It has been about a month since my float down the mighty Colorado with Josh Mills. You can read his story on his fly fishing blog about our short day of looking for those pesky trouts. First off Mr. Mills and myself had never met in person we only met thru match.com where we shared similar interests and had common friends. When he texted me about fishing in the beginning of July I opened up my schedule and was anxious to introduce a Washington Steelhead Junkie to our little trouts here in the Rockies. Due to a conflict with hand foot and mouth our fishing window got shut half way forcing us to fish the Upper Colorado. I had been floating the Eagle and fishing was as stupid as it gets but time wouldn’t allow a float down the Eagle. So I brought Mills and his cronie John to Pumphouse where fishing reports claimed things were on fire. According to everyone fish were slamming dries along the banks and fishing was easy. I was pumped for these Washington spey casters to get an opportunity to cast stimis along the banks to eager Brown Trout. What we found was that those reports were a day old and the dry fly fishing sucked. I was so nervous to bust out a bobber rod around these Steelhead guys that I didn’t even bring a thingamabobber. Luckily Millsy had one and life got easier. We were able to stick a few fish and turn a bunch of heavy ones with streamers as we finished out the day. Despite having never met each other we had a great time quoting movies and harassing each other when we missed a fish. Thanks for the good time mills. I hope you framed that shirt and I will try to trump it next time I see you in WA.
Just got back from a week of sun and fun with the family in FLA. Of course my wife wasn’t thrilled when I told her that I had 4 days of Tarpon fishing booked with Capt. Al Keller. But isn’t that the way is goes. I was excited to be on a skiff cruising around the mangroves but didn’t get overly anxious as I didn’t want to wake the bad weather curse that hangs over my head. We spent 3 days on Al’s skiff watching tarpon roll in coves and in deeper channels. I was bound to the camera but watched patiently as my dad made some shots a giant minnows older than all of us. On day 2 the old mans line came tight and the battle commenced. An acrobatic 100lb beast flew through the air about 8 times before gracing us on the starboard side of the skiff. high fives and laughter all around. Awesome.
Thanks Al for putting up with 2 Joe’s for a few days and congrats to papa mac on his personal best Tarpon on the Fly. A promo video for Al will be out shortly. Wait to you see these Jumps. Damn!!
It has been about a month since our Annual Steelhead Trip has come and gone. The trip was once again a success for anglers that made the long journey to the Pacific Northwest in search of Wild Steelhead.
Of course the weather was there to greet us with open arms as our commuter flight got tossed in high winds flying to Forks. What had lined up to be perfect timing was again thrown by the wayside when another front pushed in and dropped another round of heavy rain. Go figure I had spent weeks worrying about low water and bam all at once. The weather curse had found me once again. We had a new face in the group this year, Derrick Blackard from CO joined us for a week of shenanigans and was able to put some steel on the bank. It is nice to introduce new people to the OP and see their different reactions. The deep green mossy forests are something you will never forget, truly a special place.
Despite another tough year weather wise the steelhead graced us with their presence and allowed us to catch a few in the high water. We saw Sasquatch clearing a tree off the road on the Upper Bogy and then again swinging at the Red House Hole. Regardless of the conditions we all had a good time, shooting guns, using chainsaws, drinking whiskey and catching the occasional Steelhead. And if you cannot have fun doing that. Well, I am sorry.
“What would you like with your eggs? Fruit, hash browns or grits?” “Grits please, Thanks Mam.” I ate me some grits down in the frozen marsh of New Orleans. I even ate them at the airport before departing back to Colorado. I believe they were smoked gouda grits. No big deal.
I truly think I have a curse on me. Which is kinda cool if you are into voodoo, ghoules and shit like that, but this will have been the 6th saltwater trip I have been on when the weather made me grab my ankles. The boys from The Flyfisher group toted me along to document a Redfish trip to NOLA. When the lobby of the hotel was colder then Denver I knew the curse had followed me to salt once again. The Polar Vortex had put the south in a deep freeze. Damn! The cold temps pushed the Big Reds off the oyster/mud flats into the deeper channels. The Curse. We still managed to smash the hell out of the mid sized ones and have a great time while doing it. The content that came out of the trip wasn’t half bad so I threw together this little vid.
Regardless of the freak weather, which I am sure was caused by the curse, Fly Fishing for Redfish in NOLA is rad. I will surely go back and try it again. Good guides, eager fish and all the grits you can eat.
Wifey just wants to lay in the sun at the beach. She tells me that for some reason it just makes her happy. Fair enough. I can do the beach for about 20 minutes and then I am looking for something to do, so little dude and I try to build a sand structure. We fill the buckets with crushed shells, tip them upside down and dig a moat around the cone shaped sand only to be toppled by his chubby little baby toes. Repeat.
Beach day is awesome, just enough breeze to keep the sweat from forming on the top of your lip, bright sun tanning our dry mountain skin and just enough cloud cover to give you a break from squinting. Perfect Florida weather…. 16 hours pass.
Laying in bed I look at the red numbers on the clock and realize that I might have had one too many cocktails at happy hour. My skin is a little tender from beach day and a tinge of heartburn stings my throat. I smacked the alarm just as it reaches 5:30 and walk out of the room. While lathering on SPF 50 i am thinking about the shots I might get at Tarpon, Snook, Permit or Bonefish. I can hardly wait. It is the right time of year, all the reports are great, the fish are here, “just got to stay calm and make a good cast” I say to myself.
The windows to the east look over the bay and the American Flag is not drooped silently like the morning before. In fact it is violently flapping, making a slapping noise. “Really?”
“maybe it is still calm on the gulf side” “maybe we’ll go into the back country” “or maybe we’ll just go for a $600.00 boat ride” all these ramblings go thru my head.
Seems like more times than not this happens to yours truly. And although I have been blessed with great days on the salt my fingers are always crossed when there is a charter booked well in advance.
For Thanksgiving wifey and I went to FLA to visit her parents. It was a fun trip and I had very little intentions of fishing. But, her dad surprised me with a half day trip he lined up with Frank Catino. I was pumped, I called Frank and chatted about what we would be fishing for. He responded with baby tarpon, snook and jacks. Awesome. Baby Tarpon Rule
The day came and wouldn’t you know it. Cloudy, very very windy and a high probability of rain. It was the day after beach day HAHAHA. Dave and I hopped in the car and went out anyway. Frank was at the launch and ready for us. We motored through a Manatee zone and chatted about the fishery on the Sebastian River. The Sebastian River is a very cool fishery I never knew existed. You can catch a Bass and a Snook in the same section of river. Baby tarpon grow up in the river and the scenery is much like a jungle.
We battled the wind blind casting at rolling Baby Tarpon and moved the fly under pilings looking for big snook. We ended the day with a few Jacks, lady fish and a Mayan Cichlid. It was a great trip and I learned a lot about an area I had never known. I like to believe that it is the fish gods putting me through the ringer. Pay your dues and you will be rewarded. Fair enough. I haven’t fished in saltwater enough to have everything go perfect and I don’t mind getting beat up time to time. The wind certainly is making me a better caster. Although there are some people who would disagree with that. Thanks to Big Dave for putting together a quick trip and also for all the rum punch that we seemed to consume. See ya in the salt.