Just before Kat and I left for New Orleans with Fitz and Dotty, I had an opportunity to spend the day on Doug Kilpatrick’s skiff as a guest of Ted Margo. We intended to look for mostly permit, though our plan was to fish for anything that came along.

Ted and I traded bow time for the first few hours, and while we didn’t see any permit right away we kept looking. Ted was up when we spotted a school of nice-sized bonefish swimming high in the water. At first we didn’t know what to make of the cloud of fish, but as soon as Doug told Ted what they were Ted set about making the thing happen. His second cast landed in the middle of the group, and he didn’t have to move it much to get tight. He fought the fish and I grabbed the fish for a picture:

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We continued on, seeing very few permit, for the rest of the morning. The high water made things difficult, though in the early afternoon a nearby edge started to get right and Doug had us in position for some inbound pushing fish. I hopped out of the boat a little late for the first shot, and the fish bolted when I hit the bottom. I got back in the boat and once again was foiled by too-near fish, at which point we decided I should stay in the water. I grabbed some water and a few flies, and Doug and Ted left to fish a nearby flat.

My hour and a half in the water was lonely, awkward, and devoid of permit. After the few we saw from the boat, I figured it was only a matter of time before a few more showed up and gave me a chance to throw their way. Instead, I just walked in a giant circle and sank into the soft bottom. To make matters worse, I could see Ted and Doug obviously catch a fish, then another, as I twiddled around and got nothing done. Soon they appeared to hook up again, and in my mind I was watching them catch three permit while I could do nothing but watch.

After they came to pick me up, I heard that the fish they had caught were not permit, but instead three nice bonefish. Ted submitted the following evidence for consideration:

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After this, Doug brought us to a final bank to finish the day. I was out of the boat for another hour or more, and in that time I had a few shots at tailing fish that didn’t allow me get the fly near them. The fish seemed a little perturbed, and we stayed on them until the lights went out completely without hooking one.

We headed back to the dock in the dark, and the next morning Kat and I left for Louisiana.

 

That report will come next, and then I’ll be caught up.

 

More to come,

 

nathaniel