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Capt Bob LeMay

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Everything posted by Capt Bob LeMay

  1. While everyone else is out shopping, lots of guides are on the water almost daily with anglers. All of my trips in the past week or so have been out of Flamingo so this report will just cover the highlights and most of the story will be in the photos. As usual for me, my anglers fish with a variety of gear, fly, spin, plug... It should be pretty easy to figure out which anglers were using the flies (and there's many a day when fly gear will out-fish anything else in the 'Glades -as well as those days when I wonder if the fly rod will survive as my anglers struggle with it...) Running the backcountry a few days before Christmas, my first anglers were Jaime Rivero and with his son and daughter... Here's the two best fish (we won't count the bigger fish that just took us to school...). Alejandra did a great job with this large gag grouper... Hooked in less than nine feet of water in a river mouth, this big grouper was an outstanding catch - and it was her first grouper ever... A few minutes later her brother lost one that was even bigger....... right at the boat. Not to be outdone Jaime caught and released this 10lb snook on very light tackle... A day or two after Christmas I had Ray Ritori and his son Mark aboard. Mark was using only fly gear and managed a backcountry slam, releasing snook, trout, and redfish on the same fly pattern (the Whitewater Clouser was hot that day...). Here's a few of the pics... Not to be left behind, Ray did his share of the releasing... using very light spinning gear and small lures. We were catching and releasing so many trout that week that I usually didn't think to reach for a camera.... The next day I was aboard an almost new Redfisher with Vince Williams and his partner Brad, helping them get oriented to running the backcountry (it's such a huge place that having someone aboard to point you in the right direction is a very good idea)..... With high winds that day we struggled a bit before getting into lots of trout and some nice reds. Lots and lots of trout now in this size range - both in the interior and on the outside.... Since it's closed season now for them, Brad carefully released his fish after a quick photo. Here's a pic of the reds we found that day as well... Vince lost a nice snook in that same spot that took his fly for a tour around an old log in less than 18" of water.... Despite the conditions we actually did find one large laid up tarpon in Whitewater... because of the conditions we only saw it as we spooked it out of the three feet of water it was laying in. Winds that afternoon were well above 20 mph so just finding a big 100lb tarpon was pretty good... Fishing these next two months will be very weather related. In good weather we should have an easy time finding every kind of fish in the backcountry. In poor weather conditions we'll still find fish - but have to work for them. I'm still waiting for our first really good shot at the giant tarpon that will be there when it's mild and the wind isn't howling.... Tight Lines Bob LeMay (954) 435-5666 -since I'm not sure these photos will post properly, I'll post them as thumbnails as well.
  2. those will work... You'll want to move the hackle portion as close to the popper head as possible and keep the tail feathers short as well since that will make them bug less likely to foul (feathers that wrap around the hook after a cast or two are a pain). When you're fishing these kind of bugs, make a point of keeping the tip of your rod actually in the water and pointing directly at the popper as you strip the bug in very short (no more than six to ten inches each time) strips. The idea is to keep if talking softly (it should just 'blip, blip along' with each short strip).... With poppers used like that usually you can count on the first pass from a fish to miss the bug... if you keep it talking and moving at a very modest speed the second hit won't miss at all.... Strip strikes with bugs work very well - trying to hook a fish with a rod strike doesn't....
