formula1

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  1. That's awesome Thai! Reminds me I have to back to Baja again to fish, reminds a bit of Loreto although a bit more primitive in your case. Thanks for sharing!
  2. When you figure out the puzzle (for the most part...you'll never have it completely) you can feel like a hero. Then the next 30 fish you present to ignore you. But at least it's very cool to know you understand the fishery, the fish, how to present and even more important understand when you've messed up and *why*. My guide and I always have a constant commentary going as we spot for fish and the cast and retrieve....goes something like "string coming at 10 o'clock, 100 yards, you see them? yeah I see it...gonna move up a bit here they're crossing the white patch now...ok man cast to the 3rd or 4th fish...got it? yeah got it...okay a bit off but I"m gonna slide it in after that fish passes...strip strip strip...pick up...no I see another fish, he's interested...bump it...set it, set it!!!" If you want to see what tarpon fishing is like watch Andy Mill's Chasing Silver videos. Watch the part where Andy messes up on 29 tarpon in a row and finally gets the 30th. That's how I feel sometimes lol. Chasing Silver is *the* best tarpon video/porn ever IMHO.
  3. That's awesome man! Very happy another SOL member has discovered tarpon in the Keys. I love it down there, the whole fishing scene, to me, is magical. I can tell you, every year on my last day as my guide and I make the run back to the marina I try to memorize every sight, sound and scent, the turtle grass flying underneath the boat, the turtles ducking down...I try to burn it all into my memory to tide me over till the next time I am down there which will be much too long a wait.
  4. There is so much here I could probably write a book...(and RAW forgive me if I'm stating things that you probably know already...) based on my own inadequacies and missteps LOL. First, the guy is a good fisherman...but fishing in the northeast is a far different game than tarpon in the Keys. As Local66 says tarpon in the Keys is one of the most unforgiving fisheries on earth. I agree with Andy Mill who said if you can catch tarpon oceanside in the Keys you can catch fish anywhere (although this has not translated into permit success for me <sigh>). How good is the guy casting into the wind, or wind into his shoulder? How good is he when the boat is rocking up and down in 2 ft seas? (My main guide calls me the ninja because of 1) I'm Asian, and 2) one day we were fishing with 20 knot winds against the tide on the oceanside...I was bouncing all over the bow casting to fish as the bow rocked up and down and water sloshed over the bow...fun as hell but not easy...I ended up gashing my shin against the casting platform...). I find for tarpon I have to keep in mind the tide, wind direction, travel direction of the fish, boat position, etc. in mind as I fish. I've screwed up where I forgot which direction the boat was moving and not moving the fly enough...the list goes on... Tarpon these days are very educated in the Keys. I've had strings of 50-100 tarpon come by, make 8-10 good presentations and not a hint of interest. You gotta be able to put the fly in the right place over and over again. If you need 2-3 casts to get it in the right place in front of a tarpon you're probably not going to get him, this isn't like trout fishing where you can try a dozen times to get the drift right over a riffle to get a trout's interest. Andy is fond of saying the best presentation is where you make the fly almost magically appear in the right spot in front of a tarpon and that's usually going to result in an eat. These days it's not guarantee as the fish are very pressured. Guide - just because he's a popular guide doesn't mean he's good. I can name any number of "popular" guides including some who've had TV/Internet shows who are not very good. Many of the guides making tons of videos are doing so because they want to be "movies stars" and not guides and they see fishing as their road to media stardom. One of the "popular" guides got a tv show going because he had a well off client who funded it so he could be on the show too, not because he was anything special as a guide. I know of one of the old time popular guides in KW who I thought was a great guide until my guide pointed out to me (and I verified this) that this guide simply stakes out his boat by a channel and doesn't move the entire day because he is is too lazy to pole around getting the best shots at tarpon for his clients. My guides all work their butt off when they need to to get me in front of a good pod or string of fish. We may stake up for an hour but we are ready to move in a hearbeat if a string of fish looks like they'll pass 100 ft away from us. But that said there are many great guides in the Keys. I worked hard and started on the outside of some of their schedules and worked my way into prime time slots (being friends with some of the tournament fisherman didn't hurt either). If your friend wants to change guides I'd look for a really good guide but they're tough to get time with. Avoid the TV personalities (with the exception of Rob Fordyce who is awesome). I can tell you one of the reasons I got good slots is I worked hard in the off season and got better every year - my main guide tells me that some of the guys he fishes with say they "need to practice" but the next year it's obvious they haven't gotten better but he tells me that every year I improve (or maybe he's just flattering me to get a bigger tip lol).
