The last two days

The last two days

Yesterday and the day prior I fished with John O’Hearn and my mother, Vicky Linville. If you keep up with these pages, you’re familiar with Vick, and can see some pictures of her in the gallery from her recent trip to the Seychelles. It’s worth mentioning that she’s a stellar angler, though for the two days I’m to discuss here she elected not to fish due primarily to the stiff headwind and more difficult than normal fishing. Our target was permit, and while there aren’t as many around as there were a few weeks ago, the wind and slightly cooler temperatures meant that tarpon fishing wasn’t on our hit-list. We set out to get some practice in for the 2015 Merkin.

Day One:

We started near to Key West, and looked hard for our first shot. After an hour, John pulled the plug and headed to parts far away, where we again looked in vain for longer than we would have liked. We saw a group of three singles that spooked as soon as I started my cast, and then waited another hour before we saw a large single fish from far away. As we got closer we saw that the fish was dark brown colored and acting quite strange, gliding around and eating something that appeared to be in the middle of the water column. With it was another pale smaller fish, and they fed and spun in a strange way. I threw one fly at the large fish, and while it was mildly interested we elected to change the fly before our second shot. I put on a smaller bonefish fly, and had maybe 6 shots at this odd couple before we lost them.

We headed somewhere else after another fishless hour, and in the final two hours had four shots, none of which worked out.

Day Two:

After the six-shot toughness from the day before, we decided to fish elsewhere. Throughout the morning, we were plagued by clouds and a total lack of fish. We stopped to inspect a Cuban boat, had lunch, and then continued on fishing as the clouds cleared to give us a clear view of the fishless flats that we were fishing.

After six hours of pain, we saw a single permit: I took a shot, and came up empty. Next, we found a few singles that blew out from the boat. While we were not finding the numbers we needed, two shots felt like a far cry in the right direction from where we had been for most of the day. Soon after these singles, John spotted a tail in the glare. I threw the fly and came tight to this nice fish, that we weighed at 15 pounds:

After this we were incredibly happy, as you might imagine. Three shots on a tough day rarely culminates in a fly capture of a permit, but we weren’t done. After this capture we saw a small group of smaller fish, and while it took a few casts to get it right, when we did we were rewarded with the following:

After that we had two more shots–in total, two permit for under ten shots. We left for home in great spirits, happy that we stuck with the difficulty and had something to show for it.

I’d like to thank Vicky for coming along for the two days, and for snapping the pictures of the day’s events.

Sunday with Lenny, and two days later in the week with Chris Robinson. Reports to follow.


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Nathaniel Linville

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