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[report]I left my USB cord in Florida, so this report is delayed by about 3 weeks. Nothing much to report anyway, I got my ass kicked by the ocean. I walked the beaches, kayaked the mangroves, fished the inlets, and got nothing to write home about. I got obsessed with landing something substantial, probably spent 40 hours on the beach and saw nothing but 4-5 nervous splashes in that entire time period. I don't know if it is due to the snook kill, or if I just suck, but I'm not making excuses - I failed. This caused a big rift to develop between my wife and I, and I actually have been rethinking how I will not only go on these trips in the future, but how I fish in general. It is getting to be like a job. If I fail/don't meet my expectations, I get really down on myself....and, more importantly, I am not enjoying myself when fly fishing recently. Shit, it's fucking fishing, every day doesn't have to be great, and every fish doesn't have to be a trophy. I have lost sight of why I actually do this. I may take a break.

Whining aside, here's the (zzzzzz) report:

I left this note in the sand trap for the duffers the next day....the fairway was across the street from my condo:
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These provided the only good fishing during my trip, I think I caught about 400 of each:
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I should have known it was not going to be good....first fish ogf the trip....which died, even though I lip hooked it and handled it like a trout:
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These were fun.....I don't want to disparage jacks....I love catching them.
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Mangroves off of Lover's Key...where I got goose egg.
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All these flies for a handfull of jacks and a ladyfish that I mistook for bait:
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Buzzes are one thing I am a master at catching:
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Got this cool coozee....DOPE!
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Wife and I would get drunk and hunt toads on the golf course after the kids went to bed....piggy back rides.....RFA style:
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I did have fun....and maybe learned not to let fishing ruin an entire vacation.

Some celebrity sightings:

1. Sat next to John Barr on the plane down. Super nice guy. We talked for about 3 hours straight. I told him about the Drake messageboard...which he said he "might" check I warned him about you animals.

2. Ran into Ray Lewis on the beach at 7:00 AM. I asked for his picture, and his reply was "Sorry Bud, I'm training" response was "Fucker, I am a Moderator on the Drake!", and I ran him down and tackled him into the surf. He ran away crying.[/report]
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By The Volfish
truly a shame you didn't holler, the skiff travels suprisingly well on the trailer...
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By D-nymph
RFA wrote:I have lost sight of why I actually do this. I may take a break.

If you say so, Heero.

Nice Permits!

:Roll Eyes
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RFA..This is how it works.

1. Set aside ample time to come to FL and do just ONE thing...FISH. At least 4 days. The wife will be upset but much happier when you get back because she will see how happy you are, and how much you really missed her.

2. Save enough money between now and next April to come to the Keys and fish where the op to catch fish on the fly is BEST. Give half of that money to the wife and keep the rest. I am not talking guide fees....just enough money for food/beer, a cheap room, gas, and enough money for the strip club when your not on the water.

3. Call on your friends here to help you get on good water, fishing the right flies, at the right times.

4. Find a fellow Drakian to split the trip. Preferably one that can pole a skiff so your Capt. can do a little fishing too.

Ohh...I almost forgot! Pre pack for the move to FL upon your return. :cool
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By NeedmoreDEET
I would have hooked you up with some sweet interior Everglades adventures (long sleeves required) :gun
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Thanks dude - I admit, it is tough to balance fishing with family. I was setting my alram for 6 AM every morning and getting out so I wouldn't interfere with our days. I managed to keep that balance, but I was miserable after about the 4th day of not catching anything. It seeped over into the rest of the time I had with the family. My wife didn't deserve it - we rented kayaks and went out in the back bays around Ft. Meyers Beach, something she has always wanted to do. I was so ripping pissed by 30 minutes in that I was yelling FUCK every 5 minutes, and just making the whole thing unenjoyable. It was her trip too - I acted like a baby.