  3. This is a great old thread and I've enjoyed reading it. For anyone heading down to the Everglades or places nearby, you can divide your snook bugs into stuff for night fishing around lights (generally small and white) and bugs for daytime. For daytime stuff I usually tie two categories of snook flies - ones meant for beach, surf type areas, and ones meant for the kind of places that snook like to hang out in - usually bad tangled areas with downed trees, mangrove shorelines, etc. In that last category (pretty much jungle fishing....) I want a fly with a weedguard as first requirement - then I start thinking about what I want it to do... Here are three patterns that I've had great success with over the years.... The first is the Silhouette, tied in lots of different colors (but it's hard to beat white when the fish are on pilchards or "white bait", mostly on a 2/0 Owner Aki hook (this is also a good fly for small to medium sized tarpon that are working white bait in canals down in the Keys - I have one customer that orders these by the hundred..). The second bug is a woolhead minnow on a Mustad 1/0 hook, they're done in mostly dark colors since they're winter bugs - some have lead eyes, others plastic or holo eyes when I want the fly to suspend... The last bug is a clouser variation - the Whitewater Clouser on a 2/0 Mustad hook. This bug is specifically for pounding mangrove shorelines where you're putting the fly right into mangrove roots or downed mangrove branches or logs in shallow water. This past week almost every fish we took on fly was using this pattern (and one of my anglers did a backcountry slam with it - snook, redfish, and trout caught and reeased. We couldn't find a small tarpon to make it a grand slam...). Here's a few pics. The Silhouette, by the way, is my original pattern developed in the late seventies.... my personal best snook on fly, a bit over 21lbs, was caught and released on one in the first bay of Lostman's River some years back... Tight Lines Bob LeMay
  4. I've been tying for shops, guides, and anglers that know what they want now for many years. In the last fifteen years full time guiding has left a lot less time for the bench but I still manage to fill a few orders (I'm working on about 50 dozen right now). Unlike freshwater stuff, in the salt there's a limited ability for offshore work to fill the specific needs in a given area. Yes, most shops now will load their bins with standard bonefish bugs, the usual deceivers, clousers, etc.... but for specific patterns that actually work - that's a different matter entirely (tarpon flies for instance.. what works in the Keys won't work in the 'Glades fifty miles away). Guys like me that tie for the salt have one other advantage over freshwater tyers. There's a lot less of us so we can charge at a significantly higher level than freshwater tyers... I"m actually on both sides of this issue since I'm one of Umpqua's contract tyers and have a few patterns being produced offshore. The royaties are very small but every bug tied offshore adds up to thousands that I just don't have the time to do myself. By the way, occasionally shops in my area will contract an order out to tyers that might be in Colorado or other place far from the salt. The resulting product will rarely perform properly (unlike freshwater bugs, lots of saltwater stuff needs to sink or suspend or move through the water in a very specific fashion.... if it doesn't fill the bill customers soon notice). I've had one shop or other place a small order with me and then I see copies a year or two later (that I'm sure they bought for lots less than I charge). When that sort of stuff happens I quit tying for them (and notice that those copies don't seem to sell very well at all....). Tight lines Bob LeMay
  5. At times I use lots and lots of dyed black materials (strung saddles, neck hackles, and bucktail). Most of the strung feathers are preety color fast, the bucktail is always a mess to work with. At the end of a few hours tying I'll actually need a bit of bleach to clean the fingers of the hand working the materials (your serving hand as one high end tyer used to describe the hand that holds the materials....). I've always just put up with black dyed items being that way. One thing is sure, if I do any rinsing I'm very careful not to use anything but cold water, instead of hot water - your results may vary... If I ever get a badly dyed batch of materials - it's usually in black. The poster who said that black is the most difficult color is right on the money. I believe commercial dyers do an initial run with orange dye, then a second bath for the black color. My favorite dyed black feather (always strung - in saddles or neck) is natural furnace dyed black. Done properly you end up with gorgeous black feathers with a natural greenish shiny center.... This time of year (winter into early spring in the Everglades) I start to get a lot of calls for one particular pattern for giant tarpon. I'll be doing a few for myself as well. Here's a pic of the Tarpon Snake (it's usually in 4/0 Owner Aki or Tiemco 600sp for the standard size or 2/0 for the smaller version). Tight lines Bob LeMay
  6. Perry, get a look at the flies I posted for the "Trip to the Keys" - particularly the Crystal Schminnow for fish feedng on glass minnows (bay anchovies actually) at Sanibel. The fellow that originated that pattern has a fly shop on the island and it's a staple there.
  7. Tough to recommend flies for a trip anywhere since you just can't predict the conditions and actual situation you'll find when you go. There are a few patterns though that are almost universal and will catch fish in a wide variety of places, situations, etc. Here'a few pics of bugs I'd always bring for anywhere.... Not surprisingly the shop I tie for orders these (and a few others) over and over again... Tight Lines Bob LeMay Bonefish clouser- #4, Whitewater clouser- 2/0, Speedbug popper- #1, Seaducer- #2, Silhouette- 2/0 (Owner Aki hook), Crystal Schminnow- #2 The Whitewater clouser, Speedbug, and Silhouette are my own original work (the Whitewater, of course is just a variant of Bob Clouser's famous pattern.
