’m not sure whether Ben employed some “dog whisperer” charm on him or its simply that he has settled down now that he’s four years old.
Recently I had the opportunity to get out for an afternoon session on Mosquito Lagoon and figured it was time to see if he was ready to join me while I tried to fly fish.
We stopped on an island beach to get wet on my terms and in hopes that maybe Cabo would be more apt to chill out the rest of the day if he had just gone full tilt for a few minutes.
Our beach time was a blast.
Once he started to slow down, I figured it was time to go look for a redfish.
A few minutes into the first flat, he was totally chilled out, simply posting up alongside me, content to watch the shoreline pass by as I hunted for a hungry fish.
We spent the next couple of hours slowly poling over deserted flats, taking a few shots at the happier redfish we came across, even managing to feed one that was lost skiff -side when I bungled the landing.
Cabo still seemed proud of my effort, showing great interest in the fish as it spun and thrashed alongside the gunnel.
Occasionally, an osprey or pelican would attract his attention, but he remained calm and never left the boat, which was exactly what I was hoping for.
I believe that Cabo is going to be fishing a lot more in the future. Maybe my solo trips are over for a while…