This was a difficult post to title.
Like most people, I blame BP. But for different reasons.
If it weren’t for the extensive coverage of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, there’s a strong possibility that I would never have gone to Louisiana. Throughout the summer & fall of 2010, every major fly fishing magazine and numerous websites & blogs discussed the potential impact of the oil spill on the Gulf Coast fisheries. Images of one particular species of fish kept cropping up: redfish. I started seeing redfish everywhere: magazines, videos, blogs.
As cold weather started setting in at home, and our fishing seasons closed down, the whole redfish thing hit a critical point. I woke up one frigid morning, and, not wanting to disturb my girlfriend, I grabbed a fishing magazine off the floor. I flipped it open to see a massive redfish staring back at me. Uh-huh…
Later that day I sat down to do some work. Procrastination got the better of me: “I wonder how much a flight to New Orleans costs?”
Thirty minutes later, with a flight, hotel & guide booked, I started to realize I might have a problem.
I wrote a dispatch in praise of smallmouth bass, and yes, they’re my favourite home water fish. But redfish…all I have to say is wow.
The first one I hooked, I didn’t know what to do; my reel was screaming, the line burnt my fingers, the rod was bent in two…and I definitely didn’t know how to do a hero-shot.
Despite the fact the photo makes me appear to have failed a recent calculus exam and am about to fall over, I was ecstatic about my first redfish. I hooked up with eight more and landed four of them…let’s say there’s a bit of a learning curve going from small stream trout on the 3wt to reds in the salt from the bow of a flats skiff, and leave it at that, shall we?
Regardless of my lack of being photogenic, I had an epic day (by my standards).
Not to be outdone by some Canadian noob, my guide one-cast the biggest of the day with the boat idling and proceeded to also school me in hero-shot poses.
Because the IFTD was held in NOLA this past year, lots of redfish content has been floating around again.
And I keep checking my frequent flyer account balances…again…