Hopeless golf swing, fair shot with a over & under and a decent cast with a fly rod. l love pars, covey rises, tailing redfish and just being from the South.

 

It’s the little things

Between studying for a upcoming college quarterly final and checking tide charts. A crab fly hanging from a lamp shade on my desk starts my mind on a off course path, as most fishing related things tend to do. Grabbing for it with a smirky smile “The gangster krab”, I say to myself now sitting back into my chair to admire it. It does not look the same as it did the day it was taken from the vise. Now a tangled mess of fur, saltwater, fish slime and other material. Not the same fly once precisely tied, evenly and tightly wrapped then trimmed to the exact size over a course of just a few minutes that it took to make, as if ever so delicatley being crafted like a piece of art. 

Right off my mind is flooded to memories and visions of that day; see this fly holds a story. Nothing can ever replace or take away from what it  means to me. I had hunted the pristine flats of the florida keys for days early one October; having encoutered and jumped a few tarpon with the main goal being permit. I could go all day into the game of permit fishing but ill need a drink just thinking about it.

Mike Gorton a renowed fly fishing guide and owner of one of Alaskas premiere fly fishing destinations “The Good News River lodge” had accompanied me and my dad for a few days on my skiff in search of permit. Only to find out those damn fish will cause a man on a skiff to go everything but insane, not to mention with the help of the Florida Keys sun forever beating on ones body.

After a few days Mike had to fly out to St. Louis to be with his wife who was in the midst of a battle with a rare cancer. Before leaving he gave me a call “Grab your fly rod meet me at the Sugar Loaf Marina we got a few hours, lets fish”, he said. Off we went zipping around the mangroves and various islands; him telling me the names of each area. As we did earlier in the week we encoutered numerous permit all just out of fly range. We ended up dodging a large thunder storm that stayed just inland over the keys all the while laughing, becoming great friends and myself learning more of life than just that of this addicting game of fly fishing.

With the 11th hour upon us I had struck out every time a oppurtunity was presented. A large jack cruising with a sting ray, BLAP…. shitty cast way off to the right. A school of bonefish strip, strip, strip, leader into the end of the rod & the fly dies off. Then just as we rounded the final 50-75 yard stretch of flat before having to call it quits, a silhoutte just off the edge of the 9 o’clock position of the bow, slowly took form of a nice redfish cruising along into the skinny water. Quickly positioning the boat with a swift push with the push pole, I began my back cast.

Listening to the instructions from Mike atop the platform I placed the fly just in inticiement range of the fish; strip, strip, strip and quickly I watched one of the most epic eats I have seen in person through the crystal clear waters of the keys. My fly was swallowed as if it was the fishes last meal. A quick fight laughing and cheering I held my trophy for a quick photo oppurtinity before removing the fly and releasing the fish for another day. It was my first fish on fly in the Florida Keys one that I will forever cheerish. Who knew something that cost $6.95 could hold a story that is beyond priceless. Sometimes its the little things.
It’s the little things

Between studying for a upcoming college quarterly final and checking tide charts. A crab fly hanging from a lamp shade on my desk starts my mind on a off course path, as most fishing related things tend to do. Grabbing for it with a smirky smile “The gangster krab”, I say to myself now sitting back into my chair to admire it. It does not look the same as it did the day it was taken from the vise. Now a tangled mess of fur, saltwater, fish slime and other material. Not the same fly once precisely tied, evenly and tightly wrapped then trimmed to the exact size over a course of just a few minutes that it took to make, as if ever so delicatley being crafted like a piece of art.

Right off my mind is flooded to memories and visions of that day; see this fly holds a story. Nothing can ever replace or take away from what it means to me. I had hunted the pristine flats of the florida keys for days early one October; having encoutered and jumped a few tarpon with the main goal being permit. I could go all day into the game of permit fishing but ill need a drink just thinking about it.

Mike Gorton a renowed fly fishing guide and owner of one of Alaskas premiere fly fishing destinations “The Good News River lodge” had accompanied me and my dad for a few days on my skiff in search of permit. Only to find out those damn fish will cause a man on a skiff to go everything but insane, not to mention with the help of the Florida Keys sun forever beating on ones body.

