A leftover photo from last month’s Big Gun Shootout at Picnic Island Park in Tampa. Below is the winning team Chris Homer, Greg Peterson and Dave Chouinard. Chouinard took top individual honors, edging out Homer.
Category Archives: Uncategorized
I’ve been chipping away at this sight fishing for reds quest for about a year or so now. During that time, I’ve analyzed tides, water depth, flies, weather, where to fish, where not to fish, when to go, when not to. Water depth is probably THE most important factor in Tampa Bay. With so-so visibility, you need skinny water to sight fish. You can persevere with higher water, but it’s almost damn near impossible to sight fish a red wading or out of a kayak in waist deep water.
The next most important factor is probably the most overlooked. It’s not wind, although I must admit I’m addicted to Wind Finder and live for those glassy mornings. However, I’d argue the sun is more important than a calm day. I didn’t realize this until I was chatting up Keys guide John O’ Hearn for a story I’m working on. O’Hearn said he’d take wind over clouds any day. A day later, I realized why.
Wednesday, it was blowing double digits out of the North. The tide was low enough, but the water movement was lousy. I fished anyway. I kept expectations low, and I was pleasantly surprised. Spotted at least a dozen reds during my afternoon trip. Had shots at five or six. One chased my fly, but didn’t eat. Rarely have I seen this many solo fish on foot or in my kayak and this was with a mix of clouds and sun. When the sun was out, I could pick them off. When the clouds settled in, I felt as if I were in the dark.
Bottom line: The sun is huge for sight fishing. If you don’t have sun, you’re essentially relying on tailers and we all know how sporadic that can be. So, pray for no rain and plenty of sun.
|Another day on Old Tampa Bay.|
I started fly fishing in 1989. Back then it was mountain streams and spring creeks in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. One of my first instructors was Henry Williamson, a guide from North Georgia. He taught me to cast when my loops were the size of boulders. Henry, from Sky Valley, Ga. was born to be a guide. He likes a good cup of coffee and a good story to start his day. Usually, he always delivers both.
The first trip with Henry was with my dad, who had a mountain house up in Sylva, N.C. Back then, fly
|Henry and Jimmy Carter|
fishing was not as popular as it is today. A River Runs Through It, after all, had been released. Henry was one of the few guides in the Western N.C. area at the time. We found out about him through word of mouth. We were not disappointed. It’s been almost 25 years since that trip and my father and I are going fishing again next week to celebrate his 70th birthday near Cashiers, N.C. Fittingly, Henry will be our guide.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t recognize my best friend — Twink, my female black lab, who serves a number of important needs — daily office companion, morning alarm clock (who can sleep through the clatter of paws on a wood floor) and superstar retriever of dove, duck and the well-thrown frisbee.
I used to run Twink in field trials, but now she’s retired and a great house dog. She turned 10 last week.
Former Washington Redskins running back John Riggins is suing the host of Fly Rod Chronicles for using footage of Riggins not approved by the former NFL star.
Sadly, fly fishing, like everything else, has become a business.
Anyone remember the control line Cox airplanes? Had one as a kid. Never got it off the ground long. Crashed it over at P.K. Yonge. I was crushed for years. A few summers ago, I was on Ebay and ran across a couple PT 19s for sale and bought them. One was the red and white one in this video. The other was a blue and yellow one from the 1970s that I had and two others were newer models that I actually flew over at Lincoln Middle School. Only the over 40 crowd had any idea what the hell I was doing. It was comical. It was nice to find a bit of redemption. Yes, I still have the planes back in my attic in Gainesville. The red and white model is exceptionally rare.
I had hoped to get out on the water today, but it’s raining and the wind forecast doesn’t look good. Although the outlook was reasonable earlier in the day, rain is on the way — along with more wind. Hopefully, things improve as we head into the new moon tides later this week. It’s been a crazy summer — either too much wind, too much rain — or both.