Yesterday I fished with Aaron Snell. After I retrieved my forgotten stretcher box (realizing very soon thereafter that my supply of pre-tested 6 lb was running dangerously low) we drove up to Sugarloaf and splashed the boat.
Aaron found some fish pretty quickly, though we (I) had a tough time getting the fly where it needed to be. I did dry one off that was around 80 lbs once I found my groove, and the fish spit the hook after its second greyhounding leap.
Another hour went by in which we had maybe 10 shots and a few follows, and we put a stalk on a group of three fish that were moving away from us. Aaron positioned the boat on their side, and I put the fly about 20 feet in front of the lead fish. When I moved the fly the fish raced over and ate the tasty bug (tied by John O’Hearn). Aaron snapped the following portrait of the beast:
After we broke the fish off, Aaron brought us to some larger fish–here, every fish appeared to be over 100 pounds. I had a follow from one and a refusal from another before we saw a large fish laid up just under the surface. I put the fly close, then closer, and finally crossed its eyes. Nothing. As it turned out this fish was laid up opposite to every other fish we’d seen, and once we figured this out we got a decisive commitment from the fish. A nearby turtle, however, foiled our plan and spooked the fish as it rose to the fly. Much love to the turtles, though I could have done without this one.
Next week (12 March)is the next day I fish during the day (prefishing for the March Merkin), though I have a plan to get out with a visiting friend for some small tarpon in the lights.
Cold front coming on Monday, and we might see some tough days coming up but the forecast is for the warmth to return later in the week.