Andy Dear | Sunday, 19 May 2019
Back in the early 2000s, I made several trips over to Houma Louisiana to fish for Redfish and Black Drum with a fly rod. South Louisiana was very much an untapped resource for the saltwater fly fisherman back then, and there were really only a handful of guides specializing in sight fishing the marsh with the long rod.
I first heard about Capt. Danny Ayo in one of the fly fishing rags, whose name escapes me at the moment. Danny was an interesting guy; not only did he tie his own flys and build his own rods, but he also built his own aluminum skiffs as well. Danny was a local who grew up in Louisiana and he knew the Terrabone Bay marsh area like the back of his hand. Anyone who has ever fished south Lousiana knows that it is very much like the Everglades in a lot of ways. It's a never ending maze of lakes and bayous littered with millions of grass islands and it is REALLY easy to get lost back there.
I had several really good trips with Danny, we caught a bunch of Redfish together and several 25lb+ Black Drum that are still the highlights of my many angling adventures. The thing that sticks out the most about Danny though was his Cajun accent and "flair for the dramatic". Every time you'd hook a good fish he'd hoot and holler from the poling platform in Cajun French. Laissez Les Bons Temps Rouler! he'd scream. A popular Cajun saying which translates in English to "Let The Good Times Roll!"
Every time I fish with a guide, I always learn something new, and Danny was no exception. One particular instance, however, sticks out more than the rest. I was having a bit of an off casting day, and couldn't seem to get the fly where it needed to be. After a few slightly errant casts I think Danny sensed my frustration. He kneeled down on the poling platform and said "Andy, don't let these fish get to you...there's a million of them here in the marsh and they're all hungry. You'll have 50 more shots by the end of the day today, so relax and enjoy the process"
In last weeks front page, I discussed a few lessons I had learned from my old pal Bubba. I also alluded to one I would share in this week's front page, and that is how to deal with failure. Danny's point did not go unnoticed and was well taken. If you cast to one and for whatever reason, a hookup fails to occur, it's simply water off of a ducks back. Let it go and move on to the next one. The quicker you can put that failure out of your mind, and more importantly, DO NOT become overly emotional about it, the better off you'll be. I know we'd all like to think this is high art, and very important stuff, but it is after all just lashing dead animal parts to a hook and trying to trick a fish into eating it. When you think about it that way, it's a minor miracle we ever catch anything at all.
Hope you all have a great week, and remember LAISSEZ LES BON TEMPS ROULER!!!