Whiffed it

This forum is for general topics. Keep all posts, images, etc safe for those who read the forum at work. Post only that content that you'd want your mama to read. Violators will be banned.
User avatar
Redchaser
Posts: 6041
Joined: Fri Jun 16, 2006 1:01 am
Location: Lafayette, La
Contact:

Whiffed it

Post by Redchaser » Sun Apr 30, 2017 12:42 pm

[report]

Last spring a remarkable invitation was extended to me, and I made excuses not to take advantage of it. Fast forward a year and shit has happened to make me realize that life is far to short and uncertain to pass up good opportunities, tomorrow isn't guaranteed. Fortunately the invitation was extended again this spring, Root asked me if I wanted to make my way down to the keys to try for tarpon, this year I accepted without hesitation. I talked about maybe doing a long weekend, something like 3 days of fishing and a travel day on each end "you better just plan on a week" root suggested, well twist my arm, a plan was made to arrive on Tuesday and leave the following Monday.
1-IMG_23562.JPG
1-IMG_23562.JPG (93.05 KiB) Viewed 1443 times
I wanted to be prepared, so I started tying
1-flies.JPG
1-flies.JPG (144.76 KiB) Viewed 1443 times
I tied over 100 tarpon flies, and as predicted I used exactly 2. I also wanted to be prepared by being familiar with the tools, so I started taking every opportunity to practice casting the 10 and 12 weights which I don't use too often. I made a point of practicing when it was windy and wasn't having any problem casting right into 15 mph winds...in hindsight I should have practiced with a 20mph wind coming directly across my casting arm.

A few days prior to the trip Root called to give me an update. The wind had been non stop and water temps were about 6 degrees below normal for this time so very few fish were around. I had my plane tickets and vacation days booked, so fuck it, I was still heading down.

The day arrived and I drove to Baton Rouge for my early flight, when I landed at the Key West airport, this was the first thing I saw.
1-IMG_2610.JPG
1-IMG_2610.JPG (30.35 KiB) Viewed 1443 times
obviously this was going to be an eventful week. Root picked me up, and on our way north to where he was staying we stopped at a seafood shop for Stone Crab claws and hogfish filets.

I met some of the locals
1-P4180001.JPG
1-P4180001.JPG (223.73 KiB) Viewed 1443 times
1-P4180003.JPG
1-P4180003.JPG (91.94 KiB) Viewed 1443 times
1-P4200031.JPG
1-P4200031.JPG (167.11 KiB) Viewed 1443 times
We ran out for a short while but the wind was humping and cloud cover had a wicked glare on the water. Root spotted a fish on our first flat, I never saw it. We went back in early because Root needed to run into Marathon to deal with a cell phone issue. Root and technology are an interesting mix..

Back at the casa Root worked on cooking the hogfish fillets while I ate stone crab. I liked that arrangement.
1-P4180006.JPG
1-P4180006.JPG (134.91 KiB) Viewed 1443 times
Root's a good cook and hogfish are good fish so diner was great.

Next morning we got up and got provisioned for the day
1-P4180005.JPG
1-P4180005.JPG (98.92 KiB) Viewed 1443 times
Chied Fricken is a must

We made our way out in even more wind and spotty visibility as clouds moved in and out. We hit the first flat and Root saddled up
1-P4190024.JPG
1-P4190024.JPG (147.01 KiB) Viewed 1443 times
The first couple of flats we hit were "well known" places you may on occasion hear about or see mentioned in some article or online chat room, they were also beautiful, I'm not used to clear water.
1-P4190027.JPG
1-P4190027.JPG (176.53 KiB) Viewed 1443 times
1-P4230108.JPG
1-P4230108.JPG (138.99 KiB) Viewed 1443 times
The "known flats" were also devoid of tarpon. Root told me of a spot he had. Not a known spot, you'll never read about it in an article, it's a place he rooted out by putting in the time and effort. Out in seemingly open water a bank rises up creating a stepped edge that goes from about 5 feet to a foot or so with a deeper channel on the other side. Root said that it's usually one of the first places the tarpon show up when they start moving in. We got to Root's spot and staked out to see what was going on. Shortly after we spotted 2 fish quickly going away, cool to see, but not really a shot. We ate some chicken, then Root started poling us along the flat and we started seeing quite a few fish. Seeing those big beast in 4 feet of clear water was remarkable, so much so that I managed to wrap my first backcast around myself, and found equally creative ways to blow the next 10 shots I had. Root was kind and said it was tough because of the wind, but I've got to own it. After a shift in tide the fish quit showing up so we headed in. After a quick stop at the store, I cooked a chicken and sausage gumbo.

Thursday was windy as fuck, ok actually Wednesday was windy as fuck, thursday was fucking worse, but we still got out. We hit a few spots seeing nothing, then we went to a really famous spot, where famous fishermen have caught record fish. Despite getting low holed by another skiff and a bay boat fishing snapper, we started seeing a few fish. I actually managed to get the fly in the same zip code as a few of the fish, but drew no interest. We ate well again for dinner, yellowtail snapper.

