Hard conditions at times didn't take away from how wonderful this past week was. Horrible winds at the beginning of the week kept everyone else off the water but I got the honor to fish with a great young couple, her from Minneapolis and him from South Dakota. The first day only he came out and 30 mile per hour winds continuously forced casts just short of the mark. After getting on quite a few schools of reds, from 25 fish in some to 200 in another, we saw something I must say I have never seen before, a daisy chain of reds. I have seen reds school in a perfect circle 3 or 4 fish deep with an eye in the center like a hurricane, I have seen small school after small school come down a flat for a full half hour, I have even seen a school sitting almost completely still with more than twenty tails frozen in position above the water, a chain of tarpon or jacks, but I have never seen a chain of redfish. The chain was unbroken for about 50 fish, unfortunately the wind gusts were continues as well, but it was one of those moments that gets etched in your brain.
Tuesday they both came and she fished the entire day. This was the first time she had ever really fished but her learning curve for casting was about as long lived as the life of a spider under foot. Thirty two mile an hour gusts were recorded on Tuesday and yet she made a few fish eat. She now really has the bug to come back because she lost these fish, but for her first trip out I think she was amazing with her ability to sight cast accurately enough to make these fish eat. Quite impressive indeed.
Wednesday I had two experienced fly casters and we started with far too much wind like the day prior but fortunately that dissipated about an hour later. While it was still blowing about twenty we were able to grab one nice fish that was loaded down what I have always called sea lice. I started doing a little studying and found that I was incorrect about what these little parasites are.
This is Anilocra physodes. It’s a parasitic isopod. We usually find these crawling on redfish and every so often one will be embedded in a Red's side, the embedded ones are usually much larger.
That first fish on Wednesday had 8 Anilocra physodes fall off of him as soon as we got him in the boat.
After the wind died off we went on to make another 8 eat and caught 4. Most of the fish we made eat were on an orange and brown clouser, though some ate the Puglisi everglades as well. Pictured here with one of his fish is Sporting Artist Peter Corbin.
On Thursday I fished with a couple from Colorado and the weather was on our side because it was slick everywhere we went and though I think we had some fish that had been run out of the first flat by another boat we soon got on a school of about 600 plus and had a great day. We made 9 eat, and got 6 to the boat. Once again the orange and brown Clouser proved effective and so did the Bay Street Bunny in rootbeer until the water got really skinny then we were able to put fish on the Everglades. "Skinny" is the important part of what we were able to do this day, because the tide was a negative low tide the fish were pushed even further off the flat. That let us stay with this huge school for a complete 2 hours.
This week was a really great one and I look forward to being on the water as we get into warmer times.