On Monday I fished with Captain Raymond Vasquez. Our plan was to fish for permit and bonefish, theoretically practicing for the upcoming Del Brown.
We left the dock at 7:00, an early start to a day that was quite overcast. We began by looking for baby tarpon just outside the marina as we waited for the storms to leave our intended destination. We stopped at one more spot for baby tarpon on the way to the permit grounds, finding none.
By 8:30 we were looking for permit, and having a hard time seeing much of anything due to the clouds that kept building. We staked off near a white sand hole and had a shot at a single, then a group. The single spooked as the fly landed, and the school simply swam around it–all very normal for permit, though just as frustrating as ever. We left for a similar area on the edge of a channel–unfortunately, the clouds followed us. Our next shot was at a school of maybe 10 small permit that were pushing down current towards us. The cast landed in front of them, but between the boat moving towards them, them approaching the boat, and the current moving with them we couldn’t get the grab–the little permit rubbed it in by racing behind the fly when I stripped it and overtaking it when I let it fall–before bouncing off the boat, we heard them laugh.
The clouds had now built to a proper storm, and the leading edge of it pushed us farther west. We leapfrogged to an as yet unaffected area, no fish. The storm approached, we left once again, but not before the fly rod began humming in the electricity. By this point we were already near home, and we debated going in. Something like this:
“Should we call it?”
“Let’s think about it. We can shark fish, but we don’t have any bait.”
“Do we have any shark flies?”
“What about bonefish?”
“Tough tide for that, though we could…”
“If we call it, we could always go play video games.”
“Do you have any video games?”
“No, my sister took my console. Do you?”
“We could go and try to find a tarpon…”
“We’ve got plenty of gas”
So we went to the ocean and tried to find a tarpon. Funny thing about that–we didn’t really have any tarpon flies. I had brought permit and bonefish flies, Ray brought the same, and all we really had was a “b” tarpon box that Ray had brought as an afterthought.
Immediately upon our arrival we found a few swimmers, and Ray put the fly in front of a few fish before we switched places. I had maybe 25 shots at larger than average fish, and bent more than a few out of their line but couldn’t get one to commit.
We went to another spot, and had more of the same–fish that were interested but non-committal, probably due to our lack of tasty flies.
After that we inspected a few baby tarpon spots, leaving the boat a few times to cut through mangroves into places that looked good from satellite photos but were decidedly not filled with anything other than mud.
At 5 pm we headed home– a tough day that felt great.
Friday I fish with John O’Hearn for more Del prefishing practice, and Sunday is the first of four days with Aaron for the Del.