Man! I wish I had a trophy pic to share but they have escaped me again. I went to Biscayne Bay back to back days and the fishing has improved. On day one I headed out in rain and wind to fish the low tide for tailing bonefish. When I arrived the tailers started pushing on the flat right on time. The wind was going to make it tough to maneuver the boat solo and get a cast off so I hopped out and chased them on foot. I chased down a school but had a tough time getting in front of them. As soon as I turned around here come 5 tailing pigs straight at me. The fish had no idea I was there and they were slowly working their way to me. I put out a long cast and it rolled out perfectly right on target. I made two long slow strips and came tight! I was in the zone mentally….everything was perfect! I lifted the rod and it all went down in slow mo. I had a lot of line to clear and the bone was highly motivated and leaving the area at light speed. I could tell my line was in trouble and then out of no where it looped around my reel and POW! My tippet broke and the trophy escaped. I’m telling you I have the worst luck of all fly fisherman on the planet. I have had to learn every single lesson the hard way. I know that it is making me a better angler though. I walked back to the boat just smiling at myself…I have literally lost so many bones, it’s mind boggling. I don’t get it…the bones in the Bahamas come to hand every time but all the monsters I hook in the Keys and Biscayne always find a way to escape. I sat in the boat in the drizzling rain and thought about the recent event. I thought about how disappointed I was but I also thought about how much better I have gotten in the last 3 months. I mean I came out on a day with no conditions and fed a big tailing Biscayne bonefish a fly that I tied. Although it hurts, it is also progress. Every since I purchased an 8wt my casting has improved dramatically, to the point where I am very confident now. The lighter rod has taught me how to cast correctly and make a soft presentation. Due to the poor conditions and high water I called it a day by 10am.
The next day I woke up motivated to go back and get it done. I went back to the same spot in similar conditions but the fish never showed. I decided that the day would be dedicated to exploring new areas I have never checked. It paid off big time. The next spot was a huge success for bonefish. There were doubles and triples pushing all over the flat with there backs out of the water. I had some amazing shots and had a few bones track the fly and follow it. After that I headed to some more new areas. I found everything that swims…bonefish, tarpon, permit, snook, redfish, trout, black drum. Unfortunately the visibility was spotty and most fish caught me off guard. I had about a 35″ redfish swimming right at me…I put the fly right in front of him and he ate it! I was shocked…I have messed with these Biscayne redfish for nearly two years and only caught one on a live crab (not counting all the rats). I could not come tight on him though…he was so close when he ate and I still had slack in my line….basically I missed him.
Two days of being on trophy fish and not one thing to show for it. Could I have caught a few bones and a permit on shrimp and crabs…yes, maybe a nice snook and a few reds blind casting some gulp…yes, but I am choosing to do it the hard way. The goal is to get better as an angler and push yourself to the next level. If you go out and catch 15 reds on spin every trip in the same area it loses it’s appeal. The goal is to get that feeling you got when you caught your first redfish. Was that not the greatest feeling of accomplishment? The only way to get that feeling is accepting new challenges and not accepting failure. Fly fishing is a serious addiction and the feeling you get when you succeed is like none other. I will not stop until I have mastered the art.