  8. The advice about looking for a sturdy, wide, jon boat is right on the money (and for durability you're wanting a welded, not riveted, hull with a skin thickness in the .100 range or heavier. As you get into a bit sturdier jon boat you'll be hard pressed to find one meant for the recreational market (but they're available if you look around, then check out the specs the manufacturer offers). The one item I'd consider a "must have" for anyone with back problems is a good comfortable seat. That bass boat you're going to part with is superior to many other boats in that department. About six years ago now I converted the seating system (straight bench seat on the stern deck) on my old Maverick flats boat to very comfortable bass type seats (three in a row across the stern). It looks a bit odd but is very comfortable for both me and my anglers. Typically we run long distances and cross large bays in all kinds of weather. At the end of the day those seats make all the difference. The ones I've chosen are by Tempress and they're the Navi-style seats. You can mount them any way you choose, pedestals, swivel mounts, sliding mounts,or just directly to any level surface. Hope this helps, and I'll enclose a pic or two of what I'm talking about. Tight Lines Bob LeMay
  9. I use lots of eyes in every description as a saltwater tyer... Those eyes with stems only differ in that you have to clip off the stems before gluing in place.... Unlike many I've learned to use fletching cement to attach all of my eyes that are just glued in place. The brand I prefer is called "Fletch-Tite" and comes in an ordinary glue tube but has a long narrow tube for application (any place that does archery supplies should carry the stuff, I buy all of mine at the local Bass Pro shop). After the fly is completed I place a small dot of glue where I want an eye, put the eye in place, then use a mini clamp or a clothes pin to hold it in place until the glue sets up (five to ten minutes). I've learned to do just one side at a time this way and the eyes are much more durable in actual use than anything I've ever used before.... The glue adheres the eyes to every surface I've tried (feather, spun/clipped hair of every kind, etc.). I'll attach a pic or two of the finished product. By the way, for my own uses the hard plastic doll eyes (same ones used in Puglisi flies) are much more durable than the pretty "holographic eyes" that look so nice when new - and then come apart after any impact or fishbite.... Tight lines Bob LeMay
  10. There's only one fly shop on Sanibel if I remember correctly (can't remember its name) but the guy who runs it, Norm Ziegler, (not sure of the spelling) is very helpful from all accounts, so I'd make a point of contacting him and listening carefully to any advice. Winter can be tough in that area since many days will be a lot colder than the fish are comfortable with. I see anglers from that area who've come down to the 'Glades then because the weather in that area can be difficult for shallow water angling. Norm, by the way, is the originator of Norm's Crystal Schminnow. It's become a standard everywhere folks have tried it. The shop I tie for, the Fly Shop of Ft. Lauderdale, orders lots and lots of them every year... Hope this helps Tight Lines Bob LeMay
  11. I'm not a hunter... I was as a kid but Vietnam pretty much cured me of that (I wasn't a combat soldier, just a pencil pusher all those years ago, I don't disagree with hunting, just lost the desire when I came home in 1971 and gave the few hunting weapons I had to my father - in all the years since I haven't felt the loss...). I believe that in my part of the world most waterfowlers have gone to steel shot (and thought it was country wide and required, now for some years... someone please enlighten me). Like most anglers I try to be conservation aware and support reasonable efforts to protect wildlife in all its forms. Unfortunately, reasonable isn't on the table with a tiny minority of folks and they seem perfectly willing to advance their arguments in any fashion they see fit. Over and over again emotion based appeals with a small amount of real science have been taking the place of any well studied, honest scientific approach and you can see the results of that sort of stuff nationwide. Any idiot that would actually take a shot at an eagle deserves serious legal penalties (and I'm pretty sure they're on the books already under federal law...). Because of the way that side of the political spectrum has gone about their advocacy, more and more hunters, fishers, and other wildlife types have turned away from them. I'm one of them. Unfortunately lots and lots of folks take their assertions as gospel and as a result we have these endless public policy disputes - and we see the results at election time. I do know that the wrangling over lead in saltwater ended up in court for some years before the attempt to ban it was defeated since I'm considered a manufacturer myself (even though I'm just a fly tyer and lure maker in a small way...) and pay federal excise taxes as a result on every fly I sell.... Here in Florida we watched as a similar outfit, the Save the Manatee Club, actually got a court settlement that required state government to do all kinds of things for a "threatened specie" then it turned out later that many of their claims were wildly exaggerated, some actually false, and that the manatee population was actually much, much higher than anyone one thought (after proper studies were done...). But we still live with quite a few restrictions as a result. This sort of stuff has been playing out in political forums, elections, and public policy decisions now for some years. Most outdoorsmen that I know don't have anything positive to say about the folks on the far side of the environmental spectrum... More and more their assertions will be questioned and their credibility fading. Wish it weren't so. After a bit of thought I realize I've certainly helped de-rail this thread... Apologies to all, moderator feel free to delete or move this wherever appropriate. As you can tell from reading this, like many I feel strongly about these kind of issues.
