A Humbling Experience

20 Sep

I was introduced to the long rod at an early age, my dad use to take me trout fishing and we would use Shakespeare Wonder Rods rigged with a night crawler. Over the years I progressed to using flies, and various techniques to catch my quarry . Eventually I was tying my own flies and matching the hatch. Most of my experience came from the high country headwaters of the Southern Appalachians.

Fast forward some fifteen years and I have a wealth of knowledge, so I think. I have fished my way through Central and South America, caught everything from Tarpon to Bonefish to Blue Gill on the fly. I have taken up tailwater fishing with vengeance, and at one point owned three drift boats. One would think that with all these experiences that most anything would come easy by now. So where am I going with this you ask? Well this is where I bring up the Redfish. The Redfish is one of many game fish on my list to seduce with a fly.

Fast forward once again to September 2009. My fishing amigo Frodo and I link up with the El Capitan  Jason Reiger of Skinny Water Charters for some redfish action somewhere in Georgia. We headed out with visions of Redfish in our heads. This will be Frodo’s first redfishing trip and my second. So we are complete beginners to say the least.

Ten minutes into day one I was on the rod and Captain Jason spots a tailer. One O’clock moving left to right cast, cast, cast. I cast and it lands a little short. Captain Jason says 5 more feet and you will be on. I cast a little to the left. Captain Jason then says he’s stopped, give him a minute. So I sit with anticipation. Finally Jason says cast, hes moving again, 30 feet at one o’clock. Boom, I fire a cast. Jason says strip, strip he sees it. I give two fast strips and this triggers the redfish to attack. The fish with his back exposed traveled some three feet splashing water with his tail. He slams the fly like Dave slams a Snikers Bar, I strip set and with a violent turn he rips through the Spartina grass. Before I know it the line goes limp, my heart is pounding, and we are all screaming. What the fuck happened you ask? We forgot the shock tippet, so when this 7 pounder slammed the fly and rushed off the 10 pound tippet folded like Tito Ortiz in his fight against Chuck Lidell.

Needless to say, the rest of the trip went like the first ten minutes. Cast, Cast, he’s moving left to right, right to left, strip, stop, damn it, son of a bitch, fuck, what the fuck, lets change flies, damn the tides. It seemed the hurricane that recently  moved up the coast had the water temps frigged up and the fish were not looking at our flies, it seemed they were feeding before the grass was completely flooded, and were full by the time we got there. Maybe the first fish was a special one or something. I mean Capt. Jason has his stuff dialed in, and knows those flats and fish. Although there was a lack of fish, the scenery more than made up for it. We saw black-tip sharks, dolphins, sting-rays and many types of birds.

It seems I have found my Achilles Heal, the ” Redfish”. To be such an opportunistic feeder, sometime stupid, they have truly humbled me. It was like hunting more so than fishing. It was like I was in a tree stand waiting on that buck to walk into view. I have learned that no matter how dialed you think you are, there is always something that will bring you to your knees (and no not for that you dirty minded scoundrels ). Now I have a personal vendetta for the redfish. Once I get off my lazy ass, I will post some of the tailing footage I filmed.

If you ever find yourself in the Savannah, Ga area and want to chase some reds in an untapped fisherie, give brother Jason a call. His knowledge of the area is second to none.

Ryan

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