I’ll be on my way to Cape Cod for stripers in a few days, and then on to New Brunswick, hopefully, for Atlantic salmon. I’ll be gone for a few weeks, but I’ll be checking my email regularly, so stay in touch. It’s been a great season; I’ve lost count of the tarpon we’ve jumped since February, less than a hundred, probably, but not by much. Many thanks to my brother Alan Small, and to Bruce Bauman, Sean Crother, Tim and David Dandt, Calvin and Jim Fuller, Tom Hartman, Dr. Dan Newman, Shannon Norris, Tony Robertson, Tim Rutledge, Jeff Wyman. Thank you all, for helping to make this one of the greatest seasons, for your inspiring sportsmanship, and for your dedication to the fine art of fly fishing in salt water.
June 30, 2004
June 29, 2004
Cal and Jim Fuller have been fishing with me the past four days. We jumped seven tarpon in the 40 to 70 pound class, we lost count of the snook we caught, well over twenty, and picked up eleven redfish along the way, all on fly.
June 28, 2004
Tarpon fishing this morning, Cal and Jim struck five, getting two in the air. We’ve found a school spread out in a series of connected lagoons, they run anywhere from 30 to 100 pounds. Yesterday we took a break from the tarpon and went snook fishing: Calvin and Jim Fuller, 12 snook and 2 reds, on fly, Everglades Style.
June 26, 2004
We’re still after tarpon with fly rods, Calvin and Jim Fuller jumped four this morning, 50 – 70 pounds. It’s low tide at mid-day and it’s hot out there, get out at daylight, get home by noon and go out again in the evening.
June 11, 2004
Tony Robertson and I have been fishing together for five days. Tony is the only person I’ve ever seen, jump two tarpon on one cast. One fish, about forty pounds, blew up on the fly, and spit the hook on the second jump. When the rebounding fly hit the water, another smashed it; only this one was a bout sixty pounds! How can you set the hook on something like that? Two tarpon, three jumps; one cast.
This morning, in the twilight of the dawn, we were casting to rolling fish in the moonlight, we jumped one immediately, I had to sneak out to rig another leader, sneak back in, and jump another one, re-rig after that; and on the third go-round Tony cast to a rolling tarpon and a redfish grabbed the fly before the tarpon could get it. The fish was well hooked, and while we were discussing the relative merits of redfish sightfishing, vs tarpon, and possibly if a redfish was a ‘trash fish’ when you’re tarpon hunting, and casually playing out this red beside the boat; a shadow appeared out of the green murk under the mangrove roots… Redfish and Goliath Grouper, on fly, one cast; Tony Robertson on the fordeck, gettin’ it done, Everglades Style. Tony jumped 22 tarpon in five days. We lost count of the strikes, follows, and short chargers.
June 10, 2004
Jumpin’ tarpon, on fly, Jungle Style. Tony on the foredeck, just rakkin’ ‘em up. Ten fish today, in the air, all sizes between forty, and a hundred and forty pounds. Tony Robertson in the photo.
June 9, 2004
Tony Robertson, jumping tarpon, Everglades style. Nine up in three days, every size, up to a hundred pounds. Refining our techniques every minute. It’s a Zen Thing.
June 2, 2004
Major Tom Simmons, 30 years in the Royal Marines, thank you very much, on the foredeck; sight shooting red’s, snook, and tarpon on the fly rod every day. All I really care about is the tarpon; and I have found several schools, the tide has to be right, the wind, the time of day; don’t complain to me, when I put you on them, you have to “get it done.” Practice your casting.