  12. Here's an additional small tip about closeup pics of flies, knots, etc. Hit up your local craft shop for sheets of colored foam (they'll typically come in 8 x 10 size or a bit larger). You should be able to get a half dozen single sheets of different color (the same foam you'd use for Gartside Gurglers). Any time you're doing photo work it's then a simple matter to have a perfectly contrasting background (and I've had the same set of foam sheets now for almost ten years). Here's a pic or two to illustrate how they're used... Tight Lines Bob LeMay
  13. That's pretty funny about the response in Dothan... Lots and lots of years ago my first fly fishing was in the TVA system in northwest Alabama (Lake Wilson) where lots of folks used fly gear for bass and bream. This was simple lift and lay small popper fishing and every fly rod you saw had one of those old automatic fly reels on it. Tackle shops in that era did carry small poppers for panfish and larger bugs for bass (but the hooks on the large poppers were beyond inadequate). This was the early to mid sixties and the only fly gear you could find in that area other than bugs were large outfits like Sears or similar stores that carried a few items as a carryover from stonger sales up north. I didn't come back to fly fishing until many years later (1976) when I joined a fishing club that had a fly division that you could compete in... and the rest is history.
  14. I believe there's a bluegill (or bream or shellcracker, whatever you call them) fly tournament that's down around the Lake Okeechobee area each year (and I've been reading mention of it for all of the forty years that I've been in Florida). You might want to contact tackle shops or marinas in that area and ask about it. Pretty sure the tourny coincides with a local insect hatch (chizzywinks ?). If you can find out about the tourny it might allow you to talk with organizers or fishing clubs members who probably do know about local hatches from there all the north to the Orlando area. Strictly from memory but I believe the tourny features outdoor writers as the contestants....
  15. I'd consider the Crystal Schminnow and other small maribou patterns a pretty good bet that time of year. In the colder months smaller streamers in either all white or all black (or other dark color) should work well in day or night time... I posted another very good bug for winter fishing, the Blacklight Special, in another thread recently...http://www.flytyingforum.com/index.php?showtopic=62763 Here's a pic of my version of the Crystal Schminnow. I tie them as large as a #1 or as small as a #6...Remember that with small bugs you're probably better off to dispense with any shock tippet at all. My standard leader for these bugs is just a four foot piece of 20lb fluoro, looped to a four or four and a half foot section of leader butt (40lb for an 8 or 9wt rod, 30lb for a 6 or 7wt). By the way if it's a warm day with very little or no wind you might try a popping bug (bugs are tied up on #1 hooks with very short tails) or two in any canal. Work it slowly but have it make a little sound each time you strip it (sharp little six inch strips with your rod tip in the water so there's absolutely no slack in the line when you're using poppers..). Small tarpon and large speckled trout absolutely love poppers but always seem to miss on that first strike... if you keep the bug moving and don't try to set the hook on the first blast, the second strike will almost always be a solid take. If you can teach yourself to strip strike your score on anything coming to a fly in the salt will go way up.... (but most have a bit of difficultly learning NOT to strike with their rod...) Tight Lines Bob LeMay
  16. My approach to adding weight to a fly usually involves lead eyes (and I keep them on hand in almost every size by the 1000...). When I am using lead wire I stay away from round lead wire and only use .040 square lead wire. In use I take a pair of nippers and cut the wire in the exact same lengths (from 1/2" and smaller) using four strands of wire at a time for speed and uniformity. The square lead allows me to tie it in as a keel (and if more than one piece is needed, they're stacked on top of the original piece, but in smaller lengths so the lead pieces form what looks like a tapered keel). When I started using lead I got in the habit of covering it with thread, then coating it with Sally Hansen Hard as Nails clear lacquer. Don't know if that's really necessary but the literature availble thirty or more years ago said that the lead might color or stain body materials tied over it if I didn't.... As a saltwater tyer and someone that ties commercially I'm always looking for production techniques that are faster and as uniform as possible. The aim along with doing things quickly is to be able to re-produce a pattern accurately over the