Friday, September 20, 2013

Skrimp'in Ain't Easy

Yesterday morning the alarm went off at 4 a.m. and in minutes I was out the door headed down to Charleston to meet up with Scotty Davis from Lowcountry Fly Shop for a redfish dawn patrol.  Two hours down to the Holy City went quick and I was at the boat launch at 6:30 a.m. 

We were on the water before the sun was peeking through the palmetto trees and as we eased into the first spot we noticed that shrimp were popping out of the water all over the place trying to escape the seatrout that were chasing them.  It made good sense to tie on a shrimp pattern and I used a Ghost Pimpy Shrimpy from Pursuit Flies all morning long.  A neat pattern that works.

Redfish tailing in the grass is really more of a game than most people might think.  First, finding feeding redfish isn't always a given.  A redfish feeding in the grass might be a subtle as just seeing a few strands of marsh grass waving back and forth a little differently than the rest of the marsh grass which is moving with the wind.  Or if you are lucky you'll see a tail sticking out of the water but still it's likely that there is tall grass all around it which doesn't always make presentations to easy.

Laying out a cast in the zone where a redfish is feeding without spooking it is the next step, but with tall grass abundant, the fly can easily get caught suspended over the water or if it does hit the water it can get stuck to a piece of grass high up near the surface when the fly really needs to be on the bottom or close enough to that the redfish can actually see it as it roots around looking for something to eat.

Then there is the wind, line tangles when a it really counts, and everything else that happens when you get hyped up over a tailing fish.  It ain't always easy.

Luckily for us, all the pieces of the puzzle came together by late morning as a redfish was deep in the grass and working his way left to right across the flat.  I led the fish by ten feet or so with my cast and as he got within a couple feet of the fly I gave it one short strip.  The redfish lunged forward and totally lunched the fly.  The fight was on as the redfish bulldogged across the skinny water through the parting grass.

I am becoming more and more convinced that my eight foot Steffen Brothers 8/9 weight may be the ultimate glass redfish stick.  This fly rod is lightweight in hand, loads in close, and yet can lay out an entire fly line with a couple backcasts when needed.  It's also a stellar for fighting large fish on and the shorter length is perfect in the kayak or flats boat.

One redfish to the boat and missed chances on a few others.  Oh well.  My morning was made with that one good fish.

We were off the water by late morning and I headed back towards Columbia and was at work by early afternoon.  Not a bad way to start the day and I will likely make a few more of these early morning runs if the tides and fish cooperate.

If you ever find yourself in the Charleston area and need a redfish fix, please don't hesitate to give the fellows at Lowcountry Fly Shop a call.


Mike Sepelak said...

If you're only gonna catch one, it might as well be a good 'un. Well done, sir.

The NOCO Nympher said...

Chasin tail TFM style! Nicely done! Tell ya what, beautiful fish and I am glad you have the patience of a saint! Thanks for sharing Morty! Wish you could start everyday that way!