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Posts Tagged ‘scott fly rods’

About a week ago, two of our favorite fishing buddies went to Louisiana to chase Bull Reds, and had quite a time. Dr. (he didn’t go to 6 years of evil medical school to be called “Mr.” thank you) Dennis Burns and Bill Seals. Here is the report from Dennis, and a few mind-blowing pictures to boot:

Sometimes it’s tempting to grumble about fly fishing options in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, particularly during the ’80 degree-one-day-freezing-your-butt-off-the-next-day’ fluctuations that we usually see around here this time of year. It turns out that great fishing isn’t as far off as I thought. A few months ago, my fishing buddy and spiritual advisor (OK, I’m kidding about the spiritual advisor part) Bill Seals contacted David Leake about whether there were any saltwater options within easy striking distance of Dallas that offered (a) good fishing, (b) reasonable accommodations and (c) good food. Without missing a beat, David said, ‘Sure! I’ll set it up.’ Thus began our first trip to the Louisiana coast to visit the Woodland Plantation and to fish with Capt. Bryan Carter. An 80-minute flight from Dallas to New Orleans, followed by an easy 45-minute drive south (punctuated by a fuel stop at Cafe du Monde and a neat visit to the National World War II Museum) took us to the Woodland Plantation, a mid 1800s inn outside of Port Sulphur that offers guests comfortable rooms, and superb food and drink at very reasonable prices. Many of you have probably seen the Woodland Plantation without knowing it – it’s pictured in a line drawing on the label of every bottle of Southern Comfort! After fortifying ourselves with such spirits, a great evening meal and a restful night, Bill and I hooked up with Bryan early the next morning for an introduction to south Louisiana Redfish on the fly. To experience Bryan in a guide situation is memorable – he’s got the sharp eyes and instincts for finding fish that you would expect from a veteran saltwater guide, coupled with a deep knowledge and appreciation of the beautiful – and fragile – ecosystem represented by the coastal Louisiana saltwater flats. He shares his knowledge freely and well. He’s also enough of a smart-aleck to keep you humble – and in stitches – through the whole fishing experience. Man, can he put you on to fish!

Dennis Burns with a nice Red early on. Photo by: Bill Seals

Dennis Burns with a nice Red early on. Photo by: Bill Seals

Bill Seals with another nice Redfish. Photo by: Dennis Burns

Bill Seals with another nice Redfish. Photo by: Dennis Burns

My most memorable Red came on the first day…..something about beginner’s luck, I think. My story, of course, is that I had to cast 800 feet into a 30 MPH headwind to hook the fish, while my buddy Bill’s story has the fish ramming into the boat, knocking itself out, and me reaching over the side and inserting a hook into its mouth. The truth is somewhere between – perhaps a bit closer to Bill’s version than mine. I hooked the fish at a fairly modest distance on an EP (Enrico Puglisi) crab pattern that Bryan favors this time of year, and after a bit of a fight (during which I wondered if my 8-weight Scott S4 was going to survive), managed to bring him to the boat – a beautiful 34-pound fish that was, for me at least, the fish of a lifetime!

The monster being brought in. Photo by: Capt. Bryan Carter

The monster being brought in. Photo by: Capt. Bryan Carter

Dennis Burns with his Redfish of a lifetime. Photo by: Bill Seals

Dennis Burns with his Redfish of a lifetime. Photo by: Bill Seals

Captain Bryan Carter holds Dennis' big fish on the boga. Photo by: Bill Seals

Captain Bryan Carter holds Dennis' big fish on the boga. Photo by: Bill Seals

Over the next couple of days, Bill and I had the privilege of landing many more beautiful reds in shallow water, as well as the occasional Black Drum and Sheepshead. Had our Redfishing skills been a bit more “honed” (as opposed to non-existent!) we would have more than doubled our numbers. Bryan – and the fishery – are just that good. The days on the flats ended at about 3:30 each day, once the angle of the light on the water made spotting fish a difficult proposition. Not a problem though – the days on the water were full of wonderful fishing and experiencing the special environment of the coastal Louisiana saltwater flats, and the hospitality of the Woodland Plantation was there for us at the end of each day. We’ll be back! – Dennis

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Lets rewind to February 3rd.  Boone and I have picked our day.  March 10th, 2009 is going to be the day of legendary proportion.  We will be traveling to the epic body of water known only to some as Fork.  The fabled waters’ of Lake Fork located in the epicenter of Texas bass fishing is where we are headed.  Our adrenaline will be pumping, our minds will be pale and weary from the grey winter of Dallas, and the little voice in the back of our heads will be saying “today is the day, be ready.” Spring will be in full stride and the bass will be shifting from their pre-spawn game of grab ass to the hard-core, sure thing, these eggs are mine spawn mode.  The males will be done big pimpin’ on their beads and the biotches will be locked down and pissed off at the underwater world in which they call home.  10 pounds is what we are chasing.  The program involves ripping 3-4 inch weed less bream and sunfish patterns past the ladies’ front doors, teasing them off of their cushy king sizes, then BAM!  Hold on to your 8 weights boys because she is playing for keeps.

Barometric Pressure as defined by Webster:  While on the rise, though harmless, beautiful, and comfy, will absolutely F*CK your fishing.

March 11th,  2009:

It is 38 degrees outside and the rain is coming down.  Needless to say, Fork won yesterday.  It was 80 degrees when Boone and I started yesterday morning.  We were chasing 10 and one fiver is what we got.  I feel as though I have said enough.

5lb 10oz Largemouth caught on Lake Fork

5lb 10oz Largemouth caught on Lake Fork

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Co worker Corey and I visited a local pond earlier this week to check out some bass fishing.  This pond has a reputation for holding bass up to 8 lbs and the common catch is around 3lbs.  We strapped the trolling motor to the small boat, grabbed some cold beer, and started to cruise around.  For gear, I was using my Scott SAS 5wt/Hatch 5 Plus/Triangle Taper, and Corey had a Scott HP 8wt/Hatch 7 Plus/Rio Outbound.

Hatch 7 Plus

Hatch 7 Plus

The first thing I noticed was the overwhelming amount of grass this tank had.  With the average depth at about 6ft, the grass was only leaving 2ft of space from the surface.  Our only option was to throw at the shoreline, or at the few areas with no grass.  We threw a variety of flies, anything from baitfish patterns to big bunny flies and just couldn’t get a hit.  As the sun sank we decided it was time for some topwater action, not having any indication that a bass would even come to the surface.  My choice of fish food was swimming frog and Corey went with a black diving bug.

Swimming Frog :: Photo by: Matt Jones

Swimming Frog :: Photo by: Matt Jones

We simply cast in every direction covering as much water as possible.  My first fish attacked the surface about two feet off of the bank…just a dinker.  From that point on, Corey and I continued to catch fish after fish on the surface, most of which were just under 2lbs.   Corey’s last fish of the night was the biggest of the night, just shy of 3 lbs.  It was great getting out and getting some topwater action from these spawning fish!

Bass on Swimming Frog :: Photo by: Matt Jones

Bass on Swimming Frog :: Photo by: Matt Jones

Getting a pull :: Photo by: Matt Jones

Getting a pull :: Photo by: Matt Jones

Mouth full of grass :: Photo by: Matt Jones

Mouth full of grass :: Photo by: Matt Jones

Sun goes down :: Photo by: Matt Jones

Sun goes down :: Photo by: Matt Jones

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