years, so what a customer ordered five years ago will be the exact same thing they get today... By the way I can't remember seeing anyone offering square lead wire in years now. I'm still operating with the same spool I got some years ago... The only time I use wire lead is for a few bonefish patterns and I usually cut it on the bias so each end is cut at a 45 degree angle (helps to quickly tie a smooth underbody if the ends of the wire I'm using are tapered before the tying process). In recent years I've gotten fewer and fewer requests for patterns with weighted bodies so the lead wire isn't used very often at all for me. One other small point for freshwater types... I know that lead is a problem in freshwater environments, it's not a problem at all in the salt since it doesn't degrade in salt and birds don't feed in that environment like they do in freshwater marshes, and other areas. That hasn't stopped zealots from trying to ban lead in the salt (they've been defeated twice now that I know of after lengthy court battles). Tight Lines Bob LeMay
  17. One other tip about nail knots... at times it's helpful to cinch down your nail knot, then grab the end of your fly line (before you trim it back to final position) and the portion just above the knot (the running line)and pull that fly line as tight as possible one last time before finishing. That will tend to straighten out any curves or other problems with that nail knot. By the way, wish I had a nickel for every nail knot one of my anglers had on their gear that failed in my hands the first time I tested it before fishing (particularly nail knots done by otherwise competent fly shops on new gear). I find it's a good idea to really test them out (until your hands hurt, pulling leader against fly line across your chest) before a big fish does it for you... I'm sure they'd be okay for freshwater use but where I am down in the Everglades nail knots that slip are a bad proposition. It only takes a moment to tie in a new one that won't fail, then we're on our way. Intermediate fly lines (all I use on heavy gear) are generally too slippery to attach a leader to with a single nail knot. The solution is two knots in a row, 1/2" apart, with the same butt section. The doubled knots will hold for the life of the fly line. Hope this helps Tight Lines Bob LeMay
  18. Funny how the same animals behave differently in different areas. Where I am down in the 'Glades the dolphin chase snook just like they were after your reds. The snook will run down a bank at flank speed darting under every bit of structure they come to while these big gray torpedoes are throwing a three foot wake chasing after them... The only way the snook gets away is to find some structure that the dolphins can't negotiate.... Makes for one heckuva show in shallow bays where three feet is deep water. I know manatees can be a nuisance but I actively look for them in winter... since tarpon and manatees share the same temperature requirements, if you find the manatees - the tarpon will be close by in my areas. No manatees, no tarpon... Unlike manatees around urban areas, the ones I find in the backcountry never have a single scar or mark from a propeller. The big guys can move a lot quicker than you'd imagine and will actually explode and move out of the way 200 yards or more away when you're on plane heading toward an area where they're grazing. I think that they just can't distinguish danger around the big cities since there's too much noise in the water... Tight lines Bob LeMay
  19. Tough to see much perspective in the photo, but if the slots were felted I'd guess it might be some sort of hand rod wrapping support (for doing one guide at a time with sectional rods, one section at a time), but like I said "just a guess"... Hope someone can actually tell us just what the thing is. Tight lines Bob LeMay
  20. This may not help since it's a monster saltwater pattern.... but you never know. It's a pink Tarpon Snake, roughly six to seven inches overall, on a 4/0 Tiemco 600sp hook. This feather pattern is entirely long wide webby saddle hackles, eight for the tail, and another three to four for the body. The eyes are largest bead chain, and it has a wire weedguard. The flash on each side of the tail is a mix of pearl Flashabou, and pearl Flashabou Accent (the Fat Pack). Needless to say it's a situation specific tarpon fly for really big fish in the brackish and salt areas of the Everglades (and it's a pretty fair Costa Rica pattern as well). More than 90% of the time I do this bug in all black but when the water is muddy or really murky - fl. pink gets the nod. Tight lines Bob LeMay