  5. I'm still willing to bet you're being very humble about your abilities, appreciate hearing about your experiences, very cool. But thanks, I feel a bit less inferior now, as I don't totally suck when it comes to tarpon :). It's like you say, the guide makes a big difference, all the guides I've worked with have rarely had a day when they couldn't find tarpon for me to molest with my fly. Edges is right, but sometimes you can't even make out an edge yet the tarpon keep coming a certain route over a flat so you *know* there is some feature, however subtle, they are being guided by. I think it's a minor change in depth which for intents and purposes is an "edge."
  6. I don't disagree you gotta find them feeding (and of course I'm not talking on the wrecks, only on the flats), but my main Keys guide has put me on them feeding (one of the most memorable days I had was stalking about a dozen permit, all easily over 15# down the edge of a flat...and of course I could not get a single one to bite...) consistently season after season. Still isn't easy. I'm willing to bet you are a far, far better fisherman than your average guy on the flats - the weakest link is the fisherman and I don't mind saying I'm that weak link - my guides have been the some of the same guides that have guided guys like Del Brown, Nathaniel Linville, Andy Mill, etc to tournament wins and records. Unfortunately I don't have the time nor the talent of these guys :(. PS That day stalking 15#+ permit was one of the coolest mornings fishing I've ever had despite not getting a bite. Still clear in my memory as the day it happened :).
  7. I don't think I'd go so far as to say those fish are easily achievable by fly rod or spin...a Keys permit on fly is probably the hardest fish I've ever fished for. Small bones are achievable if you are a decent caster, big bones not so much (I'm talking 10# plus which I've been trying for in Keys for a while - very educated fish IMHO).
  8. I third the Florida Keys Outfitters. They work with all the top guides in the area. I'm not going to name names but I can tell you that with the popularity of shows like Silver Kings etc a ton of part time guides set up shop every spring in the Keys to cash in on the tarpon migration. IMHO they are not worth the money they charge, not by a long shot. I know some of the better guides in the Keys and they'll tell you the same. Names I would recommend if you want to try (but unfortunately most of these guys fish the tournaments so May timeframe they are booking a lot of pre-fishing days for the tournaments) would include Rob Fordyce, Brewer, Brian Helms, Lincoln Rodriguez, and Paul Tejera.
  9. Depends on where. In the Keys (where I do 95% of my fishing for those 3 fish, I primarily use a clear line, I went back and forth between Cortland Liquid Crystal and Monic's clear lines. The Cortland is more clear but the Monic has, for me, a much better taper. With the current generation, I like the Monic Phantom, I think it's a great line (but reiterating what Local66 said, clear lines are never going to cast quite as well as regular lines). If it's a super windy day (which makes it very hard to track a fly visually and the line is impossible to track if it's a clear line) I go to a regular Rio Tarpon line. Sometimes I will use a Rio Bonefish line but that's pretty rare - since it's so windy most of the spring in the Keys, I use a tarpon line from 9 to 12 wt . If I'm on the west coast I don't bother with a clear.
  10. Stormy, the crazy thing is those prices I saw were for complete rods. I wonder where the cost savings on those are...in the design, action, strength (they have 10-12 wts which is where serious fish fighting power starts in most fly rod series), componentry (would the guides rust after a season in the salt?)...
  11. I was on that famous auction website the other day and saw inexpensive ($60-$105) Fly rods ranging up to 12 wts, a number of different manufacturer names ("Maxcatch Saltwater Fly Fishing Rod 9ft 7/8/9/10/12wt Graphite IM10 Fast Action", or "Fly Rod 3/4/5/6/7/8/9/10/12 WT Fast Action Fly Fishing Rod IM 10 Carbon Fiber"). Just curious if anyone ever took a chance on one of these and tried them? And no, I'm not planning on switching to any rods of this type...just curious what you get for such a cheap price...
  12. This is why I never put my sunglasses on the top of my hat...I always let them hang from the lanyard...
  13. HT, always enjoyed your postings and contributions to the forum. Get well, get better and see you on the water one of these days!
  14. Good luck with the rod. I've been a fan of Hardy rods for a while now, since I first fished the Proaxis prototypes. I have a bunch of the Proaxis Sintrix and now some of the Zephrus (in 11, my new favorite big game fly rod) and if Hardy continues their ways it should be a good rod. Let us know how you like it.
  15. Wow HT so sorry to hear about your health issues. I wish you all the best for a complete recovery. I was looking around at reel threads and enjoyed reading your postings on this thread.