It was the day before a scheduled fly charter which had already been rescheduled once due to bad weather. I decided to call the client mid-day Sunday and let her know that Monday’s weather was going to be absolutely perfect. A long shot for someone like me who watches weather reports more than most sports fanatics watch their favorite teams’ stats. “OK, lets do it!” she says and we set the pickup time for 7am.
The next morning I jump out of bed early to prep the skiff, checked the weather again, and luckily things were lining up nicely. After splashing the skiff I head over to the dock to pickup Mary in style and we are up and running after a quick safety briefing.
Soon we are on the flat after a short run, up on the bow she goes, trusty fly rod in hand with a freshly tied popping shrimp attached. “Ok Mary, lets pole over this direction and see if the fish will show themselves.” I say and sure enough once we got into an area where the water depth was right for the fish to show their tails, that is exactly what we saw up ahead. Quietly I whisper to Mary that there are two fish at the 11 o’clock position, one closer than the other and to cast to the closest fish. Once we are within casting range she fires off a gentle and precise cast with a beautiful loop and the fly lands 1.5 feet ahead and just to the right of the redfish. “Strip… strip… strip” I say to start the cadence, and the fish turns in pursuit of the fly then charges! “Keep stripping, don’t stop Mary!” The fish eats, and Mary sets the hook into a fine redfish, measuring in at 21 inches. In all the excitement I manage to stutter the word “Bravo!” as this was a fantastic and exciting event that had just unfolded before our eyes.
These are the times that every fly angler dreams about, the stuff you read about in books, in some calm and serene setting where red-headed egrets, tri-color herons and roseate spoonbills line the shoreline almost as spectators and seemingly fans of one of the most honest games known to man. Fly-fishing.