  21. Here's two pics that will make the highlight report for the end of this year.... I make a point of having a waterproof camera with me on the water (with a lanyard around my neck so that I can drop it if needed, without losing it...). It's very handy to be able to have pics to send my anglers (and also have them to add to fishing reports). Each year is a separate file and the last report of the year will be just the best half dozen pics or so... So far none of my anglers have been quick enough to take any pictures when I end up out of the boat or doing anything particularly foolish. I'm sure they'll come. Tight Lines Bob LeMay
  22. I do make a few changes in the colder waters of winter... Typically it's as simple as a bit smaller and darker fly than what we'd be tossing when it's warmer. Along the way we downsize our rods a bit, particularly when working all the way up into nearby freshwater areas. Typical patterns would be Clousers on no more than a #1 hook, usually a #2... with browns, brown/orange, purple or black colors. Along with the smaller, darker flies we dispense with shock tippets, using only straight 20lb fluoro (a "poor boy" leader, four feet of 20lb loop to looped to a four foot butt section of 40lb for a #8, or 30lb for a #7 rod... This is the setup we're using for snook, reds, trout, and smaller tarpon (under 20lbs). All bets are off when the big fish flood into Whitewater and nearby areas - then it's large black flies on an 80lb shocker attached to a 20lb tippet on the end of an 11 or 12wt... One of the flies I use the most is the Blacklight Special, tied up on a #1 Mustad 34007 hook with a wire weedguard. The tail is black maribou over pearl flashabou over a very sparse amount of black bucktail... The body is black Body Fur from Dan Bailey, palmered forward to within less than 1/8" from the hook eye and tied off. Before proceeding the Body Fur (which contains fine pearl flashabou-type filaments...) is clipped close on each side to flatten the profile, while leaving top and bottom fibers un-touched. The last two steps are a wire weedguard (#5 coffee trolling wire with a tiny hook bent into the end the thread will catch...)tied into place under the hook shank, then a single wide, webby black saddle is palmered forward for a dense short collar (I include as much of the "fluff" on the saddle in the palmering process as the shaft of the feather will permit..). Thread, by the way is Danvilles, flat waxed, in black. No finish is used, just a tiny drop of super glue after the weedguard is bent slightly away from the hook eye. When the glue it dry the wire is bent down into place (1/16" directly above the hook point) then a final small bend at the very tip end... Once the fly is completed, you can add eyes if desired (I usually do...), either holo or hard plastic will do (the hard plastic doll eyes are much, much more durable than those pretty holographic eyes...). I use Fletch-Tite glue to place a tiny dot of glue, then place and clamp (my extra fancy clamp is nothing but a clothes pin...) one eye at a time.... Fletch-Tite is a cement used by arrow makers to attach the fletchings on their arrows. I find it at my local Bass Pro shop. Now for a few pics.... The first pic is part of an order headed for the shop I tie for, the second shows an earlier version of the Blacklight - before I began adding the feather collar.. the last pic is weedguards ready to use - note the tiny hook in the end of each wire, that's where the thread will anchor the weedguard. Finishing any fly with that darned wire sticking out will earn you a few band-aids until you get the hang of it. With that weedguard on a fly you can toss a fly into the mangroves and usually get it back (and it will fall off that last branch right where you wanted it in the first place...). Tight Lines Bob LeMay
  23. It's been a few weeks now since I've had fly anglers aboard, finally a day of fly fishing in this report, y'all are welcome to ignore the spinning part.... Another week with only two bookings, one day strictly fly, the second day all spinning. Last Thursday I had Capt Darren Williams and his wife Jennifer aboard in great weather, but poor fishing (nothing like a cold front to give you blue skies, strong breezes and not many fish...). Both husband and wife are very skilled with a fly rod so we hunted up very shallow looking for reds and snook. The first surprise of the day was a shallow mud cove with at least eight small sawfish (none bigger than six feet long) that were laying quietly in less than 18 inches of water. The fish blended in with the mud bottom so well that they were almost invisible even though the water was quite clear... The day's second surprise was that the fish actually came after our flies, a first for me and I've seen them in similar circumstances, many, many times. Jennifer actually hooked one briefly before it quickly pulled the hook - then it was Darren's turn. He had several bites but like before the fish only stayed hooked for a brief moment before pulling free. Moving on we covered lots of spots with little success until Darren got a