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Ronan's report

Wednesday, December 1st, 2010

When you spend time hanging around fly shops or other places where there are concentrations of fishing guides (like bars), you're bound to hear a few fish stories.

I just got back from a trip down to Louisiana to fish redfish with JanMan and Captain GregM from the Board. We had some great fishing, but you will have to wait to hear about that until some other time.

As is typical of any saltwater fishing trip, in addition to the good fishing we also got rained/blown out a couple of days and found ourselves hanging out in the aforementioned fly shops and bars with the local guides and fishing folks.

Somehow the topic of guide and client bloopers came up. If you've been either a guide or a client for very many days, you're bound to have a few stories, and everyone at our table had a great one. We went around the table one by one. The last guy to speak was a local guide that had just been out on the water the day before with a couple of great clients that were just getting into the saltwater flats game. When he started to slowly shake his head we knew we were in for a good one.

Now, after a few beers, you're bound to hear just about anything, and only remember parts of it, but I swear that this story is completely true even though I can't remember who told it.

As the story goes, the spotting conditions had been tough all morning, but they had managed to get into a couple of smaller redfish up in the skinny water. On the deeper flats they had bumped (spooked) a handful of really big fish in the 25-30 pound class, but never really had a decent shot. You’ve gotta surprise the big ones. You don't often get a second or third cast. Well, an hour or so later the clouds had broken up and they spotted a monster redfish laid up along the marsh grass. The hardest part about learning to flats fish it spotting the fish, and like many newcomers to the game, yesterday's clients were having a bit of trouble seeing the targets. When you are finally used to seeing 4 to 8 pounders and then you have a 30 pounder appear, it doesn't always register. A laid up redfish, barely moving, looks a lot like a log. Well, the guide poled in closer for a good shot, and the client made a perfect cast. The crab fly dropped down perfectly into the fish's window. When that big redfish saw the fly it just eased forward, flared its gills, and sucked the fly into its massive mouth. From the poling platform, the guide saw it all. The client saw something, but he wasn't sure what it was, and didn't feel anything. The guide exclaimed in that semi-calm but desperate tone that guides get when it's all happening, "He's got it. Hit him!" And the client, just as calmly, turned around to the guide and said, "What did you say?", as the giant redfish exhaled the fly and swam off to deeper water.

Happy December everyone.

Take Care and Fish On,

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