After our prefishing days, Aaron and I kept walking into the Del Brown.
We began after the requisite tournament breakfast and coffee, and headed far away from the tough fishing we had experienced the last two days. While we had no indication that the fishing would be better, we were hopeful: theoretically, there was the idea that with less fish in one part of the map, there should be more in another. Practically, this proved not to be the case. In addition to the incessant and, as I mentioned in the prefish report, totally annoying) cloud cover, there simply weren’t enough fish around to do much with. We saw a few at our second spot, one at our third, one at our fourth, and so on–never finding a group of fish concentrated enough for us to make something out of.
Our closest call came towards the end of the day, when Aaron idled farther down a channel edge we were fishing. As he shut down and drifted onto the flat, we saw a push approach the boat–a permit, looking hard for something to eat. I threw the fly from the cockpit, and it landed (with no small amount of luck) in front of the fish, that immediately ran toward it and opened its mouth. As soon as this happened it saw the boat approaching and withdrew its offer, dashing our hopes with a swift kick to the you-know-whats.
We ended with another shot at a fish that appeared to never see the fly, and arrived at the dock for check in to find a scoreboard with a few bonefish releases but zero permit caught.
The light was slightly better, as was our fishing, and we had a few shots. Worth mentioning are two: one, the fish tracked the fly for about 10 meters before falling out of interest, and another that looked for the fly but couldn’t find it before I blew him out with another cast. Between these shots was about an hour of waiting at the marina for a large storm cell to pass us, and more clouds afterwards than we cared for. We left at 4:30, and headed to the dock where we found that Justin Rea and Greg Vincent posted a seriously strong two-fish day, and Captain Steve Friedman and Ivar Bolander came correct with a single fish.
We left, full of hope, into the teeth of a storm. We had a shot early, and were optimistic, but as we watched the hard edge of Destructo-Cloud approach us we headed to the dock to wait it out. Before we retreated, Aaron took these photos of the incoming thunderheads:
We weren’t the only teams that retreated to Hurricane Hole, and some decided to call it a day as the storm looked to be growing and focusing its efforts on our grounds. Aaron and I decided to give it another look, if only to attempt a last minute victory in the bonefish division with the pushing schools we’d found the day before the tournament. The tide had fallen away from us, bringing with it their habitat, and we only had a single capture to show for our efforts:
After this we found one more area that held a few permit, and I had a shot at a trio of small waking fish before the clock ran out and we left for the day.
At the dock, the results from the day before held up: Justin Rea and his angler Greg Vincent took Grand Champion honors with their two fish, one of which qualified as the largest permit. They also caught four bonefish, which based on time beat out Captain Peter Heydon and his angler Jim Knowles, that also caught four, for the bonefish release division. Captain Steve Friedman and his angler Ivar Bolander took the runner-up trophy for their capture, and that was that.
As always, The Angling Company would like to congratulate everyone mentioned above, especially Justin and Greg, for their great show.
Next Monday and Tuesday I’m in the park with Joe for the six.