Mar 15


As in, Derek Rust. Here’s a short little film by Dan Decibel.

I haven’t met Dan, but I’ know Derek and count him as a friend. We’ve fished together a few times and in June I’m going out with him and my dad to try and tie my dad into a tarpon of some kind.

Derek doing the driving

Derek doing the driving

Basically, Derek is good people and fun to fish with. He guides out of Marathon and will get after just about anything that swims, minus the dolphins that play in the wake of his skiff.

Derek Rust… Guide. 

Oct 14

Silver Kings on TV

I was happy to be shown a link to “Silver Kings.” This is… well… let them tell you:

Silver Kings is a Docu-Style, Outdoor show about two fly-fishing captains and their clients competing in tarpon tournaments in Islamorada, Florida. Filmed during the tarpon migration, the show exposes the visual beauty of Islamorada and the fast action of fly-fishing for tarpon in the most unique fishing environment in the US… the Florida Keys.

Yeah, that.

The odds of me fishing a tournament are right up there with the odds of me winning America’s Top Model. I’m just not out there, I don’t have that kind of free cash sitting around and I don’t have the vacation time. I’m a west coaster, too, and we generally don’t go in for the tournaments, but I’ve always been kind of curious about what they are and how the look from the inside. This show gives that insider look.

There are two guides in the program, Bou Bosso and Rob Fordyce. I’ve heard Rob’s name passed around by folks as he’s a long time Keys guide with a good reputation. Seeing him on the show… dear god, the man is built like a tank and looks like an MMA fighter.

If you like tarpon or the Keys or have ever been curious about what a tournament looks like from the inside, you should check this out.


Oct 14

A Lemon at Last

I’ve cast at a fair number of lemon sharks. Several times I’ve seen them light up on a fly, put on the gas, charge it, then put their nose right on the thing and decide they really aren’t that peckish at the moment. That’s been how it has gone time and time again.

Then, fishing with Derek Rust somewhere between the Everglades and Marathon, it happened. It was the last cast of the day and it was hoped the wake coming at us was a redfish. It wasn’t, it was a 2-3′ lemon shark. As I stopped stripping the thing just casually swam over the fly and ate it. I wasn’t even trying to catch it at that point.

I got him right on the lip and the fight was short. Got him to the side of the boat and got him released. We didn’t think Lemons could be taken out of the water, so you won’t see the typical trophy shots. This is the shot I got.

A starter shark, not a maneater.

A starter shark, not a maneater.

Still, it was a lemon, on a fly, even if it was mostly on accident.

Bonefish on the Brain: 1

Lemon Sharks: 15

Oct 14

A couple of cool things about my day with Derek and Dan

The gang

The gang

There were some really cool parts to my one fishing day there in the Keys with guide Derek Rust and Dan Dow from the Bonefish & Tarpon Trust.

First, as we were running from one of the many point As to Bs Derek spotted a pod of dolphins. We spotted at least three pods that day. This pod we approached in the boat and the dolphins turned and started following us, playing in the wake of the skiff. They jumped out of the water, gracefully slipping back below. They raced alongside the boat and seemed to play. I mean, you just don’t see that stuff unless you are out there.

Another cool thing to see was the Everglades. I was last in the glades when I was about 10. Thirty years later and here I am again, in the back country, looking for fish. It was so peaceful out there. Some of the flats had turtle grass so thick and lush it could have been a 70’s shag carpet of green. Really cool to see that environment out there. I want to go back.

Now that is purdy

Now that is purdy

Dan on deck. Everglades before us.

Dan on deck. Everglades before us.

Oct 14

The Keys, Day 2-ish

I got up early and met Captain Derek Rust and Dan Dow at the dock. We set off to go and try and find some tarpon at first light. What tarpon we found were coy and after a couple hours of playing hide and seek we switched it up to look for snook and reds.

Now, I’m the “bonefish” guy, right? So why look for reds or snook when I could go look for bones? I had never caught a red or snook before, so I was interested in giving it a shot.

Shots I had, and plenty. I had a couple good shots and snook before we went in search of the reds.

It turns out I still have plenty to learn and my bonefishing knowledge didn’t count for much when looking for the reds. I was casting in the wrong places and giving the fly the wrong action and my frustration level was slowly ticking upward.