We awoke Friday and looked at our wind gauge, the coconut palm right behind the house
1-P4200038.JPG
1-P4200038.JPG (266.76 KiB) Viewed 1443 times
Not only were the fronds blowing around, but the trunk was twisting and contorting in the near gale as dark clouds blew by overhead.

Any attempt at fishing in the morning was pointless. A slight decrease in clouds convinced us to head out mid afternoon, we stopped at one nearby bonefish flat, quickly learned the futility of it and went back in. Saturday was equally windy and cloudy but at least it was raining too. Since fishing was out we did the tourist thing and headed up to Islamorada.

Kite surfers love the weather that fishermen hate
1-P4220043.JPG
1-P4220043.JPG (114.27 KiB) Viewed 1443 times
We did tourist shit, stopped by the Worldwide Sportsman, saw the tarpon under the cleaning table
1-IMG_2362.JPG
1-IMG_2362.JPG (59.78 KiB) Viewed 1443 times
we checked out the sister craft to Hemmingway's boat
1-IMG_2623.JPG
1-IMG_2623.JPG (141.41 KiB) Viewed 1443 times
We stopped by Sandy Moret's shop and saw evidence of a famous Drakien
1-IMG_2613.JPG
1-IMG_2613.JPG (59.7 KiB) Viewed 1443 times
And we ate well at the Lazy Day's
1-IMG_2624.JPG
1-IMG_2624.JPG (154.38 KiB) Viewed 1443 times
After driving back to the casa I took a walk around the neighborhood to see some Key Deer. Not wanting to be like those dumb fucks that try to pet the buffalo in Yellowstone, I was keeping a respectful distance from the endangered deer, the deer however had other ideas and moseyed over to sniff me out and see if I had anything edible on me
1-P4220080.JPG
1-P4220080.JPG (182.68 KiB) Viewed 1443 times
Lots of pretty stuff that I can't grow at home grows down there
1-P4220063.JPG
1-P4220063.JPG (128.13 KiB) Viewed 1443 times
Later we drove down to Cudjoe Key and ate at the Square Grouper, which was great. Root is trying real hard to talk himself out of buying one of the DeYoung permit paintings that hangs there.

Sunday morning we woke up and for the first time the coconut tree wasn't dancing. We got out and the water was greasy
1-P4230095.JPG
1-P4230095.JPG (104.72 KiB) Viewed 1443 times
The sun was also shining creating an encouraging site
1-P4230100.JPG
1-P4230100.JPG (144.37 KiB) Viewed 1443 times
We ran all over, outback, outfront, great distances from one end to the other and couldn't find a freaking fish. 2 days of cloud cover, rain and wind had once again dropped water temperatures and the guest of honor decided not to show.

Making a run to one last spot things started looking bad
1-P4230121.JPG
1-P4230121.JPG (107.33 KiB) Viewed 1443 times
And we ended up running right through all of that. Arriving home very wet we cleaned up then went out for dinner. We made the obligatory stop at the No Name pub, wallpapered with ones
1-IMG_2627.JPG
1-IMG_2627.JPG (129.31 KiB) Viewed 1443 times
1-IMG_2631.JPG
1-IMG_2631.JPG (171.51 KiB) Viewed 1443 times
Our waiter was shitty, even by keys standards, the menu looked unappealing and the place smelled like every one of those singles game out of the g string of a fat sweaty stripper, so we decided to seek sustenance elsewhere. We tried a relatively new place called the Bucktooth Rooster. The menu is huge as are the portions, the food was good and prices not bad. Definitely worth a stop if you're down there.

Monday I had to fly out, so of course when we woke up there wasn't a breath of wind or cloud in the sky, the sun was shining brightly and warmly and I envisioned tarpon happily returning to the flats as I headed to the airport.

I want to thank Root for a great week. His thoughtfulness and generosity are amazing, I also learned a ton about the fishery and the game from him. It would have been cool to touch a tarpon, but that's fishing and I'm more than ok with it. Fucking Drake.
[/report]
"... don’t let your life become the sloppy leftovers of your work" Jim Harrison

"Put in the effort and good things happen"... Hogleg

"Salinity is proportional to sanity for sure" ..The Volfish

Redchaser.com, all about Louisiana Fly Fishing

User avatar
yard4sale
Posts: 2193
Joined: Wed May 28, 2014 4:12 pm

Re: Whiffed it

Post by yard4sale » Sun Apr 30, 2017 3:14 pm

Dude, you left your wind here. Please come back and get it, I don't want it either.
You can't go back and you can't stand still
If the thunder don't get you then the lightning will

When your choices are between a pedophile religious zealot or a dem suddenly the pedophile religious zealot doesn't sound too bad. - PLOW

User avatar
root wad
Posts: 2369
Joined: Mon Jan 12, 2009 12:16 pm

Re: Whiffed it

Post by root wad » Sun Apr 30, 2017 4:28 pm

And you should have left some of those flies. The ones we have don't land in the right place very often.
Life is a whole lot more simple when you plow around the stump.
"When I found the skull in the woods, the first thing I did was call the police. But then I got curious about it. I picked it up, and started wondering who this person was, and why he had deer horns."

