Monday, March 31, 2014

Fruits and Nuts

I have to apologize for the lack of updates throughout the week on my beachfront trip. The wireless in our lodgings was frustratingly spotty. It went out every day for hours at a time. Plus there was beach, ocean, and sun calling me. And a hammock.

In addition, I was lacking the requisite ammunition for a good posting: photos. Now wait, that's not because I didn't catch anything! Although I admit I didn't catch much. It is because when I pulled my waterproof camera out of my luggage I found it missing a bunch of parts that were rattling around in the bottom of my bag.  And of those parts: the ever important power and "take pic" buttons. Somehow a little screw-on cap over these buttons rattled loose and it all fell apart.

With a little ingenuity, however, I managed to put the buttons and cap back on. I even managed to screw down the teeny tiny Torx head screw with a kitchen knife. But only to discover that the "take pic" button had a bit of a plastic nub break off. And of course that plastic nub was the bit that pressed the electrode down to register a "push." I could turn the camera on and navigate through stuff, but no matter how hard I pushed the button it wouldn't snap a shot. Ugh!

So I tossed it back in my bag, and considered taking my phone along with me on the boat but decided it wasn't a good idea. Instead I'll insert a few photos that I stole from the internets and pretend as though they are mine.

The result of the trip was a disappointing and somewhat expected 0 fish caught on my own. I really didn't have enough time to give myself a real chance here. I spent about an hour one morning chasing a few bonefish around the flats outside our lodging and that's it. There were a handful tailing in the turtle grass shallows around where we were staying. I spooked them a number of times but never got a bite. The next day was with a guide and the day after was a snorkeling trip too early in the morning to add in fishing. Thus, only one morning of a few casts at a few fish.

The guide outing was another story. We saw about one billion fish, but I remain unconvinced that my guide knew what he was doing other than knowing where the fish were. And with me knowing nothing about how to fish for any of these fish, that was an issue. I felt like we were spastically chasing them around the flats constantly rather than making any sort of intelligent approach to a pod of fish. I felt like every time I got a cast to them, they were already aware something was pursuing them and were moving on.

Nonetheless, I did catch a couple after a few morning hours of chasing. Once the skunk was off I gave the guide permission to take me out to chase around some permit, which I figured I were much less likely to yield a catch but would be fun to try for. And that's where we spent most of the afternoon hours, again chasing fish around until they vacated the area. Doing so seemingly with no real plan other than: Fish there! Fish where? Right there, hurry they're swimming away!! Cast Cast Cast!!!!! Strip Strip Strip!! (to my non-fishing readers, strip basically means reel-in in fly-fishing-speak)

Of course, I have to admit that I really struggled to double haul an 8wt rod with 9wt line out 40+ feet in 2 back casts or less with 20mph cross or headwinds. So certainly some of the blame of my lack of fish numbers is my own lack of ability and experience. In fact the majority lies there. But I don't tell myself that so I can remain proud of my inabilities.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Salty Preperation

First off, apologies for the long absence here. Not much fishing has been going on due to travels, skiing, rain and blown out rivers, and other weekend festivities. That of course is about to change or I wouldn't be writing this. You see, I don't write this blog because I always have something to say and because I have a neurotic need to grab other people's attention. I write this to reflect on and look forward to my fishing outings. It's the same reason I read your blogs, vicariously of course!

And today I find myself with about 5 hours in the Houston airport waiting for my connection. I apparently did a poor job of booking flights, but if memory serves me right my only other option was for an earlier flight in first class. And I don't make enough to afford first class travel, at least not yet. Someday maybe. So here I sit waiting for a flight that is a long way off.

I'm off to a saltwater destination, which is something I've never done before.  I tied up a few flies in weeks prior and stopped by my local fly shop this week for advice and tying inspiration. I've got a good collection of flies that I will use this one time; I don't expect to lose a ton or to come anywhere near running out, nor do I expect to use these regularly in the future. But I have time to kill and I brought along my vise and a handful of materials. What else can I do? I already donated some time to work on a day off and I can only read for so long before boredom and ADD force me to move on.

Stay tuned this week for updates in real time. The trip is not 100% fishing, but I plan to get out every day for at least a little while. Some of it will be DIY, one day will be expensive and probably much more fruitful. I very much look forward to it.