. I shut down and poled toward the disturbance, and within minutes bouquets of tails were popping up in several spots. We both slipped over the side of the Curlew and waded toward the tails. Jim opted for a Mother’s Day Fly, and I tied on an orange VIP.
I usually fish with Jim unless he has a guest who needs my attention, so I grabbed my 5 wt. and lagged behind with my camera. Jim stalked three different pods, while
I held off casting, hoping to photograph Jim’s first catch of the day in the early morning sunlight. But a pod of reds made it hard to wait any longer, so I casted my orange VIP to the tails, and pow...a big one took it before I even stripped. On my five weight, it felt especially large, and during the fall they fight even harder due to the cooler, oxygenated water. I started wading toward the boat, thinking that I would release him on the way back, and then pole over to Jim. Well... the fish wouldn’t come in! I waded almost 150 yards to the boat, doing my best to keep the fish headed in the right direction. By the time I climbed up on the Curlew, I figured the fish was pretty big. Sure enough, he measured almost 29 inches, and probably weighed over 8 lbs. That’s quite a fight on a five-weight.
We almost headed further north, but on second thought swung the Curlew’s bow southward toward two venues that often produce for us when the water is high. We planed into the first area, and spooked several reds and sheepshead. Stopping the boat, we immediately spotted a tailing pod. While Jim stalked those fish, I headed in another direction. For about an hour, we had several classic tailing opportunities, and both of us caught fish.
Then we picked up and went further south and shut down near a shoreline. As soon as the water settled, it became clear that the reds were feeding explosively all around us. It wasn’t easy fishing, because they were moving around so much. But it was great action. I thought of my client John Boyd, who had fished only a few days before in the same area during the full moon (see below), and wished that he’d been able to see this action.
Jim and I are going out again tomorrow. We’ll see if the reds are still in a sporting mood.