Yesterday I fished with Howard Davis as his guest with Captain Drew Delashmit.
We started at 8:00, and upon our arrival at our first place found a great many tarpon tucked behind the early light. We saw fish roll and bust, and once the sun got high enough to see into the water we were able to throw at bodies instead of pushes and rolls. Howard and I traded shots on singles and doubles for most of the morning, and while we pulled a few off their lines we were unable to get one to play ball.
Following this (and the end of the tide) we left for new parts, where we had steady access to fish in numbers from one to five. Howard had a bite from a nice fish that seemed to miss the fly, and then I had my time on the bow with nothing to show at the end.
Howard again got on the bow, where he had a few shots. The fish were swimming but uncooperatively, and while Howard was putting the fly in the place he needed to the tarpon weren’t there on the opposite side of the transaction. From behind us swam a single fish, faster than the others we had seen, and Howard took the opportunity to show us how it’s done: he quickly dispatched this nice fish with a well-placed fly. Drew tried to get some jumping photos of the fish, but this particular individual was a runner–not a jumper. After 20 minutes of pulling, Howard secured the leader release and broke the fish off.
In lieu of the pictures we were unable to take yesterday, here are a couple from Drew from the day before with Howard on the fly rod:
Here, thanks to Howard’s generosity, I was allowed to spend the rest of the day on the bow–trying to get a fish airborn. The spot that yielded Howard’s fish was mine to beat my head against for the next two hours, until we left for a place that was put aside just for me to bend my mind over.
In the course of an afternoon, I would say that I had nearly two dozen high-quality shots at fish of all types. In this time I was able to bend at least a dozen off their lines to track the fly, though only two cooperated with an open mouth. In each case I was unable to get the hook in, and was left to descend further into a serious slump. Thankfully, I have some time to prepare for the Gold Cup, most of which I will need to repair my sense of self worth.
I’d like to thank Howard for showing us how it should be done, as well as being more than generous with his offer to let me stay on the bow. Next time, I’ll try to get it done.
Sunday with Kathryn and Simon Becker, Monday and maybe Tuesday with Joe Rodriguez and Frankie Marion, and Wednesday again with Howard fishing with Shane Wood.
More to come,