Day one on the Gulf Coast, we have tough weather conditions for fly fishing. Wind out of the southeast, blowing hard for the past six weeks. Muddy water. Makes it hard to spot fish in the marsh, but Chris and Shauna manage to boat a bunch of nice redfish on subsurface and topwater flies.
In the other skiff, Julian and I started out slow. We looked for redfish pushing waves, we watched for tails out of the water, we tried to spot fish that were moving pieces of grass or sticks on the shallows. But after most of a day, we hadn’t had a real shot at a fish. And most of my redfish fly patterns were too small.
Things were looking a little grim, until we came into a wind-swept island and spotted what appeared to be a the back of a black drum sticking out of the water. Then it moved — and we realized it was an eighty-pound tarpon. And then we saw another one. And then another one. All laid up in about 2-feet of muddy water.
Our guide went bananas. I cast my eight-weight at a big gray shadow, and felt a take (nearly having a heart attack)… and it was a sea trout. We circled back around to do another drift over the fish, and Julian had a shot, stripped his fly past the tarpon, and because the water was so muddy, pulled it away from the fish as it was taking a lunge at the fly.
For us at least, today’s redfish program has been put on hold. This is a tarpon trip now.