We're thinking of getting a TimeShare on Marathon for a week next year - if we get it, I will come down to KW and take you up on your offer. Thanks for that. :cool
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By Muddled Duck
I feel your pain RFA as I've run into the same issues while trying to balance a family vacation with some fishing on the side. There are a lot of places I'd like to go, but we keep going back to Destin for a couple of reasons. The most important reason (at least that's what I tell the wife) is that it's a reasonable drive, and the wife and kid always enjoy it there. My reason is that I have a friend/guide that I can always get a couple of good trips with, and I've been there enough to find some good (more like acceptable) fishing on my own so I keep my sanity and ability to pretend to enjoy the beach intact.
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By Bruiser
This is a really good report in so many ways. :cool Cheers, RFA.
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By deerfly
we all forget what its supposed to be about at times, I think its called finite-time-itis-to-suk or something like that. Too caught up trying to catch something in a small window of time when just being there should be enough.

If you find yourself headed any where near west central Fl buzz me up. If we can sync schedules I'd be happy to get you out there. Worse case we burn a day on the water then drink like derelict sailors when we're done...
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By Fishwater
RFA wrote:It was her trip too - I acted like a baby.
That's something I'll have to remember when my wife and I leave next week for the lowcountry...fuck I've already figured out which tides I want to fish and where. Only saving grace is that my wife will sleep until 10 or 11 so I can be back before she's even awake.
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AH-HA - See - it was him. Article failed to mention how I served him up like Thanksgiving stuffin'!
Back to the Dog Days
Now in his 13th NFL season, Ray Lewis is already a certain hall of famer. But he wants more. That's why the Baltimore Ravens' dynamic defender spent his summer training as if he were still trying to make the team.

by Chris Strauss | photography by Jeffery Salter

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Standing in the sand outside his oceanfront villa in the small South Florida town of Highland Beach, Ray Lewis waves at an older couple as they stroll by on their morning seaside walk. Unlike many of his neighbors in the exclusive hamlet outside Boca Raton, the legendary Baltimore Ravens middle linebacker—now in his 13th NFL season—is hitting the beach behind his off-season home to avoid retirement.

Covered with sweat and a 45-pound weight vest, the two-time defensive player of the year is halfway through a set of 20-yard-deep sand sprints, just one element of his 90-minute early-morning grind. He'll complete three total workouts before this muggy June day is over. "I don't like the beach that much," Lewis admits between gulps of water during a 60- second rest interval. "I'm always working on it."

Not that Lewis has ever shown an aversion to putting in work. Now 33, the Lakeland, Fla., native is still producing on an elite level, leading the team with 120 tackles in 2007 en route to his ninth Pro Bowl selection. Considered one of the best to ever play his position—arguably the most physically demanding on the field—Lewis has already outlasted the careers of Hall of Fame middle linebackers Jack Lambert and Mike Singletary and has no plans of stopping anytime soon.

"I'm going to play four more years," the 6'1", 250-pound Lewis announces. "I really don't believe I've played my best football." The bodily toll of a 13-year NFL career would seem to render an improvement on his 225-tackle season in 2003 or his MVP winning performance in Super Bowl XXXV impossible, but those who know Lewis aren't quite ready to doubt him.

"Every now and then you've got exceptions in this world, and Ray is one of them," says Ravens assistant head coach/defensive coordinator Rex Ryan, who's in his tenth season coaching Lewis. Ryan, whose father, Buddy, served as defensive coordinator for the Chicago Bears in the mid '80s, claims the only player he's ever seen match Lewis's work ethic was Walter Payton. "[After retiring], Walter was asked if he would've done anything different. And he would always say, 'I would've worked harder,'" Ryan says. "He worked harder than anyone I've ever seen. I feel the same way about Ray."

While most NFL players take at least a month off to recover after the season, Lewis skips only two weeks, during which he still gets in a light workout almost every day. He also focuses more on flexibility and nutrition than ever before—the only meat he eats is fish—but remains old-school when it comes to his off- season routine, trading the chance to train with fellow pros in high-tech facilities like Arizona's Athletes Performance for his own methods.

"Football isn't played on no machine. Those are great if you want to run a 40," he says. "But if you want to survive in the league for 13 years, you better go back to your dog days. The dog days is sand. The dog days is taking three decks of cards, flipping each card over, and whatever's on the card doing the number [of pushups and situps]."

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