Yesterday I was invited to join Ted Margo, fishing with John O’Hearn. As John and I have no more days on the books before the Goldenfly, we were looking forward to a day of practice before the event.
We started early, which was of little consequence other than to get out a few minutes before the rain started. Start it did as we left the dock, and it didn’t let up for the entirety of the day. We looked in one spot for about an hour, during which Ted got it in his head that he would drive up to Islamorada and pick up his tippet spools for the Goldenfly. John told him that would be fine, though John also mentioned that cheeseburgers were required upon his return.
Golden arches (and fly) on our minds, John and I dropped Ted at the ramp and headed out into the wet to make an effort.
We were limited by the rain and the clouds in a way that was impossible to skirt, and as such posted up and waited for something to happen. Soon, a school of fish gave itself away with a roll and we gave chase. My first shot into the string was imperfect, though we were nonetheless rewarded with a solid bite from a large fish. We had a strange thing happen on the hook set, due to a new butt section material and wet hands while tightening the knot. The blood knot unraveled, leaving us with nothing as the fish took to the air showed us how big it really was.
We re-rigged as we re-positioned, and soon another group of fish came by the bow. I hooked a small fish that threw the hook on a jump, and the leader looked well enough to continue. We had one more bite from these fish before they stopped swimming, and on this one I was able to get a leader release before the fly once again came out. A major correction on our bite stats leading up to the tournament, and one that would continue for the rest of the rainy day. We called Ted; he was stuck in Islamorada due to an accident, and he was going to call us when he was close by so we could fetch him (and those delicious cheeseburgers).
After moving, we had a few shots immediately after our arrival. The second of these was a great close bite, and even though we had a good angle on the fish it was too near to us to get a proper dig-in with the hook. The large fish jumped once and was gone, another correction in the bag. We were, however, able to secure the leader release after the fish ate the fly close to the boat.
One more bite followed on a long string a half hour later, and while we again got a good hook set we had yet another fish fall off to finish out our fishing for the day.
In the Goldenfly rules, our fishing was not that great: two releases, which we would need a weight fish to pull out of the bank. We had a ton of fun in the rain, nonetheless, and when Ted got back our fishing was finished. We ate our cheeseburgers under a bridge, and we spent another hour out there with him waiting for the fish that never showed up.
I’d like to thank Ted for the invite, and John for sticking with it in the rain and wind.
Sunday with Simon, though it may be just Kat that goes.
More to come, along with some pictures from Howard Davis.