in this issue
In The River of Ghosts, Tammy Wilson uses words to paint a picture more vivid than pigments could. " I am always taken aback when I arrive at the mound. I can never remember getting there, and yet know that I remember something, because I always remember the way. It is disorienting to say the least. My eyes turn immediately to the ground at the edge of the mound. They are searching for pieces of the past." Read more here…
Tammy has been getting high praise for this piece. If you haven't read it you should.
Tammy, thank you for letting me put it on the blog.
Fishing Tip of the Week
After having a six year old in the boat today this portion of the report clearly needs to be about the importance of being quiet while fishing.
The great blue heron is the best role model you could have. Slow, stealthy, silent, and then- sudden death to his prey.
I don't necessarily wish you to kill your prey, but the slow, silent, stealthy part is highly recommended if you want to catch more fish on the flats.
One reason you can get so close to the fish when kayak fishing is simply because they're so quiet. In the skiff you have the displacement, plus the grinding of the pushpole (or the whirring of the trolling motor), and every tiny foot noise. A skiff just causes more commotion. It's harder to be quiet in the skiff, especially with a six year old aboard. But then, some adults make more noise than little kids do.
Still, if you just try to imitate a great blue heron…
The Website has Been Re-Done www.spottedtail.com- out with the old! In with the new!
I'm hoping to load the new website Sunday or Monday, it needs a couple tweaks first. It's still homegrown but hopefully works better for the users.
In addition to the required, "please come fishing with me," it has resource page through which users can access PDFs of many of the special reports I've written. I hope to expand that page more in the future.
If you check it out (please do!) kindly let me know what you think of it.
On Being a Snook
There's a small meadow on a local section of the Florida Trail. A majestic live oak grows in the middle of it. Under the tree sit two sturdy wooden picnic tables, courtesy of the Florida Trails Association.
When I sit on either of these tables I feel almost like a snook. If I could hover the imagery would be total, but I'm sitting on my butt so I can only feel ALMOST like one.
The tree's branches hang low to the grass. There is a hole in the branches through which I can survey the surrounding environment. I feel secure under the tree and I can see everything I need to. I can hear all the background sounds- a bird singing, a motorcycle, a jet. When there's a sound out of the ordinary I whip around to see what it is.
If a minnow swam by, BAM! If someone tossed a big pork chop with a hook in it, BAM! I probably wouldn't last very long as a snook.
On cool and crisp Wednesday (an awesome day) Capt. Chris Myers graciously allowed me to accompany him on a Mosquito Lagoon outing. I had Alaska-style clothes on for the forecast high 60 degree temperatures. The water temperature when we launched the boat was 44 degrees. Fahrenheit. A little chilly it was.
The first spot only had mullet but shortly after stopping at the second spot I had a shot at a redfish. It was a second chance fish and I caught it on a small brown slider. It did not fight at all.
Chris quickly spotted another one, dropped a black redfish worm in front of it (I was flattered to see the fly in Chris's box), and brought it to hand.
Chris and I took turns all day and pretty much caught fish all day. All the fly- caught fish but the first were caught on the black redfish worm.
The water was nice and clear everyplace. The water temperature reached 55 degrees at one point.
Late in the afternoon some clouds came so we switched to spin tackle. We got several more reds and a couple trout on a DOA Shrimp.
Ordinarily I catch more fish when I'm by myself. That certainly wasn't true Wednesday.
Awesome day. Thank you Chris.
Friday Walt and Walt (Capt. Walt Czekaj, runs a fishing boat on Long Island, http://captreefishfinder.com/) and his Dad, joined me for a fly fishing Mosquito Lagoon. It was still crisp, although not nearly as much as Wednesday. There was a bit more breeze, too.
First spot, no fish. Second spot, fish, no bites. Third spot, apparently no fish. Poling out we hit a school. They stayed in the same area all day. Amazingly enough, so did we!
Walt had never caught a redfish on fly before and Walter had never caught a redfish before in any way. The used both purple/gold and chartreuse/white Clouser Minnows and got a half dozen or so. Clouds came and Walt switched to spin tackle ands got several more of a DOA Shrimp and a Johnson Minnow.
We had a great time together as the photos show. Thank you, Walt for a great day.
Saturday Walt and six year old Kevin (Capt. Walt Czekaj, runs a fishing boat on Long Island, http://captreefishfinder.com/) came out on the Mosquito Lagoon. I knew where there was a school of redfish and we slowly found our way there by compass through the fog.
We quickly found them. Kevin had one on for a short time, and the hook pulled. Then he had a big one on for a long time and the hook pulled again! Well!
Kevin's dad had told him if Kevin caught a redfish dad would take him to the Haunted Mansion at Disney that night. So the pressure is on here! Kevin wanted that fish! Or another one, and I mean right now!
Kevin got another redfish on, one that took a small jig. He got it! Yay! Haunted Mansion assured!
Then, Kevin got another one on a Johnson Minnow. Yay! Double Haunted Mansion! Maybe Pirates of the Caribbean, too!
It was funny how it played out. Kevin was quiet as a church mouse until he got those fish. I guess he figured, "Mission accomplished. Let's go to Disney."
He started clomping around in the boat. One time he stampeded the fish down the flat. Still in the fog, with the bad lighting I couldn't find them again..
We tried one more spot. Walt was tossing a Zara Spook, then a Johnson Minnow. He got a trout and another red.
We were back at the ramp about noon. I hope Kevin enjoys the Haunted Mansion because I sure got a kick out of him. Thank you again, Walt, for a great day.
Monthly Fly Contest
We have two more weeks until this month's contest is done. Only one fly so far! It's looking like a winner!
Gary's fly is gorgeous and deserves to win but he might enjoy some competition.
Here are the rules- submit your fly by email, before the end of the current month, to email@example.com. The submission must have a clear photo of the fly and instructions on how to tie it. Instructions on how to fish it will also be considered in the judging.
The judge's decision is final. Here's a hint- the judge likes simplicity.
Winners will receive an autographed copy of a book by former world famous outdoor writer John Kumiski, woo-hoo, AND will get to see their fly featured on the Spotted Tail website for a month.
How could it get any better, I ask? A win-win for everybody.
Get those submissions coming!