Journal notes from quality destinations across the country...

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

April Redfish

My son is in the Army and stationed in Georgia at Ft Stewart. I went down for a visit the last weekend in April and we got to spend a Saturday together, out with a guide chasing Redfish on the coast in St. Simons Sound. For a coldwater boy like me, from the Pacific Northwest, this is exotic stuff.
We had the rare privelege of hitting things just right. It was low tide, pushing the fish out of the grass and onto the flats. It was a nip tide, moving a smaller amount of water and stirring less mud. Combined with the beautiful sunny day and no wind, it allowed us to see the fish and track every little wake they made in the calm, clear water. Fish after fish pushed passed us in a foot or two of water, going by two, three, or four at a time. We lost count of the number of fish we saw.

And, of course, this being a new thing for me and my son, we lost track of the number of fish we had a great shot at but missed because of a bad cast.  Too short, too long, too far in front, too far behind...  We found every way to get it wrong.  It was frustrating but we kept with it.  After a couple hours, a bad guide would have had it with the two of us but our guide stayed patient and kept instructing us. Eventually it paid off and my soldier-boy finally made a perfect cast, two feet in front of a feeding Red. The fish rolled over on its side in the shallow water to take something off the bottom. When he came back up, Tom's fly was just sinking. The fish took the fly without breaking stride and Tom made a strong strip-strike, just like he'd been told to do.
The fish ran and the reel sang. I was relieved for him and excited, too. After a good fight, there was a seven pound Redfish in the boat. Congratulations and celebration commenced and we went on to have a great day with several fish landed, all between six and eight pounds.

Four months earlier, my boy had come home from Iraq. He then took leave in January and got married. He's been passing all kinds of milestones in his young life and he's no longer the nine year-old I still see in my mind's eye when I think of him.  Instead, he's off living his life, 2,600 miles away from mom and dad.  So, I'm glad that I got a few days with him and that we were able to make a memory or two together, passing a less important milestone, catching our first Redfish together...

Near Savannah?  Call Capt. David Edens, Fly Cast Charters (912-289-1061)

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