How about some fish reports? [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: How about some fish reports?

08-03-2005, 08:26 AM
I'm stuck in the midwest, and got the salt fish itch bad. Wish I was on the big water. How about some fishing reports. Help a fellow fly fisher out.

08-06-2005, 02:43 AM
Light East wind, 5-10 knots; high falling tide. Young moon and 86 degrees.

We hit the harbor to fish under the lights. Sometimes tarpon lay along the edges of the shadows and if you look careful you can just make out their dark backs as they float in the clear water. You've got to pick your targets here, though blind casting works too. Sometimes they hunker down along the bottom and silhouette baitfish on the surface. A slowly twitched Muddler can draw explosive strikes even if you don't see the floaters.

That's what we start off with, but I only get one half-hearted strike (a "blow job" as the Keys guides call it). I run my fingers along the shock tippet, but it's not scratched... the fish never touched the fly. I show the fly to maybe half dozen other fish, picking my shots so that the fly swims close enough for them to see. A couple follow but no dice. Ok, Plan B: I tie on a sinking fly - yarn head, bead eyes and short splayed tail. Maybe another half dozen tarpon see this but again, no dice.

Then I see a big boy hunkered down along a shadow line, barely moving. I lead him by a couple feet and get no response with the standard retrieve. Ok, let's try a little teasing, you lazy ba$t@rd. This time the fly sinks about 5 feet in front of his nose and I just twitch it. The fish came to the fly in a wide swirl, the line simply jumping tight and he was on: a big fish by the long, line eating run with no energy wasting jumps. Finally he slowed about 150 yards out. I held him there for a few moments, palming the rim to pressure him to jump. When he moved again I barely got my finger off the reel in time. He got airbourne in a sweeping grayhound leap that cleared 20 feet like it was an inch and left the line no longer pointing in even the same direction of the fish. The reel sounded like someone redlining one of those little 4 cylinder Hondas and I prayed it would hold together and not simply fly apart from the G's.

That run stopped maybe 200 yards out and then the fish started "digging" - a down and dirty tactic employed by big, smart tarpon and monster bones. After maybe a minute of this he got up enough speed for a final jump, this time so far away that it seemed like maybe another fish freejumping. I got to worrying that maybe I'd have to reel him back from out there, but that was not a problem since about 3 seconds later the line went slack.

It took another 30 seconds just to reel up to see what knot broke.

The next fish was altogether different. I switched to a little bunny number that almost suspended and was systematically tossing it out into the shadows and twitching it back. Somewhere out there the line stopped cold and a split second later a fish was airbourne. This fish wouldn't stay in the water, which was fine by me... the more they jump the easier they are to land. As soon as they hit the water after a jump I'd pile on the pressure and try to turn their heads. After a high, end-over-end jump a tarpon often ends up facing back toward you. Coming tight at this point means that you stand a chance of keeping him pointed at you and greatly increases the odds of landing him.

Not that we planned to actually land any. Dragging a fish up the side of the seawall or onto the rocks below is cruelty no matter how you cut it. We just use barbless, galvanized hooks and once we get the flyline back pop them off. It's the strike and the jumps that bring us here to stand in the heat of an August night and cast until the sweat stings our eyes. Sometimes that's all we get - sweat and the taste of salt air as we throw long lines at almost invisible shadows - but some nights the fish bite and we watch them jump as the town sleeps on behind us. After a while we join them.

George Town, Grand Cayman
August 5th, 2005

"Chance is always powerful. Let your line be always cast; in the hole where you least expect it, there will be a fish."

08-06-2005, 03:57 PM
NOW you've got our attention! Each time you post I keep thinking why I have not visited you're little piece of paradise. Tempting..... and the specials out of Boston are outragious! Care to host a Clave? Juro, I know you're reading this! LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


08-07-2005, 07:38 AM
Fantastic report - thanks!

Phil, I was just thinking the same thing :lildevl:

08-08-2005, 07:34 AM
Bonehead. Please consider a Forum sponsorship if you haven't already so that we can show everyone your website! Your guiding and lodging options look fantastic! Great location for a future Forum Clave.


08-08-2005, 04:35 PM
:) :biggrin: :D :devil: Excellent REPORT!! THATS WHAT I'M TALKING ABOUT IT!!!! MAN! Its like I was there. I really needed that. Please for us midwest people stuck here until the funds get high enough for a trip. Keep posting! Thanks so much.


08-09-2005, 09:46 AM
Now that's a report! :D Great to hear the tactics you're using to let the fish go too so it minimizes the damage to them.