Kissed by a redfish…
Upon arrival it was soon discovered that the saltwater flat was almost drained dry making the normal redfish haunts obsolete and more than skinny. So much for depending on the accuracy of the printed tide tables.At least the wind was down and made for more dependable sight casting.
Without hesitation, the angler suits up for what proves to be a gorgeous day with blue bird skies and light and variable winds from the West. Wading out beyond the normal terrain, eyes are peeled back as if they were stuck open with toothpicks looking for anything that moved. Before to long, a large spot tail appears about 50 yards away and the pace is quickened to close the distance. With care, so as not to spook the finned creature from the skinny water lagoon, the distance is closed in a matter of minutes and once within casting range the fly is presented carefully and lands with a soft plop. The redfish turns and follows for a few feet then is distracted by the real deal and turns away to eat a live crab nearby. Another presentation is made just off the right shoulder of the hefty redfish and not more than 3 feet ahead. “Gotchya now” a voice is heard… Then WHAM! The fish eats the fly and with two good strip strikes the fish lets loose and clears the angler’s line as if it were on a power driven motor and with a few more kicks of its powerful tail the backing appears on his 8wt.
After a brilliant tug-o-war the fish succumbs to its challenger and is posed for a quick portrait of a beauty of a 28-inch redfish. “There you go, swim free my pretty. Your game was great and more than fair.”he Lone Red Ranger swims a few feet away freely, then turns 180 degrees and comes back and kisses the anglers boot. A gentle nudge with his hand guides the grateful redfish away and a moment is taken in silence to consider that the redfish came back to thank the sportsman for his fair fight and safe release.