nice small snook that attacked a pretty large, shallow water Clouser.... Here's a pic... Most of the day we'd been searching for a shot at Whitewater tarpon since water temps above 70 indicated we might get a shot.... and that was the last big surprise that day. After poling a long shoreline looking for laid up fish without success I saw a good fish show just briefly out in about five feet of water out in the open where the wind was strong.... We poled out and quickly found a good number of fish that looked to be 60 to almost 100lbs... You couldn't see them at all in the wind - none were rolling or showing any surface activity except for a sudden attack and surface explosion nearby (but never within casting distance). Things got exciting when one or two of the fish really got some air time, skyrocketing well over ten feet straight up.... We never managed to hook up, but that last surprise will have me back there shortly. Darren who's just now leaving guiding in the Keys to move his family out of Florida should be back soon. I"m looking forward to putting both of them on some big silver fish that will eat.... On Monday I fished local angler Jeff Peterla and Brian from Delaware and we had a different day entirely. The wind was still up but everywhere we went there were trout and small redfish that couldn't get enough of our lures on light spinning gear. Add starving ladyfish to the mix and we left fish biting at several spots. With a few ladies for live bait we moved out to a river mouth and went to work looking for a large hungry grouper for dinner. From the first most of our bites were from large toothy critters... Without any wire leaders, however long the fights lasted they all came to the point where the big fish took the hook with them. Just as I was thinking about some other spot, Brian hooked up on a big fish that turned out to be a very nice snook, here' a pic... at nearly 12lbs and over the slot size it was a pleasure to release this big girl to fight another day... That fish was followed by another good bite, this time for Jeff.... here's a pic at 22" that's one lucky grouper (just two inches under the 24" slot) and another careful release.... From the rivers all the way back into Whitewater it was speckled trout and small redfish... Hard to count how many we caught and released on bucktails or other arties... There are plenty of very nice trout inside now so everyone will be looking to 1 January when they're able to keep one for dinner. The small reds are an indicator that lots of the bigger ones are also around, waiting to be found. As for the tarpon, any week we get three or four days with mild temps there's a good chance of finding them in Whitewater. It's enough to get me going back there, day after day.... Tight lines Bob LeMay (954) 435-5666
  24. Most rods on the market today will handle a line size smaller and one line size heavier than the rated size... That doesn't mean they'll do it very well, though. There are specific circumstances where a lighter or heavier line is just the ticket but all of that depends as much on the caster as the situation so "some experimenting" is probably in order. Nothing like time on the rod, along with time on the water, to tell you very clearly whether it was a good idea. If it was me, I'd want to borrow the gear if possible instead of purchasing until I knew I could get the results needed. Since I'm a saltwater guy my needs (and those of my anglers) are a lot different than what freshwater anglers typically encounter. The one instance when I specifically recommend my anglers over-line their rods by one line size is when we're fishing at night around bridges. In that situation you can't see your fly line well at all, the casting distances are almost pointblank (we're sightfishing tarpon so close that you rarely have even thirty feet of line and leader to work with) so it's very hard to load the rod properly. With one line size heavier you're able to load the rod for the quick and accurate shots that are our bread and butter. When we leave the bridge shadows and hit nearby docklights the situation is dramatically different and we're needing long casts and only get one or two shots before those docklight fish are wise to us. In that instance the over-lined rod is something of a handi-cap since it's tough to get an 70 to 80 foot cast with it.... As always no such thing as an advantage in one area that isn't a handi-cap somewhere else. Tight Lines Bob LeMay
  25. The dryer sheet works quite well... I use one for several weeks before needing to replace it. I use it mostly to help control unruly hanks of fine flash material (Flashabou, etc.). I'll give the material a couple of light strokes and it settles right down. I also make a point of rubbing my hands with it when static is a problem. Tight lines Bob LeMay
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