Friday, July 6, 2012

The Upper Shelf of the Sand

As we motored away from the dock Friday morning we discussed water levels, low wind, the possibility of a very sunny day, and all the other ingredients necessary for a fine day of sight fishing on the Lower Laguna Madre. We discussed the appropriate flies for the west side in the morning and the east side in the afternoon. We discussed poling skiffs and tunnel hulls. Nervous excitement has a way of getting all the preliminary questions and discussions out of the way in a hurry. What I did not reveal right away was my cautious optimism regarding the day. Even though the water had been unusually high for the last few days, all the other necessary conditions were lining up and I was excited about the opportunity to explore some areas that had been dry land a week prior.

Our first stop confirmed my sense that it was going to be a good day. We poled in 5 inches of water for about thirty minutes as redfish slammed the shoreline chasing baitfish. While this spectacle make for a startlingly good time, we decided to get off the boat and wade in order to get just a few feet closer to these fish. We were off the boat and on foot in less than a foot of water for only 5 minutes before our approach paid off. This picture shows the fruit of our labor in this favorite west side venue. This was Bart's first redfish on the fly. In fact, it was his first time to ever fly fish in saltwater! Way to go Bart! As you readers know if you follow my blog, one of my favorite experiences is helping novice saltwater fly fishers catch their first redfish on the fly.
We spent the late morning hitting at least 5 spots that held fewer fish than I had hoped for. The temporary change in water levels had moved the fish. That was fine! I love the challenge that comes every few weeks of determining the latest pattern that redfish have developed. So we went looking. And we were not disappointed! We ended up on the upper shelf of the east side sand by early afternoon and spent the rest of the day chasing so man large redfish in 5 inches of water. The conditions were perfect and the fish were so visible in the light of the full sun. Bart elected to forgo wading and stay on the boat the rest of the afternoon, which was a treat for me. I love poling when the fish are there. And they were there that day. Congratulations to Bart for his first successful fly fishing experience!

Come on down and fish with us. The weather and water are fine!