Testing waters… clear, dirty, darkside…

The streets of Miami will be adorned with Christmas decor shortly.  Halloween pumpkins are being made into pie.  Grocery stores are having mega sales on Turkeys, bread, gravy, and potatoes.  Then all about, there are talks of the great deals that are to be had on Black Friday.  We are headed towards another Thanksgiving.  In a few days, we will be as stuffed as the turkeys we put in the oven as we waddle our way onto our skiffs for another day of fishing.  There is certainly a lot to be thankful for, but that list will be left for another day.

As some of you may have noticed already; I am a fly gear junkie.  I can go on for hours on end discussing different flies and the gear we chuck them with.  Maybe it’s the engineer in me that keeps wanting to improve upon what is already good.  Whatever it is… unless you have lots of time to spare, don’t get me started on conversations of such nature. 

It was real cool having innovative fly tier Peter Smith (www.ssflies.com) and film maker Dave Teper (www.worldangling) down for a day of testing flies on bonefish of all sizes this past week.  While throwing an old standard at some smaller more erratic moving bonefish, we found it tough to put the fly anywhere close to them or figure out which direction they would shoot at next. The situation called for a fly that we could throw close without spooking these weary fish, but something they could see, that would catch their fancy and entice an aggressive bite.  Enter the IP Bone.  After a few failed shots with the old standard, we switched to the SSFlies creation and were able to put this fly extremely close to these crack driven schoolie bones only rewarded by watching the entire school pile drive on top of each other to eat this fly.  This same reaction went on every time the fly was presented.  The quiet entry and fast sink rate made for a perfect presentation in this scenario.  We accomplished what we had set out to do at the end of the day and I learned a few new tricks in tying flies. 

IP Bone at work
IP Bone at work

(http://ssflies.com/info.php?info_id=30)

IP Bone on left
IP Bone on left
A new wintery creation... Pink Chill
A new wintery creation... Pink Chill

 

Moving from the clear waters of the Florida Keys, over to the darker waters of Chokoloskee, I met up with Capt. Bill Faulkner (www.gulfcoastguidingservices.com) to test out the new style hull Hells Bay 16 Whipray as well as try feed a few reds and snook a few new fly patterns I had been working on.  We fished redfish with their entire backs sticking out of the water, snook laid up in water almost too shallow, and big tarpon floating around.  Fishing was pretty good to say the least as we stuck a couple of redfish, over a dozen snook, and a big 100lb tarpon.  The fishing was only bested by both great company and the serenity that the deep Everglades has to offer.

I was very impressed with the Whip to say the least.  This little skiff was nimble, rides pretty dry, fairly soft, and poled with ease.  It definitely drafts slightly more then the older style Whipray hull, but there would be no scenerio I’d encounter while bonefishing that the new hull’s draft couldn’t handle.  Though not your most versatile Key’s skiff (especially not during Tarpon Season nor long range in open water), it is the ultimate bonefish/redfish poling skiff.

There is more to come next week… stay tuned…

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