It’s only been a half year ‘til now but it seems like three whole decades. A couple of months ago my brother died. He fell at last to a long battle with cancer. I have devoted the last past year to worrying for him, and I have neglected my guiding and you patriots that have stuck with me over the years. I hope you will forgive me for this lapse and that you will still want to guide with me next year. If you’re pissed because I couldn’t return your phone calls these past few months, my apologies. I just couldn’t do it with everything that’s been happening. I am sorry, you deserve better but I just couldn’t handle it.
There’s still a few things to resolve, the salmon camp in New Brunswick, the tarpon camp in Everglades, and who carved my Brothers initials into the receiver of his model 21 Winchester. I promise you a few snipe will die under this gun when the season opens this year. On Bad Luck Prairie. They will die flying under the barrels of this classic double, with the initials intact, eleven miles from nowhere on the Everglades prairies where my brother would want me to be. He will be there too, with my hands on his gun.
My best estimate for being back in the saddle is May of next year. I have a few things I have to live through before then. I know Mike and Earl want the first week of June although that’s not settled, and the Missouri boys want the same or close to it. But I’m open around that time and hoping we can put something together. Y’all have neglected the fishing in the summer down here, how good it can be, and I’m hoping a few of you will get on board in July.
I’ve been in school all this month taking the Florida Master Naturalist course with F.U.! ’Next time I tell you that a comb jellyfish is not a jellyfish at all, remember, I am a “Florida Master Naturalist!” If it don’t sting it aint that thing. …Batfish won’t bite you, stone crabs will, as well as those tiny little squids, they put a hurtin’ on ya, and puffers, they remove nice, bullet sized chunks of skin. It’s hard to make a livin’ down there and you have to be tough, like the leatherback jack, nobody wants to mess with that! He will send electric, synaptic shocks up your arm and into your primary focal agent, your eyes. It’s best if you don’t look at them at all but certainly don’t stare and it’s not a good idea to touch them. Once you have an understanding of the venomous evils below the surface you gain a new appreciation for the delightful spontanaeity of the ladyfish. They are just plain fun to catch between esoteric maunderings after giant snook. Let’s get some.
Everyone knows that all the snook got killed in the freeze. But they are starting to come back, there are roaming pods of juveniles all over the place. I’m still not sure about the midget tarpon we have always fished for in the summer, but hope will prevail. At the same time there are tons of reds and I have to tell you it’s fun fishing for them. We’re averaging six to twelve reds every day we fish. (Right now it’s not that often for me, I have shit to process.) But every time I go out we hammer the reds.
So get with me, let’s get back on board for next year, after May, and let’s release some beautiful fish. All you have to do is stand on the foredeck with a flyrod, I’ll take care of everything else.
My thanks to all of you who have stuck with me over the years and let’s see if we can’t jam in a few more days of relentless fishing before this era has passed.