Wednesday, April 21, 2010

10 wt.

I decided to shove back from the tying desk and swivel around to the rod building table.
In 4 nights, the St Croix Legend Elite (Saltwater) 4pc 10wt blank was adorned and festooned with cork, thread and guides. A couple of nights on the rod turner with drying threadmaster epoxy and voila:

After the kids went to bed, I clamped on a Nautilus loaded with a SA Tarpon wf-10-f line and stole a quick dryland session at the local park. The sun was over the horizon and the local dog walkers avoided the stranger standing in the middle of the soccer field making odd arm movements. Not being able to see the rod in the dim light, I suspect they thought I was doing Tai Chi and gave me a wide berth...which was good. Not that I am anti-social...I needed the room because this rod whomps! At one point I paced off the distance after walking over to see how the leader was laying out. I was drilling straight leader casts at 85'-95' and the rod was easily shooting 30' of this.

It's going to the Bahamas next week. Hopefully a permit will show.

More Trout (but less of them)

JP and I headed back to thee crick last Sunday, hoping for caddis and getting none. I fished my brains out with an elk hair caddis and a dropper and caught very few. The word must've leaked out about last weekend because the long rod warriors were out en masse. We found a section of stream that was vacant of other anglers (and, seemingly trout) and worked it over hard. It was one of those 65 degree April days when there was just enough green happening that you know it's spring. The water was running clear, the cardinals were singing, the fishing was great but the catching sucked

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Caddis Nirvana

An epic outing on local waters for me and JP. The timing was perfect.
We left town, drove to get our 2010 fishing licenses, arrived at the stream, loosened up our arms on a few rising fish and then WHAM! Full blown caddis hatch. In the pic above you'll see JP is sitting on the bank landing (another) 10"-12" brown on a size 16 elk hair caddis. The fish were so hot on the hatch that he had between 15 and 20 trout rising in front of him on this run. I could lie and say he was sitting to keep his profile down, but the fact is, sitting was just the most comfortable method of being there, and there was no reason to move. This kind of fishing happens so infrequently that JP had yet to experience anything like it. It was (maybe) the 2nd or 3rd time I'd attended one of this intensity on this stream. At one point I asked him to express his mirth at a lower volume for fear that our "secret" would be revealed to others. Although a number of fish were landed, we didn't beach any whales...nevertheless, the sheer number of takes, misses and rising fish undid all of our life's ills.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Tyin' for bonefish

Trip tying.

Remote Office

What to do when the schools close for spring break but you are busy at work and can't burn vacation time? Laptop...check, cell phone...check, wireless card...check, 8wt...check, airline ticket...check. I spent a few days working in a remote office on Marco Island last week.

The weather was cool but warmed with each passing day. Day one was semi-successful with a few mackerel, jacks and a lady fish caught. The wind and turbid water slowed things waaaaay down for the next two days, but I finally caught a break when the water warmed and cleared. I made my way down the empty beach under the nearly full moon. Waves lapped instead of crashed. After missing a strike from the beach, I made my way out on the rocks and connected with a first ever. I caught a few more mackerel, jacks and pompano when I noticed something heavy feeding in the shallows near the beach. Armed with a clouser, I pitched and brought the fly back unscathed. I led the nervous water and started my retrieve...The fly stopped HARD. I got off a short 3" strip set and then watched all of my flyline and 150 yards of backing disappear. I was starting to think that my reel would empty and my morning fishing would end without ever knowing what I'd hooked when suddenly the stingray identified itself with a stunning leap.
I don't know much about stingrays except that they have "sting" in their name and you are advised to shuffle on the flats because they don't like to be stepped on. I decided I wanted my flyline back, so I cranked down the Hatch's drag and pulled back on my Sage XI2 until it turned around. Once heading back my direction, I couldn't reel fast enough and headed back to the beach for the disconnect process. Once on the beach, I could see that the fly had stuck into its "shoulder" and that it hadn't actually eaten my fly.
I cut the tippet and coaxed the ray back into the water with the butt of my rod. I estimate the wingspan of this critter at 36"-40" and was happy when it calmly glided away.
I made my way back out on the rocks, retied and raised hell with a school of pompano that kept me in constant action until my laptop, cell phone and wireless card beckoned.

That evening, prior to the flight out of Ft Myers, I fished again and landed 1 pompano and a sheepshead. All in all a very nice week at work.