User avatar
Redchaser
Posts: 6041
Joined: Fri Jun 16, 2006 1:01 am
Location: Lafayette, La
Contact:

Re: Whiffed it

Post by Redchaser » Sun Apr 30, 2017 4:51 pm

root wad wrote:
Sun Apr 30, 2017 4:28 pm
And you should have left some of those flies. The ones we have don't land in the right place very often.
Zing
"... don’t let your life become the sloppy leftovers of your work" Jim Harrison

"Put in the effort and good things happen"... Hogleg

"Salinity is proportional to sanity for sure" ..The Volfish

Redchaser.com, all about Louisiana Fly Fishing

User avatar
root wad
Posts: 2369
Joined: Mon Jan 12, 2009 12:16 pm

Re: Whiffed it

Post by root wad » Sun Apr 30, 2017 7:07 pm

At 15 - 25 it is not necessarily pilot error.
Life is a whole lot more simple when you plow around the stump.
"When I found the skull in the woods, the first thing I did was call the police. But then I got curious about it. I picked it up, and started wondering who this person was, and why he had deer horns."

Heero[CntRmbrPwd]
Posts: 3372
Joined: Fri Nov 18, 2011 9:49 am

Re: Whiffed it

Post by Heero[CntRmbrPwd] » Sun Apr 30, 2017 7:37 pm

The tropics are still treating root well, I see.

croaker
Posts: 309
Joined: Mon Dec 11, 2006 1:01 am
Location: South East Georgia

Re: Whiffed it

Post by croaker » Sun Apr 30, 2017 7:44 pm

Looks like y'all "whiffed it" in grand style!

:cool
"You can't conquer a free man; the most you can do is kill him"---Robert A. Heinlein.
"Every time a fish came to the top, he grinned from ear to ear"--- fatman

blaminack
Posts: 23
Joined: Wed Jan 23, 2013 8:18 pm

Re: Whiffed it

Post by blaminack » Sun Apr 30, 2017 7:53 pm

Sounds so much like my trip to the Keys in March. Except you got to hang out with cool people and try to fish. I got a stay with my wife's 75 year old Aunt and Uncle who tried to dictate our time there. Sucked. It looks like you mostly had a good time. Great pictures.

User avatar
yard4sale
Posts: 2193
Joined: Wed May 28, 2014 4:12 pm

Re: Whiffed it

Post by yard4sale » Sun Apr 30, 2017 8:02 pm

root wad wrote:
Sun Apr 30, 2017 7:07 pm
At 15 - 25 it is not necessarily pilot error.
You talking beers or knots?
You can't go back and you can't stand still
If the thunder don't get you then the lightning will

When your choices are between a pedophile religious zealot or a dem suddenly the pedophile religious zealot doesn't sound too bad. - PLOW

User avatar
Hogleg
Posts: 4060
Joined: Wed May 05, 2010 4:56 pm
Location: Over yonder

Re: Whiffed it

Post by Hogleg » Sun Apr 30, 2017 8:29 pm

That Root Wad is one solid, hearty, salty, generous, good cooking, patient, dedicated, hard-working, classy fishy mother fucker ain't he?
"girls with eating disorders will usually let you come in there in butt." -Jhnnythndr
"...my grandmother’s Tang always tasted like rusty water and dirty socks." - Average Joe
"with some limited exceptions steelhead live where the lady selection is sparce." - MTG

User avatar
Bigguy
Posts: 902
Joined: Sun Sep 16, 2012 2:30 pm

Re: Whiffed it

Post by Bigguy » Sun Apr 30, 2017 8:43 pm

Great waterhaul TR, Red. My only trip to the Keys (non-fishing) watched a guide trying to pole a sport in 25 knot winds and white caps. Too far to see the fly line, but could tell that the dude was going to have a very sore shoulder!

User avatar
CarelessEthiopian
Posts: 2659
Joined: Thu Apr 01, 2010 11:04 am
Location: land of milk and honey

Re: Whiffed it

Post by CarelessEthiopian » Sun Apr 30, 2017 8:50 pm

Hey Root, can you hook me up with a pro deal from your spancers?


$_32.JPG
$_32.JPG (23.84 KiB) Viewed 1186 times
drews207136_117645_jb.jpg
drews207136_117645_jb.jpg (39.69 KiB) Viewed 1186 times
1-P4190024.JPG
1-P4190024.JPG (147.01 KiB) Viewed 1186 times
boy in long pants

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bigguy, BigTimber, Bing [Bot], BryanM, croaker, EML, fishskibum, flashback, markl, Noodledick, pxatim, Saltan, speybait and 475 guests