Matt and Eric.
Turns out it is just a hard thing to time right. We were there a week that should have been good and it wasn’t. We had some decent weather and some horrible weather, but there have been plenty of weeks with worse weather and better fishing.
The fishing was even. Everyone had crappy fishing. No one was killing it, we were all getting our asses kicked.
When you are looking for migratory fish and you are booking a trip 6 months in advance, it is easy to get it wrong.
I’m told I’m building karma. I’m putting in the time that will appease the fishing gods and reward me, in time, with one of those big migratory ladies. That’s what I’m hoping. That’s how it works, right?
I stayed at the Sea Ranch Motel in Marathon. It is a place that caters to the angler, most everyone staying there was there to fish. We ate all over the place, since half the crew was staying up in Tavernier. We met frequently in Islamorada and I made sure to get to Robbies to feed the tarpon.
The day with Derek got weathered out, but the back-up with Martin in the Everglades was a good substitution.
I got to do a little night fishing at one of the cuts, once with Matt and Eric in Ty’s boat. Twice I went out on my own. The first night with Matt and Eric we could see big explosions and hear even more as the fish were feeding. We braved one electrical storm and stayed for hours, but couldn’t convince a single fish to eat.
The first night on my own a guy standing on the bridge was looking down at my fly saying that he could see fish moving to the fly, but they wouldn’t eat.
The last night I snagged on a bridge piling. Now, I was fishing straight 80# and I was wondering exactly what was going to break… the 80# or the RIO #12 Tarpon line. I had used the factory loop on the line, connected to the #80 with a perfection loop. The perfection loop is where it broke. So, those factory loops are pretty damn strong.
I learned more, both about the Keys, about Tarpon and about myself. It is easy to have fun when things go well and everyone is in fish, but we managed to still have a pretty decent time with crappy fishing. So, good on us. That said, it would have been really nice for someone to get into some fish, some of the fish we were actually there to fish.
Will I be back next year? Not sure. It was two years since the last trip and that might be more like the re-occurrence rate for this trip. I have to see how things go, how the family goes, what happens in the lives of the other guys. We shall see.