After a few days Mike had to fly out to St. Louis to be with his wife who was in the midst of a battle with a rare cancer. Before leaving he gave me a call “Grab your fly rod meet me at the Sugar Loaf Marina we got a few hours, lets fish”, he said. Off we went zipping around the mangroves and various islands; him telling me the names of each area. As we did earlier in the week we encoutered numerous permit all just out of fly range. We ended up dodging a large thunder storm that stayed just inland over the keys all the while laughing, becoming great friends and myself learning more of life than just that of this addicting game of fly fishing.

With the 11th hour upon us I had struck out every time a oppurtunity was presented. A large jack cruising with a sting ray, BLAP…. shitty cast way off to the right. A school of bonefish strip, strip, strip, leader into the end of the rod & the fly dies off. Then just as we rounded the final 50-75 yard stretch of flat before having to call it quits, a silhoutte just off the edge of the 9 o’clock position of the bow, slowly took form of a nice redfish cruising along into the skinny water. Quickly positioning the boat with a swift push with the push pole, I began my back cast.

Listening to the instructions from Mike atop the platform I placed the fly just in inticiement range of the fish; strip, strip, strip and quickly I watched one of the most epic eats I have seen in person through the crystal clear waters of the keys. My fly was swallowed as if it was the fishes last meal. A quick fight laughing and cheering I held my trophy for a quick photo oppurtinity before removing the fly and releasing the fish for another day. It was my first fish on fly in the Florida Keys one that I will forever cheerish. Who knew something that cost $6.95 could hold a story that is beyond priceless. Sometimes its the little things.

patagoniaflyfish:

Preacher’s Daughter

From down in the LC, we get some wintertime red fishing action. Close proximity casting and fly management wearing less-than-normal attire for that region… must be having a cold winter down there, huh guys? 

original content Doug Roland, LC Journal

thebourbonfiddler:

The Soul Food of the Flats.    02/12/14

Redfish are not picky. Throw a fly in their general path and you’re almost guaranteed a hook up if all else plays out right. That being said everyone who fish for redfish on the summer flats has their favorite fly. Most crab and shrimp patterns work and you can never go wrong with a fly that resembles a baitfish. Personally, I’ve always been a crab pattern guy. It’s what they’re eating when they hit the flats and it’s what I try to feed them. They treat them like we treat  soul food. To this day I still try to perfect it. Some people say they never have luck with a crab pattern and I find that hard to believe. My box is probably 10-2-1 with crab, shrimp and baitfish flies. I have my favorite patterns I keep on me at all times (top 3), but I also keep experimenting with new colors (one in the right). Point is, no matter the pattern, you can never go wrong with a crab fly as long as it’s on the other end of your line.

thebourbonfiddler:

The Soul Food of the Flats. 02/12/14

Redfish are not picky. Throw a fly in their general path and you’re almost guaranteed a hook up if all else plays out right. That being said everyone who fish for redfish on the summer flats has their favorite fly. Most crab and shrimp patterns work and you can never go wrong with a fly that resembles a baitfish. Personally, I’ve always been a crab pattern guy. It’s what they’re eating when they hit the flats and it’s what I try to feed them. They treat them like we treat soul food. To this day I still try to perfect it. Some people say they never have luck with a crab pattern and I find that hard to believe. My box is probably 10-2-1 with crab, shrimp and baitfish flies. I have my favorite patterns I keep on me at all times (top 3), but I also keep experimenting with new colors (one in the right). Point is, no matter the pattern, you can never go wrong with a crab fly as long as it’s on the other end of your line.

Awaiting Spring, praying to the fish gods for sun and favorable flood tides with a nice bourbon. It is only right to place a redfish fly atop ones mason jar for extra assurance.

Awaiting Spring, praying to the fish gods for sun and favorable flood tides with a nice bourbon. It is only right to place a redfish fly atop ones mason jar for extra assurance.

How we all long for those days of a light northeast wind. As we pole down a marsh bank, watching mullet work the surface. Waiting for that opportune moment in the tide, to slip off into the grass stalk and await the flash of a blue tail ever so slightly out of the water. It’s this weather that allows us to stock up on much needed flys, put a nice wax on the skiff, read & watch the latest from LowCountry Journal. So relax, stay warm; keep the winter weather out and ready yourself for flood tide season.

