Noob to the long stick
I bought a cheap pflueger 7wt combo about a year ago and put some cheap academy fly line on it.. Took it out a few times and sucked bad at it so it sat on the wall until about a little over a month ago.. Decided to give it another go.. Started going out and leaving the spin gear at home and this really helped because it kept the whip in my hands.. Started making pretty consistent catches of black drum and a few reds here and there, including this nice 38" red that I totally lucked into..
I'm still not able to cast out of the kayak without getting my line tangled on everything, so I find fish, stake out, and wade to them.. Well one morning I spot a big school of drum and begin pursuing them on foot.. About 10 feet beyond them I see big broom tails popping up and they were in less than two feet of water.. Made the obvious executive decision to bail on the drum.. Made one lucky cast right into the sweet spot, ticked it by them across the bottom, and watched one tail on my fly.. I set on him, and that line was getting ripped out of my hands fast... He got me to the reel, and within 10 seconds I see my backing knot shooting through the guides.. I had no idea what to do as this was hands down the biggest fish I had ever hooked on fly.. Composed myself and kept tight.. The fish made 4 good runs but was whooped in under 10 minutes.. When I got that fish in my hands I felt like I had won the superbowl lol.. This fish is really the one that really started this obsession.. He hit a black and olive redfish slider..
Wish I could say it was skill that earned me that fish but that situation fell right into my lap! This was actually only my 3rd red on fly..
Also doing pretty decent with the drum, nabbing one or two per trip on fly.. They are pretty forgiving, and you can get close to them which is great for me because my casting is garbage lol.. Plus they usually get you down to the reel.. Also was able to land my first **** on fly on the 7wt after launching about a 1000 in the air and losing every single one of em \/ \/
I wasn't doing terrible on the pflueger but with the cheap line and the slow rod, it wasn't a good platform to learn on ... I ended up getting lucky, and had an old kayak of mine up for sale.. A buddy of mine did me an even trade, his fly combo for the kayak. So I now have a Nautilus CCFX2 8/10 on an 8wt Redington Vapen with Cortland Liquid Crystal flyline... OHHHHHH what a difference lol.. I actually have the power to drive the hook...
On the first day out with it, I was lucky enough to find big pods of tarpon holding on the edge of a flat that was a bit too shallow for them to access which concentrated them on this edge.. I put well over 20 in the air and had 7 or 8 make it on deck for a photo op.. On the pflueger, I would see them hit, strip set, and get one jump, if that, before they came off.. Now, even if I lose them, they are on for several jumps.. Not sure if its the rod, or because the line is less stretchy.. Either way, I am digging this setup.. Only had it out twice... On the second trip, on a whim I hit a spot I haven't been to in 5 years in an effort to find some clean water.. To my surprise, only a few hundred yards from the ramp I bump a big school of bull reds sitting in shin deep water.. At first I was ticked because I figured that was it but they settled down about 50 yards away.. I composed myself, stood up, and poled myself into a good angle.. put a nice cast in with a gurgler and popped it by the school.. One nice 25-30lb red peels off and tracks the fly.. coming out of the water for the thing.. but he just couldn't get it.. 4 or 5 big swipes before he saw my yak and took off.. I had 5 feet of fly line out the tip when he spooked.. Heartbreak.. Ended up with two slotties but that did little to soothe my **** lol... Here's a few pics of fish on the new whip...
All in all I'm really digging fly fishing.. There's nothing really that can match the feeling of coming tight on a fish on fly after you've worked for it as hard as you have to on fly.. I have a lot of work to do on my casting though, I'm casting better with the new setup but I'm still knotting leaders, still having casts fall apart under certain circumstances, still slapping the water and spooking fish, ect. I think one of the keys for me will be to leave the spin gear at home and just keep the long rod in my hands.. Practice makes perfect and it seems that is especially true with fly casting.. Glad I found this section, looking forward to learning from yall!