Dan finally got a fish to stick and soon thereafter I managed the same. What a beautiful fish. I can see why so many folks have recommended going after the reds to me. It was a pretty good end to a good day on the water with Derek and Dan. We covered 90 miles that day in Derek’s boat and he worked very hard on what was a busman’s holiday for him.

Dan's Red.

Dan’s Red.

My first redfish, photo from Derek Rust

My first redfish, photo from Derek Rust

I am very much looking forward to the next time I can get to the Keys and see the Everglades again. I had not been to the Everglades since I was 10 or so, and even then I never got to see this side of the Everglades. What a beautiful spot and you really got the feeling of having the place to yourself.

Good stuff.

Oct 14

The Keys, day 1-ish

We are here, ensconced at Hawk’s Cay Resort in the Florida Keys, 3/4ths of us at any rate. The sky is remarkably sunny, the wind light, the temps high and the humidity likewise. A cool dip in the pool and a few cold beers and paradise feels like paradise.

There has been zero fishing, as of yet. The rods are still put away. The wading boots are dry. I’m trying to make this something my wife enjoys. She will not enjoy it if we get here and I take off, to be seen only as we are packing up to leave. That’s my natural inclination, so I’m fighting my nature a bit.

I did go down to see Captain Derek Rust at the docks when he got back from a charter. We sat there drinking a cold beer, watching nice tarpon swim lazily around in front of us, along with a school of mullet, some jacks, a couple nurse sharks, some mutton snapper and more, all next to signs telling you not to fish from the dock. We didn’t. We just sat in the heat, in the shade and had our beers and talked.

Dock tarpon

Dock tarpon

While I was looking at tarpon my son may have taken his first couple steps back in the room. A good reminder of what one can miss out on if one is not paying attention.

Tomorrow, I fish. I’m looking forward to it. Derek and Dan Dow and I are going fishing and the weather looks perfect. Can’t wait.

Sep 14

Maybe, just maybe, it is coming into shape

Back in 2010 when I landed in San Pedro it was pouring. It rained, hard, for most of the trip.

My last trip to Hawaii was mostly me getting rained on and not seeing any fish to cast to and just generally getting my ass handed to me.

Last year in Florida it rained every day of the trip, chasing us off the water and soaking us to the bone.



This year I read one facebook update from a friend who had just cancelled his planned Florida trip because it was set to rain every day. I was beginning to think we might get fairly rained out on our Florida trip next week, but a quick glance at the forecast and it looks like we might just have some awesome weather.

That would be nice.

My wife has never been to the Keys… in fact, she’s never been to Florida. So, I’m hoping the Sunshine State can dish up a little sunshine, maybe hold the thunderstorms to a minimum, and give us a few days to relax and enjoy what the Keys has to offer.

Hoping it holds.

Jul 14

To the Keys in October

Well, the wife starts a new job in October and has a week off in-between gigs. I convinced her (it wasn’t hard) that she needed a little R&R between one gig and the next and that we should go somewhere warm with sand and saltwater.

Going to head to the Keys, specifically Hawk’s Cay Resort, in the first week of October. I’m looking forward to the trip. Maybe I’ll bump into Derek Rust, who guides out of Hawk’s Cay for Saltwater Experience.

I’m sure there will be some fishing, but I also know that is the second reason for the trip, the first is to get my wife some down time.

Should be beautiful, so long as there isn’t a hurricane.

Jul 13

The Keys

Derek Rust gets after it. I really enjoyed my day on the water with Derek on the recent Keys trip. He just put up a blog post at Skinny Water Culture reflecting on Tarpon Season, in photos, which is about way more than tarpon.

poon edit

OK, some of it IS about tarpon.

May 13

All coming together

I understand Thursday could be a little rough, in terms of the weather around Biscayne Bay, but Martin is game, Adrienne is game and I’m certainly game. It is going to happen, rain or shine, and we are all pretty stoked.

I’ll be meeting Davin and Matt after we get off the water on Thursday and we’ll head down to Islamorada together. I’ve never met any of these guys (and gal), so there is an added element of uncertainty. We’ve talked on the phone a few times though and we have a good sense that we’ll get along, which is good.

If it isn’t packed, at this point, it isn’t going to be. I’ll be checking a large duffel with one of the boat bags inside it and I’ll carry on the other. That’s how I’ve solved that particular issue. Looks like it will work.

It is going to be great, regardless of the weather, even regardless of the fishing.

Let the good times roll.

All packed. Fitting shirt to sport. #SWC

All packed. Fitting shirt to sport. #SWC