How we all long for those days of a light northeast wind. As we pole down a marsh bank, watching mullet work the surface. Waiting for that opportune moment in the tide, to slip off into the grass stalk and await the flash of a blue tail ever so slightly out of the water. It’s this weather that allows us to stock up on much needed flys, put a nice wax on the skiff, read & watch the latest from LowCountry Journal. So relax, stay warm; keep the winter weather out and ready yourself for flood tide season.

A Old Mans Story.

I have to say my current job is any college guy in his twenties perfect fit, in a sense. All week I am surronded by southern sorority belles coming in dressed to the nine in their local botique outfits,high dollar Coach gym bags; then leaving after a 30 minute workout with their hair still perfect makeup not smudged or running so they can still look good posing for instagram with the infamous hashtagged #getfit #girlsthatlift #bikinibody , post later on picstitched with a calendar counting down until Panama City Spring Break. On occasion I have had the chance to meet some people that have… well lived life with some quite intresting stories.

Earlier this week a older gentleman entered and approached the counter. I greeted him and did my job. I tend to take notice of what people are wearing or there demeanor about things just as a way of how I should approach any conversation I may have with them. Throughout the paperwork of him signing up for a membership he happened to mention he had been sick for awhile and just needed to get back into the swing of things as far as exercise. After his paperwork was finished and processed I offered as I do with everyone of giving him a tour around our facility. So we began walking, he started sharing his story with me. Now take note I am one to talk to a wall if it will talk back to me. He told me of his father who worked for General Electric, until forced into retirement only to start another successful buisness living well into his 80’s; how he never quit living, staying active allowed him to live into later years in life and that was his goal as well.

The tour continued and he kept sharing, all the while asking me questions of myself. Told of his days in college being alumni of Ole Miss where he played football. Then how he lived in Australia and Singapore playing in various golf tournaments and tours while on his venture playing in the PGA. Procedding to ask if I had a girlfriend, I responded with theres a young lady I have my eye on. He told me “you’ve got you’re whole life to find the one, but when you do you’ll know it.” He told me of a ten year marriage to go sour all the while he raised two kids and stayed single for 26 years thinking he would never meet someone again, until he met the woman he has grown to love more than life itself. More in depth our conversation ravished, how he was diagnosed with prostate cancer battling it for three years and nearly to death it took him.

By this time our tour had come to a hault, as we stood and talked like two old friends that had not seen each other for a very long time just catching up. Then he began telling me of all the things he has done, places he has lived, what he really misses having his shallow water skiffs and being able to fish. I began to grin as he spoke my language. Saying “yea i tell yea there is nothing like having the sun at your back as a school of bonefish move across a flat right off the bow of your skiff as I glide my push pole through the water trying to get a good friend in position with a clouser fly I have tied and let me tell you I fooled many a grey ghost and silver kings with my flies but never a permit.” “Yes sir, the game of permit fishing is a tough one” I replied.

Our conversation flourshied from that point even more procedding into the talk of birddogs and covey rises in a crisp cool fall morning at a red hill plantation located somewhere in Southeast Georgia or North Florida. How we both enjoyed the beauty of seeing a pointer locked in on a covey of quail in the pines or the sight of a redfish tail in the tall grass trying to root up a crab. We discussed different types of skiffs from Hells Bays to the original Hewes Redfisher. Oh how i just sat back and listened to him briefly tell of the old days of skinny water fishing. He sighed chuckled and said ” Son I met you ten years to late it seems, if only I had the strength to still pole around or walk the hills looking for a covey, yourself and I would enjoy ourselves but if we had a nice bottle of bourbon I believe we could fill a night with conversation.”

He shook my hand thanked me for taking the time to show him around but more so listening to him talk. Told me God has a plan for us all and that of mine looked mighty bright. Before leaving he offered that once he gets some strength back he plans to start tying flies again and that he would show me some pointers on the vise as well as his double haul. I agreed with another firm hand shaked and said our goodbyes until next time. Later on in the day I began thinking about how we are all so quick to rush life without enjoing our story that is being written. Getting caught up in every newsfeed, timeline and post we have. When sometimes all we really need to do is sit back, listen and enjoy the story. Hell, before we know it we ourselves will be 74 wondering where time went.