Friday I was invited to fish with Dave Dalu and Scott Collins, two fishermen I look up to. I was happy to be spending the day with two people that had such a large impact on my own fishing aspirations.
We began at 8 AM, and in very short order we had a group of fish slink behind the boat in the early morning shine. I had a few shots into them, and couldn’t get one to connect. A few more schools passed, and after a while Dave got up to fish. He had a good bite on his first cast, but the fish came at the boat and didn’t remain connected. I had a few fish turn and follow the fly–usually something that can result in a bite, if properly played–but none would cooperate. Finally, one did for me, but I was unable to get the fly to bury. We fished until the storm pushed us in; we waited for it to pass before heading out again.
After we found a nearby edge to fish, I was up. It didn’t take long for Dave and Scott to find a string of pons passing behind the boat. I cast the fly, stripped it a few times, and came tight to a large fish that felt even better after my recent dry spell. The fish was large and relatively upset by the whole situation, and eventually wore through my bite tippet on a leaping aerial curve, but Dave was able to snap the following photo of at least one animal in great company:
After I lost this fish, Dave and Scott put on a great show to a less than enthusiastic crowd. The fish were low, frowning, and fast moving: not a great recipe for success. Dave did have a couple follows, but even after a number of fly changes we had nothing to show for our efforts except the bites we had earlier and the large fish we jumped and fought for a while.
After a late day on the water, hoping for a volunteer, we drifted through some of the areas that Scott and Dave took over the tarpon tournaments. Dave, typically reserved and humble, walked me through some of their tournament exploits right where they happened.
Needless to say, I have a lot to look up to.
I’d like to thank Dave for inviting me with Scott, and I look forward to fishing with these two again in the future.
Tomorrow I fish with Aaron, reports to follow.