For the third year running, the #Makemineagumbopsicle boys got together to fart around and hopefully get a chance to chase some redfish down in Louisiana.
Fatman made a pitstop and picked up a couple of pies on the way down.
And true to form, not long after Fatman entered the state, the weather turned to complete shit. Fortunately, the weather forecast was predicted to get better by Saturday.
I picked up the Barrelcooker Wednesday evening from the airport in the cold and rain and we made our way down the bayou and met the boys to get a bite to eat, drink a few beers and play a couple games of pool.
Lurker Mike suggested the roast beef poboy, so that's what I ordered and it didn't disappoint. After we made it to the camp we unpacked our bags and Willi and I divided up the chicken so everyone would have an equally weighed Ball's sack.
The weather continued to look like shit so everyone sat around and ate, drank, bullshitted, and tied flies for the next two days. The
At some point when the rain stopped, Lurgee said fuck this and looked around for anyone willing to toss a couple flies in the wind. The Careless Ethiopian and Willi joined Lurgee and Redchaser Ron grabbed someone as well and both boats launched behind the camp to hopefully find a tailing redfish or two.
Even with the stiff wind, drizzling rain, and zero sun, Ben managed to catch a willing participant.
Time was passed by tying more flies, more bullshitting, and visiting one of the local daiquiri joints.
Concoctions such as Drunk Monkeys, Cordial Cherries, and White Russians were brought back to the camp. The lady behind the bar gave us some valuable life lessons on leaving tips and which drink she couldn't turn down and would cause her to have to be carried out the building.
Redchaser made an outstanding gumbo along with potato salad but no gumbopsicles were made. However, Lurgee mixed up some lemon meringue and coconut pies in a cup and threw it in the freezer to make a piepopsicle.
Rods were rigged and leaders were tied in anticipation of the next days' fishings.
I'm not too sure on the use of strike indicators and popping corks on fly rods for redfish but I guess you gotta try anything when it's cold and raining.
Friday evening all of the local guys were getting texts from back home of snow falling in south Louisiana, but it didn't quite reach us. With the predicted break in the weather, names were drawn for who was going in which boats. Lurgee pulled the shortest of straws and picked Fatman and I.
Saturday morning was still somewhat windy, but for the first time during the trip the clouds had completely disappeared and everyone was excited about fishing.
This was my first time fishing with Lurgee but I already knew I was in good hands because up until this point, I have never seen a skiff with a midget stripper pole before.
Fatman was on the bow first and made some accurate casts but the redfish were quite lethargic and were slow on the take. Several times, Lurgee instructed Fatman to set the hook after he saw the fish's gills flare and take the fly, but they were so slow in closing their mouths, the fly came out. At times, fish would even swim under the boat without spooking. Finally, after a couple hours, the fish started to wake up and Fatman found a willing, hungry fish.
Fatman caught another one before I stepped up on the casting platform.
I caught a couple fish and then it was time to get Fatman back on the bow. Fatman ended up catching two more reds and then we made our way back to the camp feeling victorious - especially after the previous two days of crappy weather. None of the fish we saw or caught were bulls, but we were happy to be sight casting to numerous fish.
When we got back to the camp, most people had similar stories of lethargic, lazy, and unresponsive fish until about lunchtime, and then the switch was flipped and everyone started catching fish.
Trucha del Mar kept a small fish and made some delicious ceviche. Barrelcooker tried to help but ended up slicing his hand open. Junior, Lurker Mike, and B.M. left and went up the bayou to the closest hospital. Meanwhile the rest of us went to the "fancy" restaurant and ordered various steak and seafood entrees. The guys phoned in an order and made it back just in time when all of the entrees were placed on the table. B.M. made sure to tell the doctor that he was fishing the next day and the doctor did his best to accommodate him.
After a bellyful of a great meal and some drinks, we made it back to camp and this time Redchaser drew the shortest of straws and let me know that I would be fishing with him on Sunday. With several people having to catch flights and part ways as well as the sight of beautiful weather, everyone was up early and loaded up to get on the water.
The sunrise on the marsh was beautiful,
and there was some funny frosty stuff on the decks of the skiffs.
Ron and I started fishing but we made a short move after not seeing any fish but it was nice seeing the water so still.
It wasn't long before I hooked up.
I was happy to get up on the poling platform especially since Ron doesn't usually get to fish at these get-togethers. Within a hundred yards and two casts later, Ron already had a fish on the line.
And Ron showed everyone how to properly pose with a redfish.
Ron and I kept on switching between the poling and casting platforms putting over a dozen fish in the boat in a short while.
Which is all actually just an optical illusion because you can't fly fish out of a Carolina Skiff.
Ron had to make it back a little early so he could pack up and get back home so we willingly left the fish biting after having such a great day especially after the weather that we had to endure during the earlier part of the trip.
After packing and cleaning a little, a quick shower and some long hugs, I headed back up the bayou with a smile on my face.
Good times were had and fishes were pulled over the gunnels of several boats. Hopefully it won't be next year before I some of you knuckleheads again.
Bait fishermen and flatlanders that can't catch redfish spend more time fishing for specks - Redchaser