Monthly Archives: August 2013

Blood in the Water

I’ve never fished for albies. But that might have to change based on the video below. I’ve heard they make their way to the Tampa Bay area in the fall. Can’t wait to see if that’s actually true.

Great video on false albacore

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Filed under Entertainment, Fly fishing

A Great Fly Shop

Brookings is conveniently located in downtown Cashiers.

I stopped by Brookings in Cashiers, N.C. earlier this month. If you ever visit Western N.C., make sure to stop by. It’s one of the best fly shops I’ve ever seen in the Southeast. Well-stocked. Well run. Plenty of space. Great fly tying area. Yes, they even have a dog, a young Brittany, who’s pumped up about the upcoming grouse season.
The Cashiers/Highlands area offers good fly fishing — from no-name small creeks to well-know big water such as the Tuckasegee and the Nantahala. There’s trout or smallmouth. Take your pick. In the spring and summer, the weather’s usually cool and the fishing, though sproadic at times, can be good. Fall is my favorite time. Can’t beat the colors and the air is nice and crisp.

The drift boats arrive every morning.

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Bonefish, Tarpon Update

It’s official. Bonefish and tarpon are catch-and-release starting next month.

Two premier recreational fisheries will soon have new protections in place, a measure aimed at ensuring that tarpon and bonefish’s economic and fishing value remain for generations to come. Tarpon and bonefish become catch-and-release only fisheries beginning Sept. 1.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) approved these proactive management measures at its June 12 meeting in Lakeland. The catch-and-release proposal was adopted in recognition of the fact that the economic and fishing values of bonefish and tarpon greatly exceed their value as food fishes.

 FWC

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Time For Some Tennis

I played at Cedar Creek Racquet club two weeks ago up in Cashiers, N.C. The courts are pristine and the view is to die for. The nearby pond is stocked with trout and bass, but I didn’t fish. Played tennis instead. With the U.S. Open starting this week, I figured I’d post this. My picks to win it: Serena Williams and Rafa Nadal. I’m a Roger Federer fan, but Nadal’s forehand against Federer’s backhand likely will determine that outcome. Just watched Nadal against Ryan Harrison and Nadal appears in good health, which is not good news for the rest of the men’s field.

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Praying for the Glades

Good story in the Sun Sentinel recently. Too much water is not necessarily a good thing.

There is one hope for the freshwater Everglades as the River of Grass and its inhabitants continue to suffer from the effects of extremely high water levels.

Pray that no storms hit South Florida.
That was the essence of the discussions conducted during an airboat tour Thursday of the waterlogged Everglades, featuring Sen. Bill Nelson and personnel with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Department of the Interior, Everglades National Park and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
FWC Commissioner Ron Bergeron brought together everyone to show them how water levels have submerged 90 percent of the tree islands in Water Conservation Area 3A South, which extends from Alligator Alley to Tamiami Trail.

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Freshwater Vs. The Salt

 From Deneki outdoors… I could use sure a lesson in this.

 

Conversations About First-Time Flats Fishing

When we talk to guests about their first flats fishing trip to Andros South, we always get a lot of questions about angling skill.
“Is it really that hard to see bonefish?”
“How far do I have to cast?”
“What about casting in the wind?”
So we explain that the fishery on South Andros is super productive and pristine.  We tell them they’re going to have plenty of shots, and a lot of the shots are going to be at really close range, and that they don’t need to worry about catching bonefish.  They’re going to catch bonefish – if you have the physical aptitude to make your way onto a flats skiff, you’re going to catch bonefish on your trip to Andros South.
But then, for folks who are used to freshwater fishing, we like to talk to them about their attitude.

Not Catching Fish in Freshwater

Here’s the thing – in most freshwater situations you don’t see the fish before they eat.  If you fish through a run for trout or steelhead and don’t get any takes, that might be for any of the following reasons:

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Morning Tailers

Fished North Pinellas with Capt. Jared Wednesday. Got up at 4:15, left the house at 5, launched at 6:20 or so, then made the 40 minute paddle to a few spotted tails — with some nice scenery along the way.

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Back to the Salt

Headed to Caladesi flats early Wednesday morning. The a.m. tides are finally low enough for tailers. Tied a few EP crabs, size 1 hook. We’ll see if bigger flies mean bigger fish. … Trying to talk Capt. Jared into going. It’s his home water. He knows it well. … I, for one, am looking forward to a saltwater fishing trip without rain. Thank goodness for the low a.m. tides. Couldn’t come soon enough.
 
 

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A Day on the Tuck

Congrats to my dad, who caught the biggest fish (18-inch rainbow) during our two-day fly fishing trip on the lower Tuckasegee River in Sylva, N.C., three days before he celebrated his 70th birthday last week.
It’s been a cool, wet summer in Western N.C., but nevertheless the water temperature hovered in the mid to high 60s. We had to work for every fish we boated.
We’ll be back in October. The water temps should be in the 50s, and the Tuck should be on fire.
Below was our mode of transportation, a Clackacraft drift boat as well as a view of the lower Tuck.
It’s been a while since I’ve been on
a drift boat. About 20 years ago, I got trained to guide out West. I think I hammered every damn rock in the Bighorn River. The Tuck, being a gentle Eastern river, is a bit more forgiving than Montana water.

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The Family Dog

Everyone who knows me knows I love dogs. Dogs, in fact, are a Hodge family tradition. I had a beagle growing up. My father and stepmother had two Great Danes (Grendle and Omar), a Pitt Bull (Bess) and a bulldog-pit mix (Doc Holliday), a Bull Terrier (Jack), two Springer Spaniels (Ashley and Duke). I now have Twink, the third of three labs (Beauregard and Angus were the others). My father’s dog is Lucy (see photo), a 17-year-old Jack Russell. I sure hope I’